Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Becoming Mom Strong by Heidi St John

This book was written for moms in the trenches, raising kids. She encourages moms not to raise the white flag, but to stand firm on the promises of God. To be honest, I was curious about the title and wondered how much the author would rely on Scripture or merely provide another worldly mantra. Right off the bat, in chapter 1, she writes, "your best defense, your only defense is the Word." I also found these two quotes in the accompanying bible study, "today's moms need a special kind of strength-the kind that comes from God" and "the only way to grow in wisdom is the know God better...God offers wisdom for worn-out moms," who doesn't need this reminder! She encourages moms to submit to God's will and embrace the idea that God is in the restoration business. She also reminds us that our goal is to release these "arrows" with a strong and firm foundation of who they are in Christ and what their chief end is: to glorify God. Most importantly to me, this book points moms to the ONLY real instruction manual-God's word. I was privileged to have received a copy of this before it was released and the timing was great for the season of life I find myself in! I had not read anything else by the author, but she is followed by several of my friends on Facebook.
Heidi St. John is a popular conference speaker, author and blogger-you can read about her here.

Here is a video of the author speaking about the background of the book.

Friday, September 15, 2017


The title of this book was intriguing to say the least. I had not heard of the authors previously, but it
was endorsed by Focus on the Family, so I thought I would request a copy. It was written by a couple who have over 40 years of experience as sex therapists and educators, good information, not groundbreaking though.

The authors recently released two books targeting married couples, this one is primarily for women and it's counterpart is called The Married Guy's Guide to Great Sex. In the book, they lay the foundation for great sex- women need to figure out why we may not be enjoying ourselves in the bedroom. They encouraged me as a woman to listen to my body in certain ways: hormones, brain, body, sexual triggers and potential. They believe that intimacy takes time and intentionality, what they recommend is a formula for intimacy available at

Two things that were thought provoking for me were assessing my current beliefs and attitude toward and about sex as well as prior to marriage. Secondly, now I am training children, there were some helpful charts and pointers on helping our children have a healthy and biblical view of human sexuality.

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

Monday, July 17, 2017

Your Magnificent Chooser

In order to understand the author's point of view and idea for the main character, Chooser, you will want to read the Note to Parents. The Chooser is our will, also known as our ability to choose right from wrong and commit to something. The book addresses the personal nature of each person's individual "Chooser." It is a creative personification of our will that utilizes child-friendly illustrations and tries to bring kid-friendly concepts to life, like avoiding conflict, letting others make the decision, etc. The Chooser as depicted on the cover is depicted by a colorful orb and apparently God owns one too-a perfect one; this in particular struck me as slightly bizarre.  I read it several times to myself and my four young children, but I'll be honest it is not a favorite. The physical book and illustrations are great, I'm still not convinced that his choice of personification works.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please mention as part of every Web or Amazon review that Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Flash the Donkey

A creative story with a great storyline about friendship. The author/illustrator had many spreads that made me laugh out loud. It turns out Flash, the main character, is based on a real life donkey and the author has written another book for adults, definitely piqued my interest.

This book was delightfully illustrated and had a Biblical moral about friendship and good deeds. Definitely a lesson my family is learning. My four school aged kids loved listening and it provided plenty of conversation starters. I would buy additional children's books by this author if available.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in return for this review.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Open by David Gregory

If you are familiar with the book Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory, then this is along the similar lines. After relationship troubles and the feeling that she had "settled" on a number of fronts, Emma wonders, "Does God have time for me?" and asks "Where is his love when something happened that really mattered?" She starts to have doubts and decided Jesus wasn't enough and that the Bible didn't provide her with the answers she needed. Her real question was this-Does God exist?

Emma finds herself on a very personal adventure with Jesus that starts with her in a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee in a horrible, gale-like storm. Jesus allows her to be an onlooker to many biblical events in order to prove that not only does God exist, but that He is in fact a very personal God that cares deeply for her.

This book was an easy read with short chapters, but challenging none the less. I envision leaving it in my guest room for travelers to enjoy, Christian and non-Christian alike. I know plenty of people who are wondering the same thing and asking similar questions as Emma. David Gregory does a great job relating Jesus' ministry to our modern day mindset. Highly recommended.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Review of a prayer and praise coloring journal

This journal contains more than 50 entries that include a prayer, a verse, and lined space for reflection. Peppered throughout are blank pages that include a verse and brief instruction to encourage meditation. It has many beautiful pages, I personally prefer the colored ones. A majority of the journal entries has an entire page dedicated to a quote or a Bible verse; which if you really liked, you could remove and frame. 
As far as the actual physical journal, I'm not a fan. It is hardcover, but has an added cardboard layer, that feels uncomfortable when I am holding it and writing. And at $14.99, it seems pretty steep for a simple journal.  Personally, I'm not a fan of adult coloring books as a means of relaxation and de-stressing, but that is for you to decide. And I'm not sure how I feel about the Mandala-like look to the journal's coloring pages. Overall, I give it a 3 out of 5 rating. 
I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Next door as it is in Heaven-living out God's kingdom in your neighborhood

This book by Lance Ford and Brad Brisco is all about empowering you to transform your neighborhood for the glory of God. The book can be summarized in this quote, "...we are seeking to give vision to what can happen when heavenly minded people determine to do earthly good in the places they live, work, and play" p 61. This book provides motivation and Biblical reasoning on the why's and how to's of hospitality. It was convicting for me, especially since we have recently moved into a new neighborhood. Perhaps our family can just start off on the right foot. 

The authors, friends and ministry leaders, Ford and Brisco address some of the reasons or excuses we choose not be the aroma of Christ. One of them is that American culture has undergone some dramatic shifts in terms of isolation and detachment. We tend to live as nomads and fail to establish "roots." They also believe that most Americans have resigned to pursing the "American Dream" at the expense of losing connectivity with people in general, but especially the people in our very own neighborhood. At the heart, they believe that most people truly do want to know their neighbors; the problem is that it doesn't just happen, we need to make it happen. So then many people give the excuse of "When?" They address that in a chapter about creating margin. Or "How?" They recommend reviewing your calendar on a weekly basis, do not schedule evening meetings, walk/stroll your neighborhood often with the idea to engage individuals along the way and lastly, unplug from electronics occasionally and ask God, "what is Your agenda for me, for here, for now?"

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation."
As Christians we are "in Christ" and His goal/mission is reconciliation. So what are you doing to live this out in your neighborhood?

I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.