Category Archives: ** Think Twice – I Didn’t Like It

Review: The Stories of God (and Kiki)

Title: The Stories of God (and Kiki)
Author: Dave Connis
Illustrator: Amy Domingo
Publisher: WaterBrook
ISBN: 978-0-593-23357-3

“God thinks Kiki is awesome. He loves when Kiki does Kiki things. And because God thinks you’re awesome. He loves when you do you things,” Dave Connis writes in his children’s book, The Stories of God (and Kiki).

~ What ~
A part of the Made in His Image series, this forty-page hardbound targets three to seven-year-old children who like reading how God is writing our story. With no scary scenes, there are colorful illustrations on all the pages that contain one to two sentences each.

In this short tale, Kiki is a young child who is creative and imaginative as she is compared to God and how He made her like Him. Correlating her designing artwork and writing stories to the Almighty, it describes the similarities and differences between them. As she writes the biggest story ever, it reminds us how God is also writing a story of each of us plus making all things new in the future.

~ Why ~
This is a story that contains silly writing ideas of an inventive girl mixed with the awesomeness of God. Not only does it have an otter prince, sea cucumber, and gerblins, but it also mentions in passing the Bible stories of creation, the Garden of Eden, Queen Esther, Jesus’s resurrection, God being all-knowing, and a reference toward eternity.

~ Why Not ~
Some children will not like the confusing choppy sentences with the overly-busy artwork, especially if they have issues with visual stimulation. Others may not realize the book is more about feeling special in the way God made you and your God-given talents. With such a title, I expected this book to have Biblical stories in it, so I was disappointed at its minimal reference to Scripture. Often I did not understand what was going on in the writing and illustrations until I reread the book several times.

~ Wish ~
Although I appreciate the book mentioning how we are created in God’s image and He brings us joy, it does not give the plan of eternal salvation. Stating that God loves you “when you do you things” may be misconstrued as there is no right or wrong included.

~ Want ~
If your child does not mind a read that has a lot more of a little girl’s imagination and creativity than actual stories from the Word of God, this may be perfect for him or her, but I didn’t care for it.

Thanks to WaterBrook and Multnomah Book Launch Team for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#WaterBrook #MultnomahBookLaunchTeam #TheStoriesofGodandKiki #DaveConnis #AmyDomingo

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3zhAiyL

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

Corrure Birthday Party Set

BIRTHDAY SASH, BUTTONS, & TATTOOS – PROFANITY/ALCOHOL

~ What ~
This party pack for adults includes 1 black 33.5 by 3.7-inch satin sash that has the words It’s My Expletive Birthday in silver and gold, 10 metal Birthday Squad buttons, 15 temporary tattoos in 4 designs, and a pearl sash pin. All items arrive sealed in a cellophane bag.

~ Why ~
The buttons would make a nice party favor for guests to pin on and wear. The temporary tattoos promote alcoholic-related sayings such as Buy me a drink, Drinking all night, Let’s party, and Cheers. The sash may be enjoyed by those who are not ashamed to flaunt a cuss word on their chest when it is their birthday. The sash pin is large with 4 shiny pearls on them.

~ Why Not ~
Those who don’t like calling attention to themselves on their birthday will not like this idea, especially due to the profanity on the sash and the promotion of drinking on the tattoos, but some may like the concept.

~ Wish ~
I wish this particular cuss word was not used as a public statement on a birthday design as I find it sophomoric.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a noticeable way to set apart the birthday person, this may work, but it will be offensive to many. Since I am a Christian, I would be embarrassed wearing the sash or displaying the tattoos but will enjoy using the buttons.

Thanks to Correre for this product that I am under no obligation to review.

#Correre #BirthdayPartySet #ProfanityBirthdaySashSet #AdultLanguageBirthdaySashButtonsTattoos

This product can be found at https://amzn.to/3qDyFHa



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The Power of Thank You

Title: The Power of Thank You
Author: Joyce Meyer
Publisher: FaithWords
ISBN: 978-1-5460-1612-0

“Be content with what you have right now, knowing that God has a perfect timing for the things you do not have yet,” Joyce Meyer writes in her book, The Power of Thank You: Discover the Joy of Gratitude.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-eight-page hardbound targets those who want to be more thankful and grateful. After an introduction, twelve chapters cover the topic, ending with a conclusion, appendix, endnotes, biography, and a list of the author’s books. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, it also includes references from the AMPC, ESV, NKJV, AMP, and NASB versions.

Concentrating on being thankful, the book includes chapters on it being God’s will, grasping gratitude, finding contentment when things are going well or not, appreciating God, considering generosity, showing humility, and promoting thankfulness in oneself and others along with suggestions on the power of being thankful. The appendix is a thirty-day challenge of Bible verses related to the topic.

~ Why ~
Those who want to be more thankful will find this book a helpful reminder of what the Lord has done for them. I liked the discussions on God-winks, glad games, correlation to baking a cake, thanking the Trinity, and having thank you days. Mentioning Jesus and Biblical characters with written out verses added depth to the writing. I appreciate the eternal plan of salvation was added.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not be interested in a book encouraging thanking God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit for all They have done for us. Some may not like the often discussed personal life of the writer in regard to her childhood, husband, and ministry.

~ Wish ~
I wish it did not contain so much about her personal experiences, although they were well written.

~ Want ~
* UPDATE: After speaking with friends and doing a little online research, my opinions of Joyce Meyer and her ministry have changed so cannot recommend this book: https://the-end-time.org/2021/02/09/bullet-points-on-why-joyce-meyer-is-a-false-teacher/

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

#HatchetteBookClub #FaithWords #JoyceMeyer #ThePowerofThankYou #DiscovertheJoyofGratitude

This book can be found at https://amzn.to/3rZCw13

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My Thank You Journal

Title: My Thank You Journal
Author: Joyce Meyer
Publisher: Ellie Claire Gifts
ISBN: 978-1-5460-1247-4

“Each day, write something for which you are thankful. When God blesses you in special ways, write them down so you do not forget them,” Joyce Meyer pens in the introduction of her diary book, My Thank You Journal.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-sixty-page hardbound targets those who like to write in journals. After an ownership page, the book contains blank lined pages with short sayings placed randomly at the top and bottom of the majority of the pages. Referencing mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, it includes a few written out Bible verses.

The idea of this journal is to write down and keep track of being thankful and blessed. The inserts promote concentrating on what the Lord has done for us and how to be thankful for His love, care, and joy. Some of the Bible verses are from Exodus, I Chronicles, Psalms, I and II Corinthians, Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians, and James to name a few.

~ Why ~
Those who like writing in a journal will appreciate this one dedicated to thankfulness. I like that that there are plenty of lines nicely spaced on each page, allowing ample areas to write. The book’s design has calendulas and baby’s breath against a mint background that is soothing and calm. It is compact so can be carried in a large purse or backpack.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not be interested in a book promoting writing down thanks to Him, but the book could be used as a simple journal for note-taking. Others who write in a large font may wish the spaces were further apart, but they are decently laid out.

~ Wish ~
It would be helpful if the book included an attached marker ribbon.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a lovely journal to help you become more thankful and grateful, this would be an asset throughout the years.

* UPDATE: After speaking with friends and doing a little online research, my opinions of Joyce Meyer and her ministry have changed so cannot recommend this book: https://the-end-time.org/2021/02/09/bullet-points-on-why-joyce-meyer-is-a-false-teacher/

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, FaithWorks, and Ellie Claire for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#HatchetteBookClub #FaithWorks #EllieClaire #MyThankfulJournal #JoyceMeyer

This book can be found at https://amzn.to/33hycBA

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

Never Leave Me

Title: Never Leave Me
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-384408

“And this time, when he touched the ampulla to her lips, she didn’t resist. He poured every precious drop into her mouth and prayed,” writes Jody Hedlund in her novel, Never Leave Me.

~ What ~
The second in the Waters of Time series, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those who like religious fiction involving miraculous healings and time travel. Containing no profanity, topics of sensual kissing, abduction, physical abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The author’s biography and advertisements are included.

In this continuing story, twenty-seven-year-old Ellen is dying of a rare genetic disease and decides to spend her last days with her dear friend, Harrison, a wealthy paraplegic who lives in an old Canterbury castle. When they both drink a vial of holy water that is from the Garden of Eden’s Tree of Life, not only do their lives change, but they are time-transported to the late thirteen hundreds in a race to secure more of the special fountain of youth fluid. Throughout their time overlaps, they must decide if their love can conquer the ages.

~ Why ~
This book has time traveling to the Middle Ages in England when medicine was underdeveloped and women were treated as possessions. I appreciated the well-written, in-depth descriptions of the ancient era and how easily the author easily jumped from present to past and back with her characters.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like a tale involving the Catholic backdrop of holy water healing people centuries ago. While the Serenity Prayer is written at least three times, prayers to God are mentioned in passing with little depth or faith, and no eternal plan of salvation is given. Readers may tire of the protagonists repeatedly trying to decide if they want companionship or not. The steamy romance of passionately kissing and yearning for love is repetitive.

~ Wish ~
Having not read the first book in the series, I felt at a loss on some of the prior characters’ experiences. Since I have read other books by the writer, I was disappointed in this one’s over-stimulated romance and minimal Christianity while it focused on more Catholic concepts. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you enjoyed the prior book in the series about time traveling to the Middle Ages, this religious read may be engaging to you, but I found it tedious in its unrealistic time-shifting plot, overly sensually written, and a missed opportunity to promote Jesus Christ.

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

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3H2Q29Z

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Strength for Each Day

TItle: Strength for Each Day
Author: Joyce Meyer
Publisher: FaithWords
ISBN: 978-1-5460-2645-7

Jesus is our strength, and we can receive as much of His strength as we need each day by spending time with Him, studying His Word, and asking Him to give us what we need,” Joyce Meyer states in the introduction of her book, Strength for Each Day: 365 Devotions to Make Every Day a Great Day.

~ What ~
At four-hundred-and-sixty-four pages, this small hardbound is designed to help encourage becoming stronger in a relationship with God. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, also referenced are the AMP, AMPC, ESV, KJV, and NKJV versions. The beginning has an introduction page, while the ending includes the eternal plan of salvation, the author’s biography, and lists of books she has written.

The book is a yearly devotional focused on trying to have a powerful and positive mindset each day by walking closer with Christ. Each day’s devotion is one to two pages and begins with the date, title, and a written out Bible verse or two. There are two to four short paragraphs about the topic and how it applies to everyday living. A short prayer completes the day’s reading.

Some of the titles include Rest Your Mind, God’s Reward, Doubt, Unwavering Trust, Find a Quiet Place, Doing the Right Thing, Payday is Coming, Spiritual Power, Value Everyone, Stir Up Your Faith, Don’t Compromise, No Negativity Today, and Never Alone.

~Why ~
I love devotionals that do not include the writer’s personal experiences and appreciate that this one rarely mentions herself. There are encouragements, reminders, and words of wisdom throughout its simple, to-the-point content. Able to read each in a few minutes per day, the devotions are relatable and easy to understand. I am grateful the eternal plan of salvation is added.

One of my favorites was July 29 titled Closer than You Think with John 14:20 written out. It reiterates how God is with us always, by our side no matter what we are going through and ready to help. By developing a holy friendship with Him, we will be relaxed and comfortable in His ever-present presence of unconditional love. The prayer thanks the Lord for never leaving us and for choosing to live within us.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will not appreciate this read. Some may prefer longer or deeper devotionals that explain the Bible verse in-depth or only reading the Scriptures as their daily time with God.

~ Wish ~
While I do not approve of a woman pastor leading men or the choices of some of the Bible versions, I found this book a quick devotional that can ease the demands and pressures of each day when looking to God. Adding a ribbon marker would be ideal.

~ Want ~
If you like a short daily reminder that will strengthen your relationship with the Lord, this would be a lovely gift for a woman who needs strength to get through another day. Due to its limitation, it should be read daily along with the Bible.

* UPDATE: After speaking with friends and doing a little online research, my opinions of Joyce Meyer and her ministry have changed so cannot recommend this book: https://the-end-time.org/2021/02/09/bullet-points-on-why-joyce-meyer-is-a-false-teacher/

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

#HachetteBooks #FaithWords #JoyceMeyer #StrengthforEachDay #ChristianYearlyDevotional

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3ouYeJY

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Will You Hold My Story?

Title: Will You Hold My Story?
Author: Kathy Joy
Illustrator: Brianna Osaseri
Publisher: Capture Books
ISBN: 978-1-951084-32-5

“And so, by listening, the furry and faithful dog held a little girl’s story,” ends Kathy Joy’s children’s book, Will You Hold My Story.

~ What ~
This thirty-eight-page paperback targets children ages two to eight years old who have friendships and deep connections with their pet dogs. With no scary scenes, it is about a little girl burdened by her story and seeks someone to carry it for her, finding the needed help in a furry friend. With a few full-color illustrations, most of the artwork is done in pen and ink that is less detailed.

This tale is about Meggi Beth, an early-school-aged girl who is weighted down carrying her story and asks for help carrying it. She meets and asks several people if they can help, but an old man, busy mom, happy boy, and a self-absorbed teen do not want to take the time to stop and care. It is only when she befriends a fluffy canine does she find a friend to ease her loneliness.

~Why ~
This is a nice book for children who love animals or pets and do not seem to connect with people. I like that it encourages trying to reach out and make friends with others, although they may be too busy, and that a dog can become one’s best friend. The story prompts listening to others.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books abstract in its idea of being burdened by their life may not care for this one. Others who are beginning readers may have trouble pronouncing and understanding some complicated words. Its content may be above some children’s educational level.

~ Wish ~
The concept of carrying someone’s story is confusing since one does not know if it is a burden or something troubling based on the girl’s sadness or everyone carrying too large a load, yet the boy was content with his bubbles and balloons and tried to engage her. While I appreciated the more detailed colorful illustrations, I wish there were no black/white drawings as they reminded me of a coloring book.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a read that promotes releasing frustrations by talking and listening to others, this one eases the pain by unloading your concerns or secrets to a furry dog instead of preoccupied people.

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

#KathyJoy #BriannaOsaseri #WillYouHoldMyStory

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2XRY2tc

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Filed under ** Think Twice - I Didn't Like It, *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Childrens, Fiction

In Search of Wisdom

Title: In Search of Wisdom
Author: Joyce Meyer
Publisher: Hatchette
ISBN: 978-1-5460-1764-6

Knowledge is important, but if it is not converted into action, knowledge fails to create transformational changes in our lives,” the front inner jacket states in Joyce Meyer’s book, In Search of Wisdom: Life-Changing Truths in the Book of Proverbs.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-seventy-two pages, this jacketed hardbound is designed to explain truths in the thirty chapters of the Bible’s Book of Proverbs. Using mainly the New International Version of the Holy Bible, also referenced are the AMPC, KJV, AMP, ESV, NLT, and Good News. The beginning has an introduction, while the ending includes the eternal plan of salvation, author’s biography, and lists of books she has written.

The book covers thirty chapters, each dedicated to the thirty chapters in Proverbs. After a recommendation to look for the common thread of seven principles, each chapter ranging from six to thirteen pages discusses some of the main verses and how to apply them to current day life. There are one to three gray highlighted questions asked about the topic and how it may affect the reader personally.

~Why ~
I enjoy being encouraged to rely more often on the Lord and seek His wisdom daily by reading a book on Proverbs. I appreciate the seven principles of wisdom, understanding, prudence, knowledge, discretion, discernment, and the fear of the Lord that are reiterated throughout the pages. I am grateful the eternal plan of salvation is included. I like that the author does not write too much about her personal life as examples.

One of my favorites was Proverbs 3, reminding us to be satisfied not knowing everything that God already knows. It mentions to fear Him and bring our first fruits to Him, that wisdom loves discipline, there are promises attached to wisdom, and to do all the good you can. The question is “Can you think of any troublesome areas in your life that could have been avoided if you had followed wisdom?”

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will not appreciate this read. Some may prefer a more in-depth study of the myriad of advice referenced in the cherished book. Others may find the format not always consistent, although it does add lists of promises for the righteous and over thirty short sayings within three chapters.

~ Wish ~
While I do not approve of a woman teacher leading men or the choices of some of the Bible versions, I found this book excellent for a new Christian who needs encouragement and guidance. I wish it were more detailed as it picks and chooses the verses.

~ Want ~
If you like a sophomoric rundown of the Book of Proverbs broken down by chapters, this would be a lovely gift of love for a new convert. Due to its limitation, it should be read daily along with the Bible.

* UPDATE: After speaking with friends and doing a little online research, my opinions of Joyce Meyer and her ministry have changed so cannot recommend this book: https://the-end-time.org/2021/02/09/bullet-points-on-why-joyce-meyer-is-a-false-teacher/

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

#HatchetteBookClub #FaithWorks #JoyceMeyer #InSearchofWisdom

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/39p6WAw

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

Quiet Times with God Devotional

TItle: Quiet Times with God Devotional
Author: Joyce Meyer
Publisher: Hatchette
ISBN: 978-1-4555-6028-8

Without a doubt, the very best time you can spend each day is time with God,” Joyce Meyer begins in the introduction of her book, Quiet Times with God Devotional

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-eighty-four pages, this small hardbound is designed to make spending time with God a priority in the reader’s life. Using mainly the Amplified Version of the Holy Bible, also referenced are the NIV and NKJV. The beginning has an introduction page, while the ending includes the eternal plan of salvation, the author’s biography, and lists of books she has written.

The book is a yearly devotional dedicated to daily being in God’s presence. Each day’s devotion is one page and begins with the date, title, and a written out Bible verse or two. There are two to four short paragraphs about the topic and how it applies to every day living. A “Today’s Thought” and “Dig Deeper” complete the day’s reading.

Some of the titles include The Power of Laughter, The Other Side of Suffering, Satisfied Not to Know, Intimacy with God, Growing in Spiritual Maturity, Just as You Are, Sharing Your Faith, Cast Your Care, and Celebrate Your Successes.

~Why ~
I love devotionals that do not have commentary of the writer’s personal experiences and appreciate that this one rarely mentions herself. There are encouragements, reminders, and words of wisdom throughout its simplistic pages. Able to read each in a few minutes, the devotions are short and to the point. I am grateful the eternal plan of salvation is included.

One of my favorites was August 3rd titled Let God Do the Lifting with John 15:5 written out. It reiterates how often we try to fix things ourselves and fail to ask God for help. Since we are not meant to function without Him, we can, with humility, ask for His guidance instead of doing it on our own. The thought is about one of the most powerful prayers: Help me, Lord! and the Dig Deeper is to study Psalm 50:15 and Hebrews 13.6.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will not appreciate this read. Some may prefer longer or deeper devotionals that explain the Bible verse in depth or only reading the Scriptures as their daily time with God. Others may wish prayers were added or a space to write notes.

~ Wish ~
While I do not approve of a woman pastor leading men or the choices of two of the Bible versions, I found this book including everything needed for a quick devotional. Adding a ribbon marker would be ideal.

~ Want ~
If you like a quick daily focus on the Almighty, this one is a simple yet noteworthy devotional, especially if gifted to a new believer in Christ. Due to its limitation, it should be read daily along with the Bible.

* UPDATE: After speaking with friends and doing a little online research, my opinions of Joyce Meyer and her ministry have changed so cannot recommend this book: https://the-end-time.org/2021/02/09/bullet-points-on-why-joyce-meyer-is-a-false-teacher/

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

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3nXura9

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Christmas in Winter Hill

Title: Christmas in Winter Hill
Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3610-1

“December was right around the corner. And Winter Hill was not a place to shirk from Christmas,” Krista considers in Melody Carson’s novel, Christmas in Winter Hill.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-seventy-six-page hardbound targets those interested in a romantic Christmas story. With no profanity or too adult situations, topics of Santa Claus may not be appropriate for those who do not believe in the concept. The ending includes the writer’s biography with advertisements.

In this quaint holiday read, Krista and her eight-year-old daughter have moved to a small town in Washington where the single parent lands a job as the city manager. Since it is right at the beginning of the Christmas season, the mother dreads the upcoming holiday due to her lonely past while the daughter looks forward to it, even entering into a writing contest. Through newfound friends, especially contractor Conner, Krista not only learns not to be afraid of the holiday, but she finds how loved she is by the community.

~ Why ~
This is a quick read that shows how a small town bands together to celebrate Christmasville. I like how the residents all joined together to work on the project and were forgiving when they were in the wrong.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories about Christmas that focus on Santa may prefer to avoid this book that never mentions the Real Reason of Christ’s birth. Others may get irritated on the Hallmark happily-ever-after story and that prayer is mentioned as fleeting moments.

~ Wish ~
Although I liked the author’s writing style, I found the book rather disappointing in that Jesus was mentioned only one time – there was no nativity scene, wise men, shepherds – nothing that related to the basis of Christmas – only made-up, commercialized seasonal topics. When only half of Romans 8:28 is mentioned, the book misses the opportunity to explain that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

~ Want ~
If you like a cutesy-wootsey Christmas tale with all the right fixings and favorites, this may be for you, but I cannot recommend it due to is total lack of the True Meaning of Christmas.

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

#Revell #ChristmasinWinterHill #MelodyCarlson

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/30lC6Cm

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