Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bread and Wine

Wow, I love this book.  Love, love, LOVE this book!!!  I know a good book review summarizes the book first and gives you an overview of the contents.  But I figure you've already read all of that so I thought I would just skip over that and get to the heart of what I loved about the book.

From the very first chapter I felt like I knew the author, Shauna Niequist, even though this is the first book I have ever read of hers.  Her writing is very personable and I appreciated her honesty on her life situations.   I believe I could walk into her kitchen anytime and we would talk about whatever subject comes up.  I learned from her chapter "Start Where You Are" which talks about having people over for a meal even if you just serve them frozen pizza.  She then goes on to explain how she enjoyed having people over and started reading cookbooks to find out how to cook.  She, of course, is a fantastic gourmet cook so it was assuring to read of her beginning hospitality and how she was able to take it to higher levels.

Shauna told about her travels and writes about her own personal experiences with over indulgence.  Her husband needs to eat gluten free but she is working on middle ground for herself......some fasting , some feasting.  I love it!!  (Have I said that before?)  To top it all off, she ends almost each chapter with a delicious recipe!!  I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to cook.  Or not.

I received this book free from Booksneeze for an honest review.  They did not say it had to be a positive review.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

When Jesus Wept

When Jesus Wept is the first book of the Jerusalem Chronicles by Bodie and Brock Thoene.  Bodie and Brock Thoene are best-selling authors of over 65 works of historical fiction and I have been privileged to read the Zion Covenant and The Zion Chronicles.  I really need to read the other series of books they have written as well but for some reason I just have not gotten to them.  However, when I found out I would be able to read and review the first book of the Jerusalem Chronicles, I could hardly wait for the book to arrive.  This couple is well known to research history thoroughly to provide accurate timelines and historical data in the stories they write.

The beginning of this book has me looking at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in a new light.  I didn’t realize the strictness of the Roman rule and it definitely made me pay attention to the details as I read my Bible.  The Thoene’s introduce Lazarus and the first part is about Lazarus before he and his sisters met Jesus.  The whole account of Lazarus owning a vineyard and making wine was fascinating to me.  The story goes on to the Wedding of Cana.  Again, just interesting to see someone tell about this and give me different perspective on it.

The book is divided into 4 parts and tells different parts of Jesus' ministry from Lazarus' perspective.  The way the authors describe Mary was intriguing and again, gave me fresh perspective into her life and Martha's as well.  It is hard to review a fiction book without giving away the story line.  But I will say that I would recommend this book to anyone who has a mind for the creative and desires to see the Bible story come alive from another Christian perspective.

I received this book from Booksneeze, a blogger program from Thomas Nelson, in exchange for my book review.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Upside Down Prayers for Parents

Upside-Down Prayers for Parents by Lisa T. Bergren has 31 devotions that contain prayers you can pray for your children as they experience life.  The author shares how, as parents, we tend to shield our children from harm when we should really be equipping them to trust God even in the midst of trials.
Each day starts with a sentence prayer with a scripture verse.  This is followed by the author's devotional thought, a longer prayer to read out loud, and then she gives suggestions for making it personal (where you can journal), and also suggestions for making it relevant for your age child.
I found this book to be very comforting and insightful as to putting my thoughts into words for my children.  I have definitely had times where I had no idea how to approach my child with what he or she was going through and I can see where this book will be a great help in the future.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst

Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst is a devotional that is a companion to her bestselling book "Unglued." It is a daily devotional for 60 days about struggles that a woman or anyone can have in life.  Each chapter starts with a Bible Verse, a Thought for the Day, the devotional by Lysa, and ends with a prayer.

I only have the Unglued Devotional and I don't feel like I am missing out from not having the companion book. Lysa is very personable and definitely hits home for me as I am juggling many hats at once.  (I and my hasband have 4 children, and we both work full-time.  Oh and I'm taking online classes so I can get my Masters Degree.  How do you spell C-R-A-Z-Y!!)  When Lysa talks about losing it with her children, I can definitely relate.  Everything that Lysa has described is so true in my life.  She talks about self control and being grateful.  Things that Satan makes us feel guilty for and things we should be convicted to change.  But with each chapter I receive encouragment.  I am so grateful to find a book where I can relate and receive spiritual refreshment.

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.

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.