Thursday, April 19, 2018

Vines Expository Bible

I was excited to receive The Vines Expository Bible.  This Bible is the NKJV.  It is in a very nice hardcover with a nice dust jacket.  I found the print to appear to be larger than the 10.5 point print.  It was very readable as it is in 2 columns. 

The Vines Expository Bible offers scriptural truth alongside guided explanations of key passages from influential preacher Dr. Jerry Vines. With biblical exposition and practical teaching culled from years of faithful ministry, helpful insights from God’s Word are presented in the warm, pastoral manner Dr. Vines is known for.

Below are some of the excellent features of this Bible ~ 

NKJV paragraph-style text with in-text subject headings
  • 200 "Presenting the Message" detailed outlines from Jerry Vines' sermon archive
  • 100 "Living the Message" articles with illustrations for living the Christian life
  • 200 "Applying the Message" notes that help you see the relevance of Scriptures for your walk with Christ
  • 300 "Discerning the Meaning" word studies that illuminate the meaning of key words in Scripture
  • 66 Book Introductions
  • Topical Index
  • Multiple pages of maps
  • NKJV Concordance
  • 10.5-point print size

  • Print Length: 1984 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 27, 2018)
  • Publication Date: March 27, 2018
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing

I would recommend purchasing this Bible if you were not looking for a study Bible.  

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Unified: An Unlikely Union

In their book, Unified: How Our Unlikely Friendship Gives Us Hope for a Divided Country, Senator Tim Scott and Congressman Trey Gowdy share a remarkable story about two very different men, with very different backgrounds, coming together to form not only a friendship, but to support one another and make a difference in the world.

Both men represent South Carolina and share their story in an easy to read, yet powerful story about how we can make a difference in our world.  They share the writing in each chapter, sharing from their various perspectives.  As they share their individual and collective stories, we see the journey from acquaintances to friends to spiritual brothers hope to transform the world. 

You can sense their passion for change, and their willingness to be vulnerable to one another and to the world.  While Gowdy decided not to run for re-election, this book should offer hope to the readers that our government is not as divided as we may think.  Yes, there are problems, but this book should offer us a glimpse of what is possible when we are willing to listen and engage one another.  This story is inspiring and transformative.  I didn’t always agree with their political views, but I found myself engaged with the writers.  Really, in many respects this should be the foundation to change our country.

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

42 Seconds to Change a Life!

I was intrigued to receive the book 42 Seconds:The Jesus Model for Everyday Interactions.  The book is based on the belief that the average interaction Jesus had with people was approximately 42 seconds.  Author Carl Medearis states, "Jesus kept is simple, straightforward and real."  He believes we should do the same, keep our conversations with others about Jesus, short and simple!

Sometimes that is not so easy.  But I do understand what he is driving at!  Sometimes we over-complicate the message of Jesus Christ, so others may stay away. 

This book is written as a 4 week devotional.  There are 20 easy to read, about 4 -5 pages each, chapters.  What I really appreciate about this book is the depth of the questions each chapter is asking.  The final chapters instruct the reader to Be Jesus.  He goes about this by asking the reader questions in each of the final 5 chapters.  They are meant to force the reader to dig deep to better determine their relationship with Jesus.  They are ~

  • Do I Believe what Jesus Believed?
  • Do My Words Match My Actions?
  • Do I really know Jesus?
  • Do I Do what Jesus did?  And a telling final question - - 
  • Do I Live Like Jesus Matters More than Anything?
Overall, this is a thought provoking book, which I highly recommend.

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Excellent for Kids!

When I opened BibleForce: The First Heroes Bible, I was totally impressed.  The book is heavy and has a very solid cover on it.  The picture on the cover is bright and engaging.  This would make most kids want to pick it up and start reading.  There are lots and lots of Bible stories in this book.  It is 642 pages in length. 

There is an introduction to the Bible, along with maps and other nice features to start the Bible off.  There is not a concordance or word search in the back.  But there is a Table of Contents which shows all of the topics contained in the Bible.

Please note this is not a full Bible.  They are stories, adapted for a younger reader.  Generally around 6-10 years old.  There is not a great deal of detail surrounding many of the stories, which may leave some asking more questions, which isn’t all bad either. 

This is a child’s Bible.  It is for the child who really isn’t going to read the Bible on their own, but very well might pick this up and have their life changed forever. 

With that in mind, this is a very good Bible for children.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Dad's Devotional!

God's Words of Life for Fathers is an exceptional devotional book.  I really appreciate the way it is formatted.  There are 42 chapters in the book.  Each chapter covers a different topic of importance to men.  They are alphabetically written.  The book is filled with great instruction for men overall.  If you are struggling with a topic, it is most likely covered in this book.

For example topics which are covered include ~
Anger
Courage
Failure
Integrity
Prayer
Self-Control
Stress
and many other excellent topics.

Each chapter has about 4-5 pages of scripture, and concludes with a final one page devotional thought.  There is also a Scripture Index at the end of the book to help the reader look up certain passages.  The passages selected and devotional thought is relevant and applicable. 

This book would make an excellent Father's Day gift. 

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

Monday, April 02, 2018

Be a SMART Stepfamily

 Ron Deal has written a number of books regarding Stepfamilies.  In this book, Daily encouragement for the SMART Stepfamily, deal has written a short devotional for stepfaimlies.  Ron is a family therapist and speaks at many conferences about blended families.

This very easy to read book, has a daily devotional which is only 2-4 paragraphs and a prayer following the devotion.  There is a devotion for everyday, written to parents and to children on various days.

There is a great deal of richness contained in the short devotions.  For busy families this devotional will help the time to go by quickly as maybe some issues and concerns aer raised through the various readings.

This is a very helpful book for blended families.

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

Simply Extraordinary!!

Extraordinary Influence: How Great Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others, by Tim Irwin is a must read!  This book has had a profound impact on the way I will relate to people in the future.  He also affirmed much of what I do, but Irwin took this a step further.  This book focuses on how each person can influence others.  Not to get what they want, but to help others grow in who they have been called to be. 

We have the opportunity to speak Words of Life or Words of Death into others.  Most people are longing for a message, for affirmation, and too often we give idle compliments, or mask Constructive Criticism as Words of Death.  Irwin powerful shows the different between words of life and words of death.  he also helped the reader better understand the difference between compliments and words of affirmation.  There is such a huge difference between the two, which most people sadly miss.  We give idle compliments and believe they should change others.  But they do not, because compliments can't get beneath the skin, while words of affirmation reach into our hearts and spirits and offer us hope and a future we may not have realized was there.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who works with others.  This is a transformational book.
I received this book at no expense in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Light of God is Revealed

This book by Sarah Van Diest, God in the Dark: 31 Devotions to Let the Light Back In is definitely an excellent devotional.  This devotional is not just to be read during the Lenten season, but can be helpful for anyone who is going through difficult times.

The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 1 that we have been helped by God and in turn we are to help others when they are going through difficult times.  This is the message of this devotional.

Sarah Van Diest has taken the lessons she’s learned in the dark moments of her life, shares about the God she discovered there, and then highlights precious promises from His Word that provide hope.  God in the Dark is for anyone who needs a reminder that God is always with us . . . even in the dark times.

This book helps the reader to understand where God is in the midst of our despair.  This book will help you to navigate the stormy waters as you travel through the tough times of life.  I would highly recommend this book.  It is short, and each day's devotional is only a couple of pages.  This book is based on Psalm 119.


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

NKJV Bible!!

I was very pleased to receive this Bible, NKJV, Deluxe Reader's Bible.  If you like to read the Bible in a book form, then this is the Bible for you.  See the second picture below for a look at what the inside of the Bible looks like.  I prefer the NKJV and found the Bible to be very easy to read in it's present form.  The black print jumps off the very white pages, making this Bible very easy to read.

Perfect for both devotional and extended reading, the beautifully designed NKJV Deluxe Reader’s Bible features the exceptionally readable Thomas Nelson NKJV Typeface in an elegant single-column format. Premium, high-contrast paper, classically sewn lay-flat bindings, and an innovative approach to chapter and verse markers combine to create a distraction-free reading experience you’ll want to return to again and again.
Features include:
  • The New King James Version, known for its literary beauty and trustworthy accuracy
  • Single-column layout, designed for optimal readability
  • Beautiful Thomas Nelson NKJV Typeface
  • Two satin ribbon markers
  • Classic slipcase for protection and display

There are no introduction pages in the Bible, nor is there a concordance or maps.  If you are looking for a Bible with these, then you would need to find something different.  But if you are looking for a very readable Bible, this is an excellent choice.

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


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Prayers to Pray!

In the book, Prayers for Every Occasion, Ellen Banks Elwell, has written a very handy and beneficial book for prayer.  At times, we want to pray and the words just don’t come out, and this small reference / guide / prayer book is very helpful in those situations. 

The book is divided into 4 parts ~

Part 1 - - Prayers for Specific Occasions.  This is about 100 pages of special prayers we can pray.  The section is written with alphabetical titles, going from A to Z.  There are prayers for anniversaries, birthdays, baptisms, bridal showers, deaths, for grandchildren, as well as grandparents and so many more.

Part 2 - - Prayers from the Bible.  This section contains prayers which are directly from the Bible.  The Bible is filled with prayers from many people and this is often a helpful source of comfort.

Part 3 - - Prayers from the Hymns.  These are words from many of the old hymns which bring comfort and strength to God’s people.

Part 4 - - Prayers Across the Ages.  These are prayers from many of the saints of old.  Words which bring us encouragement. 

Finally there is an index of prayers to help the reader not have to search all over the book.

The book is filled with words of comfort and strength.  It has a hardcover, which is also soft and inviting.  Overall, I would recommend this book.

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

Essential Reading!!

I recently received this book and was not sure if I would like it or not.  But it is an excellent how to book regarding essential oils.  The book is extremely practical.  I have not read other books, so I can’t compare it, but this book is comprehensive, easy to read and easy to understand (which is important for the novice). 

His directions are easy to follow.  There is an investment involved to get the materials and oils needed, but I can see the benefits.  There are 3 parts to this book - -
Part 1: Essential Oils Revolution
Part 2: Dr. Z’s Recommended Oils for Nearly Every Occasion
Part 3: Women’s Health

I do wish there was a part 4 regarding men’s health.  Maybe that will be in a future book.  I also appreciate that he attempts to cover all the details in the book to make a recipe.  It can be a little intimidating making something you are not sure of, but Zielinski covers those well.

Overall, this is an excellent book and highly recommended.

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

Blog? Want free books? Let's chat.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

God's Light in You - for children

This is the second Matthew Paul Turner book I have reviewed.  Both are excellent.  A couple of years ago, I reviewed, When God Made You, now he has written this book, When God Made Light.  It is an excellent book.

The book is filled with great imagination and lots of rhyming throughout the book.  The book is about God's creation of light and how we are part of that creation.  

The book is wonderful to read to a child or a group of children.  The pages are filled with great pictures filled with imagination.  The illustrations are powerful and bold, which adds 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.  Light radiates through the darkness, chasing away the shadows.  The deeper message is that light flows through each child, which will be used to change the world!!

I recommend this book.

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


Blog? Want free books? Let's chat.

Calm your Cares!!

I am a huge fan of pastor and author, Max Lucado.  In his book, Trade Your Cares for Calm, he has written another wonderful book.  This book is really more of an inspirational / devotional book.  There are few people who don't feel anxious and overwhelmed at times in life, and this book seeks to quell the cares of burdens of this world so that we would experience calmness through God.

This book is very sturdy and the pages are strong and rugged, they are glossy.  The book has a sense of strength and power when you hold it because of its weight.  Yet, the book is basically a square 6" x 6" book.

There are 10 chapters focusing on helping the reader reduce their cares in place of God's clam.

The focus of the book is found in the word CALM.  For Lucado it is found in Philippians 4:6-8.  CALM is an acronym meaning ~

  • C - Celebrate God's Goodness “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Verse 4)
  • A - Ask God For Help “Let your requests be made known to God” (Verse 6)
  • L - Leave your Concerns with Him “With thanksgiving . . . “ (Verse 6)
  • M - Meditate on good things “Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise” (Verse 8)

This is the method Lucado uses to help the reader.  The book has many practical tips to help the reader calm their fears and anxieties.  This book would look very nice on someone's coffee table and would make for a very nice present. 

I highly recommend this book.

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


Monday, February 26, 2018

An Encouraging Devotional!!

The new devotional by Sarah Young has a specific purpose and totally accomplished its goal.  Jesus Calling: 50 Devotions for Encouragement, is a short but very powerful devotional.  There are 50 different devotions in this short book.  Each devotion is easy to read, taking maybe 1-2 minutes, yet they are very powerfully written.

In this devotion, Sarah Young writes this devotion as if Jesus, Himself were talking to the reader.  She writes from the perspective of Jesus speaking to the reader, using "I, Me, Mine, My" when Jesus is speaking.

An example of one devotion which I found powerful was ~
I Am Christ in you, the hope of glory.  The One who walks beside you, holding you by your hand, is the same One who lives within you.  This is a deep, unfathomable mystery.  You and I are intertwined in an intimacy involving every fiber of your being.  The Light of My Presence shines within you, as  well as upon you.  I am in you; and you are in Me; therefore nothing in heaven or on earth can separate you from Me!
There was one more paragraph which followed and that is it for the day, but it's powerful writing and if the reader is willing, should draw you deeper and closer to Christ.

Overall, this is a powerful devotional.  I highly recommend it.

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

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Grinding to Success

In his latest book, Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way To A More Successful and Rewarding Life, Daymond John has sought to write an inspirational book about how to succeed in life.

John explains the purpose of this book is to help the reader so that they could learn and understand the day to day rituals and habits of some of the more successful people in the world.

There are 8 chapters, totalling about 300 pages in this book.  John interviewed 16 people, such as talk show host Wendy Williams, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, musician Carlos Santana and Pastor Joel Osteen.  John asked each person to share what their daily habits and routines look like so the rest of the world can learn from them.

This is a good book, but not a great book.  At times, I felt like I was reading an infomercial as a great deal of time was spent on explaining who each individual was.  There were times the book did not have a good flow to it, and that made an easy book, more difficult to read.

What John is attempting to do is great, but I think there were better ways to accomplish his task.  I appreciated learning more about each person, including John, but was left wanting more.

Overall, I would say this is a good book, and worth reading.

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


Blog? Want free books? Let's chat.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Lord's Prayer

In his book, The Prayer that turns the World Upside Down, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., has written an excellent, easy to read, yet powerful book on the most familiar of Christian prayers . . . The Lord's Prayer.

While this book is easy to read and just under 170 pages, Mohler has filled this book with wonderful insights into The Lord's Prayer.  If read with an open mind, this book will challenge some of the basic beliefs we have had about the Lord's Prayer.

While there is some theology in the book, it is basic enough in that the reader should benefit from reading this book.  We are reminded that familiarity with something tends to cause us to lose its significance and that is true with the Lord's Prayer.  Mohler is an excellent author and this is an excellent addition to his writing.  I would highly recommend this book.

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

Lessons from the Coach!

In the book, Always Fall Forward: Life lessons I'll never forget from "The Coach", Todd Gerelds has written a very personal devotional.  This book comes from the true story which was made into a film, called "Woodlawn."  The story focuses on his father, Tandy, a football coach.

There are 52 weekly devotions based on what Todd learned from the football field and from his father.  Each devotion has a unique title and is about 3-4 pages long, and ends  with ways the reader can attempt to go deeper in their relationship with God.  There are suggested scripture readings and questions to consider.

If you are a sports fan, especially a football fan, or even a coach who is looking for some inspirational stories to talk to your team about, then this book would be a great addition to your library.

Each devotion is easy to read and many of them can be challenging as well.

Overall, I would recommend this book.

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

Friday, February 02, 2018

Maxwell on Leadership!

I have been a fan of John Maxwell for many years, and have read many of his books on leadership.  I already had the first edition of Developing the Leader Within You and was curious to see what changes would be made in Developing the Leader Within You 2.0.

Basically there are 2 chapters with different titles, along with different material which has been included in the book.  John has a very personal way of writing which helps draw the reader to his books.  They are understandable and very practical, which is one of the reasons I appreciate his books. 

There are 10 chapters in the book, with each chapter averaging about 20 pages.  The chapters are filled with practical advice, illustrations and some theory.  Each chapter contains Action Steps at the end of the chapter which is a great summary of the chapter.

Overall, this is an excellent book on leadership.  I would highly recommend this for those wanting to go deeper in their ability to lead others.

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


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Fighting for your Marriage

In their book, Enter the Ring: Fighting Together for a Gospel Saturated Marriage, D.A. and Erica Horton have written a very good book about marriage in which they share through their struggles in a very vulnerable and honest manner.  This is book would be great for people who are newly married; or married for under 10 years or so.

The Horton's share for their own marriage.  A marriage that has endured many difficulties, even prior to their marriage, as they almost did not get married.  They use a great deal of scripture verses to help the reader understand their intentions.

The Horton's explore the tension of two people becoming one and how spouses often fight over which “one of us” they become. They unpack topics such as
  • Seasons of suffering
  • Communication
  • Sexual and physical intimacy
  • The spiritual life of the home
  • Money
This book approaches the traditional topics of a marriage book with the brutal and life-giving honesty of two millennials who have fought together for their marriage.  All topics are addressed through the vulnerable lens of the authors’ own struggles and mistakes.

This is a no-holds-barred, real-world . . . marriage book.


Overall, I would highly recommend this book.

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

The Power of Prayer



In his book, Make Your Voice Heard in heaven: How to Pray with Power, former Senate Chaplain, Barry Black has written a very succinct and powerful book on prayer.  This book arose from his powerful keynote message at the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast, which led to many cheers and a standing ovation.

He explains that in order to make ourselves heard in a way that really changes things, we must start by calling upon God ― the one who holds the ultimate power.

As followers of Jesus, we need to realize that when we come together to pray, we invite the very real presence of Almighty God into our midst.  When our prayers are heard in heaven, our need for guidance, strength, healing, mercy, grace, and wisdom will be met by a holy God.

In this book, Chaplain Black shows how to pray prayers that God will hear and that release God’s power and blessing in our lives.  There are 15 chapters outlining in very practical terms ways we are to pray.

Chaplain Black shows us through the use of Scripture, personal stories, and practical insights, how our prayers can
  • unleash God’s power
  • increase your partnership with God’s will
  • deepen your intimacy with God
  • strengthen your desire to live a God-pleasing life
  • help you avoid missing God’s blessings . . . and more
This is an easy to read, yet a slowly read book because of all the deep insight Chaplain Black brings into our lives.

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

Everyday worship!

The Air I Breathe: Worship as a way of life, by Louie Giglio is not the typical book about worship.  He is not telling us how to worship when we enter a church building on Sundays.  He wants the reader to understand that worship “is the essence of what makes us truly human.”  This is an easy to read, fast paced, yet a book filled with deep implications about the way we live our lives.  This book should challenge each reader.

I’ve read other material and watched videos of Louis.  He is filled with passion and enthusiasm for Christ.  It’s evident in the pages of this book.

He explains that true freedom comes when worship flows through us as naturally as the air we breathe, when the words and actions in our lives resonate with our Creator so deeply that every inhalation is full of meaning.  When we understand the holiness of the God who knows the stars by name — and His overwhelming love for each one of us — how can we offer anything less?

Giglio passionately explains what it means to truly live a life of worship, offering insight and guidance for finding our personal path towards connecting with the God of the Universe.  We were created to worship and God is the One who is worthy of our worship.

The book also includes a set of questions for small groups and a list of Scriptures used.  There is also an excerpt from another book by Giglio.  This book is highly recommended for those who desire to move beyond the superficial and gain a greater intimacy with God in their daily relationship with Him.  The book has 11 chapters totally 113 pages.

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

Blog? Want free books? Let's chat.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Memoir of Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels is one of my all time favorite performers.  I've seen him in concert multiple times and appreciate his music and life.  The book, Never Look at the Empty Seats: A Memoir of Charlie Daniels is a must read for his fans.

His music always tells a story, each song tells you something about his life or his thoughts and dreams.  The book is very similar.  As Daniels shares stories about his childhood through his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  You would have expected it, but it was a crowning accomplishment in his life.

This book will help the reader to better understand who this icon of southern rock / country music is.  He tells story after story about life and those who were deeply involved in his life.

His stories are funny, they are sad, they are honest and raw as he shares his successes and his failures.  Overall, this is an easy to read and fun, and enlightening book for fans of CDB!

I was provided this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Being Open to the Spirit

In his newest book, Scot McKnight takes a look at the Holy Spirit.  His books is entitled Open to the Spirit: God in Us, God with Us, God Transforming Us.  McKnight seeks to answer some of the basic questions even Christ followers have regarding the Holy Spirit, such as Who is the Holy Spirit?  What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit?  Should we pray to the Holy Spirit?  How do we relate to the Holy Spirit?  And more questions are answered in this book.

Most people are confused about the role of the Spirit, especially as it relates to the Trinity and McKnight attempts to help the reader gain a better understanding.


This book is well written, filled with a number of examples and illustrations which will help the reader better understand the mysterious Holy Spirit.  This is not a deep theological book.  But it is one that seeks to take someone who already has a basic knowledge and help them to go deeper in their understanding of the Holy Spirit.


The call is for the Christian to be open to the Holy Spirit so they could better grow in their relationship with Christ, and with the Spirit.  I sense that McKnight's goal was to help the reader gain a better understanding of the Holy Spirit, thus the reason this is not as theological or academic.  I appreciated this approach.


Overall, I would recommend this book to those wanting to gain wisdom and understanding of the Holy Spirit.


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


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



Tuesday, January 09, 2018

A Life Beyond Amazing!

In his newest book, A Life Beyond Amazing: 9 Decisions That Will Transform Your Life Today, Dr. David Jeremiah, has written an outstanding book about how to live life according to the Fruits of the Spirit.

This book has the potential to be life changing.  As Jeremiah correctly points out early in the book, living life according to these 9 Fruits of the Spirit is a decision which we make.  They are difficult decisions to live according to each fruit of the spirit, but the potential when we do is a "life beyond amazing."

The chapters are ~ 
A life of Love
A life of Peace
A life of Joy
A life of Endurance
A life of Compassion
A life of Generosity
A life of Integrity
A life of Humility
A life of Self-Discipline

While I look at some of the headers for the fruits of the Spirit differently than Jeremiah, he is still touching on the same topics, just using different words.  For example, generosity is also goodness; endurance is patience . . . and so on.

Dr. Jeremiah gives a number of practical examples and illustrations to help the reader better understand and then apply these fruits into their lives.

Overall, this is an excellent book and one which should be read and discussed!!

Vines Expository Bible

I was excited to receive The Vines Expository Bible .  This Bible is the NKJV.  It is in a very nice hardcover with a nice dust jacket.  I...