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Tuesday’s Top 4

TFP’s Top 4: Fall Activities

Posted in Tuesday's Top 4
on October 5, 2016



Nowadays, it’s impossible to talk about fall without hearing someone mention intense enthusiasm for boots, Bath and Body Works candles and/or PSLs (or if you’re the trendy rebel, Caramel Apple Spice Lattes). While we here at TFP all own our fair shares of plaid flannels and have plenty of social media posts featuring our inaugural Starbucks red cup each year, we thought it would be fun to bypass the fall fashion essentials and cliché and make some new traditions. Welcome to TFP’s Top 4: Fall Activity Edition!
Scarf Exchange – As fun as clothing exchanges are, let’s face it. We are not in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The same pair of pants, sweaters or dresses aren’t going to fit us all. That’s what makes scarf exchanges perfect! Get together with a few of your fellow accessory-loving friends, each bringing a newly-purchased scarf in a gift bag. Make a game out of it by drawing numbers and taking turns, White Elephant style. Once everyone has had their turn, enjoy the rest of the evening with your friends rocking your new cute scarves!
Hot Chocolate with a Twist – If it is starting to get cooler in your area and you’re looking for that little something yummy to keep you warm, this White Hot Chocolate  (with marshmallow stirs!) recipe would be a great way to start a cozy, autumn evening.
As for me living in the Caribbean, fall is nothing near cool and crisp, so I don’t exactly crave creamy, warm drinks. If you’re like me and live a hop, skip and a jump away from the equator (or Texas), this Frozen Hot Chocolate is perfect for getting you into the fall spirit without burning you up in the process.
Paint Pumpkins – We’ve all probably carved more pumpkins than we can count, but painting pumpkins can be just as fun (and much less dangerous if you are accident prone with a scalpel — or any sharp object — like I am). You could use sticker stencils , glow-in-the-dark puff paint , chalkboard paint, spray paint or even glitter. (Warning: once you glitter something, you’re committed to it for the foreseeable future. Glitter is forever.) Also, because you aren’t cutting into the pumpkin, it won’t rot as quickly and should most likely last throughout Thanksgiving, just in time to start decorating for Christmas! (And no, it’s never too soon to start thinking about Christmas. Ever.) So grab a paintbrush, get creative and enjoy a new take on a staple fall activity!
Decorate Someone’s Else’s Front Porch – My sweet grandmother is a homemaker to the core. She loves decorating her space and making her house a home. When she fell and broke her hip a few years ago, it was difficult for her to walk, much less decorate her home for the seasons. During recovery, just the small gift of seasonal flowers for her front porch made all the difference to her weary heart.
We all have family, friends or church members that are in the midst of some tough struggles. Whether they have been sick, lost a loved one, or even lost a job, there are “someone”s in all of our lives who could use a simple pick-me-up. What about that neighbor who used to be out in her yard all the time that you haven’t seen out lately? Or the newly widowed lady that could use a visit to ensure she hasn’t been forgotten?
It’s important to take a step back and look at those around us and their needs. If you know someone you can encourage, go for it! After you’ve exchanged scarves or painted to your hearts’ content, pack up those pumpkins, an extra scarf and some mums, stop by that “someone’s” house and bless them for the evening. (Or maybe even include them in the fun from start to finish. I’m sure they could use a Hot Chocolate with a Twist and a sassy, new scarf, too!)
As we make the most of this season, it’s fun to have parties and spend time with our friends — we were designed for fellowship. But let’s not forget we were also created to love others… the broken, the forgotten and the hurting. These hearts in need are greater in number than we realize. You may even be one yourself. Let’s remember those who need encouragement as we fully embrace the kickoff of sweater weather. When we begin to think and serve like Jesus, healing comes for those we help and for ourselves.



What are your favorite fall traditions? Let us know in the comments below! And If you try out any of these activities, we want to see! Send us a photo using the hashtag #TFPTop4.

Tuesday’s Top 4: Favorite Summer Reads

Posted in danielle, good reads, summer, Tuesday's Top 4
on June 10, 2016
Favorite Summer Books | The Pineapple Porch
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” C.S. Lewis
There are few things I love more than sitting on the beach and reading a good book, and judging by the fact that you are reading this post, I am going to guess you feel the same way. So today I rounded up my top 4 favorite summer reads.
Set around the time of Jesus’ resurrection, this three-book fiction series follows the lives of Christ followers (the first “Christians”) in the years after His ascension. Be careful, though — once you start these books you will not be able to stop. (I’m talking Netflix level binge-watch addiction here.) That’s why these books are so great for vacation, a long road trip or a Saturday by the pool — a time where you can really get lost in a good book. This series is one of my all-time favorite reads and just talking about them makes me want to go pick up the whole series and reread them all over again…

If you’ve already read this series and would like something similar, I recommend Marta’s Legacy series by Francine Rivers or The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis.

Katie Davis moved to Uganda right out of high school, and over the next few years as a young, single adult, she invested in the people of Uganda, became a refuge for many of the starving and wounded, and adopted over 14 children. Can you imagine? Katie writes her story beautifully and poetically, yet also in such a way that is so easy to read and captivating all at the same time. I highlighted page after page; it is incredible. This is the kind of book that encourages your heart deeply and makes you want to jump on the next plane to Uganda and live life like Katie — with a heart that loves like Jesus.
 
If you’re looking for a book similar to Kisses from Katie, check out Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter, and take a peek at my review of it here.
 
So you enjoy pinning all those delicious looking recipes on Pinterest, right? So why not read up on some new recipes while also learning how eating, exercise and a healthy lifestyle is important to the Lord? To some people this may seem like an odd summer read choice, but trust me…you’ll enjoy this book and learn a ton in the process. Rick Warren’s research (along with the help of coauthors and doctors, Daniel Amen & Mark Hyman) about our food and lifestyle choices today is eye-opening, convicting and just flat out interesting.
If you love to read more health and food type books, you would also enjoy the Dashing Dish Cookbook and Devotional by Katie Ferrell. Check out our interview with Katie here!
Some of you may remember me mentioning Sophie before in our previous TFP Top 4 reads. And there’s a reason for that: her writing truly is hilarious — hilarious enough to make me break into hysterics on an airplane full of people I don’t know. (Totally worth the embarrassing stares, by the way.) I really cannot say enough good things about Sophie Hudson. She is by far one of my favorite authors, and you can check out her blog here. And in case I haven’t said it before, she is hilarious. Sophie’s third book, Giddy Up, Eunice came out this week (AHHH!), and I am so anxiously awaiting my vacation this month because this read is first up on my list as soon as I hit that sand!
If you love light-hearted, funny books about life, friendship and how good our Jesus is, check out Sophie’s first two books (Home is Where My People Are and A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet), along with another favorite of mine, Nobody’s Cuter than You by Melanie Shankle.
What’s on your summer reading list? Comment below and let us know!
Happy reading!

 

TFP’S TOP 4: FAVORITE READS

Posted in danielle, Tuesday's Top 4
on January 23, 2016
TFP Top 4 Favorite Reads - Books

“When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.” – Apostle Paul, 2 Timothy 4:13

 

“He is inspired, and yet he wants books! He has been preaching at least for thirty years, and yet he wants books! He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books! He had a wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books! He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things which was unlawful for a man to utter, yet he wants books! He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books! The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves the he has no brains of his own. Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people, you need to read.” – Charles Spurgeon

 

I’ve always loved to read. However, with my crazy schedule and (let’s just be honest) an active DVR, it hasn’t always been easy for me to pencil in the time to get quiet, sit still, and read. So when January of 2015 rolled around, I resolved to be a reader. With my “to read” list growing leaps and bounds with each passing year, I decided to read at least one book a month. But I didn’t want to stop there. I also wanted to read through the Bible from start to finish — a feat I’d attempted several times before but failed to complete, often calling it quits by March.

 

But thanks to some good vacation time by the beach and lots of airport/travel time, I ended up reading through the entire Bible along with 14 other books. And it was incredible! I learned a ton and even discovered new interests by branching out from my favorite authors and normal genres. I also found so much encouragement through each book the Lord very timely orchestrated into my hands.

 

So if you are interested in embarking on a similar literary journey for the year or just want to find a good book for a snow day or upcoming vacation, here are my Top 4 reads from 2015:

By the way, everything in yellow is a clickable link!

 

Wherever the River Runs – This book follows Kelly Minter’s journey as the Lord captures her heart through the people of the Amazon. The stories she shares are stunning, heartbreaking and encouraging. This book is a must-read. Not only is it one of my favorite reads of 2015, it is one of my all-time favorite books ever.

 

Home is Where My People Are – Warning: you will cry in this book…from laughing. Sophie Hudson’s (who, really, I just want her to be my friend) gift for storytelling beautifully demonstrates how Jesus can work in even the craziest of life’s situations. If you are looking for a great vacation read or something light-hearted and fun to pass the time, this book is perfect for just that.

 

Ex-Muslim – “This Jesus consistently, stubbornly refused to limit himself to my expectations, which made getting to know him an unfolding adventure of epic proportions.” Author Naeem Fazal’s account of his journey growing up as a devout Muslim to his conversion into the Christian faith sheds incredible light on the truly beautiful pursuit of our Savior to free us all from the bounds of Satan and our own sin.

 

The Bible – To keep myself on course with my cover-to-cover goal, I tracked my reading with the She Reads Truth app. (The One Year Bible – which I linked – is a great option, too.) Over time, I was deeply immersed in what I was reading — finding stories I had never heard and gleaming new wisdom from the passages I have known since before I could read. With every page I could see how every person, every problem and every faithful promise from God all lead to Jesus in one intricately woven love story.

 

Over this last year, I’ve seen in my own life the countless benefits and blessings of staying in the Word of God (Isaiah 55:10-11) and reading about what He is teaching other believers (Proverbs 27:17). I encourage you to challenge yourself to draw deeper into Him and His Word this year, whatever that looks like. He will undoubtedly transform your heart and your life if you let Him.

 

(Also, don’t forget about another favorite read of ours, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp!)

 

 

Looking for more ideas? Check out my “To Read” list below or the Good Reads section of our site!

 

Fervent – Priscilla Shirer

The Nesting Place – Mcquillyn Smith

The Japanese Art of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing – Marie Kondo

Make It Happen – Lara Casey

Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis

The Fitting Room – Kelly Minter

Steadfast Love – Lauren Chandler

It’s Good to Be Queen – Liz Curtis Higgs

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World – Joanna Weaver

Audacious – Beth Moore

Simply Tuesday – Emily Freeman

 

What’s on your reading list this year? I would love to hear what you want to read or what your favorite books are in the comment section below!  You know what they say… Share the literature, share the love.

 

 

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TFP’s Top 4: Worship Edition

Posted in danielle, music, Tuesday's Top 4
on October 30, 2015


There is nothing like God’s presence. It transforms in a way nothing else can. I believe God uses music as an instrument to teach us, sharpen our theology, encourage us, and draw us nearer to Him. Essentially, the purpose of music is to praise our Creator. However, Satan takes everything God intends for good and counterfeits it into his own agenda for evil. It is so important to be aware of this and to be intentional in filling our minds with the things of the Lord including the music that we listen to.
If you’re like me, you have a revolving playlist of “favorites” that changes daily, so expect the TFP Top 4: Worship Edition to be an ongoing series. I want to use this space to venture out past the obvious worship go-to’s like Hillsong & Passion (both amazing, of course) and instead focus on introducing newer artists, latest albums or revisiting some oldies but goodies you may have forgotten about. Enjoy!



Ellie is a personal favorite of mine because she saturates her lyrics with Scripture. A mix of feel-good melodies, heart-stirring prayers and ever-present encouragement, this is an absolutely beautiful collection of songs, perfect for an anytime pick-me-up and refreshing to the soul.

This album is brand new, released just last week. Shane & Shane have become famous for their heartfelt lyrics and tight harmonies, and this album is no different. However, I particularly love this collection of songs because it comes straight from Psalms — at times the songs are verbatim. My husband says, “Psalms is essentially a hymnal inserted right in the center of God’s Word.” By singing these choruses, you are memorizing Scripture and engraving verses onto your heart and there really is nothing quite like singing Scripture.


This album is simply beautiful. It has this peaceful and calming emotion to it causing you to realize you can take a break and a deep breath and rest in your Savior and His promises. I love playing this album in the early mornings while getting ready or during my quiet time.
The song How Can It Be became a huge hit over the summer, and rightfully so – the song is incredible. But I have found that the rest of her album is just as rich, deep and Spirit-filled as her first single. If you like Adele, you will love the sound of her soulful voice.
Also, for a bonus – here are my top 4 favorite songs right now this minute.

What are you listening to right now? Comment below and let us know!