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Showing posts from March, 2018

Run Forever by Amby Burfoot

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I think running sounds like a great way to relax and to exercise on all of the park trails near my house.  While it sounds good, I haven't really known how to start. Run Forever by Amby Burfoot is a helpful book if you are a beginner like I am. Although, I think he has some tips even experienced runners could use.

Burfoot is a life-long runner who is now in his 70s. Among other races, he has run the Boston Marathon many times and won it in 1968. Before retiring, he was also editor-in-chief of Runner's World magazine. He continues to run today, although he says he runs slower. He shares a lot of information that he has gleaned through the years in Run Forever. Burfoot says in the introduction that "Running is the simplest of sports. It deserves a simple book. That is why I wrote Run Forever." He organized the book into six main sections: Getting Started, Nutrition for Runners, Going Farther, Dealing with Injuries, Getting Faster and Running Forever. Each chapter has …

A Pocketful of Hope for Mothers by Robin Jones Gunn

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A Pocketful of Hope for Mothers by Robin Jones Gunn is a lovely gift book for moms. It would make a nice surprise Easter gift or Mother's Day gift--for your mom, for your daughter, a gift to a new mom, or a gift for a mom friend that you know needs uplifted. It is a beautiful inspiring gift book for moms and that even includes buying your own copy because you know you need the encouragement.

A Pocketful of Hope for Mothers is brimming with hope-filled stories, prayers and poems written by Gunn. Gunn reminds moms that no matter how tired and overwhelmed they feel at times, that God is in it with them and that they are indeed helping little ones to learn, love and grow one day at a time. The personal stories that Gunn shares are especially nice.

I found A Pocketful of Hope for Mothers to be even nicer than I expected. It is a nice large size--measuring 6 by 9 inches. It is also sweetly illustrated and lovingly penned by Gunn. I have to be honest--Gunn is one of my favorite authors. I…

Extraordinary Influence by Dr. Tim Irwin

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Extraordinary Influence by Dr. Tim Irwin offers helpful guidance for every leader that asks themselves, How do I bring out the best in those I am leading? Rather than use "constructive criticism" which doesn't work, Irwin encourages leaders to use affirmation to encourage others to be better employees, students, athletes or family members. The application applies to any type of organization and helps to create a healthier environment for everyone.

Extraordinary Influence is divided into three parts. In the first section, Dr. Irwin talks about the science of extraordinary influence. He shares actual research results to explain why it works so well. In the second section, he talks about how extraordinary influence works by sharing many real-life examples of how this process helps organizations be at their best. The third section offers information on special applications of the extraordinary influence principle.

I found Extraordinary Influence to have helpful advice for le…

So Much to Celebrate by Katie Jacobs of Styling My Everyday

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So Much to Celebrate:Entertaining the Ones You Love the Whole Year Through by Katie Jacobs is a beautiful coffee-table-worthy cookbook full of gorgeous full-color photographs. It is lovely eye candy even if you never make a recipe or host a party with this book. However, I think it does indeed inspire one to be a hostess of a nice family gathering.
So Much to Celebrate is divided into seasons, starting with Spring. Lovely party and recipes are included starting with Easter celebrations and ending with the winter holidays. Jacobs has secrets for throwing fantastic parties for all ages, from more elegant gatherings to casual feasts. My favorite in the book is for the Mother's Day Tea Party. The recipes look delicious. These are just a few I would love to try: Strawberry Scones, Cherry Hand Pies, Chicken Pot Pie, Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad, and Skillet Roasted Chicken Ratatouille. 
So Much to Celebrate is truly gorgeous. I love how it is arranged by season. I could look at t…

Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren

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Keturah is the first book in Lisa T. Bergren's new series called The Sugar Baron's Daughters. This historical fiction book begins in England in 1772 with Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her two sisters, Verity and Selah, as they find themselves in a difficult position after their father has passed away. Should they go to the West Indies to save their heritage or stay in England? At that time, women didn't usually travel like they decided to do--alone on board a ship across the Atlantic with just a few servants. Once they arrive in the Caribbean, the sisters face new challenges and new joys. It is truly a fun adventure to read.

I found Keturah to be an engaging read. I enjoyed reading about the sisters' adventure and travels in that time period. I would mention that this book does deal with a serious issue, as Keturah must heal from an abusive first marriage and go on with her life after her abusive husband has passed away. Having been in an abusive relationship at o…

The Women's Study Bible from Thomas Nelson

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The Woman's Study Bible in the blue/brown leathersoft cover is absolutely gorgeous! This richly decorated Bible also contains a lot of helps inside that make it a truly nice Bible for doing Bible study.


The Woman's Study Bible is in a nice sized 10.5 font so it is easily readable. The study notes are also fairly large. The print throughout the Bible is quite dark although the pages are thin like many Bibles. It is also red letter, which I like. Each book of the Bible has an introduction and an outline. Then throughout the Bible, there are biographical portraits of women, insightful essays on various topics relevant to today's world, quotes from godly women throughout history, and a lot of full-color maps, charts. family trees, and timelines. At the back of The Woman's Study Bible are a topical index and concordance for easy reference.

I can't begin to tell you how much I like this Bible. All of the features work together to create a Bible that is easy to use and is …

Box of Butterflies by Roma Downey

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Like many other people, I have been a fan of Roma Downey's since her days as Monica on Touched By An Angel. When I saw she was coming out with her new book, Box of Butterflies, I couldn't wait to read it.

Box of Butterflies is as beautiful as it is inspirational. Downey's book is part memoir, part inspiration, and part beauty. Throughout the book, Downey shares some of her personal history and challenges that she has over come to be who she is today. She not only inspires readers through her story, she also shares poems and songs that have inspired her throughout her life. In the midst of her story and the inspirational poems and songs, she also shares beautiful pictures of butterflies and nature throughout the book. Downey also shares in Box of Butterflies how butterflies have a special meaning to her and how they have been a special messenger from God at different times in her life. Her stories and the pictures all work together to create a truly lovely and inspiring boo…

If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey

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What if people knew your past--a past that you aren't proud of? What if they knew that secret that you have tried so hard to guard? Jamie Ivey decided to stop guarding her past that she isn't proud of and start looking for Jesus to use it for good. She shares her story in If You Only Knew.

If You Only Knew is a memoir of sorts where Ivey shares about her life. She shares all of the hard things to hear that she did before she started living her life for Jesus. She also shares how she uses her hard things to minister to women in prison through sharing those tough parts. In the last part of the book, she shares how she became and pastor's wife and how she seeks to be used by God every day. However, Ivey is not only a pastor's wife. She also blogs and hosts a podcast called The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey.

I wasn't too familiar with Ivey's blog or her podcast before I read If You Only Knew. I didn't think that Ivey's writing was clean and polished, but I can…