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.

Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart by Glenys Nellist Review

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Description: In this heart-warming picture book designed for girls, author Glenys Nellist tells the inspiring stories of incredible women in the Bible. With beautiful illustrations by Rachel Clowes and sweet lift-the-flap envelopes, each story delivers a special message for children to open as they read their own personal love letters from God. Full of warmth and love, this picture book will fill girls’ hearts with the wonder of the Lord. The stories of Eve, Miriam, Rahab, Mary, and many more will delight children and remind them of the bond they can share with God, just like the women of the Bible.

My Thoughts: I was very impressed with how beautiful this book was when I received it. The illustrations are whimsical and fun and the colors are very pleasing to the eye. Because it’s such an inviting cover, I think many girls, young and old alike, will gravitate towards this book.

The stories are longer than I expected, which was a nice surprise. My 10 year old daughter found it to be enjoyable and not too “young” but I think younger girls would also enjoy it. I enjoyed the stories as a 37 year old girl, it’s a book that girls of all ages would enjoy.

Each story highlights a woman in the Bible and how God used her and illustrates His love for her and, in turn, us. Women in the book include Rahab, Eve, Mary Magdalene, Martha, and Mary, mother of Jesus. There is also a letter with a flap that you lift on each page that can be personalized. The letters are from God and add a nice touch to each story. At the end of the book there is a letter that the girl can write to God.

This would be an excellent gift for any young girl. I would highly recommend it.

My Rating: 5 stars

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

Invitation: Harbingers Cycle One by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky Review

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Synopsis: Four Bestselling Authors Team Up for Thrilling Supernatural Suspense – Gathering four stories from four bestselling author friends, Invitation is the first collection in the ongoing Harbingers series.

In “The Call” by Bill Myers, four strangers are drawn together to help a student at the mysterious Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies. His gifts are supposedly being honed to assist world leaders . . . but there are some very disturbing strings attached.

Frank Peretti’s “The Haunted” confronts a supernatural mystery, a case of murder, and an exploration into the darkness of the human heart, all centering around a mysterious house.

In Angela Hunt’s “The Sentinels,” animals around the world are mysteriously dying. What could it mean? When the tragedy begins to touch Andi’s dreams, she discovers a terrifying theory.

“The Girl” by Alton Gansky is a gripping tale of a young barefoot girl found holding a scroll in the snowy Oregon mountains. She is sweet, innocent–apparently not of this world–and something wants to kill her.

My Thoughts: This is an interesting bind up of 4 novellas, each written by a different author but in stories that are connected to each other (each author narrating one of the 4 main characters in the book). It is presented like a television series with new “episodes” and at this point, there have been 18 novellas written for the series. Because of this, each story is left open-ended, which I don’t like. I’m not a fan of long book series’ so I’m not sure if I’ll continue.

Each story was enjoyable but I think my favorite was The Call by Bill Myers, told by Brenda, a tattoo artist. Each character has a special gift and they are brought together in each story to solve a problem.

The characters all had their own voice (a benefit of having 4 different authors writing each character). They were all different and well-rounded, they also had interesting background stories.

I found the overall story line of spiritual warfare interesting but struggled with the theology of some of the things that happened. When this occurred, I reminded myself that it was fictional, but I do tend to hold Christian Fiction at a higher standard than secular fiction when it comes to the lesson that is learned. Throughout the book, there weren’t really any lessons learned, which I didn’t care for.

Overall, this book was enjoyable but not something that I would read again.

My Rating: 3 and a half stars

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

Cynthia Ruchti’s ‘A Fragile Hope’ Blog Tour and Giveaway

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About the book:
Hope grows when seeds are planted-even in the muddy middle of life.
Josiah Chamberlain’s life’s work revolves around repairing other people’s marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife’s unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she’s unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.
Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?
 

About the author:
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope through her novels, novellas, nonfiction books, articles and devotionals, drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry. Ruchti has written more than 20 award-winning novels, novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals. Her books have received numerous awards and nominations, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year nominations, two Selah Awards, Christian Retailing’s BEST, was an ACFW Carol Award finalist and a Christy finalist, among other honors. Her latest release is the novel A Fragile Hope.
One of Ruchti’s greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. To that end, she has served as worship and devotions staff and faculty for the Write-to-Publish conference and teaches at other writers’ conferences across the country and internationally as opportunities arise. She also serves as the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers.
Ruchti speaks frequently for women’s groups and serves on her church’s worship team. She and her husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.
Find out more about Cynthia at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com.
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My Thoughts: This story was very thought provoking and introspective. It follows Josiah, who gives marriage advice for a living but his own marriage needs a lot of repair. He learns some very difficult lessons throughout the book and grows and develops as a person.

I enjoyed the story overall, the beginning and the ending were very interesting but it got a bit slow in the middle. It was a very realistic picture of what a person in Josiah’s position probably goes through. The romance in this book was beautiful. I prefer romance stories that revolve around marriages and this one was very well done.

The character development was very rich…I found myself going from frustration and anger towards a character to admiration and respect.

I highly recommend this book to people who like a good romance story with a rich plot.

My Rating: 4 stars

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Celebrate the release of A Fragile Hope by entering to win Cynthia’s Sign of Hope Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 3. The winner will be announced May 4 on the Litfuse blog.

The Berenstain Bears Friendship Blessings Collection Review

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The Berenstain Bears Living Lights, series continues to attract young readers through creative and engaging stories that not only entertain but teach values and life lessons. Now, five of the series’ favorite titles are available in a great new hardcover. This Berenstain Bears Living Lights treasury called Friendship Blessings Collection is sure to be a popular choice for Berenstain Bears fans.

This collection includes:
The Perfect Fishing Spot
Reap the Harvest
Faithful Friends
Kindness Counts
God Made You Special

My Thoughts: I grew up reading and loving the Berenstain Bears books. I remember checking many of them out of my library and sounding out the words as I was just learning to read. Recently I have rediscovered these books, which have been taken over by the late Stan and Jan’s son, Mike Berenstain and I have purchased a few for my children to enjoy. I am delighted to see that the new books contain Christian themes and Biblical lessons.

This book contains 5 stories, in a very nice hardcover book. The illustrations are the same as the original books but there is a new character, Honey Bear, who I assume is the youngest sister (I don’t remember her in the original stories that I read).

Each story was well done. My least favorite was The Perfect Fishing Spot, which is told in poem format and the moral of the story is a bit muddy. Reap the Harvest was about the benefits of working hard, Faithful Friends was a great story about making new friends but keeping old ones (I am planning on sharing this one with my 10 year old daughter as she’s facing a similar situation). Kindness Counts was my favorite of the stories, it talks about being kind to others, even when it goes against our first instincts, God Made You Special was another great story about a bear cub who has special needs but discusses how God has made him special and the bears learn from him.

Overall, this is a very good book for all children. I am thrilled to see that my beloved Berenstain Bears have stood the test of time.

My Rating: 5 stars

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