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!

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

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Short Devotional

In his short book, The 100 Most Encouraging Bible Verses, Troy Schmidt has written a book which is designed to give the readers a shot of hope and encouragement along their journey.

The book contains as the title states, 100 verses, which according to Schmidt are the most encouraging passages in the Bible.  Each verse is listed at the top of the page and a one page short devotion follows after that.  

The book works as a quick devotional or when you need a dose or extra dose of encouragement, it's a quick and easy read.





Schmidt uses a variety of translations, which I found a bit unsettling, since I like to stick with one version, however, that does not take away from the theme or message of the devotional.



It's always interesting to read someone else's top 100 encouraging verses, because there are always verses which are left out which I thought should be included.  Overall, this is an easy to read and quick read devotional.  It seems patterned to be somewhat similar to the Our Daily Bread devotional.


In the end, this is a good book to read on those rainy days.

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

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fun Children's Book

When God Made You, by Matthew Paul Turner, illustrated by David Catrow, was a fun and interesting children's book to read.  The book is filled with great imagination and lots of rhyming throughout the book.  The book has a great statement to make which cannot be impressed enough from the start - - God created you, each person, with a very specific purpose in mind.  The message of our uniqueness is woven throughout the book.

The book is possibly a little long for a child, or to be read for a child, but the message is excellent.  The illustrations are powerful and bold, which add to the story.

This book is filled with encouragement and hope.  It will be one a child will want read to them over and over.  What better message to hear, than you were specifically chosen by God to be uniquely you.

I recommend this book.

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

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Learning about the Flood (Children's Book)

A Patch on the Peak of Ararat, by Gary Bower is part of the Children's Books in the A Faith that God Built Series.  It is wonderfully illustrated by Barbara Chottiner.  I found the book entertaining as one to read to younger children.  There are rhymes on every page which makes it a little more fun.

As in any children's book, there will be ad-libbing to fill in the blanks in the story.  At times it seemed that some of the words were a little advanced for younger children, and some explanation may need to occur, but overall, this is a fun book, which any child will enjoy, especially looking at the great pictures and gaining a small understanding of the story of the flood. 

I didn't expect this to be a complete theology or explanation of the flood, simply a story that opens the eyes of a child to what happened in one story in the Bible. 

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

Living the Great Life

Jason Mitchell’s book, No Easy Jesus: How the Toughest Choices Lead to the Greatest Life, was a very easy to read and very good book.  He begins by asking some very simple rhetorical questions.  The same questions apply to you and I.  Do we believe in eating right and exercising?  Most of us would say yes.  The same holds true for the question - - about our belief in Jesus.  We know faith is more than simply believing with head knowledge.  We are called to follow Jesus.

Mitchell has broken the book down into 10 chapters - which are calls in our lives to let go of the “good life” and follow Jesus, so we can experience the “great life.”  At times this book hit home because we have all bought into the idea of living the comfortable life.  But Mitchell wants us to move beyond the comfortable . . . and those become the very difficult life choices which create life change.  Living the easy life, the so-called satisfied life is not necessarily the best life.  In fact, it usually is not the best life.

Jesus has promised us we can live the abundant life, but we choose the life of less than, and we become depressed and disappointed life has not turned out better for us.  He uses personal examples and stories to help the reader better identify with him.  He uses additional illustrations and stories to help make his points.

Overall, this is an easy to read book which may help someone move off their comfortable chair, and become invested in life.

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

Experiencing the Spirit

What do we do when we want and hope to experience the power of the Holy Spirit, yet, find ourselves and churches void of the Spirit of God?  That’s part of the purpose of this book by Sam Storms, Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in your Life.  I was taken back by the book because I was expecting it to be about all of the Spiritual Gifts, not a focus on the charismatic gifts alone.

Yet, I was not disappointed in the book.  Storms admits the book is geared to those who are theologically sophisticated, yet are yearning and hungry to experience the power of the Holy Spirit.  The book focuses on healing and prophecy more than most other charismatic gifts.  There is a theological and philosophical side to the book, yet, there is practical help for the reader. 

Many people want to experience the power of the Spirit more for their glory, than the glory of Christ, and Storms touches on that in the book, as he explains, sometimes God tells us to be grateful for the gifts you do have, and stop asking for what you do not have.  It is implicit throughout the book that Storms believes it is still possible to receive these spiritual gifts.

He explains the greatest way to experience these gifts is through prayer and fasting, yet again, the reminder if you are not receiving what you have prayed and fasted for, then God has given you an answer and humbly be thankful for the gifts you have received.

Overall, this is a very good book for those who are interested in learning more about the charismatic spiritual gifts.

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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Angels are Real!

I really appreciated Scot McKnight's book, The Hum of Angels: Listening for the Messengers of God Around us.  This is a grat resource book, which will be used often by me.  There is such a fascination with angels, and most people do not know if angels are real or not, and McKnight answers this question on biblical grounds, saying, "Yes, they are real!"

The book is in four parts, with 23 chapters in the book, each averaging about 8 pages each.  So, it's an easy to read book, which I believe can be used as a devotion as well. 

The 4 parts are as follows ~
1.  In Defense of Angels
2.  God's Loving Presence In Angels
3.  God's Loving Advocacy From Angels, and
4.  God's Loving Transformation Through Angels

My greatest appreciation is that McKnight moves through scripture to prove the reality of angels.  At one point he explained if we don't believe in angels, they how can we believe in the Bible, since the Bible declares angels are real.


He used a great deal of scripture which was very helpful and helped his argument.  Overall, this was an easy to read and excellent book.

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

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Power Through Weakness!

In their new book, The Way of the Dragon or The Way of the Lamb, Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel have written an excellent and timely book.  The purpose of this book is a call to the church to return to the type and methodology of acquiring power. 

Jesus' way of power is the counter-intuitive way.  By becoming weak, becoming human, He gained power.  It's a call to Christians to turn to God's style of power, not the power of the world. 

The authors question power and authority as they see it in our world, especially in the celebrity pastor culture.  In order to address their questions and concerns, they turned to many leading Christian authors . . . asking about power.

They sought wisdom from the likes of J.I. Packer, Dallas Willard, Marva Dawn, John Perkins, Jean Vanier, James Houston and Eugene Peterson.  They seek to dispel the quick fixes too many people seek in order to acquire power.

They speak about their own struggles, those of colleagues and are refreshing in their approach, without being preachy.  It always comes back as a reminder that we must follow the ways of Jesus, not the ways of the world. 

This was a very informative and at times difficult book to read, but worth the read!

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

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hope Reclaimed!

I have been skeptical for awhile about faith issues in the White House and thought this would be an excellent book to help me.  In his book, Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House about the Future of Faith in America, Michael Wear has written an excellent book which is very helpful to all people who want to better understand the Obama Administration as it pertains to religion.

Wear has written what I believe to be an unbiased, objective book, for someone who was close to the Obama administration.  He includes stories, humor, and anecdotes.  This book is part memoir / biography and it is also a call to action for Christians.  Wear served President Obama in faith based outreach in the White House and in his Presidential campaign.  Wear describes himself as a Conservative Christian Democrat.  Something I don't think we hear of very often.

Wear sees the convergence of politics and religion and embraces it.  He actually is optimistic about the future.  He is not a black and white thinker, instead he calls for the people, especially Christians to embrace and both / and partnership between the church and government.  It is a different way to look at the church and politics, but one which has merit. 

This was a well written book and helpful to read as well.

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


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Excellent Family Devotional

The Kingdom Family Devotional: 52 Weeks of Growing Together is a wonderful devotional which is designed for families.  Tony and Jonathon Evans have written a devotional which covers 5 days per week, for 52 weeks.  They cover a multitude of themes and topics.  As the topic is discussed over a 5 day period.  I like the fact that there is prep work the parent / guardian needs to do.  There are some things to do in the family which help unite the family, including fun Fridays.

The hope / purpose of the book is to help families be and stay together through the use of this devotional.  This doesn't solve family problems, but helps bring families together for a time of prayer, Bible reading, reflection and hopefully fun.

The book is well presented for a devotional, with a nice hard cover.  This would make a nice gift to a family.

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

A Lenten Journey

Devotions for Easter is a wonderful devotional book designed for women for the Lenten season.  The book is comprised of 40 short devotionals with great pictures (photographs) throughout the book.

The goal of the book is to help prepare the heart and mind of the reader to celebrate the risen Savior.  The reader is encouraged to take the time to stop and discover the ways Jesus is showing His love for you.  In remembering His Easter story—the greatest story ever told—your own will become that much sweeter.

In forty days of warm, inviting readings, prayers, scriptures, and beautiful images the reader will draw closer to God, through Christ’s journey toward the cross and the miracle of His resurrection. 

This was a very nice devotional, easy to read, but insightful!  I recommend this devotional.

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


A Very Powerful Book!

Sometimes war books are difficult for me to get into, but TOUGH AS THEY COME was not one of these books.  This was a hard to put down book.  It chronicles the life of Travis Mills.  Travis is only 1 of 5 wounded veterans who is a surviving quadruple amputee among all of the veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  He was injured in an IED explosion.  His unit was assigned the task of clearing a field and his unit missed one.

Mills has endured many surgeries and remains active and passionate about life.  He is a motivational speaker who drives own car, participates in sports such as running, cycling and skiing; he is also an active promoter of programs to rehabilitate others.  He also started the Travis Mills Foundation which benefits and assists wounded and injured veterans.

His story seems surreal.  His attitude is what stands out.  He speaks about the choices he makes, the choice to be angry or happy, the choice to live life or die.  He speaks about living and using humor as a coping mechanism.

The first 2/3 of the book chronicles his life before and during the war, while the final 1/3 of the book looks at his life since his injuries occurred.  Overall, this is a moving and powerful book about one man’s attitude in the face of some of the worst adversity one can imagine.

I would highly recommend this book.

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

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