Prepping Your Child for Dual Enrollment – High School and College


IMG_2455 Have you ever gotten to experience stepping onto a college campus to register your child for classes for the first time and felt like you just entered the Twilight Zone? I think I aged 10 years that day! lol. My how life just flies by. I have had the unique privilege that is now becoming more available to students and families across America to have my teen son dual-enrolled. In a nutshell, it means he gets to attend college classes at a local community college part of the day earning real college credits towards a degree while still attending his junior and senior years in high school the other part of the day. This amazing opportunity can be both exhilarating and frightening for both the student and parents.

Never fear – I’m here to tell you there is hope! There are many things you can do to help prepare your student for this rewarding experience and #FallBackToSchool with ease! In this post you’ll find lots of great tips for making the transition of back to high school or first time at college go more smoothly. I’d also like to share the Follett #FallBackToSchool campaign with you and ask you to share your own back to school tips with us in the comments below, or you can reach out to @FollettNews on Twitter or Follett Corporation on Facebook and let them know your suggestions on how to make back to school schedule adjustments and preparations go smoothly.

One very important tip is to make sure you choose a sturdy backpack with multiple compartments for storing high school books and folders in one section and separating the books and notebooks for the college courses in the other sections. I cannot stress enough that the value of a well-made backpack with separate sections for organizing the students various books and assignments can be critical for them keeping ahead of the game and staying successful in both high school and college classes. You also want to have a backpack that won’t wear out with the weight of all those books and wear and tear of being tossed around on the floor often between switching from highs school to college campus.

Stay smart, orderly and on time by keeping a student agenda or handbook with daily assignments and a calendar for recording dates of future projects. It can be an extremely vital tool to ensuring success this year.

Developing good communication skills within your student is so important as they’ll need to use them to ask key questions to teachers, administration and college professors about their classes, or even to catch rides to commute back and forth to and from the college campus and back to the high school each day for dual-enrollment.


Plan ahead and set up your student’s class schedule with the college as early on as possible. Getting into the classes recommended by your student’s counselor is important to their success by starting the year out on the right foot. Having the extra time early on to hunt for the college textbooks on sale through either or eBay is helpful, but you can also attempt to get them cheaply through a rental service which I think is even better! Caution: You need to keep in mind it takes a few weeks for books to ship media mail from most of these companies so don’t wait until the last minute!

Another fantastic asset some feel is very helpful to assist your student is to embrace the use of technology in today’s educational world. Check out this great info-graphic!

Teaching or Tech


For this reason, I recommend utilizing time-keeping apps for iPhone or iPad if you have access to them. Additionally, I have my son use a timer and spend at least 30 extra minutes each night studying for one subject he feels he could use the extra time invested in that week. I like the use of the apps since most teens/college age seem to be all about their cell phones and tablets. It’s helpful to give them positive suggestions on how to use technology in a helpful way to improve their educational success!

There are so many other valuable tips waiting to help your student grab hold of a successful school year this year. Visit Follett for more helpful Back To School info that will encourage and enable your student to be off to a great start! Don’t forget to share your #Fallbacktoschool tips with us in the comments below!

Disclosure:  Love2EncourageYou received compensation in exchange for sharing my honest input about great tips for heading back to school and the cool informative graphics by Follett. I only share items of interest or value to my readers.


Blessings Appear As We Sell Our Home



My apologies to my dear readers –  it’s been insanely crazy around here over the last few weeks/months. I hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to hearing the wonderful things God has been doing in our life lately!

Well, for starters, we began the process of selling our home. We decided we needed to live closer to my hubby’s work and our church. Now add financial stress to the mix and it all added up to needing to sell the house and move onto the next chapter in our lives together. Cleaning, purging and donating tons and tons of “stuff” that we accumulate in life (not to mention ten times more when you’re a blogger! lol.) made it a very daunting task from the beginning. Accepting the fact that we had to move and sell our home was not easy to go through either, but we found ourselves daring to believe in what God could have planned for our near future if we are faithful in this task and try our best to get the home ready to put on the market.

Finally the house was ready to be seen and we researched until we found just the right real estate agent to hire to represent us. Shortly after listing the house for sale and asking our friends and family to keep it in prayer, God came through swiftly with a miracle and the house SOLD in just 7 days!! We got almost a full price offer and were delighted to find out the buyers were in love with our home as much as we were and couldn’t wait to move into the neighborhood. That made the stress of selling this beautiful vacation home a lot easier on me knowing someone else with kids would be blessed with it now.

After accepting the buyers offer, we went through the prayer over inspection. Of course as you know, God came through with flying colors there too and the home was cleared to have no major issues of any kind! We were so relieved and thankful for God’s continued hand in it all and we moved forward for the appraisal. We also began our search for a single family home to live in near my husband’s job and our church in a city about 45 minutes away.

Unfortunately through all this process of cleaning the house spotless and fixing up things here or there that needed mending, we all got worn out and our immune systems became vulnerable. Our whole household has been passing around some horrible coughing/head cold virus that is similar to bronchitis or worse. It has caused my hubby and son to miss school to get better, and kept me in bed several days still trying to care for the kids etc. Not fun. However, when we are weak, He is made strong, right? We have been going through quite the series of events trying to sell our home and it has been incredible seeing God’s hand in everything!! He has opened every door and closed the ones He didn’t want us to walk through. I can’t thank God enough for His great provision for our needs each step of the way.

All should go through soon as we hear back on the appraisal and we will close on the house on Oct 26!! We prayed about finding just the right housing to move into and hoped for a move in date of Oct 15. I’m thrilled to share God has enabled us to be the first ones to get our application in on a gorgeous single family house to rent in a safe neighborhood close to my husband’s school and our church. I’m delighted to express these praises with you and ask for your continued prayers as we move into our new place in 2 weeks! Once the house sale is final (after Oct 26) I will be back to blogging full time and you can expect some AMAZING things to come!

It’s been SO HARD to say no to sponsors or delay the campaigns from those who are anxious to share their products with my readers in giveaways and reviews, but I just can’t take on too much while moving right now. Please help me be able to help you more by still visiting this blog and website at often and keep the traffic up here. Comments and shares help a lot too! This will ensure we get lots of GREAT sponsors to share with you in the months of November and December for the holidays!

I pray God’s hand of blessing upon each of you this week and hope you will keep visiting as I unveil an awesome line up of events coming in November! Thank you friends and please know how much your continued support and readership means to me.

Rebecca at Love2EncourageYou

PS: I have tons of My Coke Rewards codes I’ll be share on this site in future posts so keep reading new posts in the days ahead and comment whenever you find a code and get to claim it so I can replace it with a new one. Thanks! Here’s one to start with! Congrats to the first one to find it! Don’t forget to comment and tell me you’ve claimed it!

My Coke Rewards Code: 4TN54W67K5TKRF



ZooBoo KIDS Halloween Event at Tampa Lowry Park Zoo



Hey Zoo fans! It’s an all new ZooBoo, just for kids at Tampa Lowry Park Zoo! Ideal for little boys and “ghouls” (age 11 & under), ZooBoo KIDS is a Halloween treat for families. If you’ve ever been to the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo, you know how much fun it is for kids and families! Just imagine how much more excitement it will bring to your little ones to be able to experience this very special Halloween event just for them!



Go batty with extended hours on select nights and “fright free” festivities like a trick-or-treat trail, corn maze, creepy critter encounters, friendly character appearances, fall photo opportunities, Halloween-themed games, festive seasonal decor and a Monster Mash dance party. On designated days, guests can watch some of the Zoo’s animals have a smashing good time too with pumpkin toss enrichments. ZooBoo KIDS activities are included with paid Zoo admission or Zoo membership. Visit for a schedule of events.

Just think of all the fun awaiting you and your family as you stroll through the various areas of this beautiful zoo! There are so many great festivities to choose from while you are there – your kids are sure to enjoy every minute of it! The ZooBoo KIDS event is a wonderful way to build special memories with your children or grandchildren that will last for years to come.


About Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is featured among the “Top 25 Zoos in the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “10 Best Zoos in the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with extended hours on select nights during special events. Daytime admission prices are: adult – $27.95, seniors (60+) – $25.95, children ages 3-11 – $20.95, and children 2 and under are free. Parking is free. Visit or call (813) 935-8552 for information. Find the Zoo on Facebook and Twitter.


$3 OFF ZOO ADMISSION – Enjoy $3 off Zoo admission and spend the day visiting more than 1,000 animals on 56 acres of lush, natural habitats! Offer valid for up to 4 guests per original coupon presented. Coupon not combinable with any other offers. No cash value. Valid only during daytime hours; not valid for special events. Prices subject to change without notice. Discount not applicable to AAA rates. Expires 12/31/2015.



The Unmaking by 8X Dove Award Winner Nichole Nordeman



Capital Records presents the newest album from Nichole Nordeman (8 times Dove Award Winner!) titled “The Unmaking“! Just released this weekend! Check out some of my favorite songs on the album such as “Name”, “Something Out Of Me”, and “Love You More”! She’s got a hit on her hands again with some of these amazing songs – great music and lyrics that you want to sing praises to the Lord with!

Love the beautiful picture of God’s grace that is painted in our minds while listening to these soothing and yet upbeat songs for the soul. I love hearing her songs on the local Christian radio and the songs from this new album, “The Unmaking”, are sure to be on there often.

Nichole’s contemporary Christian music style fluctuates from album to album slightly, and variety can be a good thing! I’m always happily blessed by the final outcome after listening to her music and words that the Lord inspired her to share with the world. I hope you’ll find “The Unmaking” to be a true blessing to your heart and give you encouragement to face tomorrow.

Visit Nichole Nordeman’s website and read her heart-felt message about why she sings for God. Very inspiring!



Prize: One winner will receive a copy of the new album by Nichole Nordeman called “The Unmaking”!

Location: Open to residents of the US and Canada.

Age: Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Date: Ends at midnight EST on Sept 13th.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Love2EncourageYou received a sample copy in exchange for an honest review. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook or any other social media channel. Love2EncourageYou is not responsible for sponsor prize fulfillment.


Apologetics Study Bible for Students HCSB



It’s been an interesting summer for me here in Florida filled with many blessings. How amazing things are with God’s hand leading the changes! Between making the decision to try and sell our house so we can move closer to my hubby’s work and our church, to starting my own educational resources company – this has been a blur of a summer. The really neat part of all this is through this crazy busy time, God’s allowed me to be offered endless opportunities to do reviews of Bibles, Christian CDs, and other great Christian and family friendly resources! It’s such a refreshing part of my interest in blogging to be able to learn about great new products and share my reviews with all of you. What I love even more are the opportunities to put these valuable resources into your hands absolutely free with our giveaways! A huge round of applause and deepest thanks to so many wonderful sponsors that offer these amazing blessings to my readers – including today’s totally fantastic Bible being featured for review and giveaway: The Apologetics Study Bible for Students!


This Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) is a beautifully crafted hardcover that has a sharp outer design for the cover as well as similar graphics occasionally on the inside. I love the indented and colored tabs to help quickly put your fingers near the right book of the Bible for easier study.  The commentaries and articles scattered randomly throughout this Apologetics Study Bible for Students are very interesting and thought provoking – calling the learner to deeper study and understanding of the particular topic being shared. I rather enjoyed some of the quotes featured and have shared them with others myself. It’s nice to see someone who is fluent in the Word of God trying to reach student’s hearts and minds with topics that would be important to them.


One of the best parts added to this Bible were the 25 Tactics available for students to learn how to stand up to opposition to Christianity by better understanding why they believe what they believe.  In a nut shell, it’s giving them the courage to share their faith with others boldly for Christ. That’s what it’s all about, right?


There are so many cool features in this Bible it is hard to mention them all, but here’s a list from the back cover:

  • Built on the Holman Christian Standard Bible — a clear, contemporary English translation that’s faithful to the original languages of the Bible.
  • Book Introductions — for each of the sixty-six books of the Bible.
  • Study Notes — provide evidence of the reliability and truthfulness of Scripture.
  • 120 Articles — written by today’s leading Christian thinkers dealing with life’s ultimate questions.
  • 60 Twisted Scriptures — address ways that various religious movements distort Scripture to support doctrine contrary to historic Christian teaching.
  • 50 Bones & Dirt — features important archaeological discoveries with an apologetics value.
  • 50 Notable Quotes — from influential people throughout history
  • 25 Tactics — will equip students to withstand opposition to Christianity by outlining tactics and strategies for handling frequently heard anti-Christian arguments
  • 20 Personal Stories — will encourage and strengthen readers in their faith by describing how God has worked dramatically in people’s lives.
  • 20 Top Five — are bullet point lists that help readers remember significant apologetics topics
  • Contributors include: Sean McDowell, Greg Stier, Alison Thomas, Dan Kimball, and more than 45 others

The Apologetics Study Bible for Students will ground Christian students in the truths of Scripture by equipping them with thoughtful and practical responses to difficult and heartfelt challenges to core issues of faith and life. It’s the study Bible that will actually help students articulate their faith. Think of it as Christian apologetics 101.

*Special thanks to Flyby Promotions for sponsoring the giveaway for one winner to receive a Free Apologetics Study Bible for Students just like this one!!



Prize: One winner will receive an Apologetics Study Bible for Students.

Location: Must be a resident of the USA or Canada.

Age: Must be 18 years or older.

Date: Ends at midnight EST on August 27th.


Disclosure: This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook or any other social media channel. Love2EncourageYou received a free copy in exchange for a review.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”




Back To School Fun with Peppa Pig on DVD



Woo-hoo! It’s that time of year again – Back To School! I know many parents are excited about getting school underway again, but for many children the back to school time can be one of nervous tension or fear. I am happy to share about a fun, new video from Peppa Pig called, “Peppa Pig: School Bus Trip” that will help your child dismiss some of those tensions and anxieties and get excited about going Back To School again! It even comes with a nice little Scholastic mini book for your child to enjoy and relive the episode about the Class Trip.


After enjoying all the episodes on this adorable Peppa Pig DVD, my eight year old daughter shared her favorite episode was the one about going to the library. She says it made her excited about school time starting again and enjoying going to the library and all the cool things you can do there! She loves to learn about new things and books are such a great way for her to study on her own.


There were all sorts of neat songs and cute things they did in these other Peppa Pig: School Bus Trip episodes about field trips or playing in the gym at school. The kids learn how to use their imaginations, appreciate the outdoors and nature, learn about echoes and more! It was lots of fun seeing my four year old’s reaction to when they fed bread to the ducks in the outdoors episode. He immediately asked if we could go feed the ducks at the park near us too!


Peppa Pig has lots of enjoyable lessons and cute characters with lots of different personalities so every child can find someone to relate to. The educational elements in this DVD were very helpful and come highly recommended to teachers, parents and homeschoolers looking for a fun transition activity by showing this video to your children or students to get excited about school again.

The “Peppasodes” include:

  • School Bus Trip
  • The School Camp
  • Gym Class
  • School Play
  • Mister Skinnylegs
  • Jamble Sale
  • Sports Day
  • The Quarrel
  • Madame Gazelle’s Leaving Party
  • The Library

Visit to learn more about Peppa Pig! Follow on social media:

Twitter @PeppaPigUS

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou received a free sample copy in exchange for an honest review.


Reading Rainbow’s Skybrary App Can Help Improve Reading Skills


IMG_2202I can’t wait to tell you about two great Reading Rainbow products – the new DVD “Animal Cafe,” and a new online offering called SKYBRARY! The new DVD, features four episodes from the classic PBS series, while the new web-based SKYBRARY provides access to children’s books and story-driven educational video field trips (500+ books, 150+ video field trips). Your kids or students in school are going to love them both!

IMG_2204First let me share about the incredible Skybrary App or Online site where your kids can read, be read to, watch virtual field trip videos, and interact with cool effects within the books they’re reading! My daughter was so excited when I told her we get to have a subscription to the Reading Rainbow Skybrary app that she jumped up on my lap and hugged me! lol.

IMG_2225She had tried the awesome 14 day free trial before and was so sad when her time was up. This Skybrary experience is a must have for homeschoolers, or parents who wish to give their kids the opportunity to enjoy learning and reading on a daily basis through all the terrific books, videos and interactions on this site. You can use Skybrary on your computer, tablet, phone or other mobile device.

IMG_2227I highly recommend at least trying the 14 day free trial, but believe me … investing the small subscription price is well worth it! My kids are glued to reading right now! They were so drawn in by all the fun stories and videos that they sat as close as they could next to each other so they can see what the other was currently reading and check out two fun books at once! Too cute!

My four year old is now walking around the house telling us about Giant Pandas and Red Pandas eating bamboo 12 hours a day and how cute they are when the cubs roar. Check out this YouTube video I made of my 4 yr old imitating the panda cub on the Reading Rainbow Skybrary App!

IMG_2229The Skybrary experience allows the child to choose their own personal interests for books such as princesses, animals, vehicles, and more. They can even choose a themed “backpack” to store their chosen books in that they checked out and then return their books to the book return when they are done. You can see in the picture that my daughter chose the pretty pink princess backback for hers.

There is even a sticker rewards section that gives the students virtual stickers (after reading a book) that they can drag and place on different themed “islands” to decorate them. My four year old really loves this option and keeps wanting to read more books to earn more stickers! Yay!


I am so grateful for this amazing Skybrary subscription! It has been fun to see the kids blossoming in their reading skills while using it so often. They just LOVE using Skybrary!


My four year old uses the “Read to Me” feature, while my daughter switches often from “Read it myself” to the “Read to Me” feature and vice versa. She even has her little brother sit next to her and reads the story to him and lets him press the swirling spots on the pages that are interactive and they both giggle together watching the motion or action it created.

New Online Service –SKYBRARY
Designed to entice and excite children’s natural sense of curiosity about their world, SKYBRARY delivers an adventure-based unlimited book reading and video field trip experience.
Young readers and pre-readers pilot their own personal hot air balloons among SKYBRARY’S seven unique themed islands, each featuring a wide array of quality literature and video content. These engaging worlds of animals, music, adventure, science, heroes, friends and family feature more than 500 books from esteemed authors and acclaimed publishers, made available to children as “read by myself” or “read to me,” and contain interactive elements that enhance enjoyment while preserving the reading experience. More than 150 newly produced and classic video field trips with host LeVar Burton show children they can “Go Anywhere, Be Anything” as they are taken behind the scenes to places such as the White House, the Los Angeles Ballet, the Grand Canyon and Cirque du Soleil.
SKYBRARY is available at and offers a 14-day free trial with unlimited access to the complete digital library of books and videos. After the trial period ends, subscription plans are available. SKYBRARY is available from RRKidz.

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou received a free sample of the DVD and temporary subscription to Skybrary for the purpose of a review.

animal cafe

Now to share about the fun-filled and educational DVD called “Animal Cafe” by Reading Rainbow with La Var Burton! This DVD is a great Back to School item to have on hand for showing to students in your homeschool or classroom. I personally love reading quality books and Reading Rainbow does a tremendous job choosing the finest, high quality and award winning books to present to their readers and listeners during the Reading Rainbow DVD episodes.

These animated stories often feature a main message such as good morals and values, friendship, etc. and they usually have La Var introduce the story in a fun and unique way then he sums it up again at the end. My son and daughter like watching these before bedtime and also during homeschool time when I need them to have a good educational transition activity to calm them down from recess time outdoors or when I’m introducing a new theme in one of our subjects like reading or history.

This new “Animal Cafe” DVD we got to review is a fun filled and educational! LaVar Burton helps kids engage with this entertaining video by introducing each concept or lesson within it and the book the idea or story originates from.  The interesting and sometimes even comical mini lessons he acts out during the episodes can be quite funny, but always worth watching and listening to the point in the story.  One of our favorite episodes was the first one which takes us behind the scenes in areas of NY city and other great learning experiences. The kids were fascinated learning about bats, and the fish markets in NY.

These episodes are filled with suggestions on wonderful books that are packed with educational tidbits on these subjects. I really enjoyed the presentation of each episode and have always felt Reading Rainbow does a fabulous job providing top quality educational entertainment for kids of all ages.

Don’t miss starting the new school year off right and picking up a copy of the “Animal Cafe” DVD by Reading Rainbow for your kids or your classroom (if you’re a teacher). I highly recommend purchasing 6 months or a year’s worth of Skybrary App to enjoy throughout the months and watch your kids imaginations and interest in reading soar!

New DVD – “Reading Rainbow: Animal Café”
The four episodes and books featured in this DVD are “Animal Cafe,” read by Martin Short, “The Tortoise and the Hare,” read by Gilda Radner, “Ludlow Laughs,” read by Phyllis Diller, and “Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message,” read by Nicholson Earl Billey. Airing on PBS from 1983-2009, and hosted by LeVar Burton (“Roots,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) for its entire 26-year run, the program garnered more than 200 awards, including 26 Emmys and a Peabody Award. To learning about comedy in one episode, to profiling people who have occupations in the evening and early morning in another, LeVar takes children on fun-filled learning adventures they won’t forget.
“Animal Café” will be available at Target and other retailers starting June 30, 2015. The DVD run time is approximately 120 minutes and its SRP is $6.99. This DVD is available from PBS Distribution.

New Album by TobyMac: This Is Not A Test



Fabulous timing for the release of this newest album in the Christian music genre! Needing some new tunes on your way to work or school this fall? Check out the latest smash hit new album by none other than TobyMac! His new album “This Is Not A Test” features many guests, a couple pretty cool remixes and some hot new songs with totally jammin’ beats that share the all-important inspirational message or encouragement we all need on a daily basis from our music choices. Don’t miss entering the giveaway below!

While giving his all to this album (as always), TobyMac also added that favored musical rap flavor from his days with D.C. Talk that I loved listening to in college at Liberty (also where TobyMac attended!) I’m sure many of you have already heard his hit single “Beyond Me” that the radio stations have been playing from this brand new “This Is Not A Test” album, well wait until you hear the rest of this album – there are too many songs to name at once but I have enjoyed them all!

Some of my favorite songs on the album are “Feel It” and “Like a Match” and I love “Beyond Me” of course. I’m also tickled with the original style and music in the new title hit, “This Is Not A Test”. There are so many great things to say about this new album – the musical variation in the songs are incredible, the lyrics never disappoint from a Christian stand point (which is worth applauding!), and his charm and obvious gift for music shines through as much as TobyMac’s desire to use his music to encourage others in the Lord.

Five stars for this fantastic new album from TobyMac called “This Is Not A Test”! I strongly encourage you to check it out for yourself and grab a copy today! We love it hear at our house with my eight year old daughter dancing away to the beat of these catchy songs. My teen son gives it two thumbs up as well and can’t wait to play it for his friends.

Toby McKeehan(known professionally as TobyMac) is a husband, father, performer, songwriter, producer, and businessman.  Growing up in the northern Virginia suburbs adjacent to Washington D.C. helped instill his love for rap music.  While attending Liberty University during the mid 80s, Toby met Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith and these three friends formed the Grammy winning, platinum selling group dc Talk.  Toby began his solo career in 1999 with his first solo album, Momentum, releasing in 2001.  Momentum has been followed by four additional studio albums, Welcome to Diverse City (2004), Portable Sounds (2007), Tonight(2010), and Eye On It (2012), along with his first live album, Alive and Transported (2008).  This Is Not A Test is his 6th studio album to be released.  Starting with dc Talk, and then going solo when the group disbanded, Toby still clings to such rootsy notions as hard work, persistence, patience, and – perhaps most relevant of all – the power of music, which he insists is still what keeps him going.  “It’s the truth,” he says.  “I still believe that a song can penetrate a heart.  I believe God can use a song to open someone’s mind and heart.”
Don’t be shy, come chat it up with TobyMac on social media! Visit on all your favorite social media channels and follow to learn more about TobyMac and the excitement around this incredible new album!

YOUTUBE CHANNEL – Includes a 3 part video series for the song Feel It (see link on the Feel It giveaway below) 
FEEL IT GIVEAWAY(Feel It will be the 2nd single released from the new album – and personally, I think it’s an awesome song!)


Prize: One winner will receive a physical copy of the new album by TobyMac called “This Is Not A Test”!

Location: Must be a resident of the USA or Canada.

Age: Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Date: Ends at midnight EST on August 17th.


Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou received a digital copy of the album for the purpose of a review. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook or any other social media channel. Love2EncourageYou is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.


FamilyLife’s Passport2Purity Getaway Kit Educates and Brings Smiles

Even though my daughter is only 8.5 yrs and not yet a preteen, she is already showing the early signs of curiosity by having questions about life’s important yet awkward challenges involving growing up, physical development, and marriage and family.  As a caring mom who values my child’s curiosity and desire to live a righteous life, I was thrilled to have the chance to review this amazing Getaway Kit by Barbara and Dennis Rainey called FamilyLife’s Passport2Purity.
I did not go through the entire course with my sweet, innocent 8 yr old daughter, but we did cover the beginning parts of the course and spent that all important quality time together getting to have deeper conversations and question and answer time in a positive and personal environment where she felt comfortable enough to talk about it.
I loved her excitement with the idea of a “passport” to purity. She thought that was awesome! It related to her  creative/imaginative nature and she was completely interested in learning more. We made our own little passports creating these sketch versions of our profile photos and printed them out to take with us on all our getaway weekend excursions. I brought “stampers” with me to appeal to her age level and we stamped our passports wherever we went and wrote it down in our journal.
We pretended to be away on an exotic vacation together playing spa with painting nails and putting on make-up before getting to go out for something special to eat. We followed it up with our favorite dessert – Dairy Queen ice cream! Prayer times, listening to the messages from the cds, object lessons, and heart to heart chats were a big part of our weekend. She loved one on one time with mom and it gave me the chance to have constant opportunities to work in conversations about purity from the lessons in Passport2Purity as follow up to really know if she was understanding what we discussed and taking it to heart.
I am pleased to share the Passport2Purity Getaway Kit is a huge success, and I plan to use many of the additional lessons we were not able to cover yet (at her young age) in the future when she is a little older. The foundation it is building is a fantastic start to knowing my daughter is on the right track to living a life of purity and being able to make the best choices in tough situations in the future. It also developed a stronger bond between mother and daughter so I feel she will want to come to me now with questions she has and not take it elsewhere such as the internet or friends who might not provide the best choice of answers to her questions.
About the getaway kit:
(1) Tour Guide for the parent, (1) Travel Journal for the preteen including 25 follow-up devotions, and (8) CDs containing 5 sessions, scripture memory songs and downloadable MP3s:  Session 1: Beginning the Journey – Challenges, Traps, and Choices; Session 2: Running With The Herd – Friendships and Peer Pressure; Session 3: Ready For An Upgrade? – Changes in Him, Changes in Her; Session 4: Destination: Lé Pure – Setting Boundaries; Session 5: Crossing The Date Line – Seeing Dating Differently
Your child begins the journey into adolescence in a world of sexting, bullying, online stalking and moral defiance.  Innocence is under attack, and you cannot win the battle with a single awkward talk or a strict set of rules.  The primary defense for your child is a strong relationship with you and with God.  FamilyLife developed Passport2Purity (P2P) to assist you in building heart-to-heart communication with your preteen while laying a foundation of purity that will prepare him or her for the turbulent years ahead.  Through the shared listening experience, object lessons and guided conversations of a P2P weekend getaway, you can set your son or daughter on a journey of moral integrity – and strengthen the bond between you.  It is designed to be used by a mother and daughter or a father and son when the child is a preteen.  It is suggested that the materials be completed over a weekend away from home, as the child may be more open to discussing the topics away from his or her normal environment.  If this isn’t possible, the material can be completed over a period of four or five weeks.

Connect on social media!

Twitter: @FamilyLifeToday @DennisRainey @BarbaraRainey 

Get chatty with Dennis Rainey and Barbara Rainey! Come check out what people are sharing about Passport2Purity!  Tweet or search hashtag #PASSPORT2PURITY


Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou received a sample copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are my own and may differ from your own, however, I only share items I feel are of value or interest to my family and my readers.


Living Hope CD by Pizza Ranch Shines With Top Christian Artists


living hope cd

What a surprisingly fun way to create a compilation of songs from top Christian music artists – through a CD for Pizza Ranch restaurants! I was tickled to get the chance to review this fun arrangement of high quality music with tons of great bands and single artists such as Colton Dixon, Franchesca Batistelli, Michael W. Smith and more! The CD will be available to purchase for $5 plus tax exclusively in Pizza Ranch restaurants or for download at through August 31.

Hear Matthew West share about his participation with the Living Hope CD project:

Isn’t this such a fantastic testimony of God’s love and faithfulness giving HOPE to our lives? I encourage you to check out the rest of this post and learn more about Pizza Ranch and the opportunity to support this great CD project and pick up a copy of Living Hope for yourself or a friend!

pizza ranch

There’s a sincere message being brought to the nation here through this project too. Pizza Ranch provides a positive environment in their restaurants to promote dedication to quality atmosphere, good customer service and offering delicious food, plus a sincere desire to honor God in all they do. They welcome church small groups, family gatherings, and other group functions to hold get togethers at their restaurants around the country while enjoying high quality food and customer service during your visit.

I was personally able to play this Pizza Ranch CD filled with a variety of entertaining Christian songs for our friends visiting one evening in our home and their response was so neat, “Pizza Ranch must be a great company. I like this music. I wonder how they got so many artists together for such a cool album?!”

My kids were also very pleased with the results of listening to the album. My daughter says some of the songs were perfect to dance to! My teen son enjoyed the top name Christian artists and that some of the songs appeared to be original just for this album. Other songs were very soothing and peaceful with the message of encouragement making this CD a great mix  of music to play for guests at a dinner party, to listen to in the car while on a summer vacation or road trip, and while sitting out by the pool or playing in the yard with the kids.

About Pizza Ranch:

Adrie Groeneweg had a dream that started in Hull, IA, in 1981, when he was just 19 years old.  It was simple.  Why does everyone have to drive out of town to get a pizza?  With just six specialty and single topping pizza recipes developed by Adrie’s mother, Lorraine, Pizza Ranch was born.  Pizza Ranch’s vision and mission is to glorify God by positively impacting the world and to give every guest a legendary experience.  They have 190+ locations across 13 states including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.
About The Living Hope CD project: 
On June 2, 2015, Pizza Ranch released a CD called Living Hope containing twelve songs from many of their favorite Christian artists.  Most of the songs are brand-new and written exclusively for this CD around the theme of Hope.  Artists include Colton Dixon, Francesca Batistelli, Ellie Holcomb, Sidewalk Prophets, Kevin Max, Bart Millard, Passion Band featuring Kristian Stanfill, Michael W. Smith, and Mark Schultz.
Don’t Forget to grab this great CD at a phenomenal price! The CD will be available to purchase for $5 plus tax exclusively in Pizza Ranch restaurants or for download at through August 31.
From Adrie Groeneweg, President & CEO of Pizza Ranch, Inc.:  “This album has a very special meaning for Pizza Ranch.  Although Pizza Ranch is not in the music business, many things have been happening, conversations have been taking place and doors have been opening for this album.  Through these events, I believe it was obvious that God has been behind this for His specific purpose and putting it on our hearts to collectively create this project.  As such, we call this our miracle album, Living Hope.”

FOLLOW Pizza Ranch restaurants on social media or visit the official website:

Twitter:  @PizzaRanch @PRServes

YouTube Channel – Features images and videos of the artists talking about the story behind each song! Check them all out here!
Interested in learning more about this amazing Living Hope CD project? Check it out here through the Press Release with additional information about the Living Hope CD project.



living hope cd

Prize: One winner will receive a copy of the new Living Hope CD from Pizza Ranch!

Location: Open to residents of the USA and Canada.

Age: Must be 18 years or older to enter.

Date: ends on August 10th at midnight EST.



Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou received a copy of the cd in exchange for an honest review. Love2EncourageYou is not responsible for sponsor prize fulfillment. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook or any other social channel.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


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