Sunday, September 13, 2015

"Scents and Sensibility: A Chet and Bernie Mystery" by Spencer Quinn

A missing safe and with it Bernie's grandfather's watch, possible cactus smuggling, a kidnapping from the past, and a cult are all parts of this new Spencer Quinn novel.What will Chet and Bernie unearth about the crimes, their neighbors, and the missing watch? Come and solve the mysteries alongside these two loveable crime solvers.

This is book eight in the series by Spencer Quinn, featuring Bernie (a private detective) and his dog, Chet. In this installation, Chet and Bernie have just come back from visiting Bernie's girlfriend, when Bernie finds that his wall safe is gone. Whoever took it has his grandfather's watch, one of his most precious possessions. They also find out that the Parsons (next door neighbors) have an illegal cactus in their backyard, and an investigation is underway. What happens when Chet and Bernie get involved? What happens when they get too close?

I love these books and have been a fan since, "Dog On It." It is fun to read a book that is written from the dog's perspective, seeing things people wouldn't normally notice. I like the introduction of "Shooter" this time and the inuendo surrounding his parentage. This book gave me the opportunity to follow the sleuthing, and also to feel how much the characters mean to me. (Pick up the book and you will understand.) If you enjoy books that are fun, written from the perspective of a loveable dog, and let you follow the crime solving, this book is definitely for you. I got a review copy through Net Galley and will now go buy a copy for my library.

Chet The Dog: 
Chet's Facebook page 
Chet the Dog on Twitter @ChetTheDog

Saturday, September 5, 2015

"Israel's Mission Discovery Guide and DVD" Ray Vander Laan

Want to take a walk through some of the most precious places in Israel? Want to know more about God's plan for His people? In this new video lesson series, Ray Vander Laan takes his viewers on an inspirational, educational, and awe inspiring trip through God's plans for His people.

History and culture have a lot to do with what is in the Bible. The settings could be rough, they could be restful. Ray Vander Laan takes a group to the Middle East to explore the history and culture surrounding some of the beloved people/stories of the Bible. Come walk where Abraham and Sarah walked. See how they lived. Look at the parable of the lost sheep/lost coin/prodigal son from a new perspective. And, there is much more. The DVD incorporates active, alive teaching with journeying through the holy land. The study book lets you dive deeper. The topics covered are:
Abraham and Sarah and Three Strangers
Israel at Sinai: The First Great Commission
Jesus Renews His Mission: Seeking the Lost
The Lost Son: In a Far Country
The Seeking Father: The Lost Son Returns

I really enjoyed this DVD and book! My husband and I watched it together, then studied deeper together. It is something that we will watch and explore again. Ray Vander Laan is an excellent teacher and I would love to be in his class! If you enjoy learning, especially from a master teacher, this set is for you. If you want to learn more about Israel's Mission, this set is for you. I received my review copy from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

Tour info
About the DVD:

What's your mission?

God gave the assignment to His people thousands of years ago: to bring "lost sheep" back into the love and safety of His kingdom. He said to become a "Kingdom of Priests," and put God on display to show the world what He is like. It's still our task today. In this thirteenth volume of the That the World May Know ® film series, you'll glimpse the urgency and rewards of welcoming the strangers and prodigals the Lord longs to embrace. Discover the mission that can give your life - and the lives of those around you - greater meaning than you ever imagined.

Join renowned teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan as he guides you through the lands of the Bible. In each lesson, Vander Laan illuminates the historical, geographical, and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures. Filmed on location in the Middle East and elsewhere, the That the World May Know ® film series will transform your understanding of God and challenge you to be a true follower of Jesus.

Designed for use with That the World May Know: Israel's Mission Discovery Guide.

Filmed on location at these biblically significant sites in Israel and Jordan:
-Back to the Father's House - Negev Desert
-Show Them the Way - Timnah
-Prodigal Sons and Daughters - Qatzrin
-Return from the Far Off Country - Jerash
-Welcome Home - Qatzrin

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
Ray Vander Laan is the founder of That the World May Know Ministries and creator of the Faith Lessons video series with Focus on the Family. An ordained minister, he holds the chair of biblical cultural studies as a religion instructor at Holland Christian Schools in Holland, Michigan. He and his wife, Esther, have four children and fifteen grandchildren.

Find Ray online:

Sunday, August 30, 2015

"It's Good to be Queen" by Liz Curtis Higgs

The Queen of Sheba had so much wealth, knowledge, things. But, she had heard of King Solomon's wisdom and glory and had to find out for herself if all of it was true. Come, journey with Sheba as she travels to discover the truth about King Solomon.

The Queen of Sheba was wise, especially when it came to discovering the truth behind the things that were told to her. She sought after the truth, asking all the right questions, travelng as she needed to. It took about three months for her to reach Solomon, and she had a great company and great wealth with her. The visit would last almost as long so that the camels could rest before the return trip, so she brought a fortune with her, not only as a gift for King Solomon, but also to defray the cost of the stay. As she met with Solomon, she discovered that this was a man of immense wealth, but more so, he was the wisest person she had ever met. There was no romance between them, rather a sharing of questions and answers and the one true God. This is a story that will inspire you to be more thoughtful and careful in asking questions, bold questions that can change  your life.

I love Liz Curtis Higgs' books! She always brings real life to her characters and topics. While there isn't a lot written about Sheba in the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs pulls out meat and shows how important it is to ask questions, deep questions. If you enjoy learning more about the people and times of the Bible, you will enjoy this book. I received my review copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Lazarus Awakening" by Joanna Weaver

The full title of this amazing devotional is Lazarus Awakening: Finding Your Place in the Heart of God. It is the third book in Joanna Weaver's "Bethany" trilogy and shows through the life of Lazarus how we can have newness to our lives.

Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, friend to Jesus, had died. Jesus physically showed His sadness with tears, but then raised Lazarus from the dead. How can this apply to our lives? In this new devotional, Joanna Weaver lovingly looks at Scripture and shows how God loves us as He did Lazarus. We all have a place in God's heart, but many times blockages happen to make us feel that we are alone. Through devotionals like, "When Love Tarries," "Tomb Dwelling, and "Unwinding Graveclothes," she shows powerful examples of how God's love is shown and is there for the taking. 

I really like Joanna Weaver's devotionals. They are practical and life-changing, and this one is no different. I especially enjoyed the bonus material in each chapter; one of my favorites being, "Hurts, Hang-Ups, and Habits." I also like the Study Guide and Appendixes at the end of the book. If you enjoy devotionals that encourage you in your walk with Christ, this one is for you. I received my review copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

"Sherlock Holmes Devotional" by Trisha Priebe

Sherlock Holmes, a beloved fictional detective who could always uncover the solution to a crime. Using practical and observational knowledge, he put the pieces together to find the answers. Could this same logic be used to study the Bible? Come along and find out!

In this wonderful devotional, Trisha Priebe brings Holmes to life in a Biblical setting. Readers are not only treated to some of Sherlock Holmes' best moments, but they are tied in to practical Bible study. Devotional titles include: "The Art of Listening," "A Study in Silence," "The Not-So-Humble Holmes," and "Person of Interest." These studies will not only help readers delve deeper into the Scriptures, but will also bring out some of the Sherlock Holmes found in all of us.

I really enjoyed this book and will continue to pick it up. Having always enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes stories, this was a no-brainer to pick up. But, I did wonder how it would all work. It is really neat to apply the skills we can find in Holmes to my study of the Bible. If you enjoy a devotional that challenges you and helps you to dig, this one is for you. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"The Behemoth Dinosaur in the Land of Uz" by Maryluz Guerrero Salas

In this story, Job is a youngster who has a pet dinosaur named Dippy. Job likes to teach things, like sharing, but Dippy presents some problems along the way. The story follows Job and Dippy as even Dippy learns that sharing the fruit and vegetables is the best way.

While this is a cute story, it is written in both English and Spanish
, which can make the reading confusing. There are also some grammatical errors that probably resulted from translating from the Spanish version. I liked the drawings because they look like they were done by children, so children would be easily drawn into the story.

I wish I liked the book more because I think it was written with wonderful intentions, and I love studying and reading about dinosaurs. I also think the story may work better in Spanish. I received my review copy from Book Look in exchange for an honest review.

"Believe Kids' Edition" Randy Frazee General Editor

How to Think, Act, and Be like Jesus - what an awesome goal for each of us! In this new book, children are given a step-by-step guide to help them in their daily walk with God. They will develop the reasons for believing what they believe.

Parents work diligently to teach their children about God. Going to church, reading the Bible, and giving them their own Bible are some of the tools that parents use. This new book is written from a kids' perspective and helps them go through the steps of learning the "why's" to their beliefs. Each lesson has a Key Question, a Key Idea, a Key Verse, something to think about, a lesson, and then ends with Discussion Questions. The format allows each child to study on their own, or study with their parents. It is designed to help give them the foundation for things like: having a personal relationship with God, what compassion is, what is worship?, information about spiritual gifts, and how to share their faith. Each lesson also has wonderful drawings to draw the reader into the story. The Scripture passages are written out with the reference, so that you can read from your chosen Bible version as well as the NIV.

I really like this book and will be incorporating parts of it into my Children's Church ministry. It is interesting, written so that kid's will be able to read and understand, and I love that it takes things step-by-step through how to "Think, Act, and Be Like Jesus." If you are a parent looking for a good study guide for your child(ren), a children's ministry leader, or anyone who likes to keep a library for visiting children, this book is for you. I received my review copy from Book Look in exchange for an honest review.