Saturday, May 20, 2017

Answers to Prayer by George Muller (Read and Reflect with the Classics Series)

This is one of those books that needs to be in your home library! Answers to Prayer is a compilation of journal entries by George Muller that gives the reader a glimpse into the life he lived by walking in faith day by day. This book is part of the Read and Reflect series by B&H Publishing Group that combines great classic literature with Bible study suggestions and thought provoking questions.

Who was George Muller?
From the Back Cover: George Muller was an English Christian Evangelist in the nineteenth century. He devoted his life to directing the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England. In his lifetime he cared for more than 10,000 orphans. This alone is a great feat of faith, but what makes him a pillar of prayer in Christian history is that he never once requested financial support for the orphanage, nor did he ever go into debt. He prayed for what was needed, and God provided--many times hours before funds or provisions were needed. His story and journals stand as the picture of God's faithfulness.

My Thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  George Muller left a legacy that was meant to encourage all of those in his present age and in years to come. And truly his story is one that encourages us still today. George Muller's first thought when facing anything in life was to bring it in prayer before the God he trusted with everything. This thinking was as natural to him as breathing air. I love his perspective on life. How he views everything as God's purpose and plan even down to the tiniest detail. What a testimony not only to the believing, but also to the world of what God can do when we have a different perspective on life, a heavenly perspective.
If you want to read a book that will encourage your faith, pick up this classic, Answers to Prayer. These stories will not only encourage you, but will also direct your gaze upward to the One whom they glorify.

My Rating:

Other books in this series are: 
The Christian's Secret to A Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith
Humility by Andrew Murray
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon
The Imitation of Christ by Thoma a Kempis
Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray
(These books are available in hardback or e-book.)

***I received this free book from B&H Publishing Group. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Do you enjoy fun stories with the main heroine having a personality all their own? Then you will want to pick up Jen Turano's newest book Behind the Scenes.  This is the first book in Jen's new Apart From the Crowd series.

In Behind the Scenes, Miss Permilia Griswold has been cast aside as a wallflower at the society events during the social season.  But she really doesn't mind since she doesn't care to become a part of the fashionable set. When an opportunity comes to use her anonymity at these fashionable events, she jumps at the chance. Her job is to write a column for the New York Sun and detail events that the public would love to know about that happen behind the closed doors of society. In order to maintain her cover, she writes under the assumed name of "Miss Quill."  Of course this creates quite the stir in society, and if anyone where to find out, she would certainly be cast out of society and possibly bring her family to ruin.   But when Permilia overhears a murder plot to harm Mr. Asher Rutherford, a local department store owner,  she is determined to intervene and notify him of the danger that lurks ahead.

Jen's books have a way of making me smile as I read them.  The main characters in her books have such a quirky personality that lead to some hilarious scenes.  And it really doesn't take much imagination to envision these scenes since Jen's use of words paints a clear picture of the comical situation the characters have found themselves in. This book is just fun to read and I would definitely recommend it to pick up for your summer reading.  I was hooked after the first few pages and had a hard time putting the book down.  Be sure to watch for the next book in this series, Out of the Ordinary, coming out November 2017.

My Rating: ★★★★

***I received this free book from Bethany House Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The 10 Commandments of Marriage by Ed Young

Marriage is one of those topics where you are continually learning how to make things better for your relationship. Since we are imperfect people, we need frequent reminders to help us along the way.  In Ed Young's book, the 10 Commandments of Marriage, he shares 10 ways to help a marriage be better.

What are those 10 commandments?
1. Thou Shalt Be Selfless
2. Thou Shalt Have No Strings Attached
3. Thou Shalt Continually Communicate
4. Thou Shalt Make Conflict Thy Ally
5. Thou Shalt Avoid the Quicksand of Materialism
6. Thou Shalt Flee Sexual Temptation--Online and Otherwise
7. Thou Shalt Forgive Thy Mate--490 Times and More
8. Thou Shalt Romance the Home
9. Thou Shalt Begin Again and Again
10. Thou Shalt Build a Winning Team

I thought that the book was well written and addressed many of the areas that marriages are vulnerable to attack by satan and our present culture.  Many of the concepts are ones that I had already been taught, but some of the topics were just good to be reminded again of a having proper focus in marriage.  I think that the book would be useful especially for engaged and newlywed couples.  The first chapter and later chapters seemed more relevant to those who have been married for a while. If you're looking for a book to refresh your perspective in your marriage, then pick up the 10 Commandments in Marriage.

My Rating: ★★★

***I received this book free from Moody Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Too Deep for Words by Andrea Boeshaar

     Do you enjoy novels set during the time of the Civil War?  Andrea Boeshaar has a new series called, Shenandoah Valley Saga, and the second book in this series, Too Deep for Words, has just been released.  This story begins with Carrie Ann Bell and Colonel Peyton Collier being recently married. With war raging all around them, Carrie knows that Peyton life is in God's hands.  When Peyton comes up missing after a battle, Carrie refuses to believe that he is really dead since they haven't found his body.  Everyone tells her to accept the truth, but she just can't let go of this feeling that he is still alive.  Carrie is willing to go to dangerous lengths to find out if her instincts are right, but what will she find? Peyton or a broken heart?

I thought this was an interesting story to follow up the first novel. The author does keep you guessing all throughout the book as to what has happened to Colonel Peyton Collier.  I appreciated all the research Andrea Boeshaar put into writing this novel.  The story transports the reader to another time and gives them a glimpse of our nation's past history.  This was one of those books that was hard to put down especially not knowing how things would end, and it had me racing to the end. The way this book ended definitely leads to another book, and I'm looking forward to reading the third book in this series, There is a Season, which will be released in 2018.  If you're looking for a fun historical series to start, pick up this new series by Andrea Boeshaar. These books are fun and captivating.

You can read my review of this first book in this series, One Thousand Shall Fall, by clicking here.

***I received this free book from Kregel Publications.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Think Again By Jared Mellinger

Do you have a tendency to over-analyze everything you do?  Do you continually use introspection trying to figure out how you can do things better or be a better Christian? If you suffer from thinking too much about everything you do in life, then this book will be a good read for you!  Jared Mellinger's new book, Think Again, will challenge how you see yourself and the dangers of thinking too much about yourself.

About the book: 

Evaluating yourself-being mindful of who you are and what you are doing-is necessary and can lead to positive change.
But what about the dark side of introspection? Do you ever feel weighed down and exhausted by your own self-analysis? Perhaps you made a mistake, said a careless word, or even messed up big time. Your self-examination spirals into a full-blown cross-examination. You keep revisiting what happened. Your mind circles around the event, fruitlessly trying to somehow make the outcome different so you don't feel the embarrassment, shame, and regret.
The modern self-esteem movement has left us empty and self-focused. We exhaust our healthy introspection and pervert it into constant self-evaluation, wrong views of ourselves, self-accusation, and false guilt. Introspection was never meant to bear such weight.
Think Again offers real relief from the burden of introspection that so many of us carry each day. Pastor Jared Mellinger, who tends to overdose on self-analysis himself, shows us how the hope of the gospel can rescue us from the bad fruit of unsound introspection. Mellinger's short, story-filled chapters help readers identify and turn away from unhealthy introspection.
There is an outward-focused God who delights to rescue an inward-focused people and lead them into a better way to live. When we truly understand it, we'll see that the gospel actually sets us free from thinking about ourselves too much. We can seek after and pray for the peace and joy-the sanity-that comes from thinking about ourselves less often. 

Think Again includes practical instructions for self-examination, fighting false guilt, breaking free from hyper-introspection, and more. Ultimately, Think Again demonstrates that the solution to thinking too much about ourselves is to look to Christ, and it gives readers the tools to begin to turn from the mirror.
My Review:
I appreciated how the author could identify with the issue of introspection.  And I thought he did a good job of getting the reader to identify this issue in their lives.  The author doesn't just stop there with the identification of the problem, but points the reader to the answer which is Christ.  I struggle with introspection and it's easy to over-analyze every situation of my life to exhaustion. This introspection only produces insecurity and fear in my life which is far from my actual goal. This book was a great reminder of what I already know, quit focusing on yourself and get your eyes upward on Christ and outward on serving others.  Sometimes we just need to be reminded of what we already know.
I will say that at about chapter 8 or so, I was thinking, "hmmm... I thought I already read this." So I would say that some of the material is rather repetitive.  Other than that, it was a good read that will remind you of where your focus should really be.

If you'd like to read other reviews of this book, you can click here to see the blog tour page.

***I received this free book from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

About the author:
Jared Mellinger joined the Covenant Fellowship Church pastoral team in 2006, upon graduating from Pastors College of Sovereign Grace Churches. He became senior pastor in 2008. Jared graduated from Kutztown University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education. He enjoys reading, rollerblading, poetry, drinking coffee, building fires, and listening to Josh Garrels. Jared is the author of Think Again: Relief from the Burden of Introspection. He resides in Glen Mills, PA with his wife Meghan and their six children.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

The Women of Easter by Liz Curtis Higgs

A new book came out just in time for Easter this year by Liz Curtis Higgs called The Women of Easter.  In the book, Liz highlights the stories of Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene Beginning with the story of Lazarus' resurrection, Liz proceeds to tell the story of Christ's last days on earth surrounding the Passover, and brings the reader's attention to these special women who followed Christ.  There is also a study guide included at the back of the book.

This was such a great book to read during the Easter season, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved how Liz brought out the women's roles as they followed and served Jesus. It was so encouraging as I read again the story of Jesus death, burial and resurrection, but this time seeing how the women played such an important part to the story.  Liz does a great job putting together the 4 Gospels to get the whole story from 4 different perspectives. She also gives background information that helps the reader to understand the culture during that time period.  Her use of different translations is a help as our English language doesn't always capture what the Greek word is trying to get across in the text.  If you are looking for a great book that will take you through the Easter story or to give as a gift, pick up Liz's new book.

Click here to learn more about the Author.
Click here to read more about the book.

***I received this complimentary book from Blogging for Books.  I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Found: Psalm 23 by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Are you familiar with the Jesus Storybook Bible? Then this new little board book will seem very familiar to you.  The same author has published a new book called Found that is based on Psalm 23. This new book illustrates the beautiful Psalm with some great pictures and helps you talk through the Psalm with your child.

I've appreciated Sally Lloyd-Jones' work and how she points to the main character of the entire Bible, Jesus. Her books are beautifully written and the illustrations are engaging for children. This board book on Psalm 23 is great for children ages 4-8 yrs. If you're looking for something for a child's Easter basket this year, check out Found. It would make a great gift!

***I received this free book from BookLook Bloggers.  I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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