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Showing posts from October, 2018

Feel Better Fast and Make it Last by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.

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Are you struggling with negative thoughts, anxiety, or stress? Are you looking for a holistic method to improve your thought life and your health? Dr. Daniel Amen has a plan to help in Feel Better Fast and Make It Last.

Feel Better Fast and Make It Last from the "brain doctor"  uses what Dr. Amen calls the BRAIN-XL approach. This is an acronym for the program that Dr. Amen recommends for lasting change. B is for Brain. In this section, Dr. Amen shares both short and long-term techniques for healing your thought life and making lasting changes. R stands for Rational Mind. In this section, Dr. Amen helps readers learn to conquer worry and negativity so they feel happier. Part 3 is the letter A for Attachments where Dr. Amen gives advice for improving relationships and eliminating relationship hurts. I stands for Inspiration and in section 4, Dr. Amen helps readers learn to live with passion and purpose and to avoid depression. N stands for Nourishment. In this section, Dr. Ame…

One Big Story Seek-and-Circle Bible Battles from BH Kids

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One Big Story Seek-and-Circle Bible Battles is a truly fun and interesting book for little ones to learn and grow with. Well, to be honest, we all learned new things and enjoyed it.



One Big Story Seek-and-Circle Bible Battles is much nicer than I expected when I ordered it. It measures a little over 10 inches square so it is a nice large book. The pages are also nice and thick--easier for little ones to turn the page and also able to stand up to more wear and tear. I used a dry erase marker from our dry erase board and had no problem writing on the pages and wiping them off. It looks like the book, if it is taken care of, would last a good long time. The illustrations are bright and vibrant and fun to look at.

At the front of One Big Story Seek-and-Circle Bible Battles there is a Parent Connection note for parents to use with their children. This section contains a Bible verse to remember, a portion to read and some questions to think about. There is also a good description of The Arm…

This Season of Angels by Perry Stone

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Perry Stone has studied angels for more than forty years and shares his knowledge and expierience in his latest book. In This Season of Angels: Angelic Assignments During this Prophetic Season, Stone explore the significance of angels and their connection to major prophetic seasons.

This Season of Angels is full of great information about angels. In each chapter, Stone relies on Scripture to back up the information that he shares. I liked that I could go and look up the verses that he was talking about. Stone also shares a lot of interesting stories and personal experiences with angels. Some of my favorite chapters include: The Angel Who Ministers Healing to the Sick, Angels Assigned to Protect Children, Angels Who Are Chasing After Our Unsaved Family Members, Angels Battling Demons in Your Home, and the Appendix where Stone answers 21 Unusual and Controversial Questions About Angels.

I did know some of the information that Stone shared in This Season of Angels but it was good to rea…

The Gift That I Can Give by Kathie Lee Gifford

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God gives each of us, as his unique creations, special gifts when we are born. The Gift That I Can Give by Kathie Lee Gifford is designed to help children think about what ways they can love and encourage others through their unique gifts.

I love the cover with the girl surrounded by butterflies and the gorgeous illustrations inside The Gift That I Can Give. This book has a few illustrations with fall leaves in shades of oranges and yellows that makes it especially fun to read this time of year--although I think it can be a hit with kids year around. I love that the children in the pictures are a variety of colors in their skins too, like real children are, so I like that it reflects the multi-cultural world we live in.  I also like the rhyming prose with the uplifting, positive message that Kathie Lee Gifford gives to children. The Gift That I Can Give is so fun and uplifting with a good Christian message that doesn't come off as preachy. We have read it a few times at our house…

Inspire for Girls from Tyndale House Publishers

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"Shine Brightly for Jesus!" it says on the cover of the overwrap on the new Inspire for Girls paperback Bible. As a young girl, I would have loved this Bible to put my creative spirit to work shining for Him.



The Inspire Bible for Girls, paperback edition, is much nicer than I expected for a paperback. The cover is a firm, heavy paper and I like that it has a slip cover to protect it. I would think this Bible would stay quite nice over time with care and the protection of the slip cover.

I was a little surprised when I received this Bible that it was a little smaller than I expected at 6 1/8" x 7 7/8." However, I think I would have liked that size quite well to carry back and forth to church as  young girl. I have the adult-sized version of the Inspire Bible that is larger but it isn't one I carry to church.  

The Inspire Bible for Girls is a pretty, feminine pink and teal color that I especially like. Not only is the outside pretty, but the inside is two-tone …

The Maxwell Leadership Bible by John C. Maxwell

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Several years ago I heard Dr John Maxwell speak and I have been a fan ever since. However, I have never owned The Maxwell Leadership Bible. I'm not sure how this one compares to previous editions, but I like it for so many reasons!

I like that Dr. Maxwell created the study features of this Bible with people who have any kind of influence in mind--either as an executive, a coach, a teacher, a parent or any kind of leader that influences others. Right now I am mainly a parent and a teacher and this helps me remember my responsibilities.

The side bars all over are so helpful. I like the one about distraction, the enemy of direction in 1 Kings 11. There is one in 2 Samuel about people pleasing vs. God pleasing that is also helpful to me. There is a side bar in Zechariah on teachability. If we don't learn from history, we will repeat it. These are just a few examples of some great nuggets of information throughout this Bible.

Each book has an introduction that comes with special i…

Once We Were Strangers by Shawn Smucker

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I live in a university community with people coming in to our area from all over the world. More and more I see people from other countries living in my neighborhood. I want to reach out to them but honestly I don't know the best way. I wanted to read Once We Were Strangers by Shawn Smucker to give me some ideas of what it could look like to reach out to those from other parts of the world, whether they are refugees or students.

Smucker tells this story along with Mahammad, the Syrian refugee that he met in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The story is told from both Smucker's point of view and with Mahammad's memories of the trip as he shares them with Smucker. There is a gentle back and forth motion to this story. It isn't a fast tale with high adventures, which Smucker thought he might be telling. However, it is a beautiful story of two human beings seeing past their differences and forging a friendship both with each other and with their families together. Mahammad has fo…

A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

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Millie Sullivan's great grandmother was a guest ninety years ago at an opulent mansion on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Millie recently learned from her grandmother, who is starting to get dementia, that there is a journal with secrets guarding a hidden treasure that her great grandmother left inside the walls of the mansion. These years the estate is owned by the historical society and is a tourist destination. As A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson unfolds, Millie gets a job as a 1920s era guest to try to find the journal.



Unfortunately, Millie is discovered as a snoop by security guard Ben Thornton. She doesn't want to be fired so she lets Ben in on the secret and tells him she will split the treasure with him if he helps her keep the secret and search for the journal. Together they end up in one adventure after another as they explore the nooks and crannies of the estate. Ben and Millie might just end up with more than a treasure as the story goes on.


A Sparkle of Silver is …

Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillin Smith

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These past few years since we have downsized after moving four times in three years, we have been remodeling and making this last house our home. Our goal has been simple yet cozy. I haven't always known how to do that well, but I am learning thanks to The Nester (Myquillyn Smith). Her latest book, Cozy Minimalist Home is just what I have been looking for to make our living room and dining room a place of cozy rest for my family and guests.

Cozy Minimalist Home is a how to book for creating your own style in your home that is both cozy and less cluttered. Minimalism doesn't have to mean cold and empty. Instead it can be both cozy and easier to care for with less stuff  to clean and move around (CoMi style). The Nester tells us how to decorate, arrange furniture, hang curtains, buy rugs, add lighting, accessorize a room, and bring color to walls. All the while you are doing these things, she shows how you can still maintain your own sense of style that makes your home uniquely …

The Christmas Star by Donna VanLiere

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We have had cold and snow early this October in the Midwest which has already put me in the mood for the Christmas spirit. I was excited to win a copy of The Christmas Star as I have not read a Donna VanLiere book before but I have always wanted to.

Gabe Rodriguez is a guy who loves children and works in the maintenance department of the Grand elementary school. He often talks to seven-year-old Maddie, a cute little girl who has spent her young life in foster care. Maddie decides to play matchmaker with Gabe when she learns that he is single. Every day after school, Maddie goes to Glory's Place, an after school program while her foster mom works. Amy is a new volunteer there and Maddie thinks she is perfect for Gabe. . .However, there are a few surprises for everyone when they get together.

I enjoyed this sweet inspiring Christmas tale of  love and compassion in The Christmas Star. I most definitely would read more of VanLiere's work after reading this book. It was somewhat p…

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

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Finn Parish is a cab driver. Miss Callie is a lady with dementia in a wheelchair. She calls for a cab one day and the adventures begin. Finn doesn't really want to be saddled with this old lady but she also reminds him of his mother.

It is Sydney Batson's first year as a law student. When her grandmother gets ill unexpectedly while she has to be in court, she reluctantly sends her in a cab to the clinic.

I don't want to give any spoilers so I will stop there.

I had to sigh when Catching Christmas was over. I really didn't want it to end. I don't know what better compliment you can pay an author. I laughed. I cried. I enjoyed every minute with Callie, Sydney and Finn. I truly enjoyed all of these characters. I thought Catching Christmas was a sweet novella that left me with a happy feeling that I read it. I would recommend it to anyone needing a dose of Christmas cheer. I also liked that there are discussion questions in the back of the book and it is well worth t…

Give Me Thine Heart by Andrea Boeshaar

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It is 1814 in England. Moira Kingsley has lost her parents in a tragic accident. Following their unfortunate demise, she goes to England to live with her Aunt and Uncle. They arrange for her to be married to a man she doesn't particularly like or want to marry--Baron Tyrus Kingsley. But the night of her engagement party she meets Mr. Samuel Stryker, an American spy, posing at the party. She stumbles on to his secret and he has to decide if he wants to kill her or take her with him.

Fortunately for Moira, he takes her with him and the adventure begins. I enjoyed this adventure as a whole. The romance, the setting and the travels were all good clean fun entertainment. Being a novella, it is a fairly quick read. I was ready for a book with a happy ending. . .but this one even had a happy surprise I didn't see coming. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Moira's parents were missionaries to Uganda. However, when I looked that up, I don't see where Uganda was a country in 1814 …

Love Does For Kids by Bob Goff and LIndsey Goff Viducich

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I think when we are children, we often don't feel like we can make much of a difference in this world with all of the grown-ups making decisions. Love Does for Kids by Bob Goff and Lindsey Goff Viducich is a book full of stories of adventures and putting love in action to make a difference in the world we live in, regardless of age.

Throughout Love Does for Kids, Bob and Lindsey share story after story of growing up and living out their faith in Jesus by loving those around them in practical ways. I continue to be amazed at the adventures Bob and Sweet Maria encouraged their children to be a part of. Secretly, I wish I had been a part of the Goff family growing up and lived out some of those fun times. But the thing is, we can all put our love in action in our own neighborhoods and communities. Children are encouraged to do just that through Bob and Lindsey's stories. Along with each story, Bob and Lindsey relate a story of Jesus loving people similarly. At the end of the boo…

Second-Chance Dogs edited by Callie Smith Grant

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I am one of those people who always roots for the under dog. I also love animals so Second-Chance Dogs looked like a book I would enjoy. It did not disappoint me either.

Second-Chance Dogs is a book full of real-life stories about dogs who got a second chance, one way or another. This is a feel-good collection of stories of all kinds of dog situations and all kinds of dog owners. One thing all of these stories had in common is that they tugged on my emotions. A few of them made me giggle and more than a few of them touched my heart strings and I shed a tear or two. I imagine any reader who likes dogs would also be touched by these stories. I enjoyed all of the stories in Second-Chance Dogs.

I would recommend Second-Chance Dogs to any other animal lover out there who likes to read and likes to see dogs and humans be rescued. I have to be honest, some day soon I am hoping we can have our own real life rescue dog story as we find a dog we can rescue--or maybe it will rescue us. I have se…

Hope Your Heart Needs by Holley Gerth

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Hope. Whether we are going through hard times or are just going through everyday ho hum days, most of us could use an extra dash of hope each day.  Holley Gerth's new devotional, Hope Your Heart Needs, offers an encouraging hopeful reading for 52 days.

Each reading in Hope Your Heart Needs starts with a Bible verse for the day. Then Holley writes a short devotional reading in which she reflects on the Scripture and shares stories from her heart. At the end of each reading, there is a brief prayer to lift up to God.

Hope Your Heart Needs is a small book but it is large on sharing hope, encouragement and God's love to the reader in each reading. I like the small size because it is easy to stick in your purse or bag and carry along for a quick read whenever you need it. Gerth is co-founder of (in)courage and a partner with Dayspring. She is also a licensed counselor and a life coach, among other things. All of that adds up to an author who knows how to lift up readers and encour…

The Sparkle Effect by Kristen Dalton Wolfe

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Former Miss USA Kristen Dalton Wolfe knows what it takes to win and to be successful in something you have worked hard for. However while winning and success is great, she says real lasting joy and confidence come from living as a daughter of the king and shining with your purpose.  In The Sparkle Effect, Wolfe shares how we can all sparkle with God's radiance and our true identity, so we can rise to every occasion we need to in this life.

The Sparkle Effect has 31 chapters in which Wolfe shares different areas we can sparkle in: Decisiveness, Resilience, Healing, Thankfulness, Right Motives, Teachability and Peace. Each chapter starts with a quote and then ends with a prayer to pray and several Bible verses to meditate on. All of the chapters offer solid advice on each topic. Each chapter is also backed up with interesting stories from Wolfe's life as well as stories from the Bible. I enjoyed the whole book but my three most favorite chapters would be those about "Queen&…