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Showing posts from April, 2017

Break Open The Sky

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I was really excited to read Stephan Bauman's new book, Break Open The Sky: Saving Our Faith From A Culture Of Fear. Not only does it have a great title, the cover is so bold and gorgeous. Not only that, I've observed how our culture has become seemingly more and more fear-driven post-9/11. Threats appear to be all around us, and the 24/7 news cycle just pumps out more and more things to be terrified about. The back cover says:

"In a World that Thrives on Fear, Have Faith

Terrorism. Racism. Refugees. Political vitriol. Our culture is driven by fear. Compared to all previous generations, we are more safe, live longer, hurt less, and earn more. Yet, we are more afraid than ever.

Our faith has fallen prey to this culture of fear. Fear slips into our souls, leaving us not only afraid, but on edge and constantly anxious. No longer a safe harbor, a source of strength, and a bastion for love, faith has become a caricature of the real thing. We are left wondering, questioning, …

Sandpiper Cove

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Sandpiper Cove is the third book in Irene Hannon's Hope Harbor series. I've read the second book, Sea Rose Lane, prior to this, but haven't read the first book which is titled Hope Harbor. The first two books introduce us to Hope Harbor, an idyllic Oregon coastal town, and its ragtag cast of characters. The underlying theme to this series is hope and second chances. The back cover of Sandpiper Cove says:

"Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her coastal Oregon hometown. As a result, she has zero time for extracurricular activities--including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn't looking for love either--but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief? Yet wishing for things that can never be is foolish.

Nevertheless, when Lexie enlists Adam's help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And a…

Deep Extraction

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DiAnn Mills is back with book two in the FBI Task Force series, and I'm super excited! I absolutely loved the first book in the series, Deadly Encounter, and couldn't wait to read the second installment. Book two is called Deep Extraction. It doesn't include any of the characters in the previous book, which I was kind of disappointed by, but it was still a great book in its own right. Because of this, it's okay to read it as a standalone novel because no threads from the previous book are present in this one. The back cover says:

"A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional―the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FB…

The Joy Of Letting Go

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My oldest child is going to turn 15 in a few months, so I thought Vicki Caruana's new book, The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World would be a helpful read. It's a 52-day devotional in a small, attractive package. The pretty front cover and small size make it a perfect gift book. The back cover says:

"Embrace Your Child's Journey to Independence

Your "baby" just passed his driving test. Your little girl is moving into a college dorm. Your role as a parent is changing - but your heart toward your kids only grows. The truth is, letting go of your children doesn't just happen at the big milestones. It happens day by day, beginning the moment your child enters your family.

With inspirational reading and quotes, this weekly devotional helps you equip your children for independence at whatever age they are now. You've already loosened your grip more than you realize! Discover new encouragement to continue to let go in li…

Unsinkable Faith

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I was super excited to get the chance to review Tracie Miles' new book, Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies to Transform the Way You Think, Feel, and Live. I'd previously read and reviewed her second book, Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past to Create a Beautiful Future and loved it. I love Tracie's writing style and open, honest writing. She doesn't hold back when sharing her life stories and is very transparent. The back cover of Unsinkable Faith says:

"Hearts Anchored In God Don't Sink

Some days you're floating through life and everything seems fine. Other days you're barely holding on in the midst of a storm, and negative thoughts threaten to sink your attitude, steal your peace, and rob you of joy. But just because life is hard doesn't mean your heart and mind have to become hardened.

Tracie Miles offers three easy, mind-renewing steps to overcome a pessimistic mind-set - and change the way you think, feel, and live. Tracie…

Long Time Gone

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Long Time Gone is the second book in Mary Connealy's The Cimmaron Legacy series. I'd previously read and reviewed the first book in the series, No Way Up, on my blog. I didn't really like the first book too much (I believe I gave it 2 stars), but since it was the first book by Mary Connealy that I'd ever read, and part of a series to boot, I definitely wanted to give the second book in the series a shot as well. The Cimmaron Legacy is a Western action/romantic comedy/historical romance series which is quite unique, especially in the Christian genre and honestly a blend I'd never read before picking up the first book. Long Time Gone continues the drama of the Bodens and the Cimmaron Ranch and picks up right where No Way Up left off. The back cover says:

"Connealy Combines Western Action and Charming Historical Romance

The Boden clan thought their problems had ended with the death of a dangerous enemy, but have they truly uncovered the real plot to take their N…

Chasing Famous

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Chasing Famous: Living the Life You've Always Auditioned For is actress and speaker Lisa Lloyd's first book. I could tell just from reading this book that Lisa is a dynamic, vibrant woman who really has a heart for God and desires to follow His will. The back cover says:

"Have you ever considered your life as an audition? Regardless of who or where we are, we are constantly, often unconsciously, auditioning for a part. Loving wife. Amazing employee. Crafting queen. Socialite. All we really want is to be loved, affirmed, and accepted. What if we could learn to live the life we have always been auditioning for without all the stress?
Chasing Famous is a redemptive book that teaches us how to take the focus off ourselves and shift it back on to the glory of God. Written by a professional actress who readily admits that she is the most self-centered person she knows, Chasing Famous provides practical and sometimes humorous examples of scriptural truth that will help you mast…

Still Waiting

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I couldn't wait (no pun intended, ha ha) to read Still Waiting: Hope For When God Doesn't Give You What You Want by Ann Swindell. I have several things in my life that I'm waiting on God for - some for a decade or more. These things have caused me stress, pain, anxiety, doubt, depression, and even doubting, wondering if God hears my prayers and if He will ever answer them. Still Waiting sounded just like what I needed to hear. The back cover says:

"What if God wants you to wait?
Most of us know what it’s like to wait for God to change our circumstances. But, whether we’re waiting for physical healing, emotional breakthrough, or better relationships, waiting is something we usually try to avoid. Why? Because waiting is painful and hard. The truth is, it’s also inevitable.

In Still Waiting, Ann Swindell explores the depths of why God wants us to wait by chronicling her own compelling story of waiting for healing from an incurable condition. She offers a vibrant retelli…

Known

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I was interested in reading Known: Finding Deep Friendships in a Shallow World by Dick and Ruth Foth because I've been making a concerted effort to make new friendships and enhance the ones I currently have. I've increasingly felt more and more lonely, as friends move away and social media seems to cultivate shallow connections, but not actual deep, real friendships. It's divided into five sections: First Things (Recognize What's True About Life), Storytellers (Story Is the Soil from Which Friendship Grows), Affirmers (Hearing Your Story, I Learn How to Love You), and Covenanters (In a Throwaway Culture, Staying the Course Stands Out). The back cover says:

"In a shallow light-speed world, how can we really know and be known by another person? How do we make true friends?

The Digital Age is all about change, but the need for true friendship never changes. We are designed for real engagement with others---for affirmation that goes beyond a simple “like” on social…

KJV, Thinline Bible, Compact, Cloth Over Board, Purple, Red Letter Edition

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Today, I'm doing a bit of a different review. I recently received a new Bible from Thomas Nelson. Now, I only read the KJV Bible, and any other KJV readers out there know just how hard it is to find a KJV Bible that is cute and has all the features you are looking for. It seems like manufacturers cater to other, newer versions of the Bible when it comes to making cute/pretty covers, study Bibles, or Bibles with fun features. That's why I was so excited when I came across this KJV compact thinline Bible with a gorgeous purple floral cover. This Bible boasts:

"Designed to be a convenient Bible for reading and travel, the KJV Compact Thinline Bible features the timeless beauty of the trustworthy King James translation. The KJV Compact Thinline Bible easily fits in purses, backpacks, or glove compartments. This easy-to-carry Bible comes with features that will enhance your reading experience, including an all-new typesetting in the elegant and readable Thomas Nelson KJV Font…

The Resurrection Fact

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I was interested in reading The Resurrection Fact: Responding to Modern Critics by John J. Bombaro and Adam S. Francisco because I love learning more about the historical aspects of Christianity. This book isn't actually a flowing narrative, but a collection of eight essays, each covering a different aspect of the resurrection. Topics include: Defending the Fundamental Facts of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, Can a Historian Explain the Empty Tomb with the Resurrection of Jesus?, John Dominic Crossan's Antichrist, The Case against The Case against Christianity: When Jerusalem Came to Athens, Justified Belief in the Resurrection, Un-Inevitable Easter Faith: Historical Contingency, Theological Consistency, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Myth and Resurrection, and Tactile and True: The Physicality of the Resurrection. The back cover says:

"As this team did with the book, "Making The Case For Christianity" (CPH), Drs. Bombaro and Francisco bring together a va…

Getting Jesus Wrong

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Getting Jesus Wrong: Giving Up Spiritual Vitamins and Checklist Christianity by Matt Johnson promises to be a manual correcting our theology and turning our ideas about church, religion, and Jesus on their heads. The back cover says:

"If you met Jesus today, and he asked, “What do you want from me?” what would you say? When Jesus asked that question long ago, he got a variety of answers. Some wanted a miracle, some a theological debate, some a sign that he was the Messiah, some wanted power, some wanted just to see him, and others wanted to get rid of him. We are much the same aren’t we? We all want something from Jesus. We are just hoping for a little help to get through life—a new direction, a purpose that will get us up in the morning, an exercise plan, a way to get organized. But that approach to Jesus doesn’t result in real faith or love.

The real Jesus doesn’t give us just a little help. He turns our world upside down. Getting Jesus right means a whole new way of thinking …

A Woman's Guide To Spiritual Warfare

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A Woman's Guide To Spiritual Warfare: How To Protect Your Home, Family And Friends From Spiritual Darkness by Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock is a Christian classic, selling over 300,000 copies. It was originally written in 1991, but now, 26 years later, it's been completely revised and updated and given a beautiful new cover. The back cover says:

"Groundbreaking Spiritual Warfare Book for Women, Now Revised and Updated

Women everywhere face battles that threaten to overwhelm them.

A friend's depression. A child's destructive choices. A neighbor's broken marriage. A husband's failed business. A bad medical report. But you don't have to watch hopelessly from the sidelines. This is a crucial time for praying women to take their stand.

In this newly revised and updated edition, you'll discover sound biblical guidelines, inspiring stories, and practical steps to help you see victory on the battlefront. As you understand your authority in the risen C…

Lost And Found

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I first picked up Lost And Found: Losing Religion, Finding Grace by Kendra Fletcher because I had to read this crazy story: a homeschooling mom of 8 who has three different children have three different life-threatening crises back to back. It sounded unbelievable! However, this book really isn't about her children and their medical crises. It's really about legalism and how this Pharisaical attitude has crept into many of our churches and Christian circles. The back cover says:

"The "right" homeschooling philosophy. The right brand of theology. The "right" meal-planning, home-managing, keep-it-all-together parenting. Kendra Fletcher, homeschooling mom of eight, had it all "right," until it all fell apart. In the course of eighteen months, Kendra found her baby in a coma, ran over her five-year-old, and nearly lost her eight-year-old to a septic ruptured appendix. Lost and Found is the story of how God used those events to transform her fami…

Her Secret

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I was so excited when I saw that Shelley Shepard Gray was back with a new series! I'd read her Charmed Amish life series and really enjoyed it, so I couldn't wait to see what her new series was about. Turns out, it's even better! Not only is it Amish fiction, it's also a suspense series! Shelley's new Amish suspense series is planned to be six books long (woohoo!!! The more books in a series the better, in my opinion!) The series is called The Amish Of Hart County. The first book in the installment is Her Secret. The back cover says:

"New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new series—The Amish of Hart County—with this suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker.

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only s…

Unchained

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I don't know many Christians who don't struggle with guilt, besetting sins, and sinful patterns that cause grief and destruction in their life. I know in my life, I've dealt with hearty doses of all of the above. Therefore, I was especially interested to read the new book Unchained: If Jesus Has Set Us Free, Why Don't We Feel Free? by Noel Jesse Heikkinen. The book description says:

"Often when people follow Jesus, they feel more guilty instead of more free. A powerful book for the spiritually restless, Unchained shows readers how to have a robust faith that celebrates their freedom in Christ without compromising their holiness as God’s followers.

Unchained turns to the person and work of Jesus Christ as the source of freedom—not just his work 2,000 years ago but also what he is doing today. As readers dig into the meaning of the freedom that Jesus offers, they will understand, perhaps for the first time, what true freedom in Christ means."

I instantly loved…

Lighthouse Faith

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"Is God Just a Distant Concept? An Award-Winning Religion Correspondent is Convinced the Answer is No and Explores the Possible Relationship with Our Creator

Fox News Religion Correspondent Lauren Green uses her wealth of stories, vast network of contacts, and her own extensive study of theology to take the reader on a unique journey of spiritual discovery. With few female authors writing in the field of theology, Green provides an important perspective to all who wish to move closer to not only a deeper relationship with God but an understanding of what makes that possible.

Green gathers insight from some amazing guides along the way, through personal conversations with some of the leading minds in the world on the topic of Christianity. These include:

Timothy Keller
John Piper
Alister McGrath
William Lane Craig
John Lennox
Sir John Polkinghorne
Amy Beckman
Elizabeth Lev
… and many more

Is God simply an accessory that we carry with us? Something similar to what we might downloa…