Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Once A Day NIV Bible for Women

The Once A Day NIV Bible for Women is unlike any other Bible I've used before. I wasn't sure what to expect when I read that it has a reading plan included in it. This Bible is not a Bible you can just flip through to find the passage you want. Instead it is separated into 365 daily readings.

Each reading contains a passage from the Old Testament, New Testament, a small passage from Psalms or Proverbs and a short devotional. The Bible also includes a section explaining the plan of Salvation, and several examples of how to grow your relationship with God.

I found that I really enjoyed using this Bible. I think it's unique that it offers some Old Testament and New Testament each day instead of just one passage. I think it adds a little variety to your reading and helps keep it exciting!

There's no rhyme or reason to the reading schedule. You can either begin on day 1, or follow the calendar in the back if you choose to begin in January...whichever works best for you.

This is definitely not a Bible you would use to just look up Bible references. It is made to be somewhat of a devotional, except that it's mostly Bible that you're reading. I really enjoyed the set up of this Bible and will continue to use it daily! I rate it as 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers 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.”

Saturday, September 13, 2014

940 Saturdays

There are 940 Saturdays between the day your child is born, and the day they turn 18. "940 Saturdays: Family Activities and a Keepsake Journal" by Harley A. Rotbart is a fun way to document those Saturdays!

"940 Saturdays" is a surprisingly large journal which consists of 480 pages. Each page contains 2 Journal entries which are numbered from 1 to 940, with a space to write the date and write about what you did that day. The journal also comes with a small activity book which is divided into age groups and lists of activities to do with your children. The activities listed are pretty basic, and most of them are things I have already done with my children.

I think the concept of this book is great! I think it's a wonderful idea to document your days with your kids. I think the message that the author is trying to convey is that we should make everyday count. And while I think this is excellent advice, I would push that statement to go a little further to say "Make everyday count". Why wait for the future? Why wait for the weekend? Document everyday with your kids.

I knew what this book was about when I requested it, but it is not exactly what I was expecting. I didn't realize that a majority of this book was blank pages. That's great and all, but I just expected a bit more input from the author. Great concept, but it falls a little short. I rate this book as 3 stars.

I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Before Amen by Max Lucado

In "Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer" Max Lucado shares about all of the different types of prayer, and how to pray when it's hardest. He shares his "Pocket-size Prayer", an easy to remember prayer to help you get started. He explains that prayer isn't for a select few. It's the way all of us were designed to have a heartfelt conversation with God!

In "Before Amen", Lucado explains that prayer doesn't have to be so formal. It can just be a simple conversation. When you talk to your earthly father, do you use "thee", "thou", and make your requests sound like something out of the renaissance? Yes, you can pray that way, but God still hears you when you talk to Him like you talk to your earthly father. Prayer is an intimate conversation. God wants to hear from us!

The Pocket-size Prayer is not some gimmick. It's simply a tool to help us learn how to pray. It can be expanded to cover any communication with God.

I really enjoyed this book! In fact, I have not yet read a book of Max Lucado's that I didn't like.His writing is very easy to read and understand. When I read his books, I feel like I am reading something written to me by a friend. I highly recommend this book and rate it as 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Good News for Weary Women by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

It's disheartening to see exactly how much pressure is applied to women in our culture today. In "Good News for Weary Women" by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, Elyse explains the multitude of reasons why women are so weary, and what we can do to stop it from happening.

Women are constantly hearing messages about what they should be doing, what they should be wearing, how they should treat their husbands, how they should be a good mom...the list goes on and on. Women have become weary with all of the world's views and sad to say, the church's view on how women should act. It's impossible to live up to everyone's standards. We're ridden with guilt because we don't quite measure up to the other mom's or women we know. Facebook only adds to this problem as we only get to see the positive qualities in our friends. We don't see their failings and shortcomings. This can actually leave us feeling like we are the ones who don't quite measure up. 

Tucked into each chapter is a list of answers describing some of the dumbest advice women had ever received on how to be more godly. Some of these answers include "Never say no to a ministry opportunity", "Never let anyone see your true self", and "Be at church every time the doors are open" just to name a few. Elyse explains how ridiculous it is for us to try to compare ourselves with other women, and how God doesn't expect us to be perfect. I think this is a wonderful book that most women could benefit from. I don't know one woman who hasn't experienced weariness at one point or another. Very well written.

I rate this book as 4 stars. I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

For a sneak peek at "Good News for Weary Women", keep reading!

I have a daughter, two daughters-in-law,and two granddaughters, and if there is anything I want them to know, it is this:
There is good news for you. You don’t need to learn
secret steps, try harder and harder, wear yourself out in
an attempt to be beautiful, snag Mr. Perfect, or raise
perfect children. You are already welcomed, loved,
forgiven, and completely okay. You can laugh and rest
and resist all the ways the world lies to you and tells
you you’re not good enough. And you can love God
because He has already loved you. You can be free to
fail, to rest, to love, to be weak, to grow, and to know
that everything is already given to you in Him.

I know that women (and men) have been overwhelmed
by to-dolists, steps, and bad advice since the beginning of
time. Even five hundred years ago, Martin Luther didn’t need
to read his Facebook friends’ posts about their having fun
without him to realize that there was something wanting in
his life. He was aware of his inability to obey God’s law from
the heart, and he knew he didn’t have his own self-approval,
let alone God’s. But I do think there is something a little
more desperate, more frenetic about our present wilderness.
There are so many messages being broadcast at us from every
direction about “How to be perfect in 149 simple steps” or
“How your life will become a self-inflicted Armageddon if
you don’t follow these rules.”
As a woman who loves Christ, the gospel, her family, her
church, and her country, I’m standing up to scream, “Stop this
madness! Be done with the fluff, the bricks, and the despair-breeding, anxiety-multiplying self-righteousness!
It’s time to trust in Christ—and Christ alone! He has already done it
all. Everything you need has already been given to you.” Or
in the words of the writer to the Hebrews, “Whoever has
entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did
from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest” (Hebrews

Instead of freeing me to love and serve Christ and my
family, all this “good advice” loaded me down with guilt and
shame over my ongoing sin and piled on more and more
wearisome rules. The very thing I was taking as an antidote
for my failure was making me more and more ill. Instead of
finding freedom, I was a slave to self-justification.
And judging from what I’ve heard from other women, I don’t think
I’m the only one who has ingested this poisonous brew.

The problem comes when women (and men) haven’t
learned how to differentiate between law and gospel—when
we don’t understand how the good news of Jesus’ perfect life,
death, resurrection, ascension, and reign is meant to impact
us. When we don’t see the connection between the righteous
life Jesus lived and our standing before a holy God, we are setting
ourselves up for bondage. Many women don’t understand
the freedom that has been purchased for us, and we often get
tangled up in legalism or moralism. We don’t know what it
would look like for obedience to be motivated by gratitude.

I believe there are specific instructions in Scripture regarding
gender roles, including those in Genesis 2–3, Proverbs
31, Ephesians 5, 1 Timothy 2, Titus 2, and 1 Peter 3. I believe
that these truths remain valid for today and that we ignore
them to our great harm. But I also believe that much of what
has been dished out to women under the guise of “biblical
gender roles” has failed us in at least two ways. It has gone
way beyond Scripture’s bounds, while at the same time closing
off much of the Bible’s message of comfort and hope. In
these ways, much of this teaching resembles Jesus’ description
of the Pharisees’, for it gathers unnecessarily heavy burdens
and lays them on women’s shoulders (see Matthew 23:4).
Meanwhile, those who teach these things effectively “shut the
kingdom of heaven in [their] faces” (verse 13).
When we define gender roles too narrowly, overemphasizing
a limited number of texts while completely ignoring the breadth of Scripture— when we try to make Scripture say more than it actually does or tell any segment of people that only certain parts of the Scripture concern them (whether we
intentionally communicate this message or not)— we do so to the detriment of women and men, and to the detriment of the church and its mission in the world.

and soul crushing to tell a woman that the only worthwhile
activity she can do is to birth children and serve a husband
and a family. This mind-
also creates an idol out of the
family structure, making success as a homemaker/mother the
most important vocation in a woman’s life. And although
this is a high calling, it should not trump our first and foremost
calling: to believe in Christ.

In response to the evils of radical feminism, which shamed women who didn’t work outside the home, the radical femininity movement has shamed Christian women who work outside the home (for a variety of reasons) or who are not married or who have been divorced. Many Christian women have been taught that motherhood is not only their highest calling but also that it is the only calling they should aspire
to. It seems a little like the drunk man who falls off his horse on one side and climbs back into the saddle, only to fall off on the other.

Taken from Good News for Weary Women by Elyse Fitzpatrick copyright © 2014. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Riley Mae and The Sole Fire Safari by Jill Osborne

"Riley Mae and The Sole Fire Safari" by Jill Osborne is the third book in The Good News Shoes series. My 8 year old has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this book so she was super excited when she found out I was getting this book to review!

In "Riley Mae and The Sole Fire Safari", Riley Mae is on another adventure! This time she is headed to Kenya with her mom, the Swiftwater team, and her good friends: Faith, Hope and Grace. Riley is having a fantastic time in Kenya! She's making new friends, trying new foods and learning what life is like all the way across the world! But at the same time, Riley misses her dad and her crazy little brother! When will she get to go home?

Throughout the weeks Riley is in Africa she learns a lot about herself, and most importantly, what God is trying to teach her. By the end of the trip, Riley even has a good idea of what she wants to be when she grows up!

There are so many reasons why I love this book series! I love that Riley is a strong role model for young girls. I don't have to worry about what my daughter is reading when she reads this series. Riley is an average 13 year old girl, but she doesn't obsess over boys like a lot of tween books I see. It's refreshing to see a girls' book with morals and values.

I rate this book as 5 stars! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers 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.”