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.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Speciality Bible Review: NKJV Deluxe Reader's Bible by Thomas Nelson

This NKJV Deluxe Reader's Bible is laid out differently than any Bible I ever remember reading before. The Bible chapter numbers are listed on the sides of the pages in the margins. There is a note at the end of the Bible explaining that the Typeface was commissioned by Thomas Nelson Publishers and designed by Klaus Krogh and Heidi Rand Sorensen of 2K/DENMARK in Aarhus, which explains to me why the layout is different.

At the top of the left side of every other page it lists what Bible book that page is on and at the top of the right side of every other page it lists what the topic of the text is at that point in Scripture.

Once the Bible text starts it goes straight through the Bible, I didn't notice any commentary or notes at the bottom of the pages, which would be good for readers that just want to read it without noticing extra information in the side bars or at the bottom of text. There are no maps, index, or concordance at the back of the Bible.

The layout definitely caught my attention more than anything about this Bible compared to others I have read. I thought maybe the layout may have some historical meaning from Biblical days and then I discovered the note about the special Typeface in the back of the book. I also learned from reading the Preface that the Typeface used in this Bible is supposed to help minimize distractions between the reader and the Biblical text. I like that is the goal of this Bible. For me, it was hard to understand when a new chapter began because it blended in with the other text but I think it may need some getting used to on my part and I will just need to pay attention to a bigger, red-faced colored number in the side margins to help me to understand a new chapter has begun.

I liked that there are two ribbons because I can mark two different points of Scripture. Having two helped me to remember I read the Bible books of Ezra and Colossians while reviewing this Bible, since I marked both of them. I don't remember ever reading a Bible that has two book markers so that is a unique feature to me.

My review= 4 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.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Book Review: In All Things by Melissa B. Kruger

This is a Bible study that focuses on joy in the Biblical book of Philippians. It takes readers deep into the Biblical book of Philippians while also using some other Bible verses to show how people in the Bible experienced joy in difficult times. Each chapter is split into sections by days 1-5 and on days 1-4 participants will observe, apply, and interpret the text; day 5 is a devotional. On days 1-4 participants will answer questions to help think about what they read from Scripture, and on day 5 the devotional helps it all come together and sink in. Sometimes the author gives examples of how something that has happened in her or someone she knows lives explain a little bit about some of the topics she is teaching about through Scripture and how they apply to their lives through those situations. There is also a group guide in the back of the book that give an ice breaker, and opening question, and more questions that apply to the Scriptures for each week's study.

I read through this whole book but only had time for one week of in-depth study at the point I am writing this review (and plan to continue on to finish all nine weeks, which will take me well over two months) since I needed to complete this book review before I could get through the whole study. I did see how the theme of "joy" during difficult times brought itself out when I took the time to read and meditate on Scripture the first week. It has also shown me just how deep the learning in this book is to have taken so much in through the first week's study (which I have paced out on different days and didn't complete it in a week).

I liked learning through the book of Philippians that they (the Philippian congregation) participated with Paul in the matter of giving in receiving according to Philippians 4:15 in the early days while it sounds like the other congregations maybe didn't, for some reason that stuck out to me the most while reading this book.

I discovered that the whole Biblical book of Philippians is printed in the back of the book of this uncorrected proof I received . For me personally I kind of wish it was at the beginning of the book (so that I knew it was there) but the sections of Scripture that were discussed were often printed with the group of discussion questions pertaining to that Scripture so it was not a big deal for me. I also liked to pull out my Bible and open it to the Scriptures given and read them that way.

I think both individuals and people in groups will benefit from participating in this study.

My review= 4.5 out of 5 stars

I received an uncorrected proof of this book from Blogging for Books for the purpose of reviewing it.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Book Review: Blessed Are The Misfits by Brant Hansen

This book is for a certain kind of people who feel left out of and have tried to fit into American church culture with no success. It is for people that are considered misfits, oddballs, introverts and other people that have a hard time fitting in (like the lonely, lost, disabled, poor, orphaned, prisoners, etc.). The author of this book describes himself as coming from this group of people and describes a lot of his struggles with fitting into the life of the church world. He uses humor and seriousness throughout the pages. Examples from Scripture during Bible times as well as from more recent times help make the point that these people were easily forgotten back then and still are.

In my opinion, the people that this book reaches out to are the very people that Jesus (Yeshua) reached out to a lot in Scripture. The author sharing his struggle and the pages of names of people (on the "Misfit Roll Call" in the back of the book) who feel like they relate to many of the ideas of this book really helped me to understand better that I am not alone. It helped me to feel less alone with my struggle of trying to fit into congregation life and showed me that even though it's hard for me to socialize like most people do that I am leaving people from the blessing of how I can somehow fit in and what my role(s) is/are in the body of Yeshua. I made a decision to keep attending a congregation I visit while reading this book when I was mostly going to try to worship individually at home so I feel like it has helped me a lot to change my thinking on that.

Even though the author stresses that people who don't fit into the category of people that this book reaches out to shouldn't read it, I feel like reading this book will also help people who are not in the category to understand these people better.

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.