Saturday, December 28, 2013

Clear Winter Nights

I enjoyed reading this book.  From what I understand the author usually does not write fiction but he has done a wonderful job with this book.  The characters are believable and the situations and thoughts are very true to what many believers who have grown up in the church and beginning to decide for themselves what they believe would be going through.
There is a lot of dialogue in this book more so than an exciting plot...just so you know.  But I loved the characters and there is romance too!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bedtime Prayers That End With A Hug

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

This wonderfully illustrated book contains 52 short devotionals appropriate for children ages 2-6.  This is right on the level of keeping the attention of your little one during devotion time and has Scripture, application and time for hugs!  I love the layout of this darling book.  It is big enough to make an impression on a little one and the devotions are pint-sized but with all the truth packed in :)   Loved it!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lonnie's Loves

What a wonderful love story!  This is book 3 in the Cadence of Grace series.  I have not read the other stories so there was one bit of information I would have loved to have that was not covered in this book.  Otherwise this book is also a stand alone love story.
Lonnie has to choose between two men that she loves and that love her.  It is a story of these two men and of Lonnie and of God's love for them all.  I had no idea until the end which man she would choose.  I had no idea which one I would have chosen for that matter! :) The characters are very well developed and I enjoyed getting to know each character.  Very well written and it made me want to read more of the books in this series.
Great for young girls because the two men who are vying for the affection of Lonnie are both admirable characters.
I still wish I knew why Gideon left in the first place.  :)  Guess I will just have to go back and read the other books!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Finding God in a Bag of Groceries

Working with the poor as I do , I could relate to a lot of what Ms. Willis writes about. I appreciated her honesty in describing her feelings. I felt like the story was exactly about what it says it is about ...sharing food, discovering grace. Ms. Willis seems to have been searching for a way to follow the calling she feels the Lord has given her. I liked how she related the groceries that she gives away to the Communion and how Jesus met the physical needs of the people as well as the spiritual needs of the people. I think she grew in her own faith through providing groceries to those who were in need and it is always exciting to hear another believer's testimony. :)

Return To Me...historical fiction written to make you feel like you were there!

Historical fiction is not my favorite category of book to read. I think I either want to read fiction or true history. This book is an exception. I love reading the Bible. Honestly, there are some passages that I seem to skim over because I can't relate to how it must have been during that time period. The books of Ezra and Haggai are a couple of those. Return to Me has made reading the books of Ezra and Haggai (as well as some other passages in Kings) much easier to relate to. By placing the true historical account into modern day language with characters that are "fleshed out", Lynn Austin has helped me to truly understand the Biblical Old Testament more. This story is wonderful...a story of families divided, of slaves released, of promises of the Lord God kept, and of forsaking of the one true God. The main character I believe is Zechariah who was a prophet of God. But the story starts out with him as a child, playing with other children, growing up in a family, and discovering whether his faith was his own or his family's. I do not want to spoil the reader's enjoyment of this book by revealing too much. Let me just say...if you like love stories, you will love this book. If you like historical fiction, you will love this book. If you like reading the Bible, you will love this book. If you like reading about the Jewish people and land, you will love this book. If you like books with a lot of action, you will love this book. This is a book I will re-read again...and try to slow down a bit to read it because it is so good that I want to savor it the second time around instead of devour it like I did this time. Wonderful! First time having read any of Lynn Austin's works and now I want to read more.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Dawn of Christmas! Sweet, sweet, sweet!

The sweetest love story...two people who have been hurt by love and afraid to try again accidentally fall for each other. Woodsmall has a wonderful way of telling a story. I love her characters and her plots and themes! I have never read anything written by Woodsmall that I did not like. This is another great book! And a wonderful book to give for Christmas too!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Harbinger Decoded DVD

I have read the book The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn after my dad recommended it.  The book and the message of the book was one of the most powerful I have read outside of the Bible.  The book is not only a book that is prophetic in nature but it is a wealth of history, both Jewish and American.  I learned things about my own country's history that I did not know.  
When I had the chance to review the DVD, I was excited because I know many people who I wanted to read the book...but they are not readers.  So I thought this would be a good alternative for them.
This review has 4 stars not because of content...the content is important, relevant and amazing.  
I would still suggest for you to read the book itself...not just watch the DVD.
I know that the Lord can and will use the DVD as well. 
However, I believe if a few things were done differently it would have a much greater impact on non-readers.  So here is how I would change it:

1)  The background music in the main feature is overwhelming in volume.  The message is what is important and interesting and the music is not balanced with the vocals.  Many times throughout the DVD I had to really concentrate to hear what was being said because the music was too loud.  
2) The music itself seemed to be overwhelming in its "drama", if that makes sense.  Again, the music was a distraction to the words, which are what need to be heard.
3)  Instead of having Jonathan doing his speaking with the moving backgrounds and photos behind him, I may have had him speaking from an actual wheat field, or speaking from actual Ground Zero, or speaking from the actual chapel where Washington prayed.  This would just make it better in my opinion and keep the attention of the viewer longer.

Now to the things that I was very pleased with. The "Special Features" section.
The music was better on most of those sections...still maybe just a little loud.  
Jonathan's testimony was an added bonus and blessing.  Also , the Guided Tour of the Harbingers made me want to tour Washington to see these.

This is a DVD to wake up America, to call America to return to God.  The Harbingers are warnings but warnings imply that a change in behavior can lead to restoration.  America needs to be restored to the Foundation she was founded upon. 


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Little Book of Great Dates

I enjoyed reading through this book which is meant to be an idea for a date each week of the year with your spouse.  The idea of "dating" your spouse is a very sound one for maintaining a good marriage.  Life can get so busy with work, school, children, parents, church, and other things...that sometimes we do not take the time to just really spend quality time with our spouse.
This little book gives 52 ideas for great dates, great discussion topics and ideas to delve into that will keep your relationship fresh and new as you grow closer to each other.  I loved it!
I think it would make a wonderful gift for newlyweds as well as a perfect anniversary gift to those who have been married for any number of years :)

Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Press in exchange for my honest review.
This is a story of true love that lasts.  It is the story of a young woman and man who fell in love at first sight, Huck and Gabe.  Gabe decides that he never wants to have their marriage lose its spark so he begins on their honeymoon sending Huck a postcard once a week with a photo relevant to some part of their life and a short poem he composed just for her.  She saves these postcards through the many, many years of their marriage.  The story switches from their relationship at its different stages to a present day man who happens upon the postcards which are hidden among photo albums at an estate sale at the couple's home.  He is intrigued and investigates the story, trying to find out more about these two people who found true love that lasted a life time.  His own marriage has failed and he is seeking the answer to how to maintain love for a lifetime.
This is one of the best love stories I have read...and it is not trashy.  It is passionate with modesty maintained throughout the telling of the story which  is a rarity.  I think it is in the similar vein of Nicholas Sparks.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  The characters were unlike any I had "met" in any other story I have read, which was delightful because many times characters from book to book seem the same.  Huck and Gabe were characters that seemed brand new to me and thus it was exciting to get to know them throughout the book.
It touched my emotions and I thought it very well-written.  The best kind of a story in my mind is the one that you lose yourself in without even realizing that you are no longer sitting somewhere reading a book.  You are in the story.  That is the kind of book that Lewis has written.  Excellent!!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fearless by Eric Blehm

I was given this book by Multnomah in exchange for my honest review of the book.
I have been trying to read more books that might appeal to men lately.  I have two sons and a husband and thus live around men.  I thought by reading a few books written to appeal to men I might gain more understanding.  What I did not expect was that this book does not only appeal to is appealing to women as well.
The fact that the office of the Navy Seals did put their seal of approval on the book, and they do not usually endorse books about their organization, also intrigued me.
it is about a young man Adam Brown.  I learned about who he was as a child, as a teen, the difficulties he went through and overcame and how the Lord Jesus became his Strength and his Hope.
I learned how he worked his way up to becoming a Navy SEAL.  That was very interesting to me.
The title "Fearless" truly described this man and his way of living.
It is an inspiring book and I believe anyone would enjoy reading it but especially if you are military.
This is one of my favorite quotes from the book that describes Adam:
" Adam's devout Christian faith matched his toughness and fearlessness.  It was the cornerstone upon which he built his life and the compass that he turned to for guidance.  To truly live one's faith, in word and deed, is a mighty, and a daily, struggle; and Adam embraced that struggle and devoted himself to it. "
His story is one of overcoming addictions also which makes it very powerful and inspiring for others going through the same thing in life.  Highly recommend.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Every Waking Moment by Chris Fabry

Chris Fabry is one of my favorite authors so I was very excited to have the opportunity to review his book, Every Waking Moment.    Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book to review.

It seems that Mr. Fabry is one of those authors who writes books that speak to me personally in one way or another.  Every one of his books has touched me in a different way.  From Borders of the Heart , which spoke to me about a calling to ESL ministry, to Almost Heaven, which spoke to the musician heart in me.
Now he has written a book that has spoken to me in my calling as a social worker who works with the elderly and disabled.
I love doing book reviews but I also do not want to spoil the book for those who will read it in the future!
This book was 5 stars!!!  A nursing home is the setting with a caring lady who is preparing to leave the job she has there.  She has discovered in her time working with the elderly a very unusual worker who is somewhat disabled in her own ways but who has a gift for connecting with those who have dementia or Alzheimer's and being able to bring back the person who is "lost" inside.

Of course, there had to be a "bad guy" and the new lady who takes over the nursing home had me just aching for her to do something wrong so she could be fired from the place!  The character development in this book is excellent.

The main character Treha is an enigma from the beginning.  She has a special connection with others but seemingly an inability to express her own emotions.  She is smart and yet simple at the same time.

The residents in the nursing home love her.  I loved getting to know the residents.  Part of my job is visiting the elderly and disabled and hearing their stories of life is one of the favorite parts of my day.  Mr. Fabry is able to combine stories within a story by giving us individual stories of the residents as a part of the whole picture.  He shows how the elderly, the disabled and those who we may overlook or dismiss as "slow or simple" have their own life story as we do....if we put ourselves in the other person's shoes and listen to them share about their life, we come away from the conversation with more love, respect, and understanding.

I suggest you get this book, read it and re-read it.  An awesome book!  I know I did not talk a whole lot about the story but it is one of those that you really just need to read yourself and enjoy word by word, sentence by sentence.  At the end you will be glad that I didn't spoil any details for you :)  I tried to read it slowly, to make it last, but I just couldn' was that good. :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sent by Hilary Alan

 The book is entitled Sent.  This book is a special book to me because it deals with a "regular" American family who willingly gave up some hopes and dreams in order to do what God called them to do.
So many times we think , "I can't do that or I can't go there."  But it just isn't true.  We can do what God calls us to do and the Alan family in this story reminds me of just that.
It was interesting to me, being from NC, that they were from NC as well.
This book is not just the good parts of following the covers the hard parts too.  The times when you just don't understand why He called you to a certain place or a certain activity, but you trust Him anyway.
Very inspiring story.  If you are considering the ministry, considering going on a mission trip, feeling the call of the Lord on your heart to do or go...then read this book.  It will be a blessing to you!
I provided this honest review in exchange for a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Upside Down Prayers for Parents

This book was very challenging to read.  As a mother, I want to pray prayers of protection over my children.  Prayers for health, wisdom, drawing closer to the Lord, keeping safe, learning well.  I will continue to pray those prayers for my children.  However, I liked the different angle that the author approached praying for our children.
In some situations I can see praying these upside down prayers.  Hard situations.
The entire book put a different light on praying for your children.  Although some of the prayers I could never bring myself to pray for my children, the message behind each one that she shares is definitely something I could pray.
I could pray for them to know forgiveness and be able to forgive...but I do not think I could pray for them to HAVE to have done something that needed forgiving.  For one thing, I know we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of I don't have to pray that they will! :)
I did think the book was very different from any other parenting devotional book I read, and I think it has much value if taken in the right spirit.

The Briarpatch Gospel : Fearlessly Following Jesus into the Thorny Places

When I read the first chapter of this book The Briarpatch Gospel:  Fearlessly Following Jesus Into the Thorny Places...I put it down.  It came close to offending me but I recognized that the offense was in me and not in the Holy Spirit that was in me.  I read a part of it to my husband, knowing him pretty well, expecting him to be be offended.  But he didn't say a word for a while...then he said, I think he's right.
I do too.  I think Shayne Wheeler has written a book that is really about following Jesus, not just saying the words and acting the part.  This is one of those books that you have to re-read. One of those that you move slowly through because you have to stop and pray just about after every chapter.
You will either put it down after the first chapter, or you will keep reading and keep praying on bended knee for Jesus to give you the strength to follow Him where it isn't easy to follow.
Well-written, honest, easy to read as far as reading level...but challenging to the heart.  It took me longer to get through this book because I had to stop and think and pray so much.
I would highly recommend this book, especially if you are seeking a deeper walk with Jesus.
Mr. Wheeler has a website for his book as well that you can visit  The website has discussion guides and helps for the book.
If you would like to read the first chapter, you can do so but visiting this link:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Me??? Emotional???

Unglued was a book I chose to read and review because I needed a devotional book.  As I read the first few days worth of devotions, I thought how great it was...for those women who tend to be a little emotional.  Not me, of course.
My husband asked me what the book was about.  I told him it was about dealing with your raw emotions and that I thought  it was a great book for women who had to deal with that kind of problem, but it really didn't apply to me.
The look on his face said otherwise.  It was one of disbelief.  This was followed by hilarious laughter. 
"Not apply to you ?"  he asked in between guffaws.

Well, when something triggers that response in my husband I take a second look.  As I continued reading, I realized that maybe...just maybe...I DID need such a book. 

Women tend to be emotional creations of the Lord.  It is a good long as it is under His control. 

Unglued is a great way to start recognizing how and why you tend to come unglued.  What to do about it.  How to handle those raw emotions. 

After finishing the book, I am being led to do a small group study with other women in my church using this book.  I thought it fantastic! 

I liked the website that goes along with the book because the author offers the first two chapters of the book Unglued for free to readers (the book is different than the devotional book...I read the devotional book).   She also has a video up that is the entire first video of the DVD/ book study combination.  This is a valuable tool to help decide if this study is right for your group.
 Check out the video (first link) and the chapters (second link) and see if you don't come away helped!

Download Chapters 1 & 2 by clicking here. (PDF)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Call of a Coward

I love reviewing books for Christian publishers.  Each time I get to browse the covers and the blurbs for the books, I feel as if I am choosing an adventure to live.   With this book, I definitely received an adventure!! 
Call of a Coward  attracted my attention because...well, I am a coward.  Let me back up a bit and say, I have been a coward and am trying to live a fearless life because the Lord has told me "Let not your heart be troubled...".  So I try.  I also do anything I can to find out how other people deal with fear, anxiety, worry.
The subtitle to this book is "The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife".   Here again, I was drawn because I am an average housewife and I love the God of Moses.  See how this book just sort of drew me in?
The book is about the author's experience of obeying God's call for her husband and her family as they become missionaries to the Guatemalan people.  Mrs. Moston writes in a friendly, descriptive style and her sense of humor had me smiling by the second page of the first chapter. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this story because it was presented with candor and transparency.  The fears she experienced moving to a foreign country, thinking about her future and the future of her family, and wondering how she would survive without the things she had been accustomed to.
Throughout the book, Mrs. Moston continually points to the Lord, giving Him the praise for how He provided for them.  She honestly deals with the times in life when she wondered if there had been a reason for all they did in Guatemala. It is as if she is a friend sitting with me, telling me about her life. 
I loved reading about how the Lord gave them the strength and courage to deal with so much.  How He did not answer all their questions yet never let them feel abandoned.  How He gave them patience to see how He works things in His own timing. 
This book was such an encouragement to me as a Christian because when other members of the body of Christ share how God is at work in their lives, it encourages the rest of the members.  And Mrs. Moston has done that! 
As someone who has never been on a mission trip but has a desire to go, this book also gave me ...not a nudge really...just another piece of information that could be filling in the gaps of what I need to know. 
I would recommend this book to any wife (because it has much wisdom about being a godly wife within its pages...although Mrs. Moston probably did not write it specifically for that reason...the beauty of a godly wife shines through the story).  I would recommend it to anyone who has been or is considering going on a mission trip because it is stirring.  I would recommend it to anyone in ministry who has had times when they wonder if they are in the right place, if they are doing what God wants them to do.  I would recommend it to people who live fearfully, because it shows once again that we serve a God who is in control and we have no need to fear. 
I am glad the Lord led me to choose this book to read!  I pray that He continues to use this couple in their obedience to Him to serve Him in whatever ways He has in mind. 

GlobeQuake by Wallace Henley

I began reading this book in hopes for learning some specific Biblical advice for living in this day and time.  As I read I realized the book is not written for that purpose.  It is more of a book that describes the times we are living in and how they affect the various spheres of life.  Yes, there is Biblical advice...mostly a spur to be prepared spiritually...more of a general nature. 
The book was well- written and accurate.  I believe anyone concerned with the nature of the world, the politics, the changing value system would enjoy reading this book.  It is not an easy read.  Many times it reads almost like a history text.  It could very well be used for a book study or to stimulate intellectual discussion.  Also, the book is not a stirring, emotional read.  Very matter of fact and practical.
The author covers the sphere of person, church, family, education, government and business-marketplace.  He ends the book  with a chapter on Hope.  Our Hope is in Jesus Christ because He is the ruler of all nations and our Savior.
To be honest, it was difficult reading for me because it just seemed very slow and , as I mentioned before, more like a textbook. Nothing wrong with the writing. ..just the style.
I was provided this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the book.