Remember and Return: Rekindling your love for the Savior by John MacArthur Review

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Synopsis: In the busyness and trials of life, it’s easy to drift away from the Savior. We may continue to go to church and even read the Scriptures and pray, but we can still lose our first love. Christ commended the church in Ephesus for their works and for their intolerance of false doctrine yet admonished them to remember and return to their first love–him. In the same way, our outward religiosity can mask an inner lack of love for our Savior.
In this 31-day devotional, John MacArthur takes readers down a biblically prescribed path as they rediscover who Christ is, what he has done, and how they must respond. Each entry will move readers from understanding to application to reflection and prayer, with a goal of rekindling their first love for Christ. Makes a thoughtful gift for any believer.

My Thoughts: This book came at a perfect time. It is so easy to drift from the Lord as this world is hectic.

Each devotional reminded me of my first love and I could feel the Lord drawing me nearer. I can see so many parallels with the church of today and the church in Ephesus of the Bible (doing many works but losing the relationship). This book reminds us to keep the relationship with Christ central to our lives.

I highly recommend this book to all Christians…it provides hope and grace and helps us return to our first love.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Baker Books in exchange for an honest review.

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The Daniel Code By O.S. Hawkins Review

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Synopsis: We live in dangerous times. Not only does violence stalk us in the form of terrorism and crime, but our culture itself is crumbling. Our society tolerates and even praises what would once have been barely spoken of. If we stand up we are branded as intolerant, the term today’s culture considers the inexcusable offense.  If we don’t speak up, people won’t know biblical truth.  How is a Christian to respond?

Inspired by the story of Daniel in the Old Testament, bestselling author O.S. Hawkins shows how we can engage our broken culture with integrity. Daniel was a young man who “wrote the book” on how to survive in a pagan, permissive, and perverse culture.  His value system was challenged at every turn.

Daniel steps off the pages of scripture and into our modern culture today to reveal some timeless principles—a sort of “Daniel Code”—that enable you to not simply exist in our culture but to engage it and survive it as well. You will discover that the same God that ensured Daniel’s victories is here for you today.

My Thoughts: It’s no secret that this world can be a scary place to live in. As a Christian, I’ve noticed the divide growing wider and wider between Christians and non-Christians and it is becoming more and more difficult to stand up for what I believe in as it seems like everything is turning upside down.

This book goes into the book of Daniel. Daniel also lived in a crumbling and permissive culture but he “dared to stand alone”.

This book was extremely relevant to today and gives hope as well as prophecy for the future as described in the Bible. It is extremely informative and also very interesting.

I highly recommend this book for any Christian who feels discouraged and silenced by the way the world is headed.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Booklookbloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Poison by Jordyn Redwood Review

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Synopsis: Five years ago, Keelyn Blake’s stepfather took her family hostage, raving about Lucent, a being who forced him to commit unspeakable acts. Some of the family made it out alive; the rest did not. Even Lee Watson, the best of SWAT, failed to overcome the man’s delusions and end the standoff peacefully.

Now, Lucent is back– and he’s no hallucination. He has kidnapped Keelyn’s niece, and although Keelyn is estranged from her half-sister, Raven, she feels compelled to save what little family she has left. But Raven is nowhere to be found, and when others involved in that fateful day start dying under mysterious circumstances, Keelyn wonders if she and Lee– and their budding relationship– will surive.

My Thoughts: The premise of this book was very interesting and I found myself intrigued to find out what was going on. Everything came together nicely in the end and I was unable to predict most of the twists (which there were many twists). The author is extremely gifted as a writer and is also a very creative story teller…she always seems to present ideas that make me think long after I’ve finished the book. I will definitely be picking up more of her books.

I read Book 1 in this Trilogy (Proof) last month and loved it. I gave it 5 stars and couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed this book as well, but not quite as much as the first one. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately though so it has been difficult for me to connect with most of the books I’ve picked up lately.  I had a little bit of trouble with the amount of characters in this book, there was a lot going on and I had a little trouble keeping everything straight at times.

Overall, this was a great addition to the trilogy and I recommend it if you enjoy suspense and twists.

My Rating: 3 stars

I received this book from Bookfun in exchange for an honest review.

Larger Than Life Lara by Dandi Daley Mackall Review

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Synopsis: This isn’t about me. This story, I mean. So already you got a reason to hang it up. At least that’s what Mrs. Smith, our English teacher, says.

But the story is about ten-year-old Laney Grafton and the new girl in her class–Lara Phelps, whom everyone bullies from the minute she shows up. Laney is just relieved to have someone else as a target of bullying. But instead of acting the way a bullied kid normally acts, this new girl returns kindness for a meanness that intensifies . . . until nobody remains unchanged, not even the reader.

In a unique and multi-layered story, with equal parts humor and angst, Laney communicates the art of storytelling as it happens, with chapter headings, such as: Character, Setting, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax. And she weaves an unforgettable tale of a new girl who transforms an entire class and, in the process, reveals the best and worst in all of us.

My Thoughts: This book pulled at my heartstrings and is a story that will stay with me. It is narrated by Laney, a 10 year old girl who is extremely bright and witty and instantly likable. Laney has a very difficult home life and although she tends to gloss over some of the details, it’s clear that she is not treated well. A new girl named Lara comes to Laney’s school and is instantly targeted by the entire class because of her size. To Laney and the other kids’ surprise, Lara seems to let all the ridicule slide off  and takes the “kill them with kindness” approach.

First of all, I loved Laney…she is very honest about everything she sees and the reader can see the pain she feels, even when she tries to disguise it. Lara is also a lovely character…she “lets her light shine” in the face of adversity and strives to make people feel better about themselves even as they taunt her.

There are some very raw and sad moments in this story but I think it accurately portrays how cruel children (and adults) can be. It also shows the consequences for our actions…although this story ends with lessons being learned, it’s not a completely happy ending, it’s very realistic.

I highly recommend this book for kids ages 8 and up, there is eluding to cursing and alcoholism as well as abuse.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

The Radical Book for Kids by Champ Thornton Review

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A kid-sized explorer’s guide to faith and life

The Radical Book for Kids is a fun-filled explorer’s guide to the Bible, church history, and life for boys and girls age 8 and up. Along with examining some of the most exciting realities in the universe, the handbook is vibrantly illustrated and chock-full of fun facts and ideas. Deep truths are communicated to elementary and middle-school aged kids while stimulating their curiosity and sense of adventure within a gospel-centered framework.

This power-packed book is “radical” in more ways than you might think! It is “radical” in the sense of the original meaning of the word, “going to the root or origin.” The Radical Book for Kids will take children on a fascinating journey into the ancient roots of the Christian faith. But it’s also “radical” in the more modern sense of being revolutionary. Kids read about men and women who learned to trust Jesus and stand for him—displaying radical faith—even when everything seemed against them.

But The Radical Book for Kids is also “radical”—meaning fun or cool—in the eyes of a child. Kids read about ancient weapons (and how to make one), learn about jewels, create pottery, discover ancient languages, use secret codes, locate stars, tell time using the sun, play a board game that’s 3,000 years old—and more.

Check out the table of contents, skip around, or read straight through. However a child chooses to explore it, The Radical Book for Kids will open new vistas for their imagination and help to make straight paths for their feet.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2eDeVM4

About the author:
 
Champ Thornton grew up in the Carolinas. He is presently an associate pastor at Ogletown Baptist Church in Newark, Delaware. Beginning in 2003, he pastored in South Carolina and later served as director of SOMA, a ministry training school in Columbus, Ohio. Champ is also the author of God’s Love: A Bible Storybook, and of Bible curriculum for early and upper elementary-aged children.
My Thoughts: The description of this book really intrigued me and I wasn’t disappointed. This book contains tons of fun Biblical facts, presented in a fun way. There are also some great lessons, including “what to do when you’re afraid”, “How to pray”, and “Can you prove that God exists?”. It also includes some great stories of men and women who gave their lives for Christ.
The book is packed with illustrations and photographs and diagrams…it’s just a fun book to read.
My 10 year old daughter loves this book, she was eager to share some of the things she found in it with her dad when he got home from work the day it arrived. It is perfect for kids ages around 8 and up.
I also like that this book does not need to be read straight through…the reader can easily skip around to various pages.
Overall this is a great book that is very informative and fun for children and adults alike.
My Rating: 5 stars
I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.