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Book Review: “His Mighty Warrior”

a mightyThe latest book that I read on behalf of Blogging for Books was a children’s devotional called, “His Mighty Warrior – A Treasure Map from Your King.”  Since this was a children’s book, who better to help me review this selection than my nine year old son, Joshua.  He absolutely loved doing this devotional book!

“His Mighty Warrior” begins each devotion with a letter, many times addressed to “My Warrior” and written as from God Himself, plus a scripture verse and a prayer.  The letters encourage boys to be someone with great character:  how to be courageous, respect rules, handle conflicts and disappointments, choose words, honor others and so many other subjects that are important to boys as they grow up in this day and age.  There are 50 devotions in all, enough to choose one each week of the year.
Not only is the subject matter relevant to boys and well written, it has a wonderfully padded cover book (excellent for gift giving) with wonderful illustrations, drawn to encourage the imagination of boys.  We have found this book to be a great encouragement and useful resource for discussing many topics and issues. 

Book Review: Secrets of the Vine for Women

It’s summertime, and it is a great time to finish more books from my “gotta read” stack!  My two boys and I set aside a minimum of 30 minutes each day to get engrossed in our latest books.  We have all signed up for the summer reading programs at the Bee Cave Public Library, and Josh (my 8 year old) has already completed 400 minutes!  It is fun to pick out books with him and get him interested in the latest books series.  He loves Horrible Harry (by Suzy Kline) and is now starting the A to Z Mystery series (by Ron Roy).  It really is true that when you keep your child reading over the summer, they spend less time getting back into the groove when school starts again.  Matt (14 years old) is also reading several books from our personal book shelves, the latest being “The Compassionate Samurai” by Brian Klemmer.  Matt has learned and matured so much from the books he has read over the past few months — we are proud of him for taking the initiative to read more than just books for entertainment.  As for myself, I have also learned so much from the several books I’ve read lately — more than what I could ever post here!  Parenting, marriage, leadership and biblical training . . . . I am feeling the stretch marks! 

The book I finished today for Blogging for Books is “Secrets of the Vine for Women” by Darlene Marie Wilkinson, which is a small book but with a big message!.  She is the wife of author Bruce Wilkinson, who wrote the first Secrets of the Vine book.  Darlene Marie takes his book further by associating many of the teachings right to women. 

The book is based on John 15, where Jesus states the he is the vine, and we are the branches.  But what exactly was Jesus trying to explain by this example?  If it is hard to understand, it will become more clear as you read the author’s story of the vinedresser and his daughter, and how the vinedresser was able to make his vineyard prosper.  Through her story, we learn about how God is our Vinedresser, Jesus the Vine itself and how God is disciplining, pruning and abiding in us as the branches.  Another plus is the study guide in the back of the book for each chapter.  Although this is a short book to read, it is definitely one to read again while doing the study guide in order to get even more from the book.

I hope this is one book you will add to your “gotta read” stack soon.  Will you please vote for my review at Blogging for Books?

Book Review: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey …

I have read other books by Karen Scalf Linamen, and I appreciate her honesty and heartfelt delivery in her writing.  Her newest book, “The Chocolate Diaries”, that I read for Blogging for Books” is no exception.  She is straightforward, but inserts joy and humor as she relates how she has learned “sweet secrets” along her recent rocky road of life.  I appreciated the inclusion of other uplifiting stories of those who have overcome obstacles and what they did to embrace a sweeter life.  This is an easy read, and a great one for a book club — she includes thoughtful questions at the end of each chapter for discussion (along with a fun chocolate recipe submitted by readers!)  My favorite chapter is #6 — “Eat Chocolate, Write More, Feel Better” where Karen gives some great hints and ideas for journaling that can help you through the rocky and sweeter times of life. 

Book Review: “Lady in Waiting”

I had the opportunity to review another book for WaterBrook Multnomah called “Lady in Waiting”.  What intrigued me about the book was that it followed the story of two Janes – Jane Lindsay, a woman in her early 40s in the present day, and another very young teenage girl, Lady Jane Grey from the 16th century.
Jane Lindsay finds a ring in a shipment from a “jumble” sale for her antique store that was hidden in an old book.  Feeling a connection with the ring with an inscription to “Jane”, she begins to do research to find the origin of the ring, but during her journey, she also finds answers to her own present day struggles. 
Both Janes experienced life changing events in their lives, and this book chronicles each story, moving back and forth with ease and with an energy that keeps you reading to find out what happens next to Jane. 
I appreciated this novel for two reasons – it was refreshing to read a story about a woman who was the same age category as myself, experiencing the same feelings and struggles that I myself had experienced.  The added bonus was to read some historical fiction based on a time period that has always intrigued me. 
This was the first reading experience I’ve had with author Susan Meissner, and it surely won’t be the last.  A great weekend read!

Review: "Everything Christmas"

I had the opportunity to review the book, “Everything Christmas” published by Waterbrook Press for Blogging for Books.  This book was a wonderful compliation of “all things Christmas”, from inspiring stories to traditional recipes, from song origins to cultural Christmas dinners.  All these tidbits of history and Christmas cheer are broken down into daily doses for Advent, and it is a wonderful volume to bring out every year. 

What I enjoyed about the book was the many facts and lessons throughout that I could share with my children. There was much inspiration from the book’s stories of hope and Christmas miracles.  We loved reading the history behind some of our cherished Christmas carols, and learning what other countries typically serve for their Christmas dinners.  Want to know what really goes into making figgy pudding or oyster dressing?  You’ll find the recipes in the book, along with simple gift making ideas as well.  Want to know the origin of the Christmas tree?  It’s there, along with so many other treasures for everyone in the family, for any age. 

I recommend getting this book and sharing it with your family at dinnertime or bedtime each day of Advent.  You’ll be surprised at what your family will remember and learn about Christmas!