Friday, December 21, 2012

Chasing After the Heart of God-a DVD based Bible Study

We're all chasing after something, something that we think will make us happy......but if we are all honest, it feels like we are trying to catch the wind.  This is a quote from the back of the student's book that gives you an introduction to Jennie Allen's new study, Chase.  The study involves a look at David's life, a man after God's own heart.  It explores the events that defined David's life and the Psalms that flowed out of those experiences. 

I couldn't wait to dive into this study.  The DVD's are short and are meant to set the tone for your study time together.  God uses Jennie to give insight into each lesson's material and also gives questions to make you think before you begin your discussion time.  There are also cards provided for each lesson where an individual picks up a card and reads the question out loud.  One example is "In what ways have you been chasing God in your life?"  Or.  "What usually causes you to feel disappointed or sad?"  I would say you would only use this in a group that is willing to share with each other.  I have led groups that are willing to do that and some that aren't.  And a leader can usually pick up on that fairly quickly.

The study guide was excellent and can even be done on your own.  I am a huge promoter of a bible study that gives me more insight into God's Word.  This fits the bill.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers for an advance reading as part of their Booksneeze bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review and therefore, the book review is 100% my own opinion.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

You Can't Make Me by Cynthia Tobias

Cynthia Tobias has written several books on the learning styles of children. I have heard her speak a couple times of the James Dobson program, Focus on the Family. I always listened attentively while Cynthia spoke as her findings rang so true with her experiences on how children learn differently. And I was able to apply many things she said to our own 4 children.

This book focuses on the strong willed child which the author confesses that she was one. Just remembering what she shared of the challenges she gave her own parents underlined that she knew what she was talking about when addressing this subject. I appreciated her positive approach which gave such encouragement when I thought there was no way I would be able to deal with my child one more day.

This book gives great strategies in dealing with all types of children. It gives alot of information and I would recommend it highly to all families.

I received this book free from Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way obligated to leave a positive review.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Southern Foodie

The Southern Foodie is a cookbook by Chris Chamberlain.  It summarizes 100 places to eat in the South.  Chris has travelled to these locations and has compiled a book of some of the delicious recipes that were shared with him.

I got this book mainly because I and my husband have a motorcycle and we love to try new places to eat.  We live in Arkansas so I was hoping to get alot of ideas of restaurants to try out.  I can't say that happened as he only had a couple in the area we live in.  But at the same time there are some great ideas for when we leave the Arkansas area in our travels.

I know that probably the main reason for the book was more for the recipes and it does have an impressive list of the 100 restaurants in the southern states including Texas and Florida.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers for an advance reading as part of their Booksneeze bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review and therefore, the book review is 100% my own opinion.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Unbroken by Lauta Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit)

Unbroken is authored by Laura Hillenbrand and is a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption. It chronicles the life story of Louie Zamperini, an olympic gold contender in the 1936 olympics held in Germany. The book tells events of his life, how adventurous and mischievous he was, until he got serious about running in high school. His brother, Pete, another fast runner, helped train Louie and encouraged him to run in the 1936 olympics.

This book is about more than the Olympics, however. World War II came and many men were drafted, including Louie. It tells of the branch of service he was in and the training he went through in the armed forces. It portrays the bravery of the men he fought with, especially with the equipment they were given to fight with. And to fly in. I learned more about the airplanes used for World War II than I care to know.

Unfortunately, one of Louie's command attacks didn't make it, and he was plunged in the ocean with 2 of his men. I was amazed at how they lived each day in the ordeal of being on a raft in salt water with nothing around them but more salt water and sharks!! If that wasn't bad enough, they were rescued by Japanese and were made POW's. After reading this book I have greater respect for our POW's and what they went through. I honestly don't know how they survived the atrocities that were given to them.

This book will make you so thankful for the freedom we celebrate and experience in the United States. It will also remind you that God is a God of miracles. I encourage you to read it!! I received this book free from Waterbrook Multinomah for an advance reading as part of their Blogging For Books program . I was not required to write a positive review and therefore, the book review is 100% my own opinion.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Call of a Coward

Call of a Coward (The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife) is by Marcia Moston and chronicles the part of her life when God calls her and her husband to minister in Guatemala.  Actually it was her husband who felt God calling them to foreign missions.  Marcia was not so sure.  I loved the honesty she shared as she told of their trip into Mexico and then across that border into Guatemala, bringing their young daughter with them.  She shared the fear she had of the banditos and the unsafe roads they had to travel to the village they lived at in Guatemala.  How many of us would travel on a road when all we could see from our window was a sheer drop off into a canyon below?  (shudder)

I also loved how Marcia prefaced each chapter with insight God had shown her.  I particularly liked the preface to chapter 4:  "Those kicking and screaming death-throes moments when you realize you aren't and you can't are God's opportunities to show you He is and He can."  She shared how her day went and how she had to have someone prepare the food and do the laundry otherwise that was all she would be able to do day after day, instead of ministering to the women around her.  She also shared how it wasn't always easy to give up the life she knew in the States and when a missionary brought her chocolate, she really didn't want to share it with the people she was serving.

The author told her story with humor and I believe that is why I enjoyed the book most of all.  Because life just isn't always easy and sometimes you just have to laugh at situations God puts you in.  I appreciated Marcia's candidness, her honesty, and how God answered her prayers.  She is an example to all of us to minister where God has put us.

I received this book from Booksneeze in return for a book review which is entirely my own opinion.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I was deeply moved by Fearless. This is my first book by Author Eric Blehm. Upon completion of the book I can understand why God picked him to write this book for the Brown family. In my opinion Eric exposed the true heart of Adam Brown and his loving family. I was drawn to this book since I am both a Navy Vet and an Arkansan.

I cried and laugh throughout the entire book. You are hit right way with the reality that Adam will give his life for his country. Then on the first page of chapter one you read the words of a true hero. A warrior that knows one day he may not come home and has to say good bye to his children in a letter no warrior wants to be delivered.

I am thankful Eric cover Adam’s life from his birth. Adam’s parents, Larry and Janice Brown, work hard to provide for their family. Making sacrifices all middle to low income American’s make to raise a family. From birth Adam was Fearless. Climbing anything he could find and seeing how high he could go. While Adam was more than willing to pushes the boundaries of his physical abilities. He was also mindful of others. As a teenager Adam was quick to break from the crowd when they did something he knew his parents didn’t want him to do. One example while Adam was sleeping over at a friend’s house. Most of the boys decided to sneak out. Adam stayed behind. When asked by the friends Dad why Adam didn’t go with the boys, Adam replied, “My parents told me not to leave the house without permission, sir”.

Adam was drawn to team sports after watching his older brother Shawn play Football. He could not wait for his chance to be on the High School Football. Being a part of a team provide Adam with a purpose and direction. Upon completely High School, most of Adam’s friend’s went off to college. Adam did not have a plan. Thankfully God did have a plan for Adam’s. The next six years of Adam’s life would be a tough time for him and his family. Adam would end up stealing from his family and friends. Finally Adam’s parents had Adam arrested. Something Larry and Janice describe as being the hardest thing they ever had to do. During this tough time Larry turned to God for strength. Larry committed his Life to Christ. God led Larry and Janice to a loving church family that supported them through this tough time. After completing a yearlong drug rehab program Adam met Kelley Tippy during an evening out with Friends. Kelley would help Adam find his purpose in life.

Adam and Kelley married just before entering the Navy. Adam enlisted with the goal of becoming a Navy Seal. Adam had regained his sense of purpose and direction. During the next few years of training Adam and Kelley had a son and a daughter.

Fearless is a perfect description of Adam Brown. Adam to faced challenges his entire life. He never once thought about quitting or giving in. Even when he lost the use of one eye, had his hand damaged in a Humvee accident, or felt the calling of his drug addiction.

Fearless is a gripping story of how one family overcame great pain with the help of God. The loss of Adam was devastating. They know that one day they will see him again in Heaven.
Waterbrook Multinomah Publishing provided me with a free copy of this book through their Blogging For Books program.  I did not need to provide a positive or negative review. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Jennifer Chandler is an accomplished author of several cookbooks and graduated at the top of her class with Le Grand Diplome and a Mention Tres Bien in Pastry from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.  So the girl knows how to cook!  She also knows how to put together a cookbook!!  What cook doesn't love a picture of each recipe in the book.  Guilty!!

She comes up with great ideas from grilling artichokes to shrimp to fennel.  Jennifer gives great tips on grilling and the recipes look delish.  That said, I don't know that I'll ever try fennel.  And Jennifer  uses several ingredients that I would never use (like mint).  But hey, I can't knock it if I haven't tried it.

I would recommend looking at the recipe list for this book before purchasing just to make sure you will use it.  That is just my recommendation.  I received this book as part of Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze program in return for an honest review.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms

Cindy Woodsmall writes another great Amish novel, The Scent of Cherry Blossoms.  It is a romance novel from the heart of Amish Country and we are introduced to Annie Martin who is of the Old Order Mennonite people.  Unfortunately, Annie and her Mom do not get along and it actually surprised me that her Mom "kicks" her out of her house and Annie goes to live with her Daadi Moses in Apple Ridge.

Daadi Moses lives near a restaurant run by the Amish.  The Amish don't believe in using electricity but the Old Mennonite do so because of Daadi Moses, the restaurant is able to have electricity.  While Annie lives with her Daadi Moses she helps out at the restaurant that is run by Aden's family and where Aden works as well.  A relationship builds but when it is found out, both families have huge objections.  Aden's brother is one of them because he was in an accident that left him wheelchair bound and he needs Aden to help him.

Annie and Aden start meeting in the evenings by the cherry trees that are beginning to blossom.  And Annie tells Aden the story behind the cherry trees.  You'll have to read about that story and how the romance turns out when you get the book, The Scent of Cherry Blossoms!

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Three Hearts DVD

Three Hearts introduces us to Cissie Graham Lynch, granddaughter of Billy Graham and daughter of Franklin Graham, who takes on a life-changing internship with the Children's Heart Project which is under the umbrella of Samaritan Purse.  It documents her journey to help bring three Mongolian children to America for surgery to repair deadly congenital heart defects that would not be able to be done where they live.

I would classify this movie as more of a documentary and I don't mean that in a negative way.  I've just seen alot of documentaries and movies and this seems more like the former to me.  It is a great story about how the Children's Heart Project "finds" these children with heart defects and the process of bringing them to the States to have the surgery done.  One can be very thankful for the team that is committed to this task and this story definitely shows how God works to bring these surgeries about.  If you don't think one life can change anything you need to see this movie because a little boy in Texas had a big heart and was able to make a huge difference in the lives of 3 children.

The movie also portrays what the Mongolian families went through to trust the Children's Heart Project team enough to risk their lives to go to a country far away, be in surroundings completely foreign to them, and allow their children to go through a surgery that could mean life or death for their child.  The movie brings you into the story to see how the Christian people involved use their testimony in words and action to these families.

I would also share that this isn't a "feel good" movie but one to challenge you to reach out to others in need, to be Jesus to them, and to remember that our witness is Global and not just local.

I was given a complimentary copy of this DVD by Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.