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.

 

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 – 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.

 

Book review: Worship by Tozer

February 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews


Book Title: Worship

Author: A.W. Tozer

Publisher: Moody Publishers

Amazon Info:

The best of A. W. Tozer, on one of his favorite subjects

Few subjects invigorated A. W. Tozer like the topic of worship. He saw it—like the church has traditionally—as the sole reason for which creation exists.

Worship: The Reason We Were Created features collections from the beloved spiritual writer on this important topic. The church’s current worship is emaciated; its thoughts of God are too low. Here is a compilation to raise those thoughts high once more, and provoke the church to true, spiritual worship.

Topics include:

  • The act and object of worship
  • The Presence of God
  • Worship throughout the week
  • Feelings and emotion in worship
  • Man as a worshipping creature

If it’s true that we are made to worship God, that it is the sole reason that we exist, that we are most alive when we live for His glory, then reading Worship is more than time well spent. It is time invested in the very foundation of your life.

My rating: 4 stars
My review:

I’m an A.W. Tozer fan.  I’ve read several compilation books that Moody has put out, including Culture which was an excellent read.  This one is nice too but for some reason I got caught up with how much it reads like a selection of transcribed conversations rather than just his written thoughts. And while I agree that getting everything he says is important, it made for bogged down reading on a topic that’s sacred, and pretty serious.  I bet they were great audios, though.

But, if you can get past the “we’re just having a chat” wording of the book, there’s so much great theology: ” God made us to worship Him, and when we’re not worshiping, we’re stars without light, sun without heat, clouds without water, and birds without song.”

God is worthy of worship. It’s pretty simple. And most of the time, during our normal days, we seem to forget that fact. Tozer helps us to remember and keep remembering. And worship more.

About the same time I received this book, I also was reviewing another book on the topic of worship. This one is far above the other because of the depth of the authors passion for God Himself.

 

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

Book Review – The Air I Breathe

February 1, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews

Book Title:  The Air I Breathe

Author:  Louie Giglio

Published by:  Multnomah

Amazon info: Let Every Breath You Take Be an Act of Worship

Worship is more than singing on Sunday morning. While that’s part of it, worship is the essence of what makes us truly human. God sparked this desire within our hearts from the day He first breathed life into Adam and Eve. Since then, every single human who has walked this planet has participated in this God-given ability, and divine quest. While many have squandered their gift, there are those who find the wonder-filled life of communion with God no matter the time or place.

True freedom comes when worship flows through us as naturally as the air we breathe, when the words and actions in our lives resonate with our Creator so deeply that every inhalation is full of meaning. When we understand the holiness of the God who knows the stars by name—and His overwhelming love for each one of us—how can we offer anything less?

In The Air I Breathe, Louie Giglio explains in passionate prose what it means to truly live a life of worship, offering insight and guidance for finding our personal path towards connecting with the God of the Universe.

My rating: 3 stars
My review:

Perhaps I’ll be showing my age here. It’s hard for me to get over the style of writing of this book. In some ways it seems like and attempt to put as many “tweetable” quotes together – or the compilation of a few pithy blog posts maybe.  That’s not to say that the content is off.  While there’s little “new” info, I did highlight a couple of things.  The one that stood out to me the most was on page 27:

“Whatever you worship, you become obsessed with. Whatever you become obsessed with, you imitate. And whatever you imitate, you become. In other words, whatever you value most will ultimately determine who you are.”

Ouch. And true. So I guess I won’t say that I can’t recommend this book, but I don’t know that I ever would.    The back cover’s last paragraph says the author explains “in passionate prose” … perhaps that’s why I found it difficult to keep going.  It’s an important topic, and I’m glad he wrote the book. Just not my style.

 

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

Book Review – Calm, Cool, and Connected

January 30, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews

Book:  Calm, Cool, and Connected

Author:  Arlene Pellicane (with Gary Chapman)

Published by:  Moody Publishers

Amazon Review Rating (as of 1/30/18) 4.7 stars with 47 reviews

Amazon Info:

For those feeling overloaded with technology…

Let’s face it: most of us are on our phones or computers way more than we’d like to be, and more than what’s even beneficial. We know that overuse of technology is harmful to our health and relationships, but how can we rewire our digital habits for a healthier life?

In Calm, Cool, and Connected, Arlene Pellicane will walk you through an easy 5-step plan that will help you center your life on Jesus and love others by decluttering your screen time. By introducing a few easy habits into your daily routine, you can transform your relationship with technology and enjoy more time with God and others.

It’s easy to become consumed and preoccupied with our devices. In turn, we begin to suppress or ignore what’s most important, focusing instead on the urgent and sensational. Let this book guide you toward balanced technology use, and thus a more balanced life.

 

My rating: 5 stars
My review:

I really enjoyed this quick, easy read. I had heard Pellicane on the radio when I was driving and she was talking about this book. I found myself wishing I could pull over and take notes, but now I don’t have to!  Pellicane’s writing style is conversational and enjoyable. Her tips are not earth shattering but because of how she’s decided to lay out the book following the acronym H.A.B.I.T., one can easily keep the tips she gives top of mind.

H – Hold Down The Off Button
A – Always Put People First
B – Brush Daily and Live With A Clean Conscience
I – I Will Go Online With Purpose
T – Take A Hike

Even before I read the book or heard the author, I was trying to reduce my addiction to my phone – and using many of these tips. It’s not an easy habit to break especially with everyone around us living with the same “acceptable addiction”.  I think the hardest one for me still is “I Will Go Online With Purpose” . Actually I would say it’s I will STAY online only if there’s still purpose. I can go grab my phone or my laptop with a specific task in mind but inevitably I’ll find myself later – sometimes MUCH later – STILL online after following a bunch of ZERO purpose bunny trails and random surfing. Ugh!

The “T” for Take A Hike should include – WITHOUT your phone.  People will live without you for an hour and even if something happens along your walk route, you can be pretty confident (unless you’re walking in some remote area) that someone will be around with a phone to help if you need it.

Anyway, this book is a great resource. It’s inexpensive, fast to read, and one that you can leave out in the water closet or on the coffee table for perusing after you’ve read it.

Buy the book on Amazon (click here)

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

Book Review – Out of a Far Country

January 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews

 Book Title:  Out of a Far Country

Authors:  Christopher and Angela Yuan

Published by:  Water Brook Press

Amazon info:

Coming Out, Then Coming Home

Christopher Yuan, the son of Chinese immigrants, discovered at an early age that he was different. He was attracted to other boys. As he grew into adulthood, his mother, Angela, hoped to control the situation. Instead, she found that her son and her life were spiraling out of control—and her own personal demons were determined to defeat her.

Years of heartbreak, confusion, and prayer followed before the Yuans found a place of complete surrender, which is God’s desire for all families. Their amazing story, told from the perspectives of both mother and son, offers hope for anyone affected by homosexuality.

God calls all who are lost to come home to him. Casting a compelling vision for holy sexuality, Out of a Far Country speaks to prodigals, parents of prodigals, and those wanting to minister to the gay community.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”  – Luke 15:20

Includes a discussion guide for personal reflection and group use.

 

My review:

I found myself not wanting to read any more as the details about Christopher’s pre-conversion lifestyle were a bit too … detailed for me. I appreciate that this is a true journal and all… just want to warn other readers that while not “graphic”, his attraction, feelings, experiences in the homosexual “scene” etc., is pretty detailed.

It’s an amazing story and I’m thankful for the redemption of this family. I just can’t recommend the book.

 

I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review – Full

January 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Adult Book Reviews

Title:  Full:  Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction

Author:  Asheritah CiuCiu (with forward by Linda Dillow)

Published by:  Moody Publishers

Amazon info:  

Can the Bible help me with my food struggles?

Have you ever felt stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of overeating, yo-yo dieting, and obsessive thoughts about food?

Whether you feel defeated by your lack of self-control or overwhelmed by thoughts and longings for foodthe answer to our food fixation does not lie in the $500 billion global diet industry.

This is not a diet book and it’s not a healthy eating plan. Because at the core, our problem is not really what we eat. It’s why we seek fullness in something that will never satisfy.

Join Asheritah Ciuciu as she shares honestly about her own battles with food and reveals the path to freedom. You’ll discover the joy of living free from food fixation so you can experience deeper satisfaction in Christ, gain a renewed sense of purpose, and yes, even enjoy good food (without regret).

A healthier relationship with food through a stronger relationship with Christ—that’s the goal of Full.

Includes a quiz to help you find out if you have food fixation, plus practical strategies for overcoming it.

My rating: 5 stars

My review:

I’ve read many diet books. I’ve done many diets.  I’ve had some success on some. In fact, one time when my daughters were pretty young, I determined I was going to get skinny. And I did.  Pretty fast too.  Too fast. And too skinny.  And I discovered that my addiction to food could easily be converted to other addictions – like the addiction to dieting, or to starving myself, or to getting just one size skinnier.  It was scary.

I haven’t “dieted” since then. Oh, I’ve tried to watch what I eat, limit my sugar intake, stop eating carbs, etc., I followed some pretty crazy “Christian” diets that I quickly learned were not good even though most of them had some good information, etc.  It’s been a journey.

All that to say, I wasn’t expecting too much when I got this book. But, I had heard the author on the radio once when I was running errands and at the time that I heard the interview they were talking about food and worship. I was intrigued with what she was saying – and I thought it was profound and totally different from anything I’d heard about “dieting” before. Mostly because it wasn’t about dieting at all.  And I liked that.

I started reading this one and wondered if it would be the same old same old but it’s not. It’s really not.  This is a book about your relationship with God and His word … and a little bit about how that relates to food.  But that’s a good thing because, with all addictions, it’s rarely REALLY about the substance of choice. It’s about what’s going on in your mind and where your heart’s focus is.

Favorite chapter?  Chapter 8. Celebrate the gift of food.  This is the chapter that I heard the author discussing in the interview on the radio and it filled out what I heard. The book is worth this chapter alone and I’m convinced if we’d just do some of the suggestions she makes here, our outlook about food and dieting and fellowship and mealtime and … a bunch of stuff, would be much, much different.

So yeah, better than I expected AND highly recommended!  Get this book!

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

 

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