Monday, November 30, 2015

Book Review - Called to Pray

Called to Pray by Linda Evans Shepherd could also be called Inspired to Pray.   This book is about answered prayers.   Reading and hearing about God answering another person's prayer is a powerful testimony and motivator for the rest of us.

After reading this book, you will remember to "trust in the Lord with all your heart" like it says in Proverbs 3:5.  The author wants us to pay attention to the promptings of God to pray for ourselves and others.   She created chapters to show us that we are called to pray for protection, rescue, needs, souls, breakthrough, guidance, miraculous wonders, encouragement, trust & faith and others.

You pray and trust God to handle the rest.   He does not always answer in the way you expect, but His answer is perfect.  I like the story of Todd, the college student who had a loan payment of $300 due soon.  He remembered the testimonies of others who received money in the mailbox just in time to meet the need.  So he thought God would do the same for him.   Did God provide for him?  Yes!   He gave him a paint job that paid the exact amount he needed.  It would have been easier to just receive in it his mailbox like others, but God answered his prayer.    The story was an example of asking for something and expecting to receive it a certain way.  Then God throws a curve ball to answer your need differently than you expected..  His ways are not our ways.

You can read this book straight through in order like you would a fiction book.  You can also read any prayer story out of order for just a few minutes.  It is a great way to start or end your day.  I recommend this book for yourself and as a gift to someone else.

Rating: 4 stars

I received a copy of this book from Revell publishing for an honest review.  

The book image is an affiliate link.  Read my disclosure page.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Review - I Can Read! Double Trouble

Double Trouble by Dandi Daley Mackall might grab your attention because of the cute horse on the cover.  This I Can Read book published by Zonderkidz has an important message about the truth and taking responsibilities for your actions.

Jen loved riding her horse, Bob.  One day, she rides Bob into a Mrs. Gray's flower garden.  It was not on purpose, but the flowers are ruined. She decides not to tell Mrs. Gray.   "It was such a little thing" so why not keep quiet.

Later, her horse starts to have a problem while walking.  The vet figures out the little thing that is causing a big problem.

Children can learn that not admitting when you are wrong is no small matter.   It affects you and the person you hurt.   

Young children and parents will enjoy this short story and beautiful illustrations.  

Rating: 4 stars

The book image is an affiliate link.  Read my disclosure page

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Review - Luther and Katharina

Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion by Jody Hedlund is about Martin Luther and his wife, Katharina.  Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation in Germany in the 16th century.   Luther was a former monk and preached against the Catholic church.  He was considered an enemy of the church.  He thought he could be killed at any time.

Katharina von Bora was a nun at the time she read Luther's writings. She became convinced that she could still serve God while not living a cloistered life.   Katharina and some of the other nuns decided to run away from the abbey to start a new life.   

Luther became responsible for the runaway nuns.   His goal was to find them a "suitable" man to marry or at least become employed by a family.   Katharina's goal was to get married and have children.   It did not seem like they would be suitable partners in love and ministry to each other.  Love bloomed between Luther and Katharina in the midst of external persecution and their own internal reservations about each other.  

There are many parts of the story that stand out.   One thing is Katharina's prayers.  Although she left the abbey, it still took her time to shed her past life.    Her prayers in the book shows how her relationship with God was maturing.

I loved this story because of the history.   I loved this story because of the spiritual and emotional transformation of Luther and Katharina.  I did not know much about Martin Luther.   While reading this book, I searched for more information about Luther and the Reformation. Historical fiction is at its best for me when I want to go beyond the story and read the history. 

I have already recommended this book to my local library who plans to order this book for circulation.  I have talked about it with my friends.   Do I like this book?  Absolutely!

You will want to read more books by Jody Hedlund.  Go to her website to discover her other books.    The Hearts of Faith series are about real people (missionaries and preachers).  You will want to dig deeper to find out more about the people she writes about.

Ratings:  4 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books for my opinion about this story.

The book image is an affiliate link. Read my disclosure page for more information.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Book Review - Teaching Christ's Children About Feeling Angry

Anger is a normal feeling.   What happens after we get angry can get us in trouble.   Teaching Christ's Children About Feeling Angry by Corine Hyman uses beautiful illustrations and the Word of God to help kids know the best way to respond to anger.

The story is told by a young girl, Tayniesha, who tells us about the times she gets mad.  Her brother teases her or she is told to stop something she wants to do are some reasons why she gets so upset.

Tayniesha does not handle her anger in the best way.   Her mom makes a wise choice and shows her daughter scriptures so she can learn how to handle her anger.   Her mom lets her daughter know that feeling angry is okay, but we must not sin.

This book is right on time for my family.  I have 10 year old boy/girl twins and a 6 year old daughter.  We are dealing with how to handle our anger.  I want my kids to know that anger is normal and okay. God shows us the best way to deal with such a powerful emotion.   I believe most children can relate to the girl in this book.  The situations she talks about are real and it's just enough to get your child to open up about their angry feelings.  This book will help me reinforce what my family has been discussing recently.   God's Word is powerful and this book uses scripture references and a short story to help our little ones to be their best.

You can read more about the author and her books on her website -

Rating: 4 stars

The book cover image will take you to this book on Amazon and it is an affiliate link.  Read my disclosure statement for more information.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book Review - More Than Just The Talk: Becoming Your Kids’ Go-to Person about Sex

Do I need just one big, huge Talk with my kids about sex?  Of course not.  There is too much to cover and teach in just one conversation.    A good relationship with your children and ongoing conversations about sex will help your kids see sex as God designed.  More Than Just The Talk: Becoming Your Kids’ Go-to Person about Sex by Jonathan McKee is the book to help parents communicate that sex is good between married couples.  

Do not present sex as something that is bad because it is not.  It is wonderful in God’s plan.  We have to be careful not to say sex is naughty because it is right in a covenant, married relationship with your spouse. When kids have sexual thoughts, will they think they are bad because of the message we communicate about sex? The author gives clear examples of how to react to TV shows and music with sexual content.  We can either overreact or calmly explain what might happen to a character on a show that is acting irresponsible.

This book is right for this time in my life.  I have twins who just turned 10 years old.   I know a willingness to talk openly about sex will help my children.  Some things that are discussed in this book may make you uncomfortable because you are not ready to discuss such a personal subject.  This author wants us to know that kids and the messages around them is already talking about sex.  It’s just that the messages are filled with lies.   The world boldly declares that sex when you want it is good.  Parents have to be bold enough to speak the truth about sex.

The task of talking about sex with your children can be difficult.   More Than Just The Talk is what can get you through this awkward subject with your kids.  

Rating: 4 stars

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review...good or bad.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Book Review - Now & Forever

Now and Forever by Mary Connealy is book two in the Wild at Heart series.  Shannon and her sisters have been posing as men while fighting in the Civil War and homesteading.  Shannon has a love for sheep like The Good Shepherd.  Matthew is a mountain man who lives by himself.  His skills have made him a legend.   He prefers to be alone and only deals with people when necessary.

They met before, but their relationship is established by a wild adventure.  How could a couple not be bonded after running from a bear and falling into a dangerous river?   For about three chapters, we read about Shannon Wilde and Matthew Tucker as they struggle to survive.  Matthew learned that Shannon can take care of herself and him.

Many people are involved in their search and rescue - Shannon’s sisters & Matthew’s mountain men friends and family.  The teasing done by Matthew’s friends was so funny to me once they were found.   It also reminded me how different things are today.  A woman alone with a man back then for a long period of time almost means marriage.

The rest of the book is about Shannon and Matthew learning how to get along and figuring out who is trying to drive her off her land.   The villain in this book is scary.  You know who he is at the beginning, but he becomes more intense and dangerous as the story progresses.  

I like how the women in this book are very capable of taking caring of themselves during a time that was made for men.  Shannon learns how to make room for Matthew in her life.   He learns that living alone in the mountains is not as good as it was before getting to know Shannon.  You will enjoy this clean romance set in the 1800s.   The heroine is not frilly and dainty and the hero is not dashing and elegant.   Shannon and Matthew is the right combination of brave, strong, caring and sweet.

Rating: 4 stars

This book was given to me by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review.  

This post has an affiliate link in the book image. Read my disclosure page for more information.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Review - The Power of a Half Hour

The perception is that great things are only accomplished in at least an hour of effort.   An hour long business meeting!   An hour of prayer!  It is true that much can be done in an hour or more, but the same can be said for using just a half hour.   Tommy Barnett in his book, The Power of a Half Hour has me convinced that small amounts of time can produce great results in my life.

A half hour can be used to improve your life, strengthen your faith, build your character, advance your dreams, improve relationships and change the world. You will see these subjects addressed in this book.  Each chapter is short so you should be able to finish one chapter if you do not have much time.

My favorite chapter is called Listen.  It is part of the section about strengthening your faith.  “Be still and know that I am God.” in Psalm 46:10 comes to mind as I read this chapter.  I need direction and wisdom so an half hour of quiet time with the Lord is time well spent.

Connect with Impact was also a relevant chapter to me because I currently feel a need to re-connect or maintain a connection with family and friends.  I can get so busy, but relationships are so important.  I can take 30 minutes to make a phone call, send an email or write a letter.

Barnett wants us to realize that a lot can be accomplish in a short amount of time.  Take action consistently for 30 minutes a day, week or month and change will happen.  I recommend this book because it will encourage you to move forward in some area of your life.

You can read more about the author at WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

This review contains an affiliate link. Refer to my disclosure page.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Review - Arkansas Weddings

Romance, Arkansas sounds like a lovely, romantic place to meet and fall in love.    It is for three couples in Arkansas Weddings.    The road to “happily ever after” is not smooth, but the journey is worth it.  Did you know that Romance, Arkansas is a real place?   It is a town located near the center of Arkansas. 

According to Wikipedia, the Romance post office is popular for postmarks that people want for Valentine’s Day and wedding invitations.  This fact was included in the second story.

In a small town, everyone seems to know everybody and that holds true in the town of Romance. The three stories are all connected based on past and current relationships.  Those connections make the book more interesting because you are able to catch up the life of the couple from the previous story.

The first story is about Adrea, a florist and Grayson, a grieving pastor.   Adrea was betrayed by a former boyfriend.  Somehow, she still manages to make beautiful floral creations for happy couples.  Grayson has a church to take care of, but his heart is still broken over the loss of his wife.   Valentine’s Day ties Adrea and Grayson together in ways that they cannot imagine when they first meet.   Grayson has been ordering flowers for his wife every Valentine’s Day.  Adrea has been arranging the flowers, but never met Grayson because she always worked in the back of the shop.  Adrea’s brother, Mark takes a job at Grayson’s church which puts them in regular contact.

Can you really move on when you lose someone so precious to you?  Can you trust anyone when your dreams have been crushed by betrayal?  Adrea and Grayson find out that they both can heal and move forward with God’s help.

The second story is centered around a man taking caring of his nephew and a woman who was reluctant to come back to her hometown.  The relationship starts as an employer and employee. Then it gets complicated as their feelings start to grow for each other.

In the third story, you can read about a woman with a bad reputation who thinks too much has happened to change other people’s opinions about her.  Her latest renovation project has her working again with a former boyfriend.   He recently found out that he was adopted and is trying to figure out if wants to reveal his true identity to his family.

All the stories are tied together well.  God is part of each story line.  I like that you get to visit Romance, Arkansas three times through all of these romances.  

Rating: 3 stars

This eBook was provided to me from NetGalley.

This review has an affiliate link through the book image.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review - The Critter Club: Liz Learns A Lesson


The Critter Club is a series about elementary school children who run an animal rescue shelter.   I don't remember if an age was mentioned, but I guess these kids are in 3rd or 4th grade.   Book #3 is Liz Learns a Lesson.   Liz was so excited that summer vacation was about to start.  She would be able to do her favorite things - take an art class and take care of pets at the Critter Club.

Unfortunately, summer school was not a part of plans.   Math was not her best subject. The principal and her mom thought summer school would help her improve in math.  Liz was very disappointed especially since summer school was at the same time as art class.   She thought that this would be the worst summer ever.

In summer school, she found friends, a cool teacher and even a turtle for their class pet.  Her days were filled with summer school in the morning and the Critter Club in the afternoon.  The best part is that she did improve in math.  She even got an A on her last math test.

I started reading this book while I was in the library.  I thought this was just right book for my nine year old daughter who struggles with math and she has a love for animals.   It is a chapter book that is just right for children in grades 2nd to 4th grade.   You should also consider reading this book to your younger children.   A chapter a night at bedtime would be great.   Liz learns that a change in her plans is not the worst thing ever and taking the time to get help with a difficult subject will help in the long run.

Rating: 4 stars

The book image is an affiliate link to Amazon.