Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: The James Code

The James Code by O. S. Hawkins is a devotional gem.  He provides 52 Scripture Principles for Putting Your Faith Into Action, which can be read as a weekly devotional.  At the end of each section is a Just Do It application or challenge to put the principles learned into action._240_360_Book.1776.cover

The Book Of James is becoming one of my favorite books of the Bible and I found this book to be very valuable in my study of these practical passages. O.S. Hawkins points out that “in these 108 verses is a sort of code – a James Code- that outlines how we can put our faith into action in the normal traffic patterns of everyday life.”  He focuses on object lessons, commentary and practical steps that make the wisdom of the book of James very relevant to a Christian’s walk today.  The author states the goal of this book is to move the message of James ” from your heart to your hands, to move you from merely hearing God’s commands to actually doing them.”  As a Christian desiring to put my faith in to action that makes a difference in the world around me, I found this book to be a wonderfully inspiring resource.  The book is also beautifully designed, with a textured imitation leather cover that makes it an attractive book to display or give as a gift.
Rating: 5/5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com&gt; 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html&gt; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: NIV Bible For Teen Girls

The NIV Bible for Teen Girls is a true delight!image

This Bible is a hardcover book with a beautiful trendy cover.  The pages also boast contrasting feminine colors of black print with hot pink captions.  The translation is New International Version which is a version that is easy for even young teenage girls to read and understand.  Each Book of the Bible is introduced with the following topics: When Did This Happen?, Who Is In This Book?, and Verses You Might Recognize.  Throughout the pages of this Bible are over 300 devotionals designed to engage your teenager to reflect more on the passages being read.  The devotionals focus on the theme of Growing In Faith, Hope, and Love.  There are also feature pages on the Women of The Bible.  There are footnotes provided on each page for additional study information or clarity of meaning. At the end of this Bible are the following additional features:  a Table of Weights and Measures, a Topical Index, an Index of Women of the Bible, an Index of Devotions, and also a Concordance.

Although my daughter is 11 and not quite a teenager,  I wanted to review this Bible to see if it would meet her needs.  She had been expressing an interest in having a more “grown up” Bible, but she wanted to make sure it would be a Bible that she could enjoy reading and would understand.  This Bible proved to be exactly what she wanted and our combined review gives the NIV Bible for Teen Girls a 5/5 star rating.  I think this Bible would make an excellent gift for that teenage girl on your Christmas list who you want to encourage to study and learn from God’s Word.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com&gt; 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html&gt; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: What Keeps You Up At Night?

We all have fears!   These fears can be paralyzing and keep us from fully living life and fulfilling the plans God wants us to fulfill. _240_360_Book.1584.cover What Keeps You Up At Night by Pete Wilson is a book for all Christians who want to know how to put fears in to the right perspective.   I found this book well written, and full of very practical advice.  The author states ” I encourage you to think of this book as a field guide to ruthlessly trusting God’s plan – even in the face of difficulty and uncertainty.”  There are 12 chapters to this book and each chapter has a summary of the main points at the end, as well as Reflective Questions for further thought or discussion.  

I found that I benefited from reading this book and would likely recommend or provide copies of this book to friends who struggle with fears, concerns, and anxieties and need to refocus on God.  The author encourages just that, to make the choice to focus not on the problems but on the One who is bigger than the problems and able to help us and provide the resources we need.  He states that ” the object is not to fear less; it’s learning to trust God more.  I found the illustrations from the Bible and modern times to be encouraging and supportive of the author’s perspective.  I found that he offered very practical applications for each Christian to use in having a more God-focused, victorious life in the midst of trials and challenges.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Book Review – Divided: When The Head and The Heart Don’t Agree

Divided: When The Head and The Heart Don’t Agree by Bill Delvaux  is a book that explores a great divide that resides in many Christians lives. _225_350_Book.1522.cover It is described as “the gulf between the human head and the human heart. It’s the split between what we say we believe in our minds and what we really believe in our hearts.  This book is divided into 3 parts.  The first section takes a view of what the divide looks like and how it manifests in our lives, with modern examples and Biblical history/examples as well.  The 2nd section explores how to tackle the Divide to “expose the lies we have swallowed.”  It emphasizes the importance of self-examination to reveal lies we think, believe and act upon in our daily lives that keep us from embracing the truths that God wants us to build our lives on.  The third section discusses how to close the Divide. This section does not provide a cookie cutter magic formula for feeling more connected to God, but rather warns that we may initially feel more disconnected from God as old ways of thinking and acting have to die.  God ultimately has to do the work of closing the Divide and the author states ” the way Jesus comes to make His home inside of us is as unique as our stories, as different as our fingerprints.”

I enjoyed reading this book because currently there are many fragmented, confusing changes going on in the personal circumstances of my life.  What a comfort to know that other God seeking Christians struggle with this inner conflict between head and heart as well.  It is helpful to think about the causes of our disconnect from God and to have the hope of God working within us to knit us closer as He desires to be connected to each of us.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  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

Book Review: Simply Open: A Guide To Experiencing God In The Everyday

Simply Open is written by Greg Paul, a pastor who works with an inner city ministry that provides a Sanctuary community to some of the most hurting and excluded people in the city. _225_350_Book.1455.cover He lives out each day what it means to love perhaps even those considered unlovable, and He says he has learned to love like this by being open to God.

In his book Simply Open: A Guide To Experiencing God In The Everyday. he shares how we can experience more of God by being more open in our awareness of how God is revealing himself to us daily through our 5 senses.  “No matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing, no matter how busy we get, our senses are engaged – even when we are largely unconscious of them. Scripture makes it abundantly clear, as does personal experience at some level for almost everyone. that our five  senses, along with our minds and hearts, provide a path deeper into the great mystery of God.”  He spends time in each chapter discussing a different sense as it is experienced through our eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, mind, and heart.  He provides a simple prayer to be prayed for God to open us to more awareness through each of our senses and provides beautiful illustrations and reflections about each sense and how it can connect us to a more intimate experience of God.

I enjoyed reading this book and highlighted many parts for further reflection.  This book seemed in many ways an elaboration of the meaning behind such timeless sayings as “Stop and smell the roses.”    I agree with the author that God longs to connect with us in many ways and through all of our senses.  It made me more aware of how much more open I could be in my daily life to all the simple ways God may be trying to connect to me. The mystery of God is revealed uniquely to each of us, just as we uniquely learn and experience through our senses and interpret these experiences differently.  This is definitely a book worth reading if you are at that point in your spiritual walk with God where you want to be taken to a new level of experiencing His spiritual mystery and feeling more intimately connected to Him.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  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

 

Book Review: Beloved Dust

I just finished reading Beloved Dust: Drawing Closer To God By Discovering The Truth About Yourself. _225_350_Book.1370.cover This book was co-written by Jamin Goggen and Kyle Strobel.   As a pastor and theology professor. these men are very involved in studying and teaching God’s word.  The book resulted from their own realizations that many Christians share a common lack of finding rest and true abiding in God.  This book is to encourage Christians, that although self-help strategies and personal resolutions may fail to draw you closer to God….Jesus will not.  By recognizing that we are dust, but not any dust….His Beloved Dust….we can embrace a different process of allowing Christ to draw us and knit us closer to God.

I give this book 5/5 stars because of the applicable truths contained.  Like so many who seek “something more” in relationship to God, I have chosen tactics of trying to draw nearer to God vs just learning to abide in God.  To see yourself as dust, your raw being, and to then recognize that no matter how broken or flawed you may be in your sin…..you are beloved, is freeing.  I learned more about what God’s idea of “rest” should be and how to truly abide and rest in HIm.  I also valued the impact this book made on my perspective about prayer.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  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

Book Review: The Real House Of God

The Real House Of God by H. Dele Davies, MD is a very informative spiritual book that provides an in depth look at the Temple of the Old Testament and correlates it to the believer being a temple of God’s indwelling._140_245_Book.1005.cover

If you are like me, and have read through the long, very detailed passages in the Old Testament that talk about the Temple, you found the information hard to digest and the significance of all the layout and items hard to grasp.  In this book, Dr Davies, looks piece by piece at each described article and detail of the Temple and he takes the time to explain to the reader what the significance and purpose is meant to be.  He also relates corresponding scripture passages and events to further explain the spiritual importance and impact.

More importantly, he provides explanation of how the temple reflects Heaven as the dwelling place of God, and how the temple also reflects the current believer’s body as the new Temple and dwelling place of God. He provides significant applications for our spiritual understanding of grace and how to grow deeper in our relationship with God.

I enjoyed reading this book and plan to keep it as a valuable reference source that I will read again.  The author is passionate about the subject matter and passionate about providing a resource to help Christians grow in their understanding of God’s Word and His purposes for each of us.  My rating: 5/5!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  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

Hebrews: A Better Blend Giveaway

“The new is in the old concealed; the old is by the new revealed.” —Saint Augustinedownload (1)

Hebrews: A Better Blend became available hot off the presses on July 1.  I am very honored to be part of the launch team for the 2nd published Bible Study by author Leah Adams.  I became acquainted with Leah when I joined her for a Bible Study online which involved her first published work, From The Trash Pile to the Treasure Chest – Creating A Godly Legacy.  Leah has a heart for sharing her love for Jesus and how he has transformed her life.  She has a gift for involving the reader in an interactive, though provoking and faith building experience.

So let me highlight some of the wonderful delights I found in this Bible Study of Hebrews:

  • Sweets Galore!!! There is a coffee and sweets theme that adds some fun for enjoying on your own or as part of an intimate Bible Study group. For each chapter of the 8 week study, Leah has provided a wonderful recipe to enjoy.
  • Bite size nuggets of information and discovery.  Hebrews is not an easy book of the Bible to read or understand.  Leah breaks it down in to manageable  components that are easier to comprehend.
  • Comparison and blending of the Old and New Testaments.  Leah provides explanations of how the Old Tabernacle and Old Covenant with God’s people portrayed God’s plan for the future and pointed toward Jesus as the fulfillment of the old as he ushered in the more superior New Covenant.
  • Inspires Faith and Intimacy With God:  Leah showcases how much love God showed in sending Jesus as the perfect and final sacrifice so that ultimately intimacy with God could be restored with you and I.
  • Interactive and Reflective method of studying God’s word.  Leah has provided verses for you to explore, as well as fill in the blank and though provoking questions for you to answer and discuss.  She has included places for you to journal about your personal reflections and discoveries.
  • Application:  Not only does Leah share stories that reveal her own personal applications of the truths found in Hebrews, but she leads you down your own road of seeking God’s will for how to apply these truths so that you can build your faith and trust in God.  Her desire is for you to have a better understanding of the foundations of the life-giving relationship that Jesus has provided as the bridge to connect you to a rewarding and intimate daily walk with God.

 So, now for the Giveaway!  Leah is graciously offering a free copy of her book.
To enter: Help share the news of Leah’s publication.  Leave me a comment saying that you made a tweet about the giveaway or shared on other social media sites, and I encourage you to use the hashtags #HeBrews and #byfaithi.   I will count 1 entry for each social media site.
Another entry option is to leave a comment on my blog about What inspires your faith and intimacy with God.
IMPORTANT! When you click on the comment box, there will be another box for your email address (not made public), which I will need to contact the winner.

This giveaway will close Sunday, July 13 at 8:00 pm.  Winners will be determined by random drawing.  The winner will be announced on this same blog site no later than Monday, July 14.  Good luck and God bless!

WINNER: twiga92.

To view more about this Bible Study book, visit the info page at Warner Press
Also visit the Amazon.com page where you can order the paperback or Kindle additions.
Visit Leah at The Point Ministries.

Book Review: Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek

It’s Time for a Mom and Kid Duo Review:_225_350_Book.1106.cover
My 9 year old and I just finished reading the first book in the Faithgirlz series, called Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek.  This series was written by Jill Osbourne and chronicles the adventures of a 7th grader named Riley Mae.  The book is about the ups and downs of being the new spokesperson for a line of flashy athletic girl shoes.  Riley Mae learns that the excitement and glamour also comes with a lot of commitment that takes her away from the things that she enjoys doing, and causes her friendships to be affected as well.  As a Christian, she feels the conflict of being part of a glamour world and watching the disappointments of those who struggle with not having money and nice things.  Her Christian values prevail, and she clings to the desire to care for and reach out to others.

Ansley ( age 9) shared her thoughts about the book, and she had many favorite parts. A mix of humor, adventure, and mystery were reflected in her choices.  She could relate well to Riley Mae as they both liked the outdoors, sports, etc but also girly, glitzy things to wear, such as the shoes in the shoe line Riley Mae represented.  She liked that Riley Mae was a Christian girl who was kind and considerate to others, and didn’t pick her friends based on “being popular”.

In my opinion, the author did well with capturing story aspects that would appeal to a pre-teen/young teen  market.  As a chapter book, this book often has incentive to keep reading to find out what’s going to happen next.  The entire book also ends with some things not getting closure and promise of more continued adventure in the next book of the series.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://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

Book Review: Death By Living

Death by Living, written by N. D. Wilson, is a reflective look at life, and his perspective on how life and death intertwine and give each other meaning.download

 

In the form of stories retold, the author places memories of his childhood, his relatives, and his own children under the microscope lens and dissects how the moments captured have spiritual value.  He awakens in rich detail the telling of everyday events, happy moments and sad, the joy of new birth and childhood fun, as well as the bittersweet farewells of final days on Earth.  He emphasizes how our individual and unique life experiences deeply connect us to each other and to God.  God’s Sovereignty and grace are predominant themes, and the author wants us to realize that the richness of life is realizing that God is the one who gives meaning and purpose to every facet of its continuum.
I enjoyed reading this book when I had ample leisure time to savor the storytelling aspect. The author uses a lot of colorful, descriptive wording that many may find distracting and not easy reading.  There are many layers of reflection and spiritual significance explored, that are nice to chew on in small segments at a time.  If you are a deep thinker, and like finding spiritual nuggets in the everyday circumstances of life, then you will enjoy this author’s deeply reflective and philosophical style.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://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

 

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