Saturday, December 27, 2014

Colliding With Destiny (Review)

"Our brokenness is most beautiful when we're in His presence." 
Day 1: Life Doesn't Always Go as Planned


I was intrigued after reading the blurb for Colliding With Destinyand I was happy to be able to review it.  Sarah Jakes has been through a lot. She's made many mistakes, but has obviously learned much from them. The very fact that she has changed so drastically and has written this book is testimony to God's grace. (I'm very interested to read the book she's written sharing her story, Lost and Found.)

In Colliding With Destiny Sarah Jakes shares excerpts from the story of Ruth and ties Ruth's story into the circumstances of so many of us today, showing how God is working and molding us and our futures even when we can't see it; how we collide with our destinies, much like Ruth. I appreciated Sarah's insight and I found the running theme of redemption and grace throughout the book to be uplifting and encouraging. 

The cover is absolutely beautiful and the quality of the book as a whole was impressive. The layout of the chapters was a bit of a surprise, but a pleasant one; they are short and written like a devotional, with a journal prompt, questions to ponder, and a prayer at the end of each chapter. It's a very easy read, and there are many tidbits that the reader will want to write down and ponder.

There were some areas of concern to me. There seemed to be overtones of prosperity gospel, self love, and relying too much upon self confidence and our own worthiness. (We aren't worthy--no one is. That's the beauty of the gospel.) Since I don't know Sarah, I'm aware that I may have misunderstood her meaning. But, since I don't have the luxury of conversing with her to get a clearer understanding of what she was saying, I can only go by what I read in the book. 

All in all, I give Colliding With Destiny three out of five stars, and I recommend it with caution. 

Read more about Colliding With Destiny here.



*I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Daily Painting (Book Review)


There were two reasons I wanted to review Daily Painting

1. It's beautiful, and the dominant colors are turquoise and red. I decorate with books, and I love that color combination, so.... ;) 
2. My daughter loves art, she's very talented, and she's teaching herself new techniques. I knew she would enjoy it.

I wasn't disappointed at all in the appearance of this book. It's beautiful! I was also impressed at the manner in which the tips and instructions are simply and practically presented. This book is seriously packed with helpful information. I'm not a painter, I'm a (very amateur wannabe) photographer, but I found the suggestions helpful. 

This is an enjoyable read, and I feel confident that my daughter can learn much from Daily Painting. I love the concept of painting small and often, (or in my case, photographing small and often) and I look forward to seeing what my daughter learns from this book.  

More about Daily Painting:

Summary:
A unique system for jump-starting artistic creativity, encouraging experimentation and growth, and increasing sales for artists of all levels, from novices to professionals.
  Do you want to bring the joy back into your art?
Have you landed in a frustrating rut? Are you having trouble selling paintings in galleries, getting bogged down by projects you can’t seem to finish or abandon, or finding excuses to avoid working in the studio? Author Carol Marine knows exactly how you feel—she herself suffered from painter’s block, until she discovered “daily painting.” The idea is simple: do art (usually small) often (how often is up to you), and if you’d like, post and sell it online. Soon you’ll find that your block dissolves and you’re painting work you love—and more of it than you ever thought possible! 
With her encouraging tone and useful exercises, Marine teaches you to:-Master composition and value-Become confident in any medium-Choose subjects wisely -Stay fresh and loose -Photograph, post, and sell your art online-Become connected to the growing movement of daily painters around the world



Read more about the author, Carol Marine, here.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Small Talk (Review & Giveaway)



My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

I expected this book to be sort of light and fluffy. You know, cute stuff from children mixed in with the sometimes startling, often thought-provoking things that children say. Small Talk is so much more than that! It is surprisingly deep, touching, and emotional. Amy Julia Becker has a warm, easy style. Reading her book feels as if you've been invited to sit at her table, drink a cup of tea, and share about motherhood, faith, hardship, loss, blessings, and grace. Her brutal honesty about her struggles with motherhood and faith (especially her run-ins with her rambunctious son) reminded me that I'm not alone.  
Small Talk is a must read and would make a perfect gift for any mother, especially mothers of children with special needs. I think it would even be appropriate for use as a devotional.  I enjoyed this book and I learned a great deal from it. 

More about the book:
Every day, one of Amy Julie Becker’s children says something that prompts her to think about life in a new way. “Mom, does Santa love me?” William asks, after his mother explains the meaning of Christmas…In a chat with her dad about the children who died in the Sandy Hook shootings, Penny asks, “Did they go to heaven?” …”You was a jerk, Mommy?” asks Marilee one morning in the car.
These conversations deepen Amy Julia’s relationships with her children, but they also refine her understanding of what she believes and what God is doing in her own life.
In Small Talk, Amy Julia draws from the wisdom and curiosity of those young voices to reflect on beauty and kindness, tragedy and disability, prayer and miracles. As she moves through the basic questions her kids posed when they were very young to the more intellectual questions of later childhood, she invites us to learn from our own day-to-day conversations with the children in our lives.
This eloquent parenting memoir is about the big questions little hearts ask, the thoughts their words provoke, and the laughter and soul-searching their honesty brings—to adult and child alike.

About the author:

Amy Julia Becker writes about faith, family, and disability for Parents.com, the New York Times Motherlode blog, TheAtlantic.com, The Huffington Post parents page, Christianity Today, The Christian century, and numerous other publications. Her first book, A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, was named one of the Top Ten Religion Books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Amy Julia lives in western Connecticut with her husband and three children.



Amy’s Website: http://amyjuliabecker.com

      Follow her on Twitter here!

      Check out her Facebook page here!


One of my readers will win a copy of this wonderful book! Enter here: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Case For Faith Student Edition (Review)


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

"Most people think doubt is the opposite of faith, but it isn't. The opposite of faith is unbelief, which is a willful refusal to believe or a deliberate decision to disobey God." Page 79

I was reared in a Christian home, attended a Christian school, and went to church every time the doors were open. You'd think I would know all the basics--that I'd have no doubts--no lingering questions. But that's not true. I've been plagued with questions and doubts for years. I believed with all my heart, but my head didn't understand a lot of things and kicked up a fuss, hungry for answers. My doubts and questions hindered me greatly, and I felt (feel) like such a failure at the whole faith thing. I'm learning that my doubts and questions don't mean that I have no faith. Actually, believing in spite of doubts IS faith. The Case for Faith, Student Edition helped me to see that even more clearly. 
Seriously there is so much good stuff packed into this little book. I highly recommend it. I look forward to reading the full version. 

Dancing on the Head of a Pen



My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Words fascinate me, I hoard books, and I'm a little bit in awe of authors. Dancing on the Head of a Pen
 was just what I needed to fan those flames. Though a tad dry, it's an enjoyable read. There is not formula or step by step instructions for how to write a book, but the tidbits of wisdom from a seasoned author were helpful, and I loved the firsthand look into the art of writing as well as glimpses of the author's life and methods. I recommend this book. 

I received this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Win a Family Physician Starter Kit!

I am so excited to be a part of this giveaway!

I have limited experience with essential oils, but I'm beginning to learn more and I'm already in love! So far, I've used oils to help with headaches and nausea, anxiety, insomnia, muscle aches, immune boosting, and more. Yep...I'm hooked. I would recommend them to anyone! The Family Physician Kit would be an awesome way to get started with oils.

Win a Family Physician Kit ($166 value)



The Family Physician Kit is one of the most popular doTERRA essential oil kits available. It's a wonderful place to start if you are new to the idea of essential oils. It includes 5 mL bottles of:
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Melaleuca
  • Oregano
  • Frankincense
  • Deep Blue® (soothing blend)
  • Breathe (respiratory support blend)
  • DigestZen (digestive support blend)
  • On Guard® (protective blend)


Enter for Your Chance to Win!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends December 19th, 2014 at midnight. Winner will be announced here within 72 hours.
(I know there are a lot of entry options--but keep in mind that you do NOT have to complete all of them--just the ones you want!)

Thanks to Kim at Frontier Blessings for the opportunity to be a part of this giveaway! 
Frontier Blessings

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Saving Christmas (Review & Giveaway)

Kirk Cameron is on a mission to save Christmas. In his new movie, Saving ChristmasHe launches a defense of the controversial holiday with fun, insight, and plenty of corn. Saving Christmas is coming to select theaters November 14 for two weeks only! 

          

We all know that person; you know, the one who at the first mention of Christmas sighs loudly enough to let everyone within two city blocks know how he feels about the holiday--and it ain't a good feelin'. He hates the fuss, the expense, the materialism, the...everything. He's the one who is actually glad to find out that the origins of Christmas are questionable so he has another reason to be against it. He belongs to one of three sides of the war on Christmas, and he is the one to whom "Saving Christmas" is addressed. (The other two sides are, of course, 1. Those who wish to make Christmas an entirely secular holiday and 2. Those who celebrate Christmas and remember Christ's birth, God's Gift, by giving to others, and by enjoying the festive time with their families and friends. Count me in the 3rd group. You can read about my Christmas feelin's here.) In the movie, Kirk addresses his brother-in-law's objections to Christmas and attempts to convince him that he really can, and needs to enjoy the holiday with his family while still honoring Christ.

Saving Christmas is a documentary/comedy that is appropriate for all ages. Here are some pros/cons:

Pros: 
1. Family Friendly
2. Educational
3. Thought Provoking
4. Funny
5. The Music! :)

Cons:
1. It felt like Cameron was reaching quite a bit to tie in some of the symbols. The presents resembling "a city skyline" for example. Ours would be more like a small village.....;) )
2. Parts of the movie dragged, and there wasn't much flow.
3. Corn. Lots of it. ;)

I would give the movie 3 out of 5 stars. I especially liked learning more about St. Nicholas, and the fresh perspective on Christmas symbols. Oh, and how can you not love the Charismatic guy?

Is it worth a watch? YES! I believe that it's important to support Christian film makers, and besides, this movie WILL help you to see Christmas through new eyes. Especially if you're the grinch-type. ;) 

Enough of my opinions. On to the Giveaway! Well, after a little more info:
Check out the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SavingChristmasMovie
Official website: http://www.savingchristmas.com

"Join me, and my family, and together let’s put Christ back into Christmas. We’ll dive head first into all of the joy, the dancing, the celebration, the feasting, the imagination and traditions that glorify the true reason for the season.” - Kirk Cameron

Saving Christmas is a wonderful defense of Christmas traditions and is quite educational. Candy and I also enjoyed some good laughs. I pray that God will use it to His glory.” 

Okay. NOW the giveaway. 

One of my readers will win  A SIGNED Saving Christmas movie poster (by Kirk Cameron), the soundtrack to the film, and a car air freshener that smells like Christmas trees! 



To enter, simply leave a comment about Christmas. It can be your favorite song, dish, tradition, book, anything Christmas-y. :) If you share this post on your Facebook page, Twitter, or other social media, come back and leave another comment and you'll get another entry! This giveaway ends Tuesday, November 18. 




"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

In Which I Humbly Give My Little Ol' Opinion About Christmas And The Fight Surrounding It

Everyone knows that there is a war on Christmas, but not everyone realizes that the opposition to Christmas, or at least certain aspects of it, comes from both sides. On one hand, there are those who twist the meaning of separation of church and state and insist that any and all Christian symbols not be displayed publicly. Cuz, you know, mangers are menacing and all that. On the other hand, there are Christians who abhor the materialism that seems to embody the holiday. Not only that, but they remind everyone about the pagan origins of Christmas and its beloved symbols. OH, and the big one...S-A-N-T-A rearranged spells S-A-T-A-N. Scary stuff.

I grew up within the "Anti-Claus" ranks. if the jolly red elf was on an ornament, card, or wrapping paper, ya just didn't buy it! Period! To this day I feel guilty about hanging a little Santa on our tree.

                                             

I'm not here to argue for or against either side, but I will tell you that, for our family, Christmas is most definitely all about the birth of Jesus and celebrating His gift to the world. We have never told our children that Santa is real, but we haven't banned him either. We like to remember who Saint Nicholas was and what he did. We enjoy giving gifts, but that's not what the holiday is all about. When someone says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" I will probably respond with "Merry Christmas" anyway, but I will say it with a smile. I will not spit it at them. Oh, and "Merry Xmas?" Yeah--I really hate that one. I know some people say that it's just a short cut, but c'mon. How hard is it to write five little ol' letters?

Mr. Rodney King once asked, "Can't we all just get along?" Sadly, the answer is "No". There will always be fault finders and haters on both sides. So, I just ask Christians who are trying to do away with Christmas to rethink it. Find the joy in the season and celebrate this special, Christ-filled time with your family and friends.


 MERRY CHRISTMAS, Y'ALL! 





Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me (Review & Giveaway)


I'm quite sure I've heard Glen Campbell's music many times, but I didn't know who he was until I was notified of this review opportunity and checked into it. What intrigued me was the fact that he was so well known but wanted to go public with his illness...that horrible disease, Alzheimer's. Watching the music video of his song "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" broke my heart. My grandmother was never officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's, (she rarely went to the doctor) but she exhibited classic symptoms and a Nurse Practitioner who observed her when my grandfather was hospitalized said she was sure she had it. I hated what it did to her. It was so hard to see her go through the confusion, anxiety, suspicion, and anger that Alzheimer's caused. We all suffered with her. 
Last night I was able to watch the documentary about Glen Campbell's journey through Alzheimer's, Glen Campbell, I'll Be Me, which will be in theaters Oct. 24th. The documentary was heartrending; a poignant reminder of what this disease strips away from the victim and his/her family. Most of the film covered Glen's final tour and the progression of the disease. His smile rarely disappeared and he and his family and crew powered through some amazing shows before the symptoms became so severe that the tour had to come to an early end.  I found myself nearly holding my breath, especially during the final performances, as Glen forgot what he was supposed to do next, or talked too much, not making much sense. It was painful to watch and by the end, I was crying. Especially when he broke down on camera. It was especially heartrending to watch him try his best to remember the names of his children. Observing how his wife and children dealt with the pain of watching him slip away was equally as hard. 
 I wouldn't recommend this documentary for children, but that's not the target audience anyway. There is some language in the film and, while I found that very disappointing, it wasn't excessive.  
Alzheimer's has affected far too many people. I hope that Glen Campbell's courage and transparency will help to further the search for a cure for this heartbreaking disease. 
Image from Wikipedia
One of my readers will win a 5 song EP featuring Glen Campbell, Ashley Campbell, and The Band Perry! But first, here's more about Glen Campbell and his battle with Alzheimer's:

The Rhinestone Cowboy...
Glen Campbell’s musical and entertainment career, covering nearly five decades, is unmatched for its prolific breadth, popular appeal – and flat-out musical accomplishment and achievement. His guitar playing is legendary and can be heard on classic tracks from Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, to Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night.

As a solo artist, Glen has recorded some of the most beloved songs of his generation including Gentle On My Mind, Galveston and Rhinestone Cowboy
He has been awarded five Grammy Awards and three Grammy Hall of Fame honors, seven Academy of Country Music awards, a Pioneer Award recognition, three American Music Awards, two Country Music Association Awards and three Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. 
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Glen Campbell has crossed the boundary between pop and country and transcended into a true musical icon.

In 2011, Glen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and with the help of his wife and family decided to face the illness head on. He announced publicly about his battle with Alzheimer’s and then released his album Ghost on the Canvas and began his “Goodbye Tour.” 
On Feb 12, 2012 Glen performed on the Grammy Awards, to an audience of 39 million people, and was given the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.

As music legend Glen Campbell enters the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, his family is giving the world a rare glimpse inside his battle with the disease.

From the producer of 'Walk the Line'..

In 2011, when Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he joined forces with his family to fight the biggest battle of his life. Glen and his wife, Kim, made history by going public with the diagnosis – the first time a major American celebrity would share this experience with the world. The Campbell family then embarked on a short “Goodbye Tour,” but the three-week engagement turned into an emotional and triumphant 151-show nationwide tour de force.  

This epic human drama about the undying bond between Glen and Kim, and their unwavering caring for each other, chronicles a story of love, resilience and the power of song. 

GLEN CAMPBELL…I’LL BE ME is the true tale of how America’s greatest country star would not give up his music or his family, against all odds.

The film features those who know and love Glen, including Bruce Springsteen, Bill Clinton, The Edge, Paul McCartney, Jay Leno, Vince Gill, Jimmy Webb, Blake Shelton, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Steve Martin, Chad Smith and Taylor Swift among many others. Rare vintage footage and extraordinary new performances of Glen’s most beloved hits immerse this moving cinematic account in the overwhelming talent of this humble family man. With joy and a tireless sense of humor, Glen and his family live each moment in the present while preparing for the future, all while playing their music to sold out venues on a star spangled voyage spanning the country from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl.





Enter below to win 5 songs featuring Glen Campbell, Ashley Campbell, and The Band Perry!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Case for Christ, Student Edition by Lee Strobel with Jane Vogel (Book Review)


I was late getting connected to the internet. Saying that I was behind the times is quite an understatement. I'm not saying that that's necessarily a bad thing, just...a thing. Because of my tardiness into seeing a bigger picture of the world, I was quite taken aback when I finally did get online at how many people there are who don't believe in the claims of Christ. When you're as sheltered as I was, you sort of think that the majority of people do believe in Jesus and the Bible, even if they don't claim to be Christians. I had had very little exposure to those whose views contradicted mine so completely, so I was shocked at what I read over and over again: from doubts that Jesus was really Who He said He was, to out and out venomous hatred of Him and all He represented. Though I had been sheltered, I too had had questions about many things in the Bible and about Jesus. Still do, to be honest. I believed, but was lacking in knowledge in so many areas. I wanted (and still want) to know exactly what I believe, why I believe it, and how to properly and effectively defend those beliefs. I'm still learning how to do that. Not only do I want these things for myself, but for my children. I don't want them to be blindsided like I was, so I am doing my best to equip them to defend their beliefs, and not just because their parents "said so". So, when I saw The Case for Christ, Student Edition up for a review, I was quick to request it. 

I've heard a lot about Lee Strobel but I had never read any of his books, so I was unsure what to expect. Being a student edition, this book is short, concise, and to the point, but it is quite good at laying out the arguments against Christ's claims and then refuting those arguments, one by one, with facts. It helps that when Lee Strobel was researching he was himself an atheist; he wasn't looking to prop up  a faulty faith, therefore he wasn't grasping at straws to defend beliefs that weren't defend-able.He was a skeptic. Unbiased. He was convinced and convicted by what he found, and became a believer in Christ. 

This little book is perfect for its target audience. My daughter will read it soon as part of her homeschool Bible studies. 

I'm excited about reading other books by Lee Strobel, and I highly recommend this one to adults and young people. 

More about the book:


Book Description

Based on his award-winning bestseller The Case for Christ, journalist Lee Strobel, along with Jane Vogel, presents his journey from skepticism to faith, written for students.
There's historical proof Jesus walked this earth, but was he really who he claimed to be? Or are all the stories in the Bible just that-stories? In The Case for Christ Student Edition, teens will join former investigative journalist Lee Strobel as he searches for objective answers, including those that brought him from skepticism to faith.
I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Curious Man by Neal Thompson (Book Review)


When I saw this book in the list of titles available for review I was intrigued by the cover and subject matter. Ripley has always fascinated me a little because, who wouldn't be fascinated by someone who saw and collected so many amazing things? Though I have always wondered if all of them were real.... 

I thought this book might be something that would be both interesting and educational for my older children, but realized while reading the description a little more thoroughly (unfortunately after I had ordered the book--totally my fault) that it wouldn't be suitable for that. 

I did try to get through the book, but found that while some of it was very informative and interesting, quite a bit of it was rather dry. It did get more interesting near the halfway point. 

I suppose that, as it is a biography on Ripley's life, some personal details should be told, but I really didn't care to know about his love life and "concubinage". All in all Ripley seemed to be a selfish, self-centered, unlike-able, unhappy man. I did feel a little sorry for him. 

This book would probably be interesting to history buffs.

Read more about the book here or here. Visit the author's page here.




"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter (Book Review & Giveaway)



The winner is: Elaine Laney! Congrats, Elaine!

Thank you all for entering! 


Refreshing. Eye-opening. Convicting. Beautiful.


Wherever the River Runs is all these things and more. Kelly Minter went on a trip to the jungles of Brazil to be of help to poor villagers along the Amazon, but was herself ministered to by these special people. The story of her travels down the Amazon River and her portrayal of a fuller life, even in poverty and extreme need, will change the way you see your own life and priorites.  I don't consider myself to be wealthy by any means, but as I read this book I realized again how truly rich I am. I also had to take a look at my list of needs; many of them aren't needs at all. They're luxuries. Somehow, I almost envied the people of whom she spoke. 

"After witnessing this close of a culture, I realized how isolating the world I live in can be: car garages that keep us from knowing our neighbor and automated checkout lines at the grocery store that circumvent yet another conversation. Headphones remove us from the person sitting in the next seat over, and a quick text to a friend that says, "Don't forget the butter," replaces the phone call that might have also included "How are you today?"


Wherever the River Runs will inspire you to look beyond the confines of your safe, comfortable world and catch a glimpse of faith in the midst of hardship and beauty in unexpected places. It will, hopefully, encourage you to participate in mission work by prayer, giving, and/or going. 

The fascinating retelling of Kelly's experiences and God-given courage in new and frightening situations makes for exciting reading!  

To enter to win a copy of Wherever the River Runs, simply leave a comment under this post or on my Facebook page here. That's it! Contest ends at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 21st.


More about the book:

Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter "how a forgotten people renewed my hope in the gospel"

About the book:

In Wherever the River Runs, Kelly Minter invites us on a journey down a river teeming with piranhas and caimans, as well as machete-wielding mothers, heroic jungle pastors, faith-filled children, and miracles too seldom experienced in our part of the world. Kelly's honest and engaging narrative pulls back the curtain on one of the most captivating places on earth as well as on parts of the gospel we may be able to recite but have never fully believed.

On this beautiful adventure through the jungles of Brazil and the tangles of the soul, Kelly rediscovers Jesus among a forgotten people living well beyond the corners of her previously defined faith--a people who draw her back to their country, their pain, and their hope in Him, again and again.

"Kelly Minter writes the way a portrait artist paints." -- Beth Moore, Living Proof Ministries

"The best thing I can say about Wherever the River Runs is that I closed the last page, bowed my head, and said, 'God, send me too.' Thank you, Kelly, for your courage, leadership, and faithfulness." -- Jen Hatmaker (speaker, blogger, and author of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess)

Visit Kelly's website here: www.kellyminter.com


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Persecuted, by Robin Parrish (Book Review and Giveaway)

The winner is: Lisa Boyle! Congrats, Lisa!
Thanks to everyone who entered!

Words are easy. It doesn't take a whole lot of guts to say, "I believe the Bible, and I stand by Truth it contains." But what if you are threatened? What if you know you could lose everything, even your life, if you don't back down, water down, or step down? What if you are promised fame and money if you compromise? Would you falter then? Sometimes greed is stronger even than fear. 

These are the choices John Luther must make in this exciting, political thriller. As a well known evangelist, he is in the position to help along--or hinder--a bill that sounds nicely tolerant but is in fact a death knell to religious freedom. His decision, and the events that unfold as a result, will open your eyes to what might actually be going on in some political and religious circles. 

This book wasn't what I expected, but it was definitely a page turner. At first I was skeptical of the plot. I mean, really? Could something like this happen for real? But the more I read, the more convinced I was that yes, it probably could, and maybe it is. Because there are some who will stop at nothing to silence the voice of truth, and "tolerance" is a great way to accomplish that goal.

Near the beginning of the book I was uncomfortable with the manner in which a certain event was described and, for that reason my teen will not be reading it for awhile. Otherwise, there was nothing objectionable. 

The movie Persecuted is in theaters now, I believe. It is rated PG-13 and because of the incident I mentioned I wouldn't recommend it for minors. I have not seen the movie, but I have watched a trailer for it. 

For an exciting read that will give you plenty to ponder, I recommend this book. 

One of my readers will win a copy of the book, Persecuted! 

To enter, simply comment below. That's all! :) Oh, and please share, share, share! 

The giveaway ends Monday, Aug. 4th, and the winner will be announced by 9 p.m.


More about Persecuted:

Buzz about the film:

 "Bringing the battle of FREE SPEECH to light." FoxNews"House of Cards for the religious sect." - POLITICO"A big thumbs-up." - American Family AssociationAbout The Book:The Question Is Not IF Attempts Will Be Made to Limit Religious Freedoms, But WhenThe most popular evangelist of his day, John Luther, simply wants to share the Gospel and enjoy a quiet life with his family. He never asked to be at the center of a political controversy, but an ill wind has been blowing through the halls of Congress, and supporters of a new religious-equality bill see Luther's endorsement as critical. But when Luther refuses to lend his support, he unknowingly sets in motion an explosive plan bent on destroying his reputation and undermining everything for which he stands. His once-normal life is turned upside down as he becomes a fugitive left with only one dangerous option--putting everything he holds most dear at risk while he fights to expose the truth. It is a mission that brings him face-to-face with the coming storm of persecution that could threaten the very fabric of our nation's freedoms.About The Author:Robin Parrish is a journalist who's written about the intersection of faith and pop culture for more than a decade. He's also the author of Offworld and The Dominion Trilogy . Robin and his wife and children live in North Carolina. Visit Robin's website...www.robinparrish.com

Be sure to check out PERSECUTED the movie at a theatre near you, July 18th!

Visit the official movie website: http://www.persecutedmovie.com





"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Behind the Wall by Robert Elmer (book review)


From Brianna, teen reviewer: 

"Life Behind the Wall, a collection of three books: Candy Bomber, Beetle Bunker, and Smuggler’s Treasure, by Robert Elmer, is a very interesting story about the Berlin wall and the people separated by it. The book begins with a boy in 1988 hiding in an old C-54 and seeing a name carved into the bottom of a  wooden seat. The author then takes you back forty years earlier to 1948 in Berlin, Germany to tell the story of the name carved into the wooden seat and brings you through the three books back to the present and weaves the stories together. 

I really enjoyed this book and learned about an important event in history. I love how even though the main characters were different in each book, he brought all of it together into one very interesting story. I do think it is more for kids 11-13 or somewhere around there, but I enjoyed it so it isn’t totally boring for kids older than 13. 

The author teaches about this historical event in an interesting way.

It did get a little confusing sometimes just trying to figure out how it went together, but wasn’t very confusing overall." 

My 12-year-old daughter enjoyed the book as well. I love that they enjoyed learning some history while reading these books! We definitely recommend them. ~Jessica


Book Description

Marking the 55th anniversary of the creation of the Berlin Wall, this epic tale extends across generations and unfolds against the backdrop of a dangerous Cold War Berlin. This historically accurate, action-packed, 3-books-in-one features teens and their family's struggle living in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, from its creation after WWII, to life behind the wall during the Cold War, to the Wall's ultimate and final destruction.
Both educational and exciting, Life Behind the Wall is a great choice for middle readers at home or school.
Buy the book on Amazon here.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”