Saturday, December 02, 2017

The Courage to Grow!

I appreciate devotionals which are real and relevant.  This devotional perfectly meets that requirement.  Annie Downs has written a powerful and beautiful devotional entitled, 100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self.  


The subtitle is the point of this devotional which covers 100 days.  These are short, easy to read devotions designed to help the reader find courage through God when life is a struggle.  The devotional feels personal and real.

This is an excellent devotion and one I would highly recommend, even as a Christmas gift.

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

Friday, December 01, 2017

Interactive Devotional!

Picturing Heaven by Randy Alcorn is a fun and interactive devotional for those who love to draw and color.  The devotionals are short and simple, but the coloring is intense and really will stretch the reader to use their imagination.  I was really impressed with the quality of the pages and the designs.

The interaction by the reader with the book should give them a greater appreciation and longing for heaven.  You can add a journal, writing down your thoughts and feelings as you were filling in the lines with various colors. 

There are 40 different devotionals and 40 different pages to color.  Some are more intricate and involved than others.  This is not a quick color inside the lines and you are done.  Instead, this will take time, time to review and time to consider how God is calling you to the next stage of your life.

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

Embracing God's Grace!

Too often in the Christian world, we live according to a ‘works righteousness’ motif.  We erroneously believe that what we do is more important than who we believe in.  Jerry Bridges is trying to break down that wall.  His book Transforming Grace is all about this. 

He uses a great deal of scripture as he leads the reader from chapter 1, dispelling the myth of performing to earn grace, to a discussion of who needs grace, ultimately to a final discussion of appropriating God’s grace and what it looks like.  This is a powerful book for readers.  Bridges emphasizes the fact that Jesus’ death on the cross was all we need.  Because of the work of Christ, we are forgiven and we do not earn forgiveness.  It cannot be bought, in fact, it was bought for us by Jesus.  So, it is a gift, which we must receive.

I believe it is easy to forget about God’s grace.  We loses sight of it and Bridges book is a great reminder that we desperately need to hold onto God’s grace in our lives.

I really appreciated the Discussion Guide in the back of the book.  This is not a quick easy guide.  Each chapter has about 10 pages for discussion, thus making this a book which can easily be used for a group discussion.

Overall, this is an excellent book which I would highly recommend.

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

Monday, October 30, 2017

Excellent Teen NKJV Bible

I found this new NKJV Study Bible for Kids to be a really great looking and useful Bible.  While it is paperback, the colors on the cover were inviting and exciting.  The Bible is filled with so many helps, that in some ways it can be distracting, but that's not really a criticism.

The Bible has short and quick introductions, biographies, timelines, articles and more.  What I like about the Bible is that most everything contained in the helps seems to have a sense of action to it.  I think this would be enticing to younger kids, pre-teens and teens.

There is also a dictionary and concordance in the back of the Bible.  As the cover suggests, there is a lot of color contained in this Bible, which again, helps it to become more inviting.  Anything we can do like this, without changing the Word of God, to help younger folks open the Bible is a win to me.

I would recommend this Bible.  It would make a great addition to Christmas!

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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Advent Devotional!

The Wonder of Advent Devotional: Experiencing the Love and Glory of the Christmas Season, by Chris Tiegreen is one of many books and devotionals he has written.  This is devotional takes the reader from November 24 to the end of December.

Each reading begins with a scripture on the top of the page, followed by a short devotion which focuses on the Christmas story, then he concludes each day with a reflection question.  Sometimes there are additional readings suggested and passages from hymns.

The readings are short and can be finished in a short period of time.  This book would be appropriate to give as a Thanksgiving gift so the person has the devotional in time for November 24, which is the next day!

The book features a nice hardcover which makes it feel much more sturdy.  Overall, I would recommend this devotional.

I received a copy of this devotional from Tyndale Press in exchange for an honest review.

Killing the Spiders!

In his book, Kill the Spider: Getting Rid of What’s Really Holding You Back, Carlos Whittaker takes us on a very important and significant journey as he becomes very vulnerable and open about the issues in his life and how he tackled them head on. 

He begins by sharing a story about a brown recluse spider being in his home, namely having his wife screaming about finding a spider in their bed.  This leads the reader to grasp the main point of this book is the fact that so many of us struggle to destroy the nasty cobweb when really it's the spider that needs to be killed.  Destroying the cobweb only leads to new and different cobwebs because we never took care of the real problem, the spider.

He shares his journey and how he was an overcomer by learning to destroy the spiders, which in turn led to no more cobwebs.  He helps us to see that we have to take part in the killing of the spiders, not just sit back and complain that God isn’t doing His part.

The book is engaging and easy to read.  There are 18 chapters, each about 10-12 pages in length.  This is a book which can be easily read, but it may lead you to uncover the spiders in your life as well.  And you won’t need an exterminator!! 

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

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.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Good News in 4 Words!

I was really intrigued when I saw the title to this book.  WOW! The Good News in Four Words.  I was not sure what to expect.  But I was very pleasantly surprised.  This is a wonderful book for children.  And in fact, I really love the four word description of the Good News . . . 

WOW! 

UH-OH!

YES!

AHH!

 I really liked the layout of the book.  The pictures were crisp and colorful, the writing was fresh as she told the story of the Bible using these four words to get her point across!

She quickly moved from creation to sin and concluded with the resurrection.

This is definitely a book that young children will want to read over and over again, as they listen and discover new things on each page.


I highly recommend this book!

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

Monday, June 26, 2017

Finding your Vision

I am very familiar with Craig Groeschel and his ministry at Lifechurch.tv and have benefitted from some of his writings and their style of doing ministry.  However, I had not read Chazown: Discover and Pursue God's Purpose for Your Life.  This is a newly revised edition for 2017, as the first edition came out in 2010.

Chazown is the Hebrew word for vision.  It's what leads and directs our lives.   Groeschel reminds the reader that when they are seeking to discover their Chazown, God has already given us 4 gifts which help keep us moving forward.  They are focus, endurance, peace, and a passion.

As you discover your spiritual gifts, core values and experiences, you begin to discover your personal vision.

When you are not sure what you are called to do in your life, this book may be of help to guide along on your journey.  This could be a next step which will give you some objective ideas about who you can be in God’s kingdom.

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


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Excellent for Discipleship!

I had heard of Peter Scazzero's Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, but for some reason never thought about reading it.  When I saw the book was available for review in an updated, revised version, I thought this was the time.  I really appreciate the opportunity to read this book.  It is an extremely easy to read and insightful book.  I think I looked at it as another self help book, however, I believe it is far more than that.

Scazzero tells the story about his life as a pastor, how he attempted to lead the church through his own power and energy, to which he found this was not working.  He gave little to no thought about his emotional life and how this was destroying his relationships.  Once he took a closer look at himself, his life changed.  

Early in the book, in the 2nd chapter, Scazzero lists the 10 symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality and uses that as a diagnostic tool. 

In many respects this is a book on discipleship.  The goal in discipleship is to help the person grow to become the person Christ has called them to be.  If we are not spiritual life is not emotionally healthy, then we will not grow as we should.  

In order to help the reader identify with his points of unhealthy spirituality, Scazzero looks at other historical and biblical figures to help the reader better see where their own shortcomings are and what they need to do to address this issue.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book.  I am considering using this as a classroom book for a study within the church.

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


Thursday, June 01, 2017

Excellent Kids Study Bible



I had the opportunity to review the NIV Kids' Visual Study Bible. The Bible is designed for children ages 8-12, and attempts to bring the Bible to life in four-color illustrated splendor.  This study Bible includes a spectacular full-color interior featuring over 700 illustrations, photos, infographics, and maps on every page that visually represent key Bible information. Each page also features important facts located near the relevant verse. Intriguing facts; colorful, engaging maps; photographs; and illustrations make this a Bible they'll want to explore.

Some of the key Features are ~ 

  • Over 700 four-color photographs, illustrations, infographics, and maps throughout
  • Full-color design
  • Book introductions, including important facts and an image to orient the reader
  • One-column format with side bar study notes for ease of reading
  • Presentation page
          • The complete text of the New International Version (NIV)                    translation of the Bible

Overall, I really liked the Bible.  It's really designed as a tween to young teen Bible.  Kids may give the impression it is for 6 year olds, but it's for older kids.  I really liked the pictures and images which were in the Bible.  They are not cheesy and were very well done.  This is not like most adult study Bibles with lots of notes on the bottom of each page.  There are generally 1 - 3 notes per page and they are in small boxes on the side.  

The Bible I received comes in hardcover and is very nice!  My only complaint is that the font seemed a little too small for my eyes.  If the font was a little bigger, I would give this a perfect rating.  That is my only criticism.  Otherwise, this is an excellent, excellent Bible for young Bible readers!

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


Friday, May 19, 2017

Fun I Spy Book

In the Bible Sleuth: New Testament, you will find 14, 2 page Bible scenes taken from the “Where’s Waldo” genre.  This is a fun and creative book.  It is not a Bible, although there is a short paragraph given a description regarding each Bible scene which is depicted.  The book is illustrated by Jose Perez Montero.

You have to find the characters who are shown on the side, as well as Mike, the main character.  There are 8 objects to find on every section.  But it is also fun to look at the other people and characters on the pages.

Some images were harder to find than others, but it is a fun book for young and older children, and even some adults.  This may be a fun gift to a child, or to a child who is sick and needs to spend time in resting.  This is a hard back book, so it is not flimsy.  It may be hard to find the images in the car if it is a bumpy ride.

There is also a Bible sleuth: Old Testament.  I would assume it is very similar to this one.

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

Excellent Beginner's Bible

Since my children are grown, I wanted to see what I could recommend for parents with younger children, and The Beginner's Bible for Little Ones is a great addition.

This Bible is extremely sturdy and rugged and would be great for a child who is learning how to hold a book without destroying it.  There are a number of very basic Bible stories in this Bible.  What I really enjoyed were the pictures which allows the parent to fill in the blanks as the child asks questions or seems interested.  The parent can play out the story as much or as little as they wish.

There are many of the favorite Old Testament and New Testament stories in this Bible.  It would be a fun Bible to get new parents who often are not thinking about what Bible to read to their children.

It would be excellent for children ranging from infant to maybe 4 years old.

I would highly recommend this Bible.

This book was provided at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Beautiful Women's Bible

The NKJV Woman’s Study Bible: Receiving God’s Truth for Balance, Hope, and Transformation is not only using an excellent translation, but has a well put together Bible.  This Bible includes many features which a Bible needs.  And as the cover and title indicate it is for women.  

The cover is a great soft fabric covered material which still gives the feel of it being a hardcover Bible.  The colors are vibrant.  

Once you open the Bible there are a number of excellent inclusions ~ 

1.  The Bible is very readable.  That is key.  The font size is 11, which is bigger than most Bibles and actually seemed bigger than that.  

2.  I really appreciated the special pages in the beginning of the Bible, which included a page for the Spiritual women in your life.  I have never seen that before, and that it was a great idea.

3.  There are a number of biographies of women in the Bible.  Sometimes they get overlooked, and it was great to be able to read and gain more knowledge about each women.

4.  There are study notes, which helps the reader.  

5.  There are comments about theological issues, archaeology and more.

6.  There is a great index and concordance in the back of the Bible.

Overall, this is an excellent choice of Bibles.  I would highly recommend it.

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

Excellent for Leaders!

I was privileged to receive an advance copy of The Power of Positive Leadership, by Jon Gordon.  His premise is so true, positive leaders and positive cultures become the leaders and catalysts for positive change in homes, schools, companies and chuches (religious institutions).

I have used Jon's other books to teach leadership and will definitely use this book as well.  The Power of Positive Leadership is an excellent book which offers a number of tools which can be used by aspiring and current leaders.  The theme of being positive resonates deeply within me as I attempt to make sure I and the other leaders cast positive visions and promote a positive culture.



This book will go a long way in making that occur.
I highly recommend reading Jon's newest book.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Power-filled Words

Stu Garrard's book, Words from the Hill: an invitation to the unexpected, is a very powerful, easy to read, down to earth book about the Beatitudes Jesus spoke in Matthew 5-7.  Garrard shares story after story to bring home the points Jesus was making in the Beatitudes.

Jesus was giving us life lessons . . . ways to live our lives in a manner which brings glory to God and demonstrates love for others.  Garrard seeks to do the same for us.

In each of the 8 chapters, he tells stories about the different beatitudes and ways they have been realized in the lives of so many people.

Garrard is a former guitarist in the groups Delirious?, one of my favorite Christian rock bands.  He brings a unique perspective to this book.

It is well worth reading.  It can be used as a devotional book to read through the Beatitudes, then to read a chapter of this book.  The chapters are about 20-30 pages longs, but the reading is quick and moving.

It's a reminder to each person to live our lives in a manner which seeks to experience the power and presence of Christ.  It's a reminder we are all broken, some more than others, and we need to drink in from the well of the Beatitudes and the well which God offers us.

While it's an easy and quick read, it's also a profound read, which has the opportunity to change your heart!!

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

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Chiefs of Staff!

I was excited to receive the book, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, by Chris Whipple.  This book gives a great deal of information about how each president used, didn't use, got along with, etc. along with the power at the disposal of a very misunderstood position, the Chief of Staff. 

I did not realize the White House Chief of Staff is the highest-ranking White House employee.  I never really paid that much attention to that role, other than hearing the names of previous chiefs of staff.  Most only last 2-2.5 years.

The book reviews a number of Chiefs of Staff, which was a position made by President Eisenhower.  It starts with the Nixon administration and continues through the Obama administration.  The book is extremely fast paced and at times it is easy to get lost in all of the names and characters, yet, I do not think I would have read a book which detailed an entire administration. 


It seems that the Chief of Staff was instrumental in helping the president succeed or fail during their term.  That's how important this role is.  The author, Chris Whipple, attempts to make that point that many presidencies were less successful because they were unorganized and the role of chief organizer often fell to the chief of staff.  They are the ones who manage the schedule of the president and ultimately act like a "GATEKEEPER" for them.

if you enjoy reading history of the United States in the past 50 years with a snapshot of the Presidencies, this would be a great book to read.  I felt he was not biased in his assessments either.



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



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Great Reminders to ... ZIP IT!

I was not familiar with this author, Karen Ehman, nor her prior book, called Keep It Shut!  Her new book, aptly named ZIP IT! The KEEP IT SHUT 40 Day Challenge is definitely a winner.

This is a short devotional broken into 40 - 4 page readings.  It was great for Lent, but works for any time of year in which you want yourself to be challenged about the way you listen and talk to others.

Each chapter includes scripture, lessons, applications and a prayer.  It is an easy to read, easy to follow devotional which, while being easy to read, is not always as easy to follow the application and wisdom in the book.

There is humor and stories which helps make the book easy to read, yet poignant.  If you are looking for an easy to follow devotional, this would be high on my list to get.  I'll have to check out her other book, Keep it Shut!

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


Friday, March 24, 2017

Fascinating Book!

The Moth Presents - All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown was a fascinating book to read.  This book is a compilation of personal stories which will cause you to think, laugh, cry, be perplexed, along with a wide range of other emotions.

I had not heard of The Moth before now, but am intrigued.  This book is broken into 7 Sections, each with a different focus.  They are as follows ~
  • The Eternal Music of the Spheres
  • Things I've Seen
  • Keeping the Lid On
  • Grace Rushes In
  • Like a Man Does
  • To Face the Fear
  • By Every Claim of Love

There are 45 short stories written by 45 different authors.  These are stories which recount some portion of their life which was a life changing or led to a life changing experience.  The authors share stories about times when they had to risk, have courage, forgive, and more.  There is a great deal of power in many of these stories.

I would recommend this book.  Most chapters are only 6-8 pages in length and are easy reads, yet profound.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A MUST READ on PRAYER!

In his book, Talking With God: What To Say When You Don't Know How To Pray, by Adam Weber, is a must read.  This is not your typical book of how to's or what prayer is, yet it is exactly that!  This is what makes this book so good.

It's an easy read, it's written in a style which is personal and relational, there are tons of spaces between paragraphs, which helps the book to flow even better.

Weber breaks the book down into 4 sections ~
  1. The God we Talk With
  2. The Way We Pray
  3. How To Pray When . . . 
  4. Only The Beginning
Weber shares personal stories, stories from the past, and helps the reader to understand what he is proposing prayer is.  As he says in the beginning, prayer is . . . Talking With God.  Hence, the title of the book.  He goes on to say, as he looks at his family, prayer is silly, it's random, it can have a sense of comedy and unsteadiness, yet it is honest, it can be short, it's simple.

There are many nuggets in this book which can be underlined to help the reader move forward in their prayer life.

I would highly recommend this book!

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

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The Courage to Grow!

I appreciate devotionals which are real and relevant.  This devotional perfectly meets that requirement.  Annie Downs has written a powerf...