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Showing posts from February, 2017

Zip It by Karen Ehman

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Some days I can totally understand where James was coming from when he wrote about the tongue in the Bible. Some days it can just be a challenge to watch what I say even though I have a heart to encourage others. Karen Ehman has a new 40 day devotional book called Zip It to help us consider how to choose our words more carefully whether we are speaking, typing, or texting.

Each of the 40 daily devotions in Zip It contain a Bible verse, a short reading with a story to relate to the verse for the day, a section called Today's Takeaways which sums up the main points to remember from the reading, a Lesson for the Lips which offers some questions and thoughts to help you think about how to do the day's reading in your life, and a prayer for the day in conclusion. Each day's reading gives you something to think about, something to do and a heart connection with God in the prayer for the day.

I previously read Ehman's book, Keep It Shut and found it to be helpful in thinking…

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner with Illustrations by David Catrow

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Both the prose and the beautiful illustrations in When God Made You are truly inspiring. This book  was created to help children understand how God created them to be their own unique person and how much God loves them even before he created them. This is such a good message to get across to our little people at a young age so they can carry that message forward as they grow up through the sea of voices that may try to tell them otherwise.

As an artsy person who loves to create and journal, When God Made You touched me in a special way. I just felt so creative and loved as I read it. . .and my child did too. The rhyming and the illustrations flow together so well. We are all made in a special way and what a wonderful book to celebrate our own uniqueness and appreciate others for theirs. We loved the vibrant eye-catching colors in the illustrations and the heart catching words of the prose. I know When God Made You will be a favorite for years to come in our family.

I received When …

Attend: Forty Soul Stretches Toward God by Laura Davis Werezak

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Attend means to literally means "to stretch toward," according to Laura Davis Werezak. She wrote Attend to help readers stretch toward God when they may not quite know how or where to start to do that. Attend contains forty days worth of helpful soul stretches.

These forty soul stretches in Attend don't necessarily have to be read straight through. In fact, Werezak says in the introduction that there is no right way to use this book. She encourages you to start your stretching however it works best for you--read the book straight through, pick and choose and read randomly, or read during Lent or Advent when you especially want to turn your focus toward God. Along with those loose reading guidelines, Werezak adds that you may want to read Attend alone or with others in a group to share. Werezak stresses that Attend is not a spiritual checklist, encourages readers to give themselves grace each day, and adds that the real power is found in the "doing."

Each of th…

Where Do I Find Jesus? by Sheila Walsh

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Are you looking to lead your young children into a relationship with Christ? Where Do I Find Jesus? by Sheila Walsh could be a tool that would make sharing Christ with your young children easier.

Where Do I Find Jesus? introduces the McDougal twins' new friend, Abby, to Jesus. The McDougal twins, Emma and Liam, invite their neighbor to church with them. Throughout this short story we follow their visit to church and home.  As Abby looks to find the Jesus she heard about at church, the twins help her find him. We also see a bit of a quirky storyline with the dog and cat as they also follow along on the search for Jesus. Where Do I Find Jesus? concludes with the gospel presentation in the short Parent Connection section so parents can share Jesus with their young ones and lead them in prayer to accept Christ.

The illustrations by Sarah Horne in Where Do I Find Jesus? are bright, vibrant and inviting to young ones. The story is short but fun and could be a helpful tool to any young f…

Praying the Psalms:Drawing Near to the Heart of God by Ben Patterson

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In the introduction to Praying the Psalms, Ben Patterson tells us that this book is a beginner's guide to praying the psalms. Patterson adds that his goal is not to tell you what to pray but to "stir your heart and imagination to lead you into prayer."

Many have said the Psalms are a mirror that will reveal you, but Patterson also believes that as you read them and pray them, they will change you. The Psalms share a whole lot of emotions that we feel each day from praise and thanksgiving to cries for help, there is a psalm that will fit your situation.

I have found several days of praying the psalms has often left me feeling closer to God. This book could be used start to finish as a daily devotional or you could just pray a psalm as you feel the need. Either way, this book offers another way to use the Scriptures to get closer to God. This beautiful edition of Praying the Psalms with its leather cover would also make a lovely gift for someone on a special occasion or g…

Your Magnificent Chooser by John Ortberg and Illustrated by Robert Dunn

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I have to admit from the moment I looked at the gorgeous cover of The Magnificent Chooser, I just knew I had to read it. John Ortberg writes beautiful prose and Robert Dunn's illustrations work together to create the most lovely book for children to help them learn to make choices.

Your Magnificent Chooser helps children see that making choices is fun. As we see in the note to parents, John Ortberg writes that making choices is often fearful for many adults who don't want to miss out on God's will. Ortberg hopes to help children see that when we look to God, He helps us make good choices and He helps us to do it well for He is most concerned with who we are becoming in the end than the situations we create through our choices. This is a Christian book based on the God of the Bible.

My family just loved this beautiful book and Ortbergs verses about making choices. I can see it being in our family for a long time. I think Your Magnificent Chooser would be a good book choic…

People of the Second Chance by Mike Foster

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People of the Second Chance by Mike Foster offers encouragement for those who need a second chance and advice for those who want to help prodigals get a second chance. Foster is down to earth and the book reads like getting together with your good friend and sharing over coffee.

Foster is the chief chance officer at People of the Second Chance. This non-profit group helps people see that they can be redeemed in spite of stories that are less than. Foster shares his story as the book begins and tells about his own need for a second chance. People of the Second Chance offers inspiration and encouragement for most of us that would be reading it and are in need of God's grace and grace from those we meet.

I thought People of the Second Chance had a lot of good information and advice in it. As someone who has needed a second chance a time or two, I found it encouraging and uplifting. However, I have to admit for this book, I would have liked to have seen a warmer, more invit…

Detours by Tony Evans

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According to Tony Evans in his new book, Detours, God has a plan for your life. . .More often than than not, it's a detour." Pastor Evans had me at that line on the back cover. I could easily see several detours in my life over the past few years and some detours I am still stuck in. Pastor Evans goes on to say that detours are a good thing that often feels bad and that God will use the detours in our lives to bring blessings. I find that to be a comforting thought.

Detours: The Unpredictable Path to Your Destiny by Tony Evans uses examples from the life of Joseph to show how detours can actually be used to bring about God's blessing for you. Pastor Evans helps you answer how you can make the most of the detours in your life and he helps you understand the purpose of detours. Even though I have read the story of Joseph many times, I found myself mesmerized by the life of Joseph all over again as I read Detours.

I found Detours to be one of the most useful recent books th…

Cherish by Gary Thomas

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Traditional wedding vows often have spouses vowing to love and to cherish each other. However, if you are like me, you remember that you are to love each other but that word, "cherish" can get lost in the day to day life after saying those vows. Cherish by bestselling author Gary Thomas helps spouses understand just what it means to truly cherish their spouse.

Cherish offers a lot of practical insights and advice to living a better life as a couple, cherishing your spouse and making your marriage better then you could imagine.  Throughout the book, Thomas shares stories from his marriage, from other couples and wisdom from the Bible to help you better understand the art of cherishing your spouse. This book is easy to read and understand. . .and honestly helps you want to cherish your spouse better each day as you read through it.

I have to say Cherish was such a helpful book for me on marriage. I could see so many ways that I could better cherish my husband after reading th…

Craving Connection from the Incourage community

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(In)courage from Dayspring is one of my favorite groups of on-line writers. I have been following them for years. . .and starting my day with their readings. When Craving Connection came out from the (in)courage writers, I was anxious to get a copy.

Craving Connection invites readers to commit to creatively and prayerfully connect with God, friends and community. This beautiful book (I love the cover!) contains 30 challenges for real-life engagement. Each of the challenges starts with a thought to consider, a Bible verse and a way to engage the theme, such as sending a quick note to a friend to let her know she is important to you. Each day also contains a reading for the day, questions to think about, a connection challenge and a prayer. Each reading is like having coffee with a friend. They are all down-to-earth and easy to relate to. I liked the questions and found those to be great to use with my journal to help me think things out. This book would also be quite good to do with a …