Saturday, December 20, 2014

Book Review-Streams in the Desert for Kids

Streams in the Desert for Kids
By:  L.B. Cowman
Publisher:  ZonderKidz

365 Devotions of God’s awesome Love!

From the back of the book:
Life Isn’t Easy, Just Because you’re a Kid. 
 “You know how tough it can be! Bad things happen that make you feel sad, afraid, lonely, or confused. In those times, you need encouragement, wise advice, and help trusting in God. Streams in the Desert for Kids is a year-long book of devotions to help you when things seem hard. Based on a famous book written many years ago, this book combines timeless wisdom with modern stories, sports info, cool scientific facts, and more.
Best of all, it shares amazing insights into God's Word from the classic Streams in the Desert in ways you can relate to, and it helps you apply those insights to your life.  All it takes is a couple of minutes reading each day to help you deal with life’s difficult issues and be refreshed, like drinking a cold glass of water on a hot day.”

My Review:
With life’s busy schedule parents often find it hard to help their children with their daily devotions. These devotions, which vary in length from one-half page to a full page, make it easy to find the time. 

All scripture quoted, unless otherwise stated, is taken from the NIV.  Each of the devotions begins with scripture, followed by the discussion of a topic that correlates with the scripture and ends with a prayer. 

This is a wonderful way to help your tween become rooted in God’s Word.  It can be used to either start or end your day in God’s Word and many of the topics covered in the devotions could easily be used to initiate discussions on situations at school or daily stresses.  Yes even children have stressful events in their lives. 

I loved these devotions.  They are perfect for ages 8-12.  I would highly recommend them. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book, by the publisher, ZonderKidz, for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-KJV Note-Taker's Bible

KJV Note-Taker’s Bible
King James Version
Publisher:  Zondervan

From the back cover:

“No more cramped writing in tiny margins—the KJV Note-Taker’s Bible makes it easy to stay organized and neat with room to record notes and insights.  Perfect for use during public or private worship, small-group fellowship, or any other time or place you want to write what you are learning.  Personalize the text of God’s Word to your life as never before, and treasure this record of your spiritual journey.”

My Review:

Finally a King James Version, red-letter edition Bible that has room for notes!  I love it!  It is no larger than a normal-size hard-cover bound book, which makes it handy for carrying anywhere you might need to take a Bible.  With its extra-wide margins and footer, it eliminates the need for a note pad and you won’t lose your notes.  The print is standard size however the crispness of the print makes it exceptionally easy to read.  The Bible comes with a dust cover in stunning black and white sporting brown, black and white lettering.  Under the dust-jacket the Bible’s cover is a very subtle black plaid with white lettering.  Rounding off this beautiful Bible is a contents page, Epistle Dedicatory and a Concordance of the Old and New Testaments.  I highly recommend this Bible mainly because I am a big fan of the KJV Bible and also because it has tons of room for note-taking.  This would make a perfect gift for anyone but especially for someone just beginning their spiritual journey. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Bible by the publisher, Zondervan, through BookLook Bloggers, program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-Love at Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk

Love at Mistletoe Inn
By: Cindy Kirk
Publisher: Zondervan

As teen-agers John and Hope eloped.  As soon as John put the ring on Hope’s finger she felt she had made the biggest mistake of her life.  She told the minister, (who had an online minister’s license) she made a mistake so he told her he wouldn’t send in the paperwork and it would be as if the wedding never took place.  Ten years later Hope overhears a conversation leading her to believe the paperwork didn’t have to be sent in for the marriage to be legal.  She does some research only to find out…it is true.  She and John have been married for the past ten years!  John Burke left Harmony shortly after their wedding and has now decided to return home and settle down.  Hope approaches him with the news their wedding is legal and secretly John is thrilled because he has never stopped loving Hope.  With that being said, the next morning finds Hope leaving John’s apartment and a quick trip to the attorney to find out if she can have the marriage annulled?

When the book first started I thought what a really sweet storyline, which it is, however as the book progressed I couldn’t help but think, did Hope learn nothing in ten years?  How could she not know once the marriage was consummated there is no annulment…only divorce?  At her age, I felt her naiveté was a bit much to believe.   Since this is a Christian book I was disappointed there was not more from that point of view. 

All an all it was an entertaining easy to read book. I am looking forward to the next in the series to see if it has more depth than this one.   

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this ebook by the publisher, Zondervan, through NetGalley program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings

A Most Inconvenient Marriage
By:  Regina Jennings
Publisher:  Bethany House

Abigail Stuart left home when her step-father sold the last of her father’s horse stock.  With no family willing to take her in, she traveled from Ohio to Missouri where she went to work as a nurse at Gratiot Street Prison caring for Confederate Soldiers.  Here she met a seriously wounded soldier who called himself Jeremiah Calhoun.  In his condition he knew he didn’t have long to live so he proposed to Abigail. Since she had few options of her own, she agreed to marry him.  The conditions of the marriage were: he would give her his farm in exchange for caring for his ailing sister. 

When the war ended Abigail settles in the Ozarks, fulfilling her promise…suddenly the real Jeremiah Calhoun show up and life becomes very uncomfortable…What will happen to Abigail now, especially since the real Jeremiah has his heart set on another girl?

I loved this book!  I was captivated from the first word of the first page.  It was delightful reading and an entertaining way to spend an afternoon.  Throughout the book MS Jennings subtly inserted how faith in God will carry you through the tough times.  In addition there was just enough mystery, intrigue and romance to keep you turning the pages of this fast-paced novel. 

If you are a fan of historical romance and the Civil War, this is a must-read!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, Bethany House, through Bethany House blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-Between a Rock and a Grace Place by Carol Kent

Between a Rock and a Grace Place
By:  Carol Kent
Publisher:  Zondervan

Carol Kent writes from a mother’s point of view, the pain of having a child incarcerated for killing another person.  She opens her heart and bears her soul regarding how this event changed not only their lives but the lives of so many people.  She openly talks about their journey from the first phone call to the words of “life without the possibility of parole” and beyond.

Although this is about their journey of pain and hurt it is also about healing through God’s Word and His promises. 

I not only read this book, but also watched the videos that coincide with the Bible Study Lessons.  On several occasions I found myself being able to identify with some points in their journey and the journeys of others in the book. I too suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and have always been taught to give in to those feelings are not of God.  It is true He is not the author of those feelings and for me they come when I have lost sight of God’s purpose for my life.  Through MS Kent’s honesty she has shown me that no matter how devote a Christian you may be, those feelings still creep in.  It is not about them being there, it is about how we let God guide us in dealing with them.  This book and study made me realize I am not alone.  I recently lost my father to cancer, and although I know without a doubt, he is with the Lord and no longer suffering, I couldn’t believe how I fell apart.  I kept telling myself all the old clichés of how, “I wouldn’t want him to suffer”, “he will always be with me in my heart”, “cherish the memories”  and “you will see him again someday”.  None of those helped and I began to seriously doubt my salvation, because Christians are all about hope and grace…we are supposed to be able to deal with the death of a loved one…certainly better than I did.  Upon reading the segment in the book, “Woody’s Homecoming”, Diana’s story, I suddenly realized I did nothing wrong.  Her story paralleled mine so closely, I was amazed.  I cried so hard I could hardly see to read, but through her story and the encouragement of MS Kent, I am finally beginning to heal. 

This study is about taking baby-steps in putting God first, even in the tough times.  Although this study is about MS Kent’s journey, I would recommend it if you find your world turned upside down or if you just want a closer relationship with God and don’t know where to start.  I definitely feel it will leave a lasting impression on your life…I know it has mine. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book, Video and Lesson Guide by the publisher, Zondervan, for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-The Promise by Sean Paul Murphy

The Promise or the Pros and Cons of Talking With God
By:  Sean Paul Murphy
Publisher:  TouchPoint Press

I read “Sarah’s Choice” and found it to be thought-provoking which cause a great deal of soul searching on my part.  When Mr. Murphy approached me about reading “The Promise” I quickly agreed.

As with “Sarah’s Choice” I am not sure what I was expecting, but the straight-forwardness of Mr. Murphy’s beliefs kept me turning the pages.  His personal spiritual journey causes him to examine his actions time and again.  I found my life paralleling his from time to time.  As I continued to read it caused me to stop and consider if maybe I need to rethink the direction of my life and actions?  Early in the book I read a statement that stuck with me through-out the entire book.  It simply states:  “God doesn’t need you.  He created you” and “Faith is essential for Salvation but obedience is also necessary to stay within God’s will”.  To me those are two very profound statements.

Mr. Murphy’s ability to be honest about his life, kept me turning the pages, because I wanted to see how he and God would handle each situation.  His walk with God is pretty straight-forward and in no way considered “preachy”. 

No matter what your religious faith may be, this is a book that will inspire you to want a closer relationship with God and if you are not religious, it will cause you to want to be a better person. 

I am not sure I could ever open up about my feelings of faith as Mr. Murphy has, but it is my hope that after reading this I will be able to speak more freely about God and my faith.  Many times I have felt I am not perfect enough, however Mr. Murphy shows it doesn’t take perfection to know, love and share the goodness of God…because God is filled with forgiveness.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this ebook by the author, Sean Paul Murphy, for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-The (Desperate) Diva Diaries by Angie Spady

The (Desperate) Diva Diaries
By:  Angie Spady
Illustrations By:  Channing Everidge
Publisher:  B & H Publishing Group

About the book:
“Meet, Catie Conrad - a typical, tween, Christian girl with, oh, the weight of the world on her shoulders. And if it isn’t bad enough that no one seems to understand the social pressures of being the greatest at everything, donning the latest fashions, and carrying the trendiest technology, Catie’s dad is about to uproot her and her family to an Indian reservation during spring break for his job. Throw in a school dance, a major art contest, and an arch nemesis known only as Miranda Maroni and there’s bound to be an epic meltdown of biblical proportions. Or, maybe not…” 

My Review:

All scripture quoted unless otherwise states is from the Homan Christian Standard Bible.  It is hard cover and has the perfect illustrations to catch your tween’s attention.  Since I am always looking for appropriate books for my granddaughter, when I was approached about reading this book for review, I jumped at the chance.  I am so happy I did because this is another wonderfully upbeat, faith-based book that deals with everyday situations. 

In comparison with the series “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Dork Diaries”, this ranks number one in my opinion.  After reading this diary, it is answer to any parent’s prayer who wants their child to read faith-based books.  This book had so much depth to it, even though it was packed with fun-filled situations.  It talks about issues that many girls may deal with on a daily basis.  Catie vents and rants just live any normal tween child, but always seems to come up with a great solution.

I cannot wait to introduce my granddaughter to this series.  I think the other diaries will end up on the back of the book shelf.  I am anxiously awaiting the release of the next in the series.

What a great way to introduce your tween to positive, upbeat reading---Highly recommend!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the author, for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

KJV Brides Bible

KJV Brides Bible By: Thomas Nelson When I decided to review the KJV Brides Bible, from its picture, I thought it was beautiful,...