Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Our Newlywed Kitchen, The Art of Cooking, Gathering, and Creating Traditions by Laura Schupp, Tyndale Publishers

“Encourage and inspire the new couple by adding a prayer 
or offer of best wishes, wisdom learned from your own enduring marriage, 
trusted family recipes, and time-honored traditions. 
Let your hand written messages continue to bless them for years to come.”
 –Laura Schupp, page 3

Laura Schupp created an amazing compilation of  “a guide, a planner, and a tutorial.” She begins with a few thoughts on generational cultural changes and the differences women faced in each generation era.

There are not enough complimentary adjectives to describe this incredible wedding gift book. The layout of this book is beautifully arranged with pictures and fonts. Our Newlywed Kitchen is the one of a kind wedding gift any bride and groom can appreciate. The messages and recipes from family and friends is what will make this a rich and heartfelt gift for years to come. Definitely, it could be passed down through many generations.

Our Newlywed Kitchen covers everything from before and after your nuptials including the registry, checklists for the kitchen, grocery shopping, selection of dinnerware, recipes and much more.

I recommend this book for everyone wanting to give that special one of a kind wedding gift or giving to newlyweds which you missed or could not attend the wedding. This is an excellent choice of gift giving.

I received this book from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Discipled by Jesus: Your Ongoing Invitation to Follow Christ by Robert Gelinas, NavPress in alliance with Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

"Walk with Robert Gelinas as he demonstrates through the Scriputres that Jesus himself is our pastor, our teacher, and our leader in the great commission. Jesus' living leadership of our lives allows us to approach each day with joyful anticipation and expectant hope."
- Backcover, Discipled by Jesus

Discipled by Jesus, Your Ongoing Invitation to Follow Christ by Robert Gelinas is a book filled with thoughts, experiences, and discussions. There are numerous scriptures in this book that the author quotes leaving more of a bible study reading than discussion.

One example, in Chapter Five: Learning to Pray in the Spirit has over thirty bible scriptures within twenty-two pages. This is what going to a bible study class does to help you learn the Word. I would liked to have seen more discussion and personal experiences, or maybe take less scriptures and discuss them at length.

At one point, Gelinas refers to a previous book he authored left me thinking maybe he wants me to purchase his other book. There is a place for that in the end pages of any book.

Although my particular view of this book not being up to par, I still recommend for those who are seeking more understanding of being a follower of Christ. There are more than enough scripture references to research from this book.

I received this book from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Full Armor of God: Are You Sure You Got Dressed Today? by Crista Crawford, Planted in Him Publishing

““You are completely and utterly alone.” Satan celebrates 
when we check into the “Isolation Hotel” knowing 
we will experience an evening of despair and misery. 
During my windfall of attacks, 
I may have checked in for one too many nights.” 
-Crista Crawford, p.3-4

Crista Crawford shares her personal and up-close experiences with life. She explains how she dressed in full armor to counter attack the unwanted advances of Satan.

Chapter 1 entitled The Naked Truth begins the journey and story of Crista leading to each piece of armor worn in subsequent chapters two through seven, ending with Chapter 8 and how the war was won.

Chapter 2 asks the question “What are the qualities you value in the people within your inner circle?” Honestly, have ever asked yourself that question and arrive in a satisfied place? Most would probably say yes because of the trust in the relationship. 

One of many of the best parts read in this book is on page 125, About the Author. It states, “Crista Crawford is an imperfect Christian writing about her perfect God.” (I love it!)

Further in the very last paragraph of the book:

          “Our stories are meant to be shared because our testimonies
          have the power to light the path for those who are still struggling
          in the dark. What we overcome may be the very foundation for
          others to use as their stepping stone.”

How great is that? Some of the best inspiration written I have read in a while.

I  highly recommend to everyone looking for inspiration to move forward no matter what comes in his or her path. Get suited and booted and prepare for battle with your full armor of God.

I received this book from Book Crash Reviewer Program in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Believe Boldly: The Power of Simple, Confident Prayer to Unleash the Supernatural by Erica Willis, Chosen Books

“That morning I finally came to understand that my life had become a series of safe encounters with God – calculated, formulated, (under)whelming.
I could not stand it anymore. It had to change.”  -Erica Willis

Erica Willis takes off the gloves and gives it to you head on to believe boldly living through faith, fasting, prayer and reading the Word.

Believe Boldly is presented in three sections. Part One: My Doubting Heart; Part Two: God’s Perfect Truth; Part Three: A Spiritual Launching Pad. Willis gives insight to building or reclaiming your faith in God by sharing personal experiences, scriptures, and thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter (Check Your Pulse).

Interesting sub-headings such as God is Not a How-to Book, The Overflow Valve, The Sneaky Gardener, and The Battle is Real correlate well with the book’s intended topic. The topic of fasting is also covered in the way to boldly believe.

Conveying the message to believe boldly is straightforward in approach and leads to soul searching for a way to revive or strengthen the relationship between yourself and God.

Recommending to believers of faith to further enhance or renew their prayer and fasting techniques. I received this book from Chosen Books Reviewer Program in exchange
for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Lies Women Believe: And the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Moody Publishers

“Generally speaking, people don’t fall into spiritual bondage overnight. 
They don’t just wake up one morning and discover that they 
are addicted to food or have a temper they can’t control. 
There’s a progression that lead to enslavement, 
and it begins when we Listen to a lie.
-Nancy DeMoss Wogemuth

Lies Women Believe was released in 2001. This updated and expanded version tackles the subject of women being set free from the lies they believe concerning personal distractions designed to lessen your faith in God.

Wolgemuth presents statements that her target audiences of women often speak and believe to be true. She counters the lies that often lead to misguided decisions with the truth from bible scriptures. Each lie discussed is explained from the point of deception women perceive as being the truth.

Other discussions are personal experienced from women who once believed in worthlessness, self-destruction, and bad circumstances will never change. Some lies examined in depth:

o   God is not really enough
o   I have to have a husband to be happy
o   My circumstances will never change -this will go on forever

Lies Women Believe has a study guide for individual and small group study to aide indentifying lies and ridding themselves of the bondage that accompanies the untruth. Also, available are other books with study guides: Lies Young Women Believe; True Woman 101 and True Woman 201 are  found on the website liesbooks.com.

Recommend to believers of faith for individual and group reading study groups. I received this book from MP Newsroom in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Unleash the Power of Prayer in Your Life by Horace Williams Jr

“Either I did not like the answer I received from God, or I grew impatient 
and tried to do things on my own. This behavior led me to suffer heartache 
and pain because I was unwilling to trust God’s leading and wait on His timings.” 
-Horace Williams Jr.

Unleash the Power of Prayer in Your Life shares personal experiences on the power of prayer after Williams suffered a stroke showing what the blessings and healing did in his life. His testimony of powerful prayer he put into place for healing and trusting God with full faith was the answer to his prayers.

Williams shares how you can be blessed while learning to ‘strengthen your pray life’ as you speak to God one on one. He also includes the importance of praying for others as you pray for yourself and praying God’s will, not yours.

Other chapters that give insight to praying are The Power of Listening to God and The Power of Hearing from God that relays how you should spend time in His word. Each chapter includes a Power Point (actually you could label it Powerful Point) and a Prayer.

I recommend adding this short book (60 pages) to your collection of biblical references bookshelf. It can definitely enhance your prayer life whether you are just starting or whether you are a full-fledge person of prayer.

I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Last Arrow by Erwin Raphael McManus, Waterbrook

“Frankly, over the years, many young men have come and asked me how they have my life, but what quickly becomes clear is that they want the life without the path. They want my life without my wounds; they want my life without my scars. In fact they don’t actually want my  life; they want the rewards.”

The title The Last Arrow is based on 2 Kings 12:14-20 of the Hebrew scriptures. McManus refers to life and using all the arrows in your quiver. He believes that using all your arrows leaves nothing for the next life is how life should be lived.

McManus references several scriptures throughout his book as well as movies films he’s seen along with other books he’s written and books by other authors. In his book, McManus shares inspiration to live life to the fullest with stories of his own personal experiences as well as others.

I enjoyed reading about his outlook on living life as he heels the way God would want you to live by saving nothing for the next life. For this reason, I recommend to persons seeking spiritual inspiration.

I received this book from Blogging for Books reviewer’s program in exchange for an honest review in accordance with Federal Trade Regulations guidelines.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Landlord by Cheryl Colwell, Inspired Fiction Books

“For land distribution to succeed,
one-tenth of the peasants must be destroyed.”  
Chairman Mao, Communist Party, China, 1948

“He’s gonna destroy two centuries of democracy in two years.”
Secret Service Agent-in-Charge Charles Krueger,
United States, Present day

“He finished his beer and left, an uneasy feeling in his gut at the state of the union 
and the state of the White House.”
Agent Dain Ryder, Secret Service, United States
Present day

Dain Ryder has been commissioned by the President of the United States to join a task force that includes agents from China to uncover the person or persons behind recent attacks on United States soil. What Ryder does not know is the situation goes much deeper than suspected.

Dain communicates with his Chinese counterparts Jimmy and Lian becoming suspicious of Lian, as he gets closer to solving the problem. Meanwhile, Ryder framed for two murders, must race against time in revealing the mastermind behind the chaos without being apprehended.

There are several twists in this novel and an interesting plot. I had to re-read a few paragraphs or two to comprehend what just happened (a good thing). I enjoyed reading a book that is not normally my genre of espionage and double agents.

The plot kept me reading with some excitement to learn what the next turn of events would bring. I never solved the big picture until it was revealed because the person behind it all was not who I had picked out.

I recommend to persons who love the political espionage genre and solving mysteries. I received this book from Book Crash reviewers program in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines.

Buy the book
(click on the cover)

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano, Tyndale Publishing

Rachel Bishop, part owner of Paisley, a casual fine dining establishment is determined to keep her eatery alive and kicking, but when food critic Carlton Epsy stops in for a bite, the future of Paisley is now questionable. After Epsy reviews the eatery, Rachel’s partners buys her out of the company and Rachel must decide whether to continue culinary cuisine or give it up.

The real problem for Rachel comes when Alexander Kamin writes an essay entitled ‘The Civl War’ that includes his subtle defense of Rachel and Paisley (that are mentioned by name) concerning Epsy’s review.  Kamin’s comments do more harm than good and leads Kamin to help Rachel re-establish her credibility as a culinary genius.

Kamin steps in by hosting ‘The Saturday Night Supper Club’, an exclusive ‘pop-up’ dinner event, eventhough Rachel is not quite sure or ready to completely trust him after the damaging article was published.

The Saturday Night Supper Club has a different and refreshing plot as compared to other books I have read. At the same time, it was a little slow evolving and would have liked it better if the pace had picked up. I recommend to book lovers who enjoy the culinary arts and cooking with a little romance.

I received this book from the Tyndale Publishing book review group in exchange for an honest review according to the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines.

The Healthy Living Handbook by Laura Harris Smith, Chosen Books

The Healthy Living Handbook is divided into three parts: Section 1 – Spirit, Section 2 - Mind, Section 3 - Body. Each chapter concludes with Healthy Habit Helpers which questions asked place you in a spiritual thought process and a prayer that you are asked to place your hand over your heart and repeat aloud.

In Section 1- Spirit, Chapter 8, Accept No Substitutes Laura Harris Smith discusses the top five substitutions people use for “peace, comfort, and companionship instead of turning to God for His guidance. The top five she refers to are:
ü Food
ü Alcohol and other substances
ü Yoga or New Age Meditations
ü Relationships
ü Business/Work/Ministry

She further explains using substitutions are considered as “potentially dangerous spiritual substitutions” quoting “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3 KJV)

In Section 2-Mind, Chapter 9-Keep Good Company, there is a test to complete in the Healthy Habit Helper section. Naming your three closest friends, you answer questions referring to their vocal love for Jesus Christ, if they are seeking the Kingdom of God, and whether they are “planted in church by attendance and flourishing.”

In Section 3-Body Chapter 7-Strike Oil, the discussion based on the importance of essential oils and their several uses (i.e., bath, shower, food, and spot baths). Included is a list of most common ailments and which oils are best to support healing.

The Healthy Living Handbook has scriptural references throughout each chapter to support the discussions Laura Harris Smith shares with her audience. Overall, the handbook is an easy read that recommended for all spiritual believers alike.

I received this book from the Crossed Focus reviewers group in exchange for an honest review according to the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Royal Affair by Amy Saunders

As crown princess of Lorencia, Desi can handle other royals, dignitaries, and celebrities without batting an eyelash. But Astin Gold, the suave heir to a hotel empire? No amount of diplomatic training prepared her for him.

Or the whirlwind media scandal she’s about to ignite with him.

Rumors swirl, and the pressure is on to deflect the attention. But Desi’s feelings for Astin only blossom, despite allegations that he’s using her for his own gain. As she dares to date him under the radar, it becomes clear someone close to her is behind the scandal. And their secret won’t stay secret forever.

As tensions rise, Desi must decide if Astin deserves her trust. And, more important, her heart.

Crown Princess of Lorencia, Desdemona Catarina Marie Ferrara-Patar, is better known as simply Princess Desi who has a spotted mini pig named Octavian for a pet. Desi is still finding herself as a young woman who will eventually be the Queen of Lorencia. She gets plenty advice from those who are around and close to her. Chloe, her private secretary, helps Desi with her daily itinerary who also gives advice on her personal affairs. Queen Mother Nanon, Queen Emilia’s mother and Desi’s grandmother always reminds Desi that she and her daughter have been through some of the same situations Desi is now facing.

Desi’s mother, Queen Emilia, allows Desi much freedom to do as she pleases until a certain suitor makes himself known, Astin Gold. Astin is heir to the famous Gold Hotels Empire whom Desi knew since their teenage years through college. He recently arrived in Lorencia to seek permission from the Royal Family to expand the Gold Hotel located there. As Astin attempts to woo Desi, she is taking care that he does not use her for his own personal gain.

I will not reveal anything other than what I mentioned in previous paragraphs. I want you to read for yourself and feel just as good as I did for Desi and her official decisions and for Astin as he comes to a definite conclusion concerning his feelings for Desi.

I enjoyed the plot of this mystery love story and the concept behind it. Just when you think Desi and Astin are going to bed down, they do not. This was very refreshing for a love story being that there was no explicit sex described. Very refreshing. The story line was of good quality but the constant descriptive reference to Desi and how she felt when meeting Astin or the different ways Astin smiled, or did not smile was redundant and should have been edited a little more.

I recommend this mystery love story novel to those who like mysteries and love stories. This one should be read on a cozy afternoon with a cup of tea, coffee or cocoa and teacakes, croissants or biscotti.

I received this novel from CLP Blog Tours in exchange for an honest opinion in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Amy is a sci-fi/mystery addict 
with a soft spot for humor and romance. 
She lives in Massachusetts, 
and loves to bake and watch movies.


Friday, January 5, 2018

Whisper, How to Hear the Voice of God by Mark Batterson, Multnomah

“We lean toward a whisper, and that’s what God wants. The goal of hearing the heavenly Father’s voice isn’t just hearing His Voice, it’s intimacy with him…His whisper is the very breath of life.”  
Mark Batterson, pages 9-10

In his book, Batterson discusses how to listen for the whisper of God’s voice. He also discusses ‘The Seven Love Languages’ which are Scripture, Desire, Doors, Dreams, People, Promptings, and Pain. Each language section begins with a bible scripture and reveals the topic’s relation to that scripture.

One of my favorite languages I enjoyed reading was Hidden Figures: “To believe that any of those people are in our lives by happenstance is to grossly underestimate the sovereignty of God. He wants to use them to speak into our lives and he wants use us to speak into theirs.”

Learning to hear from God is something many people has questions about. You can get your answers in this book. I dare not give another quote from this book because I want you to read for yourself how to His voice. You will not be disappointed.

There is a downloadable accompanying Whisper Discussion and Reflection Guide to use with Whisper. I recommend you download to further experience the Whisper.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review according to the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Israel's Mission Discovery Study Guide with Accompanying DVD by Ray Vander Laan, Zondervan

Israel’s Mission is a Discovery guide with accompanying  DVD which is divided into five lessons. The main idea is Israel’s patriarchal society that brings those who have been alienated from the Father’s house to redemption and restoration back to the Father’s house.

The Discovery Guide and DVD focuses on the covenant between God and Abraham and Sarah to start the mission of redeeming and restoring all those who did not know Him to the Father’s House (beth ab).

There is good information in the guide and DVD but seemed a little repetitive in nature. I would have been able to tolerate the host a more if he did not scream his message throughout the program.

I received this guide and DVD through the Litfuse Reviewer Program in exchange for an honest review according to the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines.

Gifts from Heaven, True Stories of Miraculous Answers to Prayer, Compilation by James Stuart Bell, Bethany House Publishers

James Stuart Bell has compiled over 30 stories of answers to prayer from individuals who experienced life-changing events in their lives. Their stories are told with conviction and how God kept His promises.

I am listing a few of the short stories quotes that touched my heart without giving any spoilers so you may read for yourself how God works.

He Opened My Eyes
“Moreover, it wasn’t what I believed but who I trusted that made the difference.”

The Mysterious Comforter
“Ask the guy who was there when you came.” “Honey, I was the first one there, “ she said…..”you were sitting on the side of the road by yourself…”

Father Knows Best
“God listens past the words of our mouths and hears the words of our hearts. In His infinite wisdom, he answers the prayers of our hearts in way we could not fathom with our finite minds. I am so very grateful that our Father knows best.”

Leaving the God of Money
“Our wealth is not in our bank account, but in the treasury of our strong marriage and our walk with the Lord.”

I encourage all believers and non-believers to read this compilation to learn how people experienced the good works of God in their lives.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review according to the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission.