Saturday, December 6, 2014

DVD: What's in the Bible? Jesus is The Good News!

I have got to say that this is one of my favorite dvd series for kids - I think I like it even better than the Veggie Tales series by the same person. Maybe because it is so literally dealing with the bible. My kids vary in ages 1 to 13 years and all of them enjoy sitting down to watch it. Phil Vischer has created a series that grabs the kids attention and passes on biblical truth in a fun interactive way. This is a bible based muppets or Sesame Street. Jesus is pointed at as the only way to salvation and thus the main thrust of the video is great. This is an excellent resource for personal use but is also easily adaptable to multiple curriculum in Children's Church, AWANA, and Sunday School situations. Children will love the characters and the interactive feel of the videos. You may even find as an adult that you learn a bit of bible trivia that you did not know before you watched the video. You may also find that it motivates your children to learn the books of the bible and seek out more information regarding the topics discussed. Thanks to the publisher and FlyBY Promotions for this review copy.

Your Life Still Counts, Tracie Miles

Mills has written a book that will touch every woman's heart. Each of us has been called to walk through hard times at one time or another. Tracie shares her own story in an honest, open way that draws the reader to the Lord of redemption. She shows that God's love and grace far out reaches the things that we have done, gone through or the pain we experience. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who has found themselves or is currently finding themselves in a place of hardship and pain. The personal stories and testimonies will uplift the down trodden, give hope to the hopeless and be a light in the valley of shadows and darkness. God is a God who works through the lives of his people to accomplish great things. He speaks to his children through his children - and this is a book that reflects this very personal love of God. Thanks to the publisher and FLYBY Promotions for this review copy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Small Talk: Learning From Kids What Matters Most, Amy Julia Becker

This is one of those books that is just plain enjoyable to read. In fact it is one that you will probably picked up over and over again. I know that as a mom of six it was encouraging to read Becker's honest account of motherhood and the profound effect it has on a person. I barely finished this book when a friend saw it laying on my desk and picked it up. She only read the first page then asked if she could take it home. So it is already making its rounds among my friends. There is a set of books that I think should be put in a basket with diapers, teething tablets, teething beads, onsies and burp cloths and given as a baby shower gift...this is one of those books. Motherhood is not always easy, not always fun, and sometimes just downright overwhelming. But amidst late nights, snotty noses, poopy diapers, scraped knees and tantrums there are the cuddle down moments, the sweet sticky kisses and the smell of kids after they have played out doors. Truly as Becker shows, if you open your eyes to the wonder of motherhood through the eyes of your children you can not help but be blessed. This is a keeper - and a sharer - and a gifter. Thanks to the publisher for this review copy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables, Bob Welch

Victor Hugo's timeless classic is now a time less devotional. I remember the first time I picked up that huge unabridged monstrosity of a book. I remember turning it over in my hands thinking, "I will never be able to finish this; cliff notes here I come". That was as a Junior in High school and I read the book from front cover to back cover in a matter of days. I was hooked from the first page, drawn into a story about Jean Valjean that offered hope. Grace was so poured out in the actions of the priest that a life was changed for ever. Desperation turned to hope, darkness was parted by light, shame was replaced by the covering of forgiveness. My copy was dogged-eared, marked, high lighted and and I remember crying as I typed my reflective paper over the themes and symbolism of this book. Bob Welch has taken the spiritual lessons, the golden bits of truth tucked into this beloved classic and turned it into a daily devotional. As I read it of course I thought; "this is what I should have done with my dog-eared copy". For when I read the book the first, second, third and fourth time that is what it was like for a me a huge devotional. Only now I have Welch's much easier to handle smaller version of a great classic. Welch successfully took the poignant points of the book and organized them into a weekly devotional that is sure to bless anybody who picks it up. Thanks to the publisher for this free review copy.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Christmas at Rose Hill Farm, Suzanne Woods Fisher

An Amish love story in the sweetest sense; one that will have you crying and laughing and fill your heart with that warm feeling. Bill Lapp left his Amish life behind for something sweeter or different. However, that meant walking away from a woman that he loved but that he felt did not love him in return. His heart was drawn to hers and he never quite forgot her or the way she made him feel. Surrounded by rare roses, in charge of making sure they bloom and live to produce another plant. He spends his days with beauty that echoes his long lost love. Bess thinks that she has moved on from Bill. She is sure that she has found a man that truly loves her. After years of waiting, wishing, hoping she has packed up the dreams of seeing Bill. She has picked up the pieces of her heart and mended them back and now she is planning a wedding. This sets the stage, of course, for the twist that brings three worlds to a halting stop. Love, always finds a way to come back to the place it started and hearts always seem to remember the ones they first loved. Curl up on the coach, grab a soft and cozy blanket, some tissues and get ready for a heart-warming story that will make you fall in love. Thanks Revell for this review copy.

Trading Secrets, Melody Carlson

Awww....Melody Carlson has done it again. Our family is huge Carlson fans! Her young adult fiction is just as awesome as her adult fiction. She just has a way of weaving words into a story that is heart warming and real. My daughter has her own collection of Carlson books and this one quickly made it onto her shelf as well. Within the first pages she was already giggling as she anticipated the end and the story in between. In the fifth grade Micah Knight is given a pen pal. The problem: well when you have a name like Micah it's hard to tell if the writer is a boy or a girl so she is paired up with an Amish boy named Zach. Years pass and the two have traded letters, secrets, hopes and dreams. They have become the best of friends through pages of mail. The problem now is that it is time to meet and Micah is a little worried that the one secret she failed to "trade" with Zach might be the undoing of years of pen-pal friendship. Or at the very least it will drastically change the dynamics of the relationship. So the real story begins as the two meet for the first time and Micah is introduced for the beautiful and witty young lady she really is. So, you will have to go pick up a copy to see how this sweet story of friendship unfolds and what exciting times await these two childhood pen pals. Thanks to Revell for this review copy.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

At Bluebonnet Lake, Amanda Cabot

Amanda Cabot has a gift for telling a story rich in details that bring the characters to life. Their story becomes almost apart of your story. The reader is invited to step across time into a place where they have never been and walk roads that are sometimes hard to walk. Her stories are great for cold days snuggle beneath a warm blanket. This is the first of her stories that I have read that are not historical fiction but my hopes were high and I was not in the least disappointed in the results. Kate has a life with fast-paced action, lots of opportunities to climb success ladders and go somewhere. But her grandmother makes a request that Kate can not deny, a request to visit a resort that she and her husband had stayed at years and years ago. Kate is shocked as she arrives at a resort in the middle of no-where. A place where life is slow as the tumble-weed and dull as the dusty ground beneath your feet. That is until the handy-man appears on the scene and sparks start to fly. How will Kate react to this seemingly strange and down home man who threatens to steal her heart with his warmth and smile. Thanks Revell for this review copy.