Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book Review - Glory Days by Max Lucado

ABOUT THE BOOK:

The wilderness. Maybe you know it well.

The Israelites sure did. After all, they spent forty years wandering the desert. Victories were scarce. Progress was slow. They were free from Pharaoh but not free from fear. Saved but stuck.

Sounds a lot like midlife misery. Caught in a rut. Stalled out. Running on empty. Are you mired in the same?

You can name the day you became a Christian and escaped Egypt. But you can't remember the last time you defeated a temptation or experienced an answered prayer. You're fighting the same battles you fought the day you came to Christ. You're out of Egypt, but Egypt's not out of you.

Isn't the Christian life supposed to be better than this?

Jesus offers abundant joy. Yet you live with oppressive grief. The epistles speak of grace. You shoulder guilt. You are more than a conqueror yet are commonly conquered by temptation or weaknesses.

But there's good news. With God's help you can close the gap between the person you are and the person you want to be. Like Joshua and the Israelites, you can move from a wilderness existence into a promised inheritance.

This is God's vision for your life. You, at full throttle. You, as you were intended. You, as victor over the Jerichos and giants. You, minus the stumbles, hurts, and hate.

You and your Promised Land life.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

Find Max online:
website, Facebook, Twitter

MY REVIEW:

This is another great book by Max Lucado! This book focuses on the book of Joshua and about the Hebrews wandering in the desert when they could have been in their glory land.

Even if you're familiar with this story, the way Max Lucado writes about it brings it alive. He shares practical Scriptures with us and gives us the tools to live a more fulfilling, joy filled Christian life and walk. 

If you're going through a hard time - a wilderness - he shares how we can make a u-turn and find freedom even thought the hardships. We need to remember that we are a child of God and that He loves us unconditionally. He doesn't want us to stay stuck in the wilderness. 

This book was really life changing for me. I highlighted it throughout and want to read it again and again. Yes, some of it I already knew - like how important it is to read our Bible and pray - but the way Max Lucado writes gives you a deeper desire to know God and to get out of the wilderness you're in.

I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed it very much and learned a tremendous amount. 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 of this book HERE




Blessings - Julie

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Book Review - Miracle in the Middle

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Find strength in the struggle, passion to persist, wisdom when you're weary, and joy for the journey.
If you've ever been on a long trip with small children you've no doubt heard, "Are we there yet?" Maybe you've even said those exact words or felt that same way as you have journeyed with God. Midway is where these feelings of frustration and impatience are most commonly felt. It's also where our hidden doubts find their voice.

Where most beginnings start with energy and expectation for all that is ahead, and endings bring the joy of completion as you arrive at your desired destination, the middle is very different. This midpoint can too quickly become a low point, as energy is lacking and enthusiasm wanes. Yet how well you handle the middle reveals what is in the middle of you.
The disciples found-in the middle of a lake-a revelation of Jesus that they had never seen on the shore. In the middle is where new navigational skills are found. It's also where some of the most significant lessons are learned.

Join Charlotte Gambill in this compelling, story-driven message that shows through biblical teaching and life application how those who persist through the middle will find that miracles await them on the other side.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Charlotte Gambill has an infectious love for life, a deep love for people, and a zealous love for God's House. Her passion is to build the local church-to see people reach their full potential and to strengthen leadership. Her practical, humorous, and passionate application of God's Word is rallying a generation to embrace the broken and find hope. An author, speaker, and pastor, Charl leads Life Church in England with her husband Steve. They have two children, Hope Cherish and Noah Brave.

MY REVIEW:

 This book is for anyone who has ever started on a journey in life, or been thrown into a difficult situation and wonders if the middle part of this journey will ever end? Is God seeing me? Hearing me?

I could really relate to this book because I have been through such a journey recently. When the situation begins you're hopeful that it's going to come to a quick and happy conclusion. As the middle drags on, you wonder if it will ever end. This is where we can lose hope or even question if God is there for us.

Charlotte shares from her life in this book and I always enjoy that. It reminds me that I'm not alone in this journey called life and that others have also struggled with difficult situations. She shares Scriptures to help us through this middle time in our lives and gives us the encouragement to hold on even when the end doesn't seem anywhere in sight.

She also has Prayer Points and Action Points at the end of each chapter that are perfect for individual reflection. I don't think this book has enough questions to really be used as a group study but it's perfect for the individual.

I understood what she meant by the title. Sometimes the miracle in the middle is just surviving it! We can grow and truly become closer to God if we will just have patience and trust while we're in the middle of our journeys.

I enjoyed this book and I learned a lot from it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by the BookLook Bloggers program


Blessings - Julie

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Book Review - A Heart's Home

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Isaac Liddle is keen to marry Emmie, and she knows she shouldn’t hide her pregnancy from him any longer. But before she can tell him her secret, a widower friend asks the impossible of Emmie: Will she honor her promise to his dead wife by marrying him to care for the orphaned baby?
With the Sioux Wars threatening outside the fort, Emmie’s solemn vow threatens her happiness from within. Will she honor a promise sure to break her heart—and Isaac’s? Or is there another way to find a home for her heart?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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

MY REVIEW:

This is the sixth and final book of the "Journey of the Heart" series. While this book can stand alone as a lovely little short story, you really do need to read the five previous books to understand who all the characters are and their background story.

Emmie is very excited about her upcoming marriage to the man she loves, Isaac. She had been married before to a man who deceived her and, after his death, all these deceptions come to light. This is why she is at the Fort in Wyoming with her friends Sarah and Amelia. She needed to get away from her town where the gossip about her was running rampant. 

Amelia has just had her baby when the story opens and Sarah and Emmie are pregnant with theirs. In book five, Emmie has promised Amelia that if anything happens to her while she is in child birth, that she will marry her husband, Jake. She made this promise long before she fell in love with Isaac and promised to marry him. When Amelia falls ill and then passes away, Emmie realizes that she must honor her promise and Jake is going to hold her to it for the sake of his child.

The Indian up-rises get worse and worse with the loss of many men at the Fort and it leaves everyone unsettled. They realize they must get reinforcements and Isaac volunteers, as well as a mountain man, to get to Fort Laramie to ask for help. Isaac gets lost in the blizzard and he is feared dead. 

This was a satisfying book to the ending of this series of books. It's a very quick read and it will hold your attention to the end. I enjoyed it immensely. 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 of this book HERE




Blessings - Julie

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book Review - God Speaks


 ABOUT THE BOOK:

No matter how familiar or  unfamiliar you are with the Bible, God Speaks will bring its timeless truth alive as you view it with fresh eyes and apply its restorative power to your life.

Far from a dusty old book of do's and don'ts, the Bible is a relevant and eternal message of love and reconciliation that holds the power to shape society and transform lives. Dr. Craig Evans, a consultant on Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's blockbuster miniseries The Bible unfold Scripture with compelling clarity. God Speaks will equip you to provide answers to skeptics' questions about the Bible's true message.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Craig Evans is a professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College of Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. He received his M. Div. from Western Baptist Seminary in Portland, OR and his M. A. and Ph.D. in biblical Studies from Claremont Graduate University in southern California. A well known evangelical scholar throughout the world, he is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society of dedicated to New Testament studies.

MY REVIEW:

So many of us truly don't understand what the Bible says. Even those of us who read it all the time can use more understanding about what God is saying to us through His Word!

This book is packed with information that will give you knowledge that you can really use. The best thing about this book is that it was super easy for me to understand. So many times when you have a book like this, the author will write over your head or the text is boring and dry. Not this book. I found it intriguing and couldn't wait to sit down and read.

Another great thing is how we, as Christians, can sometimes we swayed by what others tell us the Bible says and we have no idea how to answer that person. They sound reasonable and we aren't sure what the Bible says, so we are speechless. Dr. Evans gives us the answers to all these questions and comments that others say to us. I found this invaluable!

Some think the Bible is a bunch of rules and negative talk, too, but that is not so and this book really shows us the bright truth of the Bible. I always thought that the Bible was a encouragement, but this book really confirmed this for me and gave me knowledge to share with others who think it's negative.

I loved this book and how much it taught me! It is a wonderful book for everyone and I highly recommend you getting this if you truly want to learn all you can about what God is telling us through his Word! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. You can find the link to purchase this book below.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Worthy Publishing


Blessings - Julie

Monday, August 17, 2015

DVD Review - Lazarus Awakening Study Pack

ABOUT THE DVD STUDY PACK:

Mary worshiped. Martha served. But what did Lazarus do to experience Jesus’s lavish love?

Filmed in the Holy Land, this DVD companion to Joanna Weaver’s book Lazarus Awakening explores the incredible truth that Jesus loves us apart from our works or our worthiness. He wants to call us out of our tombs and into friendship with Him.

Designed for use with the book and companion study guide, this three-disc DVD Bible study is formatted for both individual and group use, with content suitable for both men and women.
·         In-depth Bible study: Features eight 15- to 17-minute video sessions.
·         Bonus “Israel Moment” videos explore the life of Christ and the Holy Land.
·         Designed for use with the study guide and book.
·         Leader’s guide, promotional material, and retreat format included.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Joanna Weaver is the best-selling author of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Having a Mary Spirit, Lazarus Awakening, and the award-winning gift book With This Ring. Her articles have appeared in such publications as Focus on the Family, Guideposts, and HomeLife. Joanna and her pastor-husband, John, have three children and live in Montana. Visit her website at www.JoannaWeaverBooks.com. 

MY REVIEW:

I recently read Joanna Weaver's book, "Lazarus Awakening" and was so excited to have the chance to review her Bible study and DVD series. She's a marvelous teacher in her books and I couldn't wait to do the Bible study!

The first thing I noticed when I received my DVD set was how wonderfully it was packaged. Now, this may seem like a trite thing, but how often have you been disappointed to receive a DVD set and hear shaking going on inside the box and know that your precious DVD you just received is probably scratched? These DVD's were in a wonderful case with even a square of foam inside to keep things from moving around .

I then started the Bible study. All I can say is, "Wow!" Joanna is a marvelous teacher and she brings such clarity to the Biblical teaching of Lazarus. She teaches the series from Israel and takes us to the places where Jesus walked and to the town where Lazarus lived and was raised. The scenery is breath-taking and I love how you can hear the birds singing in the background behind her talking in some of the shots. It makes you feel as though you are right there in Israel with her!

Next, I love how clearly Joanna speaks. You can understand everything she says and there's no re-winding the DVD to try and capture her words. She's animated with her love for Jesus and it brings an excitement to her teaching.

The Bible study guide is very well laid out. You have the section where you watch the DVD and fill in the blanks, and again, Joanna makes this very clear in the videos. It's written at the bottom of the screen with the blank there and then is filled in so you can clearly see what you should write in your own book. You then have study on your own - going through the Bible and writing in your book where indicated.

I absolutely love this study! I learned so much and it brought me into a greater understanding of my walk with Jesus. I love her analogy of how, like Lazarus, once Jesus calls us, we can unwrap those bindings that had us living dead for so long. It's just an amazing Bible study and would be wonderful as a women's ministry study in a church, for a small group, or done on your own, like I did. It will bring you closer to the Lord and give you a greater understanding of how the Lord truly wants to set you free. I give this study/DVD set 5 out of 5 stars. You can find the link below to purchase your own set.

*This Bible study/DVD set was provided to me for my honest review by the Blogging for Books program. 



Blessings - Julie