July 12, 2016

Book Review: My Little Prayers


My Little Prayers is a children’s book with stories retold by Brenda Ward and illustrations by Diane Le Feyer. According to the back cover, “Help your children discover the power of prayer from an early age." 

This book features over forty prayers from the scriptures and various biblical sources, and each prayer is accompanied by a lovely illustration. The prayers are divided into the following section titles: My Day, My Mealtime, My Bedtime, My Family and Friends, My Favorite Things, My Feelings, My Special Days, and My Time with God. 

This small hardback book is easy to read in one storytelling session or spread out over several weeks with one prayer per night. My Little Prayers is an enjoyable little children's book, which is geared toward preschoolers and toddlers.


Note: I received this book from Book Look Bloggers, 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.

July 10, 2016

Book Review: My Little Bible

 

My Little Bible is a children’s book with stories retold by Mary Hollingsworth and illustrations by Diane Le Feyer. According to the back cover, “You can nurture a love for God's Word in your children from an early age." 

This book features twenty stories from the Old Testament and twenty-two stories from the New Testament. Each Bible lesson includes a summarized Biblical story, as well as an accompanying illustration, engaging question, and the scripture reference.

For example, on page ten, the Baby Moses story states, "When Moses was a baby, his mother had to hide him from the mean king of Egypt. She made a baby boat for him. She hid Moses in the boat in the Nile River. The king's daughter found Moses and adopted him. Moses grew up in the king's own house, just as God had planned. Exodus 1:22-2:10. Who found baby Moses in the river?"

This small hardback book is easy to read in one storytelling session or spread out over several weeks with one story per day. My Little Bible is a lovely little children's book, which is geared toward preschoolers and toddlers.


Note: I received this book from Book Look Bloggers, 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.

July 8, 2016

Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast


The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast, by Kristen Feola is a devotional book focusing on fasting from the both the spiritual and practical perspectives.  In essence, the Daniel Fast is based on the fasting experiences of Daniel from the Bible. 

In the Introduction Feast While You Fast section, the authors shares, "The Daniel Fast is a unique opportunity for you to hunger for the Lord and feast on the truth of his Word.  When you fast, you restrict your food intake as a form of self-denial and worship, setting aside your basic physical desires for spiritual ones."

This book is divided into three main parts: Part 1: The Fast, Part 2: The Focus, and Part 3: The Food.  In the How This Book Will Help You section, the three main parts of the book are outlined with details with an overview for those interested in completing the fast.

Part 1:The Fast "explains what the Daniel Fast is, gives the biblical basis for the guidelines of the fast, explores fasting from God's perspective, and looks at what fasting is and what it is not, and helps you create your fasting plan."  Part one includes the following: Types of Fasts, The Daniel Fast, A Biblical Perspective on Fasting, What Fasting Is and What It Is Not, and Creating Your Fasting Plan.
 
Part 2: The Focus "delves into the spiritual component of your twenty-one-day adventure with the Lord, which is the reason you are fasting in the first place....  This section of the book features twenty-one thought-provoking devotions...includes additional Scripture references to expand your study of the day's theme and a fasting testimony."  Part two includes the following: Focus on God by Feasting on His Word, Daily Devotions, and the 21 daily devotions, such as Day 1 - Fasting Begins with Confession, Day 3 - His Glorious Name, Day 12 - The Right Tool, Day 15 - Follow the Cloud, Day 18 - Desire the Prize, Day 21 - Remember, etc.  

Part 3: The Food "addresses the physical aspect of the Daniel Fast...and provides more than one hundred tasty and nutritious recipes that are easy to prepare.  This section also contains a suggested three-week meal plan, which will provide direction and show you how to organize the food component of your fast."  Part three includes the following: Foods to East, Foods to Avoid, Creating Your Daniel Fast Meal Plan, Week 1 Suggested Meal Plan, Week 2 Suggested Meal Plan, Week 3 Suggested Meal Plan, and over one hundred delicious recipes.

Some of the recipes included are Apricot-Nut Breakfast Bar, Cinnamon Baked Apples, Fruit Pizza, Almond Butter Bites, Black Bean Dip, Roasted Chickpeas, Spicy Pumpkin Seeds, Tomato Slices with Avocado and Basil, Trail Mix, Marinated Vegetable Salad, Mediterranean Black Bean Salad, Roasted Potato Salad, Strawberry-Spinach Salad, White Bean Salad, Italian Salad Dressing, Black-and-White Chili, Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup, Tomato Basil Soup, Vegetable Broth, Acorn Squash with Apples, Artichoke Tomato Sauce, Baked Potato Chips, Classic Tomato Sauce, Eggplant Tomato Sauce, Garlic Spring Peas with Leaks, Grilled Veggie Kebabs, Pesto Spaghetti Squash, Antipasto Pizza Pie, Black Bean Chili Bake, Coconut Rice, Flat bread Pizza with Macadamia Nut Cheese, Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers, Hummus Casserole, Marinated Tofu, Mexican Rice and Beans, Romaine Wraps, Spaghetti Squash Stir-Fry, Apple-Broccoli Blast, Refreshing Romaine Salad in a Glass, etc.

Also, there are three additional chapters, such as Introduction Feast While You Fast, Why Fast, My First Daniel Fast, How This Book Will Help You, Fasting FAQs, Verses to Feed On, and Daniel Fast Menu Planning Tool.    

The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast features twenty-one devotionals for twenty-one days of fasting, and it's a quality resource for Christians desiring a more in-depth relationship with God.  The author writes in a conversational style and shares personal stories and experiences, as well as biblical stories and examples, particularly in regards to Daniel.

With a focus on healthier eating habits, this informative and practical guide features over one hundred recipes that follow the fasting guidelines.  With scripture verses intermixed throughout the book, it's an encouraging and helpful resource to fast on food, yet feast on God's Word.


Note: I received this book from Book Look Bloggers, 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.

July 6, 2016

Book Review: From This Day Forward

 

From This Day Forward: Five Commitments to Fail-Proof Your Marriage, by Craig Groeschel and Amy Groeschel is a non-fiction book about marriage from a Christian perspective.

Since the authors of this book are a husband and wife, they both provide a different point-of-view regarding the topic of marriage.  Even though it's written by a married couple, most of the text is from Craig's viewpoint. 

While it's written in a conversational style, this book features guidelines for married couples to strengthen their relationship.   

In the introduction, Craig said, "The truth is that all of us carry all sorts of expectations into marriage....  But here's the hard truth about marriage: no one's expectations hold up.... I believe with all my heart that, yes, it is possible to have a great marriage.  Not just a healthy relationship but a loving, thriving, helping-each-other-reach-your-full-potential relationship.  No surprise then that having this kind of marriage isn't easy.  It takes work, and it takes specific kinds of work."

Craig continued in the introduction to share, "In this book, Amy and I would like to share with you five decisions that will fail-proof your marriage.  If you make these decision, you can and will have the marriage God wants you to experience."
 
This book is divided into five main chapters with the following titles: Seek God, Fight Fair, Have Fun, Stay Pure, and Never Give Up.  Also, the introduction and conclusion are titled as Introduction: What Did You Expect? and Conclusion: As Long As You Both Shall Live.

When discussing marriage in chapter five, Craig declared, "It starts now.  It starts today.  Decide.  No matter what has happened in the past, from this day forward, you will: Seek God.  Fight fair.  Have fun.  Stay pure.  And never give up."

Also, in chapter five, Amy shared, "Your marriage will work best if you're both committed to one another....  Never give up on what God can do with your marriage."
 
This book focuses on the subject matter of marriage is a way that's realistic, challenging, and encouraging.  It includes scripture verses, various quotes, culturally relevant examples, and mostly experiences from the authors' lives.  

In the conclusion, Craig said, "You can have the marriage God wants to you have.  But you can't have it without God's help....  Keep your marriage simple, focused, and Christ-centered....  And because God never gave up on you, you will never give up on him or on your marriage.  From this day forward." 

So, From This Day Forward focus on your marriage in a Christ-centered manner.

It's a worthwhile book to read, especially for married couples, yet also for dating and engaged couples, as well as interested singles.  This recommended reading material is for all ages, from young adults to older generations.


Note: I received this book from Book Look Bloggers, 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.

July 4, 2016

Book Review: The Case for Faith Student Edition


The Case for Faith Student Edition: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity, by Lee Strobel with Jane Vogel is a well-written non-fiction book regarding the Christian themes of faith in an investigative method. 

While describing his journey towards Christianity, Strobel shared on page nine, "Eventually I decided to check out the Christian faith.  I would separate the make-believe from the reality and what was left.  After all, that's what I did every day as a journalist--I was experienced at investigating things to see what was true."

The author continued to share on page 10, "I committed myself to asking hard questions and not being satisfied with easy answers.  I wanted to find out what both doubters and believers had to say about some of the most challenging obstacles to faith....  If you've ever asked questions about faith, this book is for you.  Come along as I retrace my journey, and I hope you'll find answers for yourself."

This book is based on the author's personal reflections and experiences, particularly interviews and conversations with various people.  And there are stories from American culture and recent history, as well as biblical examples and scripture verses.

The Case for Faith Student Edition is divided into six main chapters with the following titles: Objective #1: Since Evil and Suffering Exist, a Good God Cannot, Objective #2: Miracles Contradict Science; Therefore They Cannot Be Real, Objective #3: Evolution Explains Life, So God Isn't Needed, Objective #4: It's Intolerant to Claim Jesus Is the Only Way to God, Objection #5: A Loving God Would Never Send People to Hell, and Objective #6: I Still Have Doubts, So I Can't Be a Christian.  Also, the introduction and conclusion are titled as Introduction: Questions Worth Asking and Conclusion: The Power of Faith. 

Throughout the book, there are supplemental boxes of additional text with the following titles: Can You Believe the Bible?, Droughts and Drive-bys, From Prisoner to Prime Minister, The Megaphone of Pain, Schizophrenic God, Timeline: When Religion Turns Ugly, Other Doubters I Have Known, Faith: Act of Will or Gift of God?,Quote to Consider, To Think About, For Quick Reference, Other Resources on This Topic, etc.

This non-fiction teen book is fairly short and easy to read, yet it's extremely informative and thought-provoking.  

According to page 95, "That's the power of faith to change a human life....  God intervened with his forgiveness, with his mercy, with his power, and with the presence of his Spirit.  That same kind of transforming grace is available to everyone who acts on the evidence for Jesus Christ by making the decision to turn away from sin and embrace him as their forgiver and leader.  It's there for all those who say yes to God."

The Case for Faith Student Edition is ideal for those interested in the Christian faith or wanting to delve deeper into questions regarding the faith.  

In essence, this book is a condensed version of Strobel's The Case for Faith (which is another excellent book to read) with a focus towards teen readers.  While it's geared towards teens and young people, this book is worthwhile and highly recommended for readers of all ages.


Note: I received this book from Book Look Bloggers, 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.

July 2, 2016

Book Review: Seven Ways to Be Her Hero



Seven Ways to Be Her Hero: The One She's Been Waiting For, by Doug Fields is a non-fiction book dealing with spiritual issues and discussions relating to marriage from the husband's viewpoint.

In the section titled Start Here, the author said, "7 Ways to Be Her Hero is really what the book is about.   It is a pretty fitting title, too, because most husbands want to be heroic at something....  Marriage is work, sure.  But by the end of our lives, we can know we were our brides' occasional heroes and that we tried our best.  And that is a key theme of a hero.  He tries."

This book is based on the author's experiences, as well as the Bible with various scripture verses and biblical stories intermixed throughout the book.

In the Afterword, Fields shared, "The content of this book was conceived as a series of talks that I delivered to the Saddleback Church men's group.  Given that I was on the pastoral staff at Saddleback as teaching and youth pastor for eighteen years, I had good relationships with many of these men.  This gave me a wonderful opportunity to interact with the guys regarding the content I presented in the series." 

This book is divided into eleven chapters with most chapters having a corresponding follow-up chapter.  These chapter titles are titled as Stop Chasing the Wind and Start Chasing Your Wife, How It Got Laid, The Flip Side, Action #1: Don't Say Everything You Think, The Queen of Snark...Now What, Action #2: Say What Is Powerful, But What About Me, Action #3: Don't Say Anything (or Become a World-Class Listener), Helping Her Do the Math, Action #4: Go Big with Small Things, More of the Sword So You Get the Point, Action #5: Be Liberal with Touch...but Not That Way, When Low Libido Knocks on Your Door, Action #6: Put Your Pride Aside, Overcoming Your Man Mistakes, Action #7: Shepherd Your Wife's Heart, What Every Man Needs Shepherded Most, As Christ Loved the Church, and Time Is What Most Marriages Are Fighting For.  Also, there are other sections, including Start Here, Introduction, and Afterword. 

While it's written in a conversational tone, this book focuses on challenging topics with practical advice for daily life.

According to the first chapter, "A hero is not created when a man chases the wind.  A hero is created when a man recognizes he has been chasing the wrong things and realizes that his wife should be the object of his chase....  Be her hero!  Chase her.  Don't stop chasing her.  Ever.  This is a chase worthy of addiction.  It is one that will pay off with a healthy, vibrant, and growing marriage." 

Seven Ways to Be Her Hero is written for men, particularly husbands, since the author writes in a manner and language geared for men.  While only some chapters are applicable for women, I'd still encourage wives to read this book as well.  This worthwhile resource is highly recommended for men.


Note: I received this book from Book Look Bloggers, 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.