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.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book Review-Glimpses of Grace Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman

Ok, so when I read the book Give them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and her daughter Jessica Thompson, this is the message I thought I was getting... a book about treasuring the Gospel and embracing it in everyday life. Well, that wasn't exactly the case, instead THIS book is just that-encouragement on how daily doses of grace may look and wisdom straight from God's word about His grace in the completed work of Jesus Christ.
I don't know about you, but I have recently come to the realization that I have lived much of my Christian with the whole idea of "works righteousness." I'll explain for those of you who need a definition. Works righteousness is basically doing instead of resting in God, it is striving instead of dwelling with God, it is comparing instead of mimicking Jesus Christ. So, once again this was a great book for me personally and my struggle to "treasure the Gospel" and as a friend put it, "preach the Gospel to myself everyday," thanks Jo.
The author reminds moms that we may not be able to get that one hour of quiet to spend with the Lord on a daily basis, so we look for God throughout the day and find plenty of opportunities to grow in holiness while we merely do life. And we must believe and strive for our hearts to be motivated by love and transformed by Christ. Every effort we make during our day, must be motivated by God's grace.
This book was loaded with Scripture and personal examples of the practical side of adorning the Gospel as mentioned in Titus 2:10. I personally needed this message of encouragement and inspiration and would highly recommend it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book review-Loving the Little Years:Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic

This book was written by a young mother who at the time of the writing had five little ones, including a set of twins. She admits she doesn't have all the answers, but point readers to God at every opportunity-which I appreciated and encouraged self-reflection. I picked it up because it was recommended by Tedd Trip (Shepherding a Child's Heart) and R.C. Sproul, Jr. I enjoyed it because 1) the chapters were short, which meant I could pick it up at a moment's notice and finish a chapter and 2) it was filled with real-life stories and struggles to which I could relate. It was a parenting book in a way, also aimed at mothers of young children who need a pick-me-up and encouragement along the journey. I admit it is a little jumbly and each chapter stands alone, but she shares some great strategies that I have not tried. I think it would be best understood by moms with multiple children, but I'm sure it will provide encouragement to most moms. She has since written another book, Fit to Burst : Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood which I will probably be getting for Mother's Day.