Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Moment to Breathe Devotional by (in)courage community

My Review 

I almost couldn’t believe it when I woke up that day and FedEx later dropped off a package at my door (FedEx feels like a treat when it’s regularly USPS or UPS) and it was this little treasure of a book! 
I was so glad to sign up to be a part of the launch team but I wasn’t sure if I had made it on the list! It was a sweet surprise I almost cried! But then, I read the first devotion and I did cry! 

This book of devotionals is moving and eye opening. Each day starts with Bible verse that leads into a short story from women, just like me and you, in their everyday walk with God. And then ends with a little challenge to the reader. 

Amazing and so encouraging! One of the days that spoke most to me was Day 2, Praying for Rain. It resonated with me throughout my entire week and still today. How we pray for the things we need or desire and when we get them we stop praying for them, when we should keep praying for them even after God has given us what we prayed for. 
So many more have touched my heart and stopped me, giving me a moment to breathe and reminding me to take those moments everyday with God and cherish them. 

I super highly recommend this book to anyone! Buy it as a gift for a friend, mother or daughter, even a stranger! Or, for yourself. You won’t regret this purchase, no matter whom you give it to.

I give this book a whopping 5 out of 5! 

I received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part of (in)courage launch team

Monday, August 28, 2017

Included in Christ (Bible Study) by Heather Holleman

Book Description

A new kind of Bible study…
After the success of her first two booksHeather Holleman received many requests to write a Bible study. And as a college English instructor, she wanted to make sure it really taught and didn’t simply inform. So she surveyed several women about what their dream study would look like, then got to work.
The result is Included with Christ, a narrative-driven study where you can bring your life before Scripture in the context of community. Together women will discern their personal shadow narratives—ways they are living outside of their identity in Christ—and then rewrite those narratives according to biblical truth.
This in-depth, 8-week study in Ephesians willequip women with six “signature stories” of God’s work in their lives—helping them combat exclusion, loneliness, weakness, decay, emptiness, and silence.
Designed to facilitate honest sharing and help you internalize biblical truth, Included in Christ will provide community and connectedness as well as spiritual nourishment. It will also guide you in how to share your story and the hope of Christ with someone who doesn’t yet know Him.

My Review

I was glad to see that Heather had written a Bible study! I really enjoyed her previous books "Seated with Christ" and "Guarded by Christ." I learned and was encouraged by them both. This Bible study is no different.
This 8-week Bible goes through the book of Ephesians. Again, using her love of verbs to draw out and be encouraged in the facts of how we are included, wanted, and desired by Christ. I liked how she went through how we should live through the right narrative, it was insightful!

I personally liked the book, but it was more of a review of Ephesians and journaling book for people (like myself who have) struggle with their identity in Christ. Encouraging, but not an in-depth study of Ephesians like you would maybe expect. More of a therapy-journaling book than a study on God's word. These books are good too though! It's a good perspective to read from, especially if you are struggling with your identity. I know I have and it's helpful in area's. 

I give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars!

I received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part of Moody Publishers Bloggers Review program.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Guarded by Christ by Heather Holleman

Book Description

Heather Holleman used to live a fragile life, a prisoner to fear, anxiety, and despair. Like many younger women, she knew Jesus, but she wasn’t strong in Him. Her search for comfort seemed unending.
Then one day, while reading a simple statement in Scripture, “God guards the lives of his faithful ones” (Psalm 97:10), that all began to change.
In Guarded by Christ: Knowing the God Who Rescues and Keeps Us, Heather guides women through a series of practical mental shifts that immensely helped her live strong in the Lord. Learn how in Jesus, you are guarded:
  • By righteousness instead of condemnation
  • By peace instead of anxiety
  • By hope instead of despair
  • By the Holy Spirit’s power instead of self-effort
  • By a crucified life instead of a self-important one
We all need maturity in Christ that prepares us not just to endure anything, but to live from the strength and peace of Jesus in every season. Guarded by Christ will help women cultivate this maturity, reconnecting them with the Savior who rescues, keeps, and holds us with His love.

My Review

Like her first book, Seated with Christ, Heather Holeman brings new light and perspective on just how secure we are in Christ. In this book she focuses on how Christ protects our souls and how we can look to scripture, knowing that we are secure in God Almighty's strong tower, our refuge. No one can destroy our souls because Christ protects it at all time.

"Because of this guarding God, we learn to Dwell in our soul more than in our life's external realities, and we become strong and unshakeable in a world that's falling apart."
Separated into three parts, you travel from knowing you are guarded and rescued to a secret place where peace is found and then living daily in the fortress God has given us within himself. 

One of my favorite chapters was in chapter 6: From Harrassed to Harmonized.
I don't always live in a state of peace. In fact, most of my life recently has been a state of such a state of chaos I was having panic attacks not even 4 months ago. But Heather pointed out something I desperately needed. 

"The ups and downs of your hearts are like the waves of the sea, but the Holy Spirit is a calm place within you." 

God guards me even from myself. When my life or the circumstances I'm currently in are overwhelming me to the point I tell Him "I don't think I can do this anymore, I just can't. It's too much for me to handle." Heather's daughter said something profound and that helped me see it differently. And then Heather quoted a man named Smith that just hit it home for me.

"When [the God of love] He sees His children resting their souls on things that can be shaken, [He] must necessarily remove those things from their lives in order that they may be driven to rest only on the things that cannot be shaken; and this process of removing is sometimes very hard."
This book is really great. I definitely recommend it! And be sure to checkout her first book Seated with Christ

I give it a 4 out of 5! 
I received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part of Moody Publishers Bloggers Review program.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Day at the Beach by Jedd & Todd Hafer

Book Description

Do you yearn for a day at the beach where your mind and soul can wander away from life’s troubles? Do you gaze up at the sun or the nighttime stars and wonder if God is really on your side? Do you long to hear his quiet voice in the roll of a gentle wave? In A Day at the Beach, brothers Todd and Jedd Hafer don’t have the answers to all of life’s troubles, but they’ll help you see that the God who built the universe also wants to help you build a great life. Let these encouraging words bring a ray of warm sunshine to your doorstep as Todd and Jedd offer their joy-filled perspectives on life and faith. So take a deep breath, unplug from life’s daily grind, and follow the call of your heart to Jesus, the ultimate source of life.

My Review

On vacation? Need a nice little book to read while soaking up the sun or sitting under the umbrella? A Day at the Beach is a great little refreshing read! Filled with inspiring devotions to brighten your day, brother's Jedd & Todd Hafer have written stories to help you relax, reflect, and renew for this summer!

I love the exterior as well as interior design of this book! Imitation textured leather, summer orange and embossed with a Pineapple on the outside, and then nice teal colored letters and borders inside! 

All of it inviting, welcoming, and rejuvenating

I give this book a 4 out of 5!

I received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review for Tyndale.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal

Book Description 

Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal invites you to mix creative journaling and coloring into your personal time with God. Prayers that focus on topics such as being thankful, dealing with stress and heartache, caring for yourself and others, listening for God’s leading, and waiting patiently on Him will guide your thoughts and calm your spirit. Filled with more than 100 designs to color, plenty of space for journaling, and 40 needs-based prayers, Tranquility will help you express your devotion to God with your whole heart.

My Review

I was so glad to see Tyndale had created yet another wonderful coloring book! The first one I got from this line was their Gratitude: Prayer & Praise Journal. And like the one before, this one is filled with beautifully illustrated pictures and encouraging, uplifting, inspiring words and pictures to meditate and reflect on! Don't believe me, take a look: 

And that's only but a few pages! Each page is filled with something to color or discover. I love this book! This makes a wonderful gift for yourself or a friend or family member for any time of year!

I give this book a 5 out of 5 !

I received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review for Tyndale.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

Book Description

A sweeping Historical Fiction Set at the Edge of the Continent

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne's brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king's mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

My Review

Mark of the King brings historical fiction to stunning reality for it's readers. Julianne, along with a host of many more characters, weren't so utterly hopeless as I have seen when tragedy strikes in some historical fiction, but they reacted to things like real people.It hurt for sure, but they fought for a better life in the face of their sorrows. It was hard not to be drawn into the lives of these people.

Also be warned you will need a box a tissues throughout this book! I know I went through a few tissues during some chapters. 

I think my favorite theme of this book was how Christ, now matter the struggles life sends your way, has offered you a way to cope. Early settlers were met with plenty of strife, more then I knew or can imagine sometimes. So having this book has brought a lot of insight, not just historically but in my Christian growth as well.

Mark of the King is a beautifully written novel you'll have a hard time ever putting down until it's over. I give this book a 5 out of 5!

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part Bethany House blogging for book program.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

This Road We Travel by Jane Kirkpatrick

Book Description

When Tabitha Brown's son makes the fateful decision to leave Missouri and strike out for Oregon, she refuses to be left behind. Despite her son's concerns, Tabitha hires her own wagon to join the party. Along with her reluctant daughter and her ever-hopeful granddaughter, the intrepid Tabitha has her misgivings. But family ties are stronger than fear.

The trials they face along the way will severely test Tabitha's faith, courage, and ability to hope. With her family's survival on the line, she must make the ultimate sacrifice, plunging deeper into the wilderness to seek aid. What she couldn't know was how this frightening journey would impact how she understood her own life--and the greater part she had to play in history.

My Review

I like Jane Kirkpatrick ever since I read her Emma of Aurora trilogy. I haven't been able to read too much of her books since that one (I read one but it wasn't quite as good to me; Emma of Aurora was just that good to me!) but I'm glad to say this one was good!

This story takes places in the mid-1800's on the Oregon trail with Tabitha (Tabby) and her family. Late in life, around 66 I think it was, she decides to travel with her two children and their family from Missouri to Oregon.
Jane Kirkpatrick writes beautifully and adds a nice little vocabulary to her works.

Much of this was based on true events and a true person. Now, I've sadly never heard of Tabitha before so I can't say what I thought of this story in comparison to her real life but that's fiction for you.
If you like Historical fiction, especially this time period, then pick up this book!

I give this book a 4 out of 5!

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part Revell Tour blogging program.