NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible review

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Description: Easy to color and easy to read! Reflect on the precious truths of Scripture with the NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible, Large Print, featuring beautiful line art for coloring and a large type size. Perfect for all ages, this Bible’s thick white paper with lightly ruled lines in the extra-wide margins provides ample space for your own artistic expressions and journaling.

The NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible, Large Print is a perfect gift that will become a cherished keepsake full of personalized creative expressions of faith.

Features of this treasured Bible include:

Hundreds of verses illustrated in ready-to-color line art
Readable 10-point type size
Thicker white paper for enduring note-taking
Lined, wide margins for notes, reflections and art
Complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV)
Easy-to-read black letter text in a single-column format
Lays flat in your hand or on your desk
Ribbon marker

My Thoughts: I was delighted when I received this Bible, it is beautiful! I love the cover, it’s a cloth cover with a very pretty floral design. The size of the Bible is also perfect, in my opinion…I used it in church and it sits open in my lap nicely without closing, as smaller Bibles sometimes do.

The text is easy to read and there are large margins, which leave room for Bible journaling. The artwork is beautiful and relevant, with a lot of space to color. The pages seem thicker than normal Bible pages, which should be helpful when coloring.

Out of all the Bibles I’ve reviewed, this is my favorite. I love the looks and feel of it, as well as the size. The NIV translation is also what I prefer. I would highly recommend this Bible if you are looking for a nice Bible for coloring.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this Bible from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

The Anxious Christian by Rhett Smith Review

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Description: Is anxiety “un-Christian”’

Many Christians believe the answer to this question is yes! Understandably, then, many Christians feel shame when they are anxious. They especially feel this shame when well-intentioned fellow believers dismiss or devalue anxiety with Christian platitudes and Bible verses.

Rhett Smith, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, helps us understand anxiety in a new way. Rhett argues that, rather than being destructive or shameful, anxiety can be a catalyst for our spiritual growth. Using Biblical thinking and personal examples, Rhett explains how anxiety allows us to face our resistance and fears, understand where those fears come from, and then make intentional decisions about issues such as career, marriage, money, and our spiritual lives.

Allow this book to challenge your view of anxiety, and allow God to use your anxiety for good.

My Thoughts: I have struggled with anxiety for most of my life. When I was 9 years old, I was with my grandparents when my grandfather had an abdominal aortic aneurism and passed away. This event was a turning point in my life which altered how I looked at life and circumstances. It left me reeling, and I began to worry constantly about loved ones dying, picturing the horrific events that could happen.

I shared my “worrying problem” with a trusted person in my church and was told that this was sinful because I wasn’t trusting God enough. This caused me to feel ashamed and frustrated with myself. Prayer has helped my anxiety to a large extent but I have “flare ups” where it gets difficult to deal with.

One such “flare up” occurred when my dad had a lung transplant in 2015. After the surgery, I had a panic attack. I was struggling to function properly at work and wanted to stay home all the time. At that point I decided to share my problems with my doctor, who prescribed medication for my anxiety and referred me to a therapist.

I struggled a lot with the medication because, as a Christian, I felt like I was giving up on God and relying on medicine instead. I had family members who were not happy with me taking the medicine because they didn’t like that it altered brain chemistry.

All of this was said to show that this book was a breath of fresh air for me. Anxiety is something that still has negative connotations, like many mental health disorders, especially in the church. I have rarely or never seen anyone ask for prayer for their anxiety or depression but every week, people ask for prayer for broken bones or flus or other physical ailments.

The author, Rhett Smith doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. He also has dealt with anxiety and he explains how it can be used for good. I found myself with tears in my eyes as I read this book because there have been moments since I was told that my worrying was sinful when I’ve said to my husband, “why did God make me this way?”

Reading this book helped me to see that God used my anxiety to get the help I needed. Since seeing my therapist and taking my medication (and praying daily, giving all my worries to God), my anxiety has greatly decreased. It still rears it’s ugly head from time to time, but this book has shown me that perhaps it’s God’s way of speaking to me, showing me that I need to take action in some area of my life.

I highly, highly recommend this book to my anxious Christian friends out there. It would make a great Bible study group read as well.

My Rating: 5 stars

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

Fearless Parenting by George Barna and Jimmy Myers Review

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Description: Conscientious parents who long to bring their children up as good Christians and good citizens face an uphill battle. In a culture of rampant narcissism and moral anarchy, righteous living isn’t easy and it isn’t popular. But positive cultural transformation happens quietly, one life at a time, and that is good news for parents.

In this hopeful book, world-renowned researcher George Barna and nationally respected counselor Jimmy Myers offer parents a plan of action to raise healthy, godly children in a morally bankrupt culture. If the parents of this generation want to see their children grow up with their faith and consciences intact, they cannot afford to simply react, making it up as they go along. They must approach their responsibilities to parent their children with intentionality and consistency. This eye-opening book helps them do just that.

My Thoughts: I feel like this book was written just for me. It addressed so many issues that I’m facing in my life as a parent of a 14 year old and an 11 year old.

It’s no secret that this world is not an easy place to raise children, especially as a Christian. There have been numerous times in the past few months, I’ve felt like I had no idea what I was doing as a parent and wished for someone to come along and give me advice and tell me it would be okay. This book did just that.

The book covers very important topics, including family relationships, materialism, pornography, and social media. It also recommends other resources that would be helpful to equip our children to face the harsh world.

The overarching theme is that Christian parents need to parent without fear…we cannot allow our fears of “what could happen” to dictate our parenting. It also gives us what we need to raise the most precious gifts we are entrusted with.

I highly, highly recommend this book to any parent, but especially parents of pre-teens and teens. It is a book that I will revisit with a highlighter and page tabs.

My Rating: 5 stars

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

The Polygamist’s Daughter by Anna LeBaron Review

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Description: “My father had more than fifty children.”So begins the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. With her father wanted by the FBI for killing anyone who tried to leave his cult–a radical branch of Mormonism–Anna and her siblings were constantly on the run with the other sister-wives. Often starving and always desperate, the children lived in terror. Even though there were dozens of them together, Anna always felt alone.She escaped when she was thirteen . . . but the nightmare was far from over.A shocking true story of murder, fear, and betrayal, “The Polygamist’s Daughter” is also the heart-cry of a fatherless girl and her search for love, faith, and a safe place to call home.

My Thoughts: This book is a gritty and disturbing look into what life was like for Anna LeBaron, who grew up in a polygamist cult, under the rule of her murderous father Ervil LeBaron. If I could sum up my thoughts for this book in one lesson, it would be how selfishness and narcissism can destroy lives.

Anna’s childhood was spent moving from place to place, living in poverty with too many people in small places, and facing many tragedies. The book takes you to these places with Anna and as the reader, I  felt like I was with her, feeling the sadness, fear and uncertainty that she was facing…frustrated at how she was treated and neglected.

I appreciated that this book was real, the “nasty” stuff wasn’t glossed over and Anna was brutally honest about the struggles she faced in adulthood as a result of her childhood.

Anna LeBaron is a very strong woman and I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to have read her book. I think it will be therapeutic to women who have struggled with issues in their childhood, particularly with their fathers. I highly recommend this book.

My Rating: 5 stars

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

Your Next 24 Hours by Hal Donaldson and Kirk Noonan Review

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Description: If asked, who among us wouldn’t say we were kind people? But kindness is often manifested in feelings of pity or sympathy–especially when others are watching–rather than in deeds. And when it comes down to it, what good does mere feeling do for the world?
Your Next 24 Hours is about something much bigger–a lifestyle of kindness, without thought of reciprocation, extended toward every person in our lives, both friend and foe. Through powerful true stories of kindness lived out, this book shows readers the enormous difference they can make through small, doable acts of kindness in their families, communities, workplaces, schools, and churches. It shows how every encounter with another person is an opportunity to be kind–and a chance to change our world.
Readers of Your Next 24 Hours will find deep satisfaction and joy as they discover how they can be part of a revolution of kindness that starts with them and reaches out through every person their lives touch.

My Thoughts: Lately I’ve felt that the world really needs more kindness and the quote “be the change you want to see” came to mind when I would think this. So when the opportunity to read this book came along, I really wanted to read it.

This book is filled with stories of ordinary people as well as celebrities who chose kindness in big and small ways. It also has ideas for how you, the reader can perform acts of kindness in day to day life.

I found this book very inspiring and uplifting. It was a nice reminder that there is still good in this world and encouraged me to look for opportunities to give and serve each day.

It was enjoyable to read and very fast paced for a non-fiction book. I highly recommend this to all people who want to see more kindness in the world.

My Rating: 5 stars

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

The Fatal Gift of Beauty by Nina Burleigh

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Description: The sexually violent murder of twenty-one-year-old British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, on the night of November 1, 2007, became an international sensation when one of Kercher’s housemates, twenty-year-old Seattle native Amanda Knox, as well as her Italian boyfriend and a troubled local man Knox said she “vaguely” knew, was arrested and charged with the murder. The Fatal Gift of Beauty is award-winning author and journalist Nina Burleigh’s mesmerizing literary investigation of the murder, the controversial prosecution, the conviction and twenty-six-year sentence of Knox, the machinations of Italian justice, and the underground depravity and clash of cultures in one of central -Italy’s most beloved cities.

When Perugia authorities concluded that the murder was part of a dark, twisted rite—a “sex game”—led by the American with an uncanny resemblance to Perugia’s Madonna, they unleashed a media frenzy from Rome to London to New York and Seattle. The story drew an international cult obsessed with “Foxy Knoxy,” a pretty honor student on a junior year abroad, who either woke up one morning into a nightmare of superstition and misogyny—the dark side of Italy—or participated in something unspeakable.

The investigation begins in the old stone cottage overlooking bucolic olive groves where Kercher’s body was found in her locked bedroom. It winds through the shadowy, arched alleys of Perugia, a city of art that is also a magnet for tens of thousands of students who frequent its bars, clubs, and drug bazaar on the steps of the Duomo. It climaxes in an up-close account of Italy’s dysfunctional legal system, as the trial slowly unfolds at the town’s Tribunale, and the prosecution’s thunderous final appeal to God before the quivering girl defendant resembles a scene from the Inquisition.

To reveal what actually happened on that terrible night after Halloween, Nina Burleigh lived in Perugia, attended the trial, and corresponded with the incarcerated defendants. She also delved deeply into the history, secrets, and customs of Perugia, renowned equally for its Etruscan tunnels, early Christian art, medieval sorcerers, and pagan roots.

A New York Times bestseller, The Fatal Gift of Beauty is the thoughtful, compelling examination of an enduring mystery, an ancient, storied place, and a disquieting facet of Italian culture: an obsession with female eroticism. By including the real story of Rudy Guede, it is also an acute window into the minds and personalities of the accused killers and of the conservative Italian magistrate striving to make sense of an inexplicable act of evil. But at its core is an indelible portrait of Amanda Knox, the strangely childlike, enigmatic beauty, whose photogenic face became the focal point of international speculation about the shadow side of youth and freedom.

My Thoughts: I went into this book with very little knowledge about the trials of Amanda Knox or the murder of Meredith Kercher. Initially I found this book to be very interesting but the vast amount of information caused me to lose interest. The day of the murder isn’t described until around page 175 and by that time, I was bored with the story. The book would have been better, in my opinion, if some of the information dumps had been edited out.

The facts are presented in a fairly non-biased way, which allows the reader to form their own opinion about the case. I feel very like I know almost everything about this case now but it took a long time to wade through all the information.

My Rating: 3 stars

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

 

 

Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating by Katie Robles Review

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Description: Laugh until you love your body
Are you ready to lose weight and get healthy, but you hate celery sticks and sweat? This book is for you. Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating is:
*Fun: laugh-a-minute encouragement complete with cartoons, poetry, and enough cheesy puns to make you lactose intolerant.
*Sustainable: for long term results, look no further because the healthy habits you develop will help you stay fit until you die. (See how encouraging this is?)
*Flexible: easily adaptable to fit your needs and preferences like a need for chocolate and a preference toward spandex, for example.
*Educational: the science supporting healthy habits is explained in a memorable way, like how REM sleep is like a toilet.

My Thoughts: This was a very fun look at weight loss, unlike anything I’ve read before. The author gives 3 important keys to losing weight and keeping it off…sex, soup, and two fisted eating.

At first I was concerned that it would be too heavy on the humor and light on the information but I was wrong. I found myself motivated to try the tips in this book. The author presents you with small changes that can make a big difference. There are also fun illustrations and relevant Bible verses sprinkled throughout.  There are also many recipes at the end that are healthy and contain lots of vegetables.

My only problem was that at times I felt the author was trying too hard to be funny and the humor fell flat. But for the most part, I was entertained throughout and found it to be very informative. I recommend this to any woman, especially busy moms, who might not have the time to sit down and read a long boring book on weight loss.

My Rating: 4 stars

I received a copy of this book from Book Fun in exchange for an honest review.