Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Woman's Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year

A Woman's Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year by Diane Stortz is a book I wanted to open as soon as I saw the pretty cover. The Stories of the Journey starts it out and I was inspired reading them and felt I should start a group of women for the same purpose... to seek God through His Word. 
I enjoyed the heart of friendship and sisterhood that gets strengthened as the Bible is read, reflected on, and shared from. 
After reading the small sections before the weekly main points and questions, I decided to pray for God's direction and see if some ladies were interested. So far, every one I have spoken to have wanted to join me with one maybe! We are all buying copies of the book so we can work through them together and I just love the layout. 
Each "Weeks of the Journey" has a page of notes on the Scriptures for the week, a list of what chapters to read each day and checkpoints... kind of like key topics or main points. There is also a quote and a small list of questions to ask.
I have already bought three copies of this book and have people buying more so we can all be reading together as a group. 

Bethany House Publishers sent this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Billy Graham in Quotes

This book of quotes taken directly from writings (from 1947 to 2010) of Billy Graham's is one I plan to keep close by. The pages are like a river flowing from one place to the next of wise sayings and truth filled thoughts.

The book is organized with 389 topics and each gathering of quotes starts off with a relevant Scripture. One would think a big book of just quotes would be blah or boring but the heart of a man all out for God shines through. I found myself reading straight through some times as well as grabbing the book to look up specific subjects in others.
This book is right on as a resource for sharing Bible drenched thoughts in correspondence, for personal use, in writing and more.

This quote from page 68 on Comfort shows a glimpse of what the book holds:
"We should go to no place that we would not go in His presence.
But He is not with us just to judge or condemn us;
He is near to comfort, protect, guide, encourage,
Strengthen, cleanse and help."

Billy Graham in Quotes by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney

Thomas Nelson sent me this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go

Reading this book took me back to some of my own experiences and the stories were strength for my heart. I loved reading of the victorious walks coming from hard circumstances. Lucille O’Neal shared her personal struggles and gave credit to the Lord for helping her through hard times. She asks at one point: “But how can we expect to receive God’s love, mercy, and grace if we’re not ready with open arms?” and that question is a theme to the very end of the book. I loved the forty scriptures she shares at the end of the book and the personal notes she added to each. When I finished this book, I felt renewed hope that age shouldn’t stop diving into dreams and it has helped me learned to … walk as if I have somewhere to go!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, July 11, 2013

When Love & Submission Ignite

This booklet is 8 mini chapters with brief points on some important topics for marriage.
The author shares a bit on a married couple learning to live as one and the main points touched on are: Joining together as a couple, submission and why to submit, preparing for God to work, loving as Christ loves the church and bringing all of those together.

This seems to be an excellent idea to hand out to couples engaged to be married. It is a nice quality book to be small to mid size and would make a pretty addition to a pre-wedding gift.

I didn’t really love reading through the book (did so at once though) and I’m not sure why. I think it could be that it didn’t really pull me in. I found myself focusing on finishing it rather than being engaged in the reading.
This book isn’t likely to reach any group other than Christians but a lot of things written seem to be this way: either strong towards one religious view point or only enjoyed by those who don’t follow a particular religion.
I was fond of the layout and it made the reading better and I really appreciated the Scriptures shared and relevancy of their placement.

Disclosure of material: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

the reluctant entertainer

The Reluctant Entertainer by Sandy Coughlin

Hospitality is a subject I have written on quite a bit over the years because it is something I believe to be very important. I think one reason for this is the memories of times when someone showed me beautiful, heart hospitality and comforted my world when I really needed it. The kindness offered to me was something I wanted to offer others and I have done so for over 25 years.
I wasn't sure what I would get from a book on this topic because I've already read so many ideas, tried so many hints, and tips and more over the years.
Sandy Coughlin wrote a book filled with things to help not only the seasoned at serving people in hospitable ways but those brand new. This book offers help for those who don't know where to start as well as the many who feel it just doesn't come natural enough.
I enjoyed the recipes, the notes on not putting so much pressure on ourselves to have everything perfect and and the wisdom shared on simplifying entertaining. I thoroughly agreed on the importance of paying attention to the five senses when pulling something together and was inspired by the chapter on making deeper connections with those we serve in hospitality. There is so much I liked about this book and it was a blessing to read!

Bethany House Publishers sent me this book at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

The Silent Gift

The Silent Gift by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley

This book had me from the first page! I started it not sure what to expect but was interested from chapter to chapter. I found myself caught up in the journey of an abused wife fleeing to safety... all the while not knowing what it would look like until she found it.
Mary and Jack, her son, travel from place to place during the 1930's and must find a way to survive with few resources. One thing discovered along the way is that even though Jack doesn't hear or speak, he does see beyond what is in front of him and others. Jack sees what is happening beforehand - he can see the future.
This gift proves to be a blessing in some ways and a threat in others and it puts me in mind of the television show, "Touch". In that, a father (Keifer Sutherland) and his son work together to figure out clues as to what the boy is seeing ... things others don't see... and work to communicate what is discovered.
This book is a very good read and I was very touched by the end of it.

Bethany House publishers sent me this book at no charge to share my honest review.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ideal reference to keep on hand

Liz Duckworth's, A Perfect Word for Every Occasion caught my interest as soon as I saw the title. I was raised by a woman who took correspondence and the proper way of it quite seriously! I was taught from the youngest age to go a step beyond a verbal thank you to someone and was shown how to send a card with a hand written note of thanks. I was taught to be sincere and send notes with heart and thought to sympathize with, let one know they were cared about and so much more. Even though I knew and followed my mother's beautiful example in hand writing and mailing various greetings and so on... the world started changing as I was raising a family. Somehow... along the way, saving time became more important than making time to show I cared. Things went even more down the slope when home computers and smartphones became a part of daily life. This book shook the dust off of my earlier intentions and habits and inspired me to be above average as a book (How to be above average by Florence Littauer)It Takes So Little to Be Above Average motivated me to do years ago. Even though typing an email or sending a text can instantly reach one person or a hundred in the same amount of time... it isn't always the way to correspond. There are occasions when we need to step up and find time to not "lean on cliches or pat answers to send" messages. Sometimes, we need to "be personal. Be real. Be specific." Page 52 A Perfect Word for Every Occasion isn't one of those books you pick up and can't put down until it is finished (not that type but I did read it from beginning to end!) but it is an amazing resource to keep in easy reach. Each section offers tips on writing for the need at the moment, quality quotes and relevant Scriptures. This will cut the work out for someone who has an easy time communicating in writing and will be a treasure trove for those who say they cannot think of anything to write! Bethany House Publishers sent this book to me free of charge for an honest review.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Your Beautiful Purpose

Your Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson is a book I chose to review with a decent level of interest in seeing what was written about what God can do through us. Even in the midst of a huge move, I kept up with reading this book almost every day until I finished it! The lay out was wonderful ... each chapter started with a relevant verse and quote. I noticed right away - the writing backed by Scripture so I jotted down each Scripture reference shared to look up more in depth as I went. I ended up with a few pages worth! Very nice to have all the points better understood through God's Word. The book starts out with encouragement for the reader to push past unbelief and "trust Jesus to move forward in faith" and the whole book supports this to the end. I personally was inspired to make God's call a higher priority in my life and to follow His lead and not the zillions of distractions swamping every day. I considered having a Woman's Bible study in my home or at church using this book! Bethany House Publishers sent me this book at no charge for an honest review.