Friday, July 8, 2016

Miriam by Mesu Andrews (Treasures of the Nile series)

Biblical fiction can be a fun read if it is done well, and Mesu Andrews has done a fabulous job with her novel, MiriamMiriam is the second book in the Treasures of the Nile series.  I absolutely loved this book.  So, take some time to read below why I found this book fascinating.

From the Back Cover:

The Hebrews call me prophetess; the Egyptians, a seer. But I am neither. I am simply a watcher of Israel and the messenger of El Shaddai.  When He speaks to me in dreams, I interpret.  When He whispers a melody, I sing.

At eighty-six, Miriam has devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messanger.  Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God has a new name--Yahweh--and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.
Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of Pharoah?
Enter an exotic land where thousands of pagan deities are worshiped, Pharaohs rule, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they understand.

My Review:
When I saw this book, I thought it looked intriguing, and I decided to take a chance on this author I had not read before.  Wow, am I glad that I picked this book up!  It was amazing!  I loved how the author told the story of Miriam, Moses, and Aaron.  She did a great job being true to the Biblical account of the plagues in Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea.  This story made me once again desire to dig in and read the Biblical account of the Israelites.  This wonderful and familiar story now had different aspects I wanted to re-read carefully.  It's so easy to just read through a familiar story and overlook small details.  This story helped me to imagine what it must of been like to live under an Egyptian ruler as slaves.  And I what I really loved about this story was that it made me think about God and His work in the lives of His people. This book is right up there with Lynn Austin and will definitely be counted as one of my favorites.  I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

You can read the first chapter below:

About Mesu Andrews

Mesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes and numerous other novels including The Pharaoh’s Daughter. Her deep understanding of–and love for– God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Mesu lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Roy and enjoys traveling to visit her growing tribe of grandchildren.

***I received this free book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

FREE 14 Day Trial Is Now Available for the Odyssey Adventure Club!


Think of ways you can enjoy this summer for free:
  • Hiking
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Now, add more fun and imagination to your summer through the Odyssey Adventure Club!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Berenstain Bears' Caring and Sharing Treasury by Jan and Mike Berenstain

Zonderkidz has released another collection of Berenstain Bears' books by Jan and Mike Berenstain.  This collection of stories is called Caring and Sharing Treasury.  The stories included in this book are:

Jobs Around Town
Get Involved
Love Their Neighbors
Gossip Gang
Biggest Brag

This collection of books is great for ages 4-8, and includes activities and questions in the back from each of the 5 stories.

I really enjoyed reading these stories.  I liked how each story begins with a Bible verse and then brings up different topics to discuss.  The story promotes a great springboard for conversation with my kids. The Berenstain Bear books have always been a great hit with my family, and I am glad to see these books continue with the great new additions from the Living Lights series.  If you have little ones in your family, consider picking up these books and get some great conversations started in your family that help them think about what God would have us do in our relationships with others.

***I received this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Free Clubhouse Magazine Trial


Try 3 issues of the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse® (ages 8-12) OR Clubhouse Jr.® (ages 3-7) magazine for free!

Created with kids in mind, Focus on the Family offers a world of fun and imagination through short stories, jokes, puzzles, and games as well as recipes and activities to do as a family. Plus, what child doesn’t like mail? Your child will enjoy getting this entertaining magazine each month in the mail.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

The Berenstain Bears: School Time Blessings by Mike Berenstain

Mike Berenstain has published another book in the Berenstain Bears' Living Lights series called School Time Blessings. These books are for kids ages 4-8 years old.

From the Back Cover:
It's time for school! Brother and Sister are ready to get busy with all of the things they enjoy about school--but they are nervous about challenges like math and history class. And Honey Bear will be going to nursery school for the first time.  Will the cubs be too nervous to do their very best or will they remember that prayer and God's love are always there to guide them to matter how big the challenge?

My Review:
Every kid is excited a a little nervous when venturing back to school that first week in the fall.  Some things are the same, but a new teacher, and harder classes can be time of insecurity for kids.  Mike addresses these issues in this book as Brother and Sister head back to school.  Even Honey Bear is heading to school this year, and for her it is the first time being away from Mama and Papa.  When the parents notice that the cubs are not truly excited about the new school year, they talk with their kids and help them express what they are feeling.  I appreciated the fact that the parents didn't just talk with their kids, but also showed the cubs some Scripture that they could focus on to remind them that God is always with them. I thought that the book provided a great way to talk with kids about their fears and to point them to Jesus.

***I received this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Make Your Children World Explorers


Give your family summer vacation a makeover this year and turn it into a "staycation." Have your kids forget their summer boredom, turn off their screens, and instead circle the globe with Focus on the Family's "World Explorers" summer adventure kit!

Throughout the next two months, travel our colorful, diverse world, visiting 27 different countries on six continents. Part of the fun will be figuring out where the next stop is, using five clues that reveal interesting facts about the next country. Once you've determined where you're going, use the games, activities and faith lessons to give your kids a glimpse into that country's unique culture.

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Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

Land of Silence is a new biblical based fiction story from author Tessa Afshar. Have you ever wondered who the lady was that had the issue of blood for 12 years who reached out to touch Jesus and was healed? Let Tessa Afshar take you on an imagined journey as she paints a picture of one possible story for this unknown woman in scripture.

From the Back Cover:
Before Christ called her daughter... Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment...
Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt.  After her only brother is killed while in in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father's textile trade and caring for her family.  When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for.  As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love.  Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.  No physician can cure her.  No end is in sight.  Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal.   After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body, heart, and soul?

My Review:
This story was interesting.  It takes you to a time when politics were on edge, and medical help was lacking.  I cannot imagine living during this time, but through this story I can see a glimpse of what life was like for the woman who suffered for 12 years from a blood issue.  In some ways this story was overwhelming at times.  Her life seems like only continued bad is happening for her.  That kind of made this story hard to get through, and seemed depressing to me.  But, I loved the ending.  It was uplifting and focused on Jesus, the Healer. I loved how Jesus called her daughter, which is the only place in Scripture that he speaks to a woman in that way.  This was a new author for me and I definitely liked Tess Afshar's writing style. I look forward to reading more books by her.

Take some time to watch this promotional video for the book!

***I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.
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