Thursday, November 30, 2017

Book Review: The Daily Question: My 5-Year Spiritual Journal by Waterbrook

This is a 5-Year Spiritual Journal that asks readers both spiritual and non-spiritual questions every day of the year. The non-spiritual questions tie in very much to people's spiritual lives as well though. Many of the questions focus on God, Jesus (Yeshua), and Scripture and a lot of questions are about things even some non-spiritual/religious people might feel comfortable answering. The people that use this journal will read through the same questions every year to see how their answers will be different or the same and their answers will show them how they may have progressed or regressed in those areas. Each page has a place to insert the year and the answers to the questions for all 5 years. 

The questions in this journal are thought-provoking to me. They all seem like easy questions but some of the questions I haven't really thought about before and have not written my thoughts down about them. Some are more harder for me to think about than others though. Since I have only been through a good portion of the November questions so far I do not yet know how different my answers will be to the same questions in the coming years but it will be interesting to see how I've changed and stayed the same.

I have never run into a journal like this before that I remember and I am glad it was made! I feel like this journal would be good for all kinds of people of different ages no matter where they are in their lives, whether they are a little spiritual, more spiritual, or want to learn about how they can connect better to God, Jesus, and other people. I feel like some of the questions will help some spiritual seekers and/or people that want discover more about themselves and how Scripture can fit into their lives and to think about questions to topics they might have not thought about before.

My Review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Specialty Bible Review: NIV, Thinline Bible by Zondervan

I think this NIV, Thinline Bible is as close to the original Bible that I have read without commentaries, pictures, and photos. The front of the Bible is black and blank, and the words "Holy Bible", "NIV", and "Zondervan" are on the side of the Bible. The Bible starts off with a presented to page, intro page, Table of Contents (both in the order of the Bible and alphabetical), and Preface before the Bible text starts. Jesus' (Yeshua's) words are found in red in this Bible. It comes with tabs on the sides of some of the Bible pages to mark the approximate location of each of the Bible books with two to four Bible book abbreviations per tab. There are also notes at the bottom of the Bible text throughout the Bible explaining different things about the text. It comes with a soft cover that can be laid flat and a Bible cloth marker. There are no maps at the back of the Bible, after the Biblical text there is a Table of Weight and Measures and that is the last page.

The first thing I remember noticing about this Bible is that some of the pages were tabbed to mark the Bible books, which is uncommon with specialty Bibles I have reviewed up to this point. I love this feature because I end up putting pre-made Bible sticker tabs on some of the Bibles I use! The tabs make it easier for me to locate the Bible books faster than just looking them up in the Table of Contents.

For people that are reading straight from Scripture, the notes at the bottom of Scripture will be easy to find when they see the letter that is beside the part of Scripture that the notes are about. As I read through the Bible books of Esther and Philemon, the notes were kind of helpful. It was good to learn more about the variants of the Hebrew names Jeconiah and Bigthan in the book of Esther. It was good to know that the notes were there even though I didn't use the notes feature very much. For people that are just randomly looking at notes at the bottom of the Bible text, they may find it harder to locate the portion of Scripture the notes refer to since the number of the Bible book and verse are not listed, just the verse.

This probably would be a great Bible for many people that need one to tuck into a suitcase, bag, or purse to have available at different times! The text is smaller than some Bibles I have read but it is not as small as a mini Bible I have read before and also maybe the perfect size text for this size Bible!

My Review= 4.5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this Specialty 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.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Review: Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, Illustrations by Jill DeHaan and Rachel McNaughton

This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read. This review is also for adults since it reaches out to adults, also.

Much-Afraid is called on a journey to receive hinds' feet on high places (based on Habakkuk 3:19). She cannot believe God would send her on such a journey to get to those places by going through many difficult courses to get there. God travels with her for awhile and then he sends two companions to travel with her, although Much-Afraid does not start off liking the idea of traveling with them because of their names. God knows best though and Much-Afraid gets used to traveling with them and are glad that they are there with her. Along the way readers will be able to visualize Much-Afraid's journey through the illustrations, write information in memorial stones, color some small designs off to the sides of the pages, and color some pages at the end of book.

I was reminded through this book that God's ways are mysterious and often beyond our human thinking. I like that even though God went away for awhile that he did it in a way that Much-Afraid could know he was there and that he was always with her. I also liked that God gave Much-Afraid a new name that matched the work he did with her and that she would need at the high places he was sending her. I learned that at first people might not be happy with who God pairs them up to travel with on a spiritual journey (and people may feel the same way about traveling with them), but people can get used to each other and bond even though they are very different from each other.

I think this version of the book I read is different from some other versions out there which includes different places in the book to color. I think it probably reaches out to many age groups, children and adults alike.

My Review= 5 out of 5 stars

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

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Book Blog Tour: Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon

Trish is going through some hard times in her life and is watching out for her mother. Her mom tries to get her and a man she knows together but Trish hasn't been having a good feeling about that. On the night she tries to tell him that it won't work between the two of them, she finds something bad has happened and he tries to make it look like she could've contributed to that happening. Trish and the crime authorities have no other option then to think that she could've been the cause. Colin, one of the crime authorities, starts to have feelings for Trish and when the case looks like it has come to a close he starts to spend time with her even though she is thought of as accidentally causing the devastation to happen. Strange things start to happen and the story takes a big turn in another direction.

I learned through this story that some of people I thought were acting like good guys weren't actually like that. I liked that two people that didn't appear to really be actively seeking someone tried at a relationship despite difficult circumstances. I also liked that it showed that people can lose friends when they are trying to take care of family situations but that there are people who can see their worth in spite of being friendless.

This is a book I had to pay attention to the details of and when I followed them I understood what was going on. I like the twists and turns this book takes you through. Sometimes when I thought something had happened it turned out that it didn't. There was a time I thought that this is not how most books end and then I was taken through more twists and turns. The story showed me that even though something looks a certain way that sometimes that is not always the way it happened.

I hope to see all/some of Irene Hannon's books in a television series and/or films in the future, including this one because they keep me on the edge of my seat when reading them. I also think more people can be reached through them through the screen who wouldn't normally read any/many books.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

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

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Book Review: Same Kind of Different As Me: Special Movie Edition by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, with Lynn Vincent

This is a true story that is told in the voices of Ron Hall and Denver Moore. The chapters go back and forth between Ron's and Denver's point of view, often about the same things. They became lifelong friends after Ron's wife Deborah encouraged Ron to become friends with Denver. Denver was an angry man with a lot of baggage when he first came into Ron and Deborah's life at the mission but Deborah was sure he was the man she saw in her dream that was going to change the mission in a great way. Ron tried what seemed like many times to befriend Denver and eventually he broke through the walls that were up around him. The story focuses a lot on the topic of homelessness and how Ron, Deborah, and Denver relied on God's help to help and serve what Deborah referred to as God's people. It shows that no matter rich or poor we can each learn something from the other and are not really all that different in the important way of trying to find our way home to God.

It really encouraged me to learn through this story that God can see right through to people's hearts and doesn't judge us by what we have gone through and are sorry about from the past; his plan for our lives will unfold if we allow him to unfold it regardless of what our pasts have been like. I noticed that even though Denver was an angry man during some of this story that he reached out to a person that needed it when he was feeling a lot of pain even when he (Denver) was going through painful experiences as well. It also showed me that some (and maybe many) people who don't have a lot of or any friends may have a need and desire for special kinds of friends such as those that will not release them as friends later when things get tough, like the kind of friends that Ron and Deborah became to Denver. It surprised me that there was a time that Ron thought that Denver might release him as a friend too.

This special movie edition contains some photos of Ron, Denver, Deborah, and some of their family and friends as well as a story about the making of the movie for this book.

I loved how the story weaved back and forth between Ron's and Denver's story until they met and how it continued to do that throughout the book. I liked how both Ron and Denver would share how much Deborah's influence helped them in their relationship and I started to think that there probably  could be many more books written about Deborah's impact on the lives of other people she served through God's help. Some parts of the book tugged at my heart and made me cry but I learned that even though what happened made Ron, his family, Denver, and a lot of other people feel sad it was actually a happy thing too.

Even though I think Ron Hall wanted this story to show the great things that Deborah and Denver did for others, Ron's examples of kindness, compassion, and love shine through in how he loved and cared for others in his life as well. This book has encouraged me to try to find the next step of what God wants to do with my life to try to find and reach out to people that need a lot of encouragement, hope, and love.

My review = 500 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.