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

 

Bread of Angels Book Review

This is the best fiction book I’ve read in a long time.  In Bread of Angels, Tessa Afshar put her finger on the pulse of the First Century and I felt like I was actually there.  In this delightful story you will find first love… secrets… plotting… jail time… betrayal… successes… failures… trauma… death… life changes…

The book is beautifully written.  The characters enter the story at just the right point.  The story encapsulates the life of Lydia, the seller of purple, from the New Testament.  Each chapter has its own verse of the Bible to help the reader frame that portion of the narrative.

It’s rare to find a quote from a fiction book that is worth keeping in my heart.  But find one I did.  “I follow a scarred Redeemer.  Somehow I think our scars become holy in the shadow of His.  And His plans are made perfect in the demolition of our own devices.”  (page 290)

I highly recommend this book.  Put it on your summer reading list. I’m definitely going to check out some of Tessa Afshar’s other books.

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 receive no residual remuneration from the connecting links.    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.”

 

Book Review – What Hope Remembers

Are you looking for a great rainy day or warm summer afternoon read?  Johnny Alexander has written the book for you.  Check out What Hope Remembers.  There’s just enough drama and intrigue to hold your attention for that lazy, hazy day.

Well developed characters and the plot kept me wanting to know what were the secrets they were keeping.  Even the ‘bad guys’ were believable.

Real life issues and challenges kept me turning the pages to discover what was going to add a new twist to the story.

I’m giving this book 5 stars and recommending it highly!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Revel, a division of Baker Publishing. 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.”

Book Review – Paul, The Apostle

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I agreed to review this book.  Although I enjoyed comic books as a child this was certainly a bit different.  I’m not sure whether I can recommend the book or not.  Here are my likes and dislikes:

Likes

  • The story is accurate and portrays some of the difficulties Paul faced in his journey.
  • Each page gave a scriptural reference for what was going on.
  • Very appropriate for the 8 to 12 year age group.

Dislikes

  • Very difficult to follow the storyline bubbles.
  • More violence than I like to deal with. (Yes, I know the time he lived in was very violent.)
  • There were so many graphically portrayed characters I found it difficult to determine who was speaking.

With that said, I recommend parts read through the book first to be prepared for any questions their children might ask.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Beartruth Collective, LLC  and Bookcrash 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.”

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Befriend

I’ve often given thanks for the many friends God has placed in my life in this season.  Some younger, some older, some wiser, some funnier, some really awesome people who have made life so much more interesting.

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Until I read Befriend by Scott Sauls I really hadn’t thought of all the other possibilities for friendships.  Those who are bullies, minorities, poor, rich, vulnerable, strangers, refugees, disabled, dysfunctional …

God weeps over things gone wrong in this world (pg. 102). I’m sure He places mishandled, forgotten, ruined relationships among those things that have gone wrong.  He loves us more than we’ll ever know as long as we’re on this earth. He does not pick and choose among sinners and the righteous…He simply loves and He expects us to do the same.

Friendship is vulnerable and inviolable.  Friendship is risky and worth the risk.  Friendship is comforting and uncomfortable at times.

The following quote sums up the emphasis of this book:

Real friends not only agree but disagree;  real friends not only applaud each other’s strengths but challenge each other’s weaknesses;  real friends not only enjoy life together but struggle through life together;  real friends not only praise one another but apologize and forgive one another;  real friends not only rally around their points of agreement but love and learn from their points of disagreements… And when everybody matures and grows, everybody wins. (pgs. 4-5)

This is a very powerful, thought-provoking book.  I highly recommend it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers as part of their Blog Network Program. 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.”

 

Kit Kat & Lucy – – Book Review

One of the great joys of my life has been being a cat owner.  We’ve had many beautiful felines.  There was Noah, Zeke, Phydgyt, Samson, Boots, Boris…  Now we have Salem and Smokey.  These two allow us to live in their home as long as we feed them, keep them warm, pay their medical bills, provide prime sleeping spots, and keep them safe from that mean neighbor cat Sammy.

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With that said let me add that I met two cats in a book called Kit Kat & Lucy by Lonnie Hull DuPont that reminded me so much of Smokey and Salem that I thought I was reading about them.  I laughed! (Yes, a mouse dropping from the ceiling is rather humorous.)  I cried! I loved the book!

Do you want to know how cats acclimate to one another?  It’s here.

Do you want proof that cats help their owners in high-stress situations?  It’s here.

How about cats knowing when their humans are ill or depressed?  Yep, It’s here.

511o5akk8bl-_ac_us160_Kit Kat’s life story is a delight.  She determined to live with her humans and even though they didn’t know it at the time she was going to stay no matter what transpired.  Her owners decided they just couldn’t have a cat and took her to live on another farm close by.  Kit Kat walked 8 miles to return to her chosen home and that begins the adventure. Eventually, another cat comes to the door on a windy, cold, Michigan night and whether Lonnie and Joe liked it or not Lucy had found her forever home.

This delightful story of two accidental cat owners and their furry felines is worth the read whether you’re a cat person or not.  It’s full of stories and anecdotes that every pet owner can relate to.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I was provided a copy of this book by Revell Publishing for the sole purpose of this review.  I receive no other type of remuneration for this review.  The thoughts and opinions expressed herein are totally my own.

 

The Christmas Angel Project – Book Review

The Christmas Angel ProjectA dear friend and mentor passes into eternity unexpectedly and leaves a handcrafted angel for her book club friends.  As a way to celebrate the life of this special woman and mentor, they determine to choose a personal project for their community based on their personal skills and gifts. Thus, The Christmas Angel Project is born.

All of their projects are worthy but something is missing.  The ‘God Factor’, i.e., a relationship with Jesus.  They each find a tiny scroll with a Bible reference specifically for each individual.  How these short verses affect change in their lives is very revealing in their relationships with friends, family, and colleagues.

2 Things I liked about this book:

It was very motivating and encouraging.

There was no violence or sexual connotations.

2 Things I didn’t like about this book:

The characters seemed somewhat hollow and could have used more development.

Although a delightful story, it really could have been longer.  Obviously, it left me wanting more.

With all of that in mind, I would give this book a 4 out of 5 and would recommend it for those who want something lighter to read.

I was provided a copy of this book by Revel Publishers for the sole purpose of review.  All of the thoughts and comments are my own.  

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Abba’s Child | Book Review

Abba's ChildDo you wonder about God’s personal love for us?  Do you have a background of little to no love as a child and have always been searching for it?  Are you a perfectionist with thoughts of I’m just not good enough?  This book might be for you.

God’s love (and grace) has nothing to do with not living up to your own or other’s expectations.  It is simple in its complexity.  It has little, to nothing, to do with you/me and everything to do with the One who forgave every complex bit of ourselves on the cross.  We are so wrapped up in what we think is expected that we choose to lay the burden on others and of course the media.  He loves us and He wants us to converse (i.e., pray) with Him without judging ourselves or letting others judge us.

This book is really about understanding the characteristics that are not particularly valued in our society.  Love, gentleness, lowliness, humility, sharing, tenderness, caring and more.  We have grown up thinking self-sufficiency is of the utmost importance not realizing that the far more important concept (to use an overused cliché) is to ‘let go and let God’.

Forgiveness is another of the characteristics that is not valued.  The book goes into great detail on this subject.  It is impossible to be considered Abba’s Child if we do not learn to forgive.  Whether it is a personal affront, abuse, a legacy of racism, or any other sin against us Jesus says to forgive just like we would be expected to be forgiven.

Abba’s Child is an excellent study in understanding how love, grace, and forgiveness work together.  I highly recommend this book.  It should be read by and on the bookshelves of every believer.

One last thought…Let yourselves be loved!

A copy of this book was provided for me by Tyndale Blog Review Network/NavPress.  No other remuneration was received.  The thoughts and ideas in this review are entirely my own and are based totally on the book.  If you click on the book picture it will take you to NavPress where you can purchase the book. (I am not an affiliate of this company and receive nothing from them for this option.)

Book Review – New Testament Breakthrough Version

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Have you ever wondered why there are so many words in the Bible that seem to mean the same thing but when applied to the passage it doesn’t mean what you think you should?  The author of this translation spent more than 30 years carefully researching word meanings and applying that this work.  His work comes from the fact that the Bible was translated over 600 years ago and the words used then are not the same as they are now.  Word meanings change over time and with that it becomes difficult to know what a word meant 600 years ago and how it applies to life today.  If you want to check this out head over to http://www.breakthroughversion.com and check out the comparison charts.  They are informative and give an excellent picture of how the author researched to make this a usable resource.

With that said let me say that I, personally, believe in the total inerrancy of the Word.  I believe that it is and was totally ‘God-breathed’ as it says in 2 Timothy 3:16.  I also believe it is totally our responsibility, as believers, to check out any passage or translation that does not ‘ring true’ for us with all the resources we have.  So when I had a question about a passage I went to my Key Word Hebrew-Greek Study Bible, any or all of the commentary’s I could find, a variety of other study Bibles, and did on-line research when necessary.  Guess what?  I never found a time when this translation was inaccurate or not applicable.

I received a copy of this Bible from Breakthrough Bible Publishing for the sole purpose of reading and review. The thoughts and comments in this review are totally my own and influenced only by my personal and life experiences.  I have spent the past 6 months using this translation in teaching, study and worship experiences.  It has shed light on some passages and taken me to new thoughts on things I already thought I knew.  It is an excellent resource for any Bible teacher and I am delighted to add it to my library and highly recommend it for yours.

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Blessings to you and yours!

Marie