Monday, November 4, 2013

Knowing God by Name a Devotional

Knowing God by Name: A Girlfriends in God Faith Adventure  -     
        By: Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, Mary Southerland
I previously posted a review on a Devotional I wasn't totally sold on, this one is so different.  I love it.  Knowing God by Name is a devotional that is packed full of scripture, spiritual insights and challenge. 

Knowing God by Name is written by A Girlfriends in God Faith Adventure.  Three ladies that love the Lord, study His Word and apply it to their lives.  You don't feel like they are preaching to you or talking down to you but bringing you along on a journey to discover who Jesus is.

There are 8 weeks divided into 6 sections or days.  I have been not worrying about the weeks or days, but just going through it day by day.  5 days of each week are Bible Study about a different name of God, where they are found and what can be applied to our lives.  The 6th day is called "Now it is your turn."  A chance to remember what was taught and study more and apply it more.

I am enjoying reading each of the 3 ladies, different perspectives as each day is written by someone else.  It is a well rounded book, doesn't lag and really was what I was looking for.  I believe they really sought the Lord on what to say.  It is a book that can be used once, put down for awhile and read it again.  It can be a devotional, like I am doing, or a Bible Study in a small group.  It would be a great Bible study and I might lead one, sometime.

I love learning about the Names of God, revealing His character.  If you have a chance to pick this up, don't hesitate it is well worth it.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sweet and Simple Moments with God

The One Year - Sweet and Simple Moments with God Devotional by Kim Newlen is not really my style.  It is a little "fluffy" for my taste.  I think it is a good devotional, not theologically wrong - but I like to dive deeper into God's word.  I like to have scripture to read and deep insights to think on.  But despite my personal taste, I believe this would be a great gift for someone who needs some encouragement and simple pick me up each day.  In fact, I already have someone in mind to give it to.

This book is a daily devotional, with a scripture, some womanly insights on this scripture and a fun application.  For example on April 10th the theme is Do You Need Rest?  and the scripture is Matthew 11:28.  The fun application is "Treat yourself to a few restful moments today.  Curl up on the couch with a favorite warm beverage and read through the psalms." 

Even despite my negative personal review.  I do believe that it is a good simple devotional, that many women will truly enjoy.  If you want a simple, good devotional that will challenge and encourage you - this is the book for you.

Thank you to Tyndale for letting me review this book.


Firsthand by Ryan and Josh Shook is a must read.   If you are in ministry, lead a small group, a youth pastor or even a parent - this book is a great one to read.  Ryan and Josh, brothers, talk about how as Pastor's kids they grew up having a faith but when they went to college and crisis of their own happened, they realized that their faith wasn't firm.  How do you have firsthand faith?  Faith that is not your parents, teachers, or someone else's but your own.

"It doesn't matter how real your parents' faith is, or anyone else's for that matter, if you don't develop a faith of your own.  A handed-down faith that you've never owned for yourself doesn't give meaning to your life...Hand-me-down faith may work when things are going well, but when pressures and problems hit, what you thought you believed will crumble."   pg. 5

8 chapters, including:  Why Firsthand Matters, Sick of Secrets, Real Faith, Real Change, and First Hand Community, bring you through the process of having "hand-me-down" faith and turning it into "firsthand" faith.  Each chapter has some letters and responses from real people, a Think About It, and a Might Try This section to help you apply what has been taught to your own life and pass it on to others.

As a pastor and a mom, I want my children to have a strong belief in Jesus Christ but I don't want it just to be something they put on because of me.  I want them to have a firsthand faith, a faith that withstand the test of time, trials and anything that this world gives to them.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When God Intervenes

When God Intervenes by Dabney Hedegard is an amazing book.  This is a story filled with miracles, blessing and how God rescued Dabney from death not once but multiple times.  This true story will keep you reading and wondering what is coming next and how is God going to rescue her next.  If you don't believe in miracles, you will after you read this book.

I loved this book and highly recommend it.  Dabney believed in God, yet she didn't fully understood His power, grace and love.  She was 6 weeks pregnant and discovered an eight inch tumor in her chest.  After being diagnosed with cancer she waited for treatment in order to save the life of her baby.  This was only the start of her incredible journey through miracle after miracle.  Today she has 3 birth and 1 adopted child.  Proving again that God is the God of the miraculous and amazing.

Pick this book up, you won't be disappointed. Your faith will be challenged and you will come to understand God more.  He is amazing and He still does work miracles in our lives today.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Blessed Woman by Debbie Morris

This book was great!  From page 1 to the end - I felt like I was growing closer to God with each page.  In fact I used it as part of my devotional each day.  When I finished the book, I was wishing there was more to read.  I love it when I get sad that a book is ending. 

Debbie Morris, the executive pastor of women's ministry at Gateway Church in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, writes this book with such insight into the Word of God and such wonderful application.  It is fun to hear her stories and feel like you are not alone.

She takes us through the lives of some well known women of the Bible, like: Eve, Mary, Esther and through some not so known women, like:  Jael and Zipporah.  She gives fresh new insight, without straying from the true Word of God.  After you read about each woman, you feel like you know them better, understand yourself better, and know the heart and nature of God better, too.

This book would make a great book club reading or women's Bible Study.  Each chapter had a Study Guide that is great!  It is meant to be studied one chapter at a time, with questions that recap, engage, talk, pray, explore, and a list of key messages. 

Pick this up, read it, study it, you won't be disappointed.
 "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."

Here is a sneak peak:

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hunt For the Devil's Dragon - Focus on the Family presents The Imagination Station

The Imagination Station - Hunt for the Devil's Dragon was a fun kids book.   Cousins Beth and Patrick encounter an adventure of a lifetime as they travel back in time to 13th century Libya.  Beth is having a problem at school and Mr. Whittaker in wonderful Adventures in Odyssey fashion has an amazing and creative way to help her learn how to handle this problem and how to trust in God.

I remember hearing about Adventures in Odyssey on the radio, growing up.  Now my kids and I have borrowed the CD's from the Library and are enjoying them so much.  It is a great and creative way to learn practical and biblical lessons.  I was excited to see they have books as well. 

This book is an easier read, yet it may be a little bit scary for a younger child.  I would recommend you read it first and then see if your child would be ok with it.  Because it deals with dragons and death - you may need to talk about it with them.  Other than that it is a great book and I would highly recommend the series.

Thank you Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sent - A must read.

Wow.  Have you ever read a book that was so amazing you had a hard time putting it down.  Sent by Hilary Alan was that kind of book for me.  Hilary and her husband were strong Christians who lived a comfortable life, yet they knew there was more to life than just earning money and trying to get ahead.  They wanted to hear from God and when they did the two words, "Follow Me" changed their lives forever.  Selling everything they had and moving their family to a war torn, Muslim province in Southeast Asia that had just been ravaged by the tsunami they found out the true joy and peace in obeying these words and finding joy that was unmatched.

I love how in Sent, Hilary Alan doesn't make you feel like you must go and be a missionary, yet she compels us to ask the Lord, "Am I doing everything You have called me to?"  A question every believer should be asking continually.  Hilary Alan contradicts the thought that "the safest place to be is the center of God's will."  She proves in her testimony that sometimes God ask us to go to war torn, tsunami effected areas so it is not necessarily safe, but "The center of God's will is absolutely the most peaceful place and the most obedient place to be." (pg 37)

Sent is not a book that is just about one person or a couples call to go be missionaries, but about how God called the whole family to be lights and to go across the world for Him.  I love how her whole family is included and involved not only in the decision process but also in the life they lived while in Southeast Asia.  Hilary Alan shares what it is to be a mom who is called to a life that not only is she unsure for herself but for her children as well.  She shows how God will call the whole family, as a group and individually and how what seemed could be a sacrifice became a blessing instead.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Briar Patch Gospel

Cover: The Briarpatch Gospel
The Briarpatch Gospel by Shayne Wheeler which I received as a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House is written by the pastor of All Souls Church in Decatur, Georgia.  He and his wife felt the call to plant a church but didn't know where and felt the Lord calling them to Decatur, a place that looked and acted different than their norm - what they were used to. 

The Author compels us as Christians to fearlessly follow Jesus into the "briarpatch", the sticky messy, sometimes painful and uncomfortable lives of those around us, those in our community and in our everyday lives.  "Is the briarpatch where Jesus makes his home for you?  If you are a Christian, the answer is yes...Jesus can, of course, be found in the sanctuary, but his presence is not limited to a scheduled hour between breakfast and lunch on Sunday morning." (pg 11)  Being a follower of Christ means living and being "Jesus"in the everyday lives of people, not just in the "church" events.

I was really excited to read this book hoping to get some insight and encouragement but I found it somewhat hard to read.  I liken it to being on a roller coaster.  You are excited about going on it but as you go up that first hill  - your heart races and your grip tightens and you wonder if this really was a smart thing to do.  There are ups and downs - excitement and fear.  I loved the premise and the stories and the heart behind it, but in the midst of it I felt attacked and weary.  As a conservative Christian I felt, at times, I was being accused of being self centered, uncaring and hostile.  I know there are those out there who are, but just like anyone else - I don't think we should be categorized.  I encourage you, that if you are to read this, read it with a friend - one who knows the Bible, one who is willing to talk things out with you - one who is willing to go through the Briarpatch.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lord, I Give You This Day by Kay Arthur

Lord, I Give You This Day is a daily devotional by Kay Arthur.  She gives you 366 days of devotions,which is great for those leap years.  Thoughts, scriptures and prayer each day will bring you into the presence of God and help you focus on the Lord and not yourself.  If you only have a few minutes a day - this is the devotional for you.

Right off the bat, Kay Arthur pulls no punches.  She doesn't give you the cushy comfy gospel, but challenges you to look inside yourself and see where you might be skewed in your thinking. It is great!  Many times devotionals are just feel good, but this one challenges you to change, to become more like Jesus to be a person of integrity and grace and mercy.

My only complaint is that it doesn't go deep into scripture or studying scripture.  I would like more scripture to read and to investigate for myself.  I guess the way to remedy this, which I did, is to have this devotional accompany other devotionals or studies.  If you want a quick, challenging devotional this is the one for you.

Thank you Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing and bloggingforbooks for supplying me with this book.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I am going to be reading!

I have always loved to read.  I don't have as much time as I used to, being the mom of 4.  But I still do love to read.  I usually read 2 books at a time.  One to stimulate my mind and the other to just relax.  Mostly I read Christian books, because I find that I want an edifying ending.  One that won't leave me wanting, but one that will inspire me to have a better relationship with Jesus. 

I found some places that I can review books for free.  I say "Why not!"  I love to read and I definitely have an opinion.  Hopefully by the time I am done with a book I will actually remember what I read:)  What used to take me a day or two - can take me weeks - I guess that is what happens when you read 5 minutes at a time.

So here we go....