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Showing posts from May, 2018

Just Open The Door by Jen Schmidt

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Does the thought of inviting another couple over for dinner have you tied in knots? If so, Just Open the Door by Jen Schmidt is a great book to read to help set your mind at ease about that social situation and many others.

Schmidt writes a warmly-written inviting book that gives the reader the idea that this woman could lovingly guide them into being a better hostess. Schmidt starts out Just Open the Door by defining Hospitality. She also explains that there is a difference between hospitality and entertaining. She shares throughout the book about how to offer hospitality and why it is important as a Christian. Several of her guests write stories about how her hospitality has influenced them and they are shared throughout the book. Also, at the end of each chapter, Schmidt shares a letter from a blog reader and her answer to their hospitality questions--which may be your question too. Then she ends each chapter with a few brief questions or thoughts to think about in your own situat…

Our Newlywed Kitchen by Laura Schupp

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It has often been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Our Newlywed Kitchen by Laura Schupp offers new brides a book to treasure and to help them make their kitchen the heart of their home or apartment.

Our Newlywed Kitchen would be a beautiful keepsake book to give for a shower gift for a bride-to-be. This lovely book has several pages to personalize from the gift giver and other family members. I see it as a sort of kitchen journal keepsake that would be treasured indefinitely with personalization from special people. There are places to write good wishes for the couple, prayers and favorite family recipes. The book also mixes traditions with modern technology information to create a truly unique book. Schupp shares some of her family traditions, newly married stories, special recipes and kitchen tips. However, she also shares websites and up-to-date ways to feed your family such as through meal delivery services. She shares a lot of practical advice on registering for ki…

Generous Love by Becky Kopitzke

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I grew up singing a song in Sunday School that told others "They will know we are Christians by our love." But what does that kind of love look like in our Christian lives? Becky Koptizke talks about how we can love those around us in Generous Love.

Generous Love is indeed a practical and easy to use book. Kopitzke shares what a blessing is and how to bless those around us with the four P's: Presence, Possessions Perspective and Prayer. For each of those four P's, Kopitzke shares a list of 50 ways to make each one a practical way to love someone around you. She also shares stories from her life and those around her that gives examples of how to love. Then at the end of each chapter she includes questions to answer as you dig deeper.

Generous Love offers a lot of solid practical advice and encouragement for loving others well. I enjoyed Kopitzke's down-to-earth writing style. I think she offers a lot of solid advice and information from the Bible. She also offers h…

Begin Again by Leeana Tankersley

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St. Benedict is quoted as saying, "Always we begin again."  Leeana Tankersley refers to this quote extensively throughout Begin Again.

Begin Again is divided into four parts: Too Tight, Brave in the Becoming, Holy Awakening and On the Other Wise of Surrender. She shares parts of her life and her heart throughout the book. Everyday throughout her journey she shares how she begins again and looks to God for her inspiration through the day and through her life.

I could relate to some of the author's stories and appreciated her honesty and realness. Throughout the book, she touched my heart and soul. Although, after awhile, as I was reading Begin Again, I started to feel more melancholy right along with the author as she shared some sad parts of her life. Then I began to feel a bit down rather than lifted up. Tankersley does share practical ways to begin again in the reader's life through stories from other real women and how they relax, gather courage and begin again an…

Defeating Dementia by Dr. Richard Fuhrman

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I watched my paternal grandfather go through dementia and I know how heartbreaking it is for loved ones. As a result, Defeating Dementia by Richard Furman looked interesting and helpful as someone who doesn't want to follow in my grandfather's footsteps.

Dr. Furman has been a vascular surgeon for more than thirty years. He draws on his expertise to write Defeating Dementia. At the same time, he watched his mother-in-law go through dementia so he also writes as one who has witnessed the challenges of the disease in a loved one. Defeating Dementia is divided into four parts: Understanding Dementia, The Aging Process and the Health of Your Arteries, The Risk Factors for Developing Alzheimer's, and Lifestyle Choices for Defeating Dementia. This book is straightforward and written so a layperson can easily understand the process and how to prevent the disease. Throughout the book, he also shares a sidebar of his mother-in-law Mrs. Dell's experience with dementia.

I found D…

Colorfull by Dorena Williamson

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Young children never seem to be bashful about asking questions about everything and anything. What do you do when you children ask questions about skin color and why we are all a little different color? Colorfull by Dorena Williamson is a sweet story with beautiful illustrations to help young ones celebrate skin colors of all shades.

Colorfull tells the story of Imani and Kayla who are best friends who celebrate their different skin colors. This story is told by Granny Mac and talks about God's colors in food, nature and skin colors. Granny also talks about her gray hair so there is some celebration of age differences to in this book.

One of the things I especially appreciate about BH Kids books is the parent connection page. This page includes a verse to remember, a Bible section to read, and questions to think about and discuss with your family or group reading the book. Colorfull has this page in the back of the book. Both the story, the gorgeous illustrations, and the parent …

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt by Jentezen Franklin

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If you have been around any people in your life, chances are pretty good that you have also been wounded by someone. In Love Like You've Never Been Hurt, Jentezen Franklin offers a lot of good advice for healing and loving those around us.

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt would honestly be a good book for all Christians to read. Throughout the book, Franklin shares stories from life today and stories from the Bible to help readers see how to forgive those who have wounded us, how to heal from wounds, and how to love those around us in spite of past hurts and differences we may have.

I have read several of Jentezen Franklin's books and I think this one is his best book yet. He seems to open up about his own challenges and to speak from the heart. I never feel like he is judging me but rather he is sitting next to the bench in life along with me and coaching me how to get through the tough stuff. His tone is encouraging throughout the book. I also like that he does encourage…

Bountiful Blessings by Susie Larson Art by Carolyn Williams

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I have to confess that coloring has always been one of my favorite things to do. When the adult coloring books became popular, I was happy to be able to partake in an activity I enjoy so much. Susie Larson has created a book that combines resting in God with relaxing while coloring in Bountiful Blessings.

Bountiful Blessings is a creative devotional experience. Each devotion includes a Bible verse, a short reading to meditate on, and a beautiful picture to color.

I especially like this little book. The readings in Bountiful Blessings are just long enough to reflect on without being overwhelming for a quick break in the day, the pictures are lovely to color, and the book is also a nice size to stick in your purse with a pack of sharp colored pencils to carry along for a break time. I would recommend it to any Christian woman who enjoys coloring. It would be a nice gift for a friend or a mom too.

I received Bountiful Blessings from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a…

The Circle Maker Devotions for Kids by Mark Batterson

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Mark Batterson is one of my favorite authors. I enjoyed The Circle Maker for adults so I was excited to see The Circle Maker Devotions for Kids. This book did not disappoint me either.

There are 100 devotions in The Circle Maker Devotions for Kids which is written and designed for children ages eight and up. The book starts off with the story of Honi the circle maker who drew a circle in the sand and didn't budget until God answered his prayer. Batterson also tells the story of the Israelites marching circles around Jericho in one of the first few devotions. Throughout the book, each devotion is designed to inspire readers to pray more and to trust that God will answer their prayers in bigger ways than they can imagine.

I especially like this devotional. The Circle Maker Devotions for Kids would be really nice to use as a family or as an individual for children learning to have their own prayer times. Each reading is focused on the a Scripture from the Bible and offers solid Bibl…

The Healthy Living Handbook by Laura Harris Smith

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To really live well and feel good in today's world, we need to look at living better through our body, mind and spirit. Spiritual wellness expert and certified nutritional counselor Laura Harris Smith shares her advice for true health today in The Healthy Living Handbook.

The Healthy Living Handbook is divided into three sections with the top ten healthy living habits for your spirit, your mind, and your body. Her advice is primarily practical and designed to help you feel good inside and out. At the end of each chapter, she has a question or two to ask yourself and a prayer to pray before going on to the next chapter.

There is a lot of good practical advice on living healthy in The Healthy Living Handbook. I especially like that her advice is holistic and she encourages readers to improve their health through body, mind and spirit. However, I think the spiritual aspect of the book is best for a charismatic Christian reader as she talks about speaking in tongues and being baptized…

Singing the Scriptures by Julie Meyer

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Like many Christians, you may have spent time memorizing Scripture, but what about taking the time to sing the Scriptures? Singing the Scriptures by Julie Meyer gives Christians guidance on how singing the Scriptures can lead them into a deeper spiritual life. Meyer says "it only takes a Bible and a willingness to engage God in song." I think that means means that you don't have to be the best singer, God will enjoy your voice regardless if you are willing to try it.

Singing the Scriptures offers advice and "how to" on taking scripture verses and singing them back to God as a form of personal worship. Each chapter offers practical advice and information followed by prayer, questions to ask yourself, and access to an on-line video to demonstrate how singing the scriptures works. Meyer is a Dove-nominated artist and worship leader who leads workshops on singing the scriptures so she shares from a place of knowledge as well as a heart for serving God.

I so enjoye…

Why Her? by Nicki Koziarz

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It is so easy in our modern day with social media to think other people have a better life. It isn't easy to always remember we are just seeing our friends' highlights and not their whole life. We can easily fall into the trap of wondering why our life isn't as good as so-and-so's life. Nicki Koziarz in her new book, Why Her? offers solid advice to becoming content with your own life.

Through the Biblical story of Rachel and Leah, Koziarz helps modern day women learn six important truths to help them find freedom from comparison. Koziarz shares examples from her life and offers solid advice on finding contentment instead of wrestling unfavorably with comparison. Each chapter in Why Her? ends with a question to wrestle with to help readers learn and grow. The question is followed by the key truths from the chapter to remember.

I appreciated studying Rachel and Leach through Why Her? I look at that story from the Bible a little differently after reading this book and I …