Thursday, February 20, 2014

One God, One Plan, One Life by Max Lucado

First of all, let me make a confession.  I am a fan of Max Lucado's work.  "One God, One Plan, One Life" did not disappoint me at all.

These short, daily devotionals,geared toward teens, are easy to read and understand.  Each day starts with a Bible verse (you won't find any thees, thous, or thines here) and is followed by a few paragraphs of wisdom that are applicable to really any person.  Each devotion ends with a "One More Thought" that encourages just that... something to contemplate that reinforces what was just covered.  Each devotion may take only about five minutes (or less) to read, but is a great place for the busy teen to get into the great habit of personal time with God.  Also, I loved the thoughtfulness of a bright orange satin ribbon bookmark.

The only negative for me was that there wasn't a prayer at the end of each devotion. 

All in all, I give this devotional an enthusiastic "two thumbs up".

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

10 Days Without by Daniel Ryan Day

10 Days Without by Daniel Ryan Day is an interesting concept of putting a person's faith into action.  The thought is that when you do something different, people will notice, and the author has some really great ideas to do just that.

Mr. Day gives encouragement and a game plan how to "go 10 days without..." and a reason to do it, such as raising awareness and/or money for a particular cause.  Also, he prepares us that not only will we be doing something that can affect others, but we should be prepared to be changed in the process. 

One word of caution:  Don't read this book unless you are willing to put what you have learned into practice.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Multnomah Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

An Elegant Solution by Paul Robertson

This is a challenging review for me to write as "An Elegant Solution" by Paul Robertson is a challenging book to read.  I found it to be very cerebral (which I normally enjoy), but very wordy.  Some parts seemed to really drag for me while other parts of the book, I just couldn't put down.  This is not a book that you can sit down to read with distractions.

If you are confused by my review, join the club!  I honestly can't make up my mind if I loved the book or didn't!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Just a Minute by Wess Stafford

When I first started reading "Just a Minute" by Wess Stafford, I felt like I was reading an advertisement for Compassion International (an observation, not necessarily a bad thing) and a book by Paul "Now You Know the Rest of the Story" Harvey.

Although this book was not at all what I had expected, I did find it to be worthwhile.  It is a great reminder that little things we do or say (or don't do or say) can have a profound impact on our children, positively or negatively.  This book is not totally candy-coated.  It includes some absolutely heart-wrenching stories of abuse in with the positive feel-good ones.

The book also is a great reminder that the adults we encounter in our lives were once children who have been impacted by people during the childhood and life.

All in all... God gave us two ears and one mouth on purpose.  If we took the time to listen more, talk less, and to think before we did speak?  Wow.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Modern Life Study Bible New King James Version (NKJV)

First of all, please let me say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" to Thomas Nelson Publishers for giving me the opportunity to review this wonderful Bible!

Something you should know about me is that I have two Life Application Study Bibles, one in the New International Version (NIV) that I have had over 20 years and my newest that I received this past Christmas is a New Living Translation (NLT). 

Study Bibles add so much to the study of scripture vs. just the reading of it, and the Modern Life Study Bible certainly will be a resource I continue to use during my study time. 

Some things I love about this Bible: 
  • NKJV.  I have never read the NKJV and was a little wary!  I grew up reading the traditional KJV and was very challenged by the style of writing.  Although the NLT version is my current favorite, and how easily understandable it is has really created a love of reading the Word, I was so pleasantly surprised by the NKJV.   It, too, is easy to understand but with the traditional weights, measures, etc.
  • "Focus" sections.  Whereas the Life Application Bibles will normally "dissect" a single verse, the Modern Life Study Bible focuses on a section of scripture.
  • Maps.  They are everywhere in this Bible!  They give a greater perspective on the events taking place.  (For instance, in studying Esther, I had no idea that Susa was so close (150 miles?) to Ur, the hometown of Abraham.  Sometimes I forget how small the Middle East is!)
  • "Insight" sections.  These sections include maps, charts, diagrams and extra bits of information.  What an incredible resource!
  • Character profiles.  Those profiles are a brief synopsis of main character's background and gives some extra understanding of that person.  In addition, "modern" believers like Corrie Ten Boom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charles Spurgeon, and many others are profiled as examples of faith in action.
  •  Color. Color. Color!  I love the use of color!  It is everywhere in this Bible, from the Chapter title pages, maps, character profiles, timelines, etc.    
So in short, I highly recommend this Bible and am thrilled to now have a copy of my own.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Be Still My Soul by Randy Petersen

Although I currently attend a more contemporary church, growing up we sang many of the hymns on Sunday mornings that are featured in "Be Still My Soul" by Randy Peterson.  What a wonderful walk down memory lane!

This book not only features the story of 175 great hymns, but also the hymn itself including words and music.  That in itself is a great treasure!  In addition, there are short biographies on select hymn-writers and composers which add to the appreciation of these old songs.

I really enjoyed this book because of the familiarity of those wonderful old hymns.  I don't think, though, that most who do not share that background or that currently attend a church that incorporates these songs into their service, would have the same appreciation.  But, I could be wrong!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.