Posts Tagged ‘book review’

Everyday Matters Bible for Women {book/product review}

It’s possible that I’ve not been so excited about something in a long, long time.  I labeled this book/product review because there is no way to review or critique the bible!!  Can you imagine? 

I was so thrilled to get the opportunity to review this new bible.  First of all it’s beautiful!

We all know though that we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.  Anything can look pretty!

This bible is beautiful outside because of the cover but inside because of His word! 

Not only does it feature over 300 articles but these articles are broken down into four different types. 

  • Everyday Matters: a two-page article which helps us understand a particular spiritual practice.
  • Everyday Profiles: challenges we face today paired with stories of women in the bible that experienced similar issues
  • Everyday Reflections: thoughts on how best to apply God’s word in our lives
  • Everyday Q & A’s: important faith questions with practical answers

One of my favorite parts are the Everyday Profiles.  It’s encouraging to know that there are examples in the word to help me overcome any challenge.  It’s not always easy to pair verses with what we’re experiencing.  It’s wonderful to have it laid out so when we are in the midst of a crisis (or believed crisis) we have somewhere to turn. 

I also found the Index of Spiritual Practices very helpful.  There are 24 spiritual practices that are featured here.  A few of these I found extremely helpful are celebration, faith, forgiveness, gratitude, and silence.  Each of these 24 also list each of the four types of articles.

With life being as hectic as it is, this bible is a wonderful resource.  I can pick it up, choose a spiritual practice I’d like to study up on, and begin.  This a huge time saver.  I want my time with Him to be savored and precious rather than complicated and rushed. 

I love that this bible is meant for women and if I had a daughter this would definitely be on her gift list!  I do hope that they come out with a version for men as well. 

Do you have a woman in your life that could benefit from this bible?  With only 94 days until Christmas, there is plenty of time to order a copy as a gift!

You can find more information at one of the sites below:

Publisher’s website: http://www.hendrickson.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EverydayMattersBible

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bibleforwomen

Purchasing links: Everyday Matters Bible for Women, New Living Translation, 2nd Edition, Hardcover is AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE in bookstores and major retailers for $27.49. 

Purchase online at: Amazon, Christianbook.com, or at your local retailers.

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Crossing Values by Carrie Daws {book review}

I’ve never read a typical romance novel. Never. I just don’t get into them. As I began to read Crossing Values, I didn’t expect to really enjoy it. I have an awesome love story with my husband and I never felt the need to read a mushy, over the top fairy tale of a story.

This book is nothing like what I expected. I almost expected that it would be the ‘fantasy’ story with the happy ending. Don’t get me wrong. I do like a happy ending but I am not into the mushy, fairy tale. It’s a clean, Christian love story fit even for a teenage girl. I do wish it had gone further into the faith of the main male character or a little more emotion on the part of the two main characters.

It’s a short, quick read with only 160 pages. It seemed to all happen so quickly. I could have used a little bit more transition with the storyline but overall I still liked it.

Carrie’s second book Ryan’s Crossing came out in August. I’m looking forward to reading more into the saga. I am sure a lot of the kinks will be worked out in this next book.

Amendment to review: As I posted my review on Amazon, there were many people that said they also wanted more from the story.  Could it be because we are so used to the mainstream movies, novels, and stories?  I’m going to go back through this book again with a different mindset.  I’m going to read it as if I were a little sister, a teenager, or a daughter.  If I had a teenage daughter I would certainly allow her to read this book.  The faith in the male character is beautiful.  I hope every young woman finds her Peter!

I’m excited to tell you a little about book then provide you with an opportunity to win your own copy. She graciously sent me two copies. One to keep and one to give away!

 

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Christian romantic fiction that focuses on emotional and family healing.

For years, Amber traipsed around the northwest avoiding the skeletons in her closet. Job-hopping every few weeks, she refused to let anyone get close to her.

As winter plants itself firmly across the Rockies, she takes a chance on a job at a logging company with a family different from any she’s ever known.

Watching the family interact creates more questions than answers for Amber. Feeling like she’s entered the happily-ever-after written at the end of fairytales, she watches for cracks in the façade.

Surely as the days pass, the play-acting will cease and the real family will emerge.
Or could she be wrong? Could they truly be genuine?

Could Faye understand the trauma from her past or Peter think of her as more than just the winter office help? Could this family really hold the key to what she’s seeking?

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You can visit Carrie Daws at any of the locations below!

Carrie Daws Main site
Carrie Daws on Twitter
Carrie Daws on Facebook
Purchase Book on Amazon
7 Day Devotional to go with the book.
A Discussion Guide

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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More Questions than Answers by Eleanor Shepherd {book review}

What an interesting concept! Have you ever felt as though no one is listening?  Have you ever felt like you need to work on your listening skills?  I think this book is definitely for both groups. You’ll probably learn more about the act of listening in the first section of this book than you’ve ever learned before.

Eleanor Shepherd explains in the introduction that there are three parts to the book.  Those parts are The Listening Process, Discovering and Sharing Faith, and The Source.  She has figured out that her audience is probably not all on the exact same playing field when it comes to faith.  She even tells us to skip around the book based on where you are at this moment.

Our level of faith may waiver throughout our lives.  This is great to keep as reference as we are either growing closer to Him or if we find ourselves drifting away.

I was struck by the short story at the beginning of Chapter 5 on being authentic.  The story itself is powerful but what Eleanor said next is truly a quote to live by.  “We need to show that we live what we believe.  Then it is clear that the power does not come from us.”  I’m sure we’ve all run into people that profess they are living by God’s laws but yet they are living in fear, harboring ill thoughts or are picking and choosing which commandments they can break.  Actions always have spoken louder than words.

I will say that this was not a quick read and I am a fast reader! It is a book to study rather than glance through in the midst of other things or when you have time.  I found that if I read during a time I’d be distracted I had to start the page over.  It’s so full of pertinent tips and stories that I didn’t want to miss anything.  

One surprise came at the end of the book. I don’t usually peruse the appendix at the end of a book.  I am so happy I did so I can tell you about the study she included.  There are four sections to each one.  Scripture input, active reflection, prayer, and a journaling exercise are laid out for you.  There is also an appendix two but you’ll have to check out the book to find out what that’s all about!

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Bio: 

Eleanor Shepherd spent thirty years in ministry after ordination as an officer of The Salvation Army.  Along with her engagement in pastoral ministry and administration, she contributed over 85 articles, mainly to Salvation Army publications. These were distributed in a variety of periodicals in Canada, the USA, France, Germany and New Zealand.

Her degree in Psychology equipped her for learning the listening skills that she uses in spiritual accompaniment relationships. A venue where she has been able to apply them is in the leadership of College and Careers Bile study groups. She undertook this leadership in Montreal and Toronto along with Glen, her husband of forty years, who was also a Salvation Army officer. One of these experiences led to the conversion of a young Moslem and Eleanor published his story in Power for Living, the Scripture Press adult take home paper. Their College and Careers group field-tested the Bible study book created by the Shepherds, Why Families?

Prayer has played an important part in Eleanor’s life. For fifteen years, she has been a
member of the Intercessors, an international prayer ministry begun by Catherine Marshall. She has
done workshops and seminars on prayer and created a personal prayer support network for the
ministry of her husband and herself.

This network proved particularly valuable to the Shepherds when their 30-year-old son, John broke his neck in a car accident six years ago and became a quadriplegic. John was a student at Harvard Business School at the time and the Shepherds were serving with The Salvation Army in France.

Prayer and writing are intertwined for Eleanor in that she is a member of the prayer support
team of The Word Guild, a professional writers’ association to which she belongs. In addition,
she was for many years a prayer partner for Lin Johnson, the organizer of The Write-to-Publish
conference in Wheaton.

As well as writing, Eleanor along with her husband has spoken at many conferences,
particularly for clergy in Canada, the USA, France, Belgium, Switzerland, South Africa, Haiti and
Jamaica.

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Ramblings from the Shower by Faye Bryant {book review}

I’m sure Faye Bryant isn’t the only one to have conversations with God in the shower.  I do think maybe she’s the only one to have admitted to it!  Boy, am I happy she did.

I think we take shower time for granted.  I don’t remember ever really thinking about things in the shower until after I had kids.  Once you no longer have privacy in the bathroom it becomes easy to start cherishing that time!  Once we have kids there really isn’t much time to be alone with our thoughts.  Faye’s online bio reads author, blogger, scopist, amateur photographer, church communications student, wife, mother, step-mother and grandmother.  Yep,  I’d love to ask her if all of this began after she had her children!!

This book is a great, easy read book.  I’m always looking for these types of books for those times we have 10 minutes here and 20 minutes there.  A great book to keep in the car or in your purse for those times waiting at the bank drive-thru or in the doctor’s waiting room.

Faye has provided thoughts on several topics including abuse, grief, putting people on pedestals and worship.  She dives right into topics many of us have probably been curious about but most likely never bothered to search for the answer.  

I love when a book has something that jumps right out at me.  Here is what I had to read at least five times before continuing. 

“Simply put, you must be who you be.  You make up your mind today.  Determine and decide exactly how you will act in any given situation. Then be that — every time.”

I’m excited when a book gives me something to ponder afterward.  Some books are stories which don’t rock our worlds or even register on our radar to warrant a second thought.  This is a keeper.  I can see needing to read it, highlight it and reference it for many years to come.

You can read more about Faye on her personal website, follow her on Twitter or check her out on Facebook.

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Peaceful Passage by Kim West Ph.D. {book review}

I started out not really wanting to review this book.  In fact, I didn’t choose it for several weeks.  I thought back to a time when I watched 3 of my grandparents pass and didn’t want to relive that.  Then of course the realistic side of me wrestled the emotional side and won. 

I know there are some of you going through this right now.  Helping a family member come to the realization they are dying is no easy task.  I knew I needed to read this book.  

I am so happy I did.  This book could have been so helpful over the past 6 years.  I was in my late 20′s and still had all of my grandparents.  I can’t think of a single friend that could say that at the time.  I was so blessed to have them for so long. Pregnant with my first child, I watched my grandmother pass from cancer.  She went to be with the Lord about a month before I became a parent. 

I wish I had this book back then.  It would have drastically changed my attitude.  I was pregnant, emotional and frustrated that she didn’t want to do anything to sustain her life.  I wanted her here to at least meet her first great-grandchild.  Selfish, I know.  I was angry at her, angry at God and angry at myself for feeling this way. 

Kim West’s book Peaceful Passage walks you through losing someone close to you.  It’s not only a helpful tool, it’s also a journal of your loved one’s wishes.

Kim has thought of everything that needs to be done and how to do it.  Unfortunately she knows this because she has gone through it first hand. Her beautiful mother Helen was dying. 

She walks us through the journey, emotions, finances and planning.  She includes guidelines for partnering with Hospice which honestly even the word scared me at first.  We went through Hospice with all three of my grandparents over the past six years.  Hearing the word often makes you think instantly of death.  Yes, that is the end outcome but Kim explains that there are levels of Hospice care. 

I wish my mom and I had known this all those years ago.  Having this book back then would have been such a blessing.  We would have less regrets about that time than we do.  We were exhausted, overwhelmed, frantic, and scared.  All of these emotions and more are explored in this book. 

I understand that death can be a part of life that we rarely care to think about.  Until it happens to someone close to you, you may think you don’t need this book.  I must disagree with you on that point.  I am so happy I have this book for future reference.  I wish I had it sooner but better late than never.  It’s a small price to pay to have Kim West walk us through a rough time in our life.  It’s worth the investment now so we can enjoy those final days a little less chaotically. 

About the Author:

Kim West holds a PhD in Clinical Pastoral Counseling and a M.Div. in Counseling and Family, but when her own mother became ill with terminal cancer she found that she had no hands-on knowledge of how to take care of her.

As a counselor she knew to journal her own experience to help her process her grief at losing her mother and she knew how to help her mother finish her life well and be prepared for the life to come. But the day-to-day of taking care of her mother as she died would require learning a whole new set of caring skills. And learn she did.

After completing her own journey with her mother she knew she had to help others who would travel this same path. Peaceful Passage is a merging of her years of counseling experience and the new skills she learned caring for her mother combined with her heart to help and to heal.

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