Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Good News in 4 Words!

I was really intrigued when I saw the title to this book.  WOW! The Good News in Four Words.  I was not sure what to expect.  But I was very pleasantly surprised.  This is a wonderful book for children.  And in fact, I really love the four word description of the Good News . . . 

WOW! 

UH-OH!

YES!

AHH!

 I really liked the layout of the book.  The pictures were crisp and colorful, the writing was fresh as she told the story of the Bible using these four words to get her point across!

She quickly moved from creation to sin and concluded with the resurrection.

This is definitely a book that young children will want to read over and over again, as they listen and discover new things on each page.


I highly recommend this book!

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Press in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Finding your Vision

I am very familiar with Craig Groeschel and his ministry at Lifechurch.tv and have benefitted from some of his writings and their style of doing ministry.  However, I had not read Chazown: Discover and Pursue God's Purpose for Your Life.  This is a newly revised edition for 2017, as the first edition came out in 2010.

Chazown is the Hebrew word for vision.  It's what leads and directs our lives.   Groeschel reminds the reader that when they are seeking to discover their Chazown, God has already given us 4 gifts which help keep us moving forward.  They are focus, endurance, peace, and a passion.

As you discover your spiritual gifts, core values and experiences, you begin to discover your personal vision.

When you are not sure what you are called to do in your life, this book may be of help to guide along on your journey.  This could be a next step which will give you some objective ideas about who you can be in God’s kingdom.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest opinion.


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Excellent for Discipleship!

I had heard of Peter Scazzero's Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, but for some reason never thought about reading it.  When I saw the book was available for review in an updated, revised version, I thought this was the time.  I really appreciate the opportunity to read this book.  It is an extremely easy to read and insightful book.  I think I looked at it as another self help book, however, I believe it is far more than that.

Scazzero tells the story about his life as a pastor, how he attempted to lead the church through his own power and energy, to which he found this was not working.  He gave little to no thought about his emotional life and how this was destroying his relationships.  Once he took a closer look at himself, his life changed.  

Early in the book, in the 2nd chapter, Scazzero lists the 10 symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality and uses that as a diagnostic tool. 

In many respects this is a book on discipleship.  The goal in discipleship is to help the person grow to become the person Christ has called them to be.  If we are not spiritual life is not emotionally healthy, then we will not grow as we should.  

In order to help the reader identify with his points of unhealthy spirituality, Scazzero looks at other historical and biblical figures to help the reader better see where their own shortcomings are and what they need to do to address this issue.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book.  I am considering using this as a classroom book for a study within the church.

I received this book from booklookbloggers in exchange for an honest review.


Thursday, June 01, 2017

Excellent Kids Study Bible



I had the opportunity to review the NIV Kids' Visual Study Bible. The Bible is designed for children ages 8-12, and attempts to bring the Bible to life in four-color illustrated splendor.  This study Bible includes a spectacular full-color interior featuring over 700 illustrations, photos, infographics, and maps on every page that visually represent key Bible information. Each page also features important facts located near the relevant verse. Intriguing facts; colorful, engaging maps; photographs; and illustrations make this a Bible they'll want to explore.

Some of the key Features are ~ 

  • Over 700 four-color photographs, illustrations, infographics, and maps throughout
  • Full-color design
  • Book introductions, including important facts and an image to orient the reader
  • One-column format with side bar study notes for ease of reading
  • Presentation page
          • The complete text of the New International Version (NIV)                    translation of the Bible

Overall, I really liked the Bible.  It's really designed as a tween to young teen Bible.  Kids may give the impression it is for 6 year olds, but it's for older kids.  I really liked the pictures and images which were in the Bible.  They are not cheesy and were very well done.  This is not like most adult study Bibles with lots of notes on the bottom of each page.  There are generally 1 - 3 notes per page and they are in small boxes on the side.  

The Bible I received comes in hardcover and is very nice!  My only complaint is that the font seemed a little too small for my eyes.  If the font was a little bigger, I would give this a perfect rating.  That is my only criticism.  Otherwise, this is an excellent, excellent Bible for young Bible readers!

I received this Bible in exchange for an honest opinion from booklookbloggers.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Fun I Spy Book

In the Bible Sleuth: New Testament, you will find 14, 2 page Bible scenes taken from the “Where’s Waldo” genre.  This is a fun and creative book.  It is not a Bible, although there is a short paragraph given a description regarding each Bible scene which is depicted.  The book is illustrated by Jose Perez Montero.

You have to find the characters who are shown on the side, as well as Mike, the main character.  There are 8 objects to find on every section.  But it is also fun to look at the other people and characters on the pages.

Some images were harder to find than others, but it is a fun book for young and older children, and even some adults.  This may be a fun gift to a child, or to a child who is sick and needs to spend time in resting.  This is a hard back book, so it is not flimsy.  It may be hard to find the images in the car if it is a bumpy ride.

There is also a Bible sleuth: Old Testament.  I would assume it is very similar to this one.

I received this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Excellent Beginner's Bible

Since my children are grown, I wanted to see what I could recommend for parents with younger children, and The Beginner's Bible for Little Ones is a great addition.

This Bible is extremely sturdy and rugged and would be great for a child who is learning how to hold a book without destroying it.  There are a number of very basic Bible stories in this Bible.  What I really enjoyed were the pictures which allows the parent to fill in the blanks as the child asks questions or seems interested.  The parent can play out the story as much or as little as they wish.

There are many of the favorite Old Testament and New Testament stories in this Bible.  It would be a fun Bible to get new parents who often are not thinking about what Bible to read to their children.

It would be excellent for children ranging from infant to maybe 4 years old.

I would highly recommend this Bible.

This book was provided at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Beautiful Women's Bible

The NKJV Woman’s Study Bible: Receiving God’s Truth for Balance, Hope, and Transformation is not only using an excellent translation, but has a well put together Bible.  This Bible includes many features which a Bible needs.  And as the cover and title indicate it is for women.  

The cover is a great soft fabric covered material which still gives the feel of it being a hardcover Bible.  The colors are vibrant.  

Once you open the Bible there are a number of excellent inclusions ~ 

1.  The Bible is very readable.  That is key.  The font size is 11, which is bigger than most Bibles and actually seemed bigger than that.  

2.  I really appreciated the special pages in the beginning of the Bible, which included a page for the Spiritual women in your life.  I have never seen that before, and that it was a great idea.

3.  There are a number of biographies of women in the Bible.  Sometimes they get overlooked, and it was great to be able to read and gain more knowledge about each women.

4.  There are study notes, which helps the reader.  

5.  There are comments about theological issues, archaeology and more.

6.  There is a great index and concordance in the back of the Bible.

Overall, this is an excellent choice of Bibles.  I would highly recommend it.

I received this Bible from Booklookbloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Excellent for Leaders!

I was privileged to receive an advance copy of The Power of Positive Leadership, by Jon Gordon.  His premise is so true, positive leaders and positive cultures become the leaders and catalysts for positive change in homes, schools, companies and chuches (religious institutions).

I have used Jon's other books to teach leadership and will definitely use this book as well.  The Power of Positive Leadership is an excellent book which offers a number of tools which can be used by aspiring and current leaders.  The theme of being positive resonates deeply within me as I attempt to make sure I and the other leaders cast positive visions and promote a positive culture.



This book will go a long way in making that occur.
I highly recommend reading Jon's newest book.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Power-filled Words

Stu Garrard's book, Words from the Hill: an invitation to the unexpected, is a very powerful, easy to read, down to earth book about the Beatitudes Jesus spoke in Matthew 5-7.  Garrard shares story after story to bring home the points Jesus was making in the Beatitudes.

Jesus was giving us life lessons . . . ways to live our lives in a manner which brings glory to God and demonstrates love for others.  Garrard seeks to do the same for us.

In each of the 8 chapters, he tells stories about the different beatitudes and ways they have been realized in the lives of so many people.

Garrard is a former guitarist in the groups Delirious?, one of my favorite Christian rock bands.  He brings a unique perspective to this book.

It is well worth reading.  It can be used as a devotional book to read through the Beatitudes, then to read a chapter of this book.  The chapters are about 20-30 pages longs, but the reading is quick and moving.

It's a reminder to each person to live our lives in a manner which seeks to experience the power and presence of Christ.  It's a reminder we are all broken, some more than others, and we need to drink in from the well of the Beatitudes and the well which God offers us.

While it's an easy and quick read, it's also a profound read, which has the opportunity to change your heart!!

I received this book from Tyndale Press in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Chiefs of Staff!

I was excited to receive the book, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, by Chris Whipple.  This book gives a great deal of information about how each president used, didn't use, got along with, etc. along with the power at the disposal of a very misunderstood position, the Chief of Staff. 

I did not realize the White House Chief of Staff is the highest-ranking White House employee.  I never really paid that much attention to that role, other than hearing the names of previous chiefs of staff.  Most only last 2-2.5 years.

The book reviews a number of Chiefs of Staff, which was a position made by President Eisenhower.  It starts with the Nixon administration and continues through the Obama administration.  The book is extremely fast paced and at times it is easy to get lost in all of the names and characters, yet, I do not think I would have read a book which detailed an entire administration. 


It seems that the Chief of Staff was instrumental in helping the president succeed or fail during their term.  That's how important this role is.  The author, Chris Whipple, attempts to make that point that many presidencies were less successful because they were unorganized and the role of chief organizer often fell to the chief of staff.  They are the ones who manage the schedule of the president and ultimately act like a "GATEKEEPER" for them.

if you enjoy reading history of the United States in the past 50 years with a snapshot of the Presidencies, this would be a great book to read.  I felt he was not biased in his assessments either.



I received this book in exchange for an honest review from bloggingforbooks.



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Great Reminders to ... ZIP IT!

I was not familiar with this author, Karen Ehman, nor her prior book, called Keep It Shut!  Her new book, aptly named ZIP IT! The KEEP IT SHUT 40 Day Challenge is definitely a winner.

This is a short devotional broken into 40 - 4 page readings.  It was great for Lent, but works for any time of year in which you want yourself to be challenged about the way you listen and talk to others.

Each chapter includes scripture, lessons, applications and a prayer.  It is an easy to read, easy to follow devotional which, while being easy to read, is not always as easy to follow the application and wisdom in the book.

There is humor and stories which helps make the book easy to read, yet poignant.  If you are looking for an easy to follow devotional, this would be high on my list to get.  I'll have to check out her other book, Keep it Shut!

I received this book from booklookbloggers in exchange for an honest review.