Showing posts from 2017

Mercy Triumphs

I can't even describe how excited I was when Jana Kelley announced the third book in her Side by Side Trilogy, Mercy Triumphs, was coming out! Side by Side and Door to Freedom are two of my all-time favorite books, and Mercy Triumphs didn't disappoint. The story continues for Mia, Halimah, Rania, and their families and friends. The back cover says:

"Three women. Three impossible circumstances. One merciful God. Mia, an American Christian, has lived in Sudan so long that persecution, harassment, and danger have become commonplace for her. Her tough outer shell threatens to harden her heart while her newly Christian friends, Halimah and Rania, former Muslims, are forced to live in exile outside Sudan. All three quickly discover that escaping danger in one place only means facing even greater challenges elsewhere. As God's mercy becomes evident in their lives, they must choose whether or not to offer mercy to those who don't deserve it. Third in a trilogy, Mercy Tri…

The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide

While I'm not a pastor or director of children's ministries, I do work in the children's ministries of my church. I've been serving in the infant nursery as well as the preschool Sunday School classes for nearly 13 years. Our church does have policies and procedures in place to help prevent abuse, but I'm always interested in continuing my education in these areas in order to best serve the infants and children in our church. The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries by Basyle Tchividjian (one of Billy Graham's grandsons, former child-abuse prosecutor, and teacher of "Child Abuse and the Law" and several other courses at Liberty University School of Law) and Shira M. Berkovits (founder and CEO of Sacred Spaces, psychologist, and attorney).The book description says:

"Churches have always sought to be a safe haven for children and families, but many today are dealing with the tragic reality of child sexual abuse.
This handboo…

Every Piece of Me

Jerusha Clark's new book, Every Piece of Me: Shattering Toxic Beliefs and Discovering the Real You focuses on the seven "I Am" statements that Jesus made which are recorded in the Bible. The book description says:

"Throughout Scripture, God reveals himself as the great I Am. He does not define himself with reference to any thing, person, or trait. He is, and that is enough. Women find themselves in a far different situation. When we introduce ourselves, we typically describe ourselves in terms of our relationships (the wife, mother, daughter, sister, or friend of someone else) or in terms of our accomplishments (our title, position, education, or accolades). When our identity is wrapped up in these external things, we inevitably (and exhaustingly!) strive to prove ourselves worthy of love, attention, or affirmation.

God never meant for us to focus on whether we are "enough," whether we measure up. He made us--every piece of us--to be just as he is.


The God Guarantee

I was initially interested in reading The God Guarantee: Finding Freedom from the Fear of Not Having Enough by Jack Alexander because our family is currently going through an extremely tough season of financial trouble and hardships. I thought this book might be a good read for me right now to calm my financial anxieties and fears. The back cover says:

""Not enough" is the theme of our day. Fear, scarcity, and inequality dominate the media cycle and are constant companions in our culture. While 74 percent of Americans believe in God, we can feel our world changing in ways that simply seem out of control. We want to cling to a sovereign and loving God who tells us repeatedly in Scripture to "fear not," yet it is estimated that nearly 90 percent of his followers have a scarcity mentality rooted in fear.

Five times in Scripture, Jesus showed us a pattern to deal with fear and how to access his abundant provision, both spiritually and practically. In The God Guar…

Hope For The Prodigal

Hope For The Prodigal: Bringing the Lost, Wandering, and Rebellious Home by Jim and Bill Putman is such a unique book in that Bill has been a prodigal and been the father to prodigals, and so has Jim. They know both sides of the coin and are able to offer such a fresh, unique, and interesting perspective of the parable of the prodigal son. The back cover says:

"Our God specializes in lost souls

The statistics are sobering: between 80 and 90 percent of kids who have grown up in the church are leaving the church after age eighteen. Children slipping away into a culture that tells them the Bible isn't true, sin is no big deal, God isn't real, or there are many ways to get into heaven.

With wisdom that comes from personal experience, Jim Putman and his father, Bill Putman, offer brokenhearted parents and loved ones hope for their prodigals. A prodigal in his younger days, Jim has also found himself in the role of the prodigal's father when his own son rejected the faith…

Chasing Secrets

Chasing Secrets is the fourth book in Lynette Eason's unique Elite Guardians series (the first three being Always Watching, Without Warning, and Moving Target). This series follows women who work as bodyguards for the Elite Guardians. This is quite an unusual plot device for a Christian series, and these books are rather unique (in a good way!). The book description says:

"Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her--and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories--and the depths …

God's Crime Scene For Kids

I love J. Warner Wallace's books, and I'm thrilled he's taken his homicide detective skills to Christianity and apologetics. As a Dateline fan, I already "knew" him from the show, and thought it was super cool he also happens to be a Christian. In God's Crime Scene For Kids, he follows on the heels Cold-Case Christianity For Kids and teaches kids how to read the "clues" God has left in the universe to defend and explain God's existence.

"In this companion to Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother’s attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective’s Academy. Along the way, they develop the skills needed to investigate the mystery and the evidence of God’s existence. The cadets learn logical-thinking skills as they examine the contents of a mysterious box and the vast universe.

In God’s Crime Scene for Kids, real-life detective J. Warner Wa…

The Way Of Hope

Whether we (as a church collective) like it or not, the issue of sexual orientation and gender is the issue of the day. More and more people are "coming out", and Christians need to have the right response. The right response must balance the truth of God's Word with the love of Christ, and this can be a very difficult balance to strike. I was super intrigued to read The Way of Hope: A Fresh Perspective on Sexual Identity, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Church by Melissa Fisher, because she is a woman who used to be in a same-sex marriage and now is a Christian, on staff of a church, and identifies as straight. The back cover says:

""Am I welcome here?"

It's the most challenging question churches face today. With a history of condemning people for their sexual temptations, desires, or orientations, many churches and Christians in an attempt to right that wrong have simply adopted the world's more indulgent view.

What if the church could show up in a d…

Real Love In An Angry World

Real Love In An Angry World: How To Stick To Your Convictions Without Alienating People by Rick Bezet interested me because we often hear these days about how Christians are hateful, discriminatory, deplorable, you fill in the blank. I was interested to hear what Bezet has to say about how we can stick to our beliefs without seeming to the outside world to be mean, angry, or hateful. The book description says:

"The world doesn't dislike Christians because we are godly, honest, and stand for justice. It dislikes us because we can be downright mean! Somewhere in our engagement of culture we have drifted to one of two extremes--compromising on truth or condemning all those who disagree. But Jesus, despite enemies on all sides, somehow managed to speak the truth in love--and calls us to do the same.

Whichever ditch you tend to fall into, Rick Bezet wants to help. In Real Love in an Angry World, he calls on believers not to abandon the truth just because they don't want to hu…

Fearless Parenting

The cover and description of Fearless Parenting George Barna and Jimmy Myers really grabbed me from the get-go. I have a teenage son, a preteen daughter, and an elementary age daughter and son. I often fear many things about the culture, environment, and what they are exposed to every day. Fearless Parenting seemed like the perfect resource for me. The book description says:

"Conscientious parents who long to bring their children up as good Christians and good citizens face an uphill battle. In a culture of rampant narcissism and moral anarchy, righteous living isn't easy and it isn't popular. But positive cultural transformation happens quietly, one life at a time, and that is good news for parents.

In this hopeful book, world-renowned researcher George Barna and nationally respected counselor Jimmy Myers offer parents a plan of action to raise healthy, godly children in a morally bankrupt culture. If the parents of this generation want to see their children grow up wit…

The Perfect You

The Perfect You: A Blueprint for Identity by Dr. Caroline Leaf is an extremely unique book. It promises to help you unlock the unique design God has given you and help you to live up to your full potential. The book description says:

"There are a lot of personality and intelligence tests out there designed to label you and put you in a particular box. But Dr. Caroline Leaf says there's much more to you than a personality profile can capture. In fact, you cannot be categorized!

In this fascinating book, she takes readers through seven steps to rediscover and unlock their unique design--the brilliantly original way each person thinks, feels, relates, and makes choices--freeing them from comparison, envy, and jealousy, which destroy brain tissue. Readers learn to be aware of what's going on in their own minds and bodies, to lean in to their own experience rather than trying to forcefully change it, and to redefine what success means to them. Released from the suffocating bo…


Secrets: A True Story of Addiction, Infidelity, and Second Chances by Jonathan Daugherty covers topics that are uncomfortable, but needful for Christians to learn about and discuss. Many Christian men (and women!) struggle with issues such as pornography or addiction, but often don't seek help due to embarrassment or fear. The book description says:

"Everyone has a secret or two areas of their life they would rather not share with the general public. But Jonathan Daugherty had a life-altering, relationship-ending secret that he wanted to keep hidden at all costs. And it did cost him. His secret snatched away contentment, peace, and the possibility of being known and loved for who he really is. That s what any addiction can do but in particular a sex addiction. When his wife finally realized who Jonathan really was and what he was really doing, their marriage seemed to be over. Jonathan shares honestly and courageously his story of pornography addiction to it and how he lost …

Grounded Hearts

Grounded Hearts is a historical romance fiction. I was initially attracted to it because the cover was beautiful and the premise seemed sweet and interesting - it's set in World War II Ireland, which really intrigued me. The book description says:

"In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husban…

One Nation Without Law

One Nation Without Law is Phil Hotsenpiller's eagle-eyed and insightful look at America's increasing lawlessness and chaos. It immediately called to mind 2 Timothy 3:1-3 -
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,". The back cover says:

"A rising tide of lawlessness is sweeping the world.

The daily reports of evil and injustice are growing in number and intensity, causing most of us to freeze in fear or sink into hopelessness. But did you know all this was foretold? And that you can still live a life of hope?

In these pages, pastor and end-times expert Phil Hotsenpiller will help you begin to connect the dots between biblical prophecy about lawlessness and current events. As you begin to see God'…

Before You Hit Send

Before You Hit Send: Preventing Headache & Heartache by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is such a needed book for our time, where social media is ubiquitous and thoughts can be sent over the entire world with a single click. The book description says:

"When will we learn?

With every sunrise we are given plenty of new examples of people “Hitting Send” and soon regretting it. Social media means what it says: it is social! Our methods of communication today allow for something to potentially be broadcast to everyone from Pekin, Illinois to Peking, China. But it’s not only Twitter fanatics who can find themselves in trouble. Every single one of us is capable of falling prey to this growing plague.

Every day we have the potential of both verbal and written blunders. It makes no difference if we are talking to a stranger over a meat counter, chatting on a cell phone with our mother, or sending an e-mail to a coworker; we can and do miscommunicate and people can and do get the wrong idea. Wh…

Your Guide To The Apocalypse

I was interested in reading Your Guide To The Apocalypse: What You Should Know Before The World Comes To An End by Matt Hagee because I'm always interested in reading books about the end times and the book of Revelation. The back cover says:

"Ancient Prophecies Unveil the Mystery of Earth’s Last Days

Deception has infiltrated every area of our society, from the daily headlines to the family dinner table. We were warned that this day would come—marking the generation that would witness the end of world as we know it
In this compelling, user-friendly guide, Pastor Matt Hagee highlights how governments, technology, and world events are ushering in the terminal generation. Using Scripture as the ultimate authority, Hagee answers riveting questions such as:

· Is the changing world economy preparing the way for the Antichrist?
· Why do the price of oil, identity theft, and the world’s obsession with the environment point to the end times?
· How is the mistreatment of Israel con…

Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook!

HOW ABOUT SUPER HEROES?Now is your chance to have DC and Marvel illustrator Sergio Cariello make your child's dream come true!


David C Cook is proud to introduce the newest book in the Action Bible collection: The Action Storybook Bible (coming October 2017). Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or to reserve your copy today. Plus click the graphic below to enter to have a chance to win an illustration of your child as a super hero by Action Bible artist Sergio Cariello (who has also illustrated comics for DC and Marvel!).

The giveaway is open until September 11, 2017, 5:00pm MST. Your entry must be received by then to be eligible. Five winners will be chosen at random from eligible entrants.

{THE ACTION STORYBOOK BIBLE}Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action!
The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God's redemptive story togethe…

Lots of mess with a little moxie

If you're a Christian woman and you haven't heard of Jen Hatmaker, you might be living under a rock. Her previous books (7, Interrupted, For The Love, etc) have been bestsellers, accompanied by rave reviews and scores of Christian women following Jen on social media and attending conferences where she speaks. My first exposure to Jen Hatmaker was when her book Interrupted came out several years ago. I read it when it came out and mostly loved it. I loved her honesty, her heart for the poor, her heart for being the hands and feet of Jesus in real and practical ways to the church and to the community at large. However, since then she seems to have slipped further and further away from the traditional Gospel of Jesus and closer and closer to what some might term "emergent" theology, capped off with her public announcement that she believes same sex marriages are holy and that God blesses them. I decided to give her newest book, Of Mess And Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out …

A Letter From Lancaster County

I'll be honest: I'm not necessarily a huge fan of Amish fiction. Oftentimes it tends to be idealized, unrealistic, or contrived. However, I decided to check out Kate Lloyd's new book, A Letter From Lancaster County (the first in her new Lancaster Discoveries series) because it seemed so unique. The main characters are not Amish (although one is Mennonite), but many of the supporting cast are Amish and it is set in the heart of Amish country, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The back cover says:

"Two Sisters Get a Second Chance at Life and Love

Her mother's untimely death, a struggling marriage, a strained relationship with her sister, Rose, and regrets over what might have been haunt her. Despite being a wife and mother, she feels she has little to show for her life.

Still single, she longs for a husband and children. But Angela has all that and still isn't happy. Rose wants to be closer to her older sister, but she and Angela couldn't be more di…

Get Out Of That Pit

I was super excited to get the chance to read and review the 10th anniversary reprint edition of Beth Moore's Get of That Pit: Straight Talk About God's Deliverance. I hope you're sitting down, because what I'm about to say might shock you: I've never read a Beth Moore book before. I know, crazy, right? I've read about a million books, but I've never picked up one of hers before, although I've certainly heard of her and know that she has a large Bible study ministry and following. Get Out of That Pit seemed like a good place to start, since it's one of her most popular books, having sold 750,000 copies. The back cover says:

"From her first breath of fresh air beyond the pit, it has never been enough for Beth Moore to be free.

This best-selling author and Bible teacher who has opened the riches of Scripture to millions longs for you to be free as well—to know the Love and Presence that are better than life and the power of God’s Word that defie…

Here And Gone

I couldn't wait to read Here And Gone by Haylen Beck. Haylen Beck is the pen name for established author Stuart Neville. I haven't read his books under his real name, but am definitely going to check them out now! Here And Gone is being touted as the best thriller of the summer and "one of the best debuts of the year" (Harlan Coben). The description says:

"Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother's desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.

It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she's pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they're gone than she must have done something with them...

Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hear…

His Guilt

His Guilt is the second book in Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish of Hart County series, the first being Her Secret (which is also read and reviewed - loved it!). I was so excited to read the next book because I loved the first one so much (it looks like there will be at least two more in this series, can't wait!). This book shifts focus to Mark Fisher and Waneta Cain. The back cover says:

"New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray delivers the next novel in her Amish of Hart County series—a suspenseful tale of an Amish man who will risk all to protect the woman he loves.

Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay...

Neeta is one of the few people in …

A Fierce Love

A Fierce Love: One Woman's Courageous Journey to Save Her Marriage by Shauna Shanks is an incredible picture of God's love, redemption, and plan for marriage. The book description says:

"Love is easy to give when you are getting it back. Are we still called to God’s plan of how to love when we are getting none in return? Shauna Shanks’s brave journey through obedience reveals the outcome of when we dare to follow God’s ludicrous outline for love as described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Wrecked with news of her husband’s affair and his request for a divorce, Shauna finds herself urgently faced with a decision. Does she give up and divorce her husband and move on, or does she try to fight for her marriage? The former choice seems to contradict God’s plan for how to love, such as “love never gives up,” “love is patient,” and “love is kind.”

Taking God at His word and assuming the love chapter was really meant to be followed literally word by word, she not only finds herself fallin…

Hiding From The Kids In My Prayer Closet

I was instantly attracted to Jessica Kastner's first book, Hiding From The Kids In My Prayer Closet: Finding Grace and Laughter When Motherhood Gets Real because of the hilarious title and cover. I love the mental image of hiding in the closet (or the bathroom - hey, the door locks and it keeps them out longer!) from the kids. I may or may not have done this once (or fifty) times before. I have four kids all approximately two years apart, and while I'm finally out of the infant/toddler/preschool trenches, I can assure you that it never really gets any easier, the problems just change. Hiding From The Kids is divided into seven sections: This Is What Happens When You Stay Home, This Is What Happens If You Attempt Escape, This Is What Happens When They Outgrow Their Pull-Ups, This Is What Happens When You've Given Up Perfection, This Is What They'll Expose You To, This Is Why We Have 'Em, and Enough Of This Foolishness ... Bring On The Takeaways!. The back cover say…

Almost There

Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move by Bekah DiFelice is a book about longing - longing to fit in, belong, feel at home. I moved away from my hometown when I got married at 18, and have now lived in my "new" town for 15 years, but I still don't necessarily feel completely "at home" here. So I thought I'd pick up Bekah's new book and see if it spoke to me. The book description says:

"Recipient of Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review!
On the move . . . again? Wondering when you will “arrive”?

Sometimes God leads people out of familiar territory so he can tell them who they are. That moment you depart, you experience reinvention, renewal, and freedom. You get a redo on the adjectives associated with your name.

Almost There is for those on the move and those who feel restless right where they are. It’s for those who struggle with not belonging, with feeling unsettled, with believing that home is out of their reach, at least for the mo…

Just Look Up

I'd previously read and enjoyed Courtney Walsh's novel Paper Hearts, so I was excited to read her newest book, Just Look Up. The book description didn't immediately pull me in, but the cover was so pretty that I decided to pick it up - and I'm so glad I did! The back cover says:

"After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home―a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work―something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he s…

Pray About Everything

Pray About Everything: Cultivating God-Dependency by Paul Tautges promises to be a manual or handbook for the Christian on prayer. My go-to prayer handbook has always been John R. Rice's Prayer: Asking and Receiving, but I love reading new books about prayer. The description says:

"Believers need to learn how to pray about everything, but so many unanswered questions hinder our progress.

What does it mean to pray in Jesus' name?

How do I pray for my non-Christian friends?

When does the Holy Spirit pray for me?

In this book, a seasoned pastor and counselor answers these questions--and many more--by effectively instructing us with biblical principles, examples, and commands. By doing so, he encourages us to develop a life of prayer. Pastors, elders, and small group leaders will also find this book an indispensable help to cultivating an atmosphere of God-dependency in their local church.

Pray About Everything delivers an urgent call for believers to commit themselves to re…

He Calls You Beautiful

I've always been interested in the elusive Song of Solomon/Song of Songs. We don't necessarily hear tons of preaching and teaching on it, except sometimes in marriage classes or couples retreats. I was excited to do an entire Bible study on Song of Solomon with Dee Brestin's new book, He Calls You Beautiful: Hearing the Voice of Jesus in the Song of Songs. The back cover says:

"I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.…
—from the Song of Songs

Did you know that God loves you with a passion—and He wrote a love song to help you experience that love in a personal way?

Tucked away in the pages of Scripture is one of the most fascinating and most misunderstood books of the Bible: the Song of Songs. Although the Song of Songs details a passionate, earthly love story, it is intended to illuminate the best love story, the intense love God has for us, His beloved.

In He Calls You Beautiful, Bible teacher Dee Brestin explores this love song from God to reveal transformative tr…