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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Soul's Gate Book Review



Book Review of Soul's Gate
  by James L. Rubart

REVIEW BY: L. Bankhead

     Author, James Rubart, seems to have a huge fan following, yet this was the first book that I read from him.  This is the first of the Well Spring Novel series where we meet up with four characters that the entire book revolves around.  Three of them have been mysteriously chosen to meet for a retreat in the Rockies where they gather together with Reece Roth, famed photographer.  But, he's more than just that - he has the ability to go into people's souls. He has heard a prophetic word from God that these three would need to be trained to go into people's souls; and war against Satan there to be broken from their bondage and be set free.  I won't tell you the rest, because I'd basically be giving away the whole book.  Essentially this first book of the series is the training and some beginning battles against good and evil.  The next book gives the impression that the bigger battles are about to come (August 2013).
     I was interested to read this book since I have a tyro curiosity in quantum physics and the outer dimensions that God works in.  This book gives you a beginners look into these fascinating things, and does draw from Scripture to back up some of the claims.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as he has a similar writing style of Lis Wiehl and Johnathan C. Leicht - which is generally full of adventure, short chapters and undemanding.  Although I did read that some Rubart fans weren't as impressed with this book as with the others, I thought it was a substantial read.  It kept me turning the pages; and it was exciting to open my mind to a higher thought process about God's power and tapping into it.  I'm fired up to read the sequel and hope for more intense battle scenes, even though we already know which side always wins!

You can view the trailer (kinda low-budget) for the book below.



(I received this book free from Booksneeze.com as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")



NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Winter....

Les Miserables an audio drama

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tangled Ashes Book Review


 


Book Review of Tangled Ashes
  by Michele Phoenix
"A Novel"

REVIEW BY: L. Bankhead

     Present meets past in this French set novel.  The Nazi's are invading Lamorlaye, France as the minor part of the story follows to French ladies as they work in a Nazi lebensborn.  As the Nazi plans come to fruition, the two girls must decide where their loyalties lie.  In the main part of the book, set presently, the same castle that served as the lebensborn is being restored by a wealthy family.  The family has hired a master architect and carpenter with a giant chip on his shoulder.  Strange things happen at the castle that begin to tie the two stories together.  The history and secrets of the castle remain, even after almost 70 years have passed.
     While the major part of this story, set in present day, bored me to pieces, the historical information set in the 1940's was really interesting and the story riveting.  The author, Michele Phoenix, actually went to school in The Meunier manor where some of the the story takes place; and was in fact a lebensborn until 1944.  You can view pictures of the renovated Chateau de Lamorlaye here, the major scene for the novel.  Michele Phoenix is a really vivid and terrific author.  I'm just really not that into stories aren't thrillers or historical biographies.  I have one question for the author: "What was the plot?" A book needs something to keep you reading.  This one really doesn't have that.  The book does contain discussion questions for a book club.  I would recommend this book for adult women ages 17 and up. 




(I received this book free from Handlebar Marketing as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")
NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Winter....

Soul's Gate by James Rubart 

Les Miserables an audio drama

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

90 Days Thru The Bible Book Review



Book Review of 90 Days Thru The Bible
  by Chris Tiegreen
"A Devotional Journey From Walk Thru The Bible"

REVIEW BY: L. Bankhead

      I chose this book for one simple reason.  It looked like it could be a good gift for a new Christian that is discovering the Bible for the first time and is in need of guidance.  Then I realized this book is much more than that.  It's not at all what I thought it was going to be.  It's a brilliant and insightful look at the Bible as a complete and whole story.  It's not just about the Bible's overall message of love, but about God's "epic...and complex" story.  Tiegreen puts the pieces of the Bible together like a puzzle showing you the full picture.  The book will leave you spellbound and so encouraged about your faith and beliefs that your flame will burn even brighter.  Don't fall into the category of "biblical illiteracy".  Know that you know the Word of God and why you know it and what to do with it.  All it takes is three months for you to be transformed by what you find in these pages.  Each day's reading is about two pages long; and it includes "Questions For Reflection" each day to help you apply the reading to your own life.  My favorite part of this book is that it includes a 13 week study plan for small groups.  You can do all the Bible studies that you'd like....but what better way to learn what God wants of us and has for us then by actually understanding His Word and the history and mystery that surrounds it?  I recommend this book for ages 18 and up.  It would also come in handy as a one semester Bible study for homeschoolers 9-12 grade, especially for students with strong reading and comprehension skills. 

(I received this book free from Tyndale Blog Network as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Fall....

Tangled Ashes by Michele Phoenix

Soul's Gate by James Rubart 


Darkness Rising Book Review



Book Review of Darkness Rising
  by Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson
"Secrets and murder.  Angels and demons.  Welcome to East Salem"
An East Salem Novel

REVIEW BY: L. Bankhead

      Everyone that reads my blog knows that I am a huge Lis Wiehl fan.  I love her work, and so obviously I picked up her newest offering.  IT'S AMAZINGLY GOOD! This is the second part of the East Salem Trilogy, and a sequel to Waking Hours.  It picks up right where the first book left off and immediately blasts you into the world of East Salem - with it's angels, demons, darkness and intrigue.  New characters that were not in the first book are revealed; and again Wiehl does an excellent job at cultivating them.  The research that goes into her writing is evident.  I love that she brought on Pete Nelson again, as his masterful work brings the story alive.  I've recently read that some readers were disgruntled because the book doesn't mention God or Jesus enough.  Is there a rule about that I don't know about?  Sheesh.  Here's my take - it's a BOOK!  The author can do whatever they please; and say whatever they like.  When I read a book it's not because the author needs to line up with my doctrine flawlessly.  I read because I like a solid, thrilling and adventurous book.  If I need a self help book - I will get one.  I don't expect Lis Wiehl to be a self help guru as everyone else out there thinks they are at this point in book-dom.  Just give me a good book and let me read.   Enough of that.  This book is substantial as a good thriller, and enough God in it to make me a happy camper.  Now, I'm forlorn that I have to wait until next September to hear how this hair-raising story ends.  But, I'm excited to announce that Wiehl is introducing a new series (Mia Quinn Mystery), with the first novel, A Matter of Trust, coming out in March 2013.  She's bringing on co-writer April Henry again from the Triple Threat Series.  I think that means it's going to be very, very good.  I recommend this book for ages 14 and up; and for anyone needing an entertaining and clean thriller.

(I received this book free from booksneeze.com as part of their blogging prograom. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Fall....

Tangled Ashes by Michele Phoenix

90 Days Thru The Bible by Chris Tiegreen

Soul's Gate by James Rubart


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

She's Got Issues Bible Study Curriculum Review



Women's Small Group Curriculum Review of She's Got Issues by Nicole Unice
"with seriously good new for stressed-out, secretly scared control freaks like us"


REVIEW BY: L. Bankhead

      This is a full DVD / book curriculum made for six sessions for a women's small group Bible study.  The group experience package includes candid interviews, individual journaling prompts, group discussion, and insightful and Biblical teaching from beloved author, Nicole Unice.  Each of the six sessions is meant to be one hour long, and incorporates independent reading and study between sessions.  Unice touches on six main issues women deal with on a regular basis:
  • Control
  • Insecurity
  • Comparison
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Unforgiveness 
     Being a Bible Study veteran, I get skeptical when it comes to new curriculum authors.  I mean, who tops Kay Aurthur and Beth Moore, right?  Well, I was charmingly surprised!  Unice is spot on throughout the entire course.  She speaks as a real life mom and wife, living in our real world.  Even though she does challenge the listener to become unchained from their "issues"; she does so in a biblical, loving and humorous way that's very pleasing.  She's incredibly candid in her book, admitting to things that I've done and wouldn't never share with anyone, let alone the world.  You can hear the Holy Spirit speaking through her, as she opens her heart to what God needs every woman to know.  She teaches you how to live free from the issues, and learn to love well.  Really well.

Check out the trailer below...

(I received this book free from the Tyndale Blog Network as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")


NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Fall....

Darkness Rising by Lis Wiehl (coming in October)

Tangled Ashes by Michele Phoenix (coming in November)

90 Days Thru The Bible by Chris Tiegreen (coming in November)

Your Heart's Desire by Sheri Rose Shepherd (DVD group experience, coming late Fall)

 

Friday, September 14, 2012

The River Book Review



Book Review of The River
  by Michael Neale

REVIEW BY: L. Bankhead

      This story is all about The River.  What river you ask?  I guess you will have to read it to find out.  Yet, basically, the protagonist has always been inexplicably drawn to The River.  Not just any river.  The River - "a ribbon of frothy white water carving its way through steep canyons high in the Colorado Rockies; with rushing waters beckoning one to experience freedom and adventure."  Without giving everything away, a tragedy born from an accident, gives way to fear, bitterness and a monotonous life.  Shackles imprison.  Even so, "you are made for The River." 
     I'm immensely fond of this book.  It's a simple novel that follows the life story of one man, and his mysterious connection with The River.  It's a true testament of how tragedy when you are young can shackle you to fear, anger and resentment.  It's also evidence that once you go back and face the truth, redemption and healing can take place.  NOTE: Although touted on the Christian market, this book does not actually speak about God or Christianity of any kind.  Although, you can easily see the metaphor between God and The River.  The book doesn't necessarily require deep thinking, but the heart matter that comes to the surface does.  Let go, let God.  I recommend this reading to anyone 14 and up.  It also includes and Author Interview and a Reading Group Guide.  Interestingly enough, the author also penned the song Your Great Name now made famous by Natalie Grant. 

(I received this book free from booksneeze.com as part of their blogging prograom. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Fall....

She's Got Issues DVD Curriculum by Nicole Unice (coming Sept 25)

Darkness Rising by Lis Wiehl

Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Giveaway! The Power of the Prophetic Blessing





The Power of the Prophetic Blessing
by John Hagee



You've read the reviews (read mine here)! You've heard the hype! You can even see the promo video below. Now, it's time to enter to win a copy of this fabulous book for yourself.  That's right!  Right here, right now, all you need to do is post a comment about why you want to read this book.  Then, to complete your entry, either tweet or facebook this blog post link and spread the word.  A winner will be randomly chosen (using random.org) on Saturday, September 15, 2012 after 5:00pm (CST).  Don't miss out on this free copy.  The winner will receive a hard cover copy of this book via mail.  Anyone inside the USA can enter, and there will be no cost to ship.  Good luck to the competitors!








The Power of the Prophetic Blessing Book Review

Book Review of The Power of the Prophetic Blessing
  by John Hagee
"An astonishing revelation for a new generation. "

REVIEW BY: L. Bankhead

      This new offering from New York Times Best-Selling author, John Hagee, comes under controversy and argument from the get-go.  Check out any of the major book sellers and you will find mixed reviews.  Hagee maintains that if we really understood, received and believed the blessings that are dispersed throughout Scripture that our lives would be radically changed and God's favor would be lavished upon us.  I can understand why so many people would find disputation with this claim.  But, I do believe they aren't looking at the heart of the book and of Hagee.  He's encouraging you to speak blessing and agreement with God's Word over your loved ones, and those that you encounter.  How can that be unacceptable?  Hagee is taking God's Word at it's verifiable value; drawing from the inerrant Word and presenting promises of blessing that God has been fulfilling since time began.  I personally do not believe the the Old Testament blessings closed with the Old Covenant.  I believe God is the great I AM - the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
     My husband and I read this book together in the evenings; and both came to the conclusion that God's blessings are for today, are still relevant and are full of power.  We do choose to speak over our daughter and each other with God's prophetic blessings over our lives.  I do speak favorably of this book - but if you are a know-it-all, quarrelsome person, than this book probably isn't for you.  If you are looking for more understanding and direction to affirm the ones you love, than pick up a copy.  If you want to foster and cultivate the confidence that God has set apart for you - you should read this.  Or if you want to WIN A FREE COPY - ENTER TO WIN HERE!


(I received this book free from  Handlebar Marketing as part of their blogging prograom. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Fall....

She's Got Issues DVD Curriculum by Nicole Unice (coming Sept 25)

The River by Michael Neale

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

10 Christians Everyone Should Know Book Review


Book Review of 10 Christians Everyone Should Know
  by John Perry (editor)
"Lives of the faithful and what they mean to you. "

REVIEW BY: L. Bankhead

      This book is a compilation of short biographies on 10 Christians from history that have made an impact on the future.   The personalities are spread across the ages, ranging from circa 380 - 2008, and are set in chronological order.   The magnificent people that are covered are:
  • Saint Patrick
  • Galileo
  • Anne Bradstreet
  • John Bunyan
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Jane Austen
  • D. L. Moody
  • George Washington Carver
  • Sergeant York
  • William F. Buckley, Jr.  

     I thoroughly enjoyed reading each biography.  The condensed versions of each persons life story and world impact is very easy reading.  The authors give a satisfactory job at providing back story and a world history within each memoir.  I especially enjoyed Anne Bradstreet and Jane Austen, since I have previously delighted in their work.  They both exemplified strong and spirited women, that I could identify with.  I endorse this book for high school students and adults.  This is a great living book resources for students.  It's a quick way to learn about some of the godly people that have graced Earth.  You will be encouraged by their stories and educated about their periods in our Christian history and heritage.

(I received this book free from Booksneeze.com as part of their blogging program.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")


NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Fall....

She's Got Issues DVD Curriculum by Nicole Unice (coming Sept 25)

The Power of Prophetic Blessing by John Hagee  (blog tour with giveaway coming Aug 31)

The River by Michael Neale

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mondays With My Old Pastor Book Review


Book Review of Monday's With My Old Pastor
  by Jose Luis Navajo
"Sometimes, all we need is a reminder from someone who has walked before us."

      At the beginning of this book, Pastor Jose Navajo finds he has burned his candle at both ends and finds little left to enjoy about pastoring his church.  Day planners, people with problems and lack of inspiration has left him unmotivated to continue on with his ministry.  As a last ditch effort to regain ground, he goes to see his "old" pastor on a Monday.  His pastors message and guidance is so profound, that it leads to many more Monday's of visiting together Spoiler: As the Monday's go on, Navajo realizes that his old pastors health is quickly failing and he is coming close to death.  In these last weeks and days of life, a spring of godly wisdom pours from the old pastor into Navajo until his final breath.  

     My mind is still reeling after just finishing this book last night.  It's such a powerful read, that I could barely put it down; and finished it quickly.  Aside from the Bible, there is more truth, love, power, reflection, instruction and promise in this book, than any other book I've ever read.  Whether you are in the ministry or you are a follower of Christ, there is so much to glean from this book.  The fifteen principles that you find in it's pages and life changing and like jewels that you find yourself wanting to protect and cherish.  I cannot stress loudly and strongly enough how important this book is.  I will be buying a copy for my husband and my pastor today.  What a true blessing.  What notable encouragement.  This is honestly a book for all ages, walks of life and will forever be completely timeless and relevant. 
(I received this book free from Booksneeze.com as part of their blogging prograom. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Fall....

She's Got Issues DVD Curriculum by Nicole Unice

The Power of Prophetic Blessing by John Hagee  (blog tour)

Ten Christians Everyone Should Know by John Perry

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Preparation!

As I prepare to lead Nicole Unice's small group study "She's Got Issues" next month I happened to stumble upon her encouraging words for leaders.  Hope they help you too!

In my nine years of parenting, I’ve attended some really bad kid’s birthday parties. In my years in ministry, I’ve also participated (and lead) awkward small groups. I’ve been on volunteer ministry teams that didn’t accomplish much. And I’ve held jobs where I spent more time frustrated than fulfilled. The experiences were painful in different ways, but they had one thing in common: they all lacked vision.

For example, let’s consider the bad birthday party. During one of those experiences, I observed the group dynamics of a gaggle of preschoolers. Although there were clearly fun things available, there wasn’t any sense of direction. No one led the kids into a plan. No one helped them experience the fun together. Some kids clumped together in packs and began fighting. Some wandered aimlessly, loners outside of the group. And none of them really had much fun at all. The party didn’t lack the essential elements of a good time–it just lacked vision.

The party debacle reminded me of Matthew 9:36, when Jesus had compassion on the people because they were “harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd.” Yep, I just applied that to a preschool birthday party, a vision-less, shepherd-less experience for everyone. And that same concept applies to your work today.

Most churches and organizations have overarching vision statements, but as leaders, we can underestimate the need for vision in everything we shepherd. Perhaps you can tell me about your big vision in your church or company, but can you tell me about your vision for today’s staff meeting? Maybe you have a sense of what your manager or senior pastor believes is the vision of your team, but can you tell me about your vision for the event you are holding next month?

What that bad kid’s birthday party reinforced in me is that my primary role as a leader is to spark and maintain vision. Here’s a few ways this applies:

The Hook: Start off meetings or emails with a personal story. Use the story to hook back into the vision of your program. Most people are motivated when they know their work makes a difference, but you are responsible for communicating these connections. This can help us all keep the “main thing the main thing.”
Rigorous Pruning: As a leader, we must ask ourselves the hard questions. Does what we are doing actually accomplish the vision? Even if no one is talking about it, they are certainly thinking about it. Lead with courage, and prune projects and programs that aren’t accomplishing the vision.
Careful Tending: In order to lead with vision, I must carefully tend my own soul. The more vision-casting that’s required of me, the more solitude and prayer I require. Being the vision-holder is a tiresome job, no matter how much you believe in what you are doing.
Repeat with Diligence: Although your vision may be very clear and present to you, it’s never as clear or present in your team. Never assume that your team knows what you are after without a reminder. Spark the vision. Maintain the vision. Repeat.

Not only do we need vision for the work we do, we need vision for the life we live. In ministry, we all have the temptation of becoming reactive. I asked a co-worker recently about his workload, and he admitted he can lose a day (or more!) each week merely answering email.

We need personal vision. What is the most important thing you do? How do you prioritize? When should you say no in order to say yes to the most critical needs of your soul? If you are operating in a personal vision vacuum, today might be a day to spend some time refreshing yourself on what matters most to God, and what he’s gifted you to do. Tend your soul, tend to your team, and remember…even your kid’s birthday party needs vision.
Click here for more info!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Coming Up!

Hot off the press and coming to you shortly...

Bringing Up Girls Book Review



Book Review of Bringing Up Girls
  by Dr. James Dobson
"Practical advice and encouragement for those shaping the next generation of women."

      After much prodding, Dr. James Dobson has released Bringing Up Girls!  A follow up to best seller Bring Up Boys.  It is completely jammed packed with applicable information on raising daughters.  It hits topics we all deal with like - peer pressure, eating disorders, decisions on love, romance, and sex, life goals, academic demands, and many others.  Are you equipping your daughter to make wise choices?  Are you guiding your daughter on a journey through womanhood?

     WOW!  I'm in utter awe of this book.  The practical advice given here is unparallelled.  My book is already worn from constant referral.  Our daughters are growing up in a hard and unyielding world; where the enemy is looming around every corner to steal their innocence, purity and heart.  Dr. Dobson not only breaks down every aspect of a girl, and why they act and think the way they do.  But, he also provides information relevant to today's issues.  It's like having a real instruction manual for your daughter, and an arsenal of advice and encouragement.  Everything is backed up by godly wisdom and the Bible.  He also references many experts in the field of everything girl.  I love that is an compilation of the advice of many - not just the opinion of one.  If you have a daughter - you must pick up a copy of this book today.  Do not waste another moment blindly raising your daughter.  Get the encouragement and guidelines you need to do it right!
(I received this book free from Tyndale Blog Network as part of their blogging. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Fall....

She's Got Issues DVD Curriculum by Nicole Unice 

Monday's With My Old Pastor by Jose Navajo

The Power of Prophetic Blessing by John Hagee  (blog tour)

What You Need To Know About Bible Prophecy Book Review



Book Review of What You Need To Know About Bible Prophecy
  by Max Anders
"12 Lessons That Can Change Your Life"

    

     Why do I need to study prophecy?  Are prophecies to be understood literally or symbolically?  Rapture?  Millennium? This book will answer these questions and many more.  Inside this guide you will find:
  • 12 lessons that can be completed in under an hour each
  • Real-life application of biblical truth
  • Explanations of prominent Christian views on each topic 
  • Easy-to-teach lessons, including previews and summary features
  • Questions for discussion
  • Core teachings on Christianity that will challenge any seeker, new believer, or veteran belieber looking for a stronger foundation.  
    This guide is set up to be used with a small group Bible study - but could be used individually or with a spouse.  I chose to use it with my husband, and found that it fit perfectly.  It's appropriate for a once a week study that takes about an hour with discussion questions.  There is review within each chapter, much like a text book, so that key points and material are digested.  All of the points and focus are backed up with Scripture - totally biblical based.  The book doesn't present it self as "the only way".  It gives you points objectively, explaining the beliefs behind each type of theology.  It's flexible - presenting the various responsible positions that may be held on a subject.  The reader will find it easy to identify and expand upon their view or view of their church.  This guide also respectfully presents different evangelical positions, so there are no forced conclusions.  The book is easy to read, and seems friendly and warm.   It also contains a teaching outline so that you can present the book to your group with confidence.  I do recommend this book to anyone looking to brush up on biblical prophecy; or someone looking to strengthen their worldview for evangelism or debate. 

(I received this book free from Booksneeze.com as part of their blogging and book giveaway program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Fall....

She's Got Issues DVD Curriculum by Nicole Unice 

Monday's With My Old Pastor by Jose Navajo

The Power of Prophetic Blessing by John Hagee  (blog tour)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Need You Now Book Review



Book Review of Need You Now
  by Beth Wiseman

    
     From Amazon: "When big-city life threatens the safety of one of their children, Brad and Darlene Henderson move with their three teenagers from Houston to the tiny town of Round Top, Texas.
Adjusting to small-town life is difficult for the kids, especially fifteen-year-old Grace who is coping in a dangerous way.  Married life hasn't always been bliss, but their strong faith has carried Brad and Darlene through the difficult times. When Darlene takes a job outside the home for the first time in their marriage, the domestic tension rises. While working with special needs children at her new job, the widowed father of one of the students starts paying more attention to Darlene than is appropriate. Problem is, she feels like someone is listening to her for the first time in a long time.
If Darlene ever needed God . . . it's now. Experience a family's triumph over lies, betrayal, and loss while still clinging to the One who matters most."

"You may think you are familiar with Beth's wonderful storytelling gift but this is something new! It's a story of how God can redeem the seemingly unredeemable. It's a message the world needs to hear." -Sheila Walsh, author of God Loves Broken People



    Everyone that reads my blog knows that I'm not generally interested in family/love novels.  But, this one is an exceptional read.  This is the perfect story of family matters that affect a great deal of us and Beth Wiseman does a quality job at staying close to home.  I will be offering this book as a giveaway (look here) this month.  I endorse this book fully, especially if you have dealt with friendship, marriage, affairs, self-mutilation or loss.  This is a undemanding summer read for any woman. 

(I received this book free from Handlebar Marketing as part of their blogging and book giveaway program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Summer....
Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson
What You Need To Know About Bible Prophecy by Max Anders (12 lesson - small group Bible study)

Need You Now Giveaway






Need You Now
by Beth Wiseman

CONGRATULATIONS TO MEGAN HAUGEN OUR GIVEAWAY WINNER!


You've read the reviews (read mine here)! You've heard the hype! You can even see the promo video below. Now, it's time to enter to win a copy of this fabulous book for yourself.  That's right!  Right here, right now, all you need to do is post a comment about why you want to read this book.  Then, to complete your entry, either tweet or facebook this blog post link and spread the word.  A winner will be randomly chosen (using random.org) on Saturday, June 23 after 5:00pm (CST).  Don't miss out on this free copy.  The winner will a soft cover copy of this book via mail.  Anyone inside the USA can enter, and there will be no cost to ship.  Good luck to the competitors!










Thursday, May 31, 2012

Featured Author - Kerri Fernandez




Featured Author - Kerri Fernandez, with a
Book Review of Bethany
  by Kerri Fernandez


I thought that a direct autobiography would be best....

"My name is Kerri Jo Parish Fernandez, but I answer to many different names: Mom, Sweetie, Mr. Joe’s Wife, Dennis and Karen’s Daughter, Aunt Kerri, Mrs. Fernandez, Mrs. Kerri, sometimes just Mrs. I have filled many different roles in my life which have all worked together to create the person I am today. First, I am the daughter of a minister and his wife, Dennis and Karen Parish. When I was in 4th grade my parents decided to pull my brother and me out of the public school system in order to home-school us. Over the next several years my mother began working with other families and we soon had small classes meeting in our home around our dining room table. Out of that, my parents formed what is now PCAL Christian School. Not long after I graduated - in 1997 - I began teaching at PCAL. I have been teaching there for 12 years. Next, I became Miss Parish when I registered for college. It was then that I began to fall in love with history. I had a history professor who always gave us 2 assignments to choose from for our homework: we could answer a list of questions, or write something using the facts we had disused in class and in our text. We had things like: pretend you are a colonist settling in Plymouth and write a letter home telling your family about the events that have happened - using specific details from the text. At that moment, sitting down to complete a simple college assignment, history came alive for me. I began to realize that our past is so much more than dates and facts; it is filled with men, women, and children who lived real lives, doing real things, that forever changed my future. While in college I met Joseph Fernandez and soon added Mrs. Fernandez to my list of names. The next name I added to my list was Mom. Joe and I have two boys: Joseph Ryan and John Luke. We found out a few weeks ago we will be adding one more to our family in October! There are many other roles I fill using the same names: bookkeeper for my husband’s company he started a few years ago, coordinator for our church’s Wednesday night programming, and Sunday school teacher, to name a few. We have an amazing support group of friends and family that we fill as much time with as possible. Somewhere in all of this I became Aunt Kerri for the first time. I now have five nieces and three nephews who call me Aunt Kerri. It is for my oldest niece, Bethany, that I wrote this book."


I volunteered to review this book for Kerri Fernandez.  She's a personal friend that I went to church with as a teen, and her parents were high school teachers of mine.  It was a great honor to have one of her first copies of her very first published book in my hands.  What a sacred moment, when you allow someone else to read your writing and wait to hear their thoughts and opinions.  Here's Kerri's personal synopsis of her first novel, Bethany.  
"Bethany is the story of a young, spirited girl living in Georgia during the Revolutionary War. The book begins with a troop of Red Coats marching toward Bethany’s home. Due to laws passed by a king and Parliament an ocean away Bethany is forced to open her home to these enemy soldiers. Her home is taken over and made into a make-shift hospital. Bethany was left to run the home and farm after her father and brother join the American Militia. With the help of two servants, Bethany is able to keep the farm and home operating smoothly, while acting as the assistant to the head medic who is actually someone from her past. Eventually, Bethany becomes a spy for the American troops. She struggles with her feelings toward God, who seems to be taking away the people she loves, and with the feelings she has toward Alexander, the medic in the red coat."
I really delighted in every chapter of this book.  Fernandez obviously knows history like the back of her hand.  The detail and thought that she put into this book is evident.  Her love for the characters and this era shows throughout the novels entirety.  I highly suggest this as a living book for 9th-12th grade students studying the Revolutionary War and culture and vantage point of that time.  Fernandez not only captures the moments from our nations history, but intermingles a substantial love story.  Pick up a copy today (they are priced perfectly) and dive into history. 

Crater Book Review



Book Review of Crater
  by Homer Hickam
"A Helium-3 Novel"

     Homer Hickam (author of best seller Rocket Boys / October Sky) has a new book out geared for teens and young adults.   The book is set in the 22nd century; and the moon is now being mined for Helium-3 by tough pioneers. Crater Trueblood, our protagonist, enjoys his orphaned life working on the moon in a frontier mining settlement.  Crater is already a seasoned Helium-3 miner who hopes to promote up the ranks.   But the man who owns the mine, has a different plan for him.  Of course, it's not a good one. Crater ends up in a life or death adventure across the moon. 
    I recommend this book for young readers, age 12-25.  It's an precarious story with twists, turns, love and the fight between good and evil.  Although, I didn't enjoy the book (only due to my lack of satisfaction for this genre) I believe that most young people would thoroughly like it.  Hickam is a skilled and fantastic writer, as everyone knows from his vast library of superb books.  Hickam always seems so fascinated with all things space-related, and his research on the subject shows in this novel. I think this would be a great graduation gift for a summer read.   

(I received this book free from BookSneeze.com as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way this Summer....
Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson
Need You Now by Beth Wiseman (This will also be a GIVEAWAY!) 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What Are You Fashioned Like?

Yesterday I was really led to break apart Romans 12:2 in my Greek-Hebrew NASB Key Word Bible and dig into what God really wanted my small group at Bible Study to hear.   I just want to share it now with the world!  It's a sweet and formidable part of Scripture - and you need to receive it. 

Original NASB Text: "And do not be conformed to this word, but be transformed  by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is.  That which is good, and acceptable and perfect."

With Greek Translation Notation:
"And do not be conformed (fashioned like) this word, but be transformed (metamorphosed - change of condition) by the renewing (complete renovation) of your mind (as the seat of emotion, affection, mode of thinking, feeling, disposition, moral inclination, equivalent to the heart), that you may prove what the will (what God has already determined to do) of God is.  That which is good (morally), and acceptable (well pleasing) and perfect (complete)."

Complete Greek Translation - Putting It All Together: "And do not be fashioned like this world, but have a change of condition by the complete renovation of your emotion, affection, thinking, feeling, disposition, moral inclination and heart - that you may prove what God has determined to do through you. Which is morally good, well pleasing and complete."

    Aren't you excited about what that means for you?  God's not asking for just your mind to be transformed through Him, but all of your womanly (or manly) being (emotion, affection, thinking, feeling, disposition, moral inclination and heart).   I'm glad to know that with the Holy Spirit's help and guidance I can not only change how my mind thinks about how God sees me, but all of the above will be changed as well.  It will be an outer and inner renovation.  A complete change of condition.  As these changes take place, you will be aligned with God's will and you will be living proof of what God has determined to do through you.  He's not a man, He cannot lie.  In other words, what He has determined to do through you is solid and a promise.  You can take it to the bank.  If His will for you is a better marriage, the ability to evangelize, more children, strength to go another day, to be a missionary, it's already finished and He wants you to prove Himself through you.  Prove that living in the world and not of the world is the path to this glorious transformation.  I'm untroubled by His promise that His will for us is morally good, well pleasing and complete.  What a relief it is to know that all of His plans will prosper us!  Even when the current road seems long, dry and lonely, the end result if remarkable.  No one else in history is like Him!  To sing over you is His delight!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Behemoth Book Review


Book Review of Behemoth
  by Jonathan C. Leicht

     This new fiction begins on a game reserve in Kenya - which ends up in a bit of a snag, when a cape buffalo and three bull elephants are found gored to death.  As it turns out, the tracks of the animal that they are hunting for requital isn't anything they have seen before.  On the inclination that they are dealing with a dinosaur, they begin to interview natives and bring a creation science paleontologist on the scene.  On the other side of the globe, there is yet another team of scientists looking to solve the same mystery.  Things get pretty tense, which leads to a fantastic discovery.  Maybe even more than just one. 
    Let me preface this book by saying, this read will upset atheistic evolutionists.  They will consider it propaganda and swill.  I think that's the reason Leicht wrote it.  Obviously, the story isn't true.  But, if you are a Bible-believing creationist, it will make you think.  Leicht has a great way of bringing the creationists view to the fore-front and giving you a chunk of education too.  I think the story was a sensational adventure!  I believe it's an engaging read that will appeal to readers 12 and up, including adults. It's sort of a version of Jurassic Park for the current creationist.  I'm sure Leicht wouldn't like me to compare it to the movie, but I am.  It contains the same guns, intrigue, blood and fascination.  If you are looking for an exciting summer read, you found one here.

(I received this book free from BookSneeze.com as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way in April....
Bethany by Kerri Fernandez 
Crater by Homer Hickam
Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson
Need You Now by Beth Wiseman (This will also be a GIVEAWAY!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Eyes of Justice Book Review



Book Review of Eyes of Justice
  by Lis Wiehl with April Henry
"A Triple Threat Novel"

     This is Lis Wiehl's forth offering in the Triple Threat novel series.  She currently has five best sellers, and it's easy to see why.  As soon as you start the book, you are immediately thrown into the midst of murder.  Three friends, Cassidy, Nicole and Allison, all related to the "crime industry" are unknowingly intertwined with the murder.  One murder spirals into the next, and the next, and the web continues to get bigger and the plot thicker.   There is intrigue, shocking moments, and Christian principles throughout this thrilling book.
    Oh my word, this is the best of the series yet!  I absolutely couldn't put it down.  Wiehl's completely qualified to write this genre, since she is a prominent trial lawyer and a highly regarded commentator.  Not to mention that she is a legal analyst and reporter for Fox News; and a professor of law.  Being a wife and a mother of two as well, I wonder how in the world she still finds time to write these high powered and edgy books.  She also has experience as a Federal Prosecutor, and has worked with NPR and NBC News.  It's no wonder that her books are well thought out and well researched.  You will get a glimpse inside the lives of a TV new reporter, prosecutor and FBI investigator.    I was totally floored by the forth chapter.  I couldn't believe what my eyes where reading.  The book has shocking twists that keep you guessing.  If you like an exciting , thrilling read, pick this book up.  Although, I do not recommend this book to children under the age of 18 (some sexual content and other adult elements).  Go and get the whole series!

(I received this book free from BookSneeze.com as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

NEXT UP!  Reviews coming your way in April....
Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson
Behemoth by Jonathan C. Leicht
Need You Now by Beth Wiseman (This will also be a GIVEAWAY!)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Miracle For Jen GIVEAWAY!












a true story by Linda Barrick 
with John Perry

You've read the reviews (read mine here)! You've heard the hype! You've seen the promo videos, and you may have even seen or heard Jennifer Barrick speak.  Now, it's time to enter to win a copy of the inspirational book for yourself.  That's right!  Right here, right now, all you need to do is post a comment about why you want to read this book.  Then, to complete your entry, either tweet or facebook this link and spread the word.  A winner will be randomly chosen (using random.org) on Saturday, March 24 after 5:00pm (CST).  Don't miss out on this free copy.  The winner will receive via mail, a redemption certificate with instructions regarding receiving the book.   The winner will also receive a free book club or small group discussion guide via email.  Good luck to the competitors!







Miracle For Jen Book Review


Book Review of Miracle For Jen by Linda Barrick with John Perry
"A tragic accident, a mother's desperate prayer, and heaven's extraordinary answer."
Foreward by Joni Eareckson Tada

    
     Follow the true story of Jennifer Barrick and her family as they are struck with insurmountable tragedy in the midst of a horrific vehicle accident. You will immediately be thrust into the accident and the ghastly injuries that affected each member of their family.  Jennifer was a athlete and a regular Christian youth before the accident.  The accident changed everything, including mostly everything that encompassed who Jennifer was.  Left with severe brain damage, the future of fifteen year old Jennifer was bleak, as she lie comatose day after day.  Swiftly God came in and changed everything.  You will have to read this book (or win a copy here) to find out what happens when her spirit wakes up before her body and mind does.  It's an incredible journey of prayer, faith, supernatural miracles, friendship and constant reflection of God's great providence over our lives.  Take a look at this video, as and get an inside look into Jen's incredible story.



If you would like to know even more about Jennifer Barrick and the Hope Out Loud ministry - find out right here.

(I received this book free from www.tyndale.com as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What! You Want Me To Be Still?

Life is just funny sometimes, isn’t it?  You may think it’s not, but it’s all the way you look at the things that are happening around you.  I’m not really talking humorous; but, more like quirky, infelicitous and just plain weird.  Everyday I have my set list and a sort of concrete plan about what I’m going to try to accomplish.  More often that not, only three of the ten or more things get done.  In my youth I found this very exasperating, and felt as though I was perhaps failing as a mom and wife.  The key is rolling along, and doing what you can, and chuckling about the peculiar that is surrounding you.  I think God’s sense of humor is much better than our own, and it’s fantastic when you can lean back and chortle right along with Him.  This week my fifteen year old car decided it was too tired to go one more foot down the busy road we were on. This was the weekend family members were coming in from Colorado and staying at my parents.   A dead car wasn’t in the scenario of visiting with them for a day. Trapped in the car that I had rolled backward into the closest ditch, I had time to kill.  Dad was on the way to rescue me and the tow truck was on it’s way to tug and pull my little vehicle somewhere else. I got a lift from Dad back to their house, and spent the weekend at the mercy of others.  I didn’t know when I’d make it back home, but at this point, who cares, right?  My husband was a little perplexed when I told him I didn’t know when I was returning; and we would just go with it and see what happened.  This doesn’t happen with me.  I’m very black and white, and this was room for a lot of gray.  Three days later I eventually made it home and turned around and canceled many appointments until further notice.  In between the chaos I discovered the people around me.  I’ve known these people all my life. This time, with no where to go, I gave them my full attention and learned a whole lot about someone else.  I learned to depend on someone else.  I discovered that waiting in God’s timing is better than my own.  There were things He didn’t want me to miss, and I needed to be still and helpless to see them.  So next time God is calling you to be rooted to your spot - just stay there, with eyes, mind and heart open.  Discover that there is something to behold from your vantage point, wherever that may be.

Ascent From Darkness Book Review



Book Review of Ascent From Darkness
  by Michael Leehan
"How Satan's Soldier Became God's Warrior"


     Ascent From Darkness is the true story of Michael Leehan's twenty year walk with satanism and his powerful deliverance into the hand of God.  Leehan came from a troubled and poor existence, with no support from Christian friends or family.  He choose to make a blood covenant with Satan, and become his devoted follower.  For two decades Leehan practiced the dark arts, including ritualistic cuttings, blood sacrifice, and many other things that were meant to disrupt Christian's walk with God.  Of course, he ends up divorced, estranged from his family, jobless and completely in the pit on despair and hopelessness.  But, all hope is not lost!  God places key people into Leehan's life that shape his path and future.  By prayer and unconditional love from others, Leehan's eyes finally begin to see God's light. This is the MOST powerful story of redemption that you WILL EVER encounter.
     I'm still overwhelmed by everything that encompassed this book.  Next to the Bible, it's probably the most consequential book I have ever read, for many reasons.  Most importantly, you will come to understand Satan's ploys; and how he uses people in his recruit to constantly combat and derail Christian's.  As a Christian you will become empowered and informed, and find yourself being the watch tower for your family.  This although comes with a price.  Satan, in no way, wants you to read this book.  He will begin to attack you - and you must be on alert and aware that he is.  So many other reviews I read about this book explain the same experience.  There is TRUTH within these pages, and by reading this information you will be disrupting Satan's plan for destruction and dominance.  Secondly, I found that this book is a bedrock for those troubled with addiction, bondage, strongholds, and much more.  God's power and radiance will cut through anything just by our seeking and requesting.  Leehan may seem as though he was out of God's reach or too far gone.  But, there God was the entire time, and scooped him up into the warmth of His wing.  God's glory and resplendent nature will leave you in awe.  Finally, I believe this book with strengthen and sharpen your need to pray and find compassion for others.  The essential people that God put in Leehan's life exhibited prayer, love, discernment, and God's truth.  This book will truly make you look at the people are you are ministering to in a different light.  I recommend this book with as many stars as possible to readers age 14 and up.  Parents please use discretion before passing this book on to your young adults.  Adults, read this book and immediately pass it on.  Let's not give Satan one more inch.  


(I received this book free from BookSneeze.com as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

Saturday, February 25, 2012

George Washington Carver Book Review



Book Review of George Washington Carver
  by John Perry
from the Christian Encounters Series


     John Perry digs into the life and mind of remarkable man, George Washington Carver.  Carver, "A generation of 20th-century Americans knew him as a gentle, stoop-shouldered old black man who loved plants and discovered more than a hundred uses for the humble peanut. George Washington Carver goes beyond the public image to chronicle the adventures of one of history's most inspiring and remarkable men."  This book takes a look at not only his childhood, working days, and scientific discovery, but most of all, his heart and total dedication to Christ.  He turned every observation and every scientific revelation, back to God the Creator of it all.  He said, "I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in."  He also stated, "Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God."  Additionally, Carver stayed ever faithful to the African-American community; and gave his life for the betterment and advancement of "his people."  
      George Washington Carver is no longer a highly-publicized man as he was in the early 1900's, but he should be.  It was privilege to learn more about this quirky man that saw the world in a new way.  He wasn't driven by money or material items, but by the excitement of uncovering God in nature and bringing glory to Him.  Even though he was a simple man, his understanding of life and his own personal rules to live by were extraordinary.  He was all about treating people, no matter the race, and our earth with respect, grace and love.  His example is one to be mirrored.  This would be a significant living book for any student of history to read.  Within the book are some of Carver's own writings, as well as first hand accounts from the people in his life that witnessed his unconventional ways and knew him on a personal level.  Anyone would enjoy learning about this Godly man and his advancement in the world of science.  

(I received this book free from BookSneeze.com as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Heart of Ice Book Review


Book Review of Heart of Ice
  by Lis Wiehl with April Henry
"A Triple Threat Novel"

     This is Lis Wiehl's third offering in the Triple Threat novel series; and her seventh book so far.  She currently has five best sellers, and it's easy to see why.  As soon as you start the book, you are immediately thrown into the midst of murder.  Three friends, Cassidy, Nicole and Allison, all related to the "crime industry" are unknowingly intertwined with the murder.  One murder spirals into the next, and the next, and the web continues to get bigger and the plot thicker.   There is intrigue, shocking moments, and Christian principles throughout this thrilling book.
    This is a fabulously fun book.  You will not want to put it down.  I found that I was neglecting laundry because I was sneaking time with this exciting read instead.  It's a true page-turner!  Wiehl's completely qualified to write this genre, since she is a prominent trial lawyer and a highly regarded commentator.  Not to mention that she is a legal analyst and reporter for Fox News; and a professor of law.  Being a wife and a mother of two as well, I wonder how in the world she still finds time to write these high powered and edgy books.  She also has experience as a Federal Prosecutor, and has worked with NPR and NBC News.  It's no wonder that her books are well thought out and well researched.  You will get a glimpse inside the lives of a TV new reporter, prosecutor and FBI investigator.   Wiehl also lets you spy into the thoughts and motives of a psychopath and pyromaniac. It's a trouble-free read with lots of characters and short chapters.  Although, I do not recommend this book to children under the age of 18 (some sexual content and other adult elements).  If you grab this book you will enjoy it.  It's rousing and will keep you guessing. 

(I received this book free from BookSneeze.com as part of their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")