Before I Saw You – – Book Review

Sometimes I read for the pure joy of immersing myself in a good story on a quiet afternoon.  At least, that’s what I thought I was going to do when I picked up Before I Saw You by Amy K. Sorrells.  Guess what?  Not so!  The power of grace is so prevalent in these words that I was amazed at how easy it was to include it in a fiction story.

Life is hard!  God is good!  Life is about letting go and letting God.  Cliches? Yes (and no, they are not used in the book).

If anything, life is about choices.  Some easy. Some hard. Some based on what we know. Some based on what we don’t.  We always have a choice.  Throughout the book, the main character is reminded to trust God for the answers.

Life is about decisions that often affect more than the person making them.  It’s evident throughout the story here and about life in general, for everyone.

Now, I know I’m being quite vague in this review but, I’m trying to keep from spoiling this great read for you.

Relationships are really what life is about and this book is full of the twists and turns, good and bad, that all relationships take.  A drug-addicted mother, a woman-child who hasn’t had the benefit of a good life, a sickly baby, a bully boyfriend, an unplanned pregnancy, an unexpected turn of events, and choices, so many choices…

I highly recommend adding this to your summer reading list.  It’s definitely worth your time!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Full Armor of God – – Book Review

Are you starting your day fully dressed or …?  Do you consider these verses in Ephesians 6 when you’re selecting from your wardrobe, or are they the furthest thing from your mind?  Christa Crawford, in The Full Armor of God, suggests we really need to be more mindful of these six parts of our wardrobe.  After all, satan is.  He watches and loves it when we are not conscious of what we’ve left out of our selections.  

Here are some truths I discovered while reading through this excellent book:

  • We are to wear the belt of Truth because the evil one constantly bombards us with lies.  “Satan can’t stand that God loves us.  He hates God and wants to hurt Him, so he attacks those He loves: you and me.” (Quote from page 27)
  • The breastplate of Righteousness is directly related to what we know about the sinless character of God.  It covers the most vulnerable and valuable part of our body and soul, the heart.  The more we know of who Jesus is and what He wants us to be the better protected we are.
  • The shoes of Peace are designed to keep moving us forward.  “We aren’t meant to perish in the storms (of life) but to learn dependence on His abilities to see us through.” (Quote from page 57)
  • Ms. Crawford’s words on the shield of Faith remind us that we are not alone or unprotected in this battle.  “If life’s hurts get to a point we can no longer hold up our own shield, we should ask those with faith to encircle us like the Roman soldiers and create a wall until our strength is restored.  Our Father didn’t leave us without protection.  He gave us His Son, and He gave us each other.”  Check out Ecclesiastes 4:19-12 (Quote from page 68)
  • The helmet of Salvation is all about what Jesus did for us.  He is our Savior.  For Jesus, there was no half-way.  It was either all or nothing.  When we consciously put on the ‘hat’ that matches the outfit we’re saying look out evil, I’ve got this and you can’t take that away from me.
  • The sword of the Spirit is the only weapon we’ll ever need.  His weapon of choice?  A book.  Not just any book.  The one He’s breathed His words into.  Every answer we’ll ever need is there for us.  It’s so simple.  Just read it!!!

So let’s take action!  Make it a part of your daily dressing routine to put on the belt of Truth, the breastplate of Righteousness, the shoes of Peace, the shield of Faith, the helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.  I guarantee, it will change your day!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from BookCrash. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Words of Grace – Book Review

This is certainly not just another devotional.  It’s better than that.  It’s full of thoughtful, inspiring articles that drew me closer to my God.  It led me to a deeper level of thought on what the Word is trying to say.

Best of all, I can pick it up or put it down at any point.  Meaning, it’s not dated so I didn’t feel pressured to read a certain part on a certain day.  I can open it anywhere and read something important about my walk with Jesus any time I want.

It is thoughtfully divided into three categories.  Who God is, how He works in our lives, and how we are to respond to Him.

Here are a few quotes that really spoke to me:

  • “In the realm of morality and money, family and friends, work and play, God has a will and a way for us to live.”  (pg. 13)
  • “What is the message of Good News? God’s favor is on all mankind.” (pg. 25)
  • “We must know, feel, and acknowledge our sin before we will turn to Christ for salvation.  We must turn to Christ for salvation before we will have freedom from our sin.” (pg. 51)
  • Regarding the truth of Romans 8:1 – “You don’t have to justify yourself to others.  Imagine relating to others without being defensive.  You are not condemned, and no one can condemn you before God, so when you interact with others you can focus on truth, love, and edification.” (pg. 87)

I had only one drawback as I read through.  Scott Patty is a deep thinker and with that came sentence structure that was sometimes difficult to read.  But then, that forced me to think more deeply on God’s Word.

I’m sure I’ll be keeping this devotional in my book basket for months/years to come.

What a blessing!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Broadman and Holman Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Kremlin Conspiracy – – Book Review

Intrigue and lies at the upper levels of world leadership…  Men and women killed senselessly…  Life choices…  God’s presence…

I don’t usually like books of this genre.  But The Kremlin Conspiracy had me from the first chapter.  With well-developed characters and a storyline that simply doesn’t slow down, I couldn’t wait to turn the pages.  From the mountains of Colorado to Russia’s Red Square the action continually transports one into the lives of the characters.

Political upheaval is caused by two presidents, a world apart.  One weak and inexperienced, the other over-confident and mentally unbalanced, put the world on edge with the threat of nuclear war.

This quote from The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky sums up the motive behind the story.  “Above all, don’t lie to yourself.  The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and he loses all respect for himself and for others – and having no respect he ceases to love.”

If you like fast moving, action-packed reading, you’ll love this book!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

10 Questions – The Essentials for a Spiritually Healthy Life – Book Review

Do you read book introductions?  I do.  I knew from those words that this book would have a powerful impact on my life and becoming more like Jesus.

Have you ever encountered a book that sings unparalleled truth and understanding into your soul?  Yes, sings.  Beautiful, harmonic sounds of God’s voice impacting my thoughts.

For most of my life I have known that the Old and New Testament complement one another.  Some may want to think that the Old Testament books no longer apply to “modern” life,  that it’s boring, outdated, and no longer relevant.  Not so!  Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18)

Hugh Taylor, (a religious Jew, by the way), in 10 Questions, writes words of truth that help the modern Believer understand the laws and precepts set down in the first five books of the Bible.  You will find this book insightful and life-changing. Not only if you know Jesus words in the Gospels and what He was teaching us through them but if you’re just starting your Christian walk.  It all works together!

 

 

Favorite Quotes from 10 Questions:

If we are aware of God, then we are in God’s presence.  Being conscious of God in our lives and working on establishing a personal relationship with God constitute being in the presence of God. pp.27

God is waiting for us.  All we have to do is approach… Each of us, no matter how spiritually sick we become, has a standing appointment to see the most powerful force in the universe one on one, whenever we want. pp. 35

It doesn’t matter who we are in life.  We are all equal before God and we are all standing before God… Whatever we do, for good or bad, is done in God’s presence.  God sees all. pp. 43

Whatever you need to do in your life, The Bible is telling us to get busy and do it now.  pp. 133

If you trust in God to give you the income and possessions you need, that you can handle, and no more, then you can begin to be satisfied with what you have. pp 140

And so much more…

I highly recommend reading and applying this book.  I will be doing that by writing many of the insights in my journaling Bible so that they are available when I am reading, studying, and worshipping.

What a blessing!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from BookCrash/Capture Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Stones of Remembrance – Book Review

I love it when a book or song comes into my life that is exactly what I need.  Don’t you?  It seems like God is saying, “This one’s for you.  Especially for you!”  I recently received Stones of Remembrance by Daniel G. Amen to review and read it from cover to cover in the first sitting.  Yes, this one is definitely for me!

Dr. Amen is of the opinion (as I am) that ALL that we do impacts the brain.  What we eat, what we read, how we sleep, exercise, music, everything has an impact on the ‘gray matter’ in our head.  Consider Proverbs 23:7 (As a man thinks so is he.) and Joshua 1:8 (This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.) and Philippians 4:8 (Think on whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, praiseworthy and good.)

This little book is a cornucopia of verses based on his acronym for REMEMBERENCES.  Each letter has a short, compelling explanation of each word in the acronym and Bible verses to support the concept.

5 of my favorite quotes from this book:

  • When your brain works right, you work right in every area of your life–physically, mentally, and spiritually. (pg. xvi)
  • Much like love, forgiveness brings healing. (pg. 30)
  • …when you stop learning, your brain starts dying. (pg. 34)
  • A happy brain is a healthy brain. (pg. 42)
  • One of the best things you can do to improve your memory is to eat right. (pg. 112)

This book is and will be on my reading table, permanently.  My sincere, heartfelt thanks to Dr. Amen for compiling this short, easy to read, powerful book.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Psalm Hymns: Book Review

Psalm Hymns by L.L. Larkins

I was delighted to have the opportunity to review a collection of Psalms set to well-known hymns and carols.  The musician in me has been waiting for a long time to see and perform something like this.  All-in-all in I enjoyed the time spent reading and singing.

Things I liked most:

  1. Using melodies already known to the Believer to enhance the Word.
  2. Having this collection at my fingertips to use in the worship service.
  3. A smaller set of Psalms set to Christmas music and carols was included in the package. (Caroling Through The Psalms by L.L. Larkins)
  4. The author included the opportunity to send the reader/performer’s recording to them personally for possible inclusion on a future digital release.

Things I didn’t like:

  1. Matching known melodies to these psalms sometimes resulted in awkward rhythmic patterns.
  2. The message of some of these psalms was lost in the wordage.

I think there is great potential in this collection.  I give kudos to the author for the incredible amount of work it took to create this set.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from BookCrash/Capture Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Fiercehearted – Book Review

Life has a way of throwing things at us when we’re least expecting it.  Sometimes good, sometimes not so good.  Good memories are balanced with times of sorrow.  Everything that happens to us has a purpose and Fiercehearted helps put it in perspective.

Do you know the difference between being nice and being kind?  Yes, there is a difference and Holley does a beautiful job of explaining it.

Are you aware of how much control your thoughts and other people have over your life?  Are you controlled by this or are you able to control it?  Fiercehearted has the answer.

From the sincere desire of all women to fiercely protect those they love, to reaching out when we’d rather do something else, to sharing our lives with others, the heart of a servant shines through the pages of this book.

This book is, quite possibly, the most powerful book I’ve read.  The impact on my life and thoughts has been monumental. I know I’ll reread this many, many times.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Holley Gerth. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Christmas Blessing – Book Review

Is there something special you do that until you’ve done it the Christmas Season isn’t quite what you need it to be?  Perhaps a movie that you watch? A kind of cookie you bake? A special ornament on the tree? I just finished reading a book that is going to be on my Christmas list for years to come.

The Christmas Blessing wraps its arms around you and draws you into a world that has snowy sprinkles all over it. It grabs your attention and gives all the awesome emotions that are present at Christmas.  The setting is World War 2.  The mores and morals of that era are really evident in this story.  It’s a story of life decisions, sometimes good, sometimes not so good.  It’s a story of relationships, friendships, and family.  To tell you more would be to give away the story.  BTW – it would make a great movie.

 

I highly recommend this book.  It’s a great read!!!

(See FTC disclosure at the bottom right.)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

The Wellness Revelation – Book Review

I am a diet book junkie.  I’ve read, what seems to be, almost every new book on the subject.  When the opportunity came to read The Wellness Revelation I jumped at it.  Alisa Keeton has hit the nail on the head in this book.  The nail? Dieting is more than food.  I’ve read a lot of books about diet and exercise but, this is the first time I’ve read from cover to cover without trying to find the food plan chapter first.  Interestingly, she doesn’t really give a food plan.  A list of foods that are healthy for us, yes.  But not a specific plan.  The same goes for exercise…just do it!

Here are 8 concepts from the book.  (There are many more, but you’ll have to read it yourself to find out.)

  1. A healthy body is not all about the food you put in it.
  2. Wellness encompasses every aspect of our lives.
  3. Health focused goals such as, lower blood pressure, less processed food, controlling sugar intake, are as important (or maybe more so) as pounds lost or miles run.
  4. God created every part of the world we live in, including us.  The way we take care of ourselves, or not, shows how we feel about Him.
  5. We have to be aware that diet, exercise, and a variety of things that seem to be good for our body can also become bondage.  It can kill us if we aren’t careful.
  6. We are accountable and have the total responsibility of keeping these bodies we’ve been given in a healthy state.
  7. There is no good reason to be more or less than who we are.
  8. Prayer and meditation are part of a healthy life-style.

This book is a powerful tool in coming to grips with weight-loss and personal health.  I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to become what God wants us to be in all aspects of our lives.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Thomas Nelson and BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”