Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Studies and World History

I have always been a fan of Bob Jones History Curriculum - that was until I received this one from Master Books for review. I happen to have a child that fits this age group so not only did I review it myself but I put it to use to see how effective and easily navigated it would be for our children. I will be purchasing this entire history set. The book is 34 chapters - 1 School year. Each chapter is broken into 5 short lessons that are easy to read and understand. Each lesson has an essay question or other work that requires the student to really think about and apply what they have read and learned. Though my daughter did not like the idea of writing every day at the end of her history lesson she did admit that the questions made her think more about the topic for the day. I especially liked the fact that not only did she read her history book but she also read the bible and often had to compare and contrast things. I found the questions to be thought provoking and not overly easy to answer. Often over the course of the last three weeks (the amount of time we have been in study or school) we have had extended discussions that stemmed from the discussion questions. Another thing I really enjoyed about this text is that it is user friendly to a mom/teacher - much like the math curriculum that we use. In the teacher book the year is in a calendar format making it easy to see what is next and to plan the year. This takes much of the stress of laying out a calendar and fitting everything in. It also makes it easy in case my husband has to pick it up to teach or help our daughter if I need his help. Over all I really liked this product. Thanks to Masterbooks for this review copy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thrive, Mark Hall

Written with teens in mind this book is inspiring and uplifting. In today's world the struggles teens face are monumental. Mark Hall is open, honest and transparent as he talks about his own struggles as a teen and the power of God that helped him overcome. Teens are offered practical and biblical advice and insight that will help them dig deep into God's word. They will discover the joy of serving others as an overflow of God's love in their lives. The message to teens is simple - They are not meant merely to survive their teen years, the next semester, the next class, the next day - they are meant to thrive, be strong, triumphant, resilient, and abundant in life and love. This book uses the illustration of a tree to show teens that they must be deeply rooted in Christ. But that their roots must ever be going deeper into His love and truth. They are further taught that when they are rooted in that love and truth they will branch out, grow, and become strong. This serves a dual purpose - teens learn that they will be better equipped to serve others as well as withstand the attacks of the enemy that will come. Mark Hall has written a very good book for teens and parents alike. thanks to the review program Booksneeze who offered this book free in exchange for an honest review.

C.S. Lewis and Mere Christianity, Paul McCusker

Simply awesome, inspiring and downright amazing. This is a book about the background behind the classic Mere Christianity. I chose to review this because I thought it would be a good addition to our home school library. I was not disappointed in the least. Sometimes a true appreciation of a great literary work comes with an understanding of the events that influenced the work. The author has done an extraordinary job of giving historical insight. I will be using this book in our history as well as literature. I have a new understanding of Lewis' and a new appreciation of his writings. This book gives personal accounts of the war and it's effects on the people. It also gives great insight into the inner workings of Lewis. As a new Christian Lewis was pushed into a position that was to offer hope to those who felt they were in a hopeless situation. I believe that his personal faith grew leaps and bounds with every pen stroke. As he learned the endless depths of God's love and mercy. This is a book that is a must have of any C.S. Lewis fan. Thanks to the publisher for this review copy.

Annie's Stories, Cindy Thomson

An Irish immigrant holding onto her father's memory through the stories he left her, Annie is working to make a new life. Living in a boarding house and working as a housekeeper this kind hearted young lady finds herself in the middle of mystery and intrigue and romance. Thomson does a wonderful job of weaving together a story that draws the readers in and invites them on the journey to healing and righteousness. Annie longs to have a place of her own - a place where she can share the beloved stories that her father left her. Stephen, a mailman, is looking for new stories to share with his landlord. When he meets Annie he thinks her stories are just what he needs....but then she becomes what he needs in his life as well. Trying to become the person that she would love he seeks to be righteous in his own power. However, he learns that true righteousness comes only from God. In the midst of this Annie learns that healing comes when we look at the past and then let go. This book is filled with sweet romance and exciting adventures. I think it was a relaxing and enjoyable read and can't wait to pass it on to my friends. Thanks to the publisher for this free copy in exchange for a review.

Biblical Healing and Deliverance, Chester and Betsy Kylstra

This book is written for those who want healing and restoration in their lives. Few people realize the impact that the decisions of others especially of our family has on our lives and decisions. This book looks at several ministry areas including that of generational curses or sins. A person seeking to find healing and restoration will benefit from the practical biblical applications found in this book. This book explores the far reaching effects of all sin and sinful thought patterns. It goes beyond just the initial sin or action and shows how this weakens a Christian and how the enemy gains entrance. So many people walk in defeat or in a life that is marked by train wreck after train wreck. They just can't seem to keep ahead of the attacks of the enemy much less defend against them or counter attack. This book offers a comprehensive look at this and teaches a person how to recognize problem areas and receive complete freedom. Thanks to the publisher for allowing me to review this book.

The Princess Within, Serita Ann Jakes

I agreed to review this book because I am a mom of a teen girl. I am always on the look out for good books to recommend to other mothers and good books for myself and my children. I have mixed feelings about this book but would still give it good marks. I do not think that she is a terrible author as it seems some seem to think. The book is very busy and does seem a little choppy at times. However, it reminds me very much of the a teen would write. The author sometimes forces a story to fit where it otherwise would not and she tends to jump around a little bit. However, I think that the heart of the author is true to wanting to inspire young girls to hold onto their identities in Christ. This is a very much needed book in the world today when so many young girls are disillusioned by society and the schemes and lies of the enemy. I think that most teens would enjoy this book and reading it with their moms would offer a time to connect and discuss real issues and find common grounds. I appreciate the publisher - Bethany House- for allowing me to review this book. I can not find any flaw that would discredit this book and would recommend it to others.

Sharing Christ with the Dying, Melody Rossi

The title is eye catching - the problem not unique. The trouble has always been how to share the gospel without presenting it as a "get out of hell free" pass. In this book Melody Rossi does an excellent job in giving practical advice for the person in this most difficult and emotional time. Without making a person feel guilty for not sharing their faith Rossi does something I call "helping others succeed". In kindness and compassionate love Rossi gives practical advice for those seeking to evangelize the dying without employing manipulative or guilt ridden strategies. If you are a person currently caring for an unbeliever in their last days this would be the book for you. If you are in a ministry that places you in hospitals, nursing home or other situations that brings you in contact with the dying and terminally ill this would be a book worth reading. Thanks to Bethany House for a free review copy.