Book Review – Just Open the Door

August 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews

Book Title:  Just Open the Door

Author: Jen Schmidt

Published by: BH Lifeway

Amazon info:

Change a generation with something as simple as an invitation.

For many of us, inviting people into our lives and homes feels more like inviting judgment on our entertaining skills and stress on our already maxed-out schedules. But what if you knew that opening your front door had the power to radically change the world? To make an impact and leave a legacy with everyday invitations?

Jen Schmidt has set out to reframe how we think about hospitality and to equip us to walk a road of welcome in our daily lives. Jen knows that every time we choose open-door living—whether in our homes or by taking hospitality on the road just like Jesus—those we invite in get to experience the lived-out Gospel, our kids grow up in a life-lab of generosity, and we trade insecurity for connection.

Just Open the Door is a personal yes-you-can guide to offering the life-changing gift of invitation. Whether you’re a seasoned host looking for renewed inspiration or a nervous newbie not sure where to begin, these personal stories, practical ideas, and poignant insights will give you the confidence you need to see your home as the most likely location for changing the world around you, one open door at a time.

My rating: 3.5 stars
My review:

This is a lovely book and I wanted to love it. I mean, just look at that gorgeous cover!

It’s an easy read, full of the author’s stories of how she applied the principle of biblical hospitality in her own life in the hopes that her suggestions might spur you on to do the same.  While I enjoyed reading it for the most part, I found myself skimming this book (I tend to do that when I tire of something).  Perhaps it could have been shorter?  I don’t know.  I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either.

So, that said, I don’t know that I would necessarily recommend it.  I’m going to try Rosaria Butterfield’s book: The Gospel Comes with a Housekey on the topic next to compare.

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Book Review – Once Upon a Farm

August 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews

 Book Title:  Once Upon A Farm

Author:  Rory Feek

Published by:  Thomas Nelson

Amazon info:

National Bestseller

Sometimes it’s not only what we plant but where we’re planted.

Now raising their four-year-old daughter, Indiana, alone, after Joey’s passing, Rory Feek digs deeper into the soil of his life and the unusual choices he and his wife, Joey, made together and the ones he’s making now to lead his family into the future.

When Rory Feek and his older daughters moved into a run-down farmhouse almost twenty years ago, he had no idea of the almost fairy-tale love story that was going to unfold on that small piece of Tennessee land . . . and the lessons he and his family would learn along the way.

Now two years after Joey’s passing, as Rory takes their four-year-old daughter Indiana’s hand and walks forward into an unknown future, he takes readers on his incredible journey from heartbreak to hope and, ultimately, the kind of healing that comes only through faith.

A raw and vulnerable look deeper into Rory’s heart, Once Upon a Farm is filled with powerful stories of love, life, and hope and the insights that one extraordinary, ordinary man in bib overalls has gleamed along the way.

As opposed to homesteading, this is instead a book on lifesteading as Rory learns to cultivate faith, love, and fatherhood on a small farm while doing everything, at times, but farming. With frequent stories of his and Joey’s years together, and how those guide his life today, Rory unpacks just what it means to be open to new experiences.

“This isn’t a how-to book; it’s more of a how we, or more accurately, how He, God, planted us on a few acres of land and grew something bigger than Joey or I could have ever imagined.”

My rating: 3.5 stars

My review:

I only heard of Rory and Joey about 6 months before their decision to stop any more treatment. I was touched by their story and have occasionally watched as Rory has continued on in live with his sweet little one and without Joey. This book is very raw and honest at some points. And while I can’t agree with how he may be approaching some things in his life, I commend him for not just hiding behind his fame and ignoring the yuck of things he can’t control to get books sold. I do wonder if he’ll later regret his openness.

He’s a great storyteller and has an interesting story to tell. That said, I don’t know that I’d recommend running out and buying this book – even if you’re a fan. Most fans probably know most of this information from interviews, his blog, etc.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review.

Winc Wine Club

The idea of a wine club has always been intriguing to me.  We don’t, however, drink a lot of wine (although I use it in cooking a lot!) but it’s nice to have a few selections on hand when there are guests, for special occasions, and to give as hostess gifts when we go to friends’ homes for dinner or an evening gathering.

 

So I was happy to give Winc a try.  Here’s what I’m looking forward to:

$22 Off Your First Month of Winc Wine – Winc offers 4 personalized wines each month. Bottles start at $13 each. Winc is not your traditional wine club: we are a direct-distribution global wine company that personalizes the entire wine experience.

We are perfecting how wine is made, distributed, perceived and purchased via our Palate Profile quiz that recommends wine based on your unique tastes and I’ll add enjoyed on behalf of a new generation of wine drinkers. It takes the hassle and guesswork out of picking a bottle from your local liquor store and delivers the perfect bottle directly to your doorstep.

We do all this as part of our quest to improve the experience for consumers, create a platform for artisanal winemaking, and build a grape-to-glass supply chain that’s sustainable for the planet. No more intimidating language and steep price points, and more joy in the act of sharing a bottle.

So…there you have it. Give Winc a try and check back here for a follow up on what I think of it!

 

My Readers Save $22 Off Your First Month of Winc go to: www.trywinc.com/usfamilyguide

I was not compensated for this post but will be receiving a trial of this club in exchange for this promo and review.  All thoughts are my own.

Holman Women’s Study Bible – Book review

May 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews

Book Title:  Woman’s Study Bible

Published by: Holman Bibles

Amazon info: The most comprehensive study Bible ever prepared for women and by women, the CSB Study Bible for Women invites you to explore the riches of God’s Word. Follow God’s grand story across the Bible, guided by threads of specialized study that explain essential doctrines, answer hard questions, discuss biblical womanhood, and apply truth to our hearts and lives.

The CSB Study Bible for Women is edited by Dr. Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Dr. Rhonda Harrington Kelley, both long-time women’s ministry leaders, authors and seminary professors at two of the nation’s most respected seminaries. As you learn from these women extensively educated in Biblical studies and languages and passionate about God’s Word, you will be equipped in turn to mentor others in the truth and hope found in Scripture.

Features include:

  • 6,490 extensive study notes
  • Over 500 word studies, 25 full-color maps and reconstructions, and 95 charts
  • Introductions to each book of the Bible
  • A comprehensive concordance including every woman and reference to women in the Bible
  • Threads of specialized study woven throughout, pointing to God’s larger story:
    • Biblical Womanhood articles
    • Answers to “Hard Questions”
    • Character profiles
    • Doctrinal notes
    • “Written on My Heart” applications
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Two-column text in 9.25-point type

The CSB Study Bible for Women features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.

My rating: 4.5 stars
My review:
I wasn’t expecting much. At all.  Usually “women’s” bibles are low on meat and high on fluff and … coloring. Always lots of coloring pages.
This is definitely an exception.  But before I dive into the “meat”, Let me just say that this bible is downright pretty and feminine.  And it’s intentionally so.  The mint and sand hardback cover is very nice and I don’t want to take off the dust jacket because it’s just so lovely.  The
leather touch bible is even more gorgeous (but also more expensive!)
Anyway, feminine it is and when I say it’s intentional, it’s because this bible is unashamed in it’s biblical stand on women and their roles.  It’s beautiful.  This bible highlights women of note throughout the text and maintains a complementarian focus while still valuing women as fierce students of God’s Word.
The summary of each book of the bible is pretty comprehensive but not overpowering so you can fly over the book but then jump right in to the text.  And each summary page has that gorgeous flower top border.
And look – each summary page of each book of the bible has a bottom border with a timeline.  What a fabulous addition to a bible!
(Can you tell I really like this?)
There are callout sections with short paragraphs explaining certain doctrines as well as highlighting women of the text.  And another bottom border highlight is a small Word Study section.
The little touches of this bible are well thought out and helpful to individual and group study.  I also like how the maps aren’t just thrown into the back pages but scattered throughout the bible where they might aid that particular section of the bible:
Before the actual text of the bible there are a couple of essays by the editors, one of which is on how to study the bible: which encourages verse by verse exegesis, the importance of studying the WHOLE bible (not just the New Testament), and even rules for hermeneutics.   Good stuff!
So yep, get this bible if you’re ready for a new one!
Click here for the leather touch bible.
Click here for the hardback teal/sand bible.
Many thanks to Lifeway/BH Publishing Group for sending me a copy of this bible for review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.

Review – Worldview Study Bible

May 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews


Title: The Worldview Study Bible

Author:  God

Contributors:  David S. Dockery, Trevin K. Wax and others

Published by: Lifeway

Amazon info: The CSB Worldview Study Bible features extensive worldview study notes and articles by notable Christian scholars to help Christians better understand the grand narrative and flow of Scripture within the biblical framework from which we are called to view reality and make sense of life and the world. Guided by general editors David S. Dockery and Trevin K. Wax, this Bible is an invaluable resource and study tool that will help you to discuss, defend, and clearly share with others the truth, hope, and practical compatibility of Christianity in everyday life.

Features include:

  • Over 5,900 extensive worldview study notes
  • Over 130 articles written by more than 120 notable Christian scholars
  • Center-column references
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Presentation page
  • Two ribbon markers
  • Two-piece gift box

General Editors: David S. Dockery and Trevin Wax

Associate Editors:  Constantine R. Campbell, E. Ray Clendenen, Eric J. Tully

Contributors include: David S. Dockery, Trevin K. Wax, Ray Van Neste, Kevin Chen, John Stonestreet, Ted Cabal, Darrell L. Bock, Mary J. Sharp, Carl R. Trueman, Bruce Riley Ashford, R. Albert Mohler Jr., William A. Dembski, Preben Vang, David K. Naugle, Jennifer A. Marshall, Aida Besancon Spencer, Paul Copan, Robert Smith Jr., Douglas Groothuis, Russell D. Moore, Mark A. Noll, Timothy George, Carla D. Sanderson, Kevin Smith, Gregory B. Forster, Choon Sam Fong, and more.

The CSB Worldview Study Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.

 

My Rating: 5 stars
My Review:

This is a substantial bible.  It’s heavy, large and includes over 50 essays and articles to accompany the biblical text on topics like:

The Crisis of the Christian Mind

A Biblical View of History

A Biblical Basis for Science

Personal Finances

A Biblical View of Music

Grace Filled Leadership

and more from over 70 different contributors.  This thing is meaty!

I like the Christian Standard Bible (formerly HCSB) as a very readable but still quality translation and the layout with the essays interspersed between the bible text is nice.  The commentary along the bottom is not extensive but seems pretty solid from what I’ve read so far.

This is another one of those bibles that just feels good in your hand. The “Leathertouch” is nice in a deep navy color. This would make a great gift bible for Father’s day!

Overall it’s highly recommended.

 

I received this in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and I was not compensated nor was I required to leave a positive review.

 

Baby Wipes and pads from North Shore

April 23, 2018 by  
Filed under Parent Product Reviews

Walk through any WalMart or Target baby section and you’ll see a whole wall or more of options for diaper wipes and pads.  So here I am throwing out another option for you! But take a look!

Look at that sweet baby! 🙂  North Shore Care Supply is a company located in Illinois that has baby and senior care products available with an autoship program to boot!

The ingredients in the wipes are:  Purified Water, Decyl Glucoside, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Extract, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol .8%, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.  They are not flushable but are a nice size and are unscented. A nice plus!  Find out more about their wipes here (click).

I really like their disposable quilted changing pads.  They’re a great size:  17″x24″.  We’ve got tons of friends with babies so I’m keeping these on hand for when they visit. They’re great for diaper bags too and come in a zippered resealable pouch.

Best of all they have an 800 number and/or a live chat, to answer all your questions.  And if you live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, you can even pick up your orders directly!

And a special for my readers:  Save 20% Off NorthShore Supreme Quilted Baby Wipes through June 30, 2018 – use code NBW20 at https://bit.ly/2vHGktV

Order here (click)

Promo Code: NBW20

 

I received complementary items in order to review them. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review.

 

Book Review – Lies Women Review Study Guide

April 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews

Book Title: Lies Women Believe Study Guide

Author:  Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth

Amazon info:

Go deeper with the truths of the bestselling Lies Women Believe.

The Companion Guide for Lies Women Believe is made up of ten sessions and is designed for individuals and small groups.

Each chapter includes the following features:

In a Nutshell — gives you an overview of the chapter to be studied from Lies Women Believe and reminds you of the lies discussed within that chapter.

Exploring the Truth — offers a daily personal study for you to complete during the course of the week between your small group meetings. Each day’s study includes a few pages to read from Lies Women Believe and then questions to answer under the subtitles “Realize,” “Reflect,” and “Respond.”

Walking Together in the Truth — provides questions to be discussed when your small group meets.

This engaging workbook will make you and your friends think and wrestle with the Truth as you search the Bible for answers to tough issues. The Companion Guide for Lies Women Believe is ideal for small groups, Bible studies, and Sunday school classes.

 

My rating:  5 stars

My review:

I’m not usually a fan of Q&A study guides but this one is really good and a great companion to the book Lies Women Believe.  It’s very bible centered in approach and practical application. It also includes great quotes from each section to remind you of the key points as you study.

Definitely recommended!

I received a copy of the study guide in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

 

Book Review – Lies Women Believe

April 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews

Book Title:  Lies Women Believe

Author:  Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Publisher:  Moody Publishing

Amazon info:

Counter the lies that keep you from abundant living.

Satan is the master deceiver; his lies are endless. And the lies Christian women believe are at the root of most of their struggles.

“Many women live under a cloud of personal guilt and condemnation,” says Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. “Many are in bondage to their past. Others are gripped by fear of rejection and a longing for approval. Still others are emotional prisoners.”

In this bestseller, Lies Women Believe, Nancy exposes those areas of deception most commonly believed by Christian women—lies about God, sin, priorities, marriage and family, emotions, and more. She then sheds light on how we can be delivered from bondage and set free to walk in God’s grace, forgiveness, and abundant life. Nancy offers the most effective weapon to counter and overcome Satan’s deceptions: God’s truth!

 

My rating: 5 stars

 

My review:

I read this book back when it came out almost 20 years ago. I liked it then. I like it even better now.  Nancy Wolgemuth has always been one that I’ve had great respect for because she’s pretty unwavering in her commitment to keeping the bible as the central thing to any part of life she’s discussing.  That’s why when, prior to being married herself, she could give marriage advice to women… because she sticks to what the bible says and calls women to act accordingly.

That’s the case here.  This updated version freshens the message only insomuch as is needed by the massive cultural shifts we’ve seen over these last years.  The message is the same. Sin trips us up like it has since the fall. The devil lies. We believe the lies and often act upon them. The word of God is clear about the truth. Walk in truth.

While I’m not a huge fan of the little vignettes of what Eve might have been thinking at the beginning of each chapter, even that serves to show us how this has been a problem for women since the day Eve ate the forbidden fruit and how each “lie” has it’s foundation in original sin even if it might look differently for each person.

I really like that this book, and the accompanying study guide book are unashamed in their pointing out the truth of our tendency to excuse sin in our desire to live like the world.  We listen to satan’s lies, dwell on them, start to believe them, do believe them, and then act on them.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  We need to replace the lies with truth.  That’s where the rubber meets the road because sometimes we believe the lie that not doing something about it – our sin- is easier than dealing with it.

I started writing down specific quotes as I read but I soon realized that I’d pretty much be copying the entire book if I went that route so I stopped.  Thankfully the study guide has highlighted many of the key quotes in the book to aid in your study of the topics.

I highly recommend this book for all women and if possible as a group study with a family or church women’s small group.  Thanks to Moody for sending a copy in exchange for a review. All thoughts are my own.

 

Book Review – The Great and Small Bible

March 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Children's Book Reviews

Book Title:  Great & Small Bible

Published by:  B&H Kids

Version:  Christian Standard Version

Amazon info:  All creatures great and small . . . the Lord God made them all!

This full-text Bible, complemented by delightful illustrations of great-and-small animal friends, makes the perfect gift to welcome babies. Two dozen full-color inserts offer plenty of space to record all of baby’s special moments—from first measurements to first steps—creating a keepsake to always cherish.

Features include:

  • Complete text of the CSB (Christian Standard Bible)
  • 24 pages of inserts with full-color illustrations
  • Easy-to-read type
  • Words of Christ in red
  • Presentation page
  • Gift box

Part of what makes the Great and Small Bible so special is the readable, faithful-to-the-original text of the Christian Standard Bible. The CSB’s optimal blend of accuracy and readability makes it a trustworthy, easy-to-understand resource for kids to study and memorize today—and to live and share for a lifetime.

My rating: 5 stars
My review:

This is such a wonderful baby bible and keepsake book in one.  I absolutely love that this is a full text bible (the Christian Standard Bible – a wonderful translation) and not just a story bible.  If you are a Christian, you should be encouraging your little ones to carry their own bible to church (yes – even if other people don’t!) and the easiest way to do it is to start VERY young!

The illustrations throughout this are adorable and sweet.  They’re just animals – no compromise with illustrations of someone’s imagining of Jesus or anything.  Also included in the extras is what makes this bible even more unique. It doubles as a baby keepsake book with places to write down milestones as well as thoughts from the parents, etc.  It’s really great.

 

 

 

 

I really like it so much that I want to carry it myself. I like the translation and it’s a great size to have.  Plus I just think these little guys are so sweet!

If you’re looking for a baby gift, this is the bible to get!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to BH/Lifeway for the opportunity to review this bible.  I was not compensated for this review but did receive a complimentary copy of the book in order to review it. All thoughts are my own.

Book Review – Kiss the Wave

March 9, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews

Book Title:  Kiss the Wave

Author:  Dave Furman

Publisher: Crossway

Amazon info:

“I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”

What does it mean to “kiss the wave?” These words, attributed to nineteenth-century British preacher Charles Spurgeon, speak to the Christian’s only hope for perseverance in suffering. What if we can learn to experience the nearness of God in the midst of suffering? What if God intends to work through our trials rather than simply take them away?

After living for more than a decade with a debilitating nerve condition in both arms, Dave Furman shows us that God, in his grace, always designs trials for our good—not minimizing the pain, but infusing significance into our suffering. Furman demonstrates that, even when tossed to and fro by stormy waves, God is near . . . and that makes all the difference in the world.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

  1. He Can Surf Any Wave
  2. He Is Our Refuge
  3. The Ultimate Rescue Mission
  4. The Greatest Exchange in All of History
  5. God Is Not Dead
  6. Look, I Am Your Father
  7. He Really Knows Every Hair on Your Head
  8. The Waves Have a Glorious Purpose
  9. Weakness Is Always the Way
  10. You Are a Part of Christ’s Body
  11. The Wave Maker Will Carry You to Shore
  12. Extreme Makeover
  13. Heaven Is for Real

Conclusion
Appendix: Recommended Resources
Notes
General Index
Scripture Index

My rating: 5 stars
My review:

It’s not often that I choose to sit with pen and paper as I read a book – especially when I’m reading it on my Kindle.  This book, however, was one where pen and paper seemed necessary.  While I could just highlight as I found snippets of applicable texts for my life (or the life of some of my friends), writing things down with pen and paper really help me to “own” it.  And I wanted to own some of this – much of this – most of this.

Interestingly, in our Sunday School class this past month we watched a missionary video series and Dave Furman and his family were one of the missionaries highlighted one week.  Their work in Dubai is great and it was sobering to see the reality of his pain and how his debilitating nerve condition doesn’t stop him – doesn’t stop them – from spreading the gospel there.

But this book goes beyond Furman sharing his own struggles and how God’s word is sufficient for him in his suffering.  It’s full of gospel encouragement and biblical focus for ALL of us who have our own struggles.  I wish I could just type up all my notes as I’ve gone along from chapter to chapter. Maybe I will. Suffice it to say that each chapter is full of God’s word centered truth that applies to every and all situations.

I’ve already suggested it to several friends who are going through major struggles in life right now – one in particular who feels that this life is basically hopeless.  I pray she’ll read this book not because the book can save her but because it speaks of and points to the One who already has.

This book is highly recommended.  Get it!

 

Many thanks to Crossway for giving me an ebook to review. All thoughts are my own and I was in no way compensated nor was I required to leave a positive review.

 

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