Monday, June 26, 2017

Book Blog Tour: Israel - God's Heart by Kathleen Barrett, Aerial Photography by Ron Gafni

Israel - God's Heart will give you much visualization of the beautiful land of Israel. The aerial photographs show some of the places, animals, and nature of Israel. There are photographs of well-known places like the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, and some maybe not so well-known places like the Cattle Car Memorial and the Port of Haifa. There are also some photographs of people enjoying the land. Bible verses are displayed throughout the book to help set the mood of the photographs. There are descriptions close to the photographs that explain what the attractions are and where they are located.

I was glued to this whole book one afternoon until I finished it. The tourist attractions were very interesting for me to read about and look at the pictures of.

This book helped open up my mind to how the Romans lived in the land of Israel. It had not reached my mind from reading Bible scripture that they were there in the flesh until I saw pictures of Caesarea, the remains of a Roman Amphitheatre, and other Roman buildings.

The most interesting part of the book was seeing what the modern town of Nazareth looks like. It is much more built up than I imagined from Scripture and it made me wonder if there were anywhere close to that many buildings there during Bible times.

I liked seeing pictures of the Dead Sea, since I use skin products made with ingredients from it. I also liked seeing some the beautiful fields which contain rows and rows of colorful buttercups.

This book brought me one step closer to understanding what being in Israel is like for tourists and people studying about the land!

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free for the purpose of writing a review.

Book Blog Tour Landing page:

Flipbook link:

About the author and aerial photographer:

Ron Gafni works as a professional aerial photographer after spending more than a decade in Israel's High-Tech Industry. He brings his vast experience and personal perspective through the lens of a proud Israeli citizen. His work has been featured in "National Geographic," and his company,, provides books from its "Israel From Above" collection to the Israeli government, Army and Air force, as well as to large corporations in Israel. 
Kathleen Barrett, a south Florida resident and former teacher is a student of the Word. She shares her thoughtful point of view in "Israel-God's Heart" from a personal, 40 year walk of Christian faith and study. In 2002, she authored a children's devotional. Before that and since then, she has published numerous articles from mission's outreach to local political events. Her more personal and reflective work has been featured in a number of collections.
Find out more at

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Review: The Book of Greens by Jenn Louis with Kathleen Squires

This book is full of recipes for healthy greens that are full of different vitamins. It shows how to take care of the greens after you buy them, how to prepare them, and how to cook them so they will maintain their appropriate taste and texture. It gives an introduction to each of the kind of greens that are used, as well as lists different varieties of the greens, what season to use them, how to choose, clean, store, and refresh them. It gives cooking methods, other food items that pair well with them, and usually a picture of each type of green, and one picture of a recipe within the group of recipes included (from what I noticed). There are a variety of recipes to use hot or cold.

This cookbook has been helpful to me because I was interested in learning about which greens have Vitamin K in them, which I try to eat a vegetable that contains Vitamin K at least once a day. I often fall short of that goal, so I just bought some Vitamin K vitamins to help make up for the days I don't get to eat them.

A lot of the recipes seem kind of complex to me, I think because I am not used to cooking with greens and usually eat them only in salads. It has helped me to understand that a lot of greens are available at Farmer's Markets. I like the recipes will challenge my cooking skills!

There was one part of the book that lists a theory from someone else that used some bad language in it that I would have rather not read. I am thinking of tearing that page out of the book so I will not come across it again because all the rest of the book seems helpful to me.

This book helped show me some more interesting ways to cook greens, especially with meats.
It is full of recipes to help make eating greens more interesting. I hope to try out some of the recipes soon!

My review= 4.5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free from Blogging for Books for the purpose of reviewing it.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Review: The One Year Book of Hope Devotional by Nancy Guthrie

This is a wonderful book of 52 weeks worth of devotions. Each week gives 6 devotions. The devotions focus on hope. A lot of the devotions share Nancy Guthrie's experiences and how the hard experiences she has faced can show others that their lives can be turned around by a lot of hope. Most devotions have a Bible verse at the top of the page, a story, prayer, and digging deeper tidbit that encourages readers to go deeper in the Bible about the topic. Usually at the end of the week there is a reflection, meditation, and prayer.

This book has been such an encouragement to me over the last year or so. I was thrilled to learn that the author is/was a part of GriefShare, which I was a part of some of their small groups. I recognize her now from the videos we watched in class. Nancy's stories of some of the hardships she and her husband went through have helped give me so hope to overcome challenges and hardships also. She showed me that no matter what you go through even if you have the wrong responses and attitudes at first or many times you can learn to practice the right responses and attitudes with a little or a lot of practice.

Such a huge blessing to read this devotional! I hope many others will be encouraged by it!

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

Friday, June 9, 2017

Specialty Bible Review: Kids' NIV Visual Study Bible

This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.

This Kids' NIV Visual Study Bible is filled with a lot of information, such as Bible book introductions, notes on the sidelines of the Bible text, illustrations, photographs, charts, and maps. It contains over 700 visual images and will help children have a deeper understanding and meaning of what they read in the Bible. The information included on the pages applies to the parts of Scripture they are posted around from what I noticed, so they will not have to flip between pages of Scripture often when studying the notes. Beginning pages before the Scriptures start include a presented to page, introduction page, table of contents, alphabetical order of the books of the Bible, and preface. Ending pages after the Scriptures end include a table of weights and measures, infographics index, maps index of maps used throughout the Bible, and colored maps.

This specialty Bible contains additional features on every page of Scripture from what I noticed. Some pages include only sidebar study notes, while others contain notes and other information, such as a photograph, illustration, or chart. I only noticed one piece of information per every two pages they were used on besides the study notes, which I think is good since I think it won't overwhelm children with information.

I wish I would've had this Bible as a child and youth! The information included in this Bible has been great for me as an adult, and helped me to understand what I was reading a lot better. I have even thought about using this Bible as the main study Bible I use because the information given has made my Bible reading much deeper. For instance, in the book of Ruth it lists a map of Elimelek and Naomi's journey. And in the book of Ezra it lists a picture chart of the number of temple treasures given and another for gifts for God's house, as well as shows a drawing of Zerubbabel's temple. So, I think some (and maybe many) adults can also benefit from the information in this Bible, because a lot of times adults don't understand the deeper meaning of what they read and need it opened up for them like I believe the information in this specialty Bible does a great job of doing!

I'm so glad to come across this specialty Bible that I believe will help children to become more interested in what they read in the Bible. I believe it will reveal just how interesting God is and what Biblical times were like.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this Specialty Bible free for the purpose of reviewing it. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Book Review: Indescribable Coloring Book

This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read. It is also meant for adults who like coloring books to read.

This coloring book is 96 pages long. It  includes pictures to color associated with the lyrics from the song Indescribable by Laura Story and Jesse Reeves and also recorded by Chris Tomlin. It goes through the entire song in order. The song lyrics are on the right-hand side of the book with illustrations, and only illustrations are on the left-hand side of the book. It focuses on God's creation of animals and nature. It will give people many hours of coloring, and will also help people to meditate on what the verses of the song mean. The illustrations provide detail which are great for thin markers, gel pens, and colored pencils.

Coloring in this coloring book gave me some much needed time to destress. The pages of this book are pretty big to me, which gave a lot of room for coloring. The pages also feel thick to me. Most of the markers I used didn't bleed through them. The gel pens I used didn't bleed through them, although I can see some darkened shading through a page I used the gel pens on.

I love the idea of using song lyrics for a coloring book. I was kind of surprised that there were no people drawn in the book to color (since we are one of God's creation too), but as I read the lyrics, I realized the song really doesn't really focus on us and it is about animals, nature, the moon and sun, etc.

This would be a good book for people to learn the lyrics of the song Indescribable (adults and children). I didn't realize it until now but I remembered I taught a small group of children how to sing Indescribable a couple of years or so ago, and this book would've been nice for them to have to help learn the song and to color in at the same time.

My review= 4.5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Book Review: Ruth: Discovering Your Place in God's Story by Eugene H. Peterson

This is a Drawn in Bible Study about the Biblical book of Ruth. It takes you through the whole book of Ruth with The Message translation. It breaks it up into sections and then has questions to answer personally or in a group. Alongside the Scriptures and the questions there are pictures associated with the book of Ruth that can be colored before, during, or after the information is read and the questions are answered. The questions will help the participants to discover how the book of Ruth might have similarities with their lives in some ways.

One of the first things that got my attention while going through this Bible study, and that I don't remember coming across while reading the book of Ruth before, is that Naomi's family were Ephrathites, which means to me that they might have been from the tribe of Ephraim even though they were from Bethlehem in Judah.

I learned more about Boaz as well, like about how he was connected to Naomi's family. I also remembered Naomi being a bitter woman from reading the book of Ruth in the past and this Bible study showed me her heart got softer as the story went along.

I am not a big fan of The Message translation so I looked up the Bible verses in another translation after I read them in this book.

I loved the option of being able to color pictures about the book of Ruth as I was reading and writing in this book. Some of the questions in the book really made me think deeper!

My Review= 4.5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free for the purpose of reviewing it.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Book Review: Stumbling on History by Fern Schumer Chapman

This is an interesting book about an art project of Stumbling Stones to help mark the lives Holocaust victims in more than 1,000 cities throughout Germany, France, Denmark, Poland, Italy, and Austria. Each Stumbling Stone cost about $133 each. It focuses on the story of Edith Westerfield, a Holocaust survivor and what she and her family endured during the Holocaust. It is written by her daughter Fern.

I really enjoyed reading how an art project has helped to create some healing to victims of the Holocaust.

I connected well with a part in this book about what Edith endured as a Jewish child in her class, with sitting alone in the corner, and being sort of bullied (or mocked) by her classmates and teacher (for me mostly the teachers). I endured that kind of thing in congregation life when I was going through one of the hardest times in my life.

I loved reading about the apologies that were offered to the Schumer's for what their family and other Jewish people went through, in which were extended through people from Germany and also some Christian people.

This is a book I can pick up again and again and find something deeper each time. It has helped me to realize that there were so many levels of hurt associated with the Holocaust, at so many different places around the world.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free for the purpose of reviewing it.