Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Power of God's Song

I was not sure what to expect with this book, The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament.  I found this book to be very insightful and very deep.  Author, Aubrey Sampson speaks out of her grief and lamentation in order to help those who are struggling as well. 

This book as a great deal of power as she addresses an area which seems to be somewhat ignored. 

We all want answers when we are suffering and grieving, yet the answers do not come as quickly and wrapped neatly for us.  We end up vulnerable and raw before God.  It is during these times that Aubrey seeks to help the reader to find purpose and balance through the power of redemption through God.

Ultimately, she reminds us that God's song is louder than our own song, and we need to be able to listen to God's song which brings renewal, redemption and restoration.

This is an excellent book, which also has an Appendix with questions for each chapter, so this book can be used in a group setting as well.

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

Restoration Year Devotional!

For the past 20 years, I have been a fan of John Eldredge.  I helped at one of his early conferences and appreciate the way he approaches scripture and ways for men and women to find redemption and power through Christ.  In this devotional, Restoration Year, John has helped open the eyes of our hearts as we seek to be restored and empowered by God.

While John has taken much criticism because his approach is not always conventional, and some feel his theology is weak, I believe John wants each person, men and women, to fight for their empowerment.  A life in Christ is not easy, it takes work, but that's what makes it worthwhile.

John is about living a life of more than survival, it's thriving and experiencing the joy and passion of a relationship with Christ.  I believe that is what this devotional is about.  Each page has a scripture and questions at the bottom of the page to help push the reader deeper into their journey towards God.

This is a hard cover, which is sturdy and the pages are sturdy as well.  This is an excellent book and would be great for a couple, or any person to read as they seek to grow closer to Christ.

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

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Morning and Evening Prayers

 I was looking forward to receiving "A Morning and Evening Prayerbook."  I thought it would be a great way to start the year having a guided prayer to lead me.  This book has prayers for the morning and evening, written by people from the early church through modern times. 

The prayers are short and each is very different.  Some really speak to me, while others did not, but that is okay.  For me the purpose was to lead me into prayer.  Prayer to start the day and to end the day.  This book certainly does this. 

This is an excellent prayerbook and would also serve well sitting on a coffee table.  It is hard bound and would make a nice present as well.

Overall, this is an excellent resource for someone to use, and even for someone who struggles with prayer.  This may open up some avenues to better connect with God.

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

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Excellent Study Bible

I was really excited to be able to review the NEW NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible, with D.A. Carson as the General Editor.  This is a wonderful, powerful study Bible.  There are many helpful additions to this.

Included in this Bible are the following ~ 

Helpful introductions to books and sections of the Bible combined with 20,000 verse-by-verse study notes will guide you to a clearer understanding of every portion of Scripture.
  • Previously published as NIV Zondervan Study Bible
  • The full text of the New International Version (NIV), the most widely read Bible translation in contemporary English, trusted for its combination of accuracy, readability, and beauty
  • 28 theologically rich articles by authors such as Tim Keller and Kevin DeYoung
  • 20,000 verse-by-verse study notes
  • Hundreds of full-color photos, more than 90 maps, and over 60 charts
  • Comprehensive book introductions
  • Over 60 trusted contributors
  • Cross-references and the NIV Comprehensive Concordance
  • Single-column, black letter edition
  • Two ribbon markers
  • Exclusive Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface
  • 9.1-point print size

The Bible is beautifully illustrated with charts and maps galore.

The only negative was the font size.  At 9.1 point size, it was difficult to read.  Anyone with eye issues will struggle with this Bible.  yet, it's huge and this helped keep the pages down.  This may be a minor issue, but someone who struggles with small print may not find this Bible user friendly.

If not for the font size, this is a great Bible.

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

Monday, December 31, 2018

Becoming a Warrior

I was excited to receive the book, The Way of the Warrior: An Ancient Path to Inner Peace by Erwin McManus.  I was intrigued by the title, as I appreciate the warrior mentality.  Yet, this was not what I expected.  McManus’ thesis is that one must become a warrior to attain inner peace.  Without this peace, we are devoid of real spiritual power.

Peace does not come naturally, but is something one must fight for.  As Paul states, he fought the good fight . . . which is life.  It is a fight for peace.  McManus believes without inner peace, we will never have world peace.  And so many are struggling with the attainment of peace within themselves.

A warrior, then is one who becomes a servant, as Jesus was a servant.  A servant, a warrior, a person at peace within themselves does not seek attention, but works / fights for the ability to draw closer and have a tight connection to God.

The book was an encouraging book.  At times a how to book, and at times it was a book encouraging to be the person God has uniquely called me to become.

He encourages the reader ~
“Never forget who you are.
You are a warrior of light.  Do not fear the darkness.
You are a warrior of hope.  Do not fear despair.
You are a warrior of faith.  Do not fear uncertainty.
You are a warrior of love.  Do not fear hate.
You are a warrior of peace.  Do not fear the war within.
This is the fight of your life.  This is the fight for your life.  This is the way of the warrior.”

I would recommend this book.  It is easy to read, yet filled with great nuggets of encouragement.

I received this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for a honest review.

Simple Discipleship

In his book, Simple Discipleship: Grow Your Faith, Transform Your Community, by Dana Allin obviously focuses on discipleship.  Discipleship is not necessarily easy, since its road is one that takes us on a journey with many ups and downs.  Without discipleship we are lost.  And in many respects that’s where the state of the church is at the present time.

I appreciated that in each book there is an assessment tool, a test you take on line which helps you to better understand yourself.  There is a hidden code on the back cover of the book.  I believe this helps each person better understand themselves and how they relate to Christ and which areas they need to focus on so they can be a better disciple of Christ. 

We make this process way too complicated.  It should not be, but because of the unknown, we tend to shy away from growing in discipleship, which is simply growing in Christ as a follower.  Allin attempts to lay out goals for each person, with 3 separate appendicies at the end of the book.

The book was easy to read and follow, which is helpful.  The book is designed for followers of all shapes, sizes and varieties.  Overall, this would be a good book for a group to work through together.

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Sequin Sparkle and Change Bible!

The Sequin Sparkle and Change Bible is sure to be a hit with girls! This fabulous material is on everything from pillows to T-shirts. The "mermaid" sequins change color right before your eyes. Girls will love the design and will want to carry the Sparkle and Change Bibles with them everywhere!
This Sequin Sparkle and Change Bible features rainbow sequins that change color depending on which way your child swipes. It’s double the fun! It’s perfect for kids ages 6 to 10 to take to Sunday school, read with the family, or study on their own.
The ICB, the first Bible translation created specifically for children, is easy for children to read and understand with a third-grade reading level and is typeset in a large, readable font.  The Bible text is set in ten-point type, with bold in-text subject heads that help kids easily find the passages they are looking for. Also included are boldface words that correspond with a dictionary and concordance entry to explain word definitions. A great new feature in this updated setting is more than 300 key verses that are highlighted throughout the Bible for kids to read and learn. The beautifully illustrated insert pages are in a style that children love and will delight their imaginations, including topics such as:
  • A Bible timeline
  • A presentation page
  • A place to keep favorite Bible verses
  • Bible maps
  • Articles on topics such as how Jesus loves them, knowing Jesus better, and how to pray, etc.
Your young girls will love this Bible.  If they are into rainbows or coloring and want to read a Bible which seems "fully alive" and shouldn't a Bible appear that way!!  Since the Bible is fully alive?!  It really is easy to read and the font is a good size as well at just under a 9 point font, but seems bigger than that.

Your girl will love her Sequin Sparkle and Change Bible!

Details about this Bible are ~ 
  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Hardcover: 1312 pages

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

Non-Traditional Catholic Bible

This Bible is amazing!  Yes, I'm a Baptist Pastor, but this is a Bible I would read, or would be great for presents for Christmas for someone who wants to read the Bible and is creative.  There is a great deal of richness to this Bible.  While the NLT is not my preferred Bible, it still is rich with meaning for who God is, and the story about Jesus.

Introducing Tyndale’s newest addition to the bestselling
Inspire line, and the first ― and only ― Catholic coloring Bible. The Inspire Catholic Bible features over 450 beautiful Scripture line-art illustrations to color plus two-inch-wide lightly ruled margins with extra space to write notes and reflections or to draw and create original art. Inspire’s generous 8.65-point font is larger and more readable than most other journaling Bible fonts, and the high-quality white Bible paper is great for colorers and creative Bible journalers of all skill levels.

Inspire Catholic Bible’s New Living Translation text has been approved by the Catholic Church for personal reading and features the official Imprimatur. The Holy Bible, New Living Translation, communicates God’s Word powerfully to all who read it, and Inspire is a wonderful legacy Bible for readers to record their faith journey.

This Bible is amazing!  Yes, I'm a Baptist Pastor, but this is a Bible I would read, or would be great for presents for Christmas for someone who wants to read the Bible and is creative.  There is a great deal of richness to this Bible.  While the NLT is not my preferred Bible, it still is rich with meaning for who God is, and the story about Jesus.

I would highly recommend this Bible for all this interested in a nontraditional Catholic Bible.

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


Spiritual Friendships

Becoming Gertrude: How our Friendships Shape Our Faith, is written by Janice Peterson.  When I received this book, I did not realize Janice is the spouse of Eugene Peterson.  He greatly influenced me as a pastor, and I greatly appreciated reading this book. 

Becoming Gertrude focuses on how we can develop spiritual friendships.  For Janice it started with her neighbor, Gertrude Floyd, who invited her over for some lemonade, and a great friendship developed.  This book is filled with easy to do, practical ideas for reaching out in order to become spiritual friends. 

There are only 5 chapters in this book ~
Caring: Choosing to See Others
Acceptance: Receiving What Is Offered
Service: Caring in Action
Hospitality: Reaching Out and Bringing In
Encouragement: Building Others Up

The actual book is only 119 pages, but is filled with great wisdom, passed on with gentleness and power!

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Maxwell Leadership Bible!

The NKJV - The Maxwell Leadership Bible: Lessons in Leadership from the Word of God by John Maxwell is an excellent resource tool.  I have the first edition of the Leadership Bible and find this edition to be an excellent update.

Features include ~ 

  • Now available in Thomas Nelson’s NKJV Comfort Print® typeface
  • Over 120 “Profiles in Leadership” lessons drawn from the people of the Bible
  • Hundreds of compelling short articles and notes on mentoring and influence
  • A complete reference index to the 21 Laws of Leadership and the 21 Qualities of a Leader
  • Easy-to-read 10-point print size

I enjoy reviewing Bibles because I want to see what is out there which can help Christ followers better grow in Christ.  I have been a long time fan of Maxwell's writings.  And in this Bible there are many nuggets of leadership truth available to the reader.
Maxwell takes the "21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader", another of his best-selling leadership concepts and partners it with some of the well known, and not so well known characters throughout Scripture.
Hundreds of compelling short articles and notes on mentoring and influence, and there are over 120 “Profiles in Leadership” lessons drawn from the people of the Bible.
Not only are there positive ways we can do leadership, but he looks at some of the shortcomings we find ourselves in, areas such as pride, envy and a me-only attitude are some examples. 
Overall, this is an excellent Bible.  Do remember, this is not a study Bible.
I received this Bible from Booklookbloggers in exchange for an honest opinion.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Ancient Modern Bible

I was excited to receive the NKJV Ancient - Modern Bible.  I love the idea and the way it is constructed throughout the pages of the Bible.  There are so many extra writings by so many people from the past.  There are so many writers, they are too numerous to mention.

There are also wonderful paintings which are glossy at the end of the book, which adds to the flavor of this Bible.  The Bible also comes with a very sturdy box for giving the Bible away as a gift. 

My only concern is the font size!  The font was really small and surprised me at its size.  It did make for difficult reading for my old eyes.  That was the only potential issue for this Bible.  Otherwise, I would highly recommend this for those who wish to read others commentaries about the scripture.

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

Becoming a Minimalist!

Last night I finished reading The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life.  It's an interesting book with a great premise.  Is is possible to declutter our homes so that we may be able to refocus on what our priorities should be?

As you look around your home, is it possible that there is too much clutter in our homes?  Isn't it true that we generally buy a larger home, then fill it up?  So, Becker writes about ways in which we can begin the process of removing the clutter from our lives, which then frees us to focus on what the real priorities should be.

Becker wants to help the reader better define what their vision is for their homes and their families.  To do this, he offers practical advice on how to encourage the family members to begin the process of minimizing. 

He takes us on a room by room journey through the house so that we can better discover what it is we are holding onto.  How many of each item do we really need?  How many old movies do we need to hold onto?  And more.  He includes a minimizing checklist at the end of each chapter.  I will admit, some ideas seemed really great, and others not so great or practical.  But maybe that is my reluctance to let go of some of my "stuff."

He discusses the advantages to being a minimalist before you hit retirement.  He also admits that it has been difficult for some of his children to buy into this as well.  I appreciate his honesty in talking about his family.  Not all family members are going to embrace this.  The key is discussing this in advance and having a plan, rather than going at it willy-nilly.

Overall, this is a great book, an interesting read, which hopefully will help families better focus on what's really important.

I received this book from WaterBrook and Multnomah Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

The Power of God's Song

I was not sure what to expect with this book, The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament .  I found this book to be very i...