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Showing posts from December, 2018

Wordless Bracelet from Let the Little Children Come

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Often visual images help us learn and remember more than just talking about things. These wordless bracelet kits from Let the Little Children Come have all of the parts to help both children and adults "see" the plan of salvation and remember it.

Each kit includes enough string to make each bracelet to fit children and most adults. Then there is a bead color-coordinated to share with a plan of salvation and to string on to the bracelet.

While these bracelets aren't something new, they are a great tool for sharing the gospel with both children and adults. These kits from Let the Little Children Come have everything you need with the pre-printed paper explaining each bead's significance. They come standard in English but they are also available in Spanish. They are also fairly inexpensive to use for Sunday School, kid's groups, camps, and other large groups. Another nice thing about these kits is that there are instructions on their website for what words to use a…

Toothella: Tooth Fairy in Training by Kristin Neva

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What sort of fun could you have as a tooth fairy in training? Imagine all of the possibilities. . .Kristin Neva does just that in her new children's book, Toothella: Tooth Fairy in Training.

Toothella is a cute children's book. The colorful illustrations are well done--especially since I didn't realize on the first read through that they were done by a 16-year old. They are fun and vibrant. The story written by Neva is a whimsical tale that encourages little ones to use their imagination to see all the adventures that a tooth fairy could have as she visits various children's houses.

Toothella was a fun story. I think it is fun that Neva wrote her story based on an experience of exploring why the tooth fairy didn't make it to her room one night. I enjoyed this fanciful tale and would recommended it to parents with young children waiting for their tooth fairy.

I received a copy of Toothella from the author. I was not required to write a positive review.

Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas by Ace Collins

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Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas by Ace Collins has all the information you need if you want to find out how a Christmas tradition began.

This book details how almost any Christmas tradition that you can think of got started. Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas shares how advent began, why holly is important, the significance of the nutcracker ballet, and why we hang up stockings to name just a few of the traditions that I found interesting in this little book.

Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas will be a keeper for me in our personal library for future reference. I think it would be a great addition to anyone's personal library and to church libraries. From the introduction in the front of this book through all of the traditions that are detailed, I found this whole book to be quite interesting. It is both interesting reading and a book to reference when you need to as all of the traditions shared in the book are in alphabetical order. I …

Remember God by Annie F. Downs

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How do you feel about God and the Christian life when things aren't going according to your plans. When your dreams don't come true, is God still kind? Good? In Remember God, Annie Downs wrestles with some hard questions in her life and she lets us get a glimpse of what that looks like.

Remember God is written as sort of a memoir of Downs' year as she wrestles with God. Downs asks the question, Is God always kind, really deep down always? Downs is single and not only is she single but she is single well past when she thought she would be married if her life had gone according to her plan. This brave woman opens her heart and her life and shows us how God is not only kind but he does exceedingly and abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20). However, initially that did not look or feel like how Downs wanted it to look. She shares how God grew her heart and soul through the year--a year with both a limp and a blessing.

I am not single. I am a middle-aged wo…

The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

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For the past several years, I have been following Joshua Becker's blog. I have also read all of his books through this one. His new book, The Minimalist Home is full of great information for anyone wanting to declutter and re-focus their life.

When I read Becker's first books, we were getting ready to move and I knew I needed to get rid of stuff. His encouraging books and blogs helped us pare down and make that move. What we didn't know then was that we would make 3 more moves in a short time span. Each time, we pared down a little more. We have now been in this house for three years.  . .and we were starting to pick up some clutter again after family members passed away. We knew we needed to once again declutter, which is why I wanted to read The Minimalist Home. Becker is so encouraging and clear in his method of walking you through decluttering your house that I think he makes the process enjoyable. Besides his how-to information, at the end of each chapter, Becker ha…

Daily Readings from All Things Are Working For Your Good by Joel Osteen

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If you want to change your thought life to be more positive, one of the best authors to help you along with that is Joel Osteen. His new daily devotional, Daily Readings from All Things Are Working for your Good is full of encouragement that you can get through the hard things and that God is for you.

Each day's reading from Daily Readings from All Things are Working for your Good is short. There is a Bible verse paired with a reading taken from Osteen's book, All Things Are Working for your Good. This book is small in size, just 4.4 by 6.3 inches, so it could easily fit in your purse, book bag or brief case to carry to read whenever you need a pick-me-up for the day besides your morning devotions. The scenic cover picture makes this book a nice one for both men and women to read.

This daily devotional will of course appeal to Osteen fans, but it also a nice book for someone who truly does need to hear some positive thoughts each day during a difficult time in lif…

Becoming Gertrude by Janice Peterson

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In reading Becoming Gertrude by Janice Peterson, I felt like I was having lemonade with a dear lady who was sharing her life wisdom with me. Peterson, in this small book, offers gentle guidance to readers about building quality relationships with the people around you.

Becoming Gertrude: How Our Friendships Shape Our Faith has a beautiful introduction about the way of spiritual friendship. Peterson starts out the book by explaining what she means by being spiritual friends with someone. She shares personal stories from the heart throughout the book about friendships she has made throughout her life, as well as lonely times without friends and how she went about building friendships. Peterson shares five elements that lead to quality relationships: caring, acceptance, service, hospitality, and encouragement. At the end of each chapter, there are questions and space to write the answers. At the conclusion of Becoming Gertrude, her husband and author Eugene Peterson write an afterword.

Be…

Restoration Year by John Eldredge

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The past few years have been difficult for my family. I suspect that we are not alone. I think they have been difficult for many people. Restoration Year by John Eldredge is a devotional of hope. Hope that the next year can be a year of restoration and healing in your life--and mine.

Restoration Year is a 365 Day Devotional. Each devotional is one page long with a Bible verse, short reading, and a question or something to think about at the end. This devotional is written with both men and women in mind. It is simply gorgeous in the design. Not only is the cover nicely decorated, but each page has the leaf element carried through. There is also a ribbon marker to keep your place.

Restoration Year is a beautiful book. Yet this devotional also contains a lot of thought-provoking material gleaned from many of Eldredge's past writings. I like how the readings help me to reflect and consider how I live my life for Christ. This is definitely a devotional I would get the most from along …

Confident Woman Devotional by Joyce Meyer

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From my point of view, Joyce Meyer just seems to understand Christian women and to know how to encourage them. This newly revised and expanded edition of her daily devotional, The Confident Woman Devotional is just gorgeous in raspberry pink leather with silver edges and a ribbon marker to keep your place. It would be an especially nice Christmas gift this season for any Christian woman that you love and admire.

The Confident Woman Devotional is a 365-day full year devotional. Each page has a Bible verse, a short reading written by Joyce Meyer that will give the reader pause to think and reflect on their Christian life, and ends with a short prayer to pray. The devotional also begins with a short introduction which focuses on how God sees you. There is also a short reflection to start each week giving the reader something to do and focus on. This devotional is based on Meyer's #1 bestselling book, The Confident Woman, which is written to help woman live a life of confidence based …

New Every Day by Dave Meurer

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I have personal experience with Alzheimer's disease and dementia as we have cared for family members and I have friends caring for family members with this disease. I understand the toll it can take on caregivers so I try to read whatever I can about this disease and how to care for those who have it. New Every Day by Dave Meurer is full of compassion and great advice for those who are caring for a loved one with this disease.

New Every Day, according to Meurer, is not written in any particular order to sort of mimic what it is like to deal with the disease that often seems somewhat random in how it presents itself. Meurer give a lot of factual information on how to care for your loved one, how to pace yourself and not burn out, how to manage the financial and legal end of things, and a lot of other good information. At the same time, Meurer encourages caregivers to keep their sense of humor throughout the book.

I think New Every Day would be especially helpful to someone new to c…

What a Great Word: A Year of Daily Devotions by Karen Moore

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I know several people who choose one word for a year and focus on that word. However, I haven't thought of focusing on one word a day. In What a Great Word: A Year of Daily Devotions by Karen Moore, she focuses on one word a day to see God at work with that word.

What a Great Word devotional is approximately 5 by 7 1/2 inches in size. Yet this small devotional book, which is a great size to carry to the coffee shop or wherever you need to go, packs a big punch each day with the reading. There is a reading for every day of the year. Each reading focuses on a simple word, and often it is a word we just gloss over when we are reading Scripture, according to Moore. Some of the focus words are: shine, refuge, weeds, ideas, and only. Each reading  in What a Great Word includes the word of the day, a supporting Bible verse, a short meditative reading, and a prayer.

If you are looking for a new and different devotional for the upcoming year, What a Great Word would be a great choice. This…

Who Sang the First Song by Ellie Holcomb and Illustrated by Kayla Harren

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Who Sang The First Song by Ellie Holcomb is both full of lyrical prose and adorable pictures.

In Who Sang The First Song, singer-songwriter Ellie Holcomb explores the idea that all of creation is full of beautiful, lyrical "songs" from God. This story helps children listen to all of the sounds made on earth and to think about how beautiful they all can be--whether is is the sounds of the wind, the animals, or the flowers rustling in the meadow.

I like that Who Sang The First Song focuses on both the Creator of the earth and the beauty of all of creation. Besides being a good story to read with young children, it could lead to some fun discussions about what other sounds in nature are beautifully created by God. Holcomb wrote this book and dedicated it to her three children. The illustrations are both full of rich details and lovely to look at. Who Sang the First Song should also appeal to a wider audience range as the children are all different skin colors in this book. This…

Who I Am with You by Robin Lee Hatcher

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Jessica Mason's husband and young daughter died in a tragic accident. She is grieving more than one loss and also facing life as a single mom with her unborn child.  Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and reeling from false media headlines that have hurt his good name. They are both hurting and hiding out when they discover they are neighbors. A sweet little stray dog brings them both together. . .but are they ready for a relationship?

Jessica's grandmother passed away shortly before Ridley comes to town. She is given her grandmother's Bible that she inherited from her great-grandfather. While we read the story of Jessica and Ridley, we also read the story of Andrew and Helen Henning from the 1930s. It is a reminder that across the generations we face challenges and those challenges are much easier to bear when faced with God.

I enjoyed Robin Lee Hatcher's latest book, Who I Am With You. Her stories flow so well and …