Category Archives: Christian

Jesus Among Secular Gods

Jesus Among Secular Gods: The Countercultural Claims of ChristTitle: Jesus Among Secular Gods
Authors: Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale
Publisher: FaithWords
ISBN: 978-1-4555-6916-9

“We all follow a god, whether supernatural or secular,” the authors state in Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale’s book, Jesus Among Secular Gods: The Countercultural Claims of Christ.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-fifty-six-page paperback targets those who are interested in dissecting current religious beliefs that are against the claims of God and Jesus written in Scriptures. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, the NLT, NKJV, ESV, NHEB, and KJV are also referenced. The book is divided into eight chapters, ending with acknowledgments and notes.

In this book where each author writes four chapters, it covers atheism, scientism, pluralism, humanism, relativism, and hedonism as it relates to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Often mentioning experiences and discussions by the writers, it contains quotes of Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, and the Qur’an, as well as C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and the Bible.

The writers describe the atheist’s anger as they mock and ridicule Christianity without answering the “why” of God as they increase their desire for autonomy and power. The chapter on scientism further examines the Who behind the how, while pluralism is about origin, meaning, morality, and destiny but lacks a personal relationship with the Creator. Covering the philosophy of humanism that promotes transcendental spirituality, the experience machine of relativism, and the money and sex of hedonism, all offer a partial truth instead of accepting God’s free gift of loving each of us unconditionally.

~ Why ~
Having taken a religion class at a secular college decades ago, I found this book similar in explaining the different “isms” of the day, yet it refutes and challenges those who do not have Jesus Christ as their pivotal focus. In-depth with explanations, the book can be read a little at a time to comprehend how non-Christians believe and think and how we should respond in love to them. I like the hermeneutics of the topic and appreciate the many details in counter-acting to some of the non-God beliefs.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with our Lord may not understand and ardently disagree with this book. Some will take it as an emotional attack on their beliefs. A few may wish there were less of the writers’ experiences or analogies.

~ Wish ~
Having a sister who used to profess Christ and now is a white witch teaching the occult, I wish the book mentioned the fast-growing attraction of supposedly achieving a godship status as a human. This form of Satanism is another anti-Christ viewpoint that appears to be gaining traction, yet the book never mentions how the devil is the prince of darkness on Earth and behind many of these false “isms.”

~ Want ~
If you yearn to understand what non-believers of Jesus Christ think of the gods they serve and need assistance understanding their religions, this is a helpful resource that would be a good textbook in a Bible class on the subject.

Rated 4.5 of 5 stars.

Thanks to the Hachette Book Group for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jesus-among-secular-gods-ravi-zacharias/1123748103?ean=9781455569151#/

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Let the Little Children Come Wordless Bracelet Kits

SPREAD JESUS’S LOVE WITH 20 WORDLESS BRACELETS

~ What ~
Targeting young ones to teens, this pack contains 20 DIY bracelet kits that share the message of eternal salvation by trusting in Jesus Christ.

Each packet contains a 16-inch black cord and 5 plastic beads in yellow, black, red, white, and green as well as an insert card. One side of the card correlates each colored bead to our relationship with God while the other side offers 3 steps of salvation with a written-out prayer.

~ Why ~
This is a perfect and thoughtful way to give a group of young children a do-it-yourself project of a handmade bracelet while also providing the plan of salvation in a simple but direct way. I like that the child can wear the bracelet and be reminded of his or her relationship with Christ.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have or want a personal relationship with the Almighty may not approve of the spiritual intention of this DIY jewelry. Others may have issues tying knots, but there is an added paper with instructions for adults or teachers on assembling plus more directions on presenting the Gospel while making the project.

~ Wish ~
With this being creative yet simple, it needs no added changes or suggested input as it is ideal as is. I appreciate the added “Coolest Children’s Track Ever!” was included.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Sunday school, summer camp, daycare, or creative activity to do for 5 to 15-year-olds that is a witnessing tool about God, this is a perfect solution.

Thanks to the CWA Review Crew and Let the Little Children Come for this complimentary product I am under no obligation to review.

This product can be found at http://www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com

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So Great a Love

Title: So Great a Love
Author and Illustrator: Kristie Wilde
Publisher: Wilde Art Press
ISBN: 978-0-9974828-1-2

“Oh, run little ones, run to God … He will always love you!” Kristie Wilde ends her children’s book, So Great a Love.

~ What ~
Part of the Joyful Creation series, this unnumbered twenty-page paperback targets children under five years old, especially those who like learning about God’s love and animals. With no scary scenes, the book has colorful watercolor pictures that are broadly illustrated on every page.

In this short compilation, the idea that animals are protected and loved by their parents is correlated to God’s love for us, even if small ones. Whether it is a hen gathering her chicks, a mama bear protecting her cubs, a koala helping her young, a bird hiding her babies, a lioness washes her cubs, a shepherd watching over his flocks, or other animals protecting their loved ones, the book reiterates that the Almighty is watching over us. Also added are references to nature and its helpful resources. The ending includes ten written out Bible verses from six different translations along with the author’s biography.

~ Why ~
Promoting that the same God that made the animals and nature that surrounds us is the same God that loves us endlessly, the book also teaches how animal parents take care of their young. I like the detailed and colorful artworks that keep a young one’s attention. Due to the illustrations’ backgrounds, the pictures could also encourage further dialogue about how each animal lives and its environment.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books about God’s love or animals will not appreciate this book. Beginner readers may struggle with some of the two- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
I wish more simplistic children’s books like this were available for young ones to be taught the wonderful attributes of God and that they are loved by Him.

~ Want ~
If you enjoy a book that shows God’s love through how animal parents take care and protect their offspring, this would be a charming, delightful choice.

For more information on this book: http://wildeartpress.com/so-great-a-love.html

Thanks to Book Crash for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

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

My Bible Story Coloring Book

My Bible Story Coloring Book (Nov) Image 1 of 1Title:  My Bible Story Coloring Book
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-76106-8

“Color your way through 32 beloved Bible stories,” the back jacket states in My Bible Story Coloring Book by Zondervan.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-forty-four-page over-sized paperback targets children three to twelve years old who enjoy retold stories from the Bible while coloring matching designs. Using the New International Reader’s Version of the Holy Bible, the thirty-two stories from the Old and New Testaments are divided into four sections with eight in each one.

After a table of contents, the two-to-four-page stories are spread over an eight week period so the child can concentrate on the words and color the many designs for that story throughout seven days. The topics include Covenant History, Prophets, Writings, and the New Testament, and range from Noah’s ark, King Solomon’s riches, Jonah and the large fish, and the valley of dry bones to what is a Proverb, Josiah celebrating Passover, Paul’s conversion, and the empty tomb to name a few. With black writing, the illustrations grace the pages with plenty of details.

~ Why ~
Those who love to draw, doodle, or fill in coloring books while focusing on the Bible and its contents will appreciate this coloring book. I like that the stories are simplified but offer the truth. Separating it into four sections of eight weeks each makes the reader not feel rushed to complete the pages. Using thick paper, colored pencils and some gel pens may not bleed through to the other side.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ may not be interested in this type of coloring book. Others may not care for the limited explanations in the stories and its vague plan of eternal salvation.

~ Wish ~
I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. Since the New Testament stories are not in order of the Bible, it may confuse some children when trying to look up them in Scriptures.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical coloring book that includes thirty-two stories to read while filling in corresponding drawings, this would be a good selection.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad 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 ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

Daniel and the Lions’ Den

Beginner's Bible Daniel and the Lions' Den Image 1 of 1Title: Daniel and the Lions’ Den
Illustrator: Denis Alonso
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-76041-2

“So God sent his angel to help Daniel. Daniel was safe all night,” the story states in Zondervan’s children’s book, Daniel and the Lions’ Den.

~ What ~
Part of The Beginner’s Bible I Can Read series, this thirty-three-page thin paperback targets young children from four to eight years old. The book covers the Old Testament’s story in the Holy Bible of Daniel in the lions’ den. It would best be read out loud to non-readers or beginner readers who like to look at pictures due to their limited reading comprehension level.

The book tells the accurate story of Daniel praying to God and thrown into a den of lions after disobeying the king’s law. With an angel protecting him, Daniel was not harmed, and the king told his people to only pray to the man’s God. Having colorful, easy-to-decipher illustrations, the cartoon designs with big white-eyed animals and people are on almost every page.

~ Why ~
This is a helpful book for beginner to early readers since there are only a few sentences on each page. There are plenty of objects to view by a young child. I like how there is room for discussion about trusting God to protect us throughout our lives. Without containing any scary scenes of ravenous lions, several of them look content and happy.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote teaching a child about the iconic Old Testament story will pass on this book. Some may be leary of the depictions of the angry men on a few pages, With a couple of bones included in the illustration on the cover and one inside, it may make an inquisitive reader wonder whose they are and why they are there. The story does not mention how the evil men were thrown to the lions afterward.

~ Wish ~
I wish more Bible stories were told this simply. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a short beginner reader’s Bible story about God watching Daniel when he was cast into the lions’ den, this will keep young children’s attention.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad 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 ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

The Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls Image 1 of 1Title: NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-76354-3

“The NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls is a perfect gift that will become a cherished keepsake full of personalized creative expressions of faith,” the back jacket book cover states in Zondervan’s children’s book.

~ What ~
This 1,472-page teal-with-white-designs Leathersoft hardbound targets young girls from eight to twelve years old. Using the New International Version of the Holy Bible, the book includes hundreds of verses with ready-to-color line art of black and white illustrations that are on the sides to full pages. A marker ribbon is attached. The ending includes a list of the nine artists and lists of their artworks.

With the wording in the middle to the bound edge of the pages, there are either light dotted lines for notes or feminine drawings down the outside of the pages that usually correspond to the words’ contents. Also added are full-page illustrations to complete.

~ Why ~.
What makes this coloring book thoughtful is that a young girl can read her Bible and fill out the side-bar drawings that concentrate on the recently read Word. I like that the drawings mainly include words or verses with minor decorative touches.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote having a female read and color in a Bible may not approve of this book. There are those who may not agree with this version. Some may not like the idea of being distracted coloring while focusing on Scripture. I thought the pages were thin so a gel pen would bleed through easily, but a colored pencil may not.

~ Wish ~
With this book only have the standard version of a Bible with no added content except for the illustrations, it is not a study Bible. I wish each book had an informative introduction and there was an index at the end.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a beautiful coloring hardbound book for a young girl who likes to doodle in her Bible while in church or listening to a sermon, this may be a viable choice, but I think it may distract from learning about God.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

God’s Treasure Holy Bible

NIV God's Treasure Holy Bible, Hardcover: Golden promises and priceless storiesTitle: NIV God’s Treasure Holy Bible
Publisher: Zonderkids
ISBN: 978-0-310-75907-2

“Special messages are hidden throughout your Bible. Try to find all of them!” the introduction states in the NIV God’s Treasures Holy Bible.

~ What ~
This 1,216-page hardbound targets children ages eight to twelve years old who want a “treasure hunt” format study of the books of the Bible. Using the New International Version of the Bible, it focuses on searching the Scriptures to learn more about its contents. The beginning has an ownership page, instructions, and table of contents, while the ending includes a table of weights and measures as well as eight pages of colored maps and a treasure verse index. An attached marker ribbon is added.

In this Bible, each book has a beginning page that has a Marks the Spot about the book and its noted people, Pearls of Wisdom of listed important stories, and Treasure Verses that are lightly highlighted in the verses. Also added are a dozen full-color pages of characters, promises, commandments, and noted verses.

~ Why ~
Containing extra features about the Word of God, this book is good for those who like to search for answers. I like that the added content does not interrupt with the reading as it is mainly included at the beginning of each book.

~ Why Not ~
For those who want nothing to do with learning about the Holy Bible, this would not be a good choice for young ones. Some may not care for the Bible version used. The paper used is thin, so the print bleeds through a little.

~ Wish ~
I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If your fourth to sixth grader is looking for an NIV Bible that is fun and exciting to read with its added treasure-seeking information, 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

Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women

Adored: 365 Devotions for Young WomenTitle: Adored
Author: Lindsay A. Franklin
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-76279-9

“The fact is, God doesn’t just love us. He adores us,” Lindsay A. Franklin writes in the introduction to her book, Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-eighty-four pages, this small hardbound for young women meant to be read daily throughout a year reminds female readers how much God adores them. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, it can also be used as a journal. Including the topic of adultery, some of the contents may be too comprehensive for young girls or immature readers.

With each numbered day of the year at the top of the page, a written Bible verse follows with two to three paragraphs about an unstated topic. Four blank lines are at the bottom of each page to fill in if desired. Blank pages are at the end for notes.

~Why ~
This book would be good for tweens to teen girls who need encouragement in their daily walk with Jesus as they are reminded of His love and adoration for us. I like the shortness of the day’s reading and that there are no personal references or experiences from the author. Another plus is the journaling aspect for those who like to write. The many devotions dedicated to women in Proverbs are appreciated and well written. Its compact size can be placed on a side table or backpack.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as their savior may not appreciate this devotional. With no topic title or day of the year (only numbered days), it may be hard to follow daily. This read may be above the understanding of young preteen girls and include some ideas that need adult explanations. A devotional should not take the place of reading the Scriptures on an ongoing basis.

~ Wish ~
I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence. Adding an attached ribbon may help in keeping one’s place daily reading. I wish a short prayer were included instead of the lines that are too close together to write in between.

~ Want ~
If you know a young Christian girl who needs to be reminded of God’s adoration, this may be a good choice for a teen, but it may be too mature for some middle schoolers or those younger.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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

The Sound of Rain

The Sound of RainTitle: The Sound of Rain
Author: Sarah Loudin Thomas
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1961-0

“All you have to do is look for someone who’s hurting and see if you can ease the pain,” Larking is reminded in Sarah Loudin Thomas’s novel, The Sound of Rain.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-thirty-six-pages, this historical fiction targets those who enjoy romance through tragedy in the mid-1950s in South Carolina. With no profanity but the use of slang words such as heck and dang, the topic of death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a historical note, acknowledgments, author’s biography, and advertisements.

In this book, twenty-seven-year-old Judd Markley is heartbroken when his brother is killed in a coal mining cave collapse and he is not. Trying to fulfill his sibling’s wishes, he moves to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and gets a job in the timber industry.

When Judd meets his boss’s twenty-one-year-old daughter, Larkin, he is enamored but still trying to deal with his pain. While Larkin wants to serve God by helping others including the poor, Judd is challenged by her compassion, rash decisions, and glowing personality. It is only when both face their fears is there a chance for romance.

~ Why ~
Many will like the easy-reading style of the author that is clean-cut, Christian, and wholesome as it promotes helping others, especially those in need or are poor. Some will enjoy the historical content of the beach town, Pavillion, and hurricane as well as learn about coal mining and tree harvesting.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories of forgiving oneself as a survivor will avoid this book. Others may find it does not have the electrical excitement of romance that is expected; it is predictable.

~ Wish ~
I wish several of the characters were not stereotypical and the ending was more climatic. I found Larkin to be a dichotomy of independence, defiance, and immaturity that was frustrating at times.

~ Want ~
If you like a story about the growing love between a naïve and sheltered wealthy girl and a young coal miner with the backdrop of historical Myrtle Beach and the Appalachians, this may be a good read.

I am under no obligation to review this complimentary book from Baker Publishing.

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

30 Days to Joy

30 Days to Joy: A One-Month Creative JournalTitle: 30 Days to Joy
Publisher: Waterbrook
ISBN: 978-0-7352-9082-2

“Through Bible verses, quotes, and artistic prompts, this creative journal invites you to the deep peace God offers you every day,” states the ending of the book by Waterbrook, 30 Days to Joy: A One-Month Creative Journal.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-twelve-page small hardbound targets those who like to write in a month-long journal that focuses on joy. Being compact, it can easily be carried in a purse or briefcase or set on a small table. It has a linen cover with red, yellow, and green-painted accents, and a red ribbon is attached for marking a spot.

Covering two to three pages each day of the month, suggested topics and questions are given that promote joy through God. Light drawings cover some of the pages with a quote or Bible verse covering a full page. Some of the authored quotes include Robert Schuller, John Calvin, Jean Paul, Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martha Washington, and Isaac Watts. There are one to two blank pages per day to write notes or draw. The ending has a two-page playlist of songs to fill out, what has been learned with future expectations, and do-it-yourself autobiography and acknowledgment pages.

Here are a few examples:

#4 How can you remain joyful in troubling situations?
Quote is by Sharon Draper
#6 What settings or locations bring you joy?
Quote by Mother Teresa
#19 Depict joy as you would to a child.
2 blank pages with faint fern drawings around edges
#28 If joy were a person in your life, who would it be and why?
Quote is Psalm 126:3 NIV

~ Why ~
The concept of focusing on joy while writing one’s thoughts or doodling is a creative avenue for a writer or artist. This book may be beneficial for those who want to concentrate on a topic for only one month. I like the written-out Bible verses.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like to journal or doodle will have no interest in this book, but it is a nice side-table book that would be a thoughtful gift. Others may not care for the quotes and wish there were more Bible verses.

~ Wish ~
With the book containing approximately a third Bible verses, it would be ideal if more were included as “the joy of the Lord is my strength” is what I think of when I hear the word joy (yes, this verse is included on Day 27).

~ Want ~
This book would make a nice present for someone who likes to journal or spend time alone, thinking about God’s joy.

I am under no obligation to review this complimentary book.

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