Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book Review - How To Enjoy Reading Your Bible


Keith Ferrin has been talking to churches for years about enjoying God's Word. Here he shares the most helpful ideas and habits you can start using today. You will find ten proven tips that are equally practical whether you are a longtime Bible student or simply exploring what this life-changing book is all about.

Aimed at deepening your relationship with God, these simple suggestions will help you focus more easily as you read, remember Scripture better, and most importantly, enjoy the Bible and its Author more than you ever dreamed possible.

Includes Discussion Questions and Reading Suggestions for Small Groups


I have always enjoyed reading my Bible, but this book gave me a whole new appreciation for really looking at my time in the Word as spending time really getting to know the Lord on a more intimate level.

Relationship is what Keith emphasizes in this excellent book. The two things that really stuck with me through the whole book is how we should treat our relationship with the Lord like we would a good friend and that, while it's important to be instructed from the Bible, it's more important to really cultivate our relationship with God.

Another thing I really liked was all the study tips at the end of each chapter, the questions at the end of the chapters and the Scriptures he suggests we meditate on to soak into our hearts. I found all this to be extremely encouraging and helpful in really putting into practice what the book teaches.

I learned so much and saw so many ways in which reading the Bible could be enjoyable. It's so true that the Bible really is a great story and we have the tendency to forget that. I love that the author really helps us to see the Bible for what it is - the greatest story of all time written by an almighty God who wants to know us and whom wants to be known intimately. 

I can't say enough good about this book. If you really want to enjoy reading your Bible and get into a deeper relationship with the Lord, this is the perfect book! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it for everyone!

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Bethany House Publishers

Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Counting Our Blessings - Link Up!

What a blessed week I had! I hope your week was full of blessings, too! I'm always so amazed at how God shows Himself in so many ways - large and small. We just have to be watching and keeping our heart open Him!

43.  It's been a very poodle week and that's always a good week. :) I found these adorable things at WalMart when I was with my hubby. Can you believe it? Aren't they just too cute?

A ring holder and a little box with poodles! They were very reasonably priced and so I got them both. I just adore the colors and, of course, the poodles!

Then after our Mother's Day dinner, we popped over to TJ Maxx to check it out. I have never been there and wanted to see what it's all about. I was very pleasantly surprised to find this!

Cute, huh? It's quite small so I won't be using it to drink coffee out of (I need a big cup of coffee! lol) but will use it on my desk to put some of my favorite pens in. I'm so happy to have found this!

44.  Speaking of poodles, we had the girls groomed with our favorite groomer and they came out so cute! She does such a fabulous job and I'm so glad I was able to find out where she's working now. Here's a picture of them.

Poor little Mitzi's ears get so tangled, even tho I brush them daily, that they look quite think from cutting the lumpy tangles out. She's slowly growing in her adult coat so this will get better, but right now, she looks a little pitiful. I adore her, tho, so her ears don't bother me in the least. Such sweet girls!

45.  I had the best Mother's Day - actually I got two days of pampering! We relaxed on Mother's Day and the guys put a casserole in the oven. I didn't really want to eat out on that day because I knew the restaurants would be packed and I'm not a crowd type of person. We did head out to Goodwill to check things out and I found this:

A really heavy duty lap table with a side pocket for my pens! This one is extra special because if you see, it has those silver clips on the top. That's so I could do this

Put some of my favorite pictures under the thick plastic cover. Don't you love this? I really needed a lap desk. I had one, but the top was so thin, it finally cracked and I couldn't use it anymore. This one is so thick and well made, I'm sure I'll be using it for years. I just love that I can put pictures under the cover, too.

46.  On Monday, we went to a restaurant that we've been hearing about for years but have never been to. Oh, my goodness...it was SO good! Plus the prices were really reasonable, which is always a plus. I think it's going to be our new favorite place to go! Then we went to TJ Maxx where I got the poodle mug and this

Aren't they gorgeous? Sticky notes and flags that are Parisian themed! I just love them! Again, very low priced so no guilt about getting it. I tend to be rather frugal and love to find a good deal.

We then went to the library where I needed to pick up some things on hold and popped into the little store they have there where they sell used books, cd's and dvd's. I found this beautiful old book for only $1.00!!

It didn't have a price on it, so I was very concerned that they would want a small fortune for it, but nope! Only one dollar!! Yay!

47.  I had such a lovely week. I had one day that I slept until 1:30 in the afternoon...I know! I'm still recovering from the past year and still have days where I will sleep and sleep. This day stands out, though, because I woke up, looked at the clock and it said 10:00 (or so I thought - I wear glasses and can't see very well without them). I got up, looked at the clock again, and it said 1:30!! What a shock! I guess I shouldn't look at the clock until my glasses are on! lol I'm so thankful that I can sleep when I need to, though. It so helps me when I'm really feeling weak!

What are your blessings? I'd love for you to share on the link up! You don't have to actually link up with your blessings - if you have an encouraging or fun post on your blog, I'd love for you to share!

Blessings - Julie

Book Review - Heart Sisters


Heart Sisters is for women who want to both be and have better friends and want a helpful guide to take them through the process.

Author Natalie Chambers Snapp uses her own and others' stories of successes and failures to illustrate what she has learned about girlfriend relationships. Healthy boundaries, honesty, tact, sharing, and agape love all play a part in being and maintaining a circle of close confidants. She also deals with the inevitable challenges that face many relationships including how to handle conflict; life changes like a new baby, move or divorce; and when it is right to "break-up" with your friend.

Discussion questions, space to journal, photos, and quick interviews of healthy female friendships are included within each chapter.


Natalie Chambers Snapp is first and foremost a follower of Jesus, then wife to Jason, and mom to one spunky daughter and two spirited sons with a crazy amount of energy. Choosing to follow Jesus at 27, Natalie is passionate about sharing the grace, mercy, and truth of God's love. She lives in the Midwest with her crew and tries to keep it simple by writing about the faith found in the everyday mundane. The outpourings of her heart can be found at www.nataliesnapp.com in the fleeting moments between being a wife and mother.

Find Natalie online: website, Facebook, Twitter


This book is a definite must read for women and women ministry leaders (in my opinion!). There is so much great information in this book on friendship between women and the things we can do to really make our friendships more meaningful and less stressful.

I really loved how Natalie is so open with her heart and so candid in sharing her stories. She gets to the heart of so many things and gives us so much direction is being a good friend, finding a good friend, and more. 

It was so helpful to me when she shared the diagram of Jesus' friendships. The inner, outer and middle friends. This clarified the different friendships we each can have in our life. She even goes into our real-life friendships and our online friendships. It's amazing how the internet has given us the ability to have friends around the world that speak the same heart language we do. I love that she goes into this kind of friendship.

Some of the other things she shares with us are boundaries, taking care of ourselves, and what to do if we have a conflict with a friend. Everything is from a Biblical point of view, which I really like.

This book would be so good for women ministry leaders. As I well know, we can go into the women's ministry thinking all is going to be smooth and perfect, but we are all human and have human frailties. This can be a shock when conflict arises in the ministry. She shares how to handle things in ministry and I really liked this. This would also be a great book for church or small group studies.

This book is one of the best I've read on friendship. I learned so much and was so blessed by this entire book. You really will be blessed by this book, too. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

You can read more reviews HERE

Blessings - Julie

Monday, May 11, 2015

Book Review - Fear and Faith by Trillia Newbell


Are you ever afraid? Growing up, our greatest fears might have been the boogeyman hiding in the closet or the monster that lurked under the bed. As adults, though, our fears morph from childhood silliness into things that keep us up at night: worrying about an unknown future, replaying in our mind what others think of us, or plotting how we can keep up the superwoman act as we envision another day battling the to-do list. 


Trillia is the author of Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves (Moody, 2015) and United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity (Moody, 2014). Her writings on issues of faith, family, and diversity have been published in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Desiring God, True Woman, Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, and more.  She has spoken at numerous conferences, churches, women’s retreats, colleges and seminaries, including True Woman, The Gospel Coalition Women’s conference, Southeastern Theological Seminary, and more. Trillia is currently the consultant on Women’s Initiatives for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention.


No matter what kind of fear you deal with, this book will help give you the tools, through Scripture, to overcome those fears. It is one of the better books I've read on overcoming fear and it truly helped me in some areas that I have been struggling with.

The best thing about this book is the author. She is so real - so open and honest - you'll feel like your best friend is speaking with you. There's no condemnation from her as she has dealt with her own fears and knows exactly how it feels. I really like how she shares the Word of God to help us overcome our fears and give us strength through Scripture.

There are also stories from different women in the book who have struggled with fears and they share openly about what they went through. I thought this was really helpful because it helps us to know we're not alone in the fears we deal with.

This book was very easy to read and hard to put down. I really enjoyed the conversational style the book is written in because it draws you in. There's no re-reading paragraphs because the author tries to write over your head. Trillia writes from the heart to our heart and it really spoke volumes to me. I also think this would be a great book for ministry leaders to read so they can help others that they are counseling.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you're dealing with fears or want to help others who are. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Side Door Communications

Blessings - Julie

Book Review - A Heart's Danger


On the brink of war with the Sioux, Sarah risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves.

Christmas is coming, and the air at Fort Laramie has turned cold . . . but relations with the Sioux have turned colder. As tensions between soldiers and natives approach a tipping point, a trap has been set for Rand Campbell.
Rand's new fiancée wants to keep him from returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns.

Sarah just wants to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell---the man whose love she craves---and Croftner---the man whose lies have cost her everything.

Will Rand fall victim to the conspiracy and go through with his wedding? Or will he declare his love for Sarah and make good on the promises that brought her into the rugged western territories?


Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Find Colleen online: website, Facebook, Twitter


This is book three in the Journey of the Heart series. It's really not a stand alone book and you really do need to read book one and two to truly understand the characters and what is going on. The author does an excellent job of catching us up on what's going on, though.

In this book, it's getting colder in Wyoming and the Fort is hunkered down and anticipating Christmas. There's been some sadness as the cold has hit the Sioux camp and Sarah has to say goodbye to two of her friends. She's still trying to get over Rand, whom she loves but who is engaged to another woman. 

There's a horrible plot that takes place in this book against Rand and Sarah. Who is involved in this plot is shocking and how it's put into action is also shocking and horrible. We are left wondering if things will truly work out for both of these characters. 

I enjoyed this book very much. I liked the action and that we are pulled further into really caring about these characters in this book. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by LitFuse Publicity Group

You can read more reviews of this book HERE

Blessings - Julie