Monday 25 March 2013

Book review: Unglued Devotional
 From the Back:

 This companion devotional to the bestselling book Unglued provides encouragement to help readers handle emotional struggles.
  • Live in the grace of making imperfect progress even on those days when your emotions throw you for a loop.
  • Be a more positive role model to your family and coworkers as you shift from overreacting to speaking life-giving words.
  • Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your closest relationships.
Including a daily opening Scripture, thought for the day, devotion, and closing prayer, this book will help you make progress in how you react to break the cycle of exploding or stuffing your emotions

My Reflections: 

This book includes 60 short and thought-provoking devotionals with extremely candid and imperfect, personal experiences from author Lysa Terkeurst.

Terkeurst gives us a glimpse into her world of flawed perfection.
She allows us a snippet of a glance into her life, of family and ministerial experiences by exposing her heart without holding back.

I really enjoyed her candor, and often times I felt like Lisa and I were good friends sitting down to our hot coco at Starbucks, discussing… “one of those days”.

Each devotional starts with bible verse, a thought for the day and an encouraging, hope filled reading, that guides you to accept the grace and mercy available to you through the love of God.

I certainly enjoyed Terkeurst’s devotional. The blend of authentic down to earth writing intermingled with solid God centered and biblical principles makes this devotional a real gem, a pleasure to start your day with.

I found my mornings to be energized and I felt encouraged to be the best mom, wife woman God gives me the grace to be.

Another plus is the short, concise size of the devotions. Tekeurst knows us moms are busy, and the devotion is perfectly distributed with thoughtful, sincere writings that get your day started with God at the forefront.
So if you find the pattern of your life is progressing like this: blow up, stuff it down and are generally just  feeling overwhelmed, this devotion is for you.

I would truly encourage you to not only pick up this devotional but also the companion book Unglued Making Wise Choices in the midst of Raw Emotions.

I received this book compliments of Book sneeze and Zondervan, free of charge in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Book sneeze!

About the Author: 
 Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and national speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith. She is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, author of 15 books, and encourages nearly 500,000 women worldwide through a daily online devotional. Her remarkable life story has captured audiences across America, including appearances on Oprah and Good Morning America. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five children.

Sunday 24 March 2013

Book review: 30 Days to becoming a Woman of Prayer

book title front

30 Days to Becoming a Woman of Prayer

Harvest House Publishers 

Stormie Omartian has led millions to pray—parents, wives, husbands, women, teens, and kids. Each of her bestselling books have opened up the mystery of prayer and helped readers approach God with confidence and experience His power. With transparency and biblical depth, Stormie shares in a 30-day format what it means for women to connect with God deeply through every circumstance that presents itself.
With warmth and wisdom, Stormie helps readers understand how they can make their life work—with prayer. This book is for everyone who wants to:
  • live free of guilt and fear
  • experience and share forgiveness
  • stand strong in the face of temptation
  • know God’s love
  • grow in faith, and much more
In 30 short chapters, one a day, Stormie helps women find the freedom, wholeness, and success they want as they discover the simple steps to powerful prayer.

Formerly titled The Power of a Praying® Life

 My reflections:

Who doesn't love Omartian books? Her books are always packed with prayer, and are informative, encouraging and uplifting. When I had the chance to review this book I was excited to have the opportunity to read another Omartian book (I own Power of a praying wife, Husband and parent)

The first thing I enjoyed about this book was its ample range of topics, it was so well thought out and complete that after reading it I felt ready to tackle a task I often found intimidating……public…

Some of the topics in the book include:

 Know who your father is, 
Welcome the Holy Spirit’s presence, 
Maintain a right heart, 
Fear God but don’t live in fear, and
Live in the freedom God has for you and take control of your thoughts.

I absolutely love the way Stormie Omartian writes, It often feels to me like she knows me and we are just sitting down to tea, on the back porch. 

She gets down to work, no beating around the bush here. Her book is very meaty, and took some time to digest and process. So don't be surprised if it takes you more than 30 days to become that prayer warrior, you are aspiring to.  :-) 

I think my favorite parts of this book were the prayer Power and Word Power sections. Every chapter has these and I found it was a great way to dig a little deeper into the Bible and it also gave me “pretty” words to pray, for the issues I was working on!

I would definitely recommend this book and all of Stormie Omartian’s works to anyone who wants to deepen their prayer life and ultimately their relationship with God and those around them. 

Great work Omartian, Thank you for helping change lives, one book at a time!

I recieved this book complimentrary from Harvest House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
Thank you so much Harvest House!

About the Author:

Stormie Omartian

Stormie Omartian

Stormie Omartian is the bestselling author (more than 23 million books sold) of The Power of a Praying® series, which includes The Power of a Praying® Wife Devotional and The Power of a Praying® Woman. Her many other books include Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On, The Prayer That Changes Everything®, and Praying the Bible into Your Life. Stormie and her husband, Michael, have been married more than 39 years and are the parents of two married children.

Saturday 23 March 2013

Book review: Heaven Revealed

About the Book:

There are so many questions in life... but few are as universal as: "What is the afterlife like?" For those who have put their hope and trust in Jesus Christ here on earth--Heaven awaits. Addressing questions as basic as What will we do there? and What is it like?, theologian Dr. Paul Enns dives deep into the Scriptures while reflecting on the very personal nature of what is to come. Heaven Revealed is concurrently a helpful, easy-to-read guidebook for Christians as well as an encouragement for those of us who are left here on earth after our loved ones who are Christians pass away. Follow along as Dr. Enns succinctly leads you through what the Bible has to say about Heaven.
In grief, we all need hope--hope for our loved ones who are now gone, and hope for ourselves as eternity looms closer. Heaven should be something to look forward to, not something to be confused about

My reflections:

Heaven is a subject that causes an assortment of questions, concerns and debate. I have been intrigued with the thought of Heaven as of late and these being the case have reviewed two vastly different books on the subject.

After suddenly losing his wife of 45 years, Enns began a quest to answer the longings of his heart. His search lead him to write this book.
Enns;s background seems sound: (minister through Biblical Training & Leadership Development, Idlewood Baptist Church, Tampa, Florida, and serves as professor and director of the Tampa Extension, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary)

Some of the topics of discussion are where is heaven?  What kind of body will we have?  What will the new heaven and earth look like?  What will life be like in heaven?  What will we do in heaven?  What will our relationships with others be like?

While I didn’t agree with all of Enns’s ideas, I did appreciate his attempt at shedding some light on some very interesting theologies. 
Though at times it seemed like he was overstretching the biblical verses he was applying, making ‘claims into certainties’ based on one or two passages from Scripture.

 Over all though I did enjoy the fact that Enns tried to back up what he was asserting with biblical content, this was far better than the previous book that I reviewed.

So in closing I would recommend this book generally, with caution. It is a great resource to help you understand that life doesn’t end when our life here ends. It will instill a peace about life after death and the assurance that we will one day be reunited with our saved love ones. 

I received this book from Moody Publishers in the exchange for my honest review.
 Thank you Moody!

About the Author:


Paul P. Enns
Paul P. Enns is an evangelical Christian pastor, biblical scholar and writer who serves as a full-time minister at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Florida, and as adjunct professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Thursday 21 March 2013

Book review: Swept Away Mary Connealy

From the back of the book:
When a cowboy focused on revenge encounters a woman determined to distract him, there’s going to be trouble in Texas!
Swept away when her wagon train attempts a difficult river crossing, Ruthy MacNeil isn’t terribly upset at being separated from the family who raised her. All they’ve ever done is work her to the bone. Alive but disoriented, she’s rescued by Luke Stone…so unfortunately, there are more chances to die in her immediate future.
Luke is on a mission to reclaim the ranch stolen from his family. But the men currently on the property won’t let it go without a fight. Luke plans to meet up with friends who will help him take back the land, and since he can’t just leave Ruthy in the middle of nowhere, she’s going to have to go with him.
But the more time Luke spends around the hardworking young woman, the more he finds himself thinking of things besides revenge. Will Ruthy convince him to give up his destructive path and be swept away by love?

My reflections:
Oh, the anticipation! Just as soon as I requested this book I was looking forward to reading it.
The title says it all; I was literally swept away by this book, once I started reading it I could not put it down even if I wanted to. The plot was intriguing and there wasn’t even a dull spot in the entire novel. The story builds onto itself and keeps on going until the very end.
Swept Away (Trouble in Texas) is the first book in Connealy’s new series, although it is a new story line, it contains threads of other of Connealy’s books – the main hero is the brother to the heroine in book #3 of the Kincaid Brides. Very clever indeed!
In this book the Trouble in Texas series we are introduced to 4 men that are forged together, from their experiences at war. These men are bound to each other through honor and duty, and let me tell you, they have their “brothers” back. Though this series touches on aspects from other book it is a great stand-alone book as well. Connealy did a wonderful job of tying in the storyline without having to read the other series. I would however urge you to read her other books, because she is one talented writer!
Ruthy aka: Rosy is a plucky, fun, and feisty, lead character who snatches your heart, right away and spurs you on. I loved this character and her can do attitude. She makes you feel like you too can do just about anything just by reading about her adventures and knowing her life history. This book is a Christian Historical Fiction, although it is not heavy on religious content, it does mention faith in broad terms, and the characters do hold true to their faith in God. I have to say this was a refreshing change for me, it was subtle and sweet, and you got the point. I know some readers may have an issue with this fact. That being said this book is my favorite this year, and that is saying a lot, since I read like a mad woman!

So seriously what are you waiting for go get this book….I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Book review The Icecutters Daughter

The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson

 The Icecutter’s Daughter (The Land of the Shining Waters)

Author: Tracie Peterson
Year: 2013
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

From the back of the Book: 

Merrill Krause longs for a family of her own, but she's bound by a promise to her dying mother to care for her father and older brothers until they no longer need her. She enjoys being part of the family business, harvesting ice during the brutal Minnesota winters. Merrill actively takes part, possessing a keen ability to work with the horses--despite the advice of her good friend, who disapproves of her unladylike behavior.

When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small town to join his uncle doing carpentry, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. As he thrives under the mentorship of his uncle, Rurik dreams of inheriting the business and claiming Merrill as his wife. But while he is determined to start a new life, the past is determined to follow him when his former fiancée and her brother show up in town. Soon Rurik is put in the center of a major scandal that may damage his relationship with Merrill. Can they learn to trust God--and each other--and embrace the promise of love?

My reflections:
First off I have to tell you I am a big Tracy Peterson fan. So when I had the opportunity to review another of her books, I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the mail man.

This book is set in 1895, in the chill of a cold Minnesota winter.

 Merril is a feisty self-determined gal who has responsibilities that zap her femininity, and leave her yearning for relief. Being that her mother has passed away and has left her the only female in a family of men it is up to her to hold the Krause clan together.

Rurik is running from an obligation he can’t bring himself to commit to. When a letter from his Uncle comes in the mail, asking for his assistance, Rurik jumps at the chance to get out of town and away from the restraints. He can’t wait to leave and aide his Uncle, and perhaps even pursue a career he loves.

While helping his uncle he lends a hand to a neighbor. He finds his senses are not only numbed by the frigid cold but also by the unexpected sight of Merril. There is an instant attraction, but complications soon arise. Will love be able to bloom or will the chill of the past forever hamper any sort of relationship?

I very much enjoyed the cultural aspect of this story. The traditions of the Swedish as well as German people brought the story to life for me. This era was ripe for change and the struggles the people had to endure were many and hard won. Generations of trades’ people had to adapt and make way for change and often times a complete transformation in occupation. I was smitten with the peppering of language and food throughout this book. It was so much more than a mere story for me it was the way of the times and people of this era that I fell in love with.

As always with Peterson’s novels the characters are real, vibrant and their struggles heart stirring. There is always an undercurrent of truth, love and family values that I especially appreciate! I can’t wait to read her sequel in this series, it is already planned to be released in the summer of 2013, and is titled The Quarryman’s Bride.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is searching for a heartwarming historical novel.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
About the Author:

Tracie Peterson is an award-winning, best-selling author of over 95 books. Having given her heart to Jesus at the young age of six, Tracie has always felt called to some form of ministry, and writing fulfills that mission field.
Tracie received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.
In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers. She has co-written with a variety of authors including Judith Pella, Judith Miller, James Scott Bell and her daughter Jennifer.
Throughout her writing career Tracie has found time to speak at writer's conferences where she has a special heart for new authors. She is often joined by her husband Jim, whose background in history offers new authors insight into research. Besides teaching at conferences, Tracie also at one time managed Barbour Publishing's Heartsong Presents book line - overseeing the production of 52 books a year. Tracie teaches at women's conferences around the country and shares her testimony and insight for Christian living through the eyes of an author passionately in love with her Heavenly Father.
Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests, including USA "Best Books 2011" Awards, best Religious Fiction for Embers of Love!.
Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max..

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