Showing posts from September, 2016

Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations cookbook

Danielle Walker's Celebrations is one of the most beautiful cookbooks that I have ever seen. Page after page is full of beautiful photos of recipes--recipes that my family can all eat.With food allergies in my family, that can be a challenge, but Danielle Walker makes it look so easy.

Celebrations contains "a year of gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo recipes for every occasion."The cookbook starts out with a chapter of practical substitutions ad  information on the basic ingredients and equipment you will need to make the recipes in the book. Once the basics are done, Walker has chapters on most of the occasions family's celebrate through the year, including, New Year's Eve, Game Day, Valentine's Day, Easter Brunch, Mother's Day and Father's Day, and through the year. She also includes special recipes and ideas for birthday parties and showers.

The recipes nearly all look delicious to me. A few of the recipes include: Strawberry Salmon salad with po…

NKJV Readers Bible from Holman Bible Publishers

The NKJV Reader's Bible is God's Word simplified. There are no verse numbers and there are no cross references or study notes. It is just God's Word plain and simple in a text like a novel. It is a sort of minimalist Bible in the sense that there are no other distractions when you are reading. I found it to be enjoyable to just read the words this way. I felt like I could just pause when I needed to and think about the words I was reading, just like a regular book. With this Bible, I also felt like I could just listen to God's words and soak them in without other distractions. I enjoyed just reading it.

I found the NKJV Reader's Bible typeface to be easy to read with a dark print text. Although the text is not real large, so if you have vision problems, the text may be too small for you. In case you were wondering, it does NOT have red letters for Jesus words.  It is a beautifully bound book with the black and tan tooled leather-look hard cover with a tight, sturdy…

All is Bright written by Nancy Guthrie and Illus. by Lizzie Preston

All is Bright combines beautiful coloring pages with Christmas devotions for every day of the advent season. This beautiful coloring book is designed to help families take time every day to read and reflect on the Christ of the season. It is "a devotional journey to color your way to Christmas."

All is Bright contains a devotional reading and an intricate coloring page for each day of December. At the back of the book, All is Bright includes family activities including kid-friendly coloring pages and conversation starters to add meaning to the season. I found the reading to be short and easy to focus on. I plan to put on Instrumental Christmas music to relax while coloring and focusing on God. I thought the pictures were just beautiful all through the book. My only concern is that there were some ornaments to color and cut out in the family pages, but there is a design on the back of the page so I would hate to cut through that design to cut those out. I wish the page were bl…

The Recovering Spender by Lauren Greutman

Are you deep in credit card debt? Do you hide purchases from your spouse? Do you have more bills than income? If so, then you are probably a spender who needs some help to get back on track financially. Lauren Greutman shares her story of living life as a reckless spender and how she changed her habits and improved her family's life in The Recovering Spender.

Greutman offers a lot of helpful advice on spending, financial inequality, learning to work together financially in marriage and how to budget, among other topics in this book. The first half of the book shares her personal story along with some great information on spending relating to class/status, family history and money personalities. The second half of this book offers a complete set of twelve steps for recovering spenders.Greutman shares how spenders can be addicted to spending like alcoholics are addicted to alcohol.

I am not a big spender. I have never been in thousands of dollars of credit card debt. Actually, nei…

Seize the Day by Joyce Meyer with a review of the Seize the Day StudyGuide

It seems like every day I add more items to my calendar and my to-do lists. At the same time, I feel like I have to keep up with all of my "friends" on social media. After awhile, I feel worn down and overwhelmed. Maybe you feel the same way? Joyce Meyer's new book, Seize the Day: Living on Purpose and Making every Day Count offers practical helps and Scriptural encouragement to commit to living each day for God and leaving that overwhelmed feeling behind.

I especially appreciate how down to earth Meyers is when she writes. In Seize the Day, Meyer acknowledges ways she has failed and grown, lessons she has learned and how God has shown her she can improve daily life by doing life with Him. I just appreciate how "real" she is. I can relate to much of what she shares in the book. I also found the study guide to be so helpful with this book. Each Study Guide section has personal questions along with Bible study questions to help you absorb and grow using what you…

A Gathering in Hope by Philip Gulley

A Gathering of Hope is the Third book in the Hope series by Philip Gulley. I am a big fan of his Harmony series and have read them all. I enjoy his stories and humor focused on small town life in America.

Sam Gardner, pastor of the Quaker Church in Hope, is encouraged by the unexpected windfall inheritance left to his congregation by member Olive Charles who recently passed away. Several in the congregation want to use the money to expand their meetinghouse by building a new addition. However, before they can begin, the County Environmental Board and the Department of Natural Resources stops the plan due to a colony of endangered Indiana bats living in the attic and the trees on the property. Mayhem results as some of the members take matters into their own hands to further the Quakers' agenda. I will stop there as to not reveal too much of the plot.

I enjoyed book 2 in this series, A Lesson in Hope, very much. It often had me laughing in my reading chair as I turned page after p…

In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson

In a Pit with  Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson is celebrating 10 years from it's original publication date. This newly released copy has some added bonus material along with the original book material. I have read several of Mark Batterson's books and found them to be just what I needed at the time. I didn't read this book the first time around for some unknown reason except that it is just what I needed to read now. As Batterson says of another reader,"God is never early, and He is never late! He's always right on time, His time!"

What lion is God calling you to chase? This book shares 7 different skills you will need if you want to be a lion chaser, that is if you want to be someone who boldly goes after what God is calling you to do even if it sounds like too big of a dream to chase. Batterson starts out the book by offering Biblical advice centered around the story of Benaiah chasing a lion in 2 Samuel 23:24-25. Throughout the rest of In a Pit With …

One of the Few by Jason B. Ladd

One of the Few by Jason B. Ladd is part autobiography and part a study of religion and the Christian Faith. 
As I read One of the Few, I found Ladd's military story to be quite interesting. While I don't have a military background, I do have a lot of respect for the men and women who serve our country. Ladd also shares how he met his wife, including how their relationship began both from the world's standpoint and where they both stood spiritually. I found it interesting to follow his path to faith. I have a minor in religious studies that I earned while I was doing my own spiritual searching in college. I could understand much of what he was saying about other religions and how they compared to Christianity. I have been a Christian Believer for many years now but I think I would have found this book to be even more interesting when I was spiritually searching.
Overall, I think there is an interesting story of a man coming to faith in One of the Few. At the same time, I st…

Everything is Possible by Jen Bricker with Sheryl Berk

Jen Bricker was born without legs. On top of that, her biological parents were uncertain they could care for her and gave her up for adoption. You might think with those challenges that Jen would give up on big dreams in life. However, God was on top of all of that and put Jen in just the right home and family to nurture her gifts and help her grow into some big dreams that came true. Bricker shares her incredible story in Everything is Possible.

Before reading this book, I honestly wasn't familiar with Bricker. However, I enjoyed reading her autobiographical story. She is honest and forthright in sharing her amazing life. It is encouraging to see how much she has accomplished with her "Never say can't" attitude. She has accomplished so much in her life so far. Bricker is an author, aerielist, and motivational speaker. Along with her accomplishments, I came away from Everything is Possible feeling that her positive and "can do" approach to life was rubbing…

Finding Father Christmas/Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn

Miranda Carson is searching for the father she never knew. She follows a lead left by her deceased mother to England to see if she can find him in Finding Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn. In addition, Miranda has never had a true Christmas celebration. In a touching story, Miranda finds the truth and learns more about Christmas then she has ever known before.
In Engaging Father Christmas, Miranda Carson returns to England to spend Christmas with her boyfriend, Ian. Miranda is hoping that Ian will soon ask her to marry him and she can make the charming village of Carlton Heath her home. However, her past and true identity may challenge those relationships. 
The two-in-one book from Robin Jones Gunn is destined to be one of my favorites by her. Yes, the ending is somewhat predictable, but sometimes we just need to unwind with a cup of tea and a "happy ending" tale to leave the world behind for awhile. This book let me do that. At the same time, there is a spiritual depth…