Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Be the Gift by Ann Voskamp

If you've never read any of Ann Voskamp's books the description of the book pales dramatically to her actual written word.  She's a master at words that evoke images, emotions and a desire to draw closer to God.  Her writing is raw, heart-felt, stirring, shocking and transparent.  She allows us glimpses into her own heart to help us better understand the heart of God.  This lovely book is filled with photographs of her farm, home, and family.  From a bowl of cherries to the wheat fields to a child's toes we are drawn into her intimate world.  This book is a devotional book with a challenge.  The challenge to spend 60 days giving of ourselves to a hurting world.  She invites us to give sacrificially as Christ gives to us.  She challenges us to go outside of our comfort zone and use our imagination to find ways to "pay it forward" to someone who is hurting.  She gets down to the gritty realities of  our hesitation to do good for those who rub us the wrong way and asks us to give of ourselves to them in a meaningful way.  The end of the book has pages where the reader can write how they lived given in that day - for 60 days.  Then there are 60 heart challenge ideas on how we can pour out ourselves to be a gift to others.

I received this book from BookLook but was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert

The Crooked Path delivers a beautifully tender love story. If you're tired of "steamy love scenes" with little emotional depth then you'll love this book.   It is deeply passionate and at the same time a "clean" love story.  The love between characters is built slowly and sincerely through the pages.  It is heart stopping at times and agonizing at others when love seems just out of reach.  The details rendered in this book make the Africa of old come alive.  Through the eyes and heart of Lettie we meet her childhood friends and first crush.  At the beginning of the book we find Lettie a very shy and unsure girl.  As the story progresses Lettie gains strength in her faith and in who she is.  As she accepts herself she begins to blossom in ways she could never imagine.  The affects of WWII and emotional trauma on her friends changes the way they thought life would turn out.  Through it all is woven a thread of hope and an appreciation and reverence for being alive.  Lettie and her friends must each find their own way to savor the precious moments as they come and the courage to go on when detours, deadends and roadblocks seem to prevent their dreams from coming true.

I received this book from BookLook publishers but was not required to write a positive review.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Little Book of Bible Stories by Jean Fischer

This lovely little book is filled with adorable Precious Moments characters that will delight the hearts of young and old.  Little ones will enjoy holding their very own Bible story board book with easy to turn pages.  Parents will appreciate the durability and beautifully depicted Bible stories on each page.  Stories from Creation to Jesus resurrection are told in clear, simple language yet with enough description to make the story interesting.  Each story has two pages.  Page one is the story.  Page two is the illustration with a short poem or prayer and Bible verse to emphasis the Bible story.  Illustrations have lots of color and cute details such as baby birds in nests and lambs with shepherd boys.  There are multi-cultural children included in the illustrations.  Jesus is illustrated with olive toned skin.  Throughout the book Precious Moment children are shown in modern day settings and in Bible story time frames.  The scriptures included can be used to help a child begin to memorize short passages of scripture.   Whimsical yet with deep spiritual truths - this book is perfect to help your child know the Bible stories in a more personal way.  It can be used in children's church or church schools as devotional readings or at home for family worship or at bedtime before you tuck your little one goodnight.

I received this book from Booklook publishers but was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fierce Hearted by Holley Gerth

What I really enjoy about this book by Holley Gerth is it doesn't feel like a book.  It feels like a convesation with a trusted friend.  The title is perfect!  And the cover artwork is beautifully matched with this title.  Each chapter begins with a profound quote by other authors.  Then Ms Gerth begins to tell a story.  These stories are pieces of her life that she's woven into a meaningful worship thought.  Her idea of being fierce hearted is deeply spiritually based.  She shows how God can work through our self-doubt, trials and even the cruelty of others to help us have hearts that are confident, brave and not afraid to love.  This is so much more than a devotional book.  It is a book that can help you begin a self discovery journey with the Lord as your guide.

I received this book from Revell publishers but was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Start Where You Are - Notecards by Mera Lee Patel

The Start Where You Are notecards are companions to the book Start Where You Are by Meera Lee Patel.  You don't have to have read the book to enjoy these fabulous notecards!  Each card appears as if it were hand crafted just for you or someone you know.  The water colors are beautiful and soothing.  Each card has a quote from a poet or author.  The art work enhances the message on each card.   The decorated envelopes are a classy touch.  The creator of these notecards chose with care and wisdom the words she placed on each notecard.  The quotes are deeply moving and ones that will sit in your heart and dwell there long after you have sent the card on to a friend.  Perfect gift for yourself or a friend.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Very Thankful Prayer by Bonnie Rickner Jensen

The book is a sturdy square shaped board book.  Cover has shiny, foil leaves in autumn colors.  A little rabbit riding a bicycle with a dog in the basket graces the cover.  Rabbit and dog are dressed in sweaters, scarves and hats with pom poms.  The verse to the book is written in rhymes.  Each page focus on a different aspect of thankfulness.  Various animals are shown doing different activities in which they are thankful.  Rabbit wakes up on a carrot quilt and is thankful for morning. A bear, cat, olw, badger and mouse play together happily at the playground and are thankful for wooly scarves.  A mouse family rakes leaves and delights in fall colors.  Squirrels help a farmer harvest corn.  A bear cub is thankful for love in his family.  A group of rabbits gather pumpkins.  Puppy, kitten and ducks are thankful for their friendship.  Foxes climb ladders to reach apples for apple pie.  A cat family celebrates thanksgiving around a table laden with food.  A deer, raccoon and penguin roast marshmallows around a bonfire under the moon and stars.  The book ends with verse on thankfulness in being able to help others and recognizing God as the giver of all things.  The illustrations throughout the book are detailed and delightful.  The animals are adorable and each scene is interesting and exudes warmth and love.

I received this book from booklook and was not required to write a positive review.

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

This story draws us deep into a dark period of America's history as white settlers and Native Americans fight for the same land.  It was a time of intense unrest, distrust and often violence.  The characters in this book come from both sides of the line drawn by this turbulence.  Beware for there are graphic depictions of the savagery inflicted by one upon another.  The author did an excellent of showing that you cannot lump all people into one kettle.  There were good and bad in each culture as well as innocents who paid the price for those who were bent on evil.  Through her riveting story of love, loss, betrayal, reunion and restoration she weaves together a brilliant revelation of what it was like to live during those years.  Through the characters' self reflection and self revelation we begin to understand the immense struggle for peace and justice.  She also taps on our hearts for a deeper level of compassion and forgiveness and self-sacrifice for others.

I received this book from Revell and was not required to write a positive review.