Showing posts from June, 2017

The Weekly Prayer Project published by Zondervan

The Weekly Prayer Project is an absolutely gorgeous book. This beautiful hardcover book is full of 144 nice, thick pages to journal, pray, reflect and connect with God.

The Weekly Prayer Project is divided into seven sections with each representing a different type of prayer found in the Bible. There are sections called Requests, Gratitude, Lament, Intercession, Faith, Repentance, and Awe. While there are 52 weeks designated for journaling and prayer, the book is designed to work for you however you wish to use it. You may either start at the beginning or jump in and start where you feel God leading you to begin. You could start it in a new year or you could start it now as there is nothing dated. Each week's reading starts with a Bible verse, a short explanation and is followed by writing and prayer prompts. The pages are beautifully illustrated with small watercolor illustrations of plants and then each section is divided by a beautiful color photo. Also, each section starts with…

Street Smarts From Proverbs by Mitch Kruse with D. J. Williams

Proverbs is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I like all of the practical wisdom this book has to offer for living life today. Street Smarts From Proverbs by Mitch Kruse with DJ Williams specifically focuses on the wisdom that Proverbs offers in the realm of conflicts. Kruse covers conflicts of all kinds--marriage and family, those at work, those with authority figures and more.

Kruse suggests readers read a chapter of Proverbs from the Bible every day. He actually suggests 3 more ways to add to that plan if you want to step up your game and read through the whole Bible and learn more. I used to read a chapter of Proverbs every day and then I got out of the habit during our recent moves. This book reminded me of how much I had gleaned from that habit and has me reading Proverbs again. In Street Smarts from Proverbs, Kruse uses real-life stories, Bible stories and offers simple steps for remembering ways to use the wisdom of Proverbs in conflict management. Kruse introduces twelv…

Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge

Jane, Celia and Margot Woodward's lives are shattered when their mother dies and their father's business scandal shatters their lives. Jane and Celia, the older sisters, come up with a plan to make a living  near their home in San Francisco while taking care of the youngest sister to bring a sense of normalcy to their lives. However, recent events put everything they have worked so hard for in jeopardy once again. This time, the sisters decide that  they just need to start over in a new location like Austin, Texas.

Jane of Austin follows the Woodward sisters as they start a new life in Austin near their cousins. With Jane's tea plants and their experience, the girls hope to open a new tea shop there. In the meantime, they make some new acquaintances in up-and-coming musician Sean Willis and former Marine Caption Callum Beckett. You'll have to read the book to find out how things work out with the sisters and these new men because I don't want to spoil the plot for …

The Big Picture Interactive Bible Story Coloring and Activity Book

The Big Picture Interactive Bible Story Coloring and Activity Book is a great book for kids who like to color and do activity type worksheets. This large book has more than 200 coloring pages and more than 150 activity pages. This book is 384 pages total. It retails for 6.99 and I honestly thought it was a great buy for all of the fun things to do in this book. Along with the fun, kids are learning about Jesus and the Bible too.

The Big Picture Bible Story Coloring and Activity book starts out with a note to parents explaining the goal of this book--to turn our young people's hearts to Jesus. This book is also designed to stand alone or to be used in companion with the Big Picture Bible and related books. The second page of the activity book offers a Parent Connection page to do a devotion and ask questions with your children along with the book. Then this big book is divided into Old Testament and New Testament activities. Besides all of the coloring pages, the activity pages i…

Women Who Move Mountains by Sue Detweiler

Women Who Move Mountains by Sue Detweiler invites women to pray with more confidence, boldness and grace, as the cover says. However, Detweiler also says that this book is a book inviting readers to be real with God and to receive his Strength and healing where it is needed through prayer and conversation with Him.

This first part of Women Who Move Mountains has 21 chapters about learning to pray more intimately with God. This book has guidelines to go through the book yourself or to be a part of a women's study group. The odd-numbered chapters explain how to transform your relationship with God and share stories of women today and in the Bible who "moved mountains" with their prayers. The even numbered chapters show how to apply those prayer principles to your life. Detweiler suggest journaling in answer to the personal questions she asks at the end of the chapters. She also includes a downloadable prayer journal through her website.

The second part of Women Who Move Mo…

You Can Do This by Tricia Lott Williford

You Can Do This by Tricia Lott Williford is an inspiring read if you are in need of more confidence and encouragement. I honestly think this covers most of us women of all ages. 

Williford starts out in the introduction of You Can Do This by sharing that she wrote this book to us readers but for herself to remind herself of how she got the confidence when she needs it again. She also shares how she would like us to pull up a chair to the kitchen table with her and realize this book is for both her and us. We need to know that we can get the most out of the book as readers when we do the suggested exercises at the end of each chapter. This is a great book to use with your journal. It would also be great to share with another friend, a counselor, or a study group. You Can Do This will inspire you to think and help you grow, as well as entertaining you with Williford's stories and the Bible stories she referenced. Williford shares lessons she has learned on knowing our identity, app…

The Parables of Jesus coloring book devotional by Laura James andKatara Washington Patton

The Parables of Jesus coloring book devotional is unlike any other Christian coloring book that I have seen. Besides containing a devotional, this book also contains pictures that are a modern artist's rendition of Bible stories. They remind me of some of the beautiful stained glass windows that I have seen at some old churches with their bold lines and beg to be filled with bright colors.

The devotionals in this coloring book all contain a Bible verse(s)followed by reflections on the verses for each devotional and concluding with a prayer or a closing thought/activity/question related to the verse. Because this book contains parables from Jesus, as one would expect, the readings are all from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

This large, beautiful book roughly measures 10 inches square and contains 46 illustrations that correspond with each devotional. For coloring purposes, each picture is done on heavy paper with a blank back side making it nice to use for various med…

Drawn In Bible Study from Eugene Peterson and NavPress

I don't know about you, but I have found the new Christian coloring books help me quiet my mind in the midst of a busy life. I put on soft Christian music that I like and just relax and focus on God and coloring. The new Drawn In Bible Studies are created to combine coloring and Bible study either alone or in a group setting.

This Drawn In Study of Ruth includes 4 sessions, and introduction, and a section detailing How to Lead a Drawn In Bible Study. This Bible study is written by Eugene Peterson and include portions of The Message Bible along with the study, coloring pages, and questions.  I worked on the study alone, but I could see where this would be beneficial to do in a group setting as well. I thought the questions reflecting on Ruth made me think and do some soul searching. It would be very helpful to have the support of other people and reflect on this story for mutual encouragement, praying for one another in the study and building relationships as you share your storie…

The Road To Paradise by Karen Barnett

The Road to Paradise is the first in a new series about Vintage National Parks by Karen Barnett. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but this book is gorgeous which did draw my eye to it. Thankfully, this book is a good read beyond the beautiful cover.

As the book begins, Margaret Lane can hardly contain her excitement  in working with the National Park Service as a naturalist alongside the park rangers. Margaret, who prefers to be called Margie with her friends, feels at home among God's handiwork and enjoys all of the beautiful creation around her. Chief Ranger Ford Brayden doesn't quite share Margie's enthusiasm when she initially comes to the park. He isn't too excited to have to watch over a senator's daughter when he feels he has more important work to do.

While Margie does enjoy the beautiful park and is excited to be there, she also has hopes of hiding from her former fiance, Philip Carmichael. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for Phi…

A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood by Stephanie Corfee

A Giving Heart by Stephanie Corfee is a coloring book created with mothers in mind through and through. This book would be great for any mom who likes to color. Mom can grab a cup of their favorite hot beverage, put on some relaxing music and grab their favorite coloring tools for a little "Me" time.

A Giving Heart has 46 coloring pages featuring beautiful pictures of quotes, Bible verses, flowers, and many more things that Moms enjoy. There is a large variety of pictures in this collection. The pictures are on one side with the backsides either blank or with a single printed verse and accompanying tiny design. This is a good book for those who like to color with a heavier hand or to use markers without worrying about page bleed through. Putting an extra piece of paper or cardboard behind the piece you are coloring is also helpful, although these pages are made of a nice heavy stock. This collection of designs in A Giving Heart is made up of drawings with smaller, finer plac…

Joyful Inspirations Coloring book by Robin Mead

The Joyful Inspirations Coloring Book by Robin Mead is a beautifully illustrated coloring book brimming with cheerful, whimsical designs.

The Joyful Inspirations Coloring Book has 96 pages of well drawn illustrations to color. I like Mead's renditions of people and animals with cheerful faces and large, bright eyes. I also like her illustrations of  summer beach scenes, churches, flowers, butterflies, birds, sunrises/sunsets, and so much more--many of which have Scripture verses that accompany them. This is just a wonderful coloring book to turn on your favorite playlist and relax with. I also especially like that Mead includes a page at the back of this book that list her favorite coloring products along with tips for using those products to create your best work. She also has a page with ten coloring tips that I found helpful. I tried blending some oranges and yellows to create the ball part of my sun in this picture. I hadn't done that previously. I plan to try that more and…

Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

Noah and Josephine got a divorce a year and a half ago. Or did they? The IRS sent a letter to Noah letting him know that they were still married. Noah did some checking and found out that was indeed the case.  What would they do now?

In Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter, Josephine decides to hand deliver the papers to Noah's ranch. Unfortunately, a spring snowstorm comes up trapping the two together. What will happen to the pair as they have to rely on each other to ride out the storm? Will Josephine finally open up about her tragic past?

I think that Sweetbriar Cottage was well-written for the type of story that it is. However, it was a heavier subject matter than I expected and it moved much slower than I expected. There is a lot of emotional tension between the Noah and Josephine and not a lot of action through much of the book. I had a harder time getting into it until the second half of the book. Then, it did tug at my heartstrings and a felt for both Noah and Josephine. …

The Sacrament of Happy by Lisa Harper

When offered a chance to review The Sacrament of Happy by Lisa Harper, I knew I had to read this book. I didn't grow up believing God wanted us to be happy. Rather, for me, God was a distant God who judged us every day. I was told that one day we would have to be accountable for our wrongdoings so I viewed God as rather stern and constantly appraising my imperfections. To me, He just seemed rather unhappy with me and I could never measure up. Even after becoming a Christian, I struggled to believe differently. Although I knew Jesus did pay the price for my sins, I struggled to see God and Jesus as happy with me when I still felt I had to measure up. I read this book because I wanted to see God in a different light.

The Sacrament of Happy did help me see God differently. I enjoyed Harper's humor and her writing style. I think her positive, uplifting outlook is contagious. I could also relate well to Christine Caine's forward where she shared her family's fatalist outlo…