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.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Excellent 101 Collection

I have never read a John Maxwell book on leadership I didn't like.  This book is no different.  The Complete 101 Collection: What Every Leader Needs to Know, is a compilation of Maxwell's short books from the 101 series.  This book weighs in at just over 600 pages, so it may be intimidating, but the chapters are short and quick reads.

Each page is filled with great, relevant and useful advice.  It's not rocket science, but Maxwell has found a niche in writing about leadership in such a way that it makes sense and seems easier than it really is.  It's mostly common sense.  But, that can be a struggle sometimes!

 There are 8 sections to the book.  Each covers a different phase of leadership, yet are all inter-related . . . 

  1. Attitude
  2. Self Improvement
  3. Leadership 
  4. Relationships
  5. Success
  6. Teamwork
  7. Equipping
  8. Mentoring

John's writing style makes the books easy to read and follow, as he uses stories, life examples and great practical knowledge to help make the books more useful and understandable.  John does not dwell on his Christian faith, which I would have liked to see more.

Overall, this is an excellent book for anyone in leadership or aspiring to positions of leadership.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and BookLook Bloggers.

How to Tie a Tie

I am not one for overbearing suits.  I believe a stylish suit should stand on its own.  But add a stylish tie to that suit and you are now making a statement.  The problem is, too many men have no clue how to tie a good tie.  Thus enters the book, How to TIE A TIE, by Ryan Tristan Jin.  

Early on I learned how to tie a half Windsor and Full Windsor tie, but that was as far as it went.  I know there are many other ways to tie a tie, but have never taken the time to learn.  Now, I can learn new ways to tie a tie.  

This book was good in that Jin started out by showing the different styles of ties, along with a color wheel to help men learn which colors work together and what does not.  

He then discusses and show diagrams about tying classic knots, then moves into a discussion, with diagrams on how to tie knots which are a little bolder.  One struggle I had was following the diagrams on some of the bolder ties.  That could be where a youtube supplement to this book comes out.

He concludes by talking about style and shirt styles, which was interesting, jackets, cuff links and more.  He also talks about how to tie a bow tie, and pocket squares.

Overall, this was the type of book I would give to a graduating college student to help them when they move into the working world.  The book cover also has a nice texture to it.

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

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Inspiring Book!

I heard of Judah Smith's book Jesus Is ___________ but had not read it, and thought this would be an interesting book to read.  So I was excited to receive this book. 

Judah is an engaging author, telling stories, using humor and tugging at your heart.  This book is broken into 4 sections . . .

Life is . . . to be loved and to love
Life is . . . to trust God in every moment,
Life is . . . to be at peace with God and yourself, and
Life is . . . to enjoy God.

Smith wrote about God's amazing love for us and how illogical it is.  Yet that is the great news.  Smith does a great job showing the reader God is passionately in love with us.  That's the illogical part, but it's the wonderful and powerful point of redemption.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book.  It would make a good book study.

Great Ideas for Personal Evangelism!

Amy Lively attempts to take the reader across the threshold and into the scary land of evangelism.  In her book, How to Love your Neighbor Without Being Weird, Lively shares stories and techniques about how to talk to your neighbor about Christ . . . without being weird.

The book is very practical and filled with humor and very real adventures which helps the reader better identify with the author.  She gives ideas and clues about what to say and has a section at the end of each chapter called “Next Steps” in which she helps you determine what we should do next. 

One great thought she had was to simply invite people to your home instead of inviting them to church where it is more threatening.  She helps the reader understand you don’t need a model super clean home.  Instead you need to practice the gift of hospitality.  Help that person feel welcome in your home and you will be surprised at what happens.

If you are looking for ways to reach your neighbors, then I believe this book has some great ideas in a nonthreatening forum. 

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

Excellent! Say No More!

I really enjoy photography but seem to have little to no time to become a better photographer.  When I saw this book, it really piqued my interest.  This book, Capture the Moment, by Sandra Wilkerson, is filled with extraordinary pictures. 

What I really appreciated was the fact that this book was not filled with diagrams and charts about aperture settings, f stops, etc.  The focus was on pictures and settings and how to tell a story through pictures.  This helped the book to be a 5 star book. 

There are 6 chapters which cover the following ~

Natural Light
Fine Art
Black & White
Low Light

This book is useable for the novice like me, or for the advanced photographer who is looking to gain extra inspiration and ideas for new types and styles of pictures.  There are basic tips and ideas for all levels of photographers.  As each chapter progressed, Wilkerson moved into more advanced thoughts and techniques.

Don’t get me wrong, while each picture includes the information about the picture (Shutter speed, f-stop, camera, lens, etc.) that was not the focus of the book.  Sometimes all of those terms can be daunting.  While necessary to know them and understand them as you grow as a photographer, it can still be intimidating. 

Each chapter ends with “Creativity Exercises” to help you progress as a photographer.  Overall, this is an excellent book and I highly recommend it!

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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His Kingdom or Our Kingdom?

I have always appreciated the writing of Reggie McNeal.  He seeks to help churches grow to become who God has called them to become.  In his book, Kingdom Come: Why We Must Give up Our Obsession with Fixing the Church - and What We Should Do Instead, Reggie believes church’s are asking the wrong question.

Most churches are asking how they can grow and become the biggest and newest mega church or multi-site church.  But McNeal states the correct question to ask is “how can our church join God in His mission to grow His kingdom?” 

I believe that is a crucial question and a huge difference in the way we think about church. 

McNeal explained the church is part of God’s plan to grow the kingdom, but we cannot grow the Kingdom without following God’s plan.  The modern church attempts to do ministry in a box, and to that degree we try to put His kingdom, with all of its complexities and uniqueness into our small isolated church’s.

This is an interesting book, with an excellent premise.  He also includes a Discussion Guide in the back of the book to help you consider some of the key thoughts from each chapter.  This is an excellent book for those in leadership to read and discuss.

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

Friday, May 01, 2015

Some Insights of Jesus in the Old Testament

In the book, Transcending Mysteries: Who is God and What Does He Want From Us? Andrew Greer and Ginny Owens have written a book in which they attempt to find Jesus’ message from the Old Testament.

In this book they offer more of a dialogue to answer the questions about Jesus in the Old Testament.  It is written more from a personal reflective position as opposed to a deeper theological position.  In that sense it was interesting to see their take on who Christ is in the Old Testament. 

I appreciated their insights, as some made me think more about my view of Jesus and where I see Him as well in the Old Testament.  Andrew Greer and Ginny Owens are Christian musicians.  As such, there were times when they used music to help describe their view of Jesus in the Old Testament.  I found that helpful to better learn where they saw Jesus, and how music fit in with the larger story.

What intrigued me about the book was what was written on the back cover.  It said, Greer and Owens will “take readers on a journey to help Christ-followers reconcile a New Testament Redeemer with an Old Testament Judge.”  I was looking forward to a deeper discussion on that issue, but was left wanting more and wanting a deeper theological discussion.

Overall, the book is a nice collection of reflections and dialogue between the two Christian artists. 

I received a complimentary review copy of this book through the BookLook Bloggers (http://booklookbloggers.com/) program.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Powerful and Impactful

In their book, Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When it Matters Most, by Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry was an outstanding book.  So many people believe that they can just fend off the pressures which are upon them in a simple way, but that is not quite so true.  Techniques and practice needs to occur.  We believe people perform better under pressure, but that is not true either. 

The authors tell many stories which the reader can relate to, which helps us better understand how our body reacts to pressure.  We don’t like it, and we especially don’t like pressure packed surprises. 

When we experience pressure, especially unexpectedly, we need to be prepared to respond.  With this in mind, the authors developed a system to help the person who is experiencing pressure.  They discuss these strategies in the book, calling it the COTE of Armor.  The C.O.T.E. stands for (Confidence; Optimism; Tenacity and Enthusiasm).  The authors provide practical tools to help people perform better under pressure.  The rest is up to us, to practice and use these tools.

The more we practice these techniques, the more we will find they benefit us and help us thrive under pressure.  This will help us in all walks of life. 

Many books like this are all theory.  This book was not.  It is not a super fast read, but the stories and illustrations are great, as are the many practical tips and techniques which we can begin using. 

We all deal with pressure to one degree or another.  I highly recommend this book. 

I received this book free of charge from www.bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Engaging Journey to Faith

Adventures in Saying YES: A Journey from Fear to Faith, was an excellent book.  Carl Medearis packed up his wife and children and left for the Middle East.  They had hopes of changing the world for Christ.  This is a story about overcoming fear and relying on faith to defeat the demons of fear which Medearis and his family experienced on their wild journey.

This is a very easy to read book, filled with adventures and amazing faith, courage and some craziness from Medearis and his wife.  Carl shared a number of very personal stories, often times wondering why he was doing what he was doing, yet, he was always able to experience God’s presence, even when Muslims are questioning him with AK-47's in hand.  He even called out an Imam during one encounter. 

Medearis always brings the reader back to Jesus as the reason for what he was doing.  He shared some Bible passages and more than anything shared his story about overcoming fear in the name of faith in Christ.

I received this book from Bethany House Blogger Review Program for this honest review.


I really enjoyed reading this book, A. D. The Bible Continues: The Revolution That Changed the World.  Dr. David Jeremiah has written a book which if filled with a great deal of history which helps fill in the gaps about the beginning of the early church.  The first two chapters of the book give details regarding the death and resurrection of Christ.  Jeremiah goes into great detail to paint a vivid picture of what occurred. 

Beginning in chapter 3, Jeremiah tackles the beginnings of the church.  The book is based on the television series of the same name. 

Jeremiah provides the reader with additional facts and information which help to understand the political, cultural and religious situation of what was occurring when the church began.  He provides passages from the Bible to help the reader better understand the Christian perspective as well.

This is an easy to read book and very relevant to our world today, as Jeremiah uses examples we can relate to.  This is a very interesting book, which will help the reader understand the early movement of the church.  Of course, there is no substitute for reading the Bible.

I highly recommend A. D. The Bible Continues: The Revolution That Changed the World!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Thought Provoking!!

As a pastor who is trying to meet the needs of all people, yet understand why we are the way we are, this book was very helpful to me.  In Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Rachel Evans has written a book which describes her journey from the church to leaving the church and now back again.  She has changed and the church has changed. 

It's not always for the best.  She still struggles with many issues mainline, conservatives take as fact, but I appreciated the transparency of her struggles.  The first part of the book was very helpful as she wrote about her feelings of disillusionment and questioning the church.  Even though I didn't grow up in the church, I could identify with much of what she was writing. 

As she writes, she discusses the seven sacraments which the Catholic and Orthodox churches follow.   The chapters are short and easy to read.  While I do not agree with some of her theology, I found the book valuable to see where some people in the millenial group are thinking about church and structure.

She concluded that the church is still a place where you can find the good in people, yet we recognize we are all flawed.  She still finds it a place of peace for her.  

I received this book from Thomas Nelson publishers in exchange for an honest and impartial review.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Unique and Very Good!

To You; Love, God: A Year of Daily Guidance and Inspiration Straight from the Source, by Will Bowen, is a different type of devotional.  It is a 365 day devotional which is like many, however, the main difference is that Bowen has taken the liberty, not saying that’s bad, of writing a love letter from God to us.  So, what if we woke up to a daily love letter from God which encourages us through the difficulties of life.  That’s the premise of this book.

The book is an easy to read book.  It is written in a very poetic manner which should helps bring hope and encouragement to the reader.  The book is written in 12 themes.  Each month has a different theme.   The twelve themes are:

January - Awaken,
February - Love,
March - Release,
April - Believe,
May - Do,
June - Transform,
July - Intend,
August - Transcend,
September - Cultivate,
October - Flow,
November - Appreciate, and
December - Flourish.

The main criticisms are the fact that the subtitle suggests the inspiration is straight from the source.  The source must be God.  I can see how the book inspired the author to write this.  Yes, maybe that’s a little nit-picky, but it bothered me.  The other comment is that the devotion does not include scripture.  I think it’s a great devotion, with great thought, but to add scripture to help the reader see where the encouragement is found in the Bible would have been great.

Nonetheless, this is an excellent devotional.

I received a copy from Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Thought Provoking & Entertaining!

I really was not sure what to expect in this book, other than the fact that it intrigued me.  Jared Brock has written a book which has some great deep truths, and is silly and comical at the same time.  In his book, A Year of Living Prayerfully: How A Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life, Brock and his wife Michelle set out on a one year adventure of learning more about prayer in order to revitalize their prayer lives. 

This is not a how to book, rather it is an intimate portrait of two people who have set out on a very intentional journey in order to find God, to develop a closer and more impactful prayer life with God.  They set about this journey by traveling the world and looking at various religions and traditions to learn about prayer. 

This is an easy to read book, which will surprise you with some deep truths about life and prayer.  Jared and Michelle share their journey and the many learnings and surprises along the journey.  Some were silly and irreverant, such as the clothes the wore to meet the Pope, their time at a Jewish Seder meal, and more. 

Jared never lost sight of his quest, repeatedly asking the question, “What is prayer?”  I would recommend this book to all who want to draw closer to God through reading a book which is both entertaining and thought provoking.

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 13, 2015

More than I Expected

I have never really been into professional wrestling.  But when I saw this book was available for review, I thought why not.  This should be fun and entertaining.  But the book, Wrestling for My Life: The Legend, The Reality and the Faith of a WWE Superstar, by Shawn Michaels is not what I expected. 

It was better than expected.  I thought I would learn more about the wrestling movement, but it was more about Shawn's life after 2002.  The book is a quick and easy read.  If there was a criticism about the book it would be that I wanted to read more.

The book focuses on Shawn's life since he became a Christian.  He wrote about his struggles and at times compromising his faith for the sake of the WWE.  I like the fact that Shawn didn't talk about how his life is now perfect and he is perfect, he continued to remind the reader that he is still a work in progress. 

Of course there are lots of stories about wrestling, Vince McMahon, the Undertaker, Triple H, Bret Hart and more.  So, if you are into wrestling and want to learn more about the life change of Shawn Michaels this would be an excellent book to read.

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

Friday, March 06, 2015

Enjoy the Pleasure of His Company

The Pleasure of His Company: A Journey To Intimate Friendship with God by Dutch Sheets was an excellent book.  It’s really more of a devotional book, broken into 30 easy to read chapters.  Sheets writing style is engaging and relaxed, yet he helps the reader to feel that this is a personal book.

The premise of the book comes in the title and subtitle.  Sheets believes and I agree, God wants to have a personal relationship with us.  It’s not a long distance relationship but one in which we find intimacy with God, as He does with us.  We also take pleasure in knowing and relating to and with God. 

While this is an easy to read book, you should take your time and gain an understanding of how God wants to relate with you and how you can experience and know God, as well.  Hopefully this will help the reader to move deeper in their relationship with God.

I highly encourage this book to be read.

I received a Review Copy free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own.

Excellent Short Devotional

I am sometimes skeptical of different devotionals because I am often let down.  However, I was not let down after reviewing the devotional by Kerry and Chris Shook, Be the Message: A 30 Day Adventure in Changing the World Around You.  I really appreciated this devotional for its directness. 

Each chapter is about 4 pages, filled with scripture, devotional writings and some thought provoking questions and statements which will help us move in the direction God wants us to move so that we can Be the Message to the world.

If you are looking for a short devotional for a 30 day spiritual adventure, or to use this as a 30 week devotion, focusing on each chapter for one week, then I would highly recommend this devotional.  I have not read the book which goes along with this, so I don’t know if that would be a good addition.

I received this book from www.bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest and impartial review.

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Good, But Not Great!

I was excited to receive the new NIV Proclamation Bible.  While I am not a proponent of the new and revised NIV, I still wanted to review this Bible.  Especially because Timothy Keller, whom I respect was quoted on the cover stating, “There are many Study Bibles, but none better.” 

I must say this is not a Study Bible.  It’s not close.  That was disappointing.  I have Study Bibles and the notes are helpful.  However, this Bible reminds me of one of my first Bibles, the Thompson Chain Reference Bible.  There are cross-references and two columns per page, which I really like!  There is a one page introduction for each book of the Bible, yet, there are no notes telling me historical information, such as the date, setting, etc.

There is a nice concordance in the back, as well as about 70 pages of introductory writings in the beginning of the Bible, which most people do not read.  There was nothing overly spectacular or new which would cause me to say ‘I must have this Bible.’

I did like the fact that when I opened the Bible to Genesis 1, the Bible layed flat.  That is outstanding!  I liked the fact I didn’t need to hold the Bible open until I break it in.  There are also 2 ribbons to help mark your place while reading the Bible.  The Bible is in a nice looking blue hardcover which would look very nice on a table or bookshelf. 

I hesitate in ripping into a Bible.  It’s the Word of God, so with that in mind, if you are looking for a basic Bible in a nice hardcover book, without lots of notes, yet with thicker pages, then this is a very nice Bible to purchase.

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

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Great Thriller!

This book by Van R. Mayhall, Jr. Captivated me as soon as I opened the book. It’s a fictional book which uses biblical stories and facts to build a compelling Judas the Apostle has been the subject of great debate within the church. Mayhall has written an excellent and fun filled thriller, with twists and turns which are unexpected.

The story focuses on Chloe LeJune who returns to Louisiana to bury her father. They had been estranged for many years, but in returning home she discovers her father was murdered and the focus is an ancient jar which some strange writings on it. She goes about discovering what was written on the jar, along with her son JE and officials from the Vatican.

This book kept me reading to the very end. I would highly recommend this book.

I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, through NetGalley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Interesting and Fun Book

I was really excited to receive the book, This is What you Just put in Your Mouth, by Patrick Di Justo.  It’s a fun book, but the title can be a little misleading, but not a downer.  This book is not just about what you put in your mouth, but it’s about many products we purchase. 

I enjoyed some of the back stories about his research and discussions with experts about what went into various products.  He discusses products ranging from cool whip, dog food, doritos, hot pockets, A-1 Sauce to diaper rash cream to bug spray to febreeze, play doh, hair coloring and more.

It was fun to read about some of the hidden products in items I purchase.  He uses the actual names of ingredients used so science folks will appreciate that.  If you read through the book, you will find products like Plaster of Paris, Turpentine and other products are in the foods we eat!  Sounds great!

Anyways, it’s a fun book which will be fun for all ages to read.

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

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Very Good, But a Reprint

I am a fan of John Maxwell.  I think he has so much to say which is practical as it pertains to leadership.  However, I was somewhat disappointed in this book, The Leadership Handbook: 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs.  It is mostly a reprint of a leadership book which was previously published, called Leadership Gold

That being said, this book was a very good reminder of what I need to be doing as a leader.  There is not much new that is written in this book, however, Maxwell’s gift is to take something which can be difficult and he makes it understandable and practical.  That is a gift which I appreciated in this book.  The book covers 26 different aspects of leadership.  The chapter titles are catchy and there is a Mentoring Moment at the end of each chapter. 

Overall, I would recommend this book to those who have never read leadership books from John Maxwell.  Then, I would move on to other a little weightier classics by him.

 I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers http://booklookbloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Fun Kids Devotional

God Gave Us the Bible: 45 Favorite Stories for Little Ones is a very well done, hardcover introductory Bible for parents to read with thei...