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.