Russia Rising

Title: Russia Rising
Author: Mark Hitchcock
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4964-2807-3

“The Bear is rising to take its place among the cast of characters in the final drama of the ages,” Mark Hitchcock writes in his book, Russia Rising: Tracking the Bear in Bible Prophecy.

~ What ~
This two hundred-and-forty-page paperback targets those interested in Biblical end time prophecy and how it relates to Russia. Using mainly the New Living Translation of the Holy Bible, other versions referenced are the KJV and NASB. There are ten chapters, ending with three appendixes, notes, and the author’s biography.

In this informative read, the author dissects the Bible’s Ezekiel 38 to 39 in current time, correlating it to the end times of the king of the North trying to crush Israel and the Antichrist making his seven-year pact of peace. The chapters explain the final four kings, the rise and fall of Russia compared to the bear in Daniel, and the triumvirate of Russia, Iran, and Turkey to name a few. Also discussed is Rosh, Gog, the Hidden Imam, and a prophetic checklist. The ending has the verses in Ezekiel written out, a section by Dr. John F. Walvoord, and common questions related to Russia, the Middle East, and the end of days.

~ Why ~
This book is well-written without being confusing when it comes to Biblical prophecy about Russia during the end times. I appreciated the explanation of Rosh being Russia, Gog is a northern commander, Tarshish’s possible location, and Putin’s “vertical of power” by stealing land, seizing assets, slaughtering, and stifling Western power. According to the Bible, Hitchcock does not mark a day or person in stone regarding the future but offers scenarios, background information, and circumstances happening today that could be apropos to the topic. Including the eternal plan of salvation is key to readers who are unbelievers.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or are not concerned we could be in the end times may not appreciate this book. Others may disagree with the writer’s pre-tribulation rapture stance (I am one who agrees with the author).

~ Wish ~
With so much happening globally every day, I wish this book could contain up-to-the-minute additions of the day-to-day news we hear that further links the puzzle pieces together when Christ returns. Believing the rapture is imminent, I hope readers take the book seriously.

~ Want ~
If you are trying to figure out the end times Biblically and are unsure of the main players in the world, especially Russia, this read displays it clearly, offering several current variables.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Book Review, Christian, Non-Fiction

Little Jesus, Little Me

Little Jesus, Little MeTitle: Little Jesus, Little Me
Author: Doris Rikkers
Illustrator: Lizzie Walkley
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76177-8

“Jesus was a child of God … just like me,” Doris Rikkers ends her children’s book, Little Jesus, Little Me.

~ What ~
This unnumbered fourteen-page board book with rounded corners targets children ages four to eight years old who enjoy stories about Jesus as a child. With expressive and colorful illustrations by Lizzie Walkley, the characters are nicely drawn.

The simple story has the left side of the pages with an attribute of Jesus as a child with the right side agreeing the reader is like Him in the same manner. It involves Christ being a baby and toddler while having a loving mother and being a child of God, thus the reader is too.

~ Why ~
The artwork in this book is cute and charming with the individuals having small eyes, happy faces, and large heads. The backgrounds will engage a young reader too.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in Jesus will avoid this book. Many may be concerned that its theology promotes God’s only begotten Son is like us when we should be the ones wanting to be like Him. Since the Bible mentions little of Christ’s childhood, the book takes ample liberty stating Jesus loved to read, be held close, or rocked to sleep which are not in Scripture. One who no longer has a mother may be reminded they cannot be loved by her, and some may wonder why there is no mention of a father figure.

~ Wish ~
Although I liked the illustrations, I would not read this book to my grandchildren as it lacks the reverence that the Almighty came down to earth for us as it states He was merely “a child of God just like me.” He is so much more than that! The book has He was (past tense – not is) a child of God when He is the only begotten Son of God. There is no explanation how a young one becomes a child of God either. I wish the book did not discount Jesus and discuss His childhood with topics not mentioned in the Bible. Yes, how we wish we were “just like Him,” but we all fall short of the mark.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book about Jesus being a child, this may be something you may like, but I am sorry; I honestly did not like it and cannot recommend it.

Thanks to Z Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am not obligated to review.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ** Think Twice - I Didn't Like It, Childrens, Christian

If You’re Happy and You Know It

If You're Happy and You Know It (A Sing-Along Book)Title: If You’re Happy and You Know It: A Sing-Along Book
Illustrator: Barbara Szepesi Szucs
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75922-5

If You’re Happy and You Know It encourages children to CLAP, STOMP, and shout HOO-RAY as they celebrate being happy in this delightful addition to the beloved Sing-Along series,” the back jacket states in this book.

~ What ~
This unnumbered twenty-page board book with a padded front cover and rounded corners targets ages four to eight-year-old children. With no scary scenes, there are full-page colorful illustrations by the artist on all pages.

Containing the well-known repetitive song about being happy, the verses include a singing call to action of clapping hands, stomping feet, and shouting hoo-ray. The last page has the music sheet of the song with the words.

~ Why ~
While most of us already know this song well, it is fun to sing while reading the book to young children to get them to interact with others while learning parts of their body. I love the adorable illustrations of animals on a playground, carousel, swing set, teeter-totter, jungle gym, sand box, slide, and playing together. Including unusual creatures such as pandas, sloths, hedgehogs, and grasshoppers will keep little ones engaged as they look at the pages.

~ Why Not ~
Some may tire reading the song with its repetition. Others may not be musically minded.

~ Wish ~
It would be fun to have a search page at the back of the book where the reader has to find specific animals as they enjoy the song.

~ Want ~
If you remember singing this cute song as a child, you will not want to miss picking up this book for your child or grandchild. The fun lady bugs dancing were my favorite.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to evaluate.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Once Upon A Time Bible for Little Ones

Once Upon a Time Bible for Little OnesTitle: Once Upon A Time Bible for Little Ones
Illustrator: Omar Aranda
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-76170-9

“Once Upon a Time … There lived a woman named Hannah. Hannah loved God. But she was sad,” the fourth story begins in the Once Upon A Time Bible for Little Ones.

~ What ~
This unnumbered thirty-two-page board book with a padded front cover and rounded corners targets children four to eight-years-old looking for a book of stories from the Bible. With no scary scenes, colorful illustrations cover both sides of the pages. It would best be read out loud to beginner readers due to some of the complicated three syllable words.

With four stories from the Old Testament and four from the New Testament, each story is four pages long with a Bible verse noted under its title. While each begins with the words “Once Upon a Time, they end with a “Happily Ever After” section that connects it to the young reader.

Stories covered include Creation, Noah’s ark, Moses as a baby, Hannah’s prayer, Mary being visited by the angel, and Jesus’s birth, feeding the crowd, and resurrection.

~ Why ~
Every child should know stories of the Bible, and I liked how this one as a few of the less known one. I appreciate that in two places on the cover it states “The Bible is not a fairy tale. Every great story happened once upon a time.” With each story being short and to the point, it is a quick bedtime read.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in God may not be interested a book of Bible stories. Others may be concerned that the shortened stories do not exactly retell those in the Word of God as liberties are taken (example: there is no mention Jesus dying on the cross for our sins).

~ Wish ~
I feel that beginning and ending every story with the standard wording of make-believe tales may still instill in a young child the stories are not true. Having all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence would be thoughtful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a children’s short Bible story book that is loosely rewritten with engaging illustrations, this is a good choice.

Thanks to Z Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

The Soldier Who Killed A King

The Soldier Who Killed a King: A True Retelling of the PassionTitle: The Soldier Who Killed a King
Author: David Kitz
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-4485-2

“I have a future for you,” Marcus Longinus hears the words in David Kitz’s retold novel, The Soldier Who Killed a King.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-eighty-eight pages, this paperback is a rendition of the last week of Jesus Christ’s life on earth, told through the eyes of a veteran Roman centurion. Dealing with demons of his own, the soldier in charge of many witnesses the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem to the aftermath after our Lord is risen from the dead. Due to topics of torture, crucifixion, and death as well as using the word hell once as a swear word, the story may not be apropos for immature readers. With italicized quotes from Scripture taken from the NIV, CEV, MLB, NKJV, and TEV versions of the Holy Bible, the ending has notes of listed chapter verses.

~ Why ~
If you are interested in the Passion week and the story of Jesus dying on the cross and rising after three days, this detailed book focuses from a first-person viewpoint. I liked how the writer molded and shaped a loyal soldier who was broken from his past and questioned why the “donkey king” had to die. His portrayal of Herald the Fox, Pilate the Badger, and Caiaphas the Weasel showed the power play of the three for political positioning by sending Christ to the Skull. While explaining Jesus’s miracles, personality, and love, the novel hones in on dealing with guilt, forgiveness, and eternity.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have or want a personable relationship with Jesus Christ may avoid this book. Some may not like such an iconic story being retold. I felt the ending was a little odd involving the main character’s conversion.

~ Wish ~
Since the author did take ample liberties involving the centurion in many facets of Christ’s miracles and His crucifixion, it may confuse readers of documented Biblical passages, especially regarding a young boy.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a reminder story of what the Son of God did for you and me by shedding His blood on the cross for our sins told through the eyes of a confused soldier who is called for a purpose, this will keep you thinking hours after finishing.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars.

Thanks to Kregel Publications and the author for this book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

The Assault

The Assault (Harbingers): Cycle Two of the Harbingers SeriesTitle: The Assault
Authors: Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-2975-7

“Maybe you can tell me why we should think we are a team just because a pack of liars and deceivers from another universe say so,” the professor explains in Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky’s novel, The Assault.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-sixty-eight pages, this paperback targets those who enjoy supernatural suspense with Christian overtones. Including using words like heck and hell as slang, topics of paranormal, dying, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending contains a chapter of the upcoming ninth episode.

Cycle two in the Harbinger series, this book is divided into four tales, each by a different writer, with all written in first person by one of four characters contained in each story. Being a part of a series, the stories in order involve the same four plus a ten-year old boy searching for The Gate, a mysterious group from an altered universe trying to control our world.

With the first story focusing on a tattoo artist who draws the future, she helps find Hitler’s powerful Spear of Destiny in Rome; the second one involves the professor having to trust when it comes to a plague of phytoplankton in Florida. The next has his assistant being hypnotized due to her connection to a non-carbon based life form orb, and the last finds an ex-football jock learning about change while fog creatures vie to take over a California high-rise building. As the team works together in their bizarre circumstances, they realize they have been brought together by their handlers to find and conquer The Gate.

~ Why ~
With four authors blending each of their diverse characters into one story, the good versus evil theme shows how disbelief reigns and the future can be changed. The first person dialogue is interesting as it contains only one viewpoint. I like how each tale could be a stand-alone yet linked together as if a television series. Although some of the experiences the team faced seemed unrealistic, they were written with detail and purpose.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like mystic, supernatural books may skip this read. With four individual stories, the book may confuse some readers. Readers may be frustrated with the disjointedness as one story ends and the next begins.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were more cohesiveness between the ending of one tale to the next although there is minor backtracking, but it is understandable being written by four different writers.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for supernatural suspense by four Christian authors, this series of four quick reads may entertain and interest you, but you may find some confusion between its pages.

Thanks to Bethany House and the authors for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

YNTA FLAMELESS CANDLE SET

Candle SetCHANGING COLOR LED CANDLE SET

~ What ~
This LED candle set includes 3 differently sized flameless candles on a wooden tray with tumbled rocks and a remote control. With 9 AAA batteries included, the remote allows the user to change the candle color to a dozen colors, 2 flickering modes, and a 4 or 8-hour timer. The candles measure 2, 4, and 6 inches tall and almost 3 inches wide; the tray is approximately 14 by 5 by 0.5 inches. Instructions are not included but are self-explanatory. All items arrive in a classic, gold-fabric lined box ready for gifting.

~ Why ~Candle Set 1
This is a beautiful display to set the mood in any room. Knowing paraffin candles are not healthy, and having made and sold soy ones, I love how these contain real wax that is not harmless to use. Each pillar has a slightly wavy carved top that makes them look realistic. Having no flame, the candles are safe around children and animals. I appreciate that the remote and candles came complete with batteries, and it is easy to change the candle colors from up to 20 feet away. The tray is made of a stained dark black bamboo so should hold up well; the many pebbles are small and mostly rounded. I have arranged this accent decoration in our screened-in porch near my hot tub to enjoy its ambient lighting.

~ Why Not ~Candle Set 3
Some may not like that these are fake candles with no scent. Others may prefer a taller arrangement, but this works well on a side table or countertop.

~ Wish ~
It would be nice if the set could be put on a daily timer to be set for specific hours.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a charming candle set complete with a tray and rocks, this is an exquisite, elegant set that would make a lovely gift for a candle lover.

Thanks to YNTA for this discounted product that I am not obligated to evaluate.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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CMYK LED Lighting Light Bulb

Edison Bulb 1ELONGATED VINTAGE LED LIGHT BULB

~ What ~
This LED light bulb is shaped like an antique tube with a slight bubble on its top that measures 5.51 inches long including its metal base and 2.52 inches at its widest point. Being fully dimmable, the warm white bulb contains no mercury, UF or IR, or dazzling and is flicker-free as well as RoHS and CE certified. Arriving in a protective box, the 40w/60w/4w bulb fits most standard E26 and E27 electrical bases. No instructions are needed or necessary.

~ Why ~
We have a family room light that has a deep ceramic cover, so this long bulb fills its lamp cone nicely. What I like most about this product is that it saves me money because it is LED so should last a long time (over 18 years if used 3 hours daily). Its warm white color offers a soft but correctly colored glow to the room.

~ Why Not ~Edison Bulb 2
Some may not like how bright the light shines, but this one has a 40 or 60 watt equivalent so is not too bright. Being elongated, it may not fit in all light sockets or lamp shades properly.

~ Wish ~
I wish these bulbs could be in various colors to match a room’s decor.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an elongated antique light bulb that has LED filament technology, this one will last a long time.

Thanks to CMYK for this discounted product that I am evaluating by choice.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.Edison Bulb 3

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Product Reviews

Best Choice Products Patio Umbrella Stand

Patio Stand 1STURDY, SOLID NON-TOPPLING PATIO UMBRELLA STAND

~ What ~
Weighing 50 pounds of cast iron, this adjustable patio umbrella stand has a simplistic classic bronze finish that is weatherproof with a detachable stem piece. Able to use with table or free-standing patio umbrellas, it measures 18 by 24 inches. Instructions are in the box, and some assembly is required.

~ Why ~Patio Stand 2
Having a large glass patio table that seats six, we need a durable umbrella stand to stick under it for when we want shade while eating. I like how the bronze color matches our existing patio set, and the design does not have too many curls, twists, or flora to it. I also appreciate how low profile the base is and not bulky like other stands. A plus is how easy it is to be put together by mounting the approximately 12 inch tube over the bottom plate with a bolt and setting another blocking screw to secure the umbrella, taking me only 3 minutes.

~ Why Not ~Patio Stand 3
Some may not like or need a patio umbrella stand. Others may think it is too heavy or large, but it will keep an umbrella upright compared to plastic or sand-filled stands; its bottom plate is only a few inches tall.

~ Wish ~
It would be nice if more designs and colors of the stands were available. Now I need to find a new umbrella to go with it.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a sturdy, solid cast iron patio umbrella stand, this one will not topple over or cost you a fortune.

Thanks to Best Choice Products for this sample that I am evaluating by choice.

This product can be found at https://bestchoiceproducts.com/products/best-choice-products-50lbs-heavy-duty-cast-iron-patio-umbrella-base-stand-bronze?variant=44247193166

 

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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PowerTRC My Modern Kitchen Playset

Barbie Kitchen 1FUN, REALISTIC BARBIE KITCHEN SET

~ What ~
Made of pink and silver ABS plastic with mostly cardboard backing, this 4-piece kitchen appliance ensemble that measures 19 by 12 inches is to be used mainly for dolls that are 11 to 12 inches tall such as the iconic Barbie. Coming with 39 accessories, it includes miniature pots, pans, toaster, serving utensils, dinnerware, and a few pretend food items including fake ice cubes. The cupboards open and have stickered pictures inside. By adding 2 AAA batteries, sections light up and make sounds. Instructions are included on the gift box that has a carry handle.

~ Why ~Barbie Kitchen 2
Our granddaughter who lives out of state turns 4 this month, so I had to get this gift for the girly-girl who likes to play with dolls. I like that the set looks realistic with stainless-steel-looking appliances. The oven, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, and freezer can be opened, some including lights inside. Since I have already bought her a Barbie, I appreciate that this one is geared for this type of doll when so many others are not. Having all the accessories make it more special and engaging for young ones to play house. Another reason this set is good is that it offers a pretend environment for cooking, cleaning, and arranging a kitchen.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like plastic doll furniture and accessories will avoid this item. Since the 4 sections are separated, they are somewhat hard to keep in a row, but this may be an advantage as you can mix up the arrangement, especially if set in a confined “kitchen” space. Some may not like the cardboard backings, but I had no issue with them. The small parts are not for children under 3 years of age.

~ Wish ~
I wish the batteries were included so the toy could be used right out of the box. Having other colors than pink might be considered.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a kitchen play set for a Barbie doll, this is an excellent choice. I know my granddaughter will spend hours enjoying it when we give it to her for her birthday.

Thanks to PowerTRC for this purchased product that I am under no obligation to review

GRAMMARLY checked for errors in this review.

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