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Scarlett’s Spectacles by Janet Surette–Book Review

Back Cover Copy

Which pair will you wear?

In a world where every person faces a daily choice between two pairs of glasses, young Scarlett grumbles through her days, seeing only the dreary aspects of life through her “grumbly glasses.” Tired of how Scarlett’s spectacles keep her daughter from seeing all the good around her, Scarlett’s mother encourages her to try “glad glasses” instead. Even though the change is difficult at first, Scarlett soon realizes that “glad glasses” make for happy days and that choosing to see with gratitude is possible because God always brings some kind of good from the circumstances in our lives.

This colorful and spunky board book is a great resource for tackling grumbly attitudes and encouraging more grateful hearts among children. And like Scarlett, after seeing life through “glad glasses,” readers may just chuck those grumbly glasses away for good! 

My Review

This book was perfect for my kids! First the main character has the same name as my oldest daughter, and then because the lesson learned in this book is something my kids need to work on, as I’m sure yours do too! In this book Scarlett has a tendency to grumble and complain about everything. She whines and pouts, but then her mom tells here that everybody has 2 pairs of glasses, a glad pair and a grumbly pair, and it’s up to us which ones we put on each day. So one day Scarlett tried this theory out, and put on her glad glasses, and saw it was much better to see the positive side of things. You will love the lesson it teaches to be thankful in everything, and your kids will love the amazing illustrations and the rhyming story. It’s super cute, and I highly recommend it!!

**I received this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Where Your Treasure Lies by Joel Thimell–Book Review

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RESCUED BY GOD: NOAH…ELIJAH…and LOT?

Everyone knows that Noah was the righteous man that God rescued from the Flood. And serious Bible students remember that God sent ravens to feed Elijah during a lengthy drought. But Lot? The guy who barely escaped the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah with his daughters? Why was he rescued by God? Was it just because his Uncle Abraham pleaded with God for him? Or is there more to the story?

Where Your Treasure Lies, tells the dramatic story of the calling of Abraham and Sarah into the Promised Land through the eyes of Lot, one of the most misunderstood heroes of the Bible. Many Christians think of him as a villain or a fool, at best. But the Apostle Peter called him a “righteous man” who was “tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.”

As the eldest son of the Patriarch, Lot expected to lead his family someday. But God had other plans. When his father dies in the land of Ur, Lot loses everything to Abraham, whom God chose in his place. Despite this, Lot follows Abraham into the Promised Land trusting that God will provide, only to find that the Land of Canaan isn’t the Garden of Eden.

Will God’s chosen people bow to the mighty kings of Sumer, Canaan and Egypt? Will jealousy and bitterness destroy their family? Or will faith and love triumph?

The eagerly anticipated sequel to Long Road Out of Ur, is here. If you enjoy humor and adventure, surprises and engaging characters, this continuation of The Saga of the Patriarchs is sure to delight adults and teens alike.

My Review

If you’ve ever pondered what made Lot dwell in Sodom as a righteous man? Why did the angels have to drag him out? We don’t know much about Lot, and while this book is fictional in that the Bible doesn’t give us every detail about Lot and his family. It’s speculation as to how Lot ended up so entangled in this wicked city. It took me a while to get fully engrossed in this book, but once I got into it, I found it very thought provoking. The Bible says in 2 Peter 2:7-8 “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” Many of the ideas in this book of why Lot stayed in Sodom and how he ended up in a place of prominence really made me connect to the story in a different way. I mean I’ve read of the sad story of Lot, and how his wife turned back and turned into a pillar of salt, I never really thought much more about what made him get so entangled in the city. I think this was a great read and one you should definitely check out. I should say that even though this is technically book 2 in the series, I did not feel lost jumping in without reading book 1.

**I received this book free for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

God Gave Us the Bible–Book Review

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God Gave Us the Bible introduces kids to the STORY of stories–the love story between God and his people. Ideal for readers aged 3 to 7, written in a framework where Little Cub and her animal friends reflect many of the questions young readers have about Bible stories. The book features forty-five Bible stories and concepts that every child should know/be introduced to, like Noah and the Ark, the Birth of Jesus, and Jesus Feeds the 5,000 in a very warm, conversational, reassuring manner.

My Review

I have read many of the God Gave Us… books by Lisa Tawn Bergren, and while this one is slightly different in that it’s a devotional for little ones, it is just as great as the rest. I absolutely loved this devotional. I plan on keeping it until Christmas for my kids, but I have no doubt they will love learning more about their favorite Bible stories along with Little Cub and her friends. It starts out with Momma Bear reading the Bible to Little Cub and her friends, so it’s told in a storybook type style. Very easy for little ones to understand on their level. Some of Little Cub’s friends and Little Cub ask questions throughout the devotional that help apply principles taught through each Bible story to their lives. I think it’s ideal for younger children (like 2-5), but my oldest is 7 and I think she will still enjoy this devotional during family devotions. It’s so important that we instill God’s Word into our children, and I think this is the perfect book to start with. It has amazing illustrations that will keep your kids attention throughout the book. Highly recommend this one!

**I received this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Grace for the Unexpected Journey by Deborah Barr – Book Review

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For the weary dementia or Alzheimer’s caregiver

If you are a caregiver to someone with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, you carry a heavy load. On top of having to watch someone you love suffer, you are probably losing sleep, growing frustrated, and struggling with loneliness or even depression. With little to no help and no time for a break, this unrelenting stress is hard to carry.

Whether that’s you or someone you know, the caregiver needs care, too. Grace for the Unexpected Journey: A 60-Day Devotional for Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia Caregivers provides that support.

Each daily devotion:

  • Is short, ideal for demanding schedules
  • Reflects on a relevant Scripture passage
  • Features a relatable caregiving story
  • Offers a key Scripture for meditation

Debbie Barr is a speaker, health educator, and the author of multiple books, including Keeping Love Alive As Memory Fades (coauthored with New York Times bestselling author Gary Chapman). As a health educator with a deep concern and compassion for dementia caregivers, she saw their need for faith-based encouragement. With compassion and understanding she uses Scriptures to address their practical hardships and spiritual concerns.

When the struggles seem insurmountable, this devotional offers strength. When stress floods in, it points to peace. And when darkness falls, it illuminates hope. Caregivers walk a long, difficult road. This devotional gives grace for their journey.

My Review

I primarily got this book for my grandmother, but if you or someone you know are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia of any form, this would be a great devotional for them. Each day discusses a key verse and then applies that to their role as caregiver. For example, one day talks about guilt, the key verse for that day was Psalm 26:3, it then goes on to talk about the difference between true guilt and false guilt and how to overcome the false guilt we put on ourselves. I am so glad I was able to get this for my grandmother, and I truly hope it will be a source of encouragement to her as she cares for my grandfather. I hope if you are a caregiver you find this devotional to be a source of comfort. Reading through the devotions I was comforted, and I am not a caregiver yet. Is it a magical book that will take all the difficulty out of caring for your loved one? No, but it will lead you to the One who can help you each and every day and remind you He is right there with you strengthening you and comforting you. Highly recommend this for you!

**I received a copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Girl Behind the Red Rope by Ted and Rachelle Dekker

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“In this mind-bending thriller, father-daughter writing team Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker triumph in their faultlessly structured and deconstructed world of religious extremism. . . . the book’s suspenseful plot drives the story forward at a racing pace, making this a riveting novel that will long haunt readers.”–

Ten years ago, Grace saw something that would forever change the course of history. When evil in its purest form is unleashed on the world, she and others from their religious community are already hidden deep in the hills of Tennessee, abiding by every rule that will keep them safe, pure–and alive. As long as they stay there, behind the red perimeter.

Her older brother’s questions and the arrival of the first outsiders she’s seen in a decade set in motion events that will question everything Grace has built her life on. Enemies rise on all sides–but who is the real enemy? And what will it cost her to uncover the truth?

For the first time, bestselling authors Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker team up and deliver an intense, tightly focused ride through the most treacherous world of all.

My Review

I’m typically not able to get into Ted Dekker’s books; they’re just hard for me to get into. I thought that this one was going to be the same way, but I was wrong. While it did take me a few chapters to get into it, I found myself wanting to read the next chapter to find out what happened next. (I’m not going to lie, I was tempted several times to commit the cardinal sin of reading ahead to see how it ends, but I resisted pretty well) It’s definitely full of suspense, and I do like how there is a deeper meaning behind the story. If you love Ted Dekker, you will want to read this one!

**I received this book in exchange for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hagar by Shadia Hrichi Book Tour

About the Book

Book: Hagar

Author: Shadia Hrichi

Genre: Religion / Bible Study

Release Date: October 10, 2017

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You are ”The God Who Sees Me.”

Discover a close relationship with God–no matter the pain or suffering in your life. Witness the depths of God’s compassion through the eyes of Hagar, a runaway slave who meets the living God in a desert of despair, where she gives Him the name El Roi, ”The God Who Sees Me.”

Through this seven week study, you will find that when you surrender your life into God’s hands, your trials and triumphs serve a magnificent purpose: to draw you into the arms of the faithful God Who Sees Me.

”Deep and packed with surprising insights!” Francine Rivers

Click here to grab your copy.

Click here to download a free sample, explore Shadia’s video teaching sessions, or sign up for the online Bible study.

My Review

This has been one of the most interesting studies I have ever done! I have loved every minute of it. I love that it is a workbook that guides you as you study it out for yourself, instead of just simply reading a study. I love the interaction, applying it to my own life, looking up the verses myself and the questions that make me think deeper than if I were to just read Hagar’s story. One of my favorite parts of the study was when the author compares Hagar to the Woman at the Well. I never would have thought to study the life of Hagar, I mean I’ve read her story many times and know about her, but to really study her and think about her from the aspects that this study has shown me, I have learned so much from her life. I have seen how God cares about the downtrodden, the outcasts, those who feel they are not enough. I highly recommend this Bible Study. It is full of Biblical insight and will teach you so much through the story of Hagar, a woman who had no say over her circumstances.

**I received this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

shadia

SHADIA HRICHI is a passionate Bible teacher, author, and speaker who has a heart for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. She has received a master’s in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary as well as master’s in criminal justice from the State University of New York. Shadia is the author of several Bible studies, including HAGAR,Worthy of Love, and her latest study, LEGION, comes out in October. Shadia is often invited to speak at churches, conferences, and other events. Her insightful, witty, yet vulnerable teaching style reveals a compassion for the hurting, love for Jesus, and uncompromising commitment to the truth of God’s Word. Visit shadiahrichi.com

More from Shadia

Am I known? Am I loved? Am I home?

Every human heart is searching for the answers to these questions. Yet when pain and heartache enter our lives, we feel betrayed and cry out one question: God, do You see me?

The answer is yes. He is Behind the Seen.

Because we live in a fallen world, each of us will inevitably face hard times, even painful ones. Who among us has never seen or felt the fallout of broken homes, broken lives, or broken dreams? Hagar is a great example of someone who discovered God during a difficult time.

Maybe you have never heard of her. Or perhaps you came across her name in a study of the book of Genesis. But how much do you really know about this young slave girl? We often relegate her to the backstage as a minor character in God’s redemptive story. But was she?

As I explored Hagar’s story for another book I wanted to write, God continually amazed me as we journeyed together from the affluence of Egypt, into a life of slavery, to a desert of despair. It seemed the more I studied her life, the more I discovered about God. What began as a chapter evolved into a study all its own.

Two years and several thousand hours of study and prayer later, HAGAR: Rediscovering the God Who Sees Me came to be. Consider this book as your backstage pass to the life of Hagar.

I have never actually gone backstage during a live event, but I know that much more goes on behind the scenes than meets the eye. I invite you to come backstage with me and explore how God was involved in every detail of Hagar’s life. Her story has all the ingredients of a Hollywood tragedy: betrayal, loss, abuse, crisis pregnancy, abandonment . . . any of that sound painfully familiar?

Thankfully, Hagar’s story does not end in despair. God was working Behind the Seen—just as He has in your life and mine—all along. As a matter of fact, Hagar emerges victorious!

Hagar: an unsung hero if there ever was one.

Beloved, is the enemy using anything in your past to try to derail you from God’s plan, or hold you back from experiencing God’s joy to the fullest? Be assured, that is not how your story will end. Just as God did for Hagar, when He enters your story, victory is already assured.

So strap on your sandals and a grab a bottle of water. We’re heading into the desert. A place where we will rediscover the God Who Sees Me.

“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.”
—Isaiah 9:2

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 7

Books, Books, and Books., September 7

Inklings and notions , September 8

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, September 8

amandainpa , September 9

Emily Yager, September 9

A Reader’s Brain, September 10

Lights in a Dark World, September 10

Inspired by fiction, September 11

Genesis 5020, September 11

Robin’s Nest, September 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 12

Quiet Workings, September 12

Through the Lens of Scripture, September 13

Mary Hake, September 13

Godly Book Reviews, September 14

Rev. Rebecca Writes: Read, Write, Pray, September 14

Moments, September 15

Retrospective Spines, September 16

Batya’s Bits, September 16

Pause for Tales, September 17

CarpeDiem, September 17

Aryn the Libraryan ?, September 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 18

For The Love of Books, September 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 19

Texas Book-aholic, September 20

janicesbookreviews, September 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Shadia is giving away to TWO winners 1 book of Hagar, 1 book of Legion and a $50 gift certificate for leafwoodpublishers.com!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/eb32/hagar-celebration-tour-giveaway

Strong by Catherine Parks

Back Cover Copy

Boys need strong role models.
In an age when the world is confused about what it means to be a strong man, boys need the examples of godly men who have gone before them. The eleven men in Strong are examples of true strength—men who stood firm when no one else would stand with them. As they read about these men, boys will learn about some familiar figures as well as those they may never have heard of before. They’ll read harrowing stories of danger and risk and miraculous tales of courage and sacrifice.
By reading about the humility of Alvin York, the courageous conviction of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the strong faith of Jackie Robinson, and the missionary heart of George Liele, boys will come away with an inspiring vision of manhood. But even more, they’ll encounter a personal God who strengthens His children “with all power, according to his glorious might” (Colossians 1:11). Rather than feeling the need to live up to impossible standards, they’ll see that true power comes from God, and the same God who strengthened the men in this book will empower readers to walk in His strength right where they are. 

My Review

Great for any age/gender! I learned so much through the lives of the men in this book, even though it is technically geared towards teen boys. I believe it will be great for that age group and important for them to read about men of the faith and how we can apply the character traits each man showed into our own lives. Boys nowadays look to sports players, musicians, actors, etc. as role models. I believe we need to instill in our children, boys or girls, the importance of faith in their lives. To show them the stories of Christian men and women who lived their faith out, who were lights in this world, who sometimes suffered persecution to get God’s Word out. We need to encourage them to be the men and women God wants them to be. I loved this book, and I highly recommend it to all Christians. I also love how at the end of each chapter their are questions for you to ponder to further apply the lesson learned from the man of faith.

**I received a copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.