Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Rise!! Church! Rise!!

Rise: Bold Strategies to Transform your Church, by Cally Parkinson, through the REVEAL Group, has written a very good book to read.  Most books like this focus on how to grow the church and give you a number of good well meaning plans to help in that endeavor.  This book is a little unique in that it has as it’s main focus the area of the spiritual well being and power of a church.

For the past 10 years the authors were researching various churches throughout the United States. The goal was to help church leaders better understand ways in which churches can achieve and maintain spiritual growth.  Over 2,000 churches were involved in this study.

The conclusion is that the more activities a church has, does not correlate to greater spiritual growth.  That is really nothing new in the church leadership world.   With this in mind, the question becomes, how do you enable a church to grow spiritually without the addition of more programs and meetings. 

The authors believe every church falls into one of eight patterns of spiritual growth, whether they are effective or not.  They identify 8 various archetypes of church health, believing every church fits in one of these categories. 

They are ~
The Troubled Church
• The Complacent Church
• The Extroverted Church
• The Average Church
• The Introverted Church
• The Self-Motivated Church
• The Energized Church
• The Vibrant Church

Each chapter includes a case study of one church and how they addressed their issues to move forward.  This helps the reader if their church is in this situation to see some form of application.  Of course, not all situations will work for each church, but this book is helpful in giving the leader a better understanding of their church and how to move forward.

I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Nestle Pure Life Splash

We were fortunate to try Nestle Pure Life Splash at no cost if we gave an honest review!

Wow!  What an easy job!  The water is great!!   There are no calories and no carbs and best of all you get to drink flavored water during the day, without all of the carbonation which many other flavored waters contain.  This is a winner!  Go get some! 

Thanks to Nestle!

Strawberry MelonNEW!  Strawberry Melon
AcaĆ­ Grape
Wild Berry
Mandarin Orange

I'm a BzzAgent!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Excellent for Leaders!

Excellent Book!

Sometimes I get tired and really skeptical about reading another book on leadership.  I feel like I’ve read them all . . . but I needed to read this book.  In his book, H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle, Brad Lomenick has written a very open and vulnerable book about leadership from the perspective of 3 H’s –


The book is divided into these three sections.  The book is fulled with stories which are current and relevant.  It is creative and engages the reader.  It’s an easy to read book, there is not so much information that one feels overwhelmed with too much information. 

Brad Lomenick gives us 20 habits which are essential for effective leadership.  I highly recommend this book to help in your leadership.

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

Fun and Interesting!

Your Daily Brain: 24 Hours in the Life of Your Brain was a fun to read and interesting book.  It is filled with a collection of short anecdotes based on the time of day and what you would be doing at that time.  The chapters are broken into morning, day and evening sections.  The book focuses on techniques we can all accomplish to help our brains function better. 

There was not anything really life changing in the book, but through reading, it is easy to make some small changes which can help lead to other changes in life.  If you enjoy learning about how your brain functions, what food you should eat, should you hit the snooze button, exercise, eat cereal laced with sugar, then this is a great book to read.

Instead of reading major studies, this book helps the reader to learn more about themselves and their brain. I think you’ll find some interesting facts in this book!

It’s a fun to read book and maybe a great Christmas present for the person who has it all and likes to read!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Excellent Book on Photography

I have never looked at books by this author, but I certainly will look for more of his books.  In the book, Learning to See Creatively, Third Edition: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography, by Bryan Peterson, he effectively helps beginners and experienced photographers see their subjects through another lense.

The pictures are vivid and great, the tips are right on.  Especially in the digital age, he encourages the photographer to experiment and play.  You never know when you’ll get the perfect picture, or find a new technique which really adds to what you are doing.  Get up high, get down low, use different angles, lenses all while taking the same pictures.  It’s time consuming, yet, you’ll find great rewards in doing this. 

He covers all of the basics, but goes beyond that.  He gives a professionals perspective which is so helpful. 

I highly recommend this book and learned a great deal.  While I don’t take as many pictures as I would like, I’m hoping to put some of his illustrations and tools into practice.  I know that I will be a better photographer because of this book and hopefully will feel freer to experiment with the pictures I take.  Especially since I can always delete what doesn’t look good, but it will be a great learning experience.

I received this book at no charge from www.bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest review.

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Very Insightful!

We live in a society that is so quick to condemn and judge others.  In his new book,
Slow to Judge: Sometimes It’s OK to Listen, David Capes seeks to remind us to be slow to judge.  He wants us to hold firm to what we believe, yet at the same time have that difficult balancing act so we don’t judge, but are willing to listen to another person’s point of view.

I found it fascinating that Capes is a regular on a weekly radio talk show alongside a Jewish Rabbi and a Catholic Priest.  They have had others on as well.  They don’t always agree with one another.  In fact, he often strongly disagrees with them, yet considers these men good friends.  How many people could do that in this world?

Too many people want to argue and convince others they are correct, so they form their argument, then they never hear what the other person has do say.  In the end, there are no winners, and everyone ends up losing.

James reminds us in James 1 — “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”  That’s a great prescription for us.  Instead of judging, be quick to listen.  That’s not always easy, but it leads to greater dialogue.

Overall, I would recommend this book.  It was insightful!

I received this book from http://booklookbloggers.com/blogger in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Enoying My Twinkies!

I was really looking forward to the 85th anniversary cookbook edition of Twinkies.  Hostess updated and expanded the Twinkies Cookbook.  They ahve included some of the best recipes and some new recipes.  I have to admit some of the recipes seemed rather bizarre to me, but may very well taste good.

I would have liked pictures for all of the recipes, instead of pictures for about 30% of the recipes.  Some recipes included Twinkies with meat, which didn’t sound appetizing, Twinkie Corn Dogs don’t get me excited, but a Patriotic Twinkie Pie or Twinkie Strawberry Shortcake sounds great! 

There were recipes covering ~
Twinkies and Cake
Twinkies and Pie
Twinkies and Fruit
Twinkies and Chocolate
Twinkies and Cream
Twinkies and Meat
Twinkies and Novelty

Twinkies in smores or with fruit kabobs sound great and will spice up a dinner party or make for some new snacks and desserts

I enjoyed reading a little about the history of the Twinkie in the introduction to the book.  It included facts, ingredients, its inventor, and the celebration of eighty-five years in production.

Overall, this is a fun and easy book to read.  It would make for a fun gift.

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

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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Finding God in the Darkness!

I have always benefitted from reading books by Nancy and John Ortberg.  They are consummate story tellers.  And their stories always have a message which speaks into my heart.  The newest book by Nancy Ortberg, Seeing in the Dark: Finding God’s light in the most Unexpected Places was another powerful Ortberg book. 

The purpose of the book is to help us find or better yet, recognize the light of God in the midst of the darkness which surrounds us.  What I like about her writing is the fact she is not offering a cookie cutter model of how we need to react to life.  Instead, she shares stories and allows the reader to embrace her message. 

Each chapter seems to be disconnected and yet at the same time they are powerfully connected.  At times the stories and jumps she makes don’t seem to connect until you read the final words of the chapter.  This is an easy to read, yet powerful book.

I was really struck by the last chapter, Benediction.  It was a powerful chapter as Nancy recalled life and death and the last words, the ways in which we say to others “may the Lord . . .”  That was the chapter which will leave a lasting impression upon me. 

This was an excellent book, especially for those who don’t want someone to give them all of the answers to life’s issues, other than to seek the light of Christ!

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Press in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Infuse Away!!

I really was looking forward to this book.  Infuse, by Eric Prum and Josh Williams is a book about how to infuse oils, spirits and waters.   In Infuse the authors share not only their favorite infusion recipes, but also how to use them in food and cocktails, like a spicy chili oil added to a grilled pizza bianca.  With more than 50 recipes for infusing oils, spirits and waters, Infuse provides instructions, quick tips and plenty of inspiration for how you can make delicious infusions part of your everyday.

There are also great pictures and the instructions are very clear.  So, if you are looking to try something new and different, this would be a really fun book.  The ideas are limitless, then you can go off on your own and make your own concoctions. 

I would recommend this book. 

I received it from Bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an impartial review.

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Bible for Dad's

While Father’s Day is past, there is no time like now to get the dad in your life a Bible he will read.  The NIV Dad’s Devotional Bible (2nd Edition) is filled with 260 devotionals written for dads. These devotionals, written by Robert Wolgemuth, author of She Calls Me Daddy, The Most Important Place on Earth, and She Still Calls Me Daddy.

The devotionals were well written, filled with stories I was able to relate to.  While I didn’t read each devotional, if you are looking for a Bible which is easy to read, filled with thoughts and ideas which are practical to dads, then this is a great choice.

I appreciated the section entitled, “Questions Kids Ask” along with a topical section called “fruit of the Spirit Topical Index.”  Those were helpful indexes for men to read to help them better understand their children and their faith.  There were also 7 articles for kids to read, so they could better understand their dads.  I thought that was a novel approach.

The main criticism was the location of the introductions for each book of the Bible.  That was in the back of the Bible.  While this saved a few pages, having the introduction would have been better immediately preceding the chapter.

Overall, I felt this was a good Bible to purchase as a gift.

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