April 28, 2016

Book Review: Thank You, God, for Blessing Me



Thank You, God, for Blessing Me, by Max Lucado is a delightful children’s book.  With adorable pictures and sweet words, the author has created an enjoyable book based on Christian values.

According to the back cover, “Little Hermie is thankful for many things in his garden home, like plenty of food, beautiful flowers, and good friends.  Seeing the blessings around us isn’t always easy, but Little Hermie shows preschool age children to remember to say ‘Thank you God!’ in a way that is irresistible for parents and kids.”

As a hardback book with cardboard pages, Thank You, God, for Blessing Me is a quick read.  This children’s book is geared towards preschoolers and toddlers.

In addition, there are additional books in series, Read 2 Me: Little Hermie, as well as Little Hermie and Friends.


Note: I received this book from Book Sneeze, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 26, 2016

Book Review: The Accidental Bride


The Accidental Bride, by Denise Hunter is an unusual modern-day love story that expresses underlying faith-based values.  As the story unfolds, more of Travis and Shay's past relationship, as well as current situation, is revealed.

Currently, Shay Brandenberger and her daughter live near a pleasant, yet small, town in Montana.  Unfortunately, bills are piling up and the bank is threatening to foreclose on their family's ranch and home.

Due to a series of accidents, Shay's monetary problems will be solved, but providing her with an even dire problem...marriage to her first love and ex-fiancĂ©, Travis McCoy.  Fourteen years earlier, Shay was left standing on the courthouse steps on her wedding day, while her fiance, Travis, drove away without giving her a reason why he refused to marry her.

With the daunting decision to trying to save the family ranch, Shay is forced to face the past, her broken heart, and her ex-fiancé...now her new husband, when Shay discovers that she is the accidental bride.

This book is geared more towards women readers, particularly those who enjoy reading modern chick-lit with a clean romantic storyline. The Accidental Bride is a captivating and intriguing book...definitely worth reading.


Note: I received this book from Book Sneeze, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 20, 2016

Book Review: Live Abundantly



Live Abundantly: A Study in the Book of Ephesians, by Lenya Heitzig and Penny Rose is a daily devotional book.  It’s considered a twenty-minutes-a-day study, which focuses on scripture passages from the book of Ephesians.

According to page 11, Heitzig and Rose shared, “It is our desire that as you complete this study, you, too, will know how to Live Abundantly.  We pray that God will open your eyes to His wealth, your heath to worship, and your life to be worthy of His calling.” 

There are twelve sections (or main lessons) that are each divided into five daily lessons of study.  The main lessons are titled as Are You in the Will, Secret Treasure, The Greatest Gift, Share the Wealth, Trustee of God’s Will, Exceedingly Abundantly More, Coming of Age, Dress for Success, In My Father’s Footsteps, Change of Heart, Work Ethic, and Stand Your Ground. 

There’s a special section, titled as How to Get the Most Out of This Study, which is a valuable resource for those leading this study guide, as well as those doing this study individually.  Live Abundantly is geared towards women, particularly young adults to the older generations.


Note: I received this book from B and B Media, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 19, 2016

Book Review: Live Reflectively



Live Reflectively: Lessons from the Watershed Moments of Moses, by Lenya Heitzig is a daily devotional book.  It’s considered a twenty-minutes-a-day study, which focuses on scripture passages from the book of Exodus.

According to page 11, Heitzig shared, “It is my prayer that as you gaze into the watershed moments of Moses you will experience life-changing encounters with God….  I hope that these lessons prompt you to Live Reflectively as you radiate God’s faithfulness to the world around you.” 

There are ten sections (or main lessons) that are each divided into five daily lessons of study.  The main lessons are titled as Beware of Undercurrents, Buckets of Love, The Straw That Broke Pharaoh’s Back, Death on the Nile, Red Sea at Night, Sweet Song of Salvation, Wonder Bread, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Mountaintop Experience, and A Taste of Their Own Medicine.

There’s a special section, titled as How to Get the Most Out of This Study, which is a valuable resource for those leading this study guide, as well as those doing this study individually.  Live Reflectively  is geared towards women, particularly young adults to the older generations.


Note: I received this book from B and B Media, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 18, 2016

Book Review: What Do You Think of Me


 
What Do You Think of Me?  Why Do I Care?: Answers to the Big Questions in Life, by Edward T. Welch is a well-written book, which focuses on life’s important questions.

According to page two of the Introduction, “As I wrote the book I was thinking about people I know who are roughly between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five.  You don’t have to be in this age span to read it….  But the book would sound a little different if I were writing to a fifty-year old.”

Welch continued to share on page two, “What you will find is that it goes directly to the critical questions of life, which means that the direction set out here can guides you through lots of other problems too.  I hope that it provokes you, inspires you, guides you, gives you hope, and is just plain enjoyable.”

Throughout the book, there are thought-provoking questions and corresponding scripture verses.  There are twenty chapters divided into six sections, including the following: The Problem, The Heart of the Matter, Who Is God?, Who Am I?, Who Are They?, and Final Thoughts.  Also, a Scripture Index has been provided.

As indicated in the Introduction, What Do You Think of Me?  Why Do I Care? is geared towards teenagers and young adults, but all age ranges would highly benefit from reading this book.


Note: I received this book from B and B Media, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 14, 2016

Book Review: The Spirit Who Speaks


The Spirit Who Speaks: God’s Supernatural Intervention in Your Life, by Peter H. Lawrence is an interesting book, especially since the author passed away before the book was published.

The author’s wife, Carol Lawrence, wrote the Preface of this book.  On pages 13-14, she shared:
“Several people have asked me how someone who wrote and preached about hearing God speak and saw God healing others could himself suffer from a terminal illness.  My response is that they need to listen more carefully to what Peter is saying.  He writes about his illness and talks about questions such as this in the final chapters of this book.  Peter died in February 2009 from a brain tumor.  He had been ill for about a year and a half, and during that time he wrote The Spirit Who Speaks based on one of his earlier books (The Hot Line).  He was thrilled to sign the contract for publication of this book—which he could just about manage to do—in January of that year.”
The Spirit Who Speaks is primarily based on the author’s life experiences.  It’s more of an experiential book, rather than a strong biblical based book, even though there are scripture verses included throughout the book.

There are ten chapters and a corresponding study guide with three to eight questions per chapter.  The ten chapters are titled as The God Who Speaks, Is There a Word from the Lord, The Adventure of Prayer, Proclaim the King and the Kingdom, Healing the Emotions, Healing the Sick, Setting the Captives Free, Signs and Blunders, Test Everything, and Facing the End. 

This book should be read by mature Christians with an in-depth and firm biblical foundation, since some of the material might be misleading.  Unfortunately, this is not a book that I’m able to personally recommend.


Note: I received this book from B and B Media, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 13, 2016

Book Review: A Place to Belong



A Place to Belong: Out of Our Comfort Zone and Into God’s Adventure, by Lisa Troyer is an inspirational non-fiction book about finding a place to belong…and then thriving there. 

In the Foreword of this book, Carol Kent shares, “Lisa has created a ‘Circle of Friends’ that can be duplicated all over the country as women learn the concepts of (1) acceptance, (2) authenticity, (3) affirmation, (4) accountability, and (5) action.  The principles you will learn in this book will give you the ability to develop a biblical, transformational, and encouraging ministry to the women within your own sphere of influence….  This book will change the way you think about doing God’s work in this world—and you will soon discover that you have engaged in the adventure of a lifetime.” 

A Place to Belong features the author’s personal experiences and reflections on life, as well as Biblical stories.  There are five main sections divided into twenty-nine chapters.  As listed on Contents pages, before the Foreword, the main sections are the following: 
  • Acceptance – “We welcome you to embark on an adventure in relationship.  Come as you are.”
  • Authenticity – “We invite you to exchange the familiar for the extraordinary.  It’s worth the risk.” 
  • Affirmation – “We dare you to enrich the lives of those around you.  No one else is you."
  • Accountability – “We encourage you to receive the comfort of companionship.  Be set free!” 
  • Action – “We pray you will step into your journey.  Walk in your purpose.”

In addition to these five main sections (and the twenty-nine chapters), there are Reflection questions, Discussion Guides, and other resources, including the One-Year Bible Reading Schedule, Tips for Leading a Small Group, Tips for Setting Goals, Small Group Accountability Questions, and Recommended Reading.  Plus, the words to seven songs have been shared throughout the book, as well as the opportunity to download two free songs.

The basic layout of the book is a bit distracting from the material, particularly the questions and quotes scattered throughout the book.  Maybe those features, such as the boarder and font color for the quotes, will be updated in future editions.  However, the actual material in A Place to Belong is worth reading and reflecting, and this book is geared towards women of all ages, from teens to older generations.


Note: I received this book from B and B Media, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 10, 2016

Book Review: Mirror Ball



Mirror Ball: Living Boldly and Shining Brightly for the Glory of God, by Matt Redman incorporates praise and worship into daily life.  It’s intermixed with the author’s personal experiences, historical facts, Biblical stories, and scripture verses.

In the Preface, Redman shares, “This book is about living a big, bold, bright life of worship.  I hope as you read these pages you might get a heightened view of Jesus and grab on to a new confidence of what you can become in Him.”

The eight chapters are titled as The Passion of the Christian, Love Will Give Its All, Big God, Big Life, Drops in the Ocean, Who Do You Say That I Am?, 10,000 Reasons, The Rule of First Things, and Endless Hallelujah.

There’s a Discussion Guide, which “was created for use in small groups, but it may also be useful for individuals reading through this book alone,” according to page 109.  Also, “This guide uses each chapter of Mirror Ball and many of Matt’s songs—including some of the very newest songs from his album 10,000 Reasons—as a launching pad into honest discussion of the ideas, challenges, and biblical themes raised.”

The Discussion Guide includes two main sections: Questions (about four to five questions per chapter) and Thoughts, as well as song excerpts, written by Redman and friends (who are properly noted in the Song Bibliography).

Mirror Ball is a wonderful book to use for bible studies and small groups, as well as to read individually.  It’s geared towards all ages, from teenagers to older generations.  Plus, this interesting book is a quick read, yet highly recommended.


Note: I received this book from B and B Media, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 5, 2016

Book Summary: Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door


Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door is an interesting  book by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler. As provided by Litfuse Publicity, here's the book summary:

"Don't Check Your Brains at the Door gives teens answers that make sense, even for the toughest of questions.  Internationally known defender of the faith Josh McDowell and co-author Bob Hostetler offer clarity laced with humor to expose common myths about God, the Bible, religion, and life to show how Christianity stands up to the test of fact and reason.  Teens will be better equipped to stick with their faith as they begin to understand why they believe and why it's important to make a lifetime commitment to Christ and the church." 


Note: I received this information from Litfuse Publicity, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

April 3, 2016

Book Review: It’s Not About Me

  
It’s Not About Me: Rescue From The Life We Thought Would Make Us Happy, by Max Lucado is a wonderful book, written by one of my favorite non-fiction authors.  Throughout the book, there are scripture verses and Biblical stories, as well as the author’s personal experiences and reflections.

On page nine, it states, “Life makes sense when we accept our place.  The gift of pleasures, the purpose of problems—all for him.  The God-centered life works.  And it rescues us from a life that doesn’t.  But how do we make the shift?  How can we be bumped off self-center?”  It’s Not About Me shares how to start living (as well as to continue to live) a life that is about God…not us.

In the Acknowledgements, Lucado shares that this book idea came from a friend’s reply to the question: “What has God been teaching you this year?’  His friend’s reply was “He’s been teaching me that: It’s not about me.”  In the book, Lucado continues to share that “The phrase stirred enough reflections to become a series of messages and, eventually, this book.”

It’s divided into two main parts, but the first chapter, titled Bumping Life Off Self-Center, is separate.  Part one is titled as God-Pondering with six chapters, including Show Me Your Glory, Divine Self-Promotion, Holy Different, Just A Moment, His Unchanging Hand, and God’s Great Love.  And part two is titled as God-Promoting with seven chapters, including God’s Mirrors, My Message Is About Him, My Body Is About Him, My Struggles Are About Him, My Success Is About Him, and Upward Thinking.

It’s Not About Me also has a Study Guide.  For each of the fourteen chapters, there are several questions split into two sections, including Beholding and Reflecting.  The Reflecting section primarily focuses on scripture verses.  This highly recommended book is geared towards all ages, from teenagers to older generations.


Note: I received this book from Book Sneeze, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.