Monday, August 13, 2018

Book Review: The Hundred Story Home by Kathy Izard

This is a story about Kathy Izard's life that was inspired by the book  "Same Kind of Different As Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, about their story of meeting when Denver was homeless. Kathy starts the book off by talking about her life growing up, how she met her husband, and her children. She then goes into the story of how she was called from serving the homeless in a way where she didn't communicate with them that much to being responsible for helping to make it possible that some of the people that were homeless in her city be given places to live. She took on a huge responsibility and saw many ways God showed up to make what Denver encouraged her to do to help the homeless more a reality.

Kathy's story really encouraged me since I also was inspired by reading "Same Kind of Different As Me". It encouraged me more that we should give no and low income people the same chance to learn and participate as everybody else in congregations because that's what ministry should include with the other ways it helps no and low income people outside of congregation buildings. It's different to what Kathy was called to since I don't have to try to convince congregation leaders and other people to help with housing people that are homeless but to offer them free and/or discounted books or other resources, and a chance to go on congregation trips, and participate in meals during Biblical feasts. I guess Kathy's story inspired me to want a different kind of housing for people that are homeless, which is the ability to have congregation homes for some people that don't have any when they are sometimes missing the learning and community that are often needed to be included better in a congregation family.

I liked Kathy's humility that she wasn't able to do what she was called to alone and listed many people in the back of the book who helped her, and most of all that she gave the credit to God for the many ways he stepped in to allow people who seemed to feel unseen a chance to be seen through the people that cared for them in the ministry, the people that supported the ministry in helping them, and probably other people who treated them differently when they had homes to live in.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free 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.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Praying the Promises of God by Linda Evans Shepherd

Praying God's Promises is a book that lists a lot of God's promises that are in the Bible. For each of the promises listed out by Scripture there is an agreement / declaration written out so the reader can speak of that promise to God through prayer. The promises are divided into chapter topics and then categories within some of the chapters making it easy for readers to come back to find those promises listed when they need to. Some of God's names are listed in a Name above All Names section at the end of the stories in each chapter before God's promises are listed which are related to the topics which tie into to the chapter topics also.

I don't recall coming across a book like this before; it actually encourages me to bring the promises up to God while in prayer for certain things. What I found interesting is that not the same Bible translation is always used for the Scriptures that are shared; one Scripture uses the NIV version while another uses another translation such as NLV, ESV, GW, etc. Some translations are used more than once though. I also found it interesting that at some places of the book Linda explained stories that someone else shared with her about something great that God did and she would wonder if they mentioned a certain Scripture when praying about certain people that the great things happened to and I think I recall the answer always being yes.

A highlight for me was when I came across Psalm 72 in the story before one of the sections of promises in chapter 3 were highlighted about the needy, the poor, and those who need help to be rescued (Psalm 72:12). And also Hebrews 13:16 in the promises section in the same chapter about doing good for others and sharing with those in need. That was important to me because I hope to see more people defending the poor, the needy, and those that need help in the future.

I have used one of Linda's books a lot called When You Need a Miracle so it felt like another blessing to read this book tooI have prayed one of the sets of prayers in When You Need a Miracle nearly every day for almost a decade now when I have dealt with spiritual warfare about something I had no control over and didn't understand. So since that book has helped me through that part of my life I believe this one will help with another part of it with me sometimes needing to mention Scripture promises when I talk to God in prayer.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free for the purpose of reviewing it. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

the Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi by Kathie Lee Gifford

the Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi takes people along on a trip Kathie Lee Gifford took to Israel with a group of people that were invited on the trip. A Messianic rabbi named Jason comes alongside her in this book to go deeper into some Jewish words and meanings to help readers understand more from a Jewish perspective. Not every chapter has input from Jason but the input he does give is a lot to me. The chapters throughout the book go over different places in Israel Kathie and her group traveled to and had spiritual experiences at. Each chapter lists a Scripture verse at the beginning related to what the chapter is about. She even touches on the Jewish Festivals. She also shares some about her late husband in a very touching way.

It was great to read about this side of Kathie because I knew she is a TV cohost but didn't know about her love of Israel until I read this book or that she has some Jewishness inside of her.

Usually I get tired of hearing about people's trips to Israel because a lot of people go on congregation trips with some of the congregations I have attended. The first year or two of listening about them was fine for me but I got to feeling left out and probably many others did too. Hearing about Kathie's trip with a group a people seemed fine for me though maybe because it sounded like the people that went on the trip went as a gift that was given to them, which according the stories from participants in the back of the book it was a beautiful gift to some and maybe even all of them. I hope many more people will consider giving people the gift of a trip to Israel, especially people that have gone many times.

It seems like a lot of the Hebrew words and definitions that were shared in this book I had not learned before. I also think Jason's input will be helpful for people seeking to know some deeper meanings of the Bible from a Hebrew perspective.

One of the big things I learned that seemed really deep to me is that Jesus (Yeshua) wasn't really a carpenter but a stone mason based on a teaching Kathie received from their tour guide Ray Vander Laan.

I liked that the Jewish Festivals were touched on in the chapter about Jerusalem since I think that people get a different experience when commemorating them there probably.

I think this book was so deep to me that I could pick it up again and have different information pop out at me. I think probably everybody will get a different experience from the insights from Kathie and her group's travel experience to Israel.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free 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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Specialty Bible Review BIBLEFORCE: The First Heroes Bible

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

To me this is a storybook that describes different parts of Scripture. To start out with this BIBLEFORCE: The First Heroes Bible describes some important about the Bible including how the Bible books are broken out, maps about different topics, a timeline, and other important information regarding the Bible. It highlights different people in the Bible that it considers heroes and lists some important details about them before their story told about them from the Bible in storybook format. Each story has the Scripture it came from listed under the title of the story so if children want they can go read the Scriptures the stories came from for themselves or have it read to them.

I found this storybook Bible very interesting as an adult so I think children will like it so much more. The pictures were very colorful and I feel they will capture children's attention and bring them deeper into the Biblical stories. I sometimes looked up the Scriptures that the stories represented and they seemed to follow them very well. Sometimes I felt like they were condensed and fictionalized a little bit to help children and other people reading it to understand what might have happened if it was unknown in relation to Scripture, and that information had to have been unknown anyway since we don't really know what the people's clothes looked like or exactly what the people in the Bible looked like during those times either.

I also found that this storybook Bible focused on some books of the Bible more than others but I am glad it went in the order that most Bibles I have read go in. When it got to the New Testament I'm glad it spent a decent amount of time talking about Jesus (Yeshua). I found most of the stories to be common stories that are taught a lot in children's Bible school classes but occasionally ran across ones that I don't think are as common, like some of the stories about Paul from the book of Acts.

Some highlights for me were how one story described how the 12 stones of Israel came to be in Joshua 4 and when Jesus was asked when God would give the Kingdom back to Israel from Acts 1.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this Bible free 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.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Book Review: Joey by Jennifer Marshall Bleakley

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

Kim has a dream to operate a place where hurting children connect with horses that were also hurt and neglected. It seems impossible but when she finds God's guidance He makes her dream possible. Joey is the first horse she takes and is a very special horse; he's blind but he has a way of being used to heal emotional wounds through the ways he relates to hurting people and other horses. Speckles is also a special kind of horse but has been so abused he has a lot of problems. When Kim and some other people at Hope Reins discover how to help him he is given a chance to thrive. All the horses in the story help bring a lot of hope into children's lives.

This story shows how Kim, the volunteers of Hope Reins, and their spouses and children had sacrificial spirits of allowing their loved ones to give their time and love to the children and horses and often also giving their time and love to them as well. There are some group discussion questions at the back of the book to help individuals and people in groups think deeper about what they read also.

I don't usually read stories about horses but felt drawn to this story somehow. I learned pretty soon after starting this book that it carries a "hope" theme that keeps happening in my life. I didn't realize it until near the end of the story when I noticed the photos in the back of the book but this story of Hope Reins is true. Kim, Joey, the other horses, and other people in the story are not made up.

I liked Joey's demeanor which to me seemed to be calm and loving. I really like how Kim and the people of Hope Reins saw the beauty and worthiness in the horses who had been abused in the past and the children they helped.

I liked how the services of Hope Reins were free in the story because people often don't get the help they need because of lack of finances and that was one less worry that the parents of the children had to worry about. I also liked how it was shared what kind of special events were created to help awareness, raise funds, and generate volunteers. It was also interesting to me to learn how it came to be that the author wrote this story.

Even though there is some sadness in this story hope radiated throughout its pages to me!

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free for the purpose of reviewing it. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Book Review: Defeating Dementia by Richard Furman

"Defeating Dementia" helps people understand Dementia and how it relates to Alzheimer's Disease. Richard Furman is a medical professional who shares his research about how he discovered eating bad fats, being overweight, and not exercising at all or enough contribute to our chances of getting Alzheimer's Disease. It will also help people who already have Alzheimer's Disease to try to stop it from progressing so fast by making lifestyle changes. A story about someone he knew with Alzheimer's Disease is shared alongside his research which takes readers with her through some of her experiences with Alzheimer's and how she changed as it progressed.

I was interested in reading this book because Alzheimer's Disease has hit a lot of my family members on one side of my family and I wanted to see if there is anything I can do to lessen my chances of getting it.

This book opened my eyes about some of the foods I have been eating that contain bad fats. I also learned about beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles and how they effect our health. I have not been diagnosed with high cholesterol but it seems to happen to people in my age group sometimes so reading this book helped me to want to start watching the foods I eat better. I am going to try to make a list of foods that I currently eat that don't have saturated fat in them and find some other foods I can eat without it also.

I learned that there is something really bad for my arteries in the beloved frozen yogurt I ate almost every day for about a decade, but the good news is I heard that refrigerated yogurt is better for me, which I have enjoyed eating also. Cream (which is in the frozen yogurt I had been eating a lot of) is in some of the foods I didn't think about it being in before. I haven't totally given up the frozen yogurt yet but I plan to, or to only eat it occasionally. Also, I don't eat a lot of butter on purpose (I rarely use it to spread on foods or cook with) but I feel better knowing that I can use olive oil has a healthier substitute, even on bread, which I tried and it is a good taste for me. I have felt soooo much better so far from not eating as many foods that have cream in them over a short timeframe of about two weeks so I believe the advice to not eat it is a great one and I hope to replace any other foods I eat that have cream in them with healthier alternatives soon.

One of the things I had a hard time with in this book is that the author recommends fish and it sounded to me like seafood in general as being healthier than red meat, which is probably true if there is a lot of bad fat in red meat. I do think some kinds of seafood are good for us but there are some in the Bible that are considered unclean so I couldn't take in that as a great alternative for myself, and I'm not a seafood eater anyway. I do like that he talks about chicken being a healthier option than red meat though, which is one of my favorite foods.

One other thing I had a hard time with is that he frowns upon snacking, although he gives some good snacking options. I try to eat small things throughout the day (every couple of hours or so) and a big meal at dinner and it seems to help my metabolism. I can see where eating fewer meals a day would be a recommendation from him though but I know it's not for me because I would rather have my calories spread out throughout the day. If I can learn to take in fewer calories while eating three meals a day I might consider this recommendation though.

I also added 10 minutes to my daily workout that I usually do 6 days a week, accepting the author's suggestion of working out 30 minutes a day (on days I can exercise more), which I think also added to me feeling better in such a short time.

Reading about Mrs. Dell alongside of the information presented was very interesting to me. It seems that the suffering she endured having Alzheimer's Disease is probably going to help hopefully a lot of people who read this book either to try to change their lives to reduce their risk of getting Alzheimer's Disease, and possibly help people to change their lives to make the disease not progress as fast, and educate family members and friends of people who have Alzheimer's Disease by reading about what it was like for her.

Coming across this book has been such a blessing to me! I am so glad Richard Furman shared about his experiences of being a doctor and how eating bad fats hurt our arteries going to the heart and brain. Not only has this book encouraged me to eat differently and add to my daily workout but it also has helped me understand what some of my family members who had / have Alzheimer's Disease were / are going through and I believe it will help many other people too.

My review= 4.5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free for the purpose of reviewing it. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Book Blog Tour: Pelican Point by Irene Hannon

Pelican Point is a special attraction of Hope Harbor and it's at risk for being bought by someone who might not keep it around. This brings the town together for a common goal of trying to save it because it means so much to them. Marci is juggling many hats, two of which include putting together a team to try to work hard on saving Pelican Point and working for a publication. Her first run in with Ben is not the best in the world, he was trying to do something kind but she thought he was out to be hurtful. Someone comes into town who does not have the best interest in mind of the people she's watching and nobody can really know just how dangerous she might be.

The fact that Marci and Ben did not have a great run in the first time they met shows me that the first impression may not always the best one. It shows that even God can put people in each other lives through a situation that seems bad but really isn't always as bad as it seems.

Not only did I enjoy reading about Marci and Ben's story but I enjoyed reading about Rachel and Greg's, also, who are married and have with some challenges throughout parts of the story. Rachel worked for Marci and Greg was trying to figure out how to move on with his life after something tragic happened to him.

I liked how the novel brought people from other Hope Harbor stories into it, a main one being Charley, the man who runs the taco stand.

I really liked seeing a new part of Hope Harbor through this story because I don't remember the other novels in this series mentioning it had a lighthouse nor could I picture one in the town.

I have enjoyed the Hope Harbor series so much and I'm glad it isn't over yet!

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.