Category Archives: Christian

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

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

A Very Thankful Prayer

Title: A Very Thankful Prayer
Author: Bonnie Rickner Jensen
Illustrator: Natalia Moore
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9883-4

“I’m thankful for the seasons,
And I am thankful God made fall.
But for His love that fills the earth,
I’m thankful most of all,” the ending states in Bonnie Rickner Jensen’s children’s book, A Very Thankful Prayer.

~ What ~
This twenty-four-page board book with rounded edges and small bronze leaf and word embossings targets children preschool age or older who like praying to God and are thankful for Fall. Focusing on the season, there are no scary or frightening scenes. Full page, full colored illustrations of animals grace every page.

With cute animals going through activities of the day during Fall, four lined rhymes cover the opened pages. Whether a bunny waking up, mice raking leaves, squirrels in a corn field, bunnies picking pumpkins, hedgehogs collecting apples, cats feasting, or owls watching over a town to name a few, the words promote being thankful to God.

~ Why ~
Christian parents will appreciate how this short book urges the young reader to thank God for all the things that have to do with Fall. Whether it is beginning the day with prayer, thanking Him for clothing, food, family, friends, Thanksgiving, or helping others, the book reminds us the importance of God’s love. Children will enjoy looking for the falling leaves on most of the artworks.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not approve of books that mention God or pray to Him may not want this book. With multiple-syllable and a few hard-to-comprehend words, the book would best be read out loud to beginner readers.

~ Wish ~
Although the rhyming is charming, it would help if some of the wording were easier to read for beginner readers.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a children’s book that helps young ones to be mindful of thanking and praying to God, this is a good start.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers 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 ICB Blessed Garden Bible

The ICB Blessed Garden BibleTitle: The ICB Blessed Garden Bible
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9220-7

The Blessed Garden Bible invites children to enjoy the treasure of God’s Word,” its back jacket states.

~ What ~
Targeting young girls ages six to ten years old, this International Children’s hardbound version of the Holy Bible has a pale green front cover with a red fox, birds, and floral designs with sparkles. Containing over thirteen-hundred pages, the book includes three-hundred-and-sixty-five highlighted verses, twenty-four colored study helps, dictionary, and concordance.

~ Why ~
Since the Bible is the most important book in history, this one for young girls will hopefully be used daily. I like the family history page, why read the Bible note, and timeline at the beginning as well as the inserted sections regarding Jesus’s love with a page to write favorite verses. Other inserts explain how to pray, forgive, express God’s love, and study the Bible. The ending provides the names of God, Jesus’s miracles and disciples, kids mentioned in the Word, and three maps.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like how thin the pages are so the black ink bleeds through to the other side. There are those who may not approve of the version (it does not state Mary was a virgin).

~ Wish ~
It would be helpful if a ribbon marker were attached so the reader could keep track of daily reading.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a young girl’s Bible, this is a good choice if you do not mind the version. It would be a lovely gift for a graduation, baptism, or birthday gift for a first to fifth-grade female.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers 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, Childrens, Christian

The Promise of Breeze Hill

Title: The Promise of Breeze Hill
Author: Pam Hillman
Publisher: Tyndale House
ISBN: 978-1-4964-1592-9

“Mistress Bartholomew, you may own my papers, but you are the most pigheaded lass I’ve ever known,” Connor confronts Isabella in Pam Hillman’s novel, The Promise of Breeze Hill.

~ What ~
At four-hundred-and-sixteen pages, this paperback that is part of the Natchez Trace Novel series targets those who enjoy a historical Christian romance involving plantation living in Mississippi during the eighteenth century. With no profanity, topics of bigotry, abuse, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.

In this story, beautiful and unmarried Isabella Bartholomew is doing all she can to protect her father’s Southern plantation after he is injured in a fire. With her brother being recently killed, she worries about the barrage of highwaymen causing havoc and attacks on the nearby trace they travel.

When Isabella buys the indentured Irishman Connor O’Shea to repair the plantation’s buildings, she notices the differences in his societal and financial station compared to hers. By realizing she is acting like Biblical Job’s wife, she must decide what it will cost her to keep the family’s legacy in tact.

~ Why ~
This tale of evil men trying to harm and hurt others while love overshadows expectations is a quick read that shows God’s established plans. I like that Isabella’s flaws in misconstruing other’s actions were realistic. The book promotes the importance of family and love.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like historical romances from the South involving two opposite characters may not appreciate this book. Others may wish the good versus evil scenarios were not as predictable, especially when it came to the villain.

~ Wish ~
With both protagonists flip-flopping on their feelings, they could have been portrayed with one being more determined than the other regarding establishing their relationship.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a historical fiction how love protects family, this is a sweet but predictable read that explores the world of the Natchez Trace in Mississippi.

Thanks to Tyndale Blog 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

Night Night, Train

Product DetailsAuthor: Amy Parker
Illustrator: Virginia Allyn
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-8932-0

“Night night, boys,
Night night, girls,
Night night, God, and night night, world,” the story ends in Amy Parker’s children’s book, Night Night, Train.

~ What ~
At twenty pages, this board book with a padded front cover targets children ages three to five years old. With no scary scenes, it is a nice story about a train with a family of dogs that heads to Sleepytown. Full page color illustrations of the animals on the train cover the pages.

Written in rhyme with some complicated wording, this tale involves a dog family of six boarding a train and getting a ride to bed while on it. With the furry pets getting tickets and entering the train, they find their seats, share a meal, read a book, take a bath, get into their pajamas, pray to God, climb into bed, and get a good night’s sleep, knowing that God is in control.

~Why ~
Having two granddaughters who are ages four and one years old, their routine is similar to this book in that they take a bath after dinner, read a book, and then get tucked into bed. I like how the book involves a train ride to bedtime and God loving us. The puppies are cute and adorable.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books that mention God may not approve of this book, but He is mentioned only three times. Some may not have the same bedtime routine as the book explains.

~ Wish ~
There is nothing I would change about this read.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book to read at bedtime that is short and sweet, this one may gently rock a child to sleep as it chugs along the bedtime rails.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

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!, Childrens, Christian

100 Favorite Bible Verses

100 Favorite Bible VersesTitle: 100 Favorite Bible Verses
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9695-3

“You’ll find that each passage offers its own gifts of comfort, direction, hope, and inspiration,” the introduction states in the book, 100 Favorite Bible Verses.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-twenty-four pages, this small hardbound devotional that targets women centers on a hundred verses from the Bible. Using mainly the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, also referenced are the ESV, KJV, NAS, NCV, NIV, and NLT versions. After a table of contents and introduction, each verse covers two pages, and ends with four lined pages for writing down additional verses.

Containing a hundred of the most favored Bible verses, each verse in a random order has a theme title on the left side of the page with several paragraphs of a devotion under it and a short prayer. The opposite page has the written-out Bible verse with a few words highlighted in a fancy font. Both Old and New Testament verses are included, with numerous ones from Psalms, I and II Corinthians, and Philippians. Colorful designs of flowers, flora, and leaves border the writings.

~Why ~
I appreciate devotionals that have little information about the author but focus on God in day-to-day living, and this book does that by having favorite Bible verses. The topics are brief and to the point, often beginning with a question but rarely using the words “I” or “me.” Sometimes Old and New Testament characters are noted as they correlate to the struggles, goals, and achievements of daily life with Christ.

My favorite verse of Philippians 4:13 is included and titled “Giver of Strength,” with the devotional about Paul’s trials and tribulation as he learned to rely on Jesus’s unwavering source of strength. The prayer asks God to enable us to trust Him more.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not want to get a book that concentrates on Bible verses. Others may not find their favorite verse included.

~ Wish ~
With the Bible verses being the focus, it would be ideal if there were an index to look up a verse quickly. Including an attached ribbon to use as a page marker would be helpful.

~ Want ~
If you like devotionals that rely on Bible verses that can be memorized, this would be a thoughtful and appreciated gift for any woman who loves the Lord.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARY 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