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.

"Rise of the Fallen" by Chuck Black

Validus is an angel, the least among them. He was always ready to fight for the Lord, but didn't think it would happen. There were so many others! But, over time, Validus had seen so much war between demons and angels, that when he got the chance to lead, he did it well. He became respected as a leader. But then there was another job he was called to do, something he thought was menial. Was Validus right in feeling demoted, or was there a much higher purpose for his life?

Validus was a good leader. He didn't ask any of the angels in his command to do anything he wouldn't do. Together they fought many battles against demons, but, then a change was made. Validus was called to be the guard of one man; and unbeliever at that. Why was he taken from the important task of fighting the demons? Why was he demoted? As Validus worked to protect Drew, he found that there was more to this man than he had thought and he was an extremely important person. Would Validus be able to keep Drew safe from the forces that wanted to destroy him? What was so important about Drew? Would he ever become a believer?

The battle between good and evil always provides a great backdrop for a story, and this one is no different. I really like the character of Validus and felt like I got to know him. The author draws in his readers by providing a good story with fleshed out characters. If you enjoy stories that deal with the battle of good vs. evil, angels vs. demons, this book is for you! I received my review copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 13, 2015

"Tattered and Mended" by Cynthia Ruchti

Repair, mend, fix - terms used to deal with something that is tattered or torn. Lives can be tattered and torn causing them to need to be mended. In her new book, Cynthia Ruchti uses examples of repaired artwork to demonstrate how lives can also be mended. 
It's a worthless and can't be repaired! That's too tattered and scarred to be useful! Words that can be said about things and about lives. What is seemingly useless to one person, is a gem to another. Cynthia Ruchti uses objects to show how a broken life can be repaired and made to shine. God doesn't give up on us. Instead He encourages and remakes those broken lives. Feeling broken, discouraged, battered? Christ wants to help you heal and this book may just be what you need.

I really enjoyed the parallels Cynthia Ruchti makes with "things" and lives. It is easy to overlook something because of a scrape or a tear, and it is easy to overlook a person with a scar. This book will make you look at your life and see how God can mend (has mended), and that the ability to mend should be shared with others. I received my review copy from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for participation in the blog tour.

Book info

About the book:
Tattered and Mended: The Art of Healing the Wounded Soul(Abingdon, July 2015)

A crumbling statue. A torn tapestry. A discolored painting.

Artisans can reclaim exquisite beauty from the broken, frayed, and hopefully shattered---perhaps once thought beyond repair. But what about us? What of the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live?

In Tattered and Mended, readers walk through a gallery of reclaimed and restored art as well as broken and restored lives of those who have gone before us. With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Cynthia Ruchti shows how even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories "hemmed in hope." She's the award-winning author of sixteen books and a frequent speaker for women's ministry events. She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors and books they love. She lives with her husband in Central Wisconsin.

Find Cynthia online: websiteTwitterFacebook
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