Category Archives: Christian

God’s Blessing Day by Day

God's Blessing Day By Day: MyDaily Devotional for KidsTitle: God’s Blessing Day by Day
Editor: Johnny Hunt
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-4003-1130-0

This 52-week devotional will help you enjoy those quiet times with your children as you teach them about the Lord and His blessings,” editor Dr. Johnny M. Hunt writes in the introduction of his compiled book, God’s Blessing Day by Day.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-thirty-six-pages, this small hardbound targets children ages eight years old and older who want a daily devotional about God and His blessings. Using mainly the International Children’s Bible, also referenced are the CEV, NCV, and NIV. A contributors’ list and Scripture index, as well as a white ribbon marker, complete the book. With some complicated wording, the book should be read out loud to beginner readers.

Written by fifty-three pastors, children’s ministers, and other church leaders, the My Daily Devotional for Kids covers one page per every weekday plus one weekend day of the year. Divided into the fifty-two weeks, each devotion by different authors begins with a title, followed by one to three Bible verses written out. Several paragraphs cover the topic, ending with a short prayer. A purple tab highlights a feature of the topic; the bottom of the page lists the author.

Some topic titles include Jesus Loves Us All, Happy Parents, How Powerful is God?, Don’t Forget to Remember, Our Amazing God, We Have Good News, God’s Comfort, Just Like a Magnet, Jesus Can Use You Too, We Need One Another, Joy, and Words That Taste Like Candy.

~Why ~
I like that each author’s devotion is written differently and focuses on topics most third and fourth graders can comprehend about the Almighty. The day’s page is short and to the point.

One example I enjoyed is Night Guard, Week 23 Weekend, that has Psalm 121:3 as its key Bible verse. After mentioning how a guard watches over someone to make sure they are safe, the devotion reminds young readers that God takes care of them, even when they are asleep, and He protects them every minute they are awake. The prayer is of thanks to God for His protection, and the purple tab states “I can trust God to keep me safe.”

~ Why Not ~
This is not an in-depth devotional and may be best for children who already have Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Some readers may not like that there are only six devotions per week included.

~ Wish ~
Since the book seems to state it should be read out loud to children at the end of the day, it may not engage those who are mature at the age of eight years old or older due to some of the rudimentary topics. I think the book may be more geared to read to those in kindergarten and the lower grade levels.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a kid’s six-day-a-week devotional about God and the wonderful blessings He bestows on us, this may be a good option, but it may be targeted for those younger who enjoy having someone read to them.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gods-blessing-day-by-day-thomas-nelson/1127480862

Advertisements

Leave a comment

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

Dinner for Dinos

Dinner for Dinos: Gulp, Guzzle, Chomp, ChewTitle: Dinner for Dinos
Illustrator: Ben Whitehouse
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-4003-1214-6

“The dinos were completely full–
They couldn’t lift a finger.
The dinner plates had been licked clean,
And not a morsel lingered,”
states the ending of Tommy Nelson children’s book, Dinner for Dinos: Gulp, Guzzle, Chomp, Chew.

~ What ~
At twenty pages, this square paperback with rounded corners targets children ages four to eight years old who are learning about eating healthily and properly. With no scary scenes, it is a story told in rhyme about several dinosaurs preparing and eating dinner. Containing some complicated wording, it would be best read out loud to beginner readers.

When one dino decides to have a picnic dinner, he and his friends go to the grocery dino-store to pick up meats, greens, and treats. However, Bronto does not like green food, but he is told those who eat good foods grow up big and strong. After arriving home, all the dinos prepare the meal, set the table, say a prayer, and eat heartily, without making a single burp as they clean their plates.

~Why ~
This is a nice tale about sharing a meal among dinosaurs. I like that the main theme of the book evokes friendship and working together to accomplish a task. The colorful illustrations by Whitehouse have enough detail to engage young readers.

~ Why Not ~
The book is rudimentary in that covers the animals going to the store, buying and preparing food, praying to God, and eating it; yet it does not promote what healthy foods to eat or how to cook them. Those who have no relationship with Jesus may not approve of the one time God is mentioned. New readers may find the two- and three-syllable words hard to pronounce.

~ Wish ~
While I appreciate the idea of working together to make a meal and eat it, I wish there were more to this book, showing different tasty veggies or healthy items and why they are good for us.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book for young ones about dinos banning together over mealtime, this may be a good choice, but I wish it were more involved.

Thanks to BookLookBloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dinner-for-dinos-ben-whitehouse/1127480988

Leave a comment

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

10 Minutes in the Word: Proverbs

10 Minutes in the Word: ProverbsTitle: 10 Minutes in the Word: Proverbs
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-09194-3

“The book of Proverbs teaches us how to become wise in daily living as we experience a relationship with Jesus Christ,” the introduction states in the book, 10 Minutes in the Word: Proverbs.

~ What ~
At one-hundred-and-ninety-two-pages, this small hardbound targets men and women seeking a short devotional taken from Proverbs. Using the New International Version of the Holy Bible, forty-six chapters cover the thirty-one chapters. A fill-in ownership page, table of contents, introduction, and notes, as well as a ribbon marker, complete the book.

In this condensed book, from one to several Proverbs are included in each of the chapters that cover four pages. After a title, a couple of Bible verses are written out, followed by instructions to read specific Proverbs. Two pages cover the topic, usually first discussing what the verses mean, ending with an application to the reader. A prayer and highlighted reminder tip end the chapter.

Some topic titles include Wisdom Calls Out (Proverbs 1:20-33), Dealing with Temptation (Proverbs 7), Don’t Waste Your Breath (Proverbs 9:1-12), Choosing Words Carefully (Proverbs 13:1-11), Responding Well (Proverbs 15), Materialism is a Spiritual Issue (Proverbs 22:1-16), There are No Shortcuts (Proverbs 26), and Noble Character (Proverbs 31:10-31).

~Why ~
I like that all the verses of Proverbs are included and in numerical order in the book. Having a little background information Solomon and other historical figures is interesting. Since Proverbs is one of my favorite books in the Bible, I appreciate that the devotions are well written.

One example I enjoyed was The Sin of All Sins taken from Proverbs 11:2 involving pride. The paragraphs discuss how pride is the root of all sin and is self-centeredness turned outward. One way to overcome this sin is humility through trusting in Christ, not ourselves. The prayer is a confession of our pride and asking of forgiveness. The tip challenges the reader to guard against this problem in all areas of our lives.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not appreciate this read. This is not an in-depth devotional so may be best for new believers and not replace daily reading of the Bible. Some may not care for the referred Bible version.

~ Wish ~
Not a fan of the NIV, I wish other Bible versions were offered in this lovely gift book.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a thoughtful gift for someone special who loves reading Biblical Proverbs, this would make an excellent choice if you like the NIV.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/10-minutes-in-the-word-zondervan/1126606188

Leave a comment

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

10 Minutes in the Word: Psalms

10 Minutes in the Word: PsalmsTitle: 10 Minutes in the Word: Psalms
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-09125-7

“The psalms are loved and memorized by so many because of their relatability in addressing many of life’s most significant questions,” the introduction states in the book, 10 Minutes in the Word: Psalms.

~ What ~
At one-hundred-and-ninety-two-pages, this small hardbound targets men and women seeking a short devotional taken from the Psalms. Using the New International Version of the Holy Bible, forty-six chapters cover the one-hundred-and-fifty chapters. A fill-in ownership page, table of contents, introduction, and notes, as well as a ribbon marker, complete the book.

In this condensed book, from one to several Psalms are included in each of the chapters that cover four pages. After a title, a couple of Bible verses are written out, followed by instructions to read specific Psalms. Two pages cover the topic, usually first discussing what the verses mean and who wrote them, ending with an application to the reader. A prayer and highlighted reminder tip complete the chapter.

Some topic titles include He is Your Rock (Psalm 18), Fear of the Lord (Psalms 34-37), Restoration (Psalms 51-54), Do Not Be Fooled (Psalms 72-74), Make a Joyful Noise (Psalms 79-81), All His Benefits (Psalms 103-104), Songs of Ascent (Psalms 130-134), and Victory is Coming (Psalms 144-146).

~Why ~
I like that every chapter of Psalms is included and in numerical order in the book. Having a little background information about who wrote the psalms and why is educational and interesting as most may think the book was only written by David, which it was not.

One example I enjoyed was Psalms 119 by David, titled Hide His Word in Your Heart, reminding us to hide God’s Word in our heart. The devotional is about God’s amazing and powerful Word, calling us to seek and search for Him in Scriptures. The prayer is about diligently reading the Bible and yearning for the Lord’s guidance with the tip being about making God a top priority.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not appreciate this read. This is not an in-depth devotional so may be best for new believers and not replace daily reading of the Bible. Some may not care for the referred Bible version.

~ Wish ~
Not a fan of the NIV, I wish other Bible versions were offered in this lovely gift book.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a classy gift for someone special who loves reading about the Psalms, this would make a thoughtful choice if you like the NIV.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/10-minutes-in-the-word-zondervan/1126606208

Leave a comment

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

Together Forever

Together Forever (Orphan Train Series #2)Title: Together Forever
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1805-7

“And there’s nothing more you could have done either,” Marianne tells her partner in Jody Hedlund’s novel, Together Forever.”

~ What ~
The second in the Orphan Train series, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those who like historical fiction with heartbreak and happiness in the 1850s. Containing no profanity, topics of poverty, abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The author’s notes and biography, as well as advertisements for other books, are included.

When Marianne Neumann gets a job with the Children’s Aid Society, she has ulterior motives to search for her sister who she thinks is one of the orphans put on the trains headed west to find better homes. As the nineteen-year-old woman travels with over thirty children to handle their placing-outs, she shares the task with Drew Brady, a young man who is guilt- and grief-ridden about his past. While the miles pass on the rails, Marianne and Drew flirt, tease, and have playful bantering that may end up altering more than just their two lives.

~ Why ~
The author does a thorough job explaining how the organization placed orphaned children in homes across the states while showing the tender but sometimes heart-wrenching decisions to let go to those that need to find their way. I like development of many of the children, showing their fears and dreams as they are revealed.

~ Why Not ~
Some may wish the book was not so romantically predictable with its premarital passion. Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not like the lightly-sprinkled spiritual references. I questioned Marianne’s unchallenged lying and the unusual marriage engagements.

~ Wish ~
Having not read the first book in the series, I felt there remained many unanswered questions in this one. Due to the book’s ending, it may leave many wondering what happens next to its characters, which hopefully will be mentioned in the third book.

~ Want ~
If you like historical Christian fiction of orphan trains involving the Children’s Aid Society in America, this will peek your interest, but you may tire of the ongoing breathy romance between two protagonists as you wait for its ending.

Thanks to Bethany House for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/together-forever-jody-hedlund/1127179102

Leave a comment

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

Before I Saw You

Before I Saw YouTitle: Before I Saw You
Author: Amy K. Sorrells
Publisher: Tyndale Fiction
ISBN: 978-1-4964-0956-0

“You may not have a choice in this, but you can give your baby a chance,” Jaycee is told in the novel, Before I Saw You, by Amy K. Sorrells.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-sixty-one-eight pages, this paperback targets those who enjoy contemporary women’s fiction involving adoption, forgiveness, and complicated relationship dynamics. Using the slang word “heck,” topics of child endangerment, physical abuse, opioid addiction, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a note, excerpt from another one of the writer’s novels, twelve discussion questions, author’s biography, acknowledgments, and advertisements.

In this tale told in first person, Jaycee Givens has had a rough upbringing growing up in a run-down Indiana trailer park when her mother is addicted to drugs, she feels responsible for her young brother’s death, and she hides her unplanned pregnancy. As she sorts through her life-changing options, she yearns to trust God’s soft voice with the help of newcomer Gabe’s determined friendship and a wise animal lover’s gentle advice.

~ Why ~
With the heroin epidemic ravaging America, this book points out how it can devastate not only the user but family members too. I appreciate how Jaycee works through her issues of not only breaking up with an abuser but also reconciling with loved ones, dealing with the loss of a dear friend, and making the ultimate decision to give her child a better life.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not like this read. Others may feel uncomfortable reading about the ramifications of drug use and heartbreaking decision to give up a child for adoption.

~ Wish ~
I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence and the slang word was avoided. Due to the ending, continuing the story of some of the characters could be an anticipated sequel.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a touching, tender, and redemptive read, this one that shows how God knows and cares about what happens to us will keep you turning the page as tears gather in your eyes.

Thanks to Tyndale Blog Network for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/before-i-saw-you-amy-sorrells/1127416107

Leave a comment

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

Beautiful Name

Beautiful NameTitle: Beautiful Name
Author: Matt Gosselin
Illustrator: Maheen Sana
Publisher: Matthew S. Gosselin
ISBN: 978-0-692-07476-3

“Mama, I know how to use God’s name!” Mo exclaims in Matt Gosselin’s children’s book, Beautiful Name.

~ What ~
Targeted toward three to seven-year-old children, this sixty-four-page oversized hardbound is about understanding what God’s name means. With no scary scenes, it may need to be read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording. Simplistic, colorful illustrations grace almost every other page with the opposite side white with purple and black wording.

In this short story, Mo wakes up to face the day. When her mother reminds her to feed the cow, the girl becomes offended and yells “Lordy” repeatedly, words that are inappropriately used. After being sent to her room to contemplate what she did, Mo cries and is mad, frustrated, and sorry. She falls asleep, and God appears to her in a dream. The child asks what His name is, and He replies, explaining who He is, how He is with us forever, and loves us. When she awakens, Mo shows her mama God’s love.

~ Why ~
This story is a teaching tool promoting who the Almighty is and how a child can relate to Him. I like that God is portrayed as loving and kind, not condemning or scary. It may be a good source to use if a child is unknowingly or knowingly using the Lord’s name in vain. If you look for it, an ichthus is drawn into many of the illustrations and are fun for a young one to locate.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not understand the point of the book is to learn about God’s character. Some may be offended with Mo using the word, Lordy, as it may teach a child an inappropriate habit. Others may not think the word Lordy is using God’s name in vain.

~ Wish ~
While I appreciate this book encourages learning what God is like, I felt a little uncomfortable having the little girl use the word Lordy (however, I also am unsure if using the same word is considered to be using God’s name in vain as there are many types of lords). I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. There are several punctuation errors.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for book for a kindergartener to third grader who wants to know more about God and His beautiful name, this may be a good choice if you have no issue using the word, Lordy.

Thanks to Book Crash and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beautiful-name-matt-gosselin/1128061504

Leave a comment

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

Honeysuckle Rose

Honeysuckle DreamsTitle: Honeysuckle Dreams
Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9052-4

“What am I going to do? I can’t stand the thought of losing him,” Brady laments about Sam in Denise Hunter’s novel, Honeysuckle Dreams.

~ What ~
Second in the A Blue Ridge Romance series, this three-hundred-and-twenty-page paperback targets those interested in a romance regarding marrying for the sake of a child and not love. Including slang words such as darn and heck, topics of drug addiction, premarital sex, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending has acknowledgments, author’s biography, and advertisements.

In this current-day trilogy, divorced high-end car mechanic, Brady Collins, has learned that to keep custody of his six-month son, it is recommended he marry. Although he got divorced from his wife and she died, he finds out from a paternity test that he is not Sammy’s father and that his in-laws want custody.

Brady’s best friend, Hope, offers to marry him so not only he gets to keep the boy, but also she gets a ready-made husband and child without having to deal with the love issue. As time progresses and the two marry, her fears of the past overshadow the happiness a blessed marriage offers.

~ Why ~
Focusing on love being forefront in relationships, the story shows that even non-biological parents can offer support and unconditional love. I liked the author’s effort at the romantic and sexual energy between the protagonists while not being too risqué in the details.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not see the validity of praying and trusting in God which is minorly mentioned throughout the book. Others who do not like romantic stories about heartbreak and how to overcome the past may not be interested in this type of read.

~ Wish ~
Although I have not read any of the author’s other books, I was often frustrated reading this one. If it was not the one-night-stand pregnancy, rocky marriage, instant divorce, and then oddly-arranged remarriage within a year’s time, it was the rush to print that included miswords like dishwater instead of dishwasher (page 52) and Heather quoting her name when it should have been Audrey’s (page 220). I thought the writing was campy and unrealistic when it came to Brady and Hope being best friends for so long, yet she never confronted him when he married Audrey nor was he aware of her past fears.

~ Want ~
If you like unrealistic romances that are on the cutesy-wootsey side complete with baby talk, this could be your ticket, but I doubt I will read another of Hunter’s novels as this one was rushed and had an awkward premise.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://ww.barnesandnoble.com/w/honeysuckle-dreams-denise-hunter/1126606486

Leave a comment

Filed under ** Think Twice - I Didn't Like It, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

The Road to Magnolia Glen

The Road to Magnolia GlenTitle: The Road to Magnolia Glen
Author: Pam Hillman
Publisher: Tyndale House
ISBN: 978-1-4964-1594-3

“Now that the freedom he’d longed for was at hand, he wasn’t sure he could go through with it,” Quinn questions in Pam Hillman’s novel, The Road to Magnolia Glen.

~ What ~
At four-hundred-and-seventeen 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 prostitution, abuse, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.

In this continuing saga, Connor’s brother Quinn is on his way to America with his younger brothers in tow. When landing in the colonies, he helps three Irish sisters he met onboard escape from a sinister man who the eldest was to marry. Hiding the girls at his brother’s plantation, Quinn wonders if his carefree life of adventure will have to be postponed again to protect the beautiful Kiera and her siblings from harm and mayhem.

~ Why ~
With some of the same characters in the previous book, this tale also promotes the importance of family and love. I like the loyalty displayed by both sets of Irish families and the historic venue of the South displayed, especially how everyone had to work hard and together to survive.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like historical romances from the South involving two hard-working, driven protagonists may not appreciate this book. Others may wish the romance was not predictable, especially when it came to Quinn deciding what to do.

~ Wish ~
I wish the book contained more Christian theology and prayers to God as it brushes over those topics. It would be thoughtful if it offered more teasers to the next book in the series, which may be about another O’Shea brother. I found the human indenturing issue a little confusing.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for the second in a series of historical fiction how love protects more than one family, this is a quick read regarding romance on the Natchez Trace.

Thanks to Tyndale Blog for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-road-to-magnolia-glen-pam-hillman/1127416109

Leave a comment

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

Devotions from the Lake

Devotions from the LakeTitle: Devotions from the Lake
Author: Betsy Painter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-4003-0916-0

“At a lake house, divine pockets of time arise in your day for moments of reflection,” Betsy Painter begins one of her short devotions in her book, Devotions from the Mountains.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-twenty-four hundred pages, this hardbound book targets those who love spending time at a lake as it relates to God. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, also referenced are the ESV and NLT. A green ribbon marker is attached.

After a table of contents, this book contains one hundred devotions, each one being one page long with beautiful full-color photographs of lakes, trees, animals, food, and serene scenery. Beginning with a title and written Bible verse underneath it, several paragraphs relate to the topic regarding enjoying or being at a lake. A short prayer ends each devotion.

~Why ~
I appreciate devotionals that have little information about the author but focus on God, and this book does that. The stories are brief and to the point, correlating to God and His grace, love, beauty, and creativity. Old and New Testament verses are included.

A favorite was Tree Roots, with the Bible verse from Colossians 2:6-7 written out regarding being rooted and built up in Christ. Having a beautiful old tree with numerous roots protruding out of the ground on the right side of the opposite page, the three paragraphs correlate the deep roots to our relationship with God and how we can offer others a sense of security and safety. The prayer asks our Savior to build us up to be strong for others as we take shelter in Him.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not want to get a book that focuses on getting closer to the Almighty. Others may wish there were enough devotions that covered a full year. I found the topics are not in depth.

~ Wish ~
With the stunning photographs throughout the book, not all of them relate to lakeside living; for example, a record player, clay pot being made, and a lion cub does not make me think of relaxing at a lake. Since I live in the Pacific Northwest and recognize some of the scenes, I wish the photographs’ locations were labeled.

~ Want ~
If you like devotionals with beautiful photographs and short reading, this is an excellent choice for someone who loves the peacefulness and serenity of lakes as its theme. It would make a beautiful addition to a lakeside cabin or bed-and-breakfast bookcase or bedside table.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/devotions-from-the-lake-thomas-nelson/1126583824

Leave a comment

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