Thursday, December 26, 2013

God's Beloved Daughters by Merrilynn Grodecki

Summary of this book:

Both a daily devotional and an in-depth Bible study, God’s Beloved Daughters is a tool “to strengthen and establish and to exhort and comfort and encourage you in your faith” (I Thessalonians 3:2). Throughout her years serving in the ministry of Christian education, and as friend, mother, and mentor, Merrilynn Grodecki has championed her passion for seeing God’s daughters step into that grace-enhanced, mountain-moving, peace-filled life that is theirs in Him. Now, after decades of studying God’s ways of doing and being right concerning all of life’s issues, she has written this devotional to help each beautiful daughter of God walk in the fullness of life in Christ and discover the eternal truth of God’s promises. Wife, mother, student, teacher, lawyer, doctor, businesswoman, pastor—despite all of these titles, there is one role that takes priority over all others—daughter! Our heavenly identity not only defines and characterizes every other relationship we take part in, it prioritizes our daily motivation. God’s daughters; His ambassadors to the neighborhood, the workplace and the world. Do you see yourself that way? Do you open your door in the morning to step out into the day with that kind of vision? Do your heavenly credentials, your Kingdom citizenship, define for you your determined purpose? Each day offers an opportunity to practice our ambassadorship and extend God’s love. We awake each morning to love God, to serve Him and continue to be loved and known by Him… Walk out in that carefree graciousness that will compel the world to take a closer look at what makes you different. “I don’t know what she’s got,” they will say, “‘but I want it.”

Above is the publishers summary of this book.  I am including this because I really didn’t get anything from this book.  I have read far better devotionals.  Yes, it was nice to see a devotional and Bible study together, but I feel there are better ones out there.  This was easy to read, but I just never felt like it was a study/devotional for me.  Devotionals should have a connection with a person.  They should help you with your personal relationship with God and this one just didn't help me along my path.  It wasn't meant for me. 

I have to say that I would not recommend this book to others since I have read far better devotionals and studies that are made for women.  It was boring and just never attracted my interest. 

{I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via the Booksneeze program in exchange for this review.}

Blessings for the Evening by Susie Larson

Blessings for the Evening by Susie Larson is a book for the quiet times of the day where you just want to unwind.  I like this book because is offers a time of reprieve from all the daily tasks that I must take care of. 

When your day is done, sit down with this book and be reminded, through scripture and prayer, that you are loved.  God loves you no matter what you are going through or how great your day was, or wasn’t.

In hardcover format, Blessings for the Evening, is filled from cover to cover with amazingly beautiful images that will bring your life to a calm regardless of everything around you.  There are different blessings for times of the year such as Christmas or the Sabbath and there are a plethora of subjects that each blessing corresponds to.  If you are having a wonderful day and just want to read about how much God loves you there is a blessing for that.  If you are having a rough day and you need to find comfort there are blessings for that also.  There is a blessing, with scripture, for every type of day you may be having.

This is a great way to finish your day and spend some time with God. 

{I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for the purpose of this review.}

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Seasons of A Woman's Life Devotional Journal by Lois Evans

Are you working your way through the different seasons of your life?  Do times seem tough and never ending? The new journal called Seasons Of A Woman’s Life Devotional Journal by Lois Evans can help you find understanding in each of the different times of your life. 

This journal is beautiful.  The words that Lois shares with you on the pages are there to encourage you to write down all your difficulties, joys, and praise.  She also has engaging questions throughout that will get you thinking about the season you are in, which way you are heading, and how you are addressing all of what life has to offer, whether it be good or bad. 

The design of this journal is wonderful.  Each one of the pages has beautiful flowers on them.  When you open this journal it feels like your open a door to spring. So, no matter how cold or hot it is outside you can enjoy Spring indoors all the time, which is great since Spring is associated with new beginnings and this book is there to help you get through all of the different parts of your life to make it to your new beginning.  With lined pages, it’s easy for you to write out your deepest prayers to God, scripture, and even answer the questions that Lois asks.  

I think this would make a great gift, especially for Christmas or Mother’s Day.  If you have a loved one that is going through a hard time, you could give them this journal to help them write down their thoughts and work through to find that it will eventually end. 

{I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harvest House for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.}

Discering The Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer

In the newly revised and expanded edition of Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer you will be taught how to hear God’s voice and to follow His path for your life with His direction. 

If you are anything like me, you have a longing to hear God, but find that it isn’t always fulfilled.  The question is why not?  Why cant I hear God talking to me?  There are a few reasons and Priscilla will help you to address those reasons and find ways to get past them. 

Priscilla explains that there are times when we hear God, but just say that it was a hunch or gut feeling.  Those thought will keep us from ever having close, personal relationship with Him.  She gives us three ways to help pull us closer to Him and to hear Him more clearly: worship, prayer, and meditation because He wants us to hear Him.  He wants to challenge us to live for Him, to know all the truths He can give us, and to offer us peace through a relationship with Him.

Now, I have not read the previous version of this book, but I have to say that I love this version.  The questions at the end of each chapter (which are new) helped me to work towards a better understanding of when God is talking to me and helped me to hear Him a little better.  She addresses every issue you can think of to help you clear away all blockages that might be holding you back. 

My favorite part about this book is that Priscilla write with such authority, like she KNOWS she can help you, but with such kindness that its like having a conversation with your best friend, talking over a cup of tea.  Her writing is warm and welcoming.  She knows what she is talking about, but she doesn’t talk down to you.  She honestly wants to help you.

She wants you to have one of the greatest gifts there is…hearing God and having a personal relationship with Him.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts are my own.*

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Stripped by Lina Abujamra

We have come to believe that when we hear God’s call it will be an amazing and wonderful time to serve the Lord.  The heavens will part and the rays of light will beam down, but that's not quite the case.  What we don’t know is that God will test, try and strip us before we are ready to fully serve.  In Stripped: When God’s Call Turns From “Yes!” to “Why Me?” by Lina Abujamra you will see that as much as we long to follow God’s plan for us, it just might be a painful one to follow.

Lina Abujamra is a pediatric ER doctor who sees her fair share of pain, but the pain you will have when following God’s calling isn’t like that of an ER patient.  It’s not always physical pain.  You will experience more mental, emotional and spiritual pain as God prepares you for the work he has for you.

She explains that being a Christian doesn’t mean you will have an easy life.  Times will be hard and the more you follow what God has in store for you the harder it will get.  But there is a reason for this stripping process…To make sure your dreams and your calling line up.  God wants you to follow your dreams if they are in line with His calling and this book is the manual on how to do so without losing your mind.

During the hard times you will often wonder “Where is God?”  Lina even addresses that and says:

God hasn’t forgotten you.  He isn’t busy solving other people’s problems while neglecting yours.  He is always perfecting that which concerns your life.  He loves you.

That love is the reason you will go through so much pain and this book hit home for me so much more than I could have imagined.  I feel like I have been going through the stripping process for the past year and never really understood what was happening to me until now.  There were times when I questioned where God was and thanks to this book, I never will again.

I am so happy I found this book and had the chance to review it seeing as I asked for God to show me what He wanted from me and have been living in a pain filled year.  Now, I know that it’s just part of the process of fulfilling God’s master plan.  I highly recommend this book for those of you who think that God’s calling will be an easy one.

Read this book and prepare yourself for the most painful time of your life...but also one of the most rewarding ones.  I wish I had this book a year ago.  Things might have been a little easier when dealing with the events of this past year.

{I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.}

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Wayfinding Bible

The Wayfinding Bible from Tyndale is your ticket to traveling through the Bible with ease.  In the easy to read NLT translation, you will find yourself with three options on how you would like to travel.  Each one, a different reading plan, making stops throughout the Bible according to the route you chose.

If you are wanting a broad summary of the Bible with very few stops you would chose the Flyover Route.  Over a short 54 stops you can get a chronological view of the stories and events of the Bible.  This route would be the best for someone who is just starting out on their christian journey or for someone who has very limited time, but still wants to read some of the Bible.

Now, the next route you can take is the Direct route.  This route has 215 stops along the way and would make a great route to dig a little deeper and see a little more of the sites and events that the Bible has to offer. 

The longest route you can take is the Scenic route and this route will take a you a little over a year to complete it’s 386 readings.  The best part of this route is you will see all the sites.  You will stop everywhere through the Bible and be a part of the most beautiful stories ever told.  You will experience all of what the Bible has to offer. 

Included in this full color Bible are small fact and tidbits of information that will help you along your journey.  They are called Observation and Exploration points.  They are like your tour guide, explaining and expanding on what you are reading and studying. 

I like this Bible because, when you are reading it, you feel like you are taking a journey, not just reading a story.  It’s like having a ticket to go back in time to when the world began.  You are traveling through stories that shaped how the world is today.  So, go get the Wayfinding Bible and you will have your ticket to the most wonderful adventure ever. 

{I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.}

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What Your Dreams Are Telling You by Cindy McGill

Cover ArtWhat Your Dreams Are Telling You is the new book from Cindy McGill along with David Sluka. Following is a summary from the back of the book.

Why Waste One-Third of Your Life Only Sleeping?
Have you ever wanted to receive wise advice about a business proposal, a relationship or a direction in life? Tonight you will have several dreams. Did you know they could contain the very advice you need?

It's true.
Join dream interpreter Cindy McGill as she shows you that sleep is so much more than just a time to rest your body. If you pay attention, you can uncover a secret weapon for success--and the keys to unlocking your full potential.

Not only is it possible to remember your dreams, but when properly interpreted, they bring guidance, hope and strength to achieve what may seem impossible. Here Cindy gives you the tools for discovering and decoding these hidden messages, including

-- how to get the most out of your dreams
-- historical and present-day examples of life-changing dreams
-- common dream themes and what they mean
-- 3 steps to discover the genuine message from your dreams
-- a quick-reference guide to common dream symbols
-- how to reawaken your dream life

Solutions to your problems can come on any given night. It's time to listen to what your dreams are telling you.   
In this book McGill talks about how to make the most out of your dreams and to figure out what they might mean.  By referencing some biblical stories, they show that dream interpretation isn’t a new concept.

To be honest, I didn’t find this book entertaining or informational at all.  Maybe I am just not as interested in interpreting my dreams as I thought I was, but there might be someone to get some use of this book. 

Included at the end of the book is a quick reference for different dreams symbols and a few pages to write down your dreams that includes questions to help you figure them out. 

Just because I didn’t like this book very much doesn’t mean that you won’t.  If you are looking for a way to find out, what and if, your dreams mean anything you might want to give this book a try. 

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book: A Confident Heart Devotional by Renee Swope

Cover ArtDo you ever feel like you are not good enough?  We are all in the same boat.  You might feel like you’re the only one that has ever felt this way, but in Renee Swope’s new devotional A Confident Heart Devotional, she shows us how we can use God’s words to find our way to being who He wants us to be…a person that has a heart filled with joy and happiness. 

Finding yourself might take a while and some searching, but taking the 60 day journey that Renee lays out in this book will help you either start your journey off on the right foot OR keep you on track as you walk down a path of self discovery.  Each day is filled with heart-felt, relatable words that show you how you can get rid of any doubts, insecurities, and fears that we all face. 

The devotions are quick and easy to read so each day will not take up to much of your time, but in that small amount of time spent in this book each day will make such a profound difference in your life.  We all have times when let our thoughts overtake us and get the best of us, but for every negative thing we have to say about ourselves, she has a counter saying showing us that God has an answer for everything.  I love how she shows this throughout the book by using “When I say…God says.”  I have thought every thought she has in this book and now when those thoughts come into my head I can just flip through and find what God has said. 

This book is the companion to one of her other books called A Confident Heart.  I have not read that book, but I would love to.  Seeing as that’s the case, the best part about this book is that it stands on its own.  I don’t feel that you would have to read the other one to gain any truths from this book. I have learned so much even though I have not read A Confident Heart. 

Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stranded by Dani Pettrey

Travel back to Alaska with Dani Pettrey’s new book, and third in the Alaskan Courage series, Stranded.

The book focuses on Gage McKenna this time, along with Darcy St. James.  Darcy is returning to Alaska to join a journalist friend but by the time she gets there and on the cruise ship, her friend is missing.  Darcy is the one person Gage never expects to see on the cruise, but here she is and what is she up to?

While he struggles with his past there is some reason that God brought them back together again.  The only problem is that this ride is going to take some twists and turns along the way.

I the true fashion of her first two books in this series, Pettrey has created another romantic suspense that will keep you wanting more.  The only issue that I had with the book is that it seems to focus more on Darcy than Gage and I was thinking that the McKenna’s were the main focus of her Alaskan Courage series.  Other than that, it was a great addition to the trilogy.

I would suggest that you read the first two books in the series to familiarize yourself with the characters.  This book can stand on its own, but it would help.

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.)

Made to Last by Melissa Tagg

Made to Last is a new fiction book by Melissa Tagg

Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that's how it looks when she's starring in her homebuilding television show, "From the Ground Up." So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she'll do anything to boost ratings and save her show--even if it means pretending to be married to a man who's definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three years ago.
When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda's every move, all his digging into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth--and to her. Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the life she's built come crashing down just as she's found a love to last?

(summary from

No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get into this book.  I would put it down and come back to try to re-read it, but each time I would just get bored with it.  There was a promise of humor and I didn’t find it funny at all.  I usually love reading books like this and was disappointed at the fact that it did not hold my interest.

If you like romantic comedies, give this book a try.  Who knows…this could become your favorite book.  But, as for me…I just didn’t like it. 

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.)

A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman

A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman challenges each of us to find our inner artist.  She is not wanting us to find the one thing we were meant to do, but to be an artist and show God’s true glory in a million ways. 

She talks you along a walk that will awaken the artist inside of you.  We are all artist, we just need to find what our “niche” is.  She said that art happens when we find out who we truly are.  Once you find that out there’s no turning back.  Though the different chapters of this book she addresses certain aspect of our lives that might be holding you back or that help lead you to who you really are.  There will be a time when you address your fears and desires and another time when you take a step back and look at your childhood to see what really drives you. 

What I love about this book is it is really well written.  It’s like you are sitting with a cup of coffee talking to a friend.  Your friends would be who you would go to when searching for yourself so this makes this a very approachable book, and the ideas within easy to implement.

This book came along at a great time for myself.  I have been searching and hoping that I could find what God wants me to be doing and now I KNOW there is something out there for me to find.  Who I really am and what my art is!  

Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. *

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs Curtis Higgs has a wonderful new book out called The Women of Christmas about the women that are a part of the Christmas story.  There is one woman that we mainly associate with Christmas, Mary, but there are two others that have their play their own part of this amazing story. 

Take a journey and follow the steps Mary, Elizabeth and Anna along their walk as they wait and prepare for the coming of their messiah.  Each one has their own story to tell, but they all combine to make the most beautiful stories ever told, the coming of Jesus. 

What I love about this book, aside from the stories themselves, was the fact that Liz broke them down verse by verse and explained and went more in-depth into the story.  It helped me to understand Christmas even more and to treasure this time of year in a way that I never have.  These women possessed qualities that I know I need to work on such as faithfulness and patience.  They had so little back in biblical time, but had so much more than what we have today.

Included at the end of the book is a study guide corresponding to each chapter with reflection questions.  These would be great to lead a small group study with or just taking some time out during this hectic season to reflect on the true meaning and reason for Christmas. 

This is a majestic time of year celebrating an amazing miracle.  Take a few minutes from, stop rushing around, and find the true spirit of Christmas.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Adventure Bible Storybook Deluxe Edition

Seeing as I am always on the lookout for new ways to teach my preschooler about the bible and the stories within I was so excited to get the Adventure Bible Storybook Deluxe Edition, from Zondervan, to review.  It’s the perfect set for any preschooler and even elementary age kids to learn about all the wonderful stories the bible has inside.

The Adventure Bible Storybook has amazing full color graphics, spilling over every page of this hardcover book, illustrating some of the greatest stories ever recorded.  You start at the beginning of the book with the story of creation and follow along, through all the stories you were taught as a kid in Sunday school, until you get to the end where the promise of Jesus’ return is fortold. 

Through the book, as you read the stories, there are little tidbits of information and verses to remember in the Adventure Discovery and Words to Treasure parts of this book.  Every story has these sections to help reinforce the teachings of the story that was just read. 

Now, the best part about the Deluxe Edition is the 2 CD (1 for the old testament and 1 for the new) set that comes with it.  It reads the ENTIRE book, from beginning to end, for your children.  This way, if your child is still a to little to read or they are working on their reading skills, the Cds can help them along the way.  There is even realistic background noises so your child will feel like they are right in the middle of the story. 

This would make a wonderful gift for children during Christmas time.  What better gift to give than the stories of the bible in a beautifully illustrated book along with Cds to make them feel like they are a part of history. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.*

Friday, October 25, 2013

Beautiful Lies by Jennifer Strickland

Society tells us that our value lays in our outward appearance, how men think of us and that media will determine how others might look and feel towards us, but that isn't true.  Jennifer Strickland in her new book Beautiful Lies covers all these lies and shows us that they are just that, lies.  That our true value comes from our relationship with God and that no one can demean us when we are true to ourselves. 

Strickland was just a teenager when she became a model.  She had the perfect modeling career where all the greatest designers wanted her, she was traveling the world for photo shoots and all the money and luxury that anyone could ever want.  But what she also had was everyone around her determining her value.  Her agent, the men in her life, the designers who would book her, and all the various members of the modeling world.  How valuable she was to them was determined by the number on the scale, her perfect (or sometimes imperfect) completion, and how good clothes looking on her.  If any of these things went outside the “model standard” she was useless to them. 

Over the years, fitting into the industry standards took their toll on her.  She was having eating disorders, her self-esteem was really low and she was starting to wondering if modeling wasn’t for her.  After going to church with some friends while overseas, she finally sees that her worth isn’t determined by anyone other than her heavenly father.  Thus, the journey leading up to this book was started. 

There are five lies that Strickland addresses in this book followed with the five truths that we should be believing instead of buying into the lies we are told.  They five lies that women are being told are:

  • Your worth comes from how you look
  • Your worth comes from what men think of you
  • Your worth comes from media tells you that you should be like
  • That we need to put on a good face for everyone no matter how we are feeling inside.
  • That media is the be all and end all of how you should be. 

But, those are just the lies.  All the truths come out, throughout this book, with the love from our heavenly father pouring off the pages as she shows us how each lie can be defeated by God's word.  Strickland shows us just how much we mean to God.  We are His children and even though we might be imperfect, He still loves us and values us immensely.  Our TRUE value can never be found by material items and the way others look at us, it must come down from heaven. 

This is a book that I think every teen girl and woman should read.  Strickland had to find out the hard way how much she is worth, but following her journey through this book you will see everything she went through and hopefully avoid all the lies, remembering that only God can determine our true worth.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harvest House for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Passion Pursuit by Linda Dillow & Dr. Juli Slattery Pursuit by Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery is a bible study about sex.  Yes, you read that right…sex.  Go figure, right?!?!  I’m sure you are used to other bible studies on getting to know Jesus better, learning how to be a better wife and mother or strengthening your bond with your heavenly creator.  But, studying about sex, well that just seems like it’s a topic that a Christian women wouldn’t want to talk about with her peers must less study.  It’s quite the contrary though.

Passion Pursuit is a 10 week study that is centered around your sex life in your marriage, but there is so much more to it.  It’s about intimacy and we all know that one of the biggest ways of being intimate with our husbands is through sex, but this book is also about finding intimacy with God through knowing His words on the topic of sex in your marriage. 

Sex isn’t a taboo topic like most want us to believe.  Yes, there are ways of taking things to far, but God actually WANTS us to have an amazing sex life with our husbands.  He even encourages us to do so.  There are a few stipulations or DONT'S that you need to follow like: No Fornication, No Adultery, or No Lustful Passions to name a few. 

Sex is a gift from God as part of a wonderful and happy marriage and this study is filled with all the answers to your burning questions that you may be to shy to ask someone.  Plus, there is biblical references to back up what is being taught so if you need more clarification just grab your bible. 

I can say that, without a doubt, I love this study.  I want a happy marriage and sex is part of that.  I also want to know what God has to say about sex so that I may live my life as biblically as I can.  I am thankful to God for this small gift and thankful for this study.  I finally have some answers that I have wanted for a long time. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

People Raising by William Dillon

People RaisingThere are people in society with so many wonderful ideas of ministries that can be of great service to others in need.  The only drawback is that most of these people don’t know how to get the money needed to start their ministry.  The new and expanded edition of People Raising by William P. Dillon is a manual that will help those people achieve their dreams of ministering to others. 

What I love about this book is that Dillon will walk you through each step of fundraising with intricately detailed instructions.  But before he starts talking about how to raise money he explains the biblical way of doing so.  Most believe that God will provide, and He will, sometimes it’s not in the form of cash, but instead, the people He puts into your life. They were sent by God so that you may find the support needed to accomplish your goal. 

After you get through the first part of the book and come into the right attitude for raising money you will move to the next part where Dillon walks you through reach step of raising the funds needed.  This is one of the best parts of the book.  Each chapter of this part is dedicated to one step and the requirements needed to fulfill that step.  He walks you though how to start with the people you already have in your circle, to how to make appointments and conduct them in a manner that others will want to contribute, and how to say thank you.  Yes, you need to thank your donors.  They will appreciate it greatly and possibly be willing to give more in the future. 

The last part of this book is how you are going to implement your plan.  Once you have walked through each step of this book and have your plan all laid out it’s time to put it into motion.  Dillon is here to help with that also.  He with you on your walk each step of the way.

Raising the money to start a ministry or organization can be hard work and very time consuming.  If you keep this book with you at all times you should not have any questions.  It’s filled with all the tips you will need and step to make sure you are fulfilling the mission God has set before you.  I think this book is more like a seminar than just a book.  There is so much information that you will never regret having this book in your library if you want to create a new church, go on a mission trip, or just want to create an non-profit.  It’s one book that I will always have on my desk.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Bible Savvy Series

The bible can be a hard book to read sometimes.  It can seem disconnected and just plain overwhelming.  Well, that’s they way it feels to me.  I have found  set of book recently called The Bible Savvy series by James L. Nicodem.  These books have helped me tremendously. 

There are 4 books to the series and each one of them builds on the book before.  Nicodem starts the series off with a book titled Epic: The Storyline of the Bible.  Most people assume that the bible is just a bunch of stories that have no connection to each other, but in fact, the bible has a continues theme that shows up in each story: Redemption.  He starts off by showing how redemption is prepared, prophesized, proclaimed, purchased and then perfected.  Each of the 66 books in the bible plays a part in the completed story.

The next three books show how you can better understand and learn from the bible and points to how you can see the theme of redemption throughout. 

Context: How to understand the Bible
Foundation: The Reliability of the Bible
Walk: How to Apply the Bible

Each one of these books builds on the foundation that Nicodem laid when he shows you that the bible has one, important, central themes.  These three books help you to better get acquainted with your bible and show you that no matter what anyone says, it is a reliable source to build your faith and life on. 

My absolutely favorite part of these books are that they are not just a manual to follow.  Nicodem engages the reader with questions at the end of the chapters so that you can really apply what he is saying in these books and have a better life by understanding God’s word better.  

 I think this series would make a great bible study for a church since a lot of people have a hard time with understanding all the things God has to say.  I have noticed that one of the issues I have, at times, is getting everything from God’s word that He would want me to, but now I have help and you can too.

*I received a complimentary copy of these books from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own. *

Friday, October 11, 2013

His Treasure: Gems of Love from Your King

The beautiful cover is just the beginning.
Sheri Shepherd has released many inspirational books, but I must admit that her newest one, His Treasure, is my favorite.  It’s filled with God’s promises and the love that he has for us.  Plus, it’s the perfect size to put in my purse so I can have every bit of love from God with me all the time.

When you open the book your eyes will automatically be drawn to the brightly colored pages.  They have an old Victorian feel to them since the graphics are old picture frames with backgrounds that have the look to textured linens.  It’s just a visually beautiful book.

But, the graphics aren’t the best part…all the love that spills off the pages is.  Each page has a different letter written to you, His daughter, that tells you how He promises to be with you and love you every minute of your life.  The letter have a theme to them and those themes (just to name a few) are: how much He loves you, how much He wishes for your heart and His to connect through the Word, and how much He will always be there for you no matter what.

With the holiday season coming up soon, I would suggest you remember this book when filling out your shopping lists.  It would be a great gift to your best friend, mother, sister, and even your grandmother.  Every woman needs to be reminded of how much God loves her no matter what age she is.  I even think this could be a wonderful book for your teenage daughter (if you have one.)

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, October 10, 2013

He Wins She Wins: Learning the Art of Marital Negotiation

Cover ArtThe art of negotiation can be tricky.  One person has their demands while the other person might want something completely different and neither leave the table feeling happy about the process or outcome.  But, Im not talking about negotiating in a business setting, I am talking about negotiating in a marriage. 

William Harley, Jr has a new book called He Wins, She Wins where he talks about how, if done right, marital negotiations can come to a close with a win-win ending.  It will take work from both partners, but it is doable. 

He talks about why most marriages have issues and describes a concept called the Love Bank.  He says that to have a happy marriage, both partners need to make “deposits” into the Love Bank so that one person never feels like they are giving their all while the other person is just “withdrawing” everything.  He says that our emotions and how we feel about a person are tied to this Love Bank.  How much we have inside our Love Bank determine how we feel about the other person…when the person is making deposits we feel happy towards them, but when they are making to many withdraws we might determine that they should not be in our lives. 

Now, most marriages end because conflicts have a win-lose ending.  This will never make for a happy marriage because one person comes out of the conflict feeling like they have given up everything and gotten nothing in return.  This goes back to the Love Bank where one person is making a withdraw and the other person feels like they are getting nothing.  Yes, marriages are about sacrificing, but not so much so that you are the only one sacrificing.

Conflicts come from many different corners of marriage and can arise over things such as money, children, and even sex.  He also address how to negotiate with each other when we are feeling emotional, not quite sure how we might feel about the issue in question, or you don’t want to even bring the issue up.  There are certain ways to handle these situations and a few others that might arise and with his tips you can get through them all with a win-win outcome. 

What better way to make sure you have a happy marriage than to be able to work through a conflict and have a happy ending?  That’s what we all really want right…a happy ending.  Make sure you get your happy ending by learning how to negotiate in your marriage.

 Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.*

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Knowing God By Name | Book Review

Knowing God by NameGod has so many names.  Each one glorifying His amazing and never ending traits.  He is our everything so shouldn’t we know what to call Him?  Know Him intimately enough that we know His each and every name because He has named us?  Enter Knowing God By Name by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland.  This is their second book in their Girlfriends in God Faith Adventure series. 
This book is an 8 week study of God’s names and how you can better know Him by understanding each name.  Each one of His names describes a different trait that we can see in God, so you must understand…there are a lot of them. 

For 5 days of the week you will be introduced to a new name of God and have presented before you, a daily reading devotional, about that name, that will help you to gain a closer and more personal relationship with Him.  On the 6th day there is a place for reflection on the devotionals from the past 5 days.  But if you are anything like me you will not be able to wait till day 6 to start reflecting.  There is so much truth and knowledge in this book that I just had to highlight, write notes in the book, and start journaling just to make sure that I was getting everything from this that I could. 

What’s even better is that they have created videos to go along with this study, but the wonderful part is that the videos can be watched online for FREE…Yes, you read that right…FREE.  They want you to have a more intimate relationship with your creator that they are not charging to watch the videos and the videos just add to the intimacy you will get from this study.

So…grab your girlfriends or your bible study group at church and get to know God better by become familiarized with each of His glorious names. 

Ladies...this is a must read book to expand you relationship with God.  

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

Unglued | Book Review  There are something all women deal with and find hard to control at times.  Even myself can have issues with controlling my emotions. Sometimes I bottle emotions up or sometimes I just explode, which never ends well. But luckily there is help, and thanks to Lysa Terkeurst and her book Unglued, there is help on the journey with dealing with emotions and finding a healthy way to live with them.

Emotions can get the best of us and I’ll be the first one to admit that I can have issues with my emotions. What I love about this book, is that Lysa is like every other woman out there struggling to deal with her raw emotions.  She’s not perfect by no means or has anything completely figured out, but it’s like she says, this book and process is all about making progress, it’s not about becoming the perfect person.

She talks about there’s two different types of unglued.  There are the exploder’s and there are the stuffers.  They are pretty much self-explanatory by the names that she gave them, whereas the stuffer stuff everything down and avoid their emotions and the exploders just explode.  Now to find out which one you are there is a self-evaluation at the back of the book which will let you know which type of unglued you are.

The thing that I found that was most approachable about this book is the fact that she’s not perfect nor does she claim to be. She is just another human like the rest of us dealing with our God-given emotions and trying to find some grace in her day-to-day life. Emotions are something were all that have to deal with, but there is hope we can find a path, through this book, to a grace filled life and a life of calm were emotions don’t control us.  That is, if you allow the process to work and use the helpful tips that she provides in this book.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own. *

The Pillars of Health | Book Review

There is a new book out about health called The Pillars of Health by John Pierre.  The premise of this book is a help you improve your life by improving your health and fitness and your nutrition all at the same time.  While Pierre promises he can help improve your life by improving your health, he also promises that it will be fun in the process. 

While this book is filled with helpful information such as diet, exercise, and nutrition plans it is all information that I have previously seen in other books, websites, media outlets and nothing was new to me.  The basics of his plan are to eat a vegetable-based diets, avoid processed foods, and to get as much exercise as possible through the four pillars that he lists this book.

The four pillars consists of nutrition, mind, motion, and compassion. These are the four cornerstones of his “lifelong wellness” plan, that if you already live a healthy lifestyle, you would earn you know about these.  I do like the fact that he addresses the mind and body connection and offers ideas on how to improve your brain function and mental acuity.  He shows that the body is connected as a whole and for you to have a healthy body everything must work in unity.

What I don’t like about the book is the images of the exercises that are all in black and white. This gives the book a feel reminiscent of a 1980s fitness book. Plus all of the information has already been included in other books which makes this redundant for myself.  Although, if you are new to living a healthy lifestyle, this book might just be the one for you. 

There is one more thing I would like to say as a positive about this book and it’s that it has some great recipes in it, the only downside is they are scattered throughout the book which makes it to find the recipe you want.  You just might even read over them if you’re not paying attention.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fashioned to Reign | Book Review

It's Time for a Revolution

In the Garden, woman was taken out of man to stand by his side and co-reign with him. But Satan's schemes have robbed women of their rightful identity, disempowering and defacing them. The world aches for God's original partnership to be brought into balance once more--and it can be.

Join Kris Vallotton for an extraordinary journey of eye-opening insight, including

• God's true plan and purpose for women

• Jesus' radical teachings and care for women

• men's important role in restoring women

• the true meaning of difficult Bible passages about women

• examples of women in leadership as God intended

God fashioned women to reign alongside men. Jesus set women free to be beautiful and powerful. It's time for us, as daughters and sons of the King, to rule together in glory again. Will you join the revolution?

"We have failed to realize that Jesus founded the women's liberation movement more than two thousand years ago. Isn't it high time His Church led the revolution?"--Kris Vallotton

I recently read Fashioned to Reign.  The above information is from the publisher and not my words.  The reason for including this information is I really couldn’t find words to express a summary of this book.  I was extremely disappointed with Fashioned to Reign since I found no true, collective, meaning in what Kris Vallotton has written or how it explained how to fulfill my divine destiny. 

I really wanted to love this book and was extremely excited when I requested it.  I wanted to be empowered and to find out what I could do to fulfill my “divine destiny,” but when reading this I got nothing out of this book that resembled anything like the two things I wanted.  Instead, what I got was a book that talked about Adam and Eve chapter after chapter. 

I am also trying to figure out how Kris’s experience with baggage handling and searching in a small time airport relates to anything this book promised.  There are many more circumstances throughout the book, like this one, that I was questioning it’s relevance and why he would include this part of the book.  I was actually confused and lost most of the time. 

I am not saying that this isn’t a good book.  What I am saying is that it’s not a book for myself and I encourage any woman that thinks she might get something out of this book to read it. Not all women are the same and there might be one that this book can change her life.  So, please check it out and see if it is something for you. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions stated are my own.*

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Live Free | Book Review

Our lives can be hectic sometimes and filled full of “what if.”  We can spend a lot of time worrying about “what if this happens” or “if only I did that instead,” that we can lose track of how to live our life filled with God’s glory.  In Live Free, Kendra Smiley, shows us how we can let go of all the worrying, even during the hardest times of our lives, to live a life of peace and joy. 

Throughout the book Kendra shows us that, while there might be circumstances that are out of our control, our reaction to those circumstances is completely our decision.  Using stories from people who have graciously told some of their most despairing times, Kendra shows us how we can chose to be content, hopeful, generous, and how we can chose these feelings daily. 

In the chapter entitled Choose to Pray, we meet a family whose baby is extremely sick with an inoperable brain tumor that was thought to be cancerous.  Now the family could have let what the doctors say be the final word, but instead they prayed and prayed and let God have the final say.  They chose prayer and God healed their daughter, while showing them how they could help others by praying for them.  They chose Prayer. 

In another chapter titled Choose to Respond, you see the portrait of another family dealing with a tragedy concerning their son.  Their adored son was in an accident and suffered a sever head wound which left him in a coma.  When he woke up nothing was ever the same again since their son had to start over.  He had to learn all of his motor skills over again.  Now, this family could have given up with times got hard, but they didn’t.  The responded in the way that God would have wanted and now they have their son back home with them, although not completely the same, and chose to live without the “if only.”

This book is FILLED with amazing stories that will have you rethinking all the times you felt down, or the times you thought about what would have happened IF.  It’s truly an inspirational book and has changed my way of thinking about the circumstances of my life.  You can be free from all the worrying and second guessing…YOU just have to chose to want it.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.*

Little Visits at Bedtime | Book Review

Little Visits at Bedtime by Dr. Mary Manz Simon is a devotional made for bedtime reading with your preschooler.  There are times, ok…a lot of times…that bedtime can be a rough time of day.  Little ones are so wound up that its hard for them to switch into the calm frame of mind, but with the help of a good devotional, this time of day doesn’t have to be difficult. 

Each devotional is broken up into 5 different parts.  The first part is the devotional itself.  Each one tells a quick story that will keep your childs attention and won’t overdo their attention span.  The next part is called “Let’s Remember.”  This is a bible verse that you can read to your child or use as a memory verse.  When you are finished reading the devotional you will get to the Let’s Talk part.  This part offers a small conversation time with your children before they go to bed.  It has a few questions about the devotional.  The next two parts are more for the parents.  They are called the Parent Connection and Bringing it Home.  These are the places where you are shown how you can expand on the devotional if you would like.  Plus, how to talk to your kids and reinforce what was being taught. 

There are a few things I liked about this book.  You can pick up and start right where you left off since the devotions are not dated.  If you miss a day there is no reason to despair.  The other thing is that you can use your child's name instead of the names in the book so you can personalize the devotions which will help your child learn more and keep their interest more if they think its about them. 

The one thing I didn’t like is that while this is geared more towards a preschool child, the Let’s talk section is more advanced than I would have liked.  The questions are a little too much for a preschooler and I would say they are on the level of a child in grade school, but overall the book is a cute addition to any family’s library.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own. *

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Man in the Making | Book Review

Strong men…where do they come from?  What characteristics do they possess that make them who they are?  How can we teach our boys to become strong men who are ready to make their mark in the world?  Well, with Rick Johnson’s new book A Man in the Making you will have some inside information to help you parent your son so that you can instill the proper characteristics needed and grow him to be a wonderful man who will succeed in life. 

Through this book Rick shows you many men who have made a mark in history by being a man of value and character.  Those men included George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, David, and more.  They exhibited characterizes such as common sense, intellect, compassion, honor, courage, etc that made them men that were seen as successful and men to be looked up to.

While I loved the concept of this book and it’s message and helpful tips on how to raise our sons so that they are valuable members of society, there is one thing that I couldn’t get past.  At the beginning of this book Rick talks about how women are at fault for the way men are in our current society.  He said that women are making “girlfriends” out of men.  As much as I wanted to get past this statement and his quick but harsh bashing of women, it left a bad taste in my mouth

Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.*

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Homeschool Mom's Bible | Book Review

The cover is so cute.
For those parents that home school their children there will never be enough encouragement and help for the tough, but rewarding, job of teaching your children.  Most homeschooling parents have a biblical based curriculum so the new Bible from Zondervan offers a two in one reading experience. 

The Homeschool Mom’s Bible is a new bible from Zondervan, in the KJV translation (also available in NIV), helps you have your quiet time spent in God’s word, all the while, offering 365 devotionals from Janet Tatman to help encourage you through your year. 

Janet Tatman has been a homeschooling mom for the past 25 years so she knows the ups and downs, twists and turns, that being a homeschooler can offer.  Her daily devotionals are filled with honesty, empathy, and more than enough encouragement to get through the very reward, albeit difficult, days of teaching your children. 

One day she might be talking about what the home school stereotypes are, on another she might be talking about how you might have to change and adapt to make sure your children have everything the need, and on another day she is talking about what your greatest need is as a home schooling parent is…Love.  Significance.  Acceptance.

It’s rough teaching our children at home and there are days when you feel like you are all alone since most of society sends their children to some form of outside school, but with this new devotional bible you can have someone right beside you who has been in the same spot many times and can help you keep it all together. 

I highly recommend this for any mother who is taking on the tough task of homeschooling her children.  Spend some time with God and another mother who has been in your shoes.  

{From Publisher}
Features include:
  • 365 daily meditations with prayers written by Janet Tatman, a veteran homeschooling mother with more than 25 years of experience homeschooling
  • The full text of the classic King James Version (KJV) Bible
  • Foreword from Vickie Farris, author, homeschool mom, and wife of Michael Farris, founder of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association
  • Topical index

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. *

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Artisan Jewish Deli At Home | Book Review

I love to cook so I especially love cookbooks that will offer me a wonderful array of delicious items for my family.  It’s even better if there is some connection of faith with the food that I am making.  What better way to get that connection than cooking kosher? 

In the wake of all the Jewish delis popping up everywhere there is a gorgeous cookbook called The Artisan Jewish Deli At Home by Michael C Zusman and Nick Zukin with images from Caren Alpert.  This cookbook will cause your mouth to water so you might want keep a napkin on hand. 

If you don’t live in a big city then you most likely don’t have a Jewish deli around that you can just pop into and pick up some kosher delicacies.  Thanks to this book you don’t have to have one near by, you just need to make your way to your kitchen, after you have made a trip to the store that is. 

Included recipes will help you plan an entire meal from start to finish since they have chapters dedicated to:

Food Basics (all the basics you will need for your meals)
Starters and Sides
Soups and Salads
Eggs, Fish, and Dairy
Bagels, Bialays, and Breads
Pastries Deserts and Drinks

Some of the recipes included in these chapters are Knishes, Dressings, Chicken Schmaltz, Noodle Keegal, Chocolate Babka French Toast, and of course, Bagels and Lox.  Some of the recipes are easy to make while others might take some more dedication and work, but all of them sound and look delicious thanks to the photography by Caren Alpert. 

The thing that I loved though, is that this isn’t just a cookbook.  They have include some history about Jewish cuisine and a list of places to find certain ingredients that might be a little difficult for you to find if you are not in a metropolitan area.'s time to cook up a storm in my kitchen.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.*

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Becoming God's True Woman While I Still Have A Curfew | Book Review

Teenagers have it rough in today’s society.  Especially teenage girls.  Being a young lady can be a very turbulent time when you are learning how to be one woman from the bible and then society is saying that you should be someone else.  What do you do?

From the A True Woman line of books come a wonderful study called Becoming God’s True Woman: While I Still Have A Curfew by Susan Hunt and Mary A Kassian.  Our young ladies need all the help that we can give them and this book is a true blessing and an amazing guide. 

In this book there are 35 devotionals that address all the issues that a young teenage girl would have to face.  While addressing all topics of interest to a girl, these devotions are grounded in scripture and offer a lot of views that will get your daughter thinking about which way they need to go in life. 

There are two things that I just love about this study.  The first is all the space that is set up for your young lady to journal in.  They are given questions that will provoke a special time of journaling and possibly some self-discover in who they might be as a woman of God. 

The other thing that I found a great help is the stories included from other young women.  The reason that I love them is that it can offer an outside opinion and give young women the feeling that they are not alone during this difficult time.  It’s a feeling of community and that someone else can understand how they are feeling and dealing with the same issues as themselves. 

I can’t wait to share this book with the teenagers in my life, because every teenage girl needs to know that they are not the only one dealing with this rough time in life.  A time of finding who you are and who God wants you to be. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The One Year My Princess Devotions Preschool Edition | Book Review

Every little girl loves to play dress up and pretend they are princesses.  What they don’t know, unless their family teaches it to them, is that they don’t have to play dress up to be a princess because they are already a princess of our wonderful King.

There is a new book from the One Year line of books called The One Year My Princess Devotions Preschool Edition by Karen Whiting.  If you are familiar with this line then you know how great the books are.  This one is no different.

Your little girl can be shown each day of the year that she is truly a princess in the glorious kingdom of God.  Since this is the preschool edition, the devotions are short and sweet keeping in mind the fact that a preschooler has a short attention span. 

What I love about the daily devotions is that even though they are short they pack a lot of teaching in a small time.  Each devotion includes a Royal Word (scripture verse), Princess Thoughts (short teaching), A Prayer for the King (daily prayer), and Princess in Action (way to implement the teaching.)  Topics of the devotions range from friendship to hearing God’s word to obedience to God and many, many more. 

My favorite part of this book is that the Princess in Action part allows me to reinforce the devotion with activities that my daughter loves.  Some of them are making royal crowns, practicing walking gracefully, and lighting a candle for Jesus’ birthday just to name a few. 

I am thrilled that I FINALLY found a devotional that works for my daughter.  It’s hard because most devotionals are created for an older demographic but, this is the best preschool edition that I have found and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own. *

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Most Peculiar Circumstance | Book Review

Arabella Beckett is a head-strong, opinionated, young lady who is a fighter for women’s rights which take her down a path she never expected.  She is also the sister of Hamilton Beckett, the wealthy aristocrat from Jen Turano’s previous book A Change of Fortune. 

In her new book A Most Peculiar Circumstance, Jen Turano continues her entertaining historical romance with a continuation of the Beckett family story, but this time, focusing on the younger sister Arabella.

We first meet Arabella while she is sitting in a jail cell because she got caught up in a problem that turned out to be more than she thought.  Entering to be her savior is the noble, but aloof, Theodore Wilder.  He has been sent to find Arabella so that she may attend her brother’s wedding, but he never expected the wild ride it would be just to track her down. 

Arabella is always ready to help a suffering woman but this time she may have bit off more than she can chew.  She innocently fell upon a prostitution ring and thought that when she left Gilmon Ill that it was left behind also.  Little did she know that some things would follow her all the way home. 

I have to say that I am in LOVE with Jen Turano’s books.  They are filled with romance, twists and turns and even some laughs here and there.  They are very well written and I can fly right through her books.  There are a few books for me that I am sad when they finish and Jen Turano’s books are one of the few. 

I was so happy to see that she had the same characters as A Change of Fortune because I enjoyed watching them develop and evolve as the story went along and this book was no different.

 Turano is an amazing writer and I can’t wait till her next book.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions stated are my own.*

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blood and Bone | Book Review

Jack Hawthorne has a life that most would love to have.  He has traveled the world, treasure hunted, and been in may exciting adventures.  Now, Jack had settled down with Espy and started a family.  He has a quiet life teaching at a university but, one night and one call change all of that.

In Blood and Bone by Don Hoesel, Jack is reminded of a time when his life was crazy and a treasure hunt that had gone wrong.  He thought that all of this was past since the person that hired him had died.  Little did he know that the bones he had buried in an Australian desert would be an issue years later.

Jack receives a call from his long time friend Ducky, that lets him know he has only minutes to leave his house before people sent to capture him arrive.  This might be easy for the “old” Jack, but now he has a wife, Espy, and kids. One of his kids has cystic fibrosis so its not that easy to pick up and leave but, they make it out of their house right before the men get there. 

Taking Ducky’s advice they travel to an airport to get out of town, but this only starts the trip around the world as the people trying to get Jack kidnap his sons.  Having enough to deal with, he finds out after traveling to South America that the bones he buried are no longer there. 

This is another great thriller from Don Hoesel.  It’s wonderful to read his books because he has a way of taking you around the world in the comfort of your own home.  The only downside to this book was it was an extension of his other book Elisha’s Bones, where the whole story started.  Not having read this book I was a little lost at times, but I truly enjoyed another trip around the world and all the exciting twists and turns that came with it.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.*

Monday, August 19, 2013

Firsthand | Book Review

While growing up, we are taught by our families, the faith that they want us to follow.  But, what happens with you feel that what you have been taught doesn’t work for you?  In Firsthand by Ryan and Josh Shook, they take a look at how to find a faith that is all your own.  Not one that your parents want you to have.

In this book the Shook brothers walk you though  the steps to finding a faith that is all your own.  The do this because they are addressing a widely ignore problem that is facing today’s younger members of society.  When people in their late teens and early twenties leave home to start a life of their own they are stuck with a faith that is their parents.

Now, most would tell you that questioning your faith is wrong but, according to the Shooks God actually tells us to question what he says in Psalms 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”  It’s our human nature to have questions but, all the answers lie in the Bible.  We must find the answers for ourselves.

What I love about this book, besides the steps to finding a faith all your own, are the included stories from others who have already taking the first steps to having a personalized faith.  To see that others have had the same questions that you might have is a wonderful feeling.  It’s a feeling of community and connection.  A feeling that your not alone and when it comes to questioning your faith or trying to find your way in this world, that is a wonderful feeling. 

There is so much more to Firsthand than just the book.  There is even an online community that you can connect with to take the walk with others. 

If you have a teenager that is struggling with their faith or a child that is getting ready to head off to college, I highly recommend this as a gift to them.  It will help them make their faith all their own, while keeping them immersed in God. 
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.*

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Miracles of Archangel Gabriel | Book Review

I have always been fascinated by angels.  This fascination has been a life long thing.  So when Doreen Virtue released her new book The Miracles of Archangel Gabriel, I knew that I had to read it and I am so happy that I did.  Most people know Gabriel from the books of Luke (the Christmas story) and Enoch from the Bible but, most don’t realized that he/she is always around.

As with her previous books about angels she talks about how they can help, what signs there are around us that show that the angels are there and who they are most inspired to help.  While any angel will help whomever calls upon them they each have certain people they are drawn to help.  In the case of Gabriel, he/she loves to help those whom are pregnant, trying to conceive, those who are writers or anyone that is trying to communicate to others.

Now the reason that I said he/she is because angels are not restricted to just one form.  They can chose the form that would suit the person they are trying to help the best.  Some might be more comfortable with a man while others might be ok with a woman.  Either way, the angels form doesn’t hinder how they can help.  This is proven throughout the book by stories from people who wanted to share their experiences.  It gave me goose bumps to see how many people can be helped by just one angel. 

During the time of this books arrival I was going through a rough time.  I was searching for any sign that I wasn’t alone and thanks to this book I saw signs of Gabriel all around me.  Mostly in the form of the color that is associated with him/her, orange or copper.  It was amazing to see this color everywhere in my life and to know that Gabriel was around. 

I couldn’t put this book down.  I actually read it in a matter of hours and want to find the rest of Doreen’s angel books since this is the first one I have read.  This has only strengthened my connection to angels and I know that if I ever need help I can always call on them.  I suggest that you read the book and then you will start to see the signs that angels are in your life.  They want us to know they are there so why not get educated on what to look for so that you can know who is there. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.*

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My So-Called Life As A Submissive Wife | Book Review

Submission.  That word strikes fear in the heart of any modern woman.  The question is…Why?  Well, when we think about submission, definitions that come to mind are: feeling like a slave, being a lesser member of society, and just basically being someone that forfeits our own self-worth to subject ourselves to others for their will.  There was a reason for the feminist movement and we aren't trying to go back in time. 

The definitions that we all think about are nothing in comparison to what God really has in store for you when taking that role.  Sara Horn finds this out first hand while taking on the task of living as a submissive wife in her new book My So-Called Life As A Submissive Wife.  She found out that true submission is becoming your husband’s helper and letting go of all the feelings of wanting to run everything. It’s about letting your husband have his God-given place in a household…the head of the household just as Christ is the head of the church.

Sara decided that after trying to be a Proverbs 31 wife, and writing her previous book about that journey, that she would take up the role of a submissive wife, one that the Bible says we should all be.  This is not a decision that should be taken lightly so she talked to her husband and they both decided that she would attempt this experiment.  Only after a few concerns from her husband.  He was not in the market for a doormat when he got married so he was a little weary of this experiment. 

During that year she went through a lot that would have tested her submissiveness such as living with her in-laws, buying a new house, dealing with a future deployment of her husband, a hurricane, her husband having surgery, and many more daily issues that we all have to deal with.  But, not once did she stop her experiment.  She allowed her husband to be the head of household like God had intended and let go of the reigns.  Letting go and letting her husband run everything was a big turning point for her.  She realized that letting go is a huge part of submission, but not always an easy one.

Now, Sara’s journey wasn’t smooth sailing.  There were plenty of times where she would get a little off track and falter while on her path, but she always found a way to get back on the path that God laid out for her with His help.  Sometimes she would make a big decision on her own and would later find that a submissive wife would consult their husband first and found that it was better that way.  She is not perfect and never claimed to be.

The title and subject of this book, alone, will turn some people off and that’s ok.  This book comes with a warning.  In the very first sentence Sara warns that this book isn’t for everyone.  It’s not a gimmick to get you to read her book or reverse psychology, and after reading it I understand why.  Not every woman will be ready for the way this book will change their lives.  Some are to busy ladder climbing at a cooperation that they will not even think twice about becoming a submissive wife.  She does address the whole “being equal to a man in the workplace” issue and I love what she had to say about that…”Maybe we’re really not supposed to be just like men.”  Taking care of our families starts in the home. 

I’m sure there are a few of you reading this that are really mad right about now and that’s quite alright.  Take the time to read the book for yourself and you just might find a new perspective on what your role in your marriage is.  Your husband’s helper.  You can still have a great career and be his helper at the same time.  You just have to find a perfect balance and with God’s help that will be possible.

This book will change your whole outlook on your marriage if you give it the chance.  I know it did in mine.  I see things that I was already doing that are part of a submissive wife and things I needed to change.  I am by no means a submissive person and actually got some really funny looks from members of my church and close friends that found it odd that I was reading this book.  But, I am extremely grateful that I did.  It has made me a better wife and mother and I have no regrets…not one!!!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harvest House Publishers for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own. *

Friday, July 26, 2013

Adoring Addie | Book Review

Adoring Addie is the newest book from author Leslie Gould.  This is also the second book in her Courtships of Lancaster County. 

Set in modern day, Amish country, Addie Cramer is your typical Amish teenager.  She is looking forward to courting and getting married some day.  Her parents have high hopes that she will be marrying Phillip Eicher since he is dependable and hard working.  The only problem is that Addie wants to marry for love and not just dependability. 

While she is fond of Phillip she is falling for Jonathan Mosier.   There is one problem with Jonathan….He is a Mosier and her family HATES the Mosiers.   There has been a long standing feud between the Cramers and the Mosiers.  When her parents find out that she has feelings for Jonathan they are hoping it’s just a laps in her judgement but, that would not be the case.

Addie and Jonathan want to bring their families together so that they can be together but, will that ever happen and can the elders in the families forgive and forget about what started the feud in the first place?

This book is a modern tale of Romeo and Juliet set in an Amish community.   While the storyline and plot are mostly like the tale of Rome and Juliet, the book is speckled throughout with Amish terms and traditions.  Ms. Gould gives you a peak inside of the Amish community, which is quiet different than most of society, and tells a story of longing, hardship, and the hope for love.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.*

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Big Year for Lily | Book Review

Our world has so much going on and even our children can have a very hectic life.  A Big Year for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher show children how there are others in this world who’s lives are much simpler and just as fulfilling. 

This book is the third in The Adventures of Lily Lapp series and I wish I could say that I have read the first two but, I have not had that opportunity.  Since this was the first one for me I found it a little boring and was kind of lost since I didn’t know the character from the previous books but, this book is written for the age range of 8-12 years old so I am sure that most in that range would love this book.

Lily is a little girl who lives in the Amish community.  She loves all the same things as other little girls, she just has a more simple life.  She spends her days playing with the other girls in her community, she has special occasions just like others, and she has to deal with “bullies” just like any other kid.  Oh…and she LOVES to explore.  Sometimes its not the best thing for her to do.

The story line is great and shows kids that there are others who live amazing lives without all the convinces that most are awarded but, this book jumped around to much for me.  One chapter might be set in summer time and the next would jump forward a few months.  Other than that I think that all little kids could benefit from reading this book. 

Available July 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.*

Dolled Up to Die | Book Review

Murder, mystery and dolls???  These three things combine in Lorena McCourtney’s new book Dolled Up to Die. 

Cate Kinkaid is a assistant private investigator who works for her uncle’s private investigations company.  She loves her job but, is looking for more action and she gets exactly what she wants when she gets a call from Mrs Kieferson one night about a shooting with three people shot.  Little did she know that, although they were dolls that got shot, this call would lead her in a new direction of her life. 

While investigating the shooting of the dolls the police show up and find that there is truly a murder at Mrs. Kieferson’s home and it happens to be her ex-husband.  It seemed like he shot himself but, after further digging, it looks like he was murdered.

Of course the police thing that Mrs. Kieferson was the killer but, could it have been his new wife or how about the new mother-in-law?  Or was it someone else entirely?  But, for an private investigation office that doesn’t do murder investigations, Cate won’t allow this one to slip through her fingers.  She must find out the truth.

This book is filled with mystery, romance and even a little bit of humor and it keeps you on your toes the hole time.  It’s well written and flows nicely.  This is a great book for your summer reading list if you still have some room and time to read it.  Otherwise, make sure you have it on your winter reading list. 

“Available July 15, 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, July 11, 2013

NIV Leadership Bible | Book Review

Zondervan Publishing House has recently released a new Bible entitled The Leadership Bible (NIV.)  

The translation of this Bible is the widely accepted NIV translation which makes this amazingly easy to read and understand but, the truly wonderful differences are what is included in this Bible to make it worthy of the title The Leadership Bible.

Throughout the Bible there are great extras that will help you increase your leadership quality, if you already had some, and if you didn't,
well you will after studying your way through.

There are 52 weekly studies throughout and they are broken down into 5 days.  Each day has a different assigned reading and they correspond to a way in which you can relate it to God, yourself and how to incorporate the skills and teaching you have learned.  They are extensive studies and will take you all around the Bible in just one week of study.  Your readings are just in one chapter.

Each one of the 52 studies is related to a certain character trait of a great leader or skills that might help you become a better leader.  You can do the studies in order or you can pick a topic that interest you and start there.  (I love this feature myself.)

Also included in the Bible are small tidbits of information that can be helpful.  The two different versions of these are Insights and Profiles.  My favorite is the profiles.  They are usually about a half a page and are more information about some of the great men, and women, of the Bible that have shown leadership skills that Zondervan wanted to point out.  They have even included a profile on Satan himself.  This actually shocked me but, when you read the profile it makes sense why it’s included.

This Bible would make a wonderful gift for a future leader that you may know, your husband or son that want to take their leadership role in their family seriously, and even the women in your life that are in leadership positions since there are more and more of them emerging every day.  No matter who is reading this Bible, they will defiantly learn how to be a better leader and how to implement God’s word towards leading others.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*