Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book Review: My Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition


Zondervan has put together this beautiful Bible in a journal format for girls. I didn't know what to expect when asked to review the style of this Bible. However, upon opening the package, I was all smiles. It's a beautiful hard cover Bible with a perfectly girly combination of matte and shiny patterns. I would have loved to receive this anywhere from about age 8-16. Our 10-year-old daughter oohed and ahhed over it.

The elastic strap is securely attached to the back cover. Who doesn't love a pink elastic strap? Sweet! Each page of scripture has a side bar of lined journaling space, adequate for brief note taking or referencing other verses. The pages feel paper-thin, but there is substance to them, so I don't believe a regular ballpoint pen would run through. I don't know that I'd use the new gel pens...although I haven't put that to the test either. Overall, it's super cute and well layed out. An NIV edition, it would be nice to see this style offered in NKJV as well.

All opinions are my own in this review. I love it and hope you will too!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Book Review: Earth Psalms ~ Francine Rivers


      Francine Rivers, a long time favorite author of mine, has published a lovely devotional book entitled Earth Psalms ~ reflections on how God speaks through nature. Karin Stock Buursma has added Scripture, poetry, quotes and hymns to this beautifully bound hardcover book. Photographs of scenery and animals in nature make this into a coffee table type devotional book: Pretty and inviting for others to pick up. Included are 52 devotionals, each with a Scripture reading, one of Francine's personal, insightful stories and statements/questions that give you space to reflect, apply what you've read and connect with God. The publisher even attached a silk bookmark. Overall, this has been a wonderful way to begin my mornings.  I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review and look forward to purchasing further copies as gifts.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Book Review: Crossing the Waters ~ Leslie Leyland Fields

Leslie Fields has woven her demanding (yet rewarding) Alaskan life on a remote island as a story within a story. It's a personal journey; both memoir and challenge to Christians. Leslie walks around the Sea of Galilea visiting significant places that Jesus traveled to during the course of His earthly ministry. She engages with various people along the way and takes the reader back into the Gospels, to the time Jesus walked the shores of Galilea or sailed on its waters.

When Jesus called to the disciples, "Come, follow Me," what exactly did that cost them? What does it cost us today? What should it cost us today? Life is often difficult and there are situations/people/jobs we really don't want to face, but what is God calling us to? Follow Leslie's journey to gain insight into the costs, raw struggles and rewards of what it means to be true 'fishers of men.'

There is a study guide included at the end of the book, making it a great option for a group study. A short introduction and discussion questions lead the reader/group participants back to Scripture.

Even though I received this book in exchange for a review (from Tyndale), I am already looking for other books that Leslie Fields has written. I enjoyed and felt challenged by Leslie's words. Her writing style was also quite delightful and the transitions between times/places flowed easily. It's one of those books that is difficult to put down.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Book Review: The Mind of Terror ~ by Tass Saada

Tass Saada, a former Muslim Fatah sniper, now reaches out to those in the love of Christ. His book details exactly what the title implies: it assists the reader in understanding the mind of terrorists. ISIS and other extremist groups are running rampant; detailed is what you need to understand about the Muslim teachings and Middle East culture as it's effects are far-reaching.

Read to understand why the "co-exist" bumper stickers address unrealistic solutions. Recognize what is happening in today's world and how to address both terrorism and terrorists.

Written from the perspective of someone once heavily involved in terrorism, you will begin to understand where the ingrained hatred stems from. Your heart will both be heavy with questions and emboldened to stand firm; your spirit stirred between weeping for innocents being tortured and praying for the Lord to change the souls of the torturers. The truth is, no one is so far gone from God that His love for him or her is not enough.

I was provided this book in exchange for my personal review from Tyndale Publishers.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Review: All But Normal ~ by Shawn Thornton


All But Normal Life on Victory Road was both an enjoyable, difficult and enlightening read. Enjoyable because Shawn Thornton and Joel Kilpatrick have put real life situations into an engaging format; difficult because it brought back memories of childhood experiences of a father who struggled with depression; enlightening because, by the end of the book, the reader sees a fuller picture. Life is like a puzzle; you have to look back over the years to see the big picture of how God's hand worked in ways you didn't fully realize.

Shawn Thornton's mother, Beverly, was in a car crash that forever changed her life and the lives of those around her. She was left with brain damage that changed her once-gentle personality battling with waves of violent and uncontrollable bursts of rage. Amidst the chaos and frustrations, Beverly still loved God and had a strong desire to reach out to others; she wanted to share in their struggles and be a shoulder to lean on.

Shawn shares his memoir with others as a way of encouraging those with similar struggles and his book sheds light on a topic rarely discussed: mental illness. The main focus of his book demonstrates that even in the most turbulent lives, God is there. In spite of our human weaknesses, sins and flaws, the capacity for God's availability and work in individuals' lives is unlimited.

I received this book for review from Tyndale House Publishers; all thoughts expressed are my own.