Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review(s)

Today I wanted to tell you a bit about two books I have been blessed to read and enjoy!  Both of these books would make great gift books as well as inspirational books for you!

he knows your

The first is He Knows Your Name by Travis Cottrell, if you are not familiar with Travis he tours with Beth Moore as the Worship leader at her events!  He is an amazing worship leader who loves the Lord with all his heart and this pours into every facet of his life.

He Knows Your Name is a book that will speak to your heart.  Travis uses scripture to clearly show how the Lord not only knows your name, but KNOWS you.  When you are wondering, as you trek through the latest struggle, if he even knows you, you will find courage in that HE is walking this journey with you as well.  
I loved the intimate style that Travis takes to paint a picture of just how much God loves you and cherishes you. 

This little book would make a great stocking stuffer for a friend or relative who needs a little reminder of just how much God loves them!

The Power of Ordinary Prayer is another sweet devotion book.  This book will encourage you to make prayer an greater priority in your life.  Michael W. Smith reminds us just how powerful our prayers are.  Specifically, Michael takes you through six different areas of prayer : promises from God, spiritual health, pure mind, personal holiness, backyard blessings, and spiritual victory.

power of ordinary prayer

No matter what you are currently facing or experiencing there is a section to dive into to see just how we can pray to the Lord who is waiting to connect with us on a very intimate level.

My favorite part of this book is that in each chapter there are several times when you can stop and journal right in that section.  There are pages set aside to jot notes, or even prayers after reading what Michael shares.

I would encourage you to check out this great book, it would be a great resource to pass around to your family members to work through individually, or even to read as a family devotion.  This would also make a great gift for the upcoming Christmas Season – would slip perfectly into a stocking or wrapped for a friend!  I enjoyed this book!

NOTE : I was offered a copy of each of these books in exchange for an honest review, by Worthy Publishing.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review : Experiencing God At Home {Day by Day}

I love books that can help us (as parents) do this parenting job better!  Years ago I enjoyed working through The Experiencing God workbook so when I was offered the Experiencing God At Home Day by Day devotion book I was anxious to check it out!


This is a sweet little book, about 5x7 – padded hard bound book that offers daily devotions to go through as a family.  There are other special devotions included as well like Family Baptism, birthday, Christmas, and other holidays. 

Each devotion lists out a passage of scripture to read, then offers a question to get the discussion started.  After the question there is a devotional related to the scripture.  Next there is a family prayer section that you can read or you can take their idea and say your own prayer.  Finally there is a section suggesting quiet time “for younger children” and “for older children” which you can then read to your child for them to do on their own.

I think this book is a great tool for a family who is not sure where to being a family devotion time.  It is a great book for a family who has a daily devotion time and just wants some new material.  My family loved the subjects that were addressed in these daily assignments.   We felt they were certainly relevant to daily life as well as a deeper look into the scriptures.

This would be a great gift book for any family on your Christmas list!!

NOTE : I was offered a copy of Experiencing God at Home Day by Day, in exchange for an honest review, by B&H Publishing Group.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book Review : Unstoppable

My 12 year old was the reader of this book. 


Unstoppable is a book by Nick Vujicic who’s ministry is called Life Without Limbs.  If you are not familiar with Nick check out these videos:



So, here is what my son has to say about the book:

It was cool to see how someone could live without arms and legs.  Seeing how he is able to live a normal life was inspiring.  Listening to how he describes overcoming difficulties was very powerful.  He reminds you that it will usually take more than you have to overcome and yet you need to have faith.

Nick’s testimony has affected the lives of so many other people.  There were some people who were crippled and they were inspired by how he was dealing with his life, and they would realize that they could overcome what they were facing too.  Many people who were just in a bad place (without a job, depressed, etc) saw his courage to face life, especially without limbs, and they were able to get themselves back to a better place by pushing through.

I also read through most of the book and loved it.  It is a highly inspiring story that will encourage your heart on many levels.  This book will pull anyone out of a dark place, seeing how much Nick loves life, simply makes you want to go out and make the most of what you have!

I love his humor, his jokes and his honesty.  I enjoy his stories woven throughout his book that will explain what he has faced and how he made it through.  What I love most though, is the way Nick loves the Lord and shares his passion of sharing that love with others.  Seeing how he has trusted the Lord through his life inspires and reminds me to trust him with everything.

This is a great book for anyone to read, even young adults – helps them to see life a bit beyond their own lives.  Would make a great gift for the upcoming Christmas Season!!

NOTE : I was offered a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Waterbrook Multnomah, in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Growing up … ugh!

Here is the evidence of the dreaded truth – these kids are growing far too fast!!  But oh my – aren’t they adorable/handsome!?

ag 1brothersed fencejb on fencepj fence good

And a few more…

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boy boots

Book Review : Under a Blackberry Moon

I LOVED this book!!

Read this description…….

Which wilderness is more treacherous--the one she must cross to find her home . . . or the one she must traverse to find love?

blackberry moon

Just a few days after she gave birth alone in the northwoods, a recently widowed young Chippewa woman stumbled into a nearby lumber camp in search of refuge from the winter snows. Come summer, it is clear that Moon Song cannot stay among the rough-and-tumble world of white lumbermen, and so the camp owner sends Skypilot, his most trusted friend, to accompany her on the long and treacherous journey back to her people.
But when tragedy strikes off the shore of Lake Superior, Moon Song and Skypilot must depend on each other for survival. With every step they take into the forbidding woods, they are drawn closer together, until it seems the unanswerable questions must be asked. Can she leave her culture to enter his? Can he leave his world to enter hers? Or will they simply walk away from a love that seems too complicated to last?
Get swept into a wild realm where beauty masks danger and only the truly courageous survive in a story that will grip your heart and your imagination.

Okay, so now you know a bit about why I requested this book, I was intrigued by the story line.  But, I fell in love with Moon Song and what she represents.  I loved learning some great history of American Indians in Michigan.  I found myself thinking about the story, the characters and this period in history– far after I finished the last page.

Moon Song is a strong woman who knows how to survive.  While stranded on the coast of Michigan with Skypilot and another survivor from their ship-wreck she is the one who ensures they survive.  Seeing the strength in this woman and her passion to serve others was inspiring.

Did I mention Skypilot?  What a great character for a book – a man who is not afraid to be a man, to stand up and defend, but also to accept help from Moon Song when his life is on the line.   I enjoyed watching his character grow, while grappling with his own past and figuring out his future.   Skypilot’s faith was the strongest element of his character.  Seeing him stand firm in who he is, and what he believes gave this story even more depth.

I highly recommend this sweet story, it is fast paced, you will be hesitant to put it down and you will enjoy how it ends.  I was sad to say goodbye to Moon Song and Skypilot!


For more information, please visit Under A Blackberry Moon

NOTE : I was offered a copy of Under a Blackberry Moon by Revell Publishers , in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book Review : Return to Me

Update: I received an extra copy of this book, so if you would like a copy, leave a comment below and I will choose a name randomly on Wednesday and send you a copy for FREE!!


Return to Me is the first book in the Restoration Chronicles by Lynn Austin. 


This is an amazing Biblical Fiction story that will draw you in to the times when the Israelites were leaving Babylon and reclaiming Jerusalem , in such a way that you will feel like you were there.

This is a historical story, and romance, and ever a bit dramatic.  The story stays as true to the Bible as it can with only the addition of dialogue and historical details.   I felt like this story brought the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations and Ezekiel to life, I could see how these events changed the people.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book Review : A Christmas Gift for Rose

I love the little short stories/novellas/gift books that come out.  I always enjoy grabbing a quick read that I can enjoy by the fire on a yucky day! 


As a reviewer though I get to enjoy these books in September and October – but that is okay with me too!!

What would you do if all that you thought you knew about your life was revealed to be not what you thought?  How would you find the strength to stand against all those who know you when someone you love makes a choice that threatens your reputation and their own?  Those are just two of the issues faces in my latest read.

A Christmas Gift for Rose, written by Tricia Goyer, is a sweet Amish story that takes place right after World War II.  

Rose is engaged to a man who choses to face what he feels God is calling him to do rather than opt out.  Most Amish men choose prison over the military, they are a people group who believe strongly in pacifism.  However, Jonathan felt that he would honor God more with his service to help soldiers who were injured and served as a medic.  His people do not understand or forgive his choices though.

Meanwhile, Rose continues to have nightmares that terrify her.  Finally her mother reveals the truth to Rose’s past, that she was not born into that family.  So Rose must figure out who she is, and what she will stand for. 

This story takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas and is a sweet story.  There are many things to catch in this story – my favorite is the value of family.   You will chuckle, you might cry, but in the end it will warm your soul!

About the book: Rose turned her back on the man she loves after he assisted the Englisch during World War II---only to discover she's an Englischer herself. Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns that she was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work. Was she meant to be Amish or would she have been better off growing up with her own
kind---Englischers? When the man she loves leaves her behind, Rose is certain he left for good. Yet Rose discovers sometimes our greatest gifts are the ones we fear.
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/pfhBl
About Tricia: USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of over 35 books, including the three-book Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and "Lead Your Family Like Jesus," (co-written with Ken Blanchard). She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like TheBetterMom.com and MomLifeToday.com. She is the host of Living Inspired, a weekly radio show. Tricia and family live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children.
You can find out more about Tricia at www.TriciaGoyer.com.

NOTE : I received a copy of A Christmas Gift for Rose in exchange for an honest review, by Zondervan Publishers.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Review : Audrey Bunny

As my sweet little girl is growing up so quickly I want to hold on to these moments just a little bit longer!!  Today I get to show you a bit of a book that will let me do just that. 
If you are not familiar with Angie Smith – you really need to check her out!  She is an amazing woman with an inspiring story!  I have loved watching her story unfold (as heart breaking as it has been) on her blog (Bring the Rain) for years. 

So – back to the book!!

audrey bunny

This book is sweet even before you open it – the illustrations are absolutely charming – we loved them!!  Breezy Brookshire is the illustrator who brings this story to life!  Check out Breezy’s blog post about Audrey Bunny.



On top of being beautiful and sweet and lovely – this story delivers a great message.  One of hope, of purpose, more specifically a message of who God is.  As I read this story to my little girl, my boys gathered around too, to listen – so this is certainly not just for girls.  The truths of this story are universal – we are created just the way we are by a perfect God who loves us more than we can imagine!!

I urge you to grab a copy of this book and share it with those you love!!


Angie Smith is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award winning group Selah), best-selling author of Mended, I Will Carry You, and What Women Fear, and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country. She holds a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University and lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, TN.

Learn more about Angie Smith...

NOTE : I was offered a copy of Audrey Bunny in exchange for an honest review.


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