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Showing posts from June, 2016

The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury

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I recently read my first book in the Berenstain Bears' Living Lights series (Schooltime Blessings) and was excited to receive The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury. It's five Berenstain Bears Living Lights books bound in one nice hardcover volume. My younger children (6, 8, and 10) absolutely love the Berenstain Bears and have enjoyed adding the Living Lights books to their Berenstain Bears collection. The book description reads:

"Time after time the Living Lights, Berenstain Bears series has attracted young readers through creative and engaging stories that not only entertain but teach values and life lessons. Now, five of the series’ most loved books are available in a comprehensive bind-up. This Living Lights collection Back to School is sure to be a popular choice for Berenstain Bears readers who have enjoyed the series in the past.

This collection includes:

- Jobs Around Town

- Get Involved

- Love Their Neighbors

- The Big…

The Bride(zilla) of Christ

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I think everyone's been in a situation where they've either been hurt by another Christian, a particular church, or the church at large. That's why Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin's new book, Bride(zilla) of Christ, is so relevant for today. I was interested in reading it not only to heal from my own past experiences being hurt by other Christians, but also to help others who are troubled by this. No Christian is perfect, so this is something that can apply to just about everyone, and is an important topic to discuss. The book description says:

"Sometimes, Church Hurts

The Church, the Bride of Christ. That description conjures up images of radiant white bride, eyes sparkling with peace and harmony, right? Maybe that’s why it’s such a gut-punch when that Bride behaves more like a grade school bully or a hot tempered drill sergeant.

What do you do with that reality, a reality that sometime hurts? Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin aren’t interested in 140 characters of tweeta…

School Time Blessings

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School Time Blessings is the latest book in the Berenstain Bears Living Lights series. As a child in the late 80s and early 90s, I grew up loving the Berenstain Bears books. I've gotten many of them for my children, and they love all of them. They're their favorite book series, from my 6 year old all the way on up to my 10 year old. They frequently request a Berenstain Bears book as their bedtime story. Sadly, Stan and Jan Berenstain have both passed away now, but their son Mike Berenstain has carried the torch and is continuing on the Berenstain Bears books. Published by Zondervan, the Living Lights series combines the bears we know and love with the Christian faith, bringing biblical truths and encouragement to children through these beloved bears. I hadn't had a chance to read any of the Living Lights series yet (we only have the classics in our library at the moment), so when I had the opportunity to read School Time Blessings, I was super excited. The book descriptio…

Sea Rose Lane

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Sea Rose Lane is Irene Hannon's 50th published novel, and the second book in her new Hope Harbor series. I haven't yet read the first book, Hope Harbor, but these seem to function as stand-alone titles taking place in the same town with cameos by characters in previous books, but each one focusing on a new set of people. The third title in the Hope Harbor series is Sandpiper Cove, due out in Spring 2017. I only know Irene Hannon for her suspense novels - Christian suspense is my favorite genre, so I was only familiar with the novels she's written in that genre. When I had the opportunity to read a contemporary romance by her, I figured it would probably be a good read since I enjoy her other books. The back cover says:

"Three-Time RITA Winner Invites Readers Back to the Captivating Coastal Town of Hope Harbor

After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to the town where he grew up--only to discover that his childhood home is being transformed into a be…

All Summer Long

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All Summer Long: A San Francisco Romance is the second book in Melody Carlson's Follow Your Heart series, the first book in the series being Once Upon A Summertime: A New York City Romance. Each book in the series is a stand-alone title that just follows the theme of romance in a big city and the main character following her heart. In All Summer Long, we get a typical improbably romance setup: Tia find out she's going to be working with her old teenage crush, who she spent a week with at summer camp nine years ago and immediately falls for him again. But wait ... he's engaged! The book description says:

"Tia Gets a Second Chance at Love When an Old Crush Suddenly Reappears

Tia D'Amico is thrilled to move to San Francisco to help her aunt transform an old luxury yacht into an upscale floating restaurant. What's not to love? Sunset dinner cruises, upscale wedding receptions--the possibilities are endless and far more appetizing than staying in a monotonous job …

Anchor In The Storm

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Anchor In The Storm is the second book in Sarah Sundin's Waves of Freedom series, set in the World War II era. I haven't read the first book, Through Waters Deep, yet, but it told the story of our protagonist's brother Jim and friend Mary. In book two, the focus shifts to Jim's sister Lillian and his best friend Arch. I love books set in the WWII time period, so I was eager to read Anchor In The Storm. The book description says:

"One Plucky Female Pharmacist + One High-Society Naval Officer = Romance--and Danger

For plucky Lillian Avery, America's entry into World War Ii means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg's attentions only annoy--even if he is her brother's best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch's destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battl…

Delilah

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I've truly been enjoying the Dangerous Beauty series by Angela Hunt (previous titles included Esther: Royal Beauty and Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty). The third and final book in Hunt's Dangerous Beauty series is Delilah: Treacherous Beauty. These books are all historical recreations, and Angela does her best to stay true to the biblical account while fleshing out the story enough to write a novel based on it. I really love biblical historical fiction, and this series did not disappoint. I have appreciated her ability to not be so harsh on the women of these stories, as some people are, but to show them as human, not evil. Delilah: Treacherous Beauty has, like the previous two books, an absolutely stunning cover. The story is told alternating from two viewpoints: Delilah's and Samson's. The back cover reads:

"Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she re…

Becoming A Woman Of Excellence

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Tyndale has just released a revised and updated 30th Anniversary Edition of Cynthia Heald's classic, Becoming a Woman of Excellence. I don't know why, but I was expecting this to be a big, weighty tome of a book. However, it's just a small, slim paperback, and very accessible. It's got a beautifully redesigned cover that's very peaceful and soothing. Becoming a Woman of Excellence is a Bible study stemming from Ruth 3:11 - "All my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.". This 11-part series is perfect for personal or group study. It's divided into four sections (The Goal, The Cost, The Prize, The Praise) and the topics included are Excellence: A Goal Worth Pursuing, Excellence: God's Character, Excellence: Becoming Like Christ, Excellence: Rooted In Surrender, Excellence: Exemplified By Obedience, Excellence: Molded By Discipline, Excellence: Guarded By Discretion, Excellence: Made Precious By A Gentle And Quiet Spirit, Excel…

The Wired Soul

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I couldn't wait to read Tricia McCary Rhodes' new book, The Wired Soul: Finding Spiritual In A Hyperconnected Age. Lately, I've been noticing how technology has seemingly crept into absolutely every area of life - from smart appliances to smart phones, from smart watches to smart glasses. Even children's toys now are all technological - children's laptops, tablets, books readers, and more. Personally, I've been making a concerted effort to try to dial down the amount of technology in my own life, by limiting my time online, basically quitting social media, etc. My smart phone broke recently and I'm currently using an old non-smart phone - and I'm actually loving it and not all too eager to replace it with a new smart phone. I've also noticed how technology and social media have crept into the church - every Sunday I see people (not just teenagers - adults, too!) playing games on their smart phones or iPads during service, texting, taking selfies, a…

I Believe In Jesus

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I Believe In Jesus by John MacArthur is a beautiful resource for the Christian parent to aid in leading young children to Christ. My youngest son is 6 years old, and we are in church constantly. He's been asking questions about salvation and baptism for a couple of years now, but I've hesitated to have him pray to accept Jesus yet because he's so young and I don't want to lead him to just pray a prayer and not have him remember it and doubt his salvation later in life. I wanted to make sure he was truly ready and fully understood the Bible plan of salvation before I prayed with him. So when I saw this new book, I felt like it was the perfect timing and opportunity to get it for him. The book description reads:

"Practice for Discover how to lead your child to Christ.

It's the most important conversation you'll ever have with your child, but that doesn't make it easy. The gospel is simple enough for little ones, but has kept theologians debating for yea…

Together At The Table

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Together at the Table: A Novel of Lost Love and Second Helpings is the third and final book in the Two Blue Doors trilogy by Hillary Manton Lodge. I feel like I've been waiting forever for this book! I read the first two books (A Table By The Window and Table For Two) as soon as they came out and was immediately captivated by Juliette and the entire D'Alisa family. I loved the rich quality of all of these novels: each chapter starts with an amazing quote about food, and there are great recipes for the foods featured in the story sprinkled throughout the entire book. The cover of Together at the Table, like the other books in this series, has an absolutely beautiful, captivating cover as well. Together at the Table brings us (sadly) to the conclusion of the D'Alisa family saga. The back cover reads:

"Three months ago, Juliette D’Alisa’s world changed.

In a bittersweet series of events, her mother’s health took a turn for the worse. Juliette and her brother opened thei…