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.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Wonderful Idea

The 5 Minute Bible: 100 Stories and Songs is a fantastic idea!  The colors and the pictures are great.  There are stories which are well known and some which are lesser known.  I like that!

I think it is great to associate stories and songs. What better way to rock your child to sleep, or sit and snuggle on the couch, than to share a Bible story and sing a song.

The book / Bible is for young children.  The parents also have the opportunity to ad-lib a little and expound on the stories.  I had one concern with the book . . . and that is the fact, not all of the songs are well known.

As a parent, I would have to make up a tune or do my research in advance to learn the tunes.  It would have been great if the songs were included with the lyrics and notes together.  Without the musical notes, some songs could not be sung unless the parents looked up the songs on the Internet.  Otherwise, this is an excellent resource for young children.

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

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Becoming Whole

In his book, WHOLE:Restoring What Is Broken in Me, You, and the Entire World, Steve Wiens has written a very engaging and passionate book about restoration through the ministry of Jesus Christ.  This was a profound book, that was easy to read, yet, with a great deal of deep meaning on each page.

Steve has a gift and ability to write in a manner which draws the reader into the life of the story.  It's not a long book, it didn't need to be, as it's only about 160 pages in length.

As the author is vulnerable, he asks the reader to do the same so that they may take what he is offering, which is life restoration through Christ . . . and become a new creation in Him.

I recommend this book.

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

Become an Excellent Negotiator

I was looking forward to reading this book by Peter Stark, The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need: 101 Ways to Win Every Time in Any Situation.  Now that's an intriguing title.  And the book did not fall short in my expectations. 

What's really great about this book is that it applies to all people.  At various times and in various ways we all have to negotiate for something in our lives.  It may be at school, on the job, at home, buying a car or a house, etc.  It happens to all of us and this book offers so many examples regarding various situations you may find yourself in, that it's a great book and excellent resource to have.

It's easy reading, yet intriguing.  One of the excellent reminders for me is that while I am negotiating for one thing, my counterpart is negotiating for something else, and I may not realize what is behind their negotiations. 

The writing style of Stark and Flaherty is very conversational, which draws the reader into the book.  Overall, it's an excellent book and I would recommend it as a great resource.

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

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A Great Communication Reminder

I was not sure what to expect in the book, Before You Hit Send: Preventing Headache and Heartache, by Emerson Eggerichs, author of "Love and Respect."  I was pleasantly surprised at the content and the suggestions he gives so that we will not have to deal with the headaches and heartaches after we hit send, but also in our everyday speaking.

As one who speaks publicly, I have been guilty of not thinking before speaking and have had to deal with the heartache and headaches.  He reminds the reader that "every day we have the potential of both verbal and written blunders."  it happens all of the time and he gives some thoughts and ideas on how to control these mistakes and sins.

he reminds the reader before you that before you communicate with someone, ask yourself 4 questions . . . and these are the only  4 chapters of the book ~
  1. Is It True?
  2. Is It Kind?
  3. Is It Necessary?
  4. Is It Clear?
Each chapter starts out with a scriptural meditation and he gives many practical examples of mistakes and ways to exemplify what the chapter is about.

Even when we are speaking to a friend, at a counter returning something and are frustrated, how can these 4 questions guide us?  This can be a powerful life altering book for someone who struggles with creating too many headaches and heartaches.  This is an easy to read book of about 250 pages.

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

Friday, August 04, 2017

Would you EAT with SINNERS!

I was intrigued by the title and premise of this book, Eats with Sinners: Loving Like Jesus, by Arron Chambers.  On the back cover Arron really states what he wants to achieve in this book . . . “Jesus regularly ate with sinners — people in need of God, just like you and me.  Why?  Because Jesus longed to eat with them in heaven.”  That’s a great and crucial statement!  As you read the book, you will note how often Jesus involved Himself in the life of sinners.  It almost seemed like He would rather hang out with sinners than with the religious folks, who did need Jesus, as well.

He explains we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.  Arron’s call to the reader is to regularly hang out with sinners and actually eat with them and demonstrate the love of God to these folks who don’t know Jesus.

As Arron moves through the book, each chapter discusses strategies, but more than that, he opens the readers eyes to various character traits and fruits of the Spirit to pass on to others.  For example, chapter titles are Integrity, Accessibility, Grace, Mercy, Faith, Tolerance, and many more.  The chapters average about 15 pages and are easy to read.

He makes the approach taken by Jesus to seem rather easy and uncomplicated.  Which it really is, but we mess it up.  Jesus sought out lost people, people who were on the fringes and He engaged them.  Notwithstanding the fact that many of these people also sought out Jesus, because they knew He was very approachable.

He explained church programs are well intentioned but they don’t usually help people come to know Jesus.  We can have the greatest buildings and more, but what will change the world will be Christians demonstrating Christ to those who don’t Know Christ.

Overall, this was a very good book.  There is a great deal to take in and possibly put into practice.

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

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Science of Doing

I was looking forward to reading the book, The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day, by James Kaklios.  I thought it would be fun to learn more about how the everyday things we use . . . work.  I quickly learned that I wasn't educated enough in physics to understand a number of his terms.  It appeared that he was assuming people had a decent knowledge of physics.  Sadly, I don't, which is really why I wanted to read the book, to better understand, but I felt like I missed the first class!

With that being said, there were a number of points I did like about the book.  He separates the book into chapters about our daily lives, for example . . .
Chapter 1 - You Begin your day
Chapter 2 - You drive into the city
Chapter 3 - You go to the doctor
Chapter 4 - You go to the airport
Chapter 5 - You take a flight
Chapter 6 - You give a business presentation
Chapter 7 - You go to a hotel

He explains different actions and events which would occur during doctors visits or trips to the airport, etc.  Some of his explanations were really good and understandable, I wish that was the case with the entire book.  It would have been easier to understand and more enjoyable.

I received a copy of the book from blogging for books, in exchange for an honest review.

Blogging for Books - Free Books in Exchange for an Honest Review

Need a Comeback?

The Comeback by Louie Giglio was an excellent book.  This book is a reminder that we call make mistakes, we all miss opportunities and we all sin.  But that does not need to leave us behind when it comes to our dreams and God's plans for us.

If you doubt you could ever do anything useful for God, this book is for you.  If you need a fresh start after you find your dreams crashed, this book is for you.  Giglio tells Bible story after Bible story about people who messed up, yet were greatly used by God.
His stories are real and authentic and pull the reader into the life of the story.  He is able to apply the stories to our lives so that they make sense in many situations we find ourselves in.

Ultimately, Giglio points the reader back to Jesus as Lord and Savior, stating if you seek Him, you will find Him.  God has a perfect plan and purpose unique to each of us. And that plan is for good not bad.

If you are seeking God and in need of a comeback, this is an excellent book.

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

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 s...