Bethlehem Road: A Guide to Ruth

bethlehem road_1Title: Bethlehem Road: A Guide to Ruth
Author: Michael Whitworth
Publisher: Start2Finish Books
ISBN: 978-0988512191

“Are you struggling on the Bethlehem Road? Is your burden of grief or pain too heavy? Do you feel as if God must be out to get you since you are being made to endure such terrible circumstances?” Michael Whitworth asks in his book, Bethlehem Road: A Guide to Ruth.

At one hundred and eighteen pages, this paperback targets those wanting to learn more about the Biblical book of Ruth and how it relates to us today. Using the English Standard Version of the Bible, the HCS, NASU, NCV, NIV, and NLT are also referenced. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

Set up similar to expositional teaching of verse by verse, the book authored by a preacher is divided into four chapters. With a foreword, introduction, and a question and answer from the author, the ending contains an epilogue, abbreviations, acknowledgements, and bibliography. There are extensive footnotes, offering interesting additional information by several well-known sources

With the writer’s personal interjections about his father’s passing, family friendships, wife, son, bike riding, and movies, Whitworth breaks the Old Testament book of eighty-eight verses down into three to eight verse sections, ending each chapter with talking points.

Focusing on the two widows, Naomi lives day to day brokenhearted and disappointed being alone and destitute while Ruth pledges her unfailing love to her mother-in-law. Ruth could have returned to her parents’ home like her sister-in-law, remarry, or support herself by working. Instead she chooses to leave the land of Moab to travel to Bethlehem where Naomi’s kin lives. There Ruth meets the worthy Boaz as she gleans his fields for food to share with her mother-in-law. It is Naomi who coaches Ruth to see if Boaz would become her kinsman-redeemer, which he does after legally pursuing proper channels.

Suggesting that perhaps the women’s husbands could have died from disobeying God, that Ruth may have been sexually harassed in Boaz’s fields, and that Ruth drank the same water as the male workers, discussions explain Hebrew words such as hesed, shaddai, margelot, regalim,go’el, and levir.

While many may consider Ruth and Naomi’s predicament happenstance, it is obvious their lives had divine providence as God turned their heartbreaks and struggles into blessings, especially since Ruth and Boaz became King David’s great-grandparents decades later.

Reminding readers that suffering is always part of God’s grander plan, faithfulness has eternal consequences as we rely on and trust in Him. As Whitlock correlates Boaz and Ruth to Christ and us, His powerful, unfailing love overcomes any hardship we face.

Thanks to BookCrash for furnishing a complimentary book in exchange for the reader’s honest opinion.

 

This review will be posted on BookCrash, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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The Fantastic Gifts of Fall

Title: The Fantastic Gifts of Fall
Author: Dandi Daley Mackall
Illustrator: Katherine Blackmore
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
ISBN: 978-1-4336-8237-1

“Leaves are falling. Catch a few!
Brown, instead of green like new.
Crackly, crunchy ‘neath my shoe.
Thank You, God, for autumn.
Dandi Daley Mackall writes in her children’s book, The Fantastic Gifts of Fall.

Part of the Season series, this square thirty-two page hardbound targets children four to eight years old. Having no scary scenes, it is about autumn with Bible verses promoting thanking God.

Illustrator Blackmore’s expressive and detailed designs fill both sides of the opened glossy pages, leaving a blank background for black wording in an easy-to-read font and room for a verse from the Holman Christian Standard Bible at the bottom right corner.

Focusing on the season of autumn, three of the four lines on one side of two opened pages rhyme, all ending with the same statement: Thank You, God, for autumn. The first scene shows five children outside playing ball with their pets nearby.

Another illustration depicts four children noticing the geese flying in a “V” formation while ducks quack around them. Even as the leaves change colors and turn brown, they thank God for autumn. Whether at a pumpkin patch, peacefully reading a good book by a tree, going on a fun hayride, having a picnic with their mother, raking and playing in leaves, or riding a horse, the children thank their Savior.

Other scenes show the children welcoming far-away family members for a Thanksgiving dinner and saying grace. The ending includes noticing squirrels storing nuts, birds leaving their nests, and children warm inside their home while observing the change in weather outside.

Including Bible verses written out from Deuteronomy, Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Zechariah, Acts, I Thessalonians, and James, the book reiterates how important God’s Word is and promotes young children being aware of the Scriptures.

With the helpful “Parent Connection” at the back, adults can explain the verses about how colorful God made the earth when He created it. Also added are five thinking questions about autumn to discuss as well as directions on how to create a tree of thanks.

This calming yet educational book teaches preschoolers to third graders about autumn and the fun things to do while also concentrating on being thankful to God and learning Bible verses.

Thanks to LifeWay for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.

 

This review will be posted on LifeWay, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
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Forever with You

Title: Forever with You
Author: Robin Jones Gunn
Publisher: Robin’s Nest Productions, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-9828772-1-0

“He kept telling people that he and Christy were trusting God for what was next for them. She started to wish he’d stop saying that because it wasn’t entirely true. Todd might be trusting God, but she wasn’t sure she was,” Robin Jones Gunn writes in her novel, Forever with You.

Part one of the Christy and Todd: The Marriage Years series, this two hundred and seventy-two page paperback targets those who enjoy the continuing saga of a contemporary Christian couple. With no profanity, sexual content, or violence, the subject matter of marriage and its complications and compromises would make it more apropos for mature teenagers and adults. A recipe for Ritzy Chicken along with advertisements and a one page teaser for the next book in the series complete the book.

Although part of a series, the tale is a stand-alone current-day love story of a young couple learning to get used to each other as God allows pitfalls, disappointments, and testing in their lives.

It has been two years since Christy and Todd Spencer’s wedding day and they are currently living in Southern California. Todd, a youth pastor, loves his job working with the kids while Christy has a job at a Christian book store.

While Todd has an erratic social schedule and seems to always be on the go, he trusts the Lord is guiding their paths when one problem after another seems to shatter the direction they both thought God was directing them.

Being offered a solution to part of the problem, Christy shares her news but is surprised when Todd suggests temporarily putting a halt to her decision.

With her domineering Aunt Marti, an understanding Uncle Bob, Todd’s father who is out of the country, and “Forever Friends” from prior books, the couple is constantly reminded that God’s will for the two to be a team is the important issue.

With prior multiple series involving both Christy and Todd, this new sequel would best be read by those who know the characters well and want to know what happens next in their lives. Most likely young married women including those involved in a church ministry would benefit reading the book by realizing prayer and communication are pivotal to a healthy Christian marriage.

Thanks to The Book Club Network Inc. for furnishing a complimentary book in exchange for the reader’s honest opinion.

 

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Your Core

Title: Your Core
Author: Callie Grant
Illustrator: Missi Jay
Publisher: Graham Blanchard Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-9854090-5-0

“Did you know you have a core? Every child has an inner place made by God for friendship with Him. You can welcome God into your heart and soul today,” the back jacket states in Callie Grant’s children’s book, Your Core.

Part of the Absorb series, this small twenty-two page board book addresses the concept of teaching young children about having a soul inside them. With its thick cardboard pages having rounded corners, its jacket states it is apropos for ages zero to five years old but the very young may not be able to comprehend the “core” comparison. With no extremely violent scenes, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers due to the correlation with an intangible object such as a soul.

Illustrator Missi Jay’s designs are engaging and colorful, with artwork covering two open pages at a time, leaving blank backgrounds for black or white wording in an easy-to-read font. The pictures are detailed enough to show happiness on characters’ faces, bees buzzing about, and flowers in bloom.

Wanting books that promote educating young children about God and Christian fundamentals, author Grant focuses on Ephesians 3:16-17 taken from the New International Version of the Bible about Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith.

Explaining a core is something in the middle of an object, pictures are included of children in playhouses, a cut-open ball being thrown by a boy at a baseball diamond, the inside of an apple, and earth. It is also stated there is a core or soul in the reader too.

Cores have purpose such as helping a ball bounce high or low, containing seeds to grow trees, and holding the point on a compass. More importantly, the core inside a person has a purpose that only God knows. It is God that can fill someone with real love, joy, and power.

The ending states, “Your core is your soul on the inside. God made your soul, where He resides.” Although this book does not contain the plan of eternal salvation, it would be a helpful tool for parents wanting to introduce the idea of God and that He can live inside you if you ask Him.

Thanks to Shelton Interactive for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.
This review will be posted on DeeperShopping and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
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The Monster on Top of the Bed

The Monster on Top of the Bed (Suzy & Karrit) (Volume 1)Title: The Monster on Top of the Bed
Author: Alan H. Jordan
Illustrator: Manuela Pentangelo
Publisher: Jordan Press
ISBN: 978-1500679682

“You’re welcome to stay until I say ‘Nay,’ then it’s time to go, and you can’t say, ‘No,’” Suzy and Karrit repeat the girl’s grandmom’s mantra in Alan H. Jordan’s children’s book, The Monster on Top of the Bed.

Volume one of the Suzy and Karrit series, this square thirty-two page paperback targets preschool to early elementary school-aged children. Having no scary scenes except the concept of a frightened monster, it is would make a nice bedtime story for those afraid of the dark.

Illustrator Pentangelo’s expressive and detailed designs fill both sides of the opened pages, leaving blank backgrounds for black or white wording in an easy-to-read font. Nine discussion questions about the story and the author and illustrator’s biographies complete the book.

Suzy believes she is the only one afraid of going to bed, especially because there may be a monster under her bed. One day she hears a noise coming from underneath her. Peeping over the side, she sees two red furry paws, two red scaly legs, and a big red belly.

When a funny-looking monster plops out and tumbles into her stuff animals, the critter is as much afraid as she is. After he introduces himself as Karrit, she tells him her name is Suzy.

Karrit explains when Suzy jumps up and down on her bed, he is afraid of getting squashed. If she runs around the room, the noise frightens him. He also confesses that he thinks she is going to eat him.

Not understanding words such as tomatoes, pancakes, and hot dogs, Karrit is convinced his name means something to eat, but Suzy goes and gets the food items and explains them.

When Suzy’s mom comes in her room, the little girl tells her about her new friend, and how he thinks she is the monster on top of the bed. Her mother says friends need space but do not shut each other out. Suzy is contented she has a good friend who is not a monster, and she is no longer a monster to him.

With the play on words regarding food, adults will smile as they read out loud this bedtime story that helps children face their nighttime “monsters” and maybe, in the process, they will learn to stop jumping on their beds.

Thanks to the author and Bookpleasures for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.

 

This review will be posted on Bookpleasures and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
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Final Trimester

Title: Final Trimester
Author: Dianna T. Benson
Publisher: Ellechor Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-937844-75-2

“Two women dead within two weeks. Both pregnant and in their third trimester. One homicide, the other unknown cause. Too coincidental? Jodi planned to find out,” Dianna T. Benson writes in her thriller, Final Trimester.

First book in the Quigley Triplets Series, this four hundred and twenty-four page paperback targets those who enjoy romantic suspense. With no profanity, the topics of pregnancy, physical abuse, and murder would make inappropriate for immature readers.

Jodi Duncan and a serial killer in Myrtle Beach, Florida, have a peculiar passion in common: pregnant women in their final trimester.

Forty-two year old Jodi loves her job as a paramedic the last fourteen years. Having been broken-hearted in the past, the single woman would love to adopt a child, offering fostering in her free time. Independent and committed to her job, she tries not to get her hopes up every time a newborn potentially becomes available.

When Darren Holcomb’s wife, pregnant with twin boys, is found dead at home, Jodi is the first emergency medic on site. Not being able to resuscitate the patient, the paramedic becomes overwhelmed trying to figure out what went wrong and if she was to blame for the mother-to-be’s death.

Working with Detective Nate Quigley, more than once Jodi steps over the professional lines, wanting to know what killed Holcomb’s wife. Obsessed and emotionally distraught, Jodi believes the deaths were no accident, but the working of a serial killer.

After more incidences occur in the area involving pregnant women in their last trimester, Jodi and Nate piece together that a vicious killer roams their city. Although Jodi refuses to have any romantic relationship with any policeman, she yearns to be friends with Nate, a guilt-ridden man who lost his wife and young son a few years ago.

As the two track down the serial killer before he strikes again, the disturbed man refuses to pay attention to God and the devil’s arguments in his head, adamantly believing he is in total control of his actions.

Drawing the readers into wondering when the killer will strike again and who will be his next victim, the mystery’s under-current shows how God loves and forgives the past, knowing what will happen in the future. An engaging read, the book offers a yearning to learn what happens in the sequel to two lives with sorrow-filled pasts.

Thanks to The Book Club Network Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.

 

This review will be posted on The Book Club Network Inc, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest,  Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
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Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More

Title: Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More
Editors of Food Network Magazine
Publisher: Clarkson Potter Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-8041-3768-3

“These fake-out cakes are only a small part of our dessert collection, but when we sat down to put this book together we realized that all the sweets in the magazine have something in common: They’re fun, not frilly,” the introduction explains in Food Network Magazine’s book, Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More.

At three hundred and thirty-six pages, this over-sized paperback targets those interested in a triple-tested collection of all-time favorite dessert recipes compiled from the editors’ well-known magazine. With full color up-close photographs, tutorials, instructions, and tips, there are over one hundred and fifty creations. An alphabetical index is added along with photography credits.

After a thumbnail-size picture recipe index and introduction, eight chapters are divided into cupcakes and whoopie pies, cookies and bars, candy and snacks, pies and crumbles, fake-out cakes, show-off cakes, frozen treats, and holiday desserts.

In addition to every dessert including a beautiful photograph of the finished product, its title has a bold font with a short sentence referencing something unique about the recipe. The serving size along with active and total time of completion is given, with all ingredients listed on the right side of the page. Numerical instructions grace the left side, some containing more complex directions with small pictures.

To tantalize the taste buds, here are a few examples from this graphic display of desserts: Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes, Mini Bacon Cupcakes, Salted Caramel-Pretzel Thumbprints, Cinnamon Pinwheels, Grape Jelly Breakfast Tarts, Cone-oli, Boozy Cherry Chocolate Pies, Apple-Berry Pie Pops, Steak Frites Cakes, Flowerpot Cake, Dulce de Leche Crepe Cake, Red Velvet Cheesecake, Samoa Tartlets, Italian Ice, Ghastly Meringues, and Ginger Bread People.

Also included are fun projects recipes such as Alphabet Cupcakes, Cookie Puzzle, Chocolate-Dipped Treats, Pie Fries, Color Your Frosting, Chocolate Bowls, and Edible Trees as well as twists on Whoopie Pies, Brownies, Chocolate Bark, Chocolate Cream Pies, Vanilla Cakes, Ice Cream Sandwiches, and Caramel Apples.

Touted as concoctions that are not overly complicated using common, everyday contents, these amazing recipes will delight the young child licking an orange cream pop to the elderly remembering the taste of old-fashioned fruit jellies.

Due to the high sugar content of these delicious-sounding and scrumptious photographic displays, maybe it is better no caloric information is added to distract the reader.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for furnishing this book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.

 

This review will be posted on Blogging for Books, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

 

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great Read - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Home / Garden / Food

** CONTEST ** A NOVEL APPROACH by Jack Woodville London ~ Book Giveaway!

WIN A NOVEL APPROACH
by Jack Woodville London
** GIVING AWAY 1 FREE BOOK! **
Enter to win a free book!
One winner will be randomly chosen to win this book.

REVIEW TEASER:

“If successful, you will have filled your readers with imagery and beliefs that evoke their own experiences, fears, and memories, and vests in them the need to know how it comes out. This is the essence of all writing, be it literature, science fiction, journalism, essays, or poetry,” Jack Woodville London encourages in the introduction of his book, A Novel Approach: To Writing Your First Book (or Your Best One).

TO ENTER CONTEST:
1.  Follow my blog if you do not do so already.

2. Click on the headline ** CONTEST ** to be sure you are on the Reply page.
3. Post in the “LEAVE A REPLY” section below why you want to read this exciting book (could be funny, clever, serious, or the words “I want” since the winner is randomly chosen).
4. Follow this social media site: https://www.facebook.com/FrenchLetters

If you are the winner, please consider posting a review regarding what you thought of the book on at least one website.

This is a FAST CONTEST ending SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st, 2014 @ 5 PM PST so follow the requirements above and try for a chance to win the book that is mailed from the author directly to you! Winner’s shipping address must be in the U.S.A.

I have read this book and it is a 5 STAR.
Complete review: http://connywithay.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/a-novel-approach/

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Beside Bethesda

Beside Bethesda: 31 Days Toward Deeper HealingTitle: Beside Bethesda
Author: Joni Eareckson Tada
Publisher: NavPress
ISBN: 978-1-61291-712-2

“The key is right there in the word how. Don’t ask God why, but rather ask Him how. How do we keep on? How do we live? How can we care about others when we carry such a heavy load ourselves? How can we be kind and civil when we are racked with pain so much of the time?” Joni Eareckson Tada explains in her book, Beside Bethesda: 31 Days Toward Deeper Healing.

At one hundred and seventy-six pages, this small padded hardbound targets those hurting and in pain, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. Using the New International Bible, the TLB, NLT, NLT1, MSG, NTME, ESV, and NKNV are also referenced.

Set up as a devotional covering one full month, each day usually starts with several pages of Joni’s personal experiences involving healing. A page titled “Going Deeper” follows that includes written out Bible verses. A simple paragraph ends each day, reminding the reader to focus more on God and less on the issue.

Having been a quadriplegic the past forty-seven years, the author understands frustration, loneliness, and physical disadvantages. Correlating John 5:2-9 in the Bible of Jesus healing the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, she shows that same God can offer true peace, deep healing, and contented understanding, even in the turmoil of life.

Mentioning her upbringing, injury as a teen, expectation of healing at a Kathryn Kuhlman crusade, and her marriage to Ken and his depression along with her cancer issues and physical trials, Eareckson found her deep healing through focusing on Psalms 139, by arduously asking God to search, test, and try her.

As each day’s story, memory, or personal note is told, readers learn how God has protected and sheltered the writer throughout the decades, planning the perfect life He wants her to have. Only when we realize that God is truly in control and not ourselves, we will recognize His love, power, and grace.

Acknowledging our physical, mental, and spiritual inadequacies to God through prayer and being in the Word will give us the courage, fortitude, and strength needed to shed our fears and problems at the Cross of Jesus.

For those who are suffering or challenged in life, this book may be a welcomed remembrance that we are in God’s hands, and there is a purpose to our situation if we accept His will to be done.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for furnishing a complimentary book in exchange for the reader’s honest opinion.

 

This review will be posted on Tyndale, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

 

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Filed under ***** Great Read - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Biography, Christian

Praying for Your Elephant

Title: Praying for Your Elephant
Author: Adam Stadtmiller
Publisher: David C. Cook
ISBN: 978-0-7814-1145-4

“The boundaries of our personal prayer lives often have less to do with biblical restrictions and more to do with the limitations we place on them,” Adam Stadtmiller writes in his book, Praying for Your Elephant: Boldly Approaching Jesus with Radical and Audacious Prayer.

At two hundred and forty pages, this paperback targets those wanting to improve their prayer life to God. Using the New International Version of the Bible, the ASV, AMP, ESV, HCSB, KJV, MSG, NASB, NKJV, NLT, and NRSV are also referenced.

After acknowledgements, introduction, and a call to commit to forty days of “asking prayers” to God, complete with a simplistic chart, the book is divided into four sections, ending with a conclusion, notes, Bible credits, and a small-group discussion guide.

Years ago Stadtmiller, a Californian pastor, was coerced by a “quasi-Pentecostal-charismatic” friend to meet pre-dawn every day for a month strictly to pray. When he flippantly asked God to provide a live pachyderm for his youth group which showed up four years later, his pray life drastically changed.

Struggling with praying for insignificant things and limiting them, the author discusses in the first few chapters how to survey and reimagine “asking prayers” through creating and tracking one hundred specific requests to God. By praying “in Jesus’s name,” it must be free of guilt and shame.

The second section covers discouragement, distractions, experience, consistency, and monotony in pleas to our Creator while the third involves maintaining a balance, dealing with disappointments, allowing God to do His will, having purity and holiness through consecration, and actively be willing to help others.

The final part covers challenging requests, worshiping, contentment, and how to overcome being angry at God for not answering a prayer the way expected. The last chapter reminds of the promise of “ask and ye shall be given” by trusting and having faith that God knows better than we do.

Often using Biblical characters such as Abraham, Joshua, Joseph, David, Daniel, Jabez, Paul, and Jesus, there is only one reference to Matthew 6 or Luke 11’s “The Lord’s Prayer,” where Jesus explains how to pray, starting with glorifying God, asking for daily sustenance and forgiveness of sins.

Spilling out several of the writer’s elephants that he has prayed for, captured, understood, and dealt with as they charged toward him, he reiterates his book is not about prayer but a book that asks one to pray, especially for particular people, things or situations.

Knowing believers with deep personal relationships with God have their prayers answered in astonishing ways, some readers may find the book centrally focused on “what I am asking for” and not concentrating on “it’s all about God.”

Thanks to David C. Cook for furnishing a complimentary book in exchange for the reader’s honest opinion.

 

This review will be posted on DeeperShopping and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under *** OK Read - Don't Hate It, Don't Love It, Christian