Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hiding From the Kids in My Prayer Closet (Review)





This review is for the book "Hiding From the Kids in My Prayer Closet" by Jessica Kastner. Kastner begins the book by assuring readers that she is an "Un-Mom" so if any readers also feel like that, they are not alone! She begins the book by describing how she felt like an outsider when around many other moms, because of her personality. Each chapter is a hilarious outtake on our lives as moms. Has your wardrobe gone from slinky dress to comfy bathrobe? Does the term "family vacation" make you cringe? And how much do you LOVE going clothes shopping for yourself with your children in tow? Kastner will have you laughing and nodding in agreement throughout this entire book. Even if you are past some of these phases, I guarantee you will remember what it was like to be in the trenches, as she so adequately puts it!

This book is easy to read because it's totally relevant, and it feels like your best friend just wrote down all her feelings for you to read. Read the book and then pass it on!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book.


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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Lighthouse Faith (Review)






This review is for the book "Lighthouse Faith" by Lauren Green. In this book, Green describes a lighthouse as a symbol of hope, comfort and safety. She shows how that relates to our faith. She relates personally to many of the topics found throughout the book, but not only that, you can see how she makes it a point to study certain things in depth. For example, when she talks about how Jesus is the vine, she actually goes to a vineyard in order to talk to the gardener about how the vines grow, and how it relates to theology. She finds that vines have a lot of struggles, so she goes to scientists to learn more about our brains and synapses. When she wants to talk about singing to God, she actually gives the reader an entire music lesson that is most likely way more in depth than anything you have studied before. It is really cool how she relates all these "secular" things to our faith.

I really enjoyed this book and would love to read more from her in the future.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Forensic Faith (Review)







This review is for the book "Forensic Faith" by J. Warner Wallace. This is the second book I have read by Wallace. He is actually a cold-case homicide detective and a former atheist. Wallace uses the skills he has learned as a homicide detective to make the case for the Bible. In this book he shows how researching the Bible is very similar to investigating a case. You have to have training, for example, and be tested so that your faith is stronger. Wallace presents the fact that with a cold case you have no living eyewitnesses at times and the case occurred in the past. Same thing goes for the scripture - there are no scientific tests that can be run, no living eyewitnesses, and yet we can still prove it's true.

This book was really cool. It was interesting to see how someone in this line of work is able to use his skills to prove the Bible is true. I would definitely recommend it to those who are interested in strengthening their faith and learning more about how to stand firm on your beliefs.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book.

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race by Mike Mizrahi






This review is for the book "The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race" by Mike Mizrahi. In this book, we go back to Chattanooga in the late 1800's. We meet Anna Gaines, a 19-year old who has just been introduced to the bicycle. Where she lives in the South, cycling is very scandalous for ladies. There is a cycling club but it is for men only. Anna's aunt introduces her to the sport and Anna falls in love with it. She has a bicycle at her house and her father is finally convinced that it's okay to ride it around their property. Soon, though, Anna is out around town, which causes her mother much alarm and embarrassment. Not only that, there are people who are very anti-female cyclists - to the point that they will come after Anna.

This was a really interesting book because even though I know it was fictional, the history behind it is quite real. It is so interesting to think what a scandal this was in this time period. I really loved the characters in this book and the story as a whole. I don't always enjoy historical fiction but this book was one that I didn't get tired of reading one bit.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book.


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Driver Confessional (Review)






This review is for the book "Driver Confessional" by David L. Winters. I felt like the premise of this book was better than the actual book. This story is about Antonio, a "Buber" driver who uses his faith and charm to get people to have deep conversations with him as he drives them to their destination. On one night, a woman tells him a little about herself, and when she leaves she accidentally leaves her briefcase in Antonio's car. When he finally gets a chance to return it, she's dead. This means he is a lead suspect. As he clears his name, he is led deeper into a mystery involving the Russian mob, corporate greed and many other things that lead his family into danger.

So while the story line was good, the writing felt very stilted to me. Characters spoke in a way that I felt was not realistic, so it was hard for me to feel much emotion toward them or the story in general.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book.





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Joy of Letting Go (Review)



This review is for the book "The Joy of Letting Go" by Vicki Caruana. This book, as you can see from the subtitle, is really geared toward parents (okay, moms - we're the ones who have a hard time letting go!) who are releasing their teens into the real world. I loved this book even though my kids are only six and eight, and I thought it was extremely relevant. Caruana talked about the many experiences she had with her children growing up, and the times she had to just let them go and make their own decisions - and often, mistakes. Each chapter had a "Thought Poke" attached to it that made you think a little bit harder about the topic.

I really enjoyed this book. I ended up giving it to another mom who has a couple of children spreading their wings right now, and I thought she needed it more than I do at this moment in time. But this book was definitely encouraging and I will use a lot of the advice as my kids are growing up and going through similar situations.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Getting Jesus Wrong (Review)



This review is for the book "Getting Jesus Wrong" by Matt Johnson. I loved this book. Johnson goes through many of the "Jesus" movements that readers will be familiar with. For example, the "Life Coach Jesus" is the one who will encourage you in a "toothy grinned, megachurch preacher kind of nonsense" (p. 27). Achieving personal goals and having good moral standards is not all that Jesus wants from us. Then there is the "Checklist Jesus". This is checking things off your spiritual list - have you done your quiet time? (Bonus points if you took a picture and put it on social media). Gone to revival lately? Devoured a stack of books related to faith and spirituality? God isn't the one who laid that burden on our shoulders. We do that to ourselves. The author also talks about God's law and God's gospel, and the hope that we have. I really did enjoy this book and I agree with Johnson on so many points. This book is a keeper for me.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Woman's NKJV Study Bible (Review)



This review is for The Woman's Study Bible, version NKJV, from Thomas Nelson. In my opinion, there aren't too many things more exciting than getting a new Bible. They have that great smell, and at first, I don't want to mark up the pages. That doesn't last too long, though!

This Bible is beautiful. Visually, it is printed in full color, so stories, quotes, charts and maps stand out quite a bit from the text. As you read scripture, you will find quotes from Christian women throughout the pages. When you get to Leviticus you'll find a section distinguishing between "clean" and "unclean". In 2 Kings you'll find a chart talking about "The Kings With Two Names". In Proverbs, a section discusses how God answers difficult questions. In Mark, a chart is presented showing the emotions of Jesus. In Acts, we see a timeline of Paul and where his missionary journeys took him.

I absolutely love this Bible. With the gorgeous design, the biographies of many biblical women, topical articles, book outlines, historical significance of passages, maps, charts, timelines, family trees, quotes, index, and concordance, you won't be missing anything in this study Bible. I highly recommend this Bible.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of this book.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Jesus Club (Review)



This review is for the book "The Jesus Club" by Brian Barcelona. This was a very cool book. I really like true stories, and this is definitely one that will inspire you.

Brian Barcelona felt the call of God when he was just eighteen. He felt an urge to save the high schools of America. At the same time, he realized his limitations - his age, and not even knowing where to start, plus the fact that he is just one person. He did have doubts, but he began to minister to local high schools. I imagine it was discouraging for him when he would hold meetings, only to have three or four people show up. He never gave up, though, and gradually he would fill auditoriums and gymnasiums with hundreds of high school students. He broke through to some who would never step foot in a church.

I love this story, and I love Brian's heart for teenagers. He proves that if you follow God's will, great things will happen. I encourage you to read this book and have the courage to step out in faith like Brian is doing.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Think Again Review




This review is for the book "Think Again" by Jared Mellinger. I really enjoyed this book. The purpose of this book is to help us realize that the gospel rescues us from false guilt, inaccurate thoughts of ourselves, and discouragement. Self-reflection is a great thing, but not when taken to an extreme. If we are so focused on ourselves that we become unfruitful and ineffective for God, then we need to change that and fix our eyes on God. We fight false guilt when we compare ourselves with other families. Mellinger gives the example of when we see a Facebook post of a family with the hashtags: "#GreatFamilyDevotions #MakingMemories #PureJoy". And then all we can think about is what we aren't doing. We have to do an assessment of our own family, our own situation, and take it to God and scripture. If our guilt is real and we have actually sinned, it can be fixed by repenting, confessing, and then rejoice as God has forgiven us. There were so many good tidbits in this book that made me feel relieved and understood. I really enjoyed this book, and it will be going on my bookshelf!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book.