Thursday, August 18, 2016

Good Resource for the Holidays

Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith, by Michelle Van Loon was an easy to read and informative book.  Van Loon sought to help the reader understand the holidays which occur during the calendar year.  What I really appreciated was the fact that she looked at many of the Jewish holidays which Jesus would have celebrated, as well as Christian holidays. 

She was able to bring a basic understanding of the traditions, Scripture, and cultural values of the day and how it impacted the holidays, then, and how it impacts us today.

The book is broken into two sections, again, covering Jewish and Christian holidays.  She used a great deal of Scripture to help bring out the reasons for the holidays and how we can make them applicable in our lives today.

If you are interested in an easy to read book regarding holidays and festivals, this would be a nice resource.  I would recommend Moments & Days.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Tyndale House Publishers book review bloggers program.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Uplifting Book

Jesus Talked to Me Today: True Stories of Children's Encounters with Angels, Miracles and God is a compilation of stories written by James Stuart Bell.  The book contains over 40 stories about children who have had some type of an encounter or miracle with God.  These are children who believe they have experienced God's presence in their lives.

Each of the chapters are short, maybe 4-5 pages.  It is easy reading and a relaxing book.  Some stories may be heard to believe, but these are recollections of children who believe they have met God.

It was a fun book to read, despite some of the stories talking about pain and despair, the end result was one of hope and victory.  Overall, it's a nice book to read, if you are looking for something with short, easy to read chapters.

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

Powerful Book of Hope

I had never heard of Chad Veach prior to reading this book, Unreasonable Hope: Finding Faith in the God Who Brings Purpose to Your Pain, but I will be sure to follow him in the future.  This was an amazingly honest and raw book as he discussed how his daughter’s diagnosis of an incurable brain disease has reshaped his life.  His daughter, Gigi, cannot communicate, has a feeding tube, daily seizures, and a life span of about 10-12 years.

I love the title, Unreasonable Hope.  Because hope in the midst of a terrible doctor’s report is unthinkable.  It didn’t happen all at once, it was a process for Chad and his wife.  As they were supported by friends and family, slowly they found a new brand of hope.

It’s not the everyday hope we think of.  It’s not a simple hope either.  Their hope is not about how God has blessed them in the midst of trials and tribulations, yet it is about that.  However, it’s still different, Veach writes about the unknown, the mystery and mysterious God.  Their hope comes in the retelling of stories about God’s presence and their victories in past difficulties.  It’s reminiscent of an Old Testament faith.  Retelling the traditions and miracles of God.

The book is broken into 4 sections ~
The Struggle
The Remedy
The Rest
The Better

This book can make a huge difference in the lives of those who are struggling with issues of hope in the midst of life’s problems.

I would highly recommend this book.

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

Friday, July 22, 2016

In Union in Christ

In his book, Closer Than Close: Awakening to the Freedom of Your Union with Christ, Dave Hickman has written a very personal book.  I have preached on the premise of Hickman's book and wished I had it when I did my series. 

His premise is that we are not just to be in relationship with God, we are to go beyond that and be in union with God.  Hickman explained ~
To be "in" someone and have that someone "in" us isn't just close, it's closer than close --- it's to be in "union" or "Oneness" with that person.
 That's what Hickman is writing about.  It's about how we, the Christ-follower can move beyond the term and feeling of being in relationship with Christ, to being IN union with Christ.  To have Christ in me and me in Christ.

As I read he used terms I greatly appreciated.  I liked his use of the word perichoresis, which I've used many times before.  His chapter on the church was excellent, as well.

Overall, this is a challenging book.  But it was well worth the challenge.  I would recommend this book for those who want to go deeper in their "union" with Christ!

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

A Devotion with Meat

I have appreciated the writings of Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg, so I was looking forward to receiving this devotional book entitled, Today's Moment of Truth: Devotions to Deepen Your Faith in Christ.  I really liked the cover, it would look great on a coffee table, as it has a soft somewhat cushiony cover, with a nice picture on it.

Knowing Lee Strobel is into apologetics, I was looking forward to this because I wanted a devotional which had a little bit more meat on it.  He didn’t disappoint me.  There is a mix of theology and story which helps the theology come alive.  There were 360 devotionals, none are dated, so you can pick it up at any point and start reading. 

Each devotion is 2 pages in length and starts with a scripture and ends with a section called Truth for Today.  I would recommend this book for anyone wanting a devotion which has a little more theology in it, yet, easily understood.

I received a complimentary copy of this book though in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, July 09, 2016


In her book, Grieving the Loss of a Loved One, Kathe Wunnenberg has written an outstanding devotional on loss.  This book captured my attention from the beginning and she never let up.  The stories and illustrations are powerful.  They are practical, relevant and true to life.

She shares scripture and life experiences which will certainly help the person who is grieving to find comfort through his/her faith.

This is the type of book to be given to someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one.  There are 12 sections in the book, which are listed below.  Within each section are about 4-6 chapters which are all short in nature.  Overall, there are 52 chapters in the book, which totals about 225 pages.  Below are the Section Headings ~
  1. Denying
  2. Venting
  3. Questioning
  4. Bargaining
  5. Crying
  6. Surrendering
  7. Accepting
  8. Praising
  9. Being
  10. Celebrating
  11. Relating
  12. Living
I highly recommend this book to read individually, then to be passed along as a gift.

Thanks to for the opportunity to read this book - - - in exchange for my honest opinion. 

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Not A Must Read: Silly at Times! But . . .

I thought I would like to read a totally different type of book for a change, so I chose this book through the site.  The authors, Anna Drezen and Todd Dakotah Briscoe wrote How May We Hate You? 

They began to work as traveling concierge's in New York City.  I can only imagine the stories, well, they shared many of their stories.  Some were downright hilarious, others left me yawning.  I am certain there are so many amazing and funny stories, but the book is really all negative.  That's the point of it!  Make fun of the many people who have no respect for others. 

So, they accomplished their task, but I was left wanting a few nice stores along the way.  They came up with a few, but not enough for me to say this is a must read. 

If you like books which are filled with negative stories, crazy demands and questions from people, then this is for you.  On the plus side, it is a fast moving book.  It's easy to skim and would make for a great bathroom book.  Something where you read a short anecdote, then move on.

Overall, I'm not really recommending this to most people who read my blog!  I do appreciate the opportunity to read it, and know the hospitality industry is filled with great people who have ridiculous demands which must be met.

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

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Good Fictional Book

Submerged was an adventurous and fun book to read.  Dani Pettrey has written a fun fictional book. It's a suspense drama with a little romance. 

As the book progressed the suspense increased and there were twists and turns and at times the unexpected. 

I felt the plot line was good and the characters were well developed.  She also did a great job in helping the reader to identify the town in which the story takes place.

Overall, I found this to be a very good fictional book.

This is a book from Bethany House Publishers.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Very Good Teen Study Bible

I really like this new NKJV TEEN STUDY BIBLE.  It has a number of unique features - -
  • We Believe: Unpacks the Apostles Creed to reveal the biblical foundation of faith
  • Panorama: Keeps the big picture of each book of the Bible in view
  • Key Indexes: Help with in-depth Bible study
  • To the Point: Reveals what the Bible says about pressing issues
  • Dear Jordan: Offers biblical advice for teens
  • Instant Access: Tells what God says to you personally
  • Q&A: Tests your knowledge of Bible trivia
  • Bible Promises: Highlights Bible verses worth remembering
  • Book Introductions: Provides an overview for each book of the Bible
I prefer the NKJV or the ESV as the best literal translations to read.  Especially for teens, these versions are very easy to understand and the original meanings are not compromised.

I also liked the size of the Bible.  It is thick, but it is a manageable size, meaning it is not too wide to handle for the youth.

If there was one additional item I would want from this Bible, it would be study notes on the bottom of the pages.  I think this would help the teens when they have questions when reading the Bible.  

Overall, this was a very good Bible and I would recommend this for teens. 

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

Spiritual Balance in a Digital World

In her book, The Wired Soul:Finding Spiritual Balance in a Hyperconnected Age, Tricia McCray Rhodes has written an interesting book.  Her point is that we are so engaged in technology that we have difficult finding balance and centeredness. 

The fact that I am on the computer a great deal of the time led me to request this book.  Initially I was drawn into the book, then I became frustrated as I moved along.  I think it was partly the fact that the book was written more from a Lectio Divina perspective.

By this I mean, there were 4 main sections ~

Lectio - meaning to read
Meditatio - meaning to meditate
Oratio - meaning to pray
Contemplatio - meaning to contemplate.

What was really nice in the book was the effort taken to give practical examples, and about 3-4 pages at the end of each chapter giving a game plan to attempt to put these practices into daily use.  This is a book I may return to in a different season of life, and my hope is that it will speak to me more at that time, then it is now. 

Overall, though, this is a very good book, informative, easy to read, and practical.

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

Know People!!!

In his newest book, The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills that Will Get you Everything You want, Dave Kerpen has written a very practical book, filled with a great deal of common sense wisdom which most people do not follow.

The book is broken out into 11 sections with about 4-5 short chapters in each section.  Chapters are only 3-5 pages.  They are easy to read and filled with plain language and illustrations.  At the end of each chapter is a section called FAST - First Action Steps to Take.  They are simple steps to remind the reader of what they need to do in order to put that chapter's lesson into action.

In the end there is an Appendix which includes a lengthy Enneagram, which the reader can score themselves.  After that is another section of inspirational quotes on a variety of topics which is a nice resource to have as well.

Overall, this an an excellent book, and a good one especially for all people who are interacting with others.

I received this book from Book from in exchange for an honest review!

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Thursday, June 02, 2016

Excellent College Prep Book

My first child is getting ready to head off to college.  So, when I saw this book, I knew I had to get it so we could both read it.  In College Rules, How to Study, Survive and Succeed in College, 4th Edition, by Sherrie Nist-Olejnik and Jodi Patrick Holschuh, I found so much information, I felt I was in a class and being overloaded with notes.  I like the fact that both authors are professors, and have a good handle on college life.

This is an excellent book to prep your soon to be college student.  Even though I have been to college, way too many years ago, this book if filled with tons of information.  Lots of basic information and stuff I never would have thought about.

They have not left anything untouched.  I like the sections on the syllabus, on technology, how to study for different types of exams, and so much more.  The book is written in an easy to read, straight forward manner.  There are some anecdotes about mistakes other college students have made, so that you won’t make the same mistake.  The authors end each chapter by listing the top ideas from that chapter.

This is an easy to read book, but it is over 300 pages, 314 to be exact, with 25 chapters.  So, it’s thicker than you might think, but it’s worth the read.  This would make for a great graduation present or an extra Christmas present for the student who is a Junior in High School.

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

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