Category Archives: Christian

Who Told You That You Were Naked?

Who Told You That You Were Naked?: A Refreshing Reexamination of the Garden of EdenTitle: Who Told You that You Were Naked?
Author:  William E. Combs
Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing
ISBN # 978-1-942587-68-2

“If we recognize the root of sin is our mental capacity to discern good and evil, then we can begin to understand we are incapable of overcoming this antagonist,” William E. Combs writes in his book, Who Told You That You Were Naked? A Refreshing Reexamination of the Garden of Eden.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-forty-two-page paperback targets readers looking for an updated viewpoint of the fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden. Using the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible, verses are written throughout the text and discussed in detail. After an introduction, ten chapters with discussion questions cover the topic, ending with endnotes.

Written by a retired Presbyterian minister, the book concentrates on possible scenarios of Adam and Eve in the Garden after they had eaten of the tree of good and evil, became shameful being naked, and felt guilty disobeying God. Also using examples of Cain, Moses, David, Paul, John, and Jesus in the Bible, added are the author’s personal experiences, interjections, and other interpretations of Scripture.

~ Why ~
Since we were not in the Garden of Eden when the first couple sinned, we do not know explicitly what each was feeling when partaking of the tree of good and evil. The writer’s creative vignettes force readers to think how it may have happened and why. I appreciated the mentioning of touching verses eating the fruit, exegesis versus eisegesis, and contemporary and alternative interpretations of the historical, life-changing event.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have or want a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will not be interested in this book about the inception of sin and path to eternal salvation. Some may not like a book with a pastor’s experiences or analogies such as outhouses, an earth-swallowing event, or his wife’s challenges. Others may notice the highlighted repetition of statements which are meant to stop the reader and consider its content.

~ Wish ~
Although I felt parts of the book got off topic and included personal references, I was reminded that Jesus dying on the cross for our sin reestablished God’s direct relationship with us.

~ Want ~
If you do not mind a retold version of Adam and Eve that takes ample liberties regarding our inherent knowledge of good and evil, this may bring it to the forefront of your thinking.

Thanks to the author 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 **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian

My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories

Title: My Lift-the-Flap Bible
Retold by: Michael Berghof
Illustrator: Gill Guile
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9428-7

My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories is a wonderful introduction to the Bible and a perfect gift for the children in your life,” the back jacket states in this book.

~ What ~
This twenty-page hardbound with rounded corners targets children four to eight years old who enjoy board books with hidden flaps. Even though it has stories of Daniel in the lions’ den, Jonah in the large fish, and that Jesus died, there are no scary visualizations in the thirteen stories retold from the Holy Bible.

As readers view five stories from the Old Testament of creation, Noah’s ark, Moses leading the exodus, Daniel, and Jonah, the nine stories in the New Testament stories include Jesus’s birth, His miracle at the wedding in Cana, healing of a man, feeding the five thousand, walking on water, having His last supper, resurrected, and being with His disciples. When the thirty flaps are opened, children can visualize the joy and happiness that God gives to the scenes.

~ Why Not ~
I like how the short stories are written in paragraph format with brightly colored illustrations that cover the page. The flaps are of all sizes, entertaining a young child as they peep under them. I appreciate that the stories follow the Word of God.

~ Wish ~
Although there is no plan of eternal salvation or Jesus’s dying on the cross for our sins, the book is a good start for young ones to see the Bible’s importance through several retold stories.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an interactive book for a child to lift flaps and see what is underneath, this one that focuses on well-known Bible stories will delight your little one.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am evaluating by choice.

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

Morning & Evening Devotions

David Jeremiah Morning and Evening Devotions: Holy Moments in the Presence of GodTitle: Morning & Evening Devotions
Author: David Jeremiah
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9261-0

~ What ~
At 768 pages, this brown embossed devotional hardbound is meant to be read every morning and evening. Using mainly the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, also referenced are the CEV, ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV, NLT, RSV, TLB, HCSB, God’s Word, Phillips, and the Message. A ribbon marker is attached.

Containing two devotions for each day of the year, the opened pages have the morning’s contents on the left side of the pages with the evening’s on the right. After a title, there is a short written out Bible verse, followed by a few paragraphs about the topic. While an introduction is at the beginning of the book, sources and several lined blank notes pages are at the back.

~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 nicely. The readings are brief and to the point, often beginning with a couple of sentences regarding a person, place, or thing, explaining how it correlates to God.

One of my favorites was May 2nd. The morning’s devotional is titled God Never Sleeps with Psalm 121:4 written out. While discussing Elijah’s contest with the prophets of Baal mentioned in the Old Testament, the writer stresses that God is there all hours of the day for us. The opposite page has the title of Succeeding at Failing with 2 Timothy 4:11. When Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, departed from Paul’s ministry, many considered him a failure, but Paul later counts him as a valuable coworker, showing how God uses our circumstances.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not want to get a daily devotional that focuses on getting closer to the Almighty. Others may wish each read were longer in length.

~ Wish ~
It would be thoughtful to include a short prayer at the bottom of the pages so one could apply the devotional to that morning or evening when talking to God.

~ Want ~
If you like devotionals that have both a morning and evening read, this is an excellent choice for one seeking a closer walk with Christ, but it should not take the place of daily Bible reading.

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

Esther: Finding Yourself in Times of Trouble

Esther: Finding Yourself in Times of Trouble (Drawn In Bible Study)Title: Esther: Finding Yourself in Times of Trouble
Series: Drawn In Bible Study
Author: Eugene H. Peterson
Publisher: NavPress
ISBN: 978-1-63146-787-5

~ What ~
Part of the Drawn In Bible Study series, this 112-page hardbound targets those who like a creative way to study the book of Esther in the Holy Bible. The story is divided into four sections that are twenty pages each and include black and white illustrations to color, questions, commentary, and author’s notes. The Message of the Holy Bible is quoted, and it ends with notes per chapter on how to lead a Bible study and advertisements.

The story of Esther is told within four chapters that explain her relationships with pagan King Xerxes, cousin Mordecai, evil Haman, and God. With drawings to color, questions with areas to write in answers, and a few highlighted author’s notes, the reader can spend time focusing on how this iconic woman saved many Jews from genocide through her faith in the Almighty.

~ Why ~
Many readers find a deep connection to God by reading His Word and doodling as they concentrate on what is being taught. With Esther being one of my favorite Bible characters, I enjoyed reading her story again and how she trusted God through her trials and tribulations. Including over twenty drawings that include scenes or wording, the story flows between the pages with a total of sixty-five questions spread throughout, ending with comments and prayers.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship may not be interested in this type of coloring Bible study book. Others may not care for coloring or doodling. The book does not lay flat so may be hard to color, and some pictures are on both sides of the paper, so felt tip pens may bleed through the pages.

~ Wish ~
Being a fan of the King James Version of the Bible, I do not care for The Message. I wish the illustrations were only on one side of the page so they could be removed and framed.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical devotion on Esther with coloring pages for someone creative, this will make an excellent choice.

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 ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Biography, Christian

The Berenstain Bears 5-Minute Inspirational Stories

The Berenstain Bears 5-Minute Inspirational Stories: Read-Along Classics (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights)Title: The Berenstain Bears 5-Minute Inspirational Stories
Authors and Illustrators: Stan and Jan Berenstain with Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76080-1

“Whether it’s bedtime, lap time, or just 5-minutes of story time, readers will love seeing the Bear cubs in action,” the back jacket states in Stan, Jan, and Mike Berenstain’s book, The Berenstain Bear 5-Minute Inspirational Stories.

~ What ~
Part of the Berenstain Bears / Living Lights series, this numbered one-hundred-and-ninety-two-page hardbound targets child four to eight years old, especially those that like short stories of the well-known family of bears. With no profanity or scary scenes, the story has colorful, expressive illustrations on every page. Due to some complicated wording, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers.

While most of the series are individual paperback books, this one contains a dozen stories focusing on teaching children how God wants them to live every day. The bear tales included are Loves You, Say Their Prayers, Love Their Neighbors, Faithful Friends, The Forgiving Tree, Biggest Brag, Gift of Courage, Blessed are the Peacemakers, Get Involved, Gossip Gang, God Bless Our Home, and Here’s the Church, Here’s the Steeple.

~ Why ~
This is a nice collection of books as it hones in on explaining different aspects of living life according to God’s way. Several of the stories focus on how to be nicer, kinder, and better to others instead of focusing on oneself. The illustrations are descriptive and interesting for the age group.

~ Why Not ~
Because most of these books were originally written decades ago, they are dated and old-fashioned so may work well for home-schoolers or those children who enjoy reading. Some may find a couple of the stories a little degrading initially based on the bears’ conversations. All have a similar pattern of the bears facing an issue and learning to deal with it, which may tire some readers.

~ Who ~
Since Stan and Jan passed away years ago, their son Mike continues to follow in his parents’ footsteps with the Berenstain Bear series and products. He lives in Pennsylvania.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were Bible verses included somehow in the stories.

~ Want ~
If you or your child like the Berenstain Bears series, this collection will be cherished for years.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for providing this book for reading and 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

Jesus Loves Me: A Sing-Along Book

Jesus Loves Me (A Sing-Along Book)Title: Jesus Loves Me
Illustrator: Gynux
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75894-5

“Jesus loves me still today, walking with me on the way,” part of the famous hymn states in the children’s book, Jesus Loves Me: A Sing-Along Book.

~ What ~
At twenty pages, this board book that is part of the Sing Along Book series has a padded front cover and rounded corners; it is targeted toward children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it contains the words to the well-known church song. Having full-page colored illustrations, the book lists a line or two on the opened pages while animals play and sing it. The ending has the first verse and chorus with sheet music.

~Why ~
Most adults and children can relate to this song that includes several of the stanzas. I like how the cute animals are featured walking down a nature path, playing musical instruments, singing, relaxing, picnicking, enjoying a bonfire, and going home at the end of the day. There are plenty of different activities going on that non-readers can view.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with God may not understand why it is promoted that Jesus loves us. Others may think the story that only shows animals and has Jesus depicted as a moose may confuse young ones.

~ Who ~
Living in France, Gynux enjoys artistically expressing himself in storytelling and illustration.

~ Wish ~
I wish more of the old iconic hymns were available in print book format. While I have always loved this song, I question the portrayal of singing animals understanding God loves them; it would be more realistic if people were involved.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that has the famous Jesus Loves Me song, this may be of interest, but keep in mind that singing animals are depicted, not children or adults who acknowledge God and His love.

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

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, Childrens, Christian

Noah and the Noisy Ark

The Beginner's Bible Noah and the Noisy ArkTitle: Noah and the Noisy Ark
Illustrator: Denis Alonso
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-75957-7

“Noah opened the door. Everyone praised God. God had saved them!” the story states in Zondervan’s children’s book, Noah and the Noisy Ark.

~ What ~
Part of The Beginner’s Bible series, this eighteen-page board book with a cut-out handle at the top targets young children from four to eight years old.  The book covers the story of Noah and the ark from the Holy Bible. 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 God telling Noah to build an ark. All animals and relatives are on board the large boat, and Noah is thankful to the Creator for saving them. Having colorful, easy-to-decipher illustrations, the cartoon designs with big white eyes animals and people are on almost every page.

~ Why ~
This is a helpful book for beginner readers since there are only a few sentences on each page. There are plenty of objects to look at by a young child. I like how there is room for discussion about building an ark and living onboard that older ones may enjoy. Several of the animal depictions are adorable.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote teaching a child about the iconic Old Testament flood will pass on this book. It may be too advanced for beginner readers due to the two and three syllable words. It may be sophomoric for the targeted third-grade reading level.

~ Who ~
No information is provided on the illustrator.

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

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Bible story book about Noah and the ark for those starting to read, this will delight many young children.

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!, Childrens, Christian

The Beginner’s Bible Carry-Along Treasury

Title: The Beginner’s Bible: Carry Along Treasury
Illustrator: Denis Alonso
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-76030-6

“Now, preschoolers have a special carry-long edition designed just for them!” the back jacket book cover states in Zondervan’s children’s book, The Beginner’s Bible: Carry Along Treasury.

~ What ~
Part of The Beginner’s Bible series, this one-hundred-and-sixty-page hardbound with a red plastic handle and magnetically secured flap targets young children from four to eight years old.  The book covers of twenty-six well-known stories taken from the Holy Bible. With a few scary or violent scenes, 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 presents fifteen Old Testament and eleven New Testament beloved stories that range from four to eight pages each with colorful illustrations. Each story has a title with referenced Bible verses listed and several paragraphs. Having colorful, easy-to-decipher illustrations, the cartoon designs show expressive characters on almost every page; there is ample room under each for a few sentences written on white backgrounds.

~ Why ~
This is a good starter chapter book for beginner readers since most of the stories are short, to-the-point, and written in a positive way. Although not all the stories told give pertinent facts (Esther does not mention Haman hung or Jesus dying on the cross for our sins), it generalizes the events for a young one to understand. I appreciated that it included the less-often told stories about Moses in a basket, Deborah, Sampson, several of Jesus’s miracles, and His last supper and resurrection.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote teaching a child about Bible stories will pass on this book. It may be too advanced for beginner readers due to the two and three syllable words. It may be sophomoric for the targeted third-grade reading level. The scary stories that may concern some might be the ten plagues, Goliath being killed, the fiery furnace, Jonas in the big fish, and Jesus’s crucifixion.

~ Who ~
No information is provided on the illustrator.

~ Wish ~
I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. The back jacket states there are thirty stories, but only twenty-six are included.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Bible story book that has a carry handle, your child will enjoy this one.

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

The Beginner’s Bible for Little Ones

The Beginner's Bible for Little OnesTitle: The Beginner’s Bible for Little Ones
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-75536-4

“The perfect starting point for little ones to learn about God’s Word!” the back jacket book cover states in Zondervan’s children’s book, The Beginner’s Bible for Little Ones.

~ What ~
Part of The Beginner’s Bible series, this thirty-two-page board book with a padded front cover and rounded corners targets young children from four to eight years old.  The book covers eight well-known stories taken from the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. With a few mildly scary or violent scenes, 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 presents four stories each from the Old and New Testament that are four pages each. A title with referenced Bible verses listed and several paragraphs explain the stories. Having colorful, easy-to-decipher illustrations, the cartoon designs show expressive characters on almost every page; there is ample room under each for a few sentences written on white backgrounds.

~ Why ~
This approximately 5 by  7 by 1-inch chapter book has short, to-the-point stories written in a positive way. Although not all the stories told give pertinent facts (Jesus’s birth does not explain Herod killing baby boys, and it does not mention Christ died for our sins), it generalizes the events. The stories cover creation, Noah’s ark, David and Goliath, Daniel in the lions’ den, the angel visiting Mary, Jesus’s birth, Jesus feeding the five-thousand, and Christ’s death and resurrection.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote teaching a child about Bible stories will pass on this book. It may be too advanced for beginner readers due to the two and three syllable words. Some children get upset viewing the pictures of the dead giant, Daniel being put into the pit, or Jesus carrying His cross, but they are not too graphic.

~ Who ~
No information is given on the illustrator.

~ Wish ~
This reviewer wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book of 8 short stories from the Bible that are four pages each, this would be a good selection for a young one.

Thanks to Zondervan 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 *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

All Things Bright and Beautiful

All Things Bright and BeautifulTitle: All Things Bright and Beautiful
Illustrator: Dawn Machell
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9337-2

“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all,” the famous hymn states in the children’s book, All Things Bright and Beautiful that is illustrated by Dawn Machell.

~ What ~
At twenty-four pages, this board book with padded covers, rounded corners, and a red plastic handle targets children ages two to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it states the well-known church song. With sparkle highlights and simplistic, full-page colored illustrations, the approximately 5 by 6 by 1 inch book retells how God made all creatures and things including flowers, birds, mountains, rivers, seasons, and our bodies.

~Why ~
Our three-year-old granddaughter loves being read books before she goes to sleep, and this one is eye-catching with the small and large bugs, birds, animals, and children. I like the sparkled areas that shine on the page. Having the handle on the binding makes it easy for a young child to carry to church or Sunday school.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with God may not understand why it is promoted that God made everything. Due to some of three syllable words, it would be best to read it out loud to beginner readers.

~ Who ~
A freelance illustrator living in the United Kingdom, Machell specializes in graphics, illustrations, and young ones’ surface patterns.

~ Wish ~
I wish more of the old iconic hymns were available in print book format like this for both children and adults to enjoy.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a pretty, sparkly book that will keep a young one’s attention while being told a well-known song, this is a keeper.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under Book Review, Childrens, Christian