Saturday, December 02, 2017

The Courage to Grow!

I appreciate devotionals which are real and relevant.  This devotional perfectly meets that requirement.  Annie Downs has written a powerful and beautiful devotional entitled, 100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self.  


The subtitle is the point of this devotional which covers 100 days.  These are short, easy to read devotions designed to help the reader find courage through God when life is a struggle.  The devotional feels personal and real.

This is an excellent devotion and one I would highly recommend, even as a Christmas gift.

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

Friday, December 01, 2017

Interactive Devotional!

Picturing Heaven by Randy Alcorn is a fun and interactive devotional for those who love to draw and color.  The devotionals are short and simple, but the coloring is intense and really will stretch the reader to use their imagination.  I was really impressed with the quality of the pages and the designs.

The interaction by the reader with the book should give them a greater appreciation and longing for heaven.  You can add a journal, writing down your thoughts and feelings as you were filling in the lines with various colors. 

There are 40 different devotionals and 40 different pages to color.  Some are more intricate and involved than others.  This is not a quick color inside the lines and you are done.  Instead, this will take time, time to review and time to consider how God is calling you to the next stage of your life.

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

Embracing God's Grace!

Too often in the Christian world, we live according to a ‘works righteousness’ motif.  We erroneously believe that what we do is more important than who we believe in.  Jerry Bridges is trying to break down that wall.  His book Transforming Grace is all about this. 

He uses a great deal of scripture as he leads the reader from chapter 1, dispelling the myth of performing to earn grace, to a discussion of who needs grace, ultimately to a final discussion of appropriating God’s grace and what it looks like.  This is a powerful book for readers.  Bridges emphasizes the fact that Jesus’ death on the cross was all we need.  Because of the work of Christ, we are forgiven and we do not earn forgiveness.  It cannot be bought, in fact, it was bought for us by Jesus.  So, it is a gift, which we must receive.

I believe it is easy to forget about God’s grace.  We loses sight of it and Bridges book is a great reminder that we desperately need to hold onto God’s grace in our lives.

I really appreciated the Discussion Guide in the back of the book.  This is not a quick easy guide.  Each chapter has about 10 pages for discussion, thus making this a book which can easily be used for a group discussion.

Overall, this is an excellent book which I would highly recommend.

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

Monday, October 30, 2017

Excellent Teen NKJV Bible

I found this new NKJV Study Bible for Kids to be a really great looking and useful Bible.  While it is paperback, the colors on the cover were inviting and exciting.  The Bible is filled with so many helps, that in some ways it can be distracting, but that's not really a criticism.

The Bible has short and quick introductions, biographies, timelines, articles and more.  What I like about the Bible is that most everything contained in the helps seems to have a sense of action to it.  I think this would be enticing to younger kids, pre-teens and teens.

There is also a dictionary and concordance in the back of the Bible.  As the cover suggests, there is a lot of color contained in this Bible, which again, helps it to become more inviting.  Anything we can do like this, without changing the Word of God, to help younger folks open the Bible is a win to me.

I would recommend this Bible.  It would make a great addition to Christmas!

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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Advent Devotional!

The Wonder of Advent Devotional: Experiencing the Love and Glory of the Christmas Season, by Chris Tiegreen is one of many books and devotionals he has written.  This is devotional takes the reader from November 24 to the end of December.

Each reading begins with a scripture on the top of the page, followed by a short devotion which focuses on the Christmas story, then he concludes each day with a reflection question.  Sometimes there are additional readings suggested and passages from hymns.

The readings are short and can be finished in a short period of time.  This book would be appropriate to give as a Thanksgiving gift so the person has the devotional in time for November 24, which is the next day!

The book features a nice hardcover which makes it feel much more sturdy.  Overall, I would recommend this devotional.

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

Killing the Spiders!

In his book, Kill the Spider: Getting Rid of What’s Really Holding You Back, Carlos Whittaker takes us on a very important and significant journey as he becomes very vulnerable and open about the issues in his life and how he tackled them head on. 

He begins by sharing a story about a brown recluse spider being in his home, namely having his wife screaming about finding a spider in their bed.  This leads the reader to grasp the main point of this book is the fact that so many of us struggle to destroy the nasty cobweb when really it's the spider that needs to be killed.  Destroying the cobweb only leads to new and different cobwebs because we never took care of the real problem, the spider.

He shares his journey and how he was an overcomer by learning to destroy the spiders, which in turn led to no more cobwebs.  He helps us to see that we have to take part in the killing of the spiders, not just sit back and complain that God isn’t doing His part.

The book is engaging and easy to read.  There are 18 chapters, each about 10-12 pages in length.  This is a book which can be easily read, but it may lead you to uncover the spiders in your life as well.  And you won’t need an exterminator!! 

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

Thursday, October 05, 2017

NIV Color Code Bible

I was really looking forward to receiving this Bible from Thomas Nelson.  It has a great, colorful cover, it is hardcover and feels very sturdy and has a nice feel to it.

This Bible has color coding on every page.  There are different colors to represent different themes in the Bible.  The code is on the bottom of each page on the right side of the Bible.  For example, the codings represent topics such as ~

Animals; Family; Love; God; Sin; Jesus; Prayer/Praise; Washed Clean; Growth; and Heaven

The highlighted passages are a great addition to a kids Bible.  My only concern is that some of the colors are very similar and could be a little confusing.  The only thing I didn't like for a kids Bible is the fact that there are no Introductions for the various books of the Bible.  It would have been nice to have a 1 page introduction to help the reader gain a little knowledge prior to reading that book of the Bible.

Also, there are not so many highlighted passages that these would take away from the readability of the Bible.  It is tastefully done and I would recommend this Bible for others to use.

I received a copy from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Striving for Intimacy

In his newest book, I'd like you more if you were more like me: Getting real about getting close, John Ortberg has written an excellent book about intimacy.   The premise for this book comes in the fact that we all want intimacy, we want a sense of belonging, we want to be loved . . . but the problem comes in that we seem to universally make many mistakes and push people away rather than invite them in.

With that in mind, Ortberg writes about intimacy with one another and intimacy with God.  We often feel if we get too close to people we will end up getting hurt, so we erect barriers to keep people away and ourselves protected.

He explains, we will learn 

  • how to recognize and respond to desires for connections.
  • how to get past our fear of intimacy.
  • how to sidestep common relationship pitfalls.
  • how to make God and active part of our everyday lives.
This is book is filled with anecdotal stories, illustrations, discussions about scripture and God and is written in a very readable manner.

Overall, it is a very good book.  Possibly one of the deeper writings of Ortberg.

This book was provided by Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Excellent and Engaging!



In his most recent book, The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life, Erwin McManus has written another excellent book.  I have read a number of his earlier books and had not heard of him lately, but this book captivated me from the first pages.  It is a must read for those who do not want to go through life simply existing and waiting live when they die.

The book was convicting and motivating.  It caused me to take a second look at what I do and why I do it.  He uses the story of his own cancer and what that meant to him regarding how he lived his life.  It is a personal story.  McManus explains he would much prefer God asking him the question ‘of why he tried to do too much, rather than why he settled for so little.’

With that thesis in mind, McManus explains how the reader can live their lives to the fullest, and he uses the story, an obsucre one from the Old Testament about Elisha from 2 Kings 13:14-20 where Elisha tells King Jehoash to shoot an arrow then to strike the arrows on the ground, however the king only strikes the ground 3 times and no more.  Elisha becomes angry and thus the theme of the story is to use your last arrow.  Don’t die with a quiver full of arrows!

Overall, it’s an excellent book which I would highly recommend.

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

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Very Good Devotional

The Red Letter Words of Jesus by Jack Countryman is a very nice devotional which focuses on the words which Jesus spoke.  When you receive this book, you will note that it is a very well put together book.  The hard cover feels sturdy and the pages are not thin.

The book starts in Matthew and moves along through the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; then the final devotional / page is from Revelation 3:20.  On the left side of the devotional is a very nice looking scripture verse, then on the opposite page is a brief 1 page devotion about that passage.

The book is basic in its nature and will most likely not lead you into deeper theology, yet, it is very nicely done and worth reading.  It would make an excellent gift to someone as well.  In all, there are a little over 100 devotionals in this book.

One other comment is that there is no Table of Contents, so if you are looking for your favorite passage from Jesus, you may have to search for a moment.  But that should not take away from the quality of this fine devotional!!

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

People Working Together!!

In the book, All Saints: The Surprising True Story of How Refugees from Burma Brought Life to a Dying Church, by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle was a moving story about transformation and a willingness for people to adapt.

Reverend Spurlock was the pastor at All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, Georgia, and was close to closing their doors.  While this was occurring, over 70 refugees from Karen in Burma arrived in Smyrna.  It was an unexpected and miraculous marriage as the Burmese refugees began to farm the land which brought in revenue to the church and the church began to care for and help the Burmese people assimilate into the American culture.

Spurlock and Windle write with great detail the journey of both the American folks in Smyrna and the Burmese refugees.  It was not always easy, and there were difficult decisions which had to be made, yet, they were and a church began to thrive with people who were as different on the surface as night and day.

There is now a major motion picture about this, but I have not seen the movie, but have heard it is a very good movie and follows the book as well.  This was a well written book which was easy to read and follow.

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

The Courage to Grow!

I appreciate devotionals which are real and relevant.  This devotional perfectly meets that requirement.  Annie Downs has written a powerf...