Blessed by You

The Steve Maxwell Family

We are humbled and blessed by your responses in the 2500 Blog Post Giveaway. Thank you! 

When we decided what to do to celebrate 2500 blog posts and chose a giveaway, we wanted to make sure the giveaway went to someone who would appreciate it so this is what we said: “Leave a comment below with either why you like the Titus2 blog or something you appreciate about a Titus2 resource.”

We expected a sentence or two about a book you liked or about the blog. However, you shared so much, much more than just that. Our hearts were touched and overwhelmed as we read how your hearts have been touched. We are grateful to you and to the Lord. Any and all blessings and benefits you have received from Titus2 is all of and from our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is our desire to walk faithfully with our God, being obedient to all He calls us to do. So it is greatly encouraging to know that His name and His Word are being lifted up through Titus2. Thank you, again! To God be the glory!

This weekend Sarah plans to have a post announcing the give away winners.

The Entire Maxwell Family

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8 

High Quality Bibles

Because the Bibles we purchased a few years ago did not hold up well, we went on a quest to find publishers who made quality Bibles. 

When I tried to get one of my Bibles rebound, I discovered it had a glued binding and could only be rebound by cutting it off, resulting in a smaller inside margin. Once that is done, the text moves so far toward the spine that I was told most people are no longer happy with their Bibles. I agreed. It could be hard to read a Bible with some of the words hidden by the inside margin.

We went on to discover that the best quality Bibles have a sewn binding. A sewn binding generally lasts longer than glued, and it can be better rebound if it begins to fall apart. 

There are some glued bindings that look sewn to the untrained eye. Here is an article that will help you know if the Bible you are evaluating is sewn or glued.

Faith, with Leonard’s Book Restoration, gave me these hints for publishers who print sewn-bound Bibles:

As for a quality bound Bible, Cambridge Bibles are always sewn. So that is a safe bet, but if you don’t see one of those you like, Holman Bibles are frequently sewn as well. Those two are your best bet, though you will find a few Zondervan Bibles that are sewn.

Blessings,
Faith

Bibles from Schuyler

Recently two of our children invested in hopefully quality, lifetime Bibles with sewn bindings printed by a company called Schuyler. Their new Bibles have soft goatskin covers that are extremely flexible and lay easily over the hand or sit comfortably in a lap. The thin, quality, matte finish pages feel nice and make the Bible lightweight. They are unlike any we have seen in a Bible.

Who published the oldest Bibles you have in your home that are holding up to daily use?

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto
them that put their trust in him” (Proverbs 30:5). 

Part 4: The Book Writing Process

“I think it would be very educational (not to mention fascinating) for you to guide us blog readers through the process of writing a book. From the initial idea to the finished product, step-by-step.” A blog reader

To read the first three parts, see these links: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. To recap, we’ve looked at steps 1-6 to how I write a book:

  1. Ideas
  2. Outline
  3. Character Profiles
  4. Pre-Book Trial Run
  5. First Draft
  6. Editing

Steps number seven and eight happen about the same time. We’ll call step seven Illustrations. I go through and evaluate the chapters to determine what might make an interesting picture for each one. Then, I’ll often run those ideas by others for their opinions. I keep a spreadsheet that lists each chapter, a short description of what it’s about, and then my picture idea (or multiple ideas until I narrow them down). Sometimes, I don’t have any ideas for a chapter, and the family will help me brainstorm possibilities. In Finding Change, I deviated from the Moody books one-small-picture-per-chapter, and instead, we did fewer beautiful, full-page illustrations, which required a lot of time.

The next step after choosing the illustration is to figure out a photograph that would depict what I’m envisioning for my illustrator to draw from. Two friends illustrated a number of my books, and now, Mary has done four titles (Christmas Comes to Sunflower, Sunflower’s Christmas Miracle, Colorado with the Moodys, and Finding Change). Mary is very talented, and she can work with a basic idea, embellishing it and changing it to what I want!

Mary, my great illustrator

We’ve done some interesting things to get pictures over the years. One involved going to a grocery store, with a nurse friend of ours, and asking permission from the store to break some eggs on the floor. They were great to accommodate us! Another time, we rented a U-Haul truck and used smoke balls to make it look like the engine was smoking. For the last book, I went to the town from which I patterned Main Street and took a few pictures for the scenes I wanted. A neighbor helped me out for another picture. Mary spends as many hours as she can sketching each day until we get the project finished.

Step eight is Test Families. Since I tend to work under tight deadlines, they generally have just 10-14 days to read the book and give me feedback. Since I’m still in the Editing stage at this point, I try to get the book in the best condition I can, as it hasn’t reached the copyeditor step yet.

My test reader are an enthusiastic bunch, excited to be the first readers! As they are reading, I’ll sometimes get e-mails from the moms, sharing what they’re loving. After they finish the book, they’ll e-mail back a questionnaire, which asks things like: What are the book’s strong points? What would you say the weak points are? Did your children have trouble understanding parts of the story? etc. I also ask for back cover comments and comments for the website.

One of my test families

There are still more steps to this exciting journey, but I’ll save those for another post! I’ll tell you now that I’m brainstorming ideas for Finding Change’s sequel, stuffing a Pages file with many ideas and plot themes, and getting close to forming an official outline.

Thanks for all your enthusiasm on the 2500 post! I’ve loved it!

Sarah

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without
wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”
Hebrews 10:23

The 2500 Blog Post Celebration Giveaway

We’re giving away 5 gift bundles, and each one has these 4 items: Henry and the Great Society, Finding Change, Simple Faith CD, and Just Around the Corner: Volume 1.

Titus2 Blog Giveaway, 5 sets of the above books and CD

Henry and the Great Society – This fictional, short, heart-rending story is a dynamic read illustrating the futility of pursuing a high consumption lifestyle.

Finding Change – We couldn’t resist including my newest book, which I’m still super excited about.

Simple Faith CD – This CD is a perfect listen for families. It’s a beautiful blend of voices and instruments. My favorite song on the CD just might be Daddy on His Knees, but Give Us Rain could be a close second.

Just Around the Corner: Volume 1 – Almost 400 pages of practical little nuggets for dads and moms written when my parents were in the trenches homeschooling their kids. These are bite-size encouragement, for just that few minutes you have free–say when brushing your teeth? 🙂

Rules for entering the 2500 Titus2 Blog Post Giveaway

Leave a comment below with either why you like the Titus2 blog or something you appreciate about a Titus2 resource.

Entry limited to one comment per person (but individuals in a family are all welcome to enter separately).

Giveaway ends Wednesday, February 6th, at midnight, Central Time. Five winners will be selected randomly from the comments, and you’ll be emailed for your name and address.

Entries are not limited to the United States, but out of the 5 gift sets, we’re designating 1 for an international reader, due to the cost of postage. The first international reader to be drawn will be the winner, and if out of the other 4, there are more, we will re-draw for United States winners.

International readers: please leave your country name in some part of your comment, so we know that’s where you are from!

We reserve the right not to post any comment or entry.

Happy 2500 Blog Post Anniversary!

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life;
that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
2 Timothy 2:4

Celebrating 2500 Titus2 Blog Posts!

This post is number 2500!

Through 2500 posts in 12 1/2 years, here are some interesting stats for you. Don’t miss our very special giveaway, which will appear as a separate post here on the blog, at 8am, Central Time.

What Has Happened in 12 Years

This is the family when we started!

Our family almost tripled in size, from 11 people to 27, but really 28, as we count Melanie’s baby due in May (and with Susannah, we’d have 29).

The Maxwell Family Now!

3 got married

5 kids graduated from homeschool high school, and Mom completed 30 years of homeschooling!

14 grandchildren have been born

15 books and 1 short story have been published.

We have had readers in almost every country!

We traveled and gave over 200 conferences. It was like you traveled the country with us through reading reports and seeing pictures!

The longest break ever in our posting was three weeks, after losing Susannah. I honestly wasn’t sure how to just pick up again with “normal” posts. The Lord gave grace, and slowly, we worked back into posting.

You watched Maxwell brothers purchase their homes debt-free!

To cap it off, a stat on you! You’ve left us 27,724 comments, and we’re grateful for them.

Your Favorite Posts

Want to know what are your very favorite posts? Weddings and babies. Yep, it’s true, and we love weddings and babies too. But, beyond those, here are some other top posts:

7 Reasons Why I Plan to Homeschool My Children (by Jesse)

Debt-Free: Content in Christ Series (by Steve)

The Blessing of Reversal Babies (by Sarah)

Appliances: Black or Stainless Steel (by Teri) and A follow up: 8 years later what we used

Am I Going to College? (by Anna)

Simple Meal Ideas for Homeschool Moms

Thank you for being such loyal Titus2 blog readers. It’s our joy to share our hearts and lives with you.

Love,
Sarah

The Steve Maxwell Family

“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
1 Thessalonians 5:24

Announcing Axton John Maxwell, the newest arrival!

We’re praising the Lord for the safe arrival of Axton John Maxwell, born to John and Chelsy late Saturday night, the 26th. He weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz. His birth wasn’t without drama, and after a long, hard labor at home with an awesome midwife and support team, they went into the hospital and delivered Axton. Despite the intense labor and delivery, when Chelsy shared the story, there wasn’t a word of complaint. She has such a sweet attitude about it. Chelsy was just so grateful that she did not need a C-Section. Chelsy and Baby Axton are doing great!

You might wonder the background behind Axton’s name. Simply put, John and Chelsy fell in love with the name. They wanted something strong and simple but unique. They are very excited to begin the journey of raising Axton in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

We’re grateful for such a sweet gift of life! John and Chelsy’s hearts are already knit to Axton’s, and it’s adorable to see them love their little guy.

Please join us in welcoming Axton John Maxwell!

Chelsy, John, and Axton Maxwell
Dad and Mom with their newest little grandson, Axton Maxwell!

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
Psalm 127:3

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.