Showing posts from October, 2017

Live the Let-Go Life by Joseph Prince

Many of us are struggling with stress, worry and anxiety with so many challenges in our world today. In Live The Let-Go Life by Joseph Prince, Prince uses Scripture and other stories to help readers learn to live free from stress, worry and anxiety and find a more fulfilled life in Christ.
Some of the chapters in Live the Let-Go Life are: Just Look at the Birds, The Rhythm of Rest, Tune In to Peace, Above All Things, Guard Your Heart, Becoming a Person of Rest, and Stress-Free Parenting. Each chapter looks at Scripture related to the topic and Prince uses stories to illustrate how God has worked in other believer's lives.

As a whole, I found Live the Let-Go Life to be uplifting and encouraging to me as I seek to live for God and deal with the every day stresses of life. I think there would be helpful information in this book for most people. Prince does encourage me to look to God as I face struggles versus giving in to worrying. However, if I am honest, I had some mixed feelings…

100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs

"You were always meant to be brave." Annie Downs shares her own story and encourages readers to not let fear hold them back on her new book, 100 Days to Brave.

The introduction of 100 Days to Brave is a letter to the reader that starts with Dear friend. Downs shares how all of us reading the book probably feel like there is more to life than this. We all have a different "this" but we all need courage to go after our life's hopes and dreams to find our best life. Downs encourages readers to journal alongside this book for 100 days to find the journey God has for you. Downs says she wants to be the friend across the table from you to process and think through the road to your most courageous self.

While I have not gone through the book for 100 days yet, for the purposes of this review, I have read the readings. For each reading, Downs shares a Bible verse for the day, a short reading that offers a brief story or example relating to the verse, and then question…

30 Days to Joy: A One-Month Creative Journal from Waterbrook

Creative Journaling is one of my favorite things to do to relax. 30 Days to Joy is a 30 day creative journal designed for people who like to write, draw, photograph, or collage. You can personalize the journal however you would like.

30 Days to Joy starts out with a short introduction explaining the difference between joy and happiness.The journal then has Scripture verses and quotes about joy interspersed throughout the book. In-between are pages with prompts to make your own creative work. There are also pages in the back to list the songs that bring you joy to make your own playlist on Spotify. The concluding pages of the journal invite you to write about what you have learned about yourself and where do you want to go from here. You can end the journal with a short page about you and all of the people you want to thank in your life as the author of your own book.

I know I will use and enjoy this 30 Days to Joy journal. I have read through all of the prompts and the quotes and tho…

Whisper by Mark Batterson

I don't know about you but sometimes I wonder if I can hear God's Voice today. I believe He spoke in the Bible. I read other people's prayers that were answered so greatly, clearly showing God speaks to them, and I am amazed. But if I am honest, I sometimes wonder if I have a hearing problem when it comes to God.

Whisper by Mark Batterson tells about seven love languages that Batterson says God is using to speak to all of us today. The seven love languages are: Scripture, Desires, Doors, Dreams, People, Promptings and Pain. He tells how God uses each of these methods to speak to us and how to tune into each of those love languages to better hear God's voice today. In every case, though, Batterson stresses that Scripture must line up with each love language you hear.

I liked reading Whisper. I found the mix of Scripture, Bible stories, and real-life stories to be both enjoyable and helpful to relate to. At the end of the book, I appreciate that Batterson has a thorough…

The Father Effect by John Finch with Blake Atwood

From the time John Finch was 11 years old he no longer had a father. His father committed suicide and Finch didn't know what to do with the gaping father hole that was left in his life for many years. When he was a father himself raising three young girls, Finch realized he needed God and he needed to forgive his father and himself in order to move on with his life. He wanted to be the best dad and husband he could be to his young girls. This touching book is also based on a feature film also called The Father Effect. Finch said he felt God was calling him to reach out and to share his story to help other men and women heal from the loss of their fathers. Whether they lost a father from death, divorce, or if they just had dads who weren't emotionally present, healing can be found through God and through learning to forgive.

As a woman I have a different sort of father wound. I still have my dad, but he doesn't talk to me very often. I can see how my distant relationship w…

Healing Arthritis by Susan Blum with Michele Bender

It seems like many of us end up with one form of arthritis or another by the time we are elderly. Instead of being one of those statistics, this book could help change those odds. Healing Arthritis: A 3-Step Process to Conquering Arthritis Naturally by Dr. Susan Blum, a leading expert in functional medicine, offers a better approach to healing arthritis permanently. Even more inspiring to me, she shares her own personal healing story in this book along with her expertise.

I have osteoarthritis in an ankle that I broke when I was in my early 20s. I didn't really feel the arthritis until the last couple of years due to a combination of stress and a tendon tear in the same ankle. I don't want to take a lot of medication so I decided to read Dr. Blum's book to see if I could make a difference naturally.

Dr. Blum gives a lot of information in an easy to read format. She first explains the various types of arthritis that one can contract. She also shares stories of real people…

Hind's Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard holds a special place in my heart. It is one of the first books that I read as a baby Christian. A dear college roommate left a copy for me with a note as we left for the summer. I read it and treasured it. This edition of Hinds' Feet takes the book to a whole new level. It is just beautiful!

Hinds' Feet on High Places is an allegorical story of Much Afraid as she faces trials and challenges on her Christian journey. Throughout the story, Much Afraid continues to rely on God and continues to keep her faith through the challenges. This beautiful mixed-media edition contains 80 full color paintings, photographs and hand lettered scriptures. It has space to journal and color verses of your own. It could truly be an interactive story of your personal faith journey along with Much Afraid's. It is a also a beautiful edition to give as a gift, especially to a young believer, as I was gifted this book.

According to Tyndale House Pub…

The Life, Art and Cookbook by Cipe Pineles: Leave Me Alone with the Recipes

I am a huge fan of publication design both for books and magazines. My journalism degree included an emphasis in magazine design. Along with a love of publication art, I also relish good cookbooks. I have a fairly extensive collection that I read just like novels. With my interests, I found great pleasure in Leave Me Alone With the Recipes.

Cipe (Pronounced C. P.)  Pineles was one of the most influential graphic designers of the 20th century. This  spent many years working for Conde Nast publications as their first female art director and even taught design classes, as well as other notable work. I found her story to be fascinating. The first part of the book tells her complete story, as much as the authors have known. The four women who collaborated on this project all have an interesting connection to Pineles and publishing themselves.

The main part of Leave Me Alone with the Recipes features Cipe Pineles beautifully painted food pictures and hand-written family recipes. Pineles w…

Be The Gift by Ann Voskamp

Beautiful words and beautiful photos make up this truly beautiful book, Be The Gift by Ann Voskamp.

Be The Gift includes Voskamp's best selections from her best selling book, The Broken Way. These selections of heart touching prose reveal how our lives can become gifts to others when we let God take our brokenness and turn it into gifts of grace. Voskamp says in the introduction, "Maybe the only abundant way forward--is always to give ourselves forward? To be broken and brave who know that when the stakes are the highest, kindness matters the most. To believe that the bad brokenness of the world is met by the good brokenness of Christ's humble sacrifice for us." Many of us do have hearts that are sad and broken, but Voskamp suggests we take that sadness and give our broken heart away so we can begin to heal.

If I could put Be The Gift into everyone's hands in this country and have them read it, I would. If we could all just take ourselves and pour ourselves into …

The Cottage Kitchen by Marte Marie Forsberg

The Cottage Kitchen by Marte Marie Forsberg is part autobiographical story book and part cookbook.

 Forsberg was born and raised off of the coast of Norway. She grew up learning gardening, foraging and cooking delectible meals from her mum. Then she ended up living in England after going to a university and traveling for a time. She has a popular blog also entitled, The Cottage Kitchen. This book is divided by seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn and then concludes with an extra section on Afternoon Tea. Each section contains a mix of stories and seasonal recipes.

I enjoyed reading this thick lovely book. Some of the recipes look a bit challenging for finding ingredients locally for me. Otherwise, I think many of the recipes look like fun. Many are different than the recipes in my area. Clearly the culture is different, but that is what I like about this book. I can try something new and fun. Even recipes like waffles and pancakes don't look like what I am used to in the Mi…

Big and Little Coloring Devotional written by Rachel C Swanson andIllustrated by Jacy Corral

Coloring is still one of my favorite things to do. The Big and Little Coloring Devotional has something to offer both children and adults in one nifty package so both the young and the older can enjoy coloring.

This dual age coloring book devotional allows adults to read a short uplifting devotional reading and to relax while coloring a more complex coloring picture. On the opposite page, there is a simpler picture for children to color that is age appropriate for younger ones. The Big and Little Coloring Devotional has 112 pages of uplifting pictures and readings to do together.

I love the idea of this intergenerational coloring devotional. I have to be honest and say that I don't have little ones to color with me right now, although I am not above borrowing nieces or neighbor children to color with me with a mom's blessing. However, I still found the readings in the Big and Little Coloring Devotional to be encouraging and fun as an adult. They are short and refreshing and h…

Life-Changing Miracles compiled by James Stuart Bell

Sometimes life just goes along in ordinary ways. Then we start to think that miracles are something that just took place in the Bible. However, God is still in the miracle business today and this book has real-life stories to remind people of that fact.

Life-Changing Miracles compiled by James Stuart Bell is a compilation of 37 true stories of regular people experiencing miracles of all kinds. These stories are about people who have overcome disease, injuries, temptations, dire situations and unbelief. In each story, someone shares how God worked through a challenging situation to bring about some sort of miracle. Sometimes the miracle was a really big thing and sometimes it was someone experiencing a change of heart. However, all of them are indeed miracles just the same.

I enjoyed reading these stories. While I read Life-Changing Miracles straight through, it is one of those books that you could just pick up and read an uplifting story now and again too. Honestly, some of the storie…

God Gave Us Family by Lisa Tawn Bergren and art by David Hohn

What better way time to discuss families then on the way to a family reunion? In God Gave Us Family, Little Pup's wolf family is having a family reunion in the woods. As they travel to the reunion, Little Pup asks his Mama and Papa all sorts of questions about families. They give him some warm and reassuring answers as they remind Little Pup that God gives us each a family. Little pup learns that families come in all different sizes and types, but we need to love the family He gave us.

God Gave Us Family is written for children ages 3 to 8. This book is positive and affirming, besides being fun to read as a family. Along with the story, I especially love the adorable illustrations of the wolf family and their camping reunion in the woods. I would think many families would be able to relate to this family camping adventure with illustrations of family members roasting marshmallows, sleeping in tents, playing games, hiking and catching lightning bugs to put in a jar. Even though ani…

Fierce Hearted by Holley Gerth

Holley Gerth has been a favorite writer for many years. She always inspires me to be my best self. That doesn't mean I need to be perfect, rather I just need to be all ME. Fiercehearted is her latest inspiring book for women of all ages.

Fiercehearted includes 40 chapters intended to encourage women to become more Fiercehearted. You may ask, just what does it mean to be a Fiercehearted women? Gerth will tell you just what that looks like in the most beautiful eloquent prose at the start and the end of the book. Then each reading will show you a bit about what that looks like in her life. Each chapter is it's own story that stands alone so this is an easy book to pick up and read any time. I liked reading it at the end of each day to give me something good to think about before going to bed. They would also be a great way to start the day, along with your devotional readings. At the end of Fiercehearted, there are discussion questions to go along with each chapter, which would …

Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors

Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda more than ten years ago. She founded Amazima Ministries, which helps children and families in Uganda, and she adopted several girls as she sought to serve and minister to the Ugandan people. Her first book, Kisses from Katie, was a New York Times Bestseller and shares how she came to live in Uganda and adopt her girls.

In her new book, Daring to Hope, Majors shares new stories from Uganda intermingled with Scripture and how God spoke to her through those experiences. She shares her heartaches and her dreams in the midst of caring for many who have needed her. This book touched my heart in so many places. I could feel her pain, her sorrows and her questions for God as she worked to help those around her with their disease and desperate circumstances. Then I felt her joy as she shared God's goodness and His presence where she least expected it. She shares so vividly that you feel like you are there with her living these experiences. While Majors …

The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

During World War 2, Amelia is left alone with her young baby, Jimmy, and is determined to help her baby find a better life. Amelia is a young beautician who falls upon hard times after Jimmy's dad is shot down over the Pacific. Now that it is Christmastime, Amelia takes Jimmy to meet his paternal grandparents and make a better life for Jimmy. Amelia is hopeful and has worked hard to secure a new life. Their adventure to a new life begins on a train ride as The Christmas Blessing begins.

While I am reading it a little early,  The Christmas Blessing would be an uplifting read for the upcoming Christmas season.This book is a short novella so it doesn't take long to read.At the same time, because it is a short book, the plot moves along quickly and a lot happens in a short amount of time. It is a feel good read that has a happy ending. Sometimes in this busy, difficult world, it is nice to just go to a place where everything works out nicely in the end, like The Christmas Blessin…

The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne

When Molar Alan and his older brother, Aaron, visit Santa at the mall, they get a few surprises. First of all, after waiting and waiting for Santa while filling out lengthy want lists, Santa informs them that they won't be getting anything on their lists. Rather, they will "receive everything they never wanted." Santa, also known as Dr. Chris Ringle, a pediatric oncologist, enlists the boys to help as elves in the children's ward of the hospital. Molar and Aaron had never spent time in the children's ward before. Dr. Ringle asks Aaron to befriend a boy named Madhu and Molar to befriend a girl named Katrina as special assignments. From there, the kids share a few adventures together in the hospital that bring out the real spirit of Christmas in everyone.

The Paper Bag Christmas brightened my day when I read it even though it is a couple of months before Christmas. It is a heartwarming tale that would be fun to read either alone for your own enjoyment, or out loud…