Showing posts from October, 2019

Take the Day Off by Robert Morris

It seems like whenever I ask some one how they are these days that they tell me they are "busy." I have been guilty of doing the same thing but in Take the Day Off by Robert Morris, Morris reminds us that God wants us to take time to rest too.

We may wonder, who has time to rest? Morris says he knows it is a difficult in our modern world but God gives us a command to rest for our own benefit--as well as those around us. Morris tell us in one chapter entitled The Four Tanks that we are at our best when we rest and fill our four tanks--our spiritual tank, our physical tank, your emotional tank, and you mental tank. Through Take the Day Off, Morris offers a lot of solid advice from his own experience, the experience of others and from the Bible about how we can best take time to rest and give ourselves a Sabbath day every week. However, he not only talks about the importance of resting one day a week, but he talks about how important it is to take a vacation and/or a sabbatica…

The Romano Family Collection by Brandy Bruce

I opened up The Romano Family Collection by Brandy Bruce and was immediately drawn in to this book, which is a collection of three novellas: Table for Two, Second Chance Cafe, and Recipe for Love along with a bonus shorter story.

I am a foodie so I was excited to get The Romano Family Collection. I did enjoy all of the meal and food references and there is even a recipe at the end of the book. I also enjoyed this family of characters. As I was reading, I felt like I was living among a real family. There were problems and choices to be made just like real life. At times, I did get a little frustrated with a couple of the characters with how they acted, but I still really liked them. I think that reflected real life too as we don't always like how the people we care about let past hurts hold them back when they need to trust God. Speaking of God, this book was definitely a Christian romance book. The characters seemed to reflect a real faith in God. While I expected to enjoy the fo…

Daily Wisdom for Men 2020 from Barbour

The new 2020 Daily Wisdom for Men from Barbour focuses on the theme of transformation. According to the introduction, the first purposeof this devotional is to give readers "the privilege of seeing this vital overarching Biblical theme explored from cover to cover."

My husband read several of these readings and liked how well they conveyed a solid inspiring message in a short space. He liked that they would give him something to think about along with a Bible verse and a short prayer every day. In addition, he liked the durable cover and the smaller size to stick into his briefcase or book bag for the day. At the same time, there is a ribbon marker, which is nice as a bookmark could fall out while carrying it. Another nice feature of this devotional is a read-through-the-Bible in a year plan at the back of the book. The second purpose of this book is to help men follow that plan through the next year. Besides men buying this book for their own use, it would make a nice gift…

Before and After by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate

It has been said before, and also in this book, that everybody has a story. In Before and After by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate, the authors share the real-life stories of orphans who survived the Tennessee Children's Home Society.

I was immediately drawn in to Before and After as I started the book. I struggled to put this book down just as I did Lisa Wingate's book, Before We Were Yours. Before We Were Yours is a fictionalized account of orphans similar to the real-life stories in this book. I found these stories to be fascinating. It is hard to believe that anyone could be as unkind and unfeeling as Georgia Tann who ran a black market child adoption business in Memphis through the Tennessee Children's Home Society from the 1920s until 1950. Over 5,000 orphans were cleared for adoption through her agency so literally thousands of orphans and families were affected by this corrupt agency.

If you haven't read Before We Were Yours, I would encourage you to read that …

A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be one of the first Americans to see the Grand Canyon? The Grand Canyon is on my bucket list so I haven't been there yet but I long to go. A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott gave me a glimpse in to what it must have been like to see those majestic views so long ago.

Meg Pero has been assisting her photographer father since she was old enough to carry his equipment. When he passes away before he can fulfill a contract he signed with the Army to survey the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1871, Meg seeks to carry out the contract--even though women didn't usually do such things alone at that time. Captain Ben Coleridge reluctantly agrees to take her along as it is too late to hire another replacement. When he was at West Point a few years ago, Meg broke his heart when she was staying there with her father. Can the two work together? Could more come from their mission than just photos of majestic views?

A Distance Too Grand is my…

The Double Blessing by Mark Batterson

Double Blessing by Mark Batterson sounds like a book preaching the wealth and prosperity gospel. However, Batterson makes clear that that is not what this book is about.

Double Blessing is divided in to two parts: How to Get it and How to Give it as the subtitle states.

The first half of Double Blessing talks about how to get a blessing from God by talking about God's miracles and blessings in the Bible and how they apply to today's people. Batterson encourages readers to position themselves for a blessing from God by praying but then also putting in some work on the blessing. Throughout the first part of the book, he also shares some great illustrations from his own life and the lives of other people throughout history. He also reminds readers that blessings sometimes come after difficult seasons and that we need to sometimes work to see the blessings.

In the second half of Double Blessing, Batterson talks about how to bless others. As someone who generally is a cheerful giver…

Healing For the Soul of a Woman Devotional by Joyce Meyer

Do you struggle with some hurts or emotional wounds from your past? Joyce Meyer shares how she overcame past hurts of abuse, abandonment and betrayal in her new devotional, Healing the Soul of a Woman Devotional.

Healing the Soul of a Woman Devotional is based on Meyer's book, Healing the Soul of a Woman. While it contains some of the same material, I especially like this devotional because it gives me just a portion of the material to think about every day for 90 days. Each daily reading includes a Bible verse, a brief devotional reading and is concluded with a short "Declare This" statement. In the introduction, Meyer encourages readers to say the declaration out loud. She says that there is something very powerful that happens when you believe and say the declarations out loud. She also includes a prayer that I like in the introduction that she encourages readers to pray before they begin the readings. I truly appreciate how down-to-earth Meyer is in her writing and h…

Refine and Restore by Rachel C. Swanson

Have you felt like you are too big of a mess for God? Like you have no purpose? Refine and Restore by Rachel C. Swanson is a book you need to read. Swanson opens up and share her life in such a real way that you will be amazed at her honesty and even more amazed at how God shows up in her life. He can do the same for me and you.

In Refine and Restore, this book is divided in to four parts: Revive, Refine, Restore and Release. Throughout this book, Swanson opens up about how she became a Christian and her struggles before she became a Christian as she was searching for something and often turned to the wrong things. She shares how she struggled to live the Christian life early as a Believer and as time went on after having her babies and she struggled with depression and other issues. Then she goes on to share how she started looking to God to help her every day and how she learned what her purpose and calling in life was. Throughout the book, Swanson share her heart through personal …

When God Says Wait:A Devotional Thought Journal by Elizabeth Laing Thompson

In our modern society, it seems like so many voices around us are saying, "hurry, hurry." Yet, God often has us in a waiting period which can be so frustrating in our fast-paced world. When God Says Wait: A Devotional Thought Journal from Elizabeth Laing Thompson is designed to help put all of those thoughts and frustrations on paper and to continue to guide journalers to look to God.

When God Says Wait starts out with a short but powerful 2-page introduction by Thompson. She talks about different types of waiting seasons and shares how journaling can help us through those times. The journal then has a short paragraph by the author followed by a question or two to answer as you write. A Bible verse is at the top of the second page of each two-page themed writing spread.

I am finding When God Says Wait to be a helpful journal. I like how there is so much room to write but yet there are short paragraphs and verses to think about along with the writing prompt questions. This bo…

52 Uncommon Family Adventures by Randy Southern

Are you looking for a family adventure? Like our family, you probably would like one but you live on a budget so you don't think it is possible. In Randy Southern's new book, 52 Uncommon Family Adventures, there are a bunch of adventures that are fun without breaking the bank.

Gary Chapman writes the forward in 52 Uncommon Family Adventures sharing about love languages and how they can come in to play with the adventures. Chapman is the bestselling author of The Five Love Languages which you may have heard of previously. The book has enough adventures to do one a week if you choose to do them all. Each adventure includes information about the time commitment it will take, the cost, the location and the love language that could come in to play through the adventure. Some examples of adventures include a family volunteer day where you all work together to help an organization in need, a family challenge day where you challenge another family in an afternoon of silly competition…

Emotional Healing with Essential Oils by Leslie Moldenauer

There is a lot going on in the world today and all of us seem to have a full plate of things to do. It is easy to see why we can struggle with stress, anxiety and other mood imbalances. Emotional Healing with Essential Oils by Leslie Moldenauer is a great reference book for those wanting to use essential oils to help with those challenges.

Emotional Healing with Essential Oils is divided in to three parts: Emotional Healing, Essential Oils for Emotional Work, and Applications for Well-Being. This book explains how to use both the book and essential oils safely. It describes 50 essential oils that are recommended by the author for emotional well-being. Then it includes recipes for blends and remedies to help with specific issues such as aches and pains, insomnia, ptsd, hormonal challenges and many more. These aren't just blends of oils but recipes for bath bombs, shower melts, soaks, sprays and infusion methods.  There are also two nice charts in the back for emotions and essentia…

Scarlett's Spectacles by Janet Surette

Scarlett's Spectacles by Janet Surette is a such a sweet children's book. Scarlett often wakes up grouchy and grumbly--until her mom points out that she has a choice on how to look at her day. Can she focus on what she is thankful for instead of everything she doesn't like?

Scarlett's Spectacles could be a book we all could use--not just the children ages four to eight that the book is written for. My whole family enjoyed this story. The verses rhyme and tell Scarlett's story of changing her outlook. We loved the whole idea of putting away our grumbly glasses and putting on our glad glasses instead. I think we will be talking about this book for awhile--and reminding each other which pair of glasses we look better in. Not only is the story fun and easy to apply to our lives, but the illustrations are so cute in this book. They are bright, cheery and fun. The book is also a large board book with sturdy pages for young hands to turn. Between the fun-to-read story remi…

Nice by Sharon Hodde Miller

I spent a lot of my high school years as a people pleaser and being a "nice" girl. I wasn't a Christian yet, but I went to church and thought that was how best to get close to God--to be a good person and nice to everyone. Many of those traits continued after I became a believer. Sharon Hodde Miller tells us in Nice that that isn't exactly what following Jesus looks like.

In Nice, Miller contrasts living a life of niceness to living a life in the Spirit of God and how those fruits differ. In the first part of the book, she shows us the fruits of in-authenticity, corruption, cowardice, cynicism, self-righteousness, and sentimentality. Interestingly enough, I found this book to be more convicting than I expected and was surprised to find that some of those traits applied to my way of living. As I have matured, I thought I had gotten rid of a lot of my people pleasing ways, but Miller showed me that I still have some work to do. In the second half of the book, she shar…