Thursday, December 24, 2015

Mr. Selfie (Review)

This review is for the book "Mr. Selfie" by Dan Zevin. This book is a parody of the old "Ms and Mr" books. I used to read those books growing up. I have read two other books in this series, "Little Miss Overshare" and "Little Miss Basic". I thought both of those books were pretty hilarious. This book, I thought, was not quite as funny, but still a bit humorous. Mr. Selfie spends all of his time uploading selfies to various social media outlets, and ends up aggravating everyone he comes across.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Evangelicals for Life Conference

EFL Button

Clear your schedules January 21–22, 2016, because Focus on the Family and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission will host Evangelicals for Life, a major pro-life conference held in conjunction with the March for Life event.

The event will take place in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Evangelicals from across the country will gather to hear from leading speakers, such as David Platt, Russell Moore, Jim Daly, Kelly Rosati, and others—to be equipped and encouraged to become a voice for life! The event will also be simulcast for FREE so individuals, churches, and organizations from coast-to-coast and around the world can take part.

Speakers will encourage evangelicals to engage the culture on issues of abortion and end-of-life decisions, and the event will affirm the evangelical belief in the sanctity of life, that every life matters to God and is created in His image.

For more information, visit

Readers of this blog will receive 15% off their registration by using the code FocusLife.

Russell Moore will be speaking at Evangelicals for Life. He is President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is a theologian, ethicist, frequent cultural commentator, and author of several books. In the guest post below, he speaks to the importance of hosting the conference in the midst of the cultural battle for human dignity.

Why We’re Hosting the Evangelicals For Life Conference

By Russell Moore

As many Christians sat at their computer and watched a casual dinner conversation over the price of dismembered children, a lot of us probably thought: “But what can I do about this?” This is a question I hear often from pro-life evangelicals. Many Christians are utterly convinced in their heart of the personhood and dignity of the unborn, yet don’t know how to faithfully effectively advocate for life.

It’s important to understand that the cultural battle for human dignity doesn’t begin on Capitol Hill or on CNN. It begins in your family, in your local church, and in your neighborhood. In fact, many of the people we know most vulnerable to the abortionist’s rhetoric are not actually pro-choice, they’re just scared, scared to scandalize a church with their secret. The false gospel of the abortion clinic, which says, “We can make all your trouble go away for you,” is overwhelmingly seductive.

What these people need more than a lesson in embryonic development is to have the Gospel preached to their conscience. This means much more than simply offering “The Romans Road” or prompting a sinner’s prayer; it means speaking directly with the message of Jesus’ complete sovereignty of the universe, his righteous indignation on the murder of the unborn, and most importantly, his complete absorption of God’s wrath on the cross, and his invitation to mercy and fellowship and the imputed righteousness of the Son of God.

The Gospel disarms the appeal of the abortion clinic because it offers truth with love, judgment with mercy, and righteousness with grace. The consciences around us don’t believe what they’re telling themselves. They’re scared and confused. Shine a light on their conscience, and then present the Gospel of reconciliation.

Moreover, the pro-life movement has set an example worthy of our imitation when it comes to practical, holistic mercy ministry. For over 40 years since Roe v. Wade, those committed to defending unborn life have done much more than preach and teach; they have welcomed the scared, the vulnerable, and the wounded and loved them. This has looked like the establishment of crisis pregnancy centers all around cities. It has looked like adoption advocacy and building a culture of adoption in local churches. It’s true that our pro-life witness has a long way to go, but we do not, thankfully, conform to the caricature that says we believe life “begins at conception and ends at birth.”


Questions like these are why I am excited to be a part of the Evangelicals For Life Conference in January. This conference exists to help evangelicals articulate a truly Christian doctrine on the dignity of all human life. Being pro-life, after all, means much more than being against abortion on demand; it means believing in the dignity of the elderly and infirm, and advocating for compassion and inclusion of the poor, the orphan, and the widow. No doctrine of human dignity that fails to speak to these cases is fully “pro-life.”

Sometimes Christians are encouraged to leave issues like this behind. Sometimes the fight for human dignity is portrayed as “culture war” baggage. For those of us that watched an executive from Planned Parenthood talk about the most valuable anatomy of dead children, we know this to be false. The stakes for human life and human dignity could not be higher, and the plight of those ignored by the world does not go unnoticed by our heavenly Father.

We have a Gospel word to speak to the abortionist and the unborn, to the orphan and those not considering adoption. Will you join me in Washington, on January 21-22, as we seek to speak this word?

This article was adapted from the original article posted on Russell Moore's website.

Gospel Conversations (Review)

This review is for the book "Gospel Conversations: How to Care Like Christ" by Robert W. Kellemen. This is part of the Equipping Biblical Counselors series. This book is a tremendous resource, both for professional counselors as well as people in the church who counsel others.

The book begins with a unit on the foundations of biblical counseling. This includes going through a counseling session with a fictitious couple, and a lot of in-depth questions which can be used for self-reflection or for group discussions. The book also touches on grace, healing, reconciliation, how to empower Christians throughout counseling sessions, and many other topics. The appendix contains many helpful counseling tools such as intake forms, counseling goals, personal information forms, and even release forms and consent forms.

I believe this book is an invaluable resource for those in the counseling aspect of ministry. The tools in this book are practical, useful, and best of all, faith-based. I would highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Little Miss Basic (Review)

This review is for the book "Little Miss Basic" by Dan Zevin. This is the second book I have read in his parody series of the "Little Miss" and "Little Mr." books that used to be so popular. I thought this one was hilarious. It was spot on, with tons of references to lingo ("Worst. Day. Evs."), clothing (she wore her Uggs with her "black North Face jacket, her black Lululemons, and her black Kate Spade spectacles"), and food (she loves pumpkin spice lattes and juice cleanses).

This is not child-friendly reading like the old series, but it will get a giggle out of many adults, I can assure you. For those of us who remember the series from our childhood, it will probably hit our funny bone a bit harder.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Odyssey Adventure Club


Tired of the Christmas shopping, the baking and sugar overload, the Christmas festivities that keep you away from your family during the season? Take time special time to spend with your loved ones and invest in your community—with Focus on the Family's help!

You can download a fun gift to give to your friends, family, and community! Each Christmas stocking stuffer card directs you to a special place to hear an Adventures in Odyssey Christmas episode. Plus, you’ll be able to read a special excerpt from Imagination Station #12, “Danger on a Silent Night.” Sign up here to download the free cards.

Plus stop by this page for a slew of crafts, recipes, and stories to share with your family during this special time of year!


If you're still looking for one last gift to give your kids this year, give the gift of the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts, and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.

  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.

  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.

  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.

  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Whispers in the Reading Room (Review)

This review is for the book "Whispers in the Reading Room" by Shelley Gray. This is the third book in the trilogy about the Chicago World's Fair.

Shelley Gray is one of my favorite authors. I wish I had not missed out on reading the first two books in this series. I will have to go and find them and read them. This book was really intriguing to me. It was set in the late 1800's and all the bits and pieces of society in that time frame seemed so different from our modern society. Readers will learn all about polite society, gentlemen and ladies, and even the improper sections of town. It was very enlightening.

This book was very easy to follow, even without reading the other books in the series. I can't say that I loved all the characters, but then again I believe the timidity and naivety of the female characters came with the times they were living in. Lydia is a librarian who is curious about a mysterious patron who comes in, Sebastian. Sebastian wants to befriend Lydia but is afraid for her to find out that he is a club owner, and a fairly rough character. The more time they spend together, the more they both begin to make some changes in order to build their relationship.

As I said, I enjoyed this book and would like to read the others in the series.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Little Miss Overshare (Review)

This review is for the book "Little Miss Overshare" by Dan Zevin. This is part of the parody series which pokes fun at the old "Little Miss" and "Little Mr." books. I loved those books when I was growing up, and now my kids love getting them from the library. I had high hopes for this book because I also really enjoy parodies.

Little Miss Overshare is a little too disclosing to her friends and perfect strangers. You may have guessed that by her name. She shares information from her bathroom habits to the issues she has had with her dry cleaner.

I will say that although there are no outright vulgar words, the language and topics in the book are very crude. The reason I felt it was so funny is because with social media, I have found that people are oversharing more and more. So I think this is a timely book.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Like Father Like Son (Review)

This review is for the book "Like Father Like Son" by Pete Alwinson. The premise of this book is that knowing God as your father and realizing that type of love will change you as a man, and as a father. (Yes, this book is written for men, but there are some great lessons in here that we can all use!)

The book goes through certain qualities of God and how men can learn these qualities by reading scripture. Alwinson has testimonies throughout the book of men who have their vision of God skewed due to their lack of relationship with their own father (or very poor relationship). Alwinson claims that men can get past their relationship with their earthly father, and still be a great example for their children, or other boys in their lives. Alwinson shares his own story as this testimony.

He covers many qualities of God, such as: welcoming, identity-building, guiding, and grace-giving, among others. He goes through these scripturally, and then adds discussion questions to the end of each chapter to encourage deeper thinking.

I enjoyed this book. It held a lot of good material. Some of it was not really new to me, but it still needs to be heard.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Rising Darkness (Review)

This review is for the book "Rising Darkness" by Nancy Mehl. This is the third book in the her Finding Sanctuary series. I had not read the other two books in this series and I felt that the story in this book was extremely easy to follow along with and understand, even without knowing the other parts of the series.

Sophie left her strict Mennonite hometown after doing something that was dangerous and a slap in the face to her community. Now she is on the road to becoming a journalist. When she meets up with an old acquaintance who claims that a murder suspect is hiding out in the Mennonite town of Sanctuary, she is skittish about going back into that type of community, but her want of a big story overrules her fear.

What are the chances she will see her old crush in Sanctuary? He is a pastor now, and it's not long before he finds out some of Sophie's secrets. Suddenly she has a few people on her side. But should she trust all of them?

I really enjoyed this story. I couldn't figure out who to trust in Sanctuary. I liked the characters and the suspense of the book. I'd like to go back and read the other books in the series now.

Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Lost God in a Lost World (Review)

This review is for the book "A Lost God in a Lost World" by Melvin Tinker. In this book, Tinker addresses the reality that in this modern age, we have reduced God into a little box in our minds. We have taken away some of the grandiosity that is God. In trying to understand his ways (which is impossible), we put him in this human box. We try to bend his will to meet our own desires.

First, Tinker addresses idolatry, and how we tend to replace God with idols. Then he addresses the grandeur of God and how we are supposed to see him. He discusses why the cross was necessary, he explains the Holy Spirit as it is found in scripture, he asserts that we must proclaim the gospel, and then he ends the book by discussing the grace of God (and many viewpoints on that grace), the second coming, and how to be heavenly minded.

I loved this book. Tinker speaks in a way that it was easy to understand where he was coming from. I enjoyed the other authors and people he referenced throughout the book. He even referenced those with whom he disagreed, so that he could relay his scriptural findings and why he didn't agree with certain quotes or people. I think it is so true that our world is lost, and we have lost God in our hustle and bustle. We (as a society) rely on ourselves, or else we lean too heavily on society to take care of us, or we try to conform God to what we want at that exact moment. Tinker relates scripture in this book that is laid right out and cannot be ignored. This one is going on my bookshelf.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Watch the trailer for the book here:

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Thousand Shall Fall (Review)

This review is for the book "A Thousand Shall Fall" by Andrea Boeshaar. This is book one in the Shenandoah Valley Saga. In this novel we meet Carrie Ann Bell in the year 1864. Carrie's sister has just run away and Carrie is frantic to find her. So frantic, in fact, that she risks her life by disguising herself as a Yankee soldier, right in the middle of some of the biggest battles of the Civil War. Carrie not only risks being wounded or killed in battle, but she is breaking the law by impersonating a soldier.

We find out that the soldier who rescues/captures Carrie has a past with her. This is probably in her favor because he doesn't send her to jail or kill her right away. In fact, he is extremely kind to her and does his best to keep her away from the skirmishes to keep her safe. They fall in love under some very difficult circumstances, even with all their differences. But Carrie is holding some secrets that could be very damaging if she is found out.

I really enjoyed this novel. I don't enjoy a lot of historical romance novels but this one kept my attention and I enjoyed the characters. The only complaint I had is that some of the things spoken of in the novel made me think there was a prequel to this story that I had not read. The characters spoke of things that had happened in the past that made me think they would have been in a previous novel, so they weren't fully explained. It wasn't anything that made the story confusing or hard to follow. If you like historical fiction, you will enjoy this novel.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Thousand Fall Andrea Boeshaar

Odyssey Adventure Club


What’s on your children’s Christmas wish list? As excited as they might be about that new toy, as every parent knows, the thrill of the gift will eventually wear off. Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey have created the perfect gift for those who want to give their children or grandchildren a present that will provide year-round fun with eternal impact.

The Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC) offers families 24/7 access to 25 years’ worth of Adventures in Odyssey (AIO) episodes in a safe online environment where children can explore and learn. Christmas really is the perfect time to tap into your children’s imagination while infusing faith and fun into their day . . . and every day of the year.

To celebrate the holidays this year, the OAC is offering free content for everyone, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.

  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.

  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.

  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.

  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.

In keeping with AIO’s rich heritage of teaching children about biblical principles — such as the importance of giving — a portion of each OAC membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations. Here are a couple of examples of what has been accomplished through Odyssey Adventure Club members:

The Odyssey Adventure Club wants to reach beyond fleeting entertainment this Christmas, partnering with parents in helping their kids grow deep in faith and find their place in God’s story.


Speaking of the holidays, you can prepare for Christmas with Thriving Family's 2015 Advent Activity Calendar — Tales of Christmas Past: 25 Inspiring true stories of the season. Assemble a beautifully designed Advent poster to help your kids focus on Christ this Christmas. Then read Scripture passages and stories that relate to individual flaps on the poster. You can also create easy-to-fold booklets for each story. Get more information about this year's free Advent calendar at, or sign up to download it.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Martian (Review)

This review is for the book "The Martian" by Andy Weir. Honestly, I did not know what to expect from this book. Based on the title I thought it was going to be some outlandish science-fiction novel, which I don't really enjoy. Instead, I was met with an intriguing, exciting book that kept me on the edge of my seat.

This book begins in the journal of Mark Watney, an astronaut on Mars. In a freak accident, his fellow crew members left him, thinking he was dead. But he's not. And now he's alone - on Mars. Fortunately, Watney is an engineer. An insanely good engineer. He is determined to find a way to survive on Mars and try to find a way home. This book is his story and his journey.

I loved this book. It had my attention from the beginning. There were a couple of nights I was reading and my eyes were heavy as rocks, but I just had to see what was going to happen next. I was rooting for Watney for the entire book! I hear this is a movie now, and I am excited to see it, although I happen to love books more than movies. The book does contain some crass language, so be aware of that.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multonah for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Ology (Review)

This review is for the book "The Ology" by Marty Machowski. I really cannot say enough great things about this book. I was extremely impressed with every aspect of this book.

When the reader opens the book they meet Carla and Timothy. These kids have just found an old cellar with a book that has been untouched for a long time. They open it up and begin to read. Of course, as an adult, you will realize this book is The Bible. This book explains biblical truths in a way that children can comprehend and not get overwhelmed. For example, we read one truth every day. I would read the title ("Sin Spreads like a Disease") and the corresponding paragraphs. Then my daughter would find the listed scriptures in her Bible and read them out loud (usually 5-8 scriptures). Then we would discuss how the scriptures went with the topic and talk about any questions my kids had. If your kids are older, there are discussion questions in the back that you could use for each truth. This book covers it all. From God (He is the trinity, in control, perfect, etc.) to people and sin, to the promise and the law, to Christ and the Holy Spirit to adoption into God's family to change (how you change after salvation) to the church, to the end times and God's word. It also includes a glossary.

I guarantee you we will be using this book for years to come. It is a great treasure to use with your children. I highly, highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Fire & Ice (Review)

This review is for the book "Fire & Ice" by Mary Connealy. This is book three in the Wild at Heart series. This series has followed the Wilde family, settlers in the 1800s. If you've read the other books in the series, you know the Wilde sisters have been building up their homesteads and pretending to be men so they would be left alone. Just one problem - these sisters keep falling in love!

In this book, Gage Coulter finds out that his unfriendly male neighbor Bailey is actually his unfriendly female neighbor Bailey! After he gets over the surprise that this female has been causing him so many problems, he lays out a proposal that Bailey can't refuse. Both Gage and Bailey are very independent and tough. But true love can definitely surpass all of that.

I loved this series. I really like the characters, and in this book the appearance of Ma Coulter will make you laugh and cringe at the same time.

Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 20, 2015

An Endless Christmas (Review)

This review is for the novella "An Endless Christmas" by Cynthia Ruchti. Let me begin by saying I enjoy reading novellas, I love Christmas stories, and I have read a few really good books lately by Cynthia Ruchti.

I liked this book, but I didn't really love it. In this book, Katie and Micah are going to spend Christmas with his family. This is the first time Katie is meeting everyone, and as soon as they walk in the door, Micah proposes to her. Everything is thrown off kilter when she answers no instead of what he hoped for! Katie is looking for the first flight home, but Micah's family takes her in as one of their own anyway and shows her what true family and true love really mean. Katie has never grown up with a loving family, so she really thinks the whole family is unbelievable because of their positivity.

I enjoyed this book for the most part, it was just so cheerful and sappy. I just felt that Katie was so down-in-the-dumps and the entire Binder family was so overly perfect. Of course, the book was a great escape, and an easy read, and it did have a happy ending, even if I did feel the ending was a bit rushed. There were also a LOT of characters to keep up with in the story.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Golden Braid (Review)

This review is for the book "The Golden Braid" by Melanie Dickerson. I will be the first to admit I love a good fairy tale. I love reading umpteen versions of the same fairy tale, I love making up my own fairy tales, I love reading fairy tales out loud to children. I love the world of creative writing and imagination. So I absolutely could not wait to read this book, a different take on the story of Rapunzel.

In this book we meet Rapunzel and her mother long before the tower happens. This is the story before the story, so to speak. In this book we are shown the relationship between Rapunzel and her mother and readers really understand everything that went into the tower - even HOW Rapunzel got into that crazy high tower with no doors or stairs! Readers also see the relationship develop between Rapunzel and the prince who eventually rescues her.

I loved this story. I really didn't want it to end. I wish my daughter were old enough to understand it so she could read it right now! I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

The Photograph (Review)

This review is for the book "The Photography" by Beverly Lewis. I cannot begin to list the amount of books by Beverly Lewis I have read. I absolutely love her writing style and I have not ever read one of her books that has disappointed me.

In this story, Eva, Lily and Frona's parents have both passed away. The girls are left alone with no prospects of marriage, but they lean on each other. The problem arises when one of their older brothers comes to the family farm and announces he is going to move in and the girls must relocate. For three girls with no marriage prospects, this is disturbing news. Even more disturbing is the next day when Lily disappears out of the blue. Eva and Frona fret over the situation and the whole community goes into search mode. At the same time, Jed Stutzman comes into town. On his way into town he comes across a copy of "Little Women" and a photograph of an Amish girl. He is smitten with the words written in the sides of the book and believes them to be attached to the girl in the photograph. Then he can't believe his eyes when he thinks he meets the girl in the photograph - Eva.

I loved this story. There are ups and downs throughout. A lot can be learned about the Amish community from this novel, even though it is fiction. Once again, Beverly Lewis did not disappoint.

Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Five Times I Met Myself (Review)

This review is for the book "The Five Times I Met Myself" by James L. Rubart. In my opinion, this is an idea that has been done before, but I love the premise.

In this novel, Brock Matthews has a great life - he thinks. Then he finds out his company is going under, and maybe his wife doesn't feel so loved after all. In the span of one day he feels like his whole life is unraveling. Then he discovers something called lucid dreaming. He begins dreaming while being conscious of what he is doing, and attempts to change his life by talking to his past self. Unfortunately, with every decision his former self changes, it completely transforms Brock's life - and not in the way he wants it to. He spends the whole book realizing his life was pretty great, as well as realizing he lost his focus on God along the way (as well as his family) and trying to regain that focus.

Although the idea has been done before, I sincerely enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. I loved the characters and the writing style. The book also includes a discussion guide at the end. It would make for a great book for book club. After reading this book I would love to check out some of Rubart's other books.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, November 13, 2015

War For the Waking World (Review)

This review is for the book "War for the Waking World" by Wayne Thomas Batson. This is the third book in Batson's Dreamtreaders series.

This book is the last in the Dreamtreaders trilogy, and in this book, the dream world and waking world bleed into one another when a rogue Dreamtreader forms a rift between the two worlds. Reality and the dream world are full of nightmares coming true. Archer, a 15-year old Dreamtreader, knows it is up to him and his fellow Dreamtreaders to reverse the rift and repair the damage to the human reality. This book is action-packed from the beginning, and it doesn't slow down until the stunning finale.

My one complaint about this book is that I did not read the first two! I really enjoyed this book, and I can tell this is a series I would really enjoy. There were a few things here or there that I didn't totally understand when reading this final book, but within the context of the novel I was able to catch myself up. I can see myself going back and reading all three books in the series now that I am aware of them. I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hoping Against Hope (Review)

This review is for the book "Hoping Against Hope" by John D. Caputo.

I found this book extremely difficult to read. I did not look forward to reading it and had to force myself to pick it up and try to bog through all the philosophy in the book. I would like to point out that I don't particularly enjoy philosophy, and so it was really hard for me to understand almost everything that Caputo said in this book.

There were a few phrases here and there that I could understand and that I actually did agree with. Caputo talks about religion beginning and ending with grace. He attributes grace to God. He admits that he is not omniscient like God.

If you like philosophy, and want to hear an autobiography of Caputo that is slightly overwhelming, you will most likely enjoy this book.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

A Respectable Actress (Review)

This review is for the book "A Respectable Actress" by Dorothy Love. This is not my first time reading a book written by Dorothy Love. I enjoyed the two other books I read which were written by her, so I expected I would enjoy this one as well. Actually, I enjoyed this story more than the others I have read by her.

In this story, India Hartley is an actress in the late 1800's, a time when acting is looked down upon. India is in the middle of a performance when her co-star is shot to death - and all the evidence makes it look as though India is the murderer. Philip Sinclair is hired to defend her. The book follows the time leading up to the trial, as well as the trial itself, and then even after the trial has taken place. The author takes plenty of time to build a relationship between Philip and India. There are a couple of problems, though. Philip's wife's death has a bit of a mystery around her, as well as the disappearance of a local slave girl. And as India begins investigating, she finds there is much more to the story of her co-star's death than she realized.

I really liked this book and the writing style of Love. I would look forward to reading another book by her.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Martyrs of Malatya (Review)

This review is for the book "Martyrs of Malatya: Martyred for the Messiah in Turkey" by James Wright. In April of 2007, three men who were Christians met with some local men who they thought wanted to learn more about the Bible and the Christian faith. Instead, these three men were slaughtered for no other reason than because of their Christian faith.

The book begins by telling each man's journey to Christianity in a country where the gospel is not widely spread. The book also describes how they connected as well as how they began what they thought was a friendship with the men who ended up murdering them.

This is a book that will bring to light the people who are still sacrificing their lives for the cause of Christ. News such as this is often blown over on media stations. This is a powerful testimony of an event which should not be allowed to occur. I am grateful to these men and their families for their convictions, and I believe this book will open the eyes of many who read it.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Another Way Home (Review)

This review is for the book "Another Way Home" by Deborah Raney. This is book three in the Chicory Inn series. I have read the other two books in the series but I believe you could read this one alone.

I love this series. I love the writing style of Raney and I love these characters. They have these struggles that are so real and common. Their speech is much like a real conversation. I just love the way they interact with each other, whether it's an argument or a family dinner night. In this novel, Danae and Dallas are really struggling because they've been trying to get pregnant for years, and it's just not happening. Dallas won't even consider adoption due to his past, but Danae is feeling the emotional turmoil of infertility. They get thrown into an unexpected babysitting experience that turns into an odd type of foster care, which makes Dallas begin to rethink his stance on adoption.

My favorite thing about this book was at the end, when I saw the series will continue. This is one of my favorite series and I can't wait to read book number four!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Valley of Decision (Review)

This review is for the book "Valley of Decision" by Lynne Gentry. This is the third book in the series called The Carthage Chronicles.

In this book, Lisbeth and her father have to travel back in time to the city of Carthage and the middle of the third century. They would not go unless there was a very good reason. The reason was that Lisbeth's daughter, Maggie, had found the secret time traveling cave, and had set out on a quest to change history.

Maggie's father, Cyprian, and grandmother, Magdalena, were still in third-century Carthage. When Maggie returns, Magdalena has just been accused of killing a man who is in high power, so she is jailed and beaten while she awaits trial.

Honestly, I'm sure this is a great series. Coming into the third book was tough because I never could wrap my head around the history of the characters. Lisbeth and Cyprian are obviously still in love, but for some reason he's living in the third-century and she in the 20th. I kept getting one or two of the characters confused, maybe just because I was coming in on the third book.

I did feel that it was well written, and the book was full of romance and adventure.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Chameleon, A Boy and a Quest (Review)

This review is for the book "A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest" by J. A. Myhre. I have to say this is one of my favorite books I have read all year, and I have read a lot! I really enjoy juvenile fiction novels, and what I love even more is finding a book that I can't wait for my kids to read on their own (when they are a little older). This book is going on my bookshelf in anticipation of that day.

Ten-year-old Mu is an orphan who was taken in by some distant family who really doesn't seem to care for him at all. He just can't find a place to belong. Then, one morning, he is called on by none other than a chameleon. A talking chameleon. Of course Mu is extremely curious and excited, although he is really confused because the chameleon, Tita, keeps talking about Mu's real identity and his quest, which is all news to Mu.

Tita leads Mu on this quest. Throughout the book you have no idea what Mu's quest possibly could be, but it does seem like most of the animals he encounters are at least aware of his importance. Some even sacrifice their life so that he can continue his quest. And in the end, when the quest is fulfilled, I guarantee a smile will erupt on your face.

This book is unlike any book I can remember ever reading. The beauty of an African jungle is woven in, along with subtle spiritual tones throughout the story. I highly, highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Please feel free to watch the book trailer below:

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Christian Life (Review)

This review is for the book "The Christian Life: Cross or Glory?" by Steven A. Hein. In this book, the author does have a decidedly Lutheran take on the Christian life, but I really enjoyed this book. Hein definitely draws his view of theology off of Luther, but I find it very interesting. Basically, Hein is trying to show Christians that the bottom line of salvation is the fact that Jesus died on the cross for us. Yes, faith without works is dead, as stated in scripture, but the bottom line is that all that is needed for salvation is your belief. If you believe, that is the requirement for your salvation. We often busy ourselves doing the "work of Christ", but that does not make us "more" saved or more likely to get into heaven. Grace is about being rescued from our sin. We will then want to act for God and have grace for others. The love of God will work in us to want to love others and then ourselves, whereas before we were saved, our love of self came before all other things.

I enjoyed this book. Hein writes in a way that it is easy for the average person to read and understand.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Miracle Drug (Review)

This review is for the book "Miracle Drug" by Richard L Mabry. This is not the first book I have read by Mabry, so I expected that I would enjoy it as I have his others. I was not disappointed.

In this book, the former president and a nurse, Rachel, come back from South America with a slight cough. Rachel's boyfriend just so happens to be a doctor - who has just been assigned to be the former president's personal doctor. Josh, the doctor, wants to get the two of them checked out for international diseases. What turns up is frightening - a bacteria which is immune to all antibiotics. The only hope is a drug that isn't FDA approved. But can they get their hands on enough of the drug to save both lives?

This book is filled with mystery, suspense, and conflict. I love the medical aspect of Mabry's writing. It's intriguing and adds something that most other books don't contain. I highly recommend this book as well as Mabry's other books.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Just Show Up (Review)

This review is for the book "Just Show Up" by Kara Tippetts and Jill Buteyn. I read the first book that Kara wrote, right before she passed away in March. To read this book was pretty surreal, because she seemed so peaceful and wise, and I know that her life here on earth is over.

Kara and Jill have a fantastic back-and-forth in this book and I love their perspectives. Jill is able to write from the perspective of someone who is losing her best friend, and Kara is the victim of a brutal cancer that, while ravaging her body, is giving her an incredible opportunity to witness about her faith. Both of them are learning to lean on each other. Kara has to say yes to all the ways that her friends want to help her through this time, and Jill has to learn what is helpful and what is a burden.

This book is an incredible guide to being a person who will show up in the hard times. From Kara's perspective, having someone who will just "show up" for her means more than anything. And from a mother's perspective, it is heartbreaking to hear the decisions that Kara had to make for her family - to have a friend willing to help plan her funeral, a friend who will make school lunches for her kids when she's gone, a friend who will pick up her friends for a playdate when her husband needs a break.

There are so many ways we can be there for our suffering friends. This book made me want to be that person, and be the person that can accept help also. We must learn to lean on each other in this world, and be greater victors that way.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Just Show Up Tippetts Buteyn

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Methuselah Project (Review)

This review is for the book "The Methuselah Project" by Rick Barry.

This was by far one of the most interesting book concepts I have ever come across. The book begins in Nazi Germany with Roger Greene being shot down by enemy planes. He soon finds himself an unwilling participant in a Nazi experiment.

The book quickly flip-flops to present day America, following Katherine Mueller and her uncle, who are involved in some top-secret organization. I was very curious to see how these two stories were going to come together. Trust me, when it started coming together, it was completely intruiging.

Roger was an experiment in something called The Methuselah Project. Most people know Methusaleh because he was the oldest person recorded in the Bible. The Nazi regime was attempting to experiment on humans to see if they could create some kind of indestructible person, a fountain of youth of sorts.

So in 2015, Roger Greene is in his 90's - but does not look a day older than when he first landed in Nazi Germany. He is able to escape from his prison but the world is not as he left it so many decades ago. He is also in danger because of the Germans in charge of the experiment.

I really enjoyed this book. It was thrilling and captivating, and I have never read another book like it.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Splendor of Ordinary Days (Review)

This review is for the book "The Splendor of Ordinary Days" by Jeff High. This book is the third book in the Watervalley series, although I would not have guessed that without reading it in the very back of the book. High does a great job of making you familiar with the characters from the beginning, and intertwining their pasts without making you feel like you've missed something when you haven't read the other books.

This novel involves lots of characters, but mainly revolves around the town doctor and his girlfriend. There is also a grumpy newspaper editor who steals a lot of the spotlight in the book. The book focuses a lot on military veterans, as well as the townspeople and their relationship with nearby Mennonites.

I felt that the book was well-written and I really liked the characters. I love stories that involve small towns because I just feel comforted when I read these books. The author does a great job of holding your interest, and I would really like to read the other books in the series now that I have met the characters.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Israel's Mission (Review)

This review is for the DVD and book, Israel's Mission, by Ray Vander Laan. I have a great respect for Ray Vander Laan, and if you have never seen any of his videos or looked him up, I highly recommend it. He is incredibly knowledgeable.

Vander Laan's outlook is that we need to understand the history and culture behind the Bible. He adds so many facts and aspects of the background to the Bible that help us understand better some of the traditions or verbiage used in scripture.

I enjoy having a book and DVD that go together. I love doing small group Bible studies and I feel that this is one that is perfect for a small group setting, or even just a family. There will be lots of good discussions that come from this particular study. I highly recommend it and I would be very interested in doing more of Vander Laan's studies in the future.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pass It On (Review)

This review is for the book "Pass It On" by Jim Burns and Jeremy Lee. The intent of this book is to provide parents with ways to pass on a legacy of faith to their children through life experiences. The unique thing about this book is that although it gives lots of ideas on how to pass your faith on to your children, it breaks up the legacy of faith based on the age of the child and their probably physical, mental and spiritual maturity at that specific age. For example, the authors note that fifth grade is a big year because it usually marks the end of elementary school. Children are usually struggling with their identity. So for your child's fifth grade year, you should focus on their identity. By using scripture and examples from family and friends, you can help your child see their identity and take pride in their uniqueness. The book even speaks about where fifth graders are at physically (need to be challenged physically, for example), emotionally (may stress over school, for example), relationally (use humor that may not be funny to adults, for example) and spiritually (have more of a global view, for example).

I think this book is a great tool for parents. Like I already mentioned, it is unique because I can see how the authors are taking into account so many aspects of a child's personality and circumstances as they grow up. The book begins at kindergarten and goes through twelfth graders.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn (Review)

This review is for the book "A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn" by Shelley Shepard Gray. This is the third book in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series. I have been fortunate to read both other books in the series, but I'm also happy to report that you could easily read this one (any of them, in fact), as a standalone novel.

I love the Pinecraft series. The Amish portrayed in this community are a bit different from most other Amish novels. I love Gray's writing style because she makes it easy to read the book and not have to do a lot of heavy thinking. You can just read for the enjoyment of the book.

In this book, Emma (a widow) meets Jay (a widower), and they immediately hit it off, especially since they both have three children. Picture the Amish Brady Bunch family! This book is really about Jay's son finding his true love in Pinecraft, but I know that something is stirring up between Emma and Jay. I can't wait to read the fourth book in this series. I'm really looking forward to it.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

God Made All of Me (Review)

This review is for the book "God Made All of Me" by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb. This book was created for a very simple person. The authors wanted to bring up a topic that is tough for parents to approach with children, and make it easier to bring up this topic and speak on it on a child's level. The book talks about your personal body and how God made it perfectly, but how it is your body. For example, the parents in the book explain to their children that hugging and kissing can be great, but at the same time, you should feel comfortable saying "no" to unwanted hugging and kissing (or any touching). The book encourages kids and parents to come up with a list of adults that kids feel safe talking to if something inappropriate happens.

Unfortunately, this is a topic that needs to be talked about in households. This book is vague enough that parents can feel comfortable reading it out loud, but it will strike up a good conversation. I highly recommend this book for parents with young children.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Finishing School (Review)

This review is for the book "The Finishing School" by Valerie Woerner. The front of this book states that this book is "a practical guide to everyday life" and that describes this book perfectly. This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite books I have read this year - and I have read a lot! I was reading this book and was able to imagine Valerie as one of my closest friends, sitting down with me to have an honest conversation. Her writing style is so conversational and so down-to-earth. It is incredibly easy to relate to her. Valerie covers all the things that we women struggle with at times: worry, distractions, contentment, patience, and so many other things. So many things in this book apply to my life.

At the end of each chapter, there is homework! But don't worry, this is homework you will look forward to doing. Homework worksheets are found on Valerie's website and she includes reading resources that are literally now all on my Amazon wishlist. I can't say enough good things about this book. In fact, I think I'll be purchasing copies for some of my friends.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, September 11, 2015

God Gave Us Sleep (Review)

This review is for the book "God Gave Us Sleep" by Lisa Tawn Bergren. This is the fifth or six book in the "God Gave Us" series that my family has read together. My kids absolutely love this series, and to be honest, I do not really tire of reading the books to them. I think these books are great ways to introduce topics on the level of a child. This book is about the importance of rest, in order for our bodies and minds to feel refreshed. If you are a parent, there is going to be a fight over bedtime at some point! You will be able to relate to this book, as Little Cub doesn't want to go to bed, but when she doesn't get enough sleep, she is very grumpy the next day.

My family loves seeing these same characters over and over again. We read the books repeatedly. I highly recommend not just this book, but the whole series.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multonah for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Gather Around (Review)

This review is for the book "Gather Around the Amish Table" by Lucy Leid. Seriously, what could be better than an authentic Amish cookbook filled with authentic Amish stories?

The cookbook has contents including breakfast foods, breads, spreads, soups and sandwiches, salads, vegetables and side dishes, main dishes, desserts, candy, beverages and even extras like cleaning supplies and baby wipes.

I have yet to try one of the recipes in this cookbook but I can't wait to get started. There were only a couple of recipes that had odd ingredients that I wouldn't know where to find, or I wouldn't necessarily want to eat... like pig stomach, Clear Gel and saltpeter. I loved sitting down and reading this cookbook and I believe it's one I'll have in my kitchen for many generations.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Intersect (Review)


This review is for the DVD short-film series called "Intersect". This DVD was put together by The Awaken Movement, involving Rob Peabody and Cris Rogers. I was excited to watch this because I just read one of Rob Peabody's books and it was one of the best books I read all year. I was a bit disappointed in this DVD. My husband and I had hoped to use it in a small-group setting with some friends from church. I put the DVD in tonight to get an overview of what to expect and was very surprised when the first video was over in just a few short minutes. Each video had a short testimony from someone and then a short message from one of the men involved in the men in the Awaken Movement.

I enjoyed the videos, but even combined with the scripture and discussion questions, there is not a whole lot of meat in this study. I think it would be better for an individual to complete rather than involving a group in it. I don't see a lot of conversations being started from these sessions, honestly. I hate to say that. In the end, I did enjoy the video,I just didn't feel much of a connection to it, unfortunately.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the DVD in exchange for my honest review.