Saturday, December 31, 2016

Of Stillness and Storm by Michelle Phoenix

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Of Stillness and Storm (Thomas Nelson, December 2016)
“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”
It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.
At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.
Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.

My opinion:
I just finished this book and have so many emotions from reading it. The ending totally took me by surprise and was not wrapped up neatly like most books, but isn't that how real life is?
This book is raw and intense, filled with deeply flawed people. Being that the author has lived and worked with missionary kids I think it is a very accurate of how some young people handle the situation.
This book is gritty and sad, but the author writes in such a way that it is hard to put down and at the end you are glad you read it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nothing to Prove vy Jennie Allen

This book was a great read, certainly just the book I was needing right now. This book is for those who feel like they never are good enough and are inadequate. This book really deals with how too often we are trying to prove ourselves to God and want to do things to make Him love us, often failing miserably.
This book is so encouraging in that it really speaks about God loves us and wants us to draw closer to him and when we let go of our insecurities and really embrace who we are how he can move through us.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Waiting for Wonder by Marlo Schalesky


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Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God’s Timeline (Abingdon Press, November 2016)
What if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?
It’s easy to believe God when a promise is new. It’s hard when the years pass and nothing changes. It’s even harder when desperation strikes, your plans backfire, and still God does not fill the emptiness. But what if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?
Join author Marlo Schalesky on a unique, contemplative journey to reveal the wonder that is often missed when we find ourselves struggling to wait well. Walking through the life of the biblical character Sarah, one who knows what it means to wait, you will discover a glimpse of God’s character that will give you strength to keep hoping and praying for the desires of your heart.
Waiting for Wonder is a journey into the heart of God where you will wrestle with personal questions, think deeply about God’s true character, and learn to appreciate His divine work as you discover your own path to the promised land. Recapture your hope, restore your soul, and renew your vision of a wondrous Savior when you learn to live on God’s time.

My opinion: This book was just the kind of book I needed to read. Sometimes it feels like all you do in life is wait on God to move and sometimes it seems like it is the last thing He is going to do.  This book draws on the story of Sarah and how God called her to wait and how she had doubts, fears and even tried her own way. I have never viewed Sarah in a way that I can relate to by Marlo did a great job at drawing comparisons from Sarah's life to our own and it is amazing how similar it is, it is easy to point fingers at Sarah when she took matters in her own hand but how often do I do the exact same thing? This book was freshingly honest and very humbling to read, drawing heavily on scriptures and her own personal experiences this book was a wonderful read.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A minute of Vision for Men by Roger Patterson

This book is an excellent devotional for men, such a quick,easy read to get ones day started off right with such short, but thought provoking things that pack quite a punch and are sure to get you thinking. I was surprised how well put together it was and how well written it was.
I loved how this book tried to help one get a vision for ones life, too often we do meander through life without doing the things are really meaningful and this book helps one get refocused.
 It was tastefully bound to which makes it visually appealing as well, this book would make a great gift!
I receive a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Where does love hide? by Mary Manz Simon

What a wonderful little book to read to ones little ones. Filled with insightful lessons, I love how this book incorporates scriptures to help reiterate the lessons the book is trying to teach kids manners and important things like sharing, being kind and helping others. This book is a gem, made of sturdy this book is thin cardboard, kind of a cross between a paperback and regular board book. It should hold up well to little ones hands.
This book is a great resource to have on hand, to use for Sunday school or give as a gift, such a great little book!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pray A to Z by Amelia Rhodes


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Pray A to Z: Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community (Worthy, November 2016)
Change the world one prayer at a time.
How would our community change if instead of absently saying, “I’ll pray for you,” we actually did pray–deeply, intensely, and purposefully?
Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Praying for Your Community will help you topically organize your prayer requests and lay the burdens of your community at the feet of our Heavenly Father.
With compassion and encouragement, Amelia Rhodes offers Bible verses and prayer prompts, organized topically for every letter of the alphabet. There are five topics per letter–three prayers of petition asking God to work in a certain area of need, and two more prayers of praise to reflect gratitude for God’s presence in the daily issues and relationships of life. Through petition and praise, your specific, focused communion with God will lighten your heart as you place the heaviness of those prayer requests where they belong–on His strong shoulders.
Whether you are praying for a friend’s adoption journey, a neighbor’s bankruptcy, or a family member’s cancer, this book will give you Bible verses, prayer prompts, and prayer starts to guide you through praying for even the most difficult issues that affect the people you know and love. Perfect for either individual or group prayer, Pray A to Z will help you experience the peace that comes from communicating with God.

My opinion: I was really excited to get this book, I know my prayer life is sadly lacking and I was intrigued by the concept, hoping it would bring a much needed lifeline to my prayer life. This book was even better than I expected! Thoughtfully written it is such a gem! It talks about how deeply important prayer is and how all different aspects of our lives would change if we truly took prayer seriously. I loved the scripture books the author found to support her thoughts and how she went through A to Z. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Scripture Doodle


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ScriptureDoodle: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, October 2016)
With inspiring exercises and prompts, this unique interactive guide introduces readers to a creative connection between Bible study, artistic expression, and worship.
Often, in the busyness of life, Christians forget that God created them to enjoy creativity. With guided instruction and completed examples, this beautiful book invites readers to draw closer to God through their own art.
More than a coloring book, ScriptureDoodle is a combination of Bible study, creative expression, and artistic community with artwork shared online at #scripturedoodle. Exploring topics such as being generous, finding rest, and facing grief, ScriptureDoodle gives the heart the creative space it needs. This book stimulates the reader’s imagination and helps integrate God’s Word into everyday life.

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ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, December 2016)
Some of the most incredible stories in the Bible are of God’s promises and faithfulness to His children.
ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in this interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art. Artist April Knight includes creative lettering tips, color ideas, and completed examples to inspire readers to respond to promises in Scripture related to trust, faith, and the power of God’s Word in all circumstances.
This unique blend of Bible study and creative expression provides the opportunity to connect with God as Creator in a new, life-changing way.

My opinion: Both of these books were so amazing and uplifting, filled with gorgeous drawings and such thought provoking themes I feel that this too adult coloring books to a whole different level as it is so much better than a mere coloring book, there is so much more to do and so much more to think about. These books were beautifully drawn and skillfully put together this book would make a great gift or to keep for ones self. I received a copy of these books in exchange for my honest opinion.

32 Yolks by Eric Ripert

I am not much terribly in the know when it comes to celebrity chefs so I honestly had no idea who Eric Ripert was when I received this book, despite that though I found this book to be a interesting and insightful.
This book is a look into what has made Eric Ripert the top chef that he apparently is. Written in a interesting and engaging manner this book is often heartbreaking, especially when he talks about his childhood which from all account was a not very happy one filled with loss and hurts to find solace in the kitchen and feeling like food was his calling. From reading this book one gets the sense of how deeply passionate Mr. Ripert is and how that passion drove him from a young age to truly be the best and be at the top of his game.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Pursing Gold by Cynthia Simmons


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Pursuing Gold (Elk Lake, October 2016)
With his father dead and his business partner incapacitated, Peter Chandler inherits the leadership of a bank in economic crisis.
With only a newly-minted college degree and little experience, Peter joins his partner’s daughter, Mary Beth Roper, in a struggle to keep C&R Bank afloat while the Civil War rages around Chattanooga. Political pressure for unsecured loans of gold to the government stirs up trouble as tempers and prices rise. Their problems multiply when Mary Beth discovers counterfeit money with Peter’s forged signature. Can they find the forger before the bank fails? The two friends must pursue gold on behalf of their business, as they learn to pursue their heavenly Father to find hope and peace.

My opinion: I am a big Civil War buff so I was delighted to read this riveting novel about the Civil War and  I am so glad I did! You could tell the book was well researched and a lot of time and effort were put into getting the  details just right. The characters were enjoyable and interesting and I loved how sweet the romance was, just enough to satisfy the romantic soul while having a lot going on where there was so much more to the book. This was a great book and I highly recommend it. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Getaway with God Letitia Suk


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Getaway with God (Kregel, November 2016)
What if a simple day away could transform your life?
Does spending time with God sound like just one more thing to check off an ever-increasing to-do list? How are you supposed to fit in anything that threatens to be more time-consuming? Too often there’s simply no room to experience the intimacy, grace, and peace that God offers us.
Getaway with God does more than invite you to step away from life’s pressures to take a personal retreat. It shows you exactly why you must–for your sake and for your family’s.
With grace and warmth, Letitia Suk provides step-by-step guidance and the necessary tools to enable any woman on any budget to plan time away, whether it’s a quick, half-day break or a weeklong time of restoration. You’ll find detailed steps for preparation, including descriptions of different kinds of retreats and how to choose the best one for you, and you’ll learn ways to bring the renewal you experience home with you. Practical appendixes identify retreat centers nationwide and provide exercises and prayers to kick-start your getaway with God.
No matter what your season in life, the time for retreat is now!

My opinion:  This book was a much needed reminder that making time to get away from the pressures of life and spending some time with the Lord is much needed. I loved how it focused on taking a personal retreat to be with the Lord and renewing ones heart and spirit, because it is so easy to get down with the day to day responsibilities and have ones walk with the Lord take the back burner. Filled with practical and excellent advice this book was a great and refreshing read for this tired, busy Mom.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The French Chef in America by Alex Prud'Homme

For any lovers of Julia Child this book is a fascinating read. This book details the fascinating women who found herself famous for French cooking in America and how it profoundly changed her life. Written by her great-nephew this book offers a vivid portrait of the women who forever changed how American's viewed French food and started a revolution. This book picks up where her previous book left off and I am profoundly grateful.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Nonsense by Jamie Holmes

What a fascinating, thought provoking book. The concept behind the book as intriguing and I couldn't wait to get a copy and it certainly didn't disappoint.  If you are a fan of books by Malcolm Gladwell or like  books that make you feel like you are learning something and enjoyed the process this book is one you will like.
Filled with research and interesting stories about how humans face uncertainties and how to handle them better. This makes a compelling argument for how we deal with things we don't understand and how to do it much better.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.