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Showing posts from December, 2019

Braver Stronger Smarter: A Girl's Guide to Overcoming Worry and Anxiety by Sissy Goff

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There is not doubt about it, there is a lot of scary stuff going on in our modern world. It is enough to worry adults, let alone kids.  Sissy Goff offers advice to young girls on how to overcome their worry and anxiety and focus on how brave they are instead in her new book, Braver Stronger Smarter: A Girl's Guide to Overcoming Worry and Anxiety.

Braver Stronger Smarter was written for elementary aged girls but it can be used by girls of any age to learn practical ways to deal with worry, anxiety, and other overwhelming emotions. Actually, the book also offers girls who don't deal with those issues now a way to handle those emotions if they do come up for them. The book is divided in to three sections: Understanding, Help and Hope. Each section contains three chapters with some good advice and learning tools for girls in each section. Parents and caregivers are also encouraged to read the companion book, Raising Worry-Free Girls, as they work with a young girl. Braver Stronger…

Love Defined by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird

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How do you define Love? How do you find lasting love in our modern culture? Love defined by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird have written a book to guide single women in to seeing love and relationships the way God sees them.

Love Defined is divided in to five parts: Happily Ever Disaster, Bringing Back True Love, Single and Waiting to Mingle, Working Through the Nitty Gritty, and Living Well on this side of the Alter. Clark and Baird are sisters who write throughout this book about their own experiences, as well as the experiences of other people they know. They aren't relationship experts but they are the founders of GirlDefined Ministries and previously authored a book called, Girl Defined. Throughout this book, they share from God's Word as well as their experiences. At the end of each chapter, there is a short study to help readers grow and remember what they are learning. At the end of the book, there are two appendixes: Finding Freedom from Past Sexual Sin and Fifty Ques…

Living Beyond Pain by Linda S. Mintle, PhD and James W. Kribs, DO

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Many people live in some sort of pain every day. Unfortunately, people often don't know what to do to help themselves live a better life either free of pain or with reduced pain. In Living Beyond Pain by Linda S. Mintle and James W. Kribs, the authors guide the reader ways they may reduce or eliminate pain holistically.

Living Beyond Pain is co-authored by a psychologist and practicing physician. It is divided in to 3 parts: Understanding Pain, Tools for Pain Management, and Hope and Resilience. Because Opioids are a real problem in the United States, the authors address that subject in the first section. They also share the five most common types of pain. In the second section, the authors address various factors that may be contributing to your pain and discuss various ways to help reduce pain with/or alongside medication. In the last section, the authors offer hope and encourage readers to look for good things around them and maintain a positive mindset amidst the challenges.

A…

Penguin and Moose by Hannah C. Hall

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Friendships are so important throughout our lifetime. Why not teach kids to have and be a good friend early? Penguin and Moose by Hannah C. Hall is a great book to read with a fun story about the importance of friendships.

Penguin thinks he should be able to fly but he has one problem--he doesn't know how. With his friend Moose's help, Penguin hatches a plan to learn to fly. Together they have some fun adventures even though things don't go exactly as Penguin hopes. In the end Penguin does learn an important lesson of friendship.

Penguin and Moose is an adorable book. I love the illustrations by Anna Chernyshova. This is a story the whole family will likely enjoy even though it is aimed at children ages four to eight. Penguin and Moose could create some fun discussions and activities as a result. My family all thought it was great and we did have some good talks about friendship--how to be a good friend and friends we appreciate. The book is nicely bound with a colorful du…

Christianity for People Who Aren't Christians by James Emery White

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Are you wondering if there is a God? And if there is, why is there so much suffering in the world? Is there only one way to God? James Emery White has asked those questions in the past too and he shares his story and his answers in Christianity for People Who Aren't Christians.

Christianity for People Who Aren't Christians starts off with White explaining how he was a skeptic and an unbeliever for many years. Currently, White is the Senior Pastor of megachurch Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina so something changed along the way. White then answers a lot of skeptics' questions throughout the book. He backs up everything with research and there are extensive notes in the back of the book.

I thought Christianity for People Who Aren't Christians was an interesting book. I liked how White approached all of the topics. In the book, he writes to the heart of those he hopes to reach in such a way that difficult topics are broken down and easy to read. I…

The 40-Day Sugar Fast by Wendy Speake

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I have heard it said that sugar is almost like a drug in the hold it can have over a person and can create addiction. While that view may be debatable, most of us know that we need to eliminate more sugar to be healthier. However, to be spiritually healthy along with physically healthy, what if we fixed our eyes on Jesus instead of sugary treats? Wendy Speake shares her story of giving up sugar and living more for the Savior in The 40-Day Sugar Fast.

The 40-Day Sugar Fast actually has 41 days worth of devotions in the book. It starts out with a forward, a section called, Before You Fast, and some guidelines. Each of these sections help the reader know why the book was written and what the fast is truly about, as well as how the fast would actually work. Each day starts with a Bible verse, then includes a short reading written by Speake and concludes with a prayer for the day.

I like that the 40-Day Sugar Fast is focuses on changing out an addiction to sugar to learning to look to God…

The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings

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Often we look at other families and we think, "Wow, They seem like the perfect family." Daniel, Kelly and Milly Whiteley are the family that appears perfect in The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings. But are they who they appear to be?

Daniel is a successful marriage counselor and bestselling author of a marriage book. However, his own marriage is another story. His daughter, Milly, sees what those outside of their home don't see and she is feeling the effects of parents who no longer work things out together. Then Gramps passes away and leaves Daniel his camera. This isn't just any camera. On the bottom is inscribed, "No matter what you think you might see, the camera never lies." Over time, Daniel takes pictures and develops his photos to see the secrets that the camera shows that aren't in plain sight. The Whiteleys aren't as perfect as they appear.

The Camera Never Lies is an interesting read. What would you do if a camera exposed your secrets?…

Which Shape Should I Be? by Pamela Kennedy and Illustrated by Holli Conger

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Which Shape Should I Be? by Pamela Kennedy is a cute board book for young children teaching all kinds of shapes.

There are nine shapes for children to learn in Which Shape Should I Be? Whether it is the basic square or circle or stars or hearts, this book helps young children identify them. The books makes sort of an interactive game out of it on each page which I think makes it rather fun. At the end of the book, children see that God not only made shapes but made them each a certain shape and all are special based on Psalm 139:14. The pictures show children in all shapes, and colors, and some with disabilities. This sturdy board book measures about 6 inches square and has thick cardboard pages for little hands to turn on their own.

Which Shape Should I Be? is a book that I think is great for young children--up to about four years of age. I like that it teaches children about shapes. I also like that it teaches children that God makes us all differently and we aren't meant to all …

Confessions of a Happily Married Man by Joshua Rogers

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It is a rare treat to read a marriage book that captivates me as much as Confessions of a Happily Married Man by Joshua L. Rogers. I read much of this book in one day.

In Confessions of a Happily Married Man, Rogers shares much of the story of his marriage coming from his heart. After the introduction, written by Greg Smalley from Focus on the Family, Rogers shares how he met his wife, Raquel, fell in love and were married within 9 months. Throughout the book, Rogers shares story after story of how God worked in their relationship to grow them both up to be more like Jesus to each other. Interestingly enough, with God, they had started working on each other shortly after Rogers proposed and his future wife accepted the proposal. Rogers candidly shares about how the couple worked out their issues around mundane things such as chores to how they worked out much bigger challenges such as in-law challenges, health issues, having children and a cross-country move. At the end of this book,…

When You Love a Prodigal by Judy Douglass

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I imagine the father of the prodigal son in the Bible (Luke  15:11-32) every day was praying and longing with all his heart for that prodigal to change his ways and come home. I can imagine because I love a prodigal of my own. When You Love a Prodigal: 90 Days of Grace for the Wilderness by Judy Douglass was a book written in process over time. She shares her heart and how God worked in their lives in this book.

When You Love a Prodigal has 90 individual reflections written by a woman who traveled through life with a prodigal. In the beginning, she defines "prodigal" so we are all on the same page. She has divided the book in to sections: love, grace, time, rest, trust, prayer, promise, hope, spirit, and gift. Each reading in each section relates to that topic. In the end of the book, her son writes a brief note and she writes a brief note in closing.

Douglass shares her heart in When You Love a Prodigal as a mom praying for a son who lived a life for his own pleasure. She s…

Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright

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Mystery abounds in Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright. This book fascinated me from the very beginning until the very last page.

Aggie Dunkirk heads to Mill Creek, Wisconsin to stay with her elderly grandmother, Mumsie, after losing her real estate job. Aggie takes what she thinks will be a mundane job as a secretary for a cemetery working with archaeologist Collin. Instead, she finds a lot of surprises in this small town--unsolved crimes and new crimes, relatives she didn't know she had, and changes to new and old relationships. In this dual timeline story, Imogene struggles to solve the case of who killed her sister, Hazel, in the 1940s.

Echoes Among the Stones kept me guessing all the way through the book. There were a few things I did guess correctly and a few surprises along the way. What I really liked about this book was how the characters reflected how they dealt with grief in their lives. I truly felt for them as they struggled to come to terms with what had hap…

Women of Courage: A Forty Day Devotional by Mary Carver and (In)Courage

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I have been getting (In)Courage readings since they began and have often been inspired and encouraged by these on-line posts. While they are good to read, I am a huge fan of books (obviously) and it is so nice to have readings in a book form with the new Women of Courage forty day devotional.

This new Women of Courage devotional book does have forty days worth of devotionals in it. Each one starts with a brief Bible passage, followed by a heartfelt reading, and concludes with a prayer for the day. What I especially love about this book is that each reading features a woman from the Bible--both Old and New Testaments. Some have names like Leah, Ruth, Dorcas, and Esther, while we don't know the names of others like The Bleeding Woman or the Woman Caught in Adultery. Yet, each woman teaches us something about courageous living for God each day. The Women of Courage Forty Day Devotional also groups each of the readings into topical sections so you can just be encouraged by women of g…