Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What a lot of boots!! :) Nice welcome to our house, huh? :) Ah, mud season. This is only about half of what's lined/piled up at the front door. Well, the positive spin is that I'm thankful that we are blessed with boots for every season!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Transforming Prayer by Daniel Henderson

I was very excited to receive the book Transforming Prayer by Daniel Henderson, as I’ll admit, my prayer life could use some work. Throughout the years my prayer life has looked different at different times, sometimes searching, sometimes constant little prayers throughout the day, sometimes long lists of requests, you get the idea.

The little phrase on the front cover of the book, “How everything changes when you seek God’s face” pretty much sums up most of the book. The first 160 pages of the book are filled with stories of people whose lives have been transformed by this “new” way of prayer, as well as reasons why current common ways of prayer are inadequate. Finally, after 2/3 of the book are through, the author gets to his pattern for prayer (patterned somewhat after the Lord’s Prayer)—40 pages of discussion/ideas for this type of prayer. I did find some good ideas and a great description of how to pray using Scripture, which I’ll definitely incorporate into my life.

So. . .I didn’t love this book as I had hoped. It took a long time to slog through all the “front matter” before getting to the “meat” of the book. I’m afraid some readers may give up amongst all his stories of lives changed and never get to the part which could change their prayer lives. This being said, I didn’t totally dislike the book. I think it could be a good tool for a Bible Study-type setting—it would start good discussions about prayer and digging into the Word of God.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers as a part of their book review program.

Gardening book giveaway!

Is everyone thinking about gardening? Getting spring fever? Planning their lovely gardens for this year? Would you like another book for ideas and inspiration? I'm giving away this book:

Beautiful Gardens Made Easy It's a Miracle Gro book and is published by Meredith Books.

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment telling us about one thing (accessory, plant, decoration, etc) that makes YOUR garden more beautiful!

We'll draw a winner's name on Thursday morning!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Time with God for Fathers

This book, Time with God for Fathers by Jack Countryman is a nice little devotional to supplement a man’s time with God. It is set up as a little reading for each day, so for about 3 months there is a Scripture passage followed by a very short (one paragraph) discussion of a topic as it relates to that passage. Topics range from prayer to trouble to hope to security, blessings, gratitude, kindness, and many more that will resound with most men today.

The book itself is a nice compact size, with a hard cover and a built-in elastic bookmark, which I especially liked. The back section has several pages of helps (to find certain passages in the Bible on topics such as God’s blessings to fathers, examples of fathers, blessings for fathers, and so forth.) There are also several pages at the back with blank lines for note taking.

All in all, I think this book is a nice little gift book. Its discussions are not deep or lengthy, but it’s good for a quick read on timely topics for a man’s life. I’d suggest it as a gift—what a great idea for Father’s Day!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Celebrating Marriage

This is one of my favorite decorations in our house. It's black and white photos from weddings--mine, my sisters', my parents, my in-laws, and both of my grandparents and my husband's grandparents too. It was so easy to do--I found photos from each of the weddings (and actually didn't have photos from one of my grandparents' wedding, but used a "formal" type pic of them for theirs), then took them to Walmart and used the photo machine to make black and white copies of each one. Popped them into same-sized frames, and hung them on the wall!!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Philippians 4:12-13 "I have learned the SECRET to being CONTENT in any and every situation. . .I can do everything THROUGH HIM who gives me strength."

So often those verses are separated, used individually, but they make SO much sense when they're read together as they are in the Bible. Being content is HARD!!! I try so hard to be content in the situations God has put us in. But with this verse, it's not me, it's God who gives me the strength/ability to be content!! Wow! So I can be, through Him.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My new favorite book! The Story of the Bible by Larry Stone

The Story of the Bible by Larry Stone is a wonderfully written and illustrated book, great for educating the whole family about how today’s Bibles came to us. This large book tells the story, in a form understandable to everyone from children to adults, of how the Bible was written, translated, and kept alive. From the original writings to copies made by scribes, to parchment/papyrus/scrolls/codex all is explained carefully and in an easily read manner. To enhance the writings, the book is filled with illustrations of influential people, historical art, and a great timeline in the inner covers from Abraham’s time up to today. Even more impressive, there are “pull-out pages” which are little folders which are bound right in with the book, which hold copies of many of the actual old manuscripts which are discussed in the book—it’s amazing—these reproductions of originals which are in museums or locked up in places of importance.

This book is AMAZING!! I loved it—it gave a great explanation of the historical story of the Scriptures. It would be a wonderful book for anyone interested in the historical transmission of books, whether they are a Believer in Christ or not. As for me, I intend to use this book as a part of our homeschooling—it’s written in a form that will capture the interest of my children as well as myself—and all the pictures/pull-outs bring it to life. I’d gladly recommend this book to anyone!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Life Promises for Success by Jim Tressel

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for this review, however I was not required to write a positive review.

Having lived in Ohio for a few years, I knew about OSU Football coach Jim Tressel and his Christian witness. I knew this book by him would be a big hit with my husband; honestly I think it would be a great book for any man, football fan or not.

The book is a nice compact size with a sturdy cover and heavy pages. The book is set up with each set of two pages having the same pattern: one page lists Scripture verses (and writes them out) and the facing page has a little devotional relating to those verses. They are a compilation of other people's writings (ranging from Mother Teresa to Winston Churchill to Ann Landers, etc.) and Tressel's own as well. They are on topics that relate to all of us, such as selflessness, hope, gratitude, work, humility, teamwork, and many others.

I enjoyed this book as will my husband. I think it would be a wonderful book to use as a daily reading, not necessarily as a devotional, but as a re-direct during the day to send you easily to Scripture. The writings are clear, concise, and uplifting. I also think it would be a great gift, easy and quick to read in little segments.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

God Gave Us So Much by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Three children’s books are combined into one volume in this lovely book by Lisa Tawn Bergren. The books are God Gave Us the World, God Gave Us Love, and God Gave Us Heaven. They are held together in a nice sturdy hard cover, with an attached blue ribbon bookmark. The pages are illustrated with enchanting scenes of the main characters, a little polar bear and its family.

The three stories cover different topics such as love (God’s love for us and our love for others), creation and our responsibility to care for the earth, and heaven (touching on death as well). The pictures on each page are absolutely lovely, sweet, and colorful. The topics are covered very gently.

As far as recommending this book, I would use this book as a discussion leader. The pictures are appealing for younger children, and the book brings up some topics that may not come up in other settings. I did feel that the “gentle” tone of addressing the questions left some things lacking, however by using it as a discussion-starter a parent can fill in these gaps. I did find it a little weird that the polar bears were looking at other bears in a zoo, and also that they were catching fish with a fishing rod, but it's imaginative! We really liked the attached bookmark, always helpful.

Honestly, I would buy the book for the illustrations alone, they are that enjoyable.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.