Sunday, March 17, 2013

Q&A Session Featuring Author Keri Wyatt Kent

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One of the fun parts of having a blog is getting to know people in a ‘deeper’ way. Today, please enjoy this Q&A session with best-selling author Keri Wyatt Kent, whose latest book is entitled ‘Deeply Loved: 40 Ways in 40 Days to Experience the Heart of Jesus.’ 

Book Questions

Q: Where did you get the idea to write ‘Deeply Loved’?

I speak and lead retreats fairly often. Though I go as a “speaker,” I also try to be there as a “listener.” And I have noticed a recurring theme in conversations with people who really want to grow and want to serve God: loneliness. They might even be very “busy for God” with serving at their church, in their family. But they sometimes seemed uncertain about whether God loved them, or how to get in touch with actually experiencing that love. I wrote it for those women, who know in their heads that God loves them, but still feel an ache of spiritual loneliness in their hearts.

Q: What do you hope readers will take away from ‘Deeply Loved’?

Each short chapter offers guidance, a sort of spiritual mentoring, on practices that will help people experience the love of Jesus. So I hope readers will come away changed by those experiences. They will learn spiritual practices that they can return to again and again, and those practices will allow them to live in the presence of Jesus on a daily basis.

Chapter Questions

Q: The theme of Day 26 of your Lent study is BFFs. In this chapter, you discuss how we long for a “best friend” relationship with Jesus. How is this achieved?

In many ways, the same way we build a best friend relationship with other people: spending time together, being honest, and communicating. We need to cultivate a habit of talking to him throughout our day, including him in our decisions and thoughts. I think the habit of gratitude, of naming the ways God has blessed you, will also contribute to that best friend type of relationship.
 In ‘Deeply Loved,’ I write: “I meet many people who want Jesus to love them unconditionally but they are not willing to love him in the same way.” I think a best friend relationship with Jesus requires us to not only receive his love, but respond to it by loving him back.
Q: You note that Peter, James, and John—Jesus’s first disciples—were far from perfect. Do you think our pursuit of perfection stops us from experiencing a deep love in Christ? What else can stop us?

Definitely. We think we have to earn his love, and that keeps us from just relaxing into the grace he offers. The driving emotion behind perfectionism is “I’m not good enough.” Jesus loves us just as we are, but it’s hard to experience it if your self-talk is all about your inadequacies.

The other thing that keeps us from experiencing that love is our pace of life. We’re so busy and hurried that we don’t take time to just be with God, to be still and rest in his love. I say this all the time when I’m speaking: “you can’t love in a hurry.” The converse is also true—it’s hard to receive love in a hurry as well.

Q: There are a lot of roadblocks that can stop us in our tracks. Luckily, we have your Presence Practices to keep us on the right path. Can you summarize today’s Practice?

Today’s practice is study. Specifically, it’s a study of Jesus’ interactions with his closest disciples—Peter, James and John. So the presence practice directs you to read carefully through Matthew 4:18-22; 17:1-13; 26:36-46; and Mark 3:17 and 5:36-38, John 15: 9-17 and to write down some observations about the way Jesus interacted with his best friends. The practice also asks some probing questions for the reader, about their own relationship with Jesus, what steps they can take to get closer to Him.
General Questions

Q: How does your family like your writing career?

It’s all they've ever known—I wrote my first book when my kids were one and three, and before that I was a freelance business writer, and before that, a newspaper reporter. So they don’t know any different life.

It’s actually been a great career because I mostly work from home, so I can be available to my kids and husband more than if I were in a corporate career. But really, they have nothing else to compare it to—so it’s kind of hard to say how they “like” it.

Many of my books include stories about my kids. However, my kids are now teenagers (17 and 19), and we have an agreement that I won’t use stories about them in my books or my speaking unless I have their permission. And a lot of times, they say “no, don’t tell that story.” It’s important to our relationship that I respect those boundaries.

Q: When did you become a Christ follower?

I grew up in a Christian home and accepted Jesus when I was four or five years old. 

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a published author?

I was a newspaper reporter right out of college, and did that for many years. I wrote for magazines and business publications for years before I wrote books. I didn't really aspire to be a published author, because I had already had so many articles published. But I found myself writing a book. I was a bit reluctant to try to get that published, but some mentors and friends encouraged me to pursue it. God’s Whisper in a Mother’s Chaos, my first book, was published by InterVarsity Press in 2000. I’ve had ten books published since then and co-written about six or seven others.

Q: Did your work as a reporter help you in your work as an author? If so, how?

Oh, definitely. As a reporter, I had to learn to write quickly, tightly. I had to be concise and precise. That’s great training for a writer. I also learned how to be edited—some writers have never had someone re-write, change or improve their work. That’s a really essential part of the writing process and one some authors don’t have experience with.

Q: How did you enjoy your time as an undergraduate at Wheaton College?
It was a good experience. I made good friends, had fabulous professors. I discovered my calling as a journalist there. I loved the challenging intellectual atmosphere as well.

Q: How can readers find out more about you and your book, Deeply Loved?

Join us online at the Deeply Loved Facebook Page. We’re working through the book during the Lent season, but even after Lent, we’ll have frequent inspirational quotes and pieces of encouragement. You can also follow me on Twitter: @KeriWyattKent.

Thanks to Keri for the valuable insights into your life and work! I look forward to using ‘Deeply Loved’ as a daily reminder of the wonder of our Jesus! 

Friday, March 15, 2013 Electronic Luggage Scale – Product Review

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One of the best parts of having a blog is being able to share exciting products! David Hoffmann, the founder of the travel company, Davidsbeenhere, came up with some really cool products that are very useful and practical to travelers. You can read more about his company here.

Today, I will be reviewing the DBH Electronic Luggage Scale.

Here is David demonstrating this cool product:

Here’s a description of this helpful product from the company’s website:

Have you ever spent hours squeezing everything into your luggage the night before your big trip, only to get nailed with a ridiculous Overweight Luggage Fee when you check-in? On American Airlines, going over the 50 pound limit can end up costing you $100! Thanks to the Davidsbeenhere Travel Luggage Scale, you can leave your house with peace of mind, knowing your luggage isn't going to be eating into your travel budget. Best of all, it’s small and compact enough to bring along to make sure you are still under the limit when you return with all your souvenirs. The Davidsbeenhere Travel Luggage Scale weighs up to 110lbs/50kg, and has an easy to read LCD Screen. Buy the Davidsbeenhere Travel Luggage Scale today and never worry about excessive baggage fees ever again. Powered by 2032 Lithium Battery (Not Included)

I really love this idea! As anyone who has been on a flight lately is aware, there are weight limits on checked-in baggage. I hear some airlines are even extending limits to carry-on baggage. When you check in a bag, there are hefty fines when you exceed the 50 pound limit. Without this product, you’d have to guess at the weight of the suitcase. Now, with this extremely practical item, you can weigh your luggage before you arrive at the airport, and can adjust accordingly. I am notorious for over packing, so I know already that this cool product will be very useful to me, and will save me money over time. It will be coming with me on our two planned trips this year! I thank David for coming up with this very slick (both in looks and features) product!

You can place your order by clicking here.

This product was generously provided by David Hoffmann for product review purposes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Inflatable Travel Pillow with Cloth Cover – Product Review

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I was recently contacted by David Hoffmann, proprietor of the travel company, Davidsbeenhere. You can read about the company here. He asked me if I would be interested in reviewing the travel products that he has created. Why, yes, I would be interested!

Today, I will be taking a look at the Inflatable Travel Pillow with Cloth Cover.

Here is an endorsement of this cool product from David (from the company’s website):

Travelling on an airplane isn't always as pleasant and comfortable as it may seem. My biggest complaint when flying (almost 1,000 hours so far!) is neck discomfort and how it contributes to jet lag. This pillow was designed with neck support and stability in mind. After countless hours of testing, I can say this travel pillow will get you to your destination comfortable and rested. The Davidsbeenhere Inflatable Travel Pillow even deflates and folds into a handy carrying pouch for easy storage in your purse, briefcase or carry-on. I trust you will enjoy it or I wouldn't put my name on it! David Hoffmann

Here is David demonstrating the features of this useful product:

I really love this product! We own a cloth travel pillow. Its main use in our family was to protect our Cocker Spaniel, Sammy, when he was a tiny pup! I have never taken it on a trip, as I consider it to be bulky. I love the fact that the DBH travelpillow is inflatable. When you’re not using it, you can deflate it, fold it up, and return it to its handy case. I am not one to fall asleep easily. I don’t recall ever falling asleep while watching TV. And it’s not easy for me to sleep on a plane. My husband, Fred, and I, will be traveling to Florida in May to visit his parents. I definitely will be bringing it on the plane with me. I have a feeling my sleep woes will be over when I use this handy-dandy item from Davidsbeenhere.

You can order yours by clicking here.

This product was generously provided by David Hoffmann for product review purposes.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Travel Toiletry Bag – Product Review

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Over the last week or so, I have been reviewing various travel-related products from a company called Davidsbeenhere, a company founded by a young gentleman named David Hoffmann. You can read my blog post about his company here.

The latest on the review list is the Travel Toiletry Bag. Here is the description of the product from the company’s website:

Are you going on a trip and looking for a Toiletry Bag that is large enough to store everything you need, while staying organized and not bulky? Look no further then Davidbeenhere's Travel Toiletry Bag. Other toiletry bags typically have one main compartment where all your items can get mixed up and become a pain to search through and find what you are looking for. This toiletry bag comes with four separate compartments so you can travel organized and know exactly where everything can be found. Another great feature is the middle compartment unzips to reveal a Hanging Hook which is perfect for most hotels which have very little bathroom counter space. The middle compartment also has a mesh liner to keep your items from falling out while hanged, and another mesh pouch that can be sealed with a zipper. If you are looking for a toiletry bag that can fit everything you need to bring on your trip, has plenty of pockets to keep you organized, and a hook hanger to save counter space, buy the Davidsbeenhere Travel Toiletry Bag today!

Here is David showing the many features of this cool bag:

I found the design of the bag to be very innovative. As can be seen in David’s video, it lies flat in a suitcase. I find that to be a handy feature, in comparison to some of the ‘shoe box’ shaped bags. I will be passing this handy bag along to my husband, Fred, who currently uses a boxy bag. David’s toiletry bag seems to be more conducive for use by men, being that it is gray in color. I do recommend it to anyone who wants a versatile and durable travel toiletry bag. Its many compartments makes it very easy to find what you’re looking for, as opposed to having everyone jumbled up in the boxy bags. Another useful and innovative travel product from Mr. Hoffmann; kudos on a job well done!

You can place your order for this great travel bag here.

This product was generously provided by David Hoffmann for product review purposes.

Monday, March 11, 2013 Travel Passport Neck Pouch – Product Review

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Over the last couple weeks, I have been featuring travel-related products from an awesome company by the name of Davidsbeenhere. You can read more about the company here.

The product I am looking at today is the Travel Passport Neck Pouch. Here is the description of this product from the company’s website:

Are you going on a trip and looking for something to keep your valuables safe and out of the reach of pickpockets? This Neck Passport Pouch, made by Travel Expert David Hoffman of Davidsbeenhere, is designed to fit your passport, IDs, credit cards, cash, coins, boarding pass and itinerary documents comfortably around your neck and under your shirt, where only you can have access. The adjustable neck chord allows you to hang it at whatever desired height you find most convenient and comfortable. When you are on a crowded metro with hands full of luggage, at a packed street market, or anywhere else where pickpockets are a threat, this discreet Travel Neck Pouch will keep you feeling safe and secure. If you are traveling and need a safe place to stash your valuables, buy the Davidsbeenhere Neck Passport Pouch today.

Here is David demonstrating the features of this neat product:

I found this product to be very ingenious. With the problems associated with pickpockets in tourist destinations, this travel neck pouch alleviates the worry that someone will steal your valuables from a pocket or purse. I love all of its many pockets, as well as its durable construction. It is simple in design and construction – no extra bells or whistles – but it does the job for which it was designed. I look forward to using it when my husband and I travel to Las Vegas – which could be considered one of the world's pickpocket capitols – this summer. I thank David for coming up with a great design, and for adding all of the necessary features that the modern traveler needs!

You can order yours by clicking here.

This product was generously provided by David Hoffmann for product review purposes.

Thursday, March 7, 2013 Travel Passport Wallet – Product Review

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This week and next, I am reviewing products from a company by the name of The founder and CEO, David Hoffmann, shares on his website his experiences traveling the globe. He also has produced and manufactured several travel-related products. The latest one under my review magnifying glass is the Travel Passport Wallet.

Here is the description of the product from the company’s website

Are you going on a trip and looking for something that can hold all of your valuables and documents safely in one place? This Passport Wallet, made by Travel Expert David Hoffman, of Davidsbeenhere has enough pockets and sleeves to hold everything you need and keep you stress free knowing where all your documents can be found. On the outside you can store your boarding pass in a conveniently accessible sleeve, while on the inside there are 8 card holders, a zip pouch perfect for coins and other small loose items, one see-through holder, four large sleeves, and a pen holder. There is plenty of space for anything including passports, credit cards, paper currency, coins, IDs, room keys, boarding passes, metro cards, car rental papers, and pretty much anything else you would need to have on you as you travel. The Passport Wallet can hold all your important documents, cards, and IDs, in one safe, convenient spot!

Here is video from David sharing the features of this product: 

We live right next to Canada, where we need to carry our passport. That will be the next foreign country I visit where I will have a need for my passport. I definitely plan on carrying my new Passport Wallet with me. A USA passport is one of the most valuable documents that one can own. It is important to have a secure place to carry that precious item. I think I will make plans to head over to Windsor, our neighbor – or beyond – just so I can use my new wallet! I love its security and many, many pockets for all of my cards! It is very well constructed and designed, and well worth the investment for anyone heading out on a jet plane for an adventure to be remembered!

You can orders yours by clicking here.

This product was generously provided by David Hoffmann for product review purposes.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 Sleep Eye Mask with Ear Plugs – Product Review

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An awesome young man named David Hoffmann contacted me recently to let me know about his company named In addition to providing valuable information on traveling, his company manufactures and sells several travel-related products. He asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing his products. I told him I’d be delighted!

I posted some information on the company; you can read that post here.

The first product under review is the sleep eye mask with ear plugs. Here is the description:

Are you looking for a comfortable eye mask that can block out all light, 
allowing you to catch some shut eye on your next flight? Designed by trusted travel expert, David Hoffman of Davidsbeenhere, this eye mask is made with a soft cushioned polyester body that will feel great on your eyes, and an elastic headband to keep it in place as you sleep. Unlike cheaper eye masks, this Davidsbeenhere mask has an added nose ridge which prevents any openings from letting in light that can keep you from sleep. Also included are noise canceling ear plugs that will help block out those loud jet engines and crying babies in the rows behind you.

Here is David's video showing the features of the eye mask (ouch!):


My husband, Fred, is the person in our household who is a sleep eye mask wearer. So I asked him to ‘test drive’ this mask – while he was asleep!! He had a glowing review this morning! He loved the comfortability of the fabric and the elastic band. He also liked the added feature of the nose ridge; it did its job in keeping that sneaky light out! The only ‘constructive criticism’ he had was that he thinks the eye mask should have a fabric strap with a Velcro closure, as elastic has a tendency to stretch. Overall, he thought it was the most comfortable and effective sleep eye mask that he has ever used! I trust it will allow him to have many hours of deep sleep! 

You can place your order by clicking here.

This product was generously provided by David Hoffmann for product review purposes.

Monday, March 4, 2013 – Company Overview

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Recently, a young entrepreneur by the name of David Hoffmann contacted me to give me some information on his company, and to offer me the opportunity to review his travel accessories. Being that I love to travel, I was intrigued! So over the next week or two, I will be reviewing his products, and giving you some information on his company.

Let’s begin with information on DBH – Here is the ‘About’ from the website: helps make trip-planning easier, more personable, and informative for all travelers alike. Whether you are looking to take a road trip or researching a romantic get-a-way, DBH serves as your portal to everything travel by providing various avenues to access information about foreign destinations. These avenues include city guides, blogs, videos, and great travel products.

DBH brings destinations to your computer, e-reader or cell phone screen. We know first-hand that planning a trip online can be overwhelming due to the sheer volume of travel sites. By integrating multiple ways to learn about a place, DBH can save you time and money. Follow in David’s footsteps for an incredible journey.

Here is DBH’s Mission Statement:

DBH is committed to informing the world about the world because we believe traveling changes people to the core. If we can provide all travel lovers with a comprehensive source for travel information, then our mission is complete. We are continuously expanding our site to ensure that users will gain access to a complete package of travel-related resources, especially for those who take the road less traveled.

Here is DBH’s Vision:

Our goal is to be the #1 source for travel. The travel industry is constantly changing and DBH will be there to bring you new ways to explore the world.

Here is David explaining his hopes for his company:

“In the Spring of 2007, I set out to realize my passion of traveling the world, and I still believe that traveling is the ultimate education. It is my hope that my guides, vides, blog posts and travel products help you travel safer, smarter and more informed. Traveling is an art that I am mastering, and I hope you join me for the ride.” – David Hoffmann, CEO & Founder

I enjoy letting my blog friends know about creative and interesting companies – and is one of them, in my estimation! Please come back tomorrow to see my first review!

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