Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book Review - Bible Now!

Bible Now!: 101 Amazing Stories for Today's Young Readers is a good children's Bible for ages 4-8. Many of the familiar stories from the Old and New Testament are available in this Bible.   Each Bible story starts with a one to two page summary.   It concludes with the key verse in the CEV (Contemporary English Version) and illustrations with simple sentences to describe each animated scene.

This is the Bible I normally use with my twin 7 year olds and my 4 year old on Saturday mornings after breakfast.  The twins read the first part.  Their younger sister gets a chance to "read" it when we review the story again by reading the animated part of the story.  Even after we are finished my 4 year old will especially continue to "read" it by looking at the pictures and trying to retell the story.

I bought 3 so each of my children can have their own book.  I would buy it as a gift for another child.  I recommend this children's Bible to read together or for independent readers.

Rating: 4 stars

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review - Fresh Brewed Life

The Fresh-Brewed Life by Nicole Johnson is a wake-up call to many areas of your life...longings, beauty, anger, sexuality and relationships.   The author talks about coffee to illustrate her points.   Fresh brewed coffee is warm and inviting.  When you are in a coffee shop and smell that rich aroma you might want to sit awhile.   Coffee wakes you stimulates you.   Johnson is trying to wake us up to a richer, stimulating, fresh-brewed life in God.

The best part of this book for me was the encouragement to journal.  Journaling is something that I have done on and off again.  Johnson said that “journaling gives us the opportunity to learn by paying writing what’s happening and what we are feeling and thinking about what’s happening, we can look at the pieces and study them more closely.”  I agree that journaling helps me to focus my thoughts.   I would write my prayers to God, tell HIm about my day and ask questions.   I would write down what I “heard” even if I did not understand what it meant.  I found that my conversations with God in my journal would be relevant to me in the future.    I had put down my pen because I became too busy.   The Fresh-Brewed Life  was a wake-up call to begin again.  It feels good to journal.  It is like me writing to my future self.

The chapter on anger was also very good.  I felt the author really let us get close to her in this chapter. The ongoing presence of anger indicates a problem.  We have to ask ourselves the right questions to determine the source of our anger.

Below are some notes and quotes I wrote in my own journal while reading this book.

“Be kind to yourself.  Shaming yourself will not bring about change.”

“God wakes up the soul.  Be honest to have an honest relationship with God.”

“We were made by him, and our souls are not ultimately satisfied by less than him.”

“Our Christian faith is not about trying to kill legitimate longings; it’s about surrendering those longings to Christ.”

This book helped me get back to journaling which is why I am glad I read Fresh-Brewed Life.   We have to go beyond the surface and let God stir up our sleepy souls for something better for His glory.

The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through BookSneeze®.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Time4Learning Review is Coming Soon

I am on a new adventure...homeschooling!   My seven year old twins are in an online public charter school. My youngest is 4 years old, but her birthday is after the cut off date for her to enter kindergarten in the fall.   So the question is do I send her back to her current preschool for grade K or homeschool her myself.   Time4Learning might be the answer for me.

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Book Review - The Person I Marry

How soon should you start to talk about marriage with your children?  The conversation can start very early with the book The Person I Marry: Things I'll Think About Long Before Saying "I Do" by Gary & Jan Bower.  It is a wonderful rhyme that gets your child thinking about who to marry.

"It's 'who' not what that makes a great wedding.

The clothing you wear and the flowers you carry

Don't matter as much as the person you marry.

After reading this book your child will know that the person they marry should be kind, courteous,  generous, thoughtful, considerate, steadfast, optimistic, honest, joyful,  able to laugh, forgiving, patient, faithful... Sounds like an impossible list of qualities to have in one person.   This is not so impossible when the one who is a ‘keeper’ serves the Lord.

“This person must be someone who will cherish me as Number Two.

Oh, I’ll be deeply loved, of course.

But I can’t be my partner’s source.

When everything is said and done,

God must be our Number One."
You can read this book all at once or read a few pages at a time to discuss each quality about your child’s future mate in more detail.    Make sure to take time to enjoy the beautiful oil paintings of children having fun.  The illustrations definitely enhance the rhyme.

This book could be used in your child's Sunday School class, but I see something even greater than just use in a youth class. Why not have a combined family Sunday School class that has the children and parents reading this book together? The adults, teens and children could all benefit by gathering around this book to help build a generation that understands God's design for marriage.

This book is definitely a keeper for my children’s library.  I borrowed it from the library and now I need my own copy.   My family and I will read this book through the years to plant wisdom about marriage. 

“I set my standards long ago

when I was just a little kid.

I set them high: I’m glad I did.

The vows I’ll say I mean to keep,

so I’ll look hard before I leap.”

Please visit the Bower Family Books website for more wonderful books like this one.

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