Monday, November 14, 2011

The Expanded Bible

I have to admit that I have mixed feeling about Bibles like the Expanded Bible and Amplified Bible. This is because we are warned of adding or taking away from scripture. This being said I do like set up of the Bible, subject headings in the margins with wide margins for writing notes. The study notes are embedded in the text. This can lead to some confusion or chopping reading. I recommend using this Bible alongside you regular study Bible. The study notes and translation used (it is clearly not NKJV, close but not quite) can give some good insights and clarification to confusing or hard to understand scriptures. Overall this is a nice Bible that I am pleased to add to my collection.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Year With Jesus

A Year with Jesus provides 365 daily readings using the words of Christ. The words of Jesus from a chosen scripture begin the page for each day and that is followed by the words of the author as he gives his insight and explanation for the scripture passage. This book is a wonderful tool to learn more about following Jesus; living as He taught and sharing His message. I very much enjoyed this book, and found it even more enjoyable because it didn't focus on random parts and pieces of the Bible, but specifically on what Jesus Himself had to say. A worthy read for any Christian!

Themes and issues that "A year with Jesus" emphasizes are:
1. How to Discover a lasting Joy
2. The need for Meekness and Humility
3. The importance of Love and Grace
4. The essential need for Truth
5. How to deal with Doubt
6. The Fruit of the Spirit including how to grow in Kindness and Patience
7. Understanding Grace and Merit
8. Living a life aimed at Honesty and Faithfulness and additional indispensable teachings

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thank You, God, For Loving Me

We Love Max Lucado and "Thank you, God, for Loving Me" is another great addition to our collection! Little Hermie prays and through it, it gives a model to children to show them how to pray and thank God for what He has given us! This little cardboard bookfocuses on God's blessings for us, which I feel are the basics a small child would focus on as well: food, shelter, friends and family etc. This is a simple story and the illustrations are bright and colorful. This is a great little story to read before bed book or even to use as a prompt to a prayer a child can say on their own. My faily found this to be a sweet and delightful little book.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Love&Respect Experience

The basic premise of this devotional book, and apparently Love and Respect, is, based on Ephesians 5:33, that men most need respect from their wives and women most need love from their husbands. Each devotional (there are 52) is just a few pages long and begins with Scripture and includes a personal example followed by suggestions for prayer and action.  Eggerichs recommends that couples read the material separately and then come together to simply discuss them, thereby reducing the common awkwardness of reading a devotion out loud.Its beautiful leather binding and creamy paper is so giftable and I would recommend this book for any married couple or soon-to-be-married couple.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stumbling Into Grace

Each chapter of Stumbling Into Grace has its own topic. Lisa talks about fear, strongholds, food, forgiveness, healing, community, honesty and more. Within each chapter are examples and stories from Lisa's own life, as well as a biblical reference - sometimes paraphrased by Lisa, and these are the best, as she brings Bible verses to life in modern times in ways that might surprise you. Included in each chapter is a closing prayer, questions for group discussion or personal reflection and a lead-in question for writing in your personal journal. Harper utilizes personal stories and a healthy dose of good humor to share experiences that are common to all of us and spiritual insights that will challenge and inspire you. This book is great as a solo devotional or possibly in a small group setting.The books was a pretty easy read! Miss Lisa is quite hilarious (and ever-so-slightly crude at times) but her lover for her Savior is beautiful. Each chapter starts off with a story, the middle includes a Bible passage, and the end explains the passage and shows how it can be applied to our lives today.A very good book if you are looking for something to help you get back on track in your walk with God! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rumors of God

Taking the lead from the prophet Habakkuk, Whitehead & Tyson encourage us to ask God to renew His works in our day in Rumors of God: Experience The Kind of Faith You've Only Heard About. And for those of us who aren't sure what to look for or where to begin looking, they share "rumors" with us; rumors of how God is at work around us today.

The topics covered in this book include:

1. All too often we we turn down God's infinite gifts for the trivial that really don't matter.
2. Make seeking God your priority - He will transform your heart and desires.
3. Life is more important than material pursuits.
4. God wants us more than our work for Him.
5. Before His public ministry, Jesus Christ spent 30 years cultivating His relationship with the Father.
6. Instead of debating, Jesus sought to connect people to Himself.
7. God does not intend for His children to live alone.
8. Because of Jesus Christ, we are accepted by God.
9. 6 myths of forgiveness.
10. Let God's voice drown out all other voices in your life.
11. Between the Resurrection and Pentecost, Jesus spent time restoring and encouraging believers instead of building powerful armies or attacking political powers.
12. 3 ways Jesus will liberate our hearts from materialism.

What I love about this book is that when you're finished with it, you actually believe it's possible - God is more than a rumor and His people are alive and on the move. It's possible that a loving God is present and partnering with his people to tell his story. It's inspiring, hopeful, and encouraging. It's compelling and also practical. While it may not answer every one of your questions or quell every fountain of cynicism, it will leave you believing that there's more to God than a mere rumor.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rejoice: Women of Faith Worship

 If you are looking for some good worship music, you are looking in the right place. This CD is top notch. The women's vocals are amazing. This CD is a gorgeous collection of uplifting and motivational songs that will bring joy to your day. With a lyric booklet enclosed in the CD case, just pop this shiny purple and silver CD in your CD player and be ready to feel inspired and energized! Just sets a wonderful tone for the day and reminds me of God's presence.

The songs are:

1.Beautiful Redeemer
2.So Good
3.Forever Reign
4.Come As You Are
6.Our God
7.Glory To God
8.You Brought the Sunshine
9.Greatness of Our God
10.Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Absolutely beautiful CD I enjoy listening again and again.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this CD free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255vf: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Live Loved: Experiencing God's Presence in Everyday Life by Max Lucado

Lived Loved: Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life is a great little gift devotional book by Max Lucado. Each day is an exert from one of Lucado’s previous writings. This devotional book is on the same format as Grace for the Moment and includes 149 devotions. The book is divided into topical sections: Loved with a Steadfast Love, Loved with a Perfect Love, Loved with a Wise Love, and Loved to Love Others. Each devotional reading includes a scripture reading, commentary and is ended with a prayer. I find that these prayers are great starting points for my own personal prayer time. The book itself is padded hard cover with beautiful artwork done on the cover and inside pages. The artwork is neither too feminine nor masculine so it makes a great gift for anyone.

If you are an avid reader of Max Lucado’s than you will find these devotional readings familiar. The devotionals are taken from Max Lucado’s books: It's Not About Me, Facing Your Giants, 3:16: Numbers of Home, Every Day Deserves a Chance, Fearless, and Outlive Your Life.

I highly recommend this devotional book to everyone and plan to buy several copies as gifts for friends and family.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Max on Life

I love Max Lucado and I loved this book. “Max on Life” was a huge inspiration to read. This book contains 172 questions that Max answers throughout the pages of the book. Each question an answer is given on one page; Max gets right to the heart of the question and supplies a deep but understandable Biblical answer.  Lucado organizes the answers by theme, which can be read straight through, read daily like a daily devotional, or even used as a reference book with the topical index in the back. I was concerned at first that this book would be a little too simplistic for a long time believer however there were many insights I never considered before. The answers to these questions helped to stretch my understanding. I also found new ways to help explain certain topics that come up in conversation with my non-believing family and friends. The questions addressed in this book are relational dealing with topics such as why am I here? Why go to church? Why bad things happen? “Max on Life” also addresses real life issues for daily living, like relationships, children, work and finances.  I recommend this book to everyone, and even think it would make a good gift to give someone who is either having doubts or just needs some encouragement.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Take Action Bible

The Take Action Bible is designed to inspire and motivate Christian into action. To not be just hearers of the word but doers.  This Bible is in the New Kings James Version, which is my favorite Bible version.  The real-life stories featured in the Bible are motivating and helps give a Christian who is unsure where to begin some perspective.  I find the Personal Take Action note pages useful to write down what God is putting on my heart and a convenient place to keep these ideas together in a safe place where I won’t lose them.  The Bible itself looks nice with a glossy paperback cover, since it is paperback and in the UltraSlim Bible text the Bible itself is convenient to carry. Other features included in this Bible that I really enjoyed are the translation and text notes, a concordance, a Bible reading plan, and the words of Jesus in red. While I wouldn’t use this Bible as a study Bible I will definitely carry this with me in my bag or car so I can always be equipped to share the gospel or to help a Christian who may need some encouragement to serve. All in all, this in another nice Bible produced by Thomas Nelson publishers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Lightkeeper's Ball by Colleen Coble

I've never heard of the author Colleen Coble until I picked up this book and I'm very happy I did. She is a fantastic author! This book, The Lightkeeper's Ball, has a little bit of everything, romance, mystery, suspense, and action. Colleen Coble weaves these elements and history together so nicely that it was very hard for me to put this book down. Colleen Coble gives much attention to detail and I was never left feeling if certain events did or could really have happened. Even though this book is the third in the Mercy Falls series it was still easy to read and get into the characters even though I haven't read the previous two books, which I will be doing now! 

After Olivia’s sister dies she must decide whether to take her sister’s place in society. Before doing so she travels to Mercy Falls to investigate the suspicions surrounding her sister’s death. She meets her sister’s fiancĂ©, Harrison, and discovers that her sister’s death was no accident.  While at the ball Olivia discovers secrets about her sister and will Harrison discover who Olivia really is? And could her really love her?

This was a delightful book to read and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a historical/mystery romance novel to read.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <[...]> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <[...]> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Reflections From 2nd MTC Webcast

Today was a good start to this new approach. I opened my fridge today and saw a barren white fridge. If I am going to make healthy choices and I need to have healthy options available to me. I went to the local health food store to buy some fresh fruits and veggies. Nothing strange or exotic, just the basics...dark green leafy lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, cucumber, apples, oranges, bananas, and grapefruit. While there I was trying to decide what changes I can make at meal times that would not only be healthy for me but healthy for the whole family as well. I knew this will be a bit of a challenge as I listened to my 13 year old daughter behind me exclaim "ew, I'm not eating that" or "ew, that's gross."

I watched the second MTC webcast this evening and wow! The Lord just spoke directly to me during this whole webcast. So many things that were on my mind or fears I had were put to rest tonight. One thing that stuck out to me right away was that I need to be a woman of joy and thanksgiving. So many times before when I approached this whole eating healthy thing it was more an act of drudgery. Definitely not something I was joyful about and I was definitely not thankful. Now I can see I can be joyful because I am not doing this just for my physical well being or looks but to have a closer more intimate relationship with God. Who wouldn't be joyful about that! This leads me right into thanksgiving. I am so thankful to the Lord for providing these MTC resources to me. So thankful that he loves me enough not to leave me in this place but to draw me out!

I know right now I am full of rosey optimism and I know there will be some dark days ahead. However, I can be joyful and thankful for those dark days ahead because they will be opportunities for me to draw close to God in prayer and see Him move in my life.

Chapter One Reflections

Chapter One is full of insightful goodies but what really jumped out at me was "we crave what we eat." This hit hard since it let me clearly see what I am putting into my body and mind. I am craving unhealthy food options because this is what I am consuming. I am not just craving them because I have a weak mind or weak body. I have set myself up for these cravings *ouch* It is comforting to know that I am designed by God to have cravings, however my cravings were never meant to be for food but for Him. If I start consuming healthier foods my body will begin to crave those healthier options. If I consume God's Word regularly than I will crave God and this is the goal. To crave God more than anything else.

At the end of Chapter One, Lysa gives us a scripture that she used when resisting cravings, "Everything is permissible'--but not everything is beneficial" (1 Corinthians 10:23). This is a wonderful scripture to keep in  mind. Nothing is off limits but it is up to me to decide if it will be beneficial to my body. After I read this scripture I looked up the cross reference, 1 Corinthians 6:12  "Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything."  This scripture hit me HARD. I do not want to be mastered any longer by food. I will not be mastered by food any longer. 

Then I read the first part of verse 13 "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food—but God will destroy them both." This is powerful for me. God is going to destroy both food and stomach so why do I want to be controlled by something that is going to be destroyed by God? I also have to ponder, if I cling to my stomach and cravings for food, do I run the risk of being destroyed right along with them? Maybe not in the spiritual sense since I know I am saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, however this makes me wonder just what part of me will be destroyed if I continue to cling to the sinking ship of food.

Bottom line I will crave what I consume and I want to crave God.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why am I doing this?

About 2 weeks ago I received an email from a friend from church letting me know that there was going to be a webcast for Made to Crave. She wanted to see if anyone would be willing to go on this journey with her. To be honest I groaned inside. I had seen this book at the local Christian book store and on Amazon and made every possible effort to avoid it. I made every rationalization in my head as to why I didn't even need to bother reading the back cover of this book.

However, God had other plans. I tried to avoid my friend's email. I even deleted it so I wouldn't have to look at the subject line in my inbox. After a few days though, I found myself doing a search in my deleted folder searching for that email. And then I did the most horrible thing...I replied "I'm In!" I tried not to panic. After all, all I really did was commit to watch the webcast, right?

Well I watched that webcast, listened to Lysa TerKeurst speak, and heard God speaking loud and clear. After the webcast I excitedly emailed my friend. We emailed each other what had spoken to us during the webcast and I rushed out and bought the book. Now I find myself doing an online study of Made to Crave on Melissa Taylor's blog.

I did today's homework assignment, reading the introduction of Made to Crave and the Lord just confirmed everything all over again. I have the "how to" I just need the "want to." I need to stop making excuses for my weight, be HONEST with myself admit that my weight is a direct reflection of the choices I make.

I decided to keep a blog for this journey, maybe it will last only as long as the study or maybe it will go beyond that. This will be for the Lord to decide. What I type here though I will be posting to the Melissa Taylor's blog during the online study. I pray that everyone who is doing this Made to Crave (MTC from now on) study hears God speaking to them and finds God's strength and power to make the changes that are needed in their lives BUT most of all, learn to crave God most of all.