Thursday, December 29, 2016

#REVIEW: Getaway With God by Letitia Suk

Title: Getaway With God
Author: Letitia Suk
Publisher: Kregel
Published Date: November 27, 2016
Genre: Christian Life
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis:What if a simple day away could transform your life?
Does spending time with God sound like just one more thing to check off an ever-increasing to-do list? How are you supposed to fit in anything that threatens to be more time-consuming? Too often there's simply no room to experience the intimacy, grace, and peace that God offers us.
Getaway with God does more than invite you to step away from life's pressures to take a personal retreat. It shows you exactly why you must--for your sake and for your family's.
With grace and warmth, Letitia Suk provides step-by-step guidance and the necessary tools to enable any woman on any budget to plan time away, whether it's a quick, half-day break or a weeklong time of restoration. You'll find detailed steps for preparation, including descriptions of different kinds of retreats and how to choose the best one for you, and you'll learn ways to bring the renewal you experience home with you. Practical appendixes identify retreat centers nationwide and provide exercises and prayers to kick-start your getaway with God.
"No matter what your season in life, the time for retreat is now!

My rating: 4 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I think I was expecting something different, something I could do more day to day from this book. The book instead is how to make time in your life to go away to a retreat center (a few links are listed in the last appendix). The author lists the different types of retreats there are: one day, multiday, weekend, planning, restorative, or listening. Planning by far was probably the one more like me, however, I plan so much in my daily life as it is, I would truly need more listening, and learning type retreat. She also lists things to take for your retreat, whether to fast or not, silence or not.
The author provides so much as far as what is expected, what you can expect, this really is a book for a retreat beginner, a total newbie, or it could be for someone who is ready to step out on their own and do their own retreat instead of tagging along with the women's group at the church.
If you are ready to take that step and go on your own, this book is indispensable.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

#REVIEW: Grace For The Moment by Max Lucado

Title: Grace For the Moment
Author: Max Lucado
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published Date: December 20, 2016
ISBN: 9780718089771
Pages: 416
Buy It Link: Thomas Nelson | Amazon

Synopsis: The devotional that has touched millions of lives with inspirational thoughts for every day is now available in a gorgeous new package, and large, easy-to-read type.
Grace for the Moment offers inspiring devotions to grow in your faith as you embrace the hope of the Lord every day. Each daily reading features devotional writings from Max’s numerous bestsellers as well as a Scripture verse selected especially for each day's reading.

This deluxe, large edition of the classic devotional makes a handsome gift to commemorate a special occasion. It offers a leather-flex cover, beautifully designed pages with large type, and a ribbon marker.

Whether you already know and love Grace for the Moment or you’re looking for a new way to draw near to the Lord, this gorgeous, deluxe version will inspire your heart.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you've read any of my other reviews, you know I am a huge fan of Max Lucado, ever since I was introduced to him as a Christian author. He has such a fantastic way of making the reader feel good about themselves and know that God loves them just as and where they are in life.
The book itself is a faux leather in a beautiful chocolate brown with a matching ribbon placeholder. It is rather large in size, so you won't be able to carry it easily, however, I don't think it is a book you will be carrying with you 24/7. The daily devotions are short enough to read within a few minutes each day, and definitely enough room on the page to journal about your thoughts.
Overall, this is a beautiful daily devotional that is perfect to read while you are having your coffee and getting ready to face the day ahead of you. I am so happy that I chose this book to review, it is a wonderful addition to the new year's devotions for me.

Friday, December 16, 2016

#REVIEW: Lucifer's Harvest by Mel Starr

Title: Lucifer's Harvest
Author: Mel Starr
Series: The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon #9
Publisher: Lion Fiction (Kregel)
Published Date: November 27, 2016
ISBN: 978-1782641889
Synopsis: Lord Gilbert Talbot must provide soldiers for Prince Edward's battle in France. He wishes his surgeon--Hugh de Singleton--to travel with the war party to tend any injuries. Among those on the road is Sir Simon Trillowe, Hugh's old nemesis, who had once torched Hugh's house.Finding himself in the same war party, Hugh resolves to watch his back in the presence of the knight, who is still holding a grudge. But it is Sir Simon who should not have turned his back….
When Trillowe's body is found, many suspect Hugh has wreaked revenge on his adversary. To clear his name, Hugh must once again riddle a reason for murder.

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Though I have started in on this series late, the author seems to have taken that into account. Though the book is not necessarily a stand-alone book, I felt like enough of the backstory was well-enough explained that I didn't feel like I was muddling through a storyline I couldn't understand. That very well could have been the case, as the premise of the murder in the book is the long-standing hatred between the two characters, Hugh and Sir Simon.
Though there were a lot of different characters in this book, the author kept to a small band of friends Hugh stuck with. This helped immensely in recognizing each name and who they were associated with. The only thing I feel the author could have expanded on is these band of characters themselves. They didn't feel too fleshed out, and pretty two dimensional.
This was a very quick read, easy to do in less than a week, even with working overtime and family time. It was enjoyable enough that I wanted to keep coming back to the medieval times and see how Hugh would prove his innocence.

Friday, December 2, 2016

#REVIEW: Candle Day By Day Walk With Jesus

Title: Candle Day by Day Walk With Jesus
Author: Juliet David
Publisher: Lion Hudson (Kregel)
Published Date: September 27, 2016
ISBN: 9781781282915
Pages: 48
Age Range: 5-7
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis: This beautiful gift book makes a wonderful addition to the award-winning Candle Day by Day series. The story of Jesus’s life is told over 40 days, and presented in the elegant Day by Day styling with page borders and richly colored pictures. Includes an introductory note on the book, the questions that will be answered, and where the stories have come from.

My Rating: 4 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a very small (6"x6") book, perfect for little hands. It retells the story of Jesus' life for 40 days, from Gabriel's visit to Mary all the way through Jesus' resurrection and ascension into heaven. I really like how each day has the Bible verse the story is connected to, as well as a thinking question to bring the child more deeply into the discussion and make them think about the story they just heard or read.
The illustrations are what is also seen in the Candle Day by Day Bible. I think pairing the author up with the illustrator, Jane Heyes, has been a beautiful form of teamwork. The illustrations are a great combination of realistic and whimsical, with not too bright colors.
Unfortunately, my little ones have gone past this age range, so she found it a little too simple.

#REVIEW: Candle Day By Day Bible by Juliet David

Title: Candle Day by Day Bible Desk Format
Author: Juliet David
Publisher: Lion Hudson (Kregel)
Publish Date: September 27, 2016
ISBN: 978-1781282816
Age Range: 5-7 years old
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis: The award-winning Candle Day by Day Bible is now available in a spiral-bound desk calendar format. All of a child’s favorite stories and illustrations are easily accessible and on view all day long. One story per day.

My rating: 3 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in change for an honest review.
I'm not 100% sold on this desktop version of the Candle Day by Day Bible. It's nice to have something desk top for the little ones. The illustrations are colorful and not too whimsical. The readings are very short, just long enough for the super-short attention span of our young children. I am not going to make any comments on the theological accuracy of this Bible because at this point in children's understanding, I truly don't think they need very little nuance spelled out for them. Generalities are perfectly fine.
The one thing I didn't like about it was that it was double-sided. What if one of my kids accidentally tore it out, or wanted to put it up on their wall because it was their favorite illustration or story? Also, the paper seems to be a little fragile, especially with little kids around.

#REVIEW: All Is Bright, A Devotional Journey to color your way to Christmas

Title: All Is Bright
Author: Nancy Guthrie
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum
Published Date: October 1, 2016
ISBN: 978-1496418029
Pages: 96
Synopsis: The perfect gift for the creatives and coloring-book lovers in your life! Includes bonus activities and kid-friendly coloring pages for the whole family!

This Christmas season, celebrate the birth of our Savior through beautiful design and devotion. Grab your colored pencils, cozy up with your favorite blanket and a cup of tea, and settle in for a night of peace and wonder with All Is Bright. For lovers of the Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest coloring books, All Is Bright is the perfect way to transform the Advent and Christmas seasons for your whole family, re-centering the holidays on the miracle of Jesus’ birth. Combining 31 days of rich content by the beloved and inspirational Nancy Guthrie with intricate designs that will reconnect you with the heart of Christ, this coloring book devotional journey reminds us all of what the season really calls us to: worship.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Reviews: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I remember when I started with coloring books as an adult. I had just had a really stressful day at work, and was eagerly awaiting the weekend long training for Godly Play at church. The training opened up, and we were all invited to take one of the coloring pages to color. I remember how my mind and body went from stressed to peaceful as it was forced to only concentrate on that one section, that one color, just that one. I used to joke that I needed color therapy to calm myself after having a stressful day. A year after that, adult coloring books started trickling into the market, and now you can find them anywhere and everywhere.
I loved getting this coloring book. Not only is the theme around Christmas, but each page has a different date attached to it, from December 1st to December 31st. The cover has gold foil and blue coloring, with a fun lettering, making it both modern and beautiful. The illustrations from Lizzie Preston are absolutely gorgeous throughout the book, and each day is intricate enough to last at least a few hours of coloring.