Saturday, February 9, 2019

Morning and Evening Prayerbook By Jeanie and David Gushee

Morning and Evening Prayerbook

By Jeanie and David Gushee
Published by Thomas Nelson

Morning and Evening Prayerbook by Jeanie and David Gushee is a compendium of prayers collected from a variety of sources from the Catholic and Protestant churches.  This exhaustive compilation includes prayers from Catholic popes such as Pope John Paul II and Catholic saints such as Francis of Assisi and  therese of Lisieux as well as ancient forefathers such as Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, Aquinas and Augustine.  Also included are prayers from well known authors of literature, Mark Twain, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.  There are prayers from the first century Christians as well as modern day authors, including a few contemporary prayers from the Gushees. As I turned to October 31- out of curiosity to see the selected prayer, it was a pleasant suprise to see a Halloween themed- traditional Scottish prayer for the evening selection: "From ghoulies and ghosties and long- leggity beasties, and all things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!".

There are two prayers selected for each of the 365 days of the year: a morning and evening prayer. Also included are seasonal themed prayers that correspond to the liturgical calendar of "Movable Holy Days" and seasons such as Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Palm Sunday, Advent, Ordinary Time and Lent.  There may be many non denomindational or independant bible students and  believers who may not understand these references- celebrated by the Catholic church and its "main stream" off shoots, as many non denominational or independantg churches simply do not recognise or celebrate some of these days.  Or perhaps they do not use the Roman Catholic terminology.  Nevertheless I do not feel that the inclusion of this calendar or its references detract from the overall purpose of this book.  Also included are traditional religious artwork as an additional ornamental touch.

Initially, based on the appearance of this book I assumed it was just another debotional book- filled with prayers or devotions written by the Gushee couple.  But this was not the case.  This prayer book is a good resource.  It may serve as an encycopedia of prayers throughout Christianity. The prayer book is well suited for the theological student as well as an individual who appreciates prayers throughout historical periods.  This book is also perfect for personal devotions or study. The reader should keep in mind some of the old English styled translations of the more ancient prayers may be difficult for some uneducated readers to follow or understand.  Yet I feel the varied "voices" and styles make this the unique aqnd original prayer book that sets it apart from the saturated market of simplistic modern prayers that are so common today.  As a blogger for booklook I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Inspire Catholic Bible NLT

The Inspire Catholic Bible NLT is a beautifully bound hardcover version of the New Living Translation, featuring, black and white vintage styled art and graphics.  The satin finish pink hardcover is beautiful yet sturdy enough to last for home devotional use and for carrying around.  The interior features beautifully drawn bible verses scattered through out as well as subtle lines to allow for writing  in the margins.  Personally I found the vintage styled art beautiful in black and white, although the art is meant to be colored using colored pencils or markers.  The journal space allows plenty of room for notes or additional artistic expression.  The lines are subtle enough that they may be left blank for those who choose not to personalize this bible with art or writing noted.  Either way whether you choose to personalize the bible by coloring the art, and adding noted, or simply appreciating this bible as is, you will not be disappointing by the beauty of this bible.  This bible is a Catholic edition in that it includes additional apocryphal books of the bible not originally considered inspired but instead are of historical significance to the early development of the catholic church.  If the inclusion of these additional books offends you, then you might not be pleased with this Catholic version of the Inspire NLT bible.  Otherwise, this bible is appropriate for all denominations to read, and not exclusive to the Catholic church.  As a blogger for Tyndale I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Overcomer 8 Ways to Live a Life of Unstoppable Strength, Unmovable Faith, and Unbelievable Power By Dr. David Jeremiah

Overcomer 8 Ways to Live a Life of Unstoppable Strength, Unmovable Faith, and Unbelievable Power

By Dr. David Jeremiah is a brand new book to inspire and encourage Christians as they face problems in life.  The author Dr. Jeremiah acknowledges that just because you are born again, that life's problems and challenges don't simply disappear.  This book goes through detail how to overcome challenges and obstacles.  The author addresses fears of death, anxiety, weakness, honesty as well as other issues that are frequently stumbling blocks.  Using personal anecdotes as well as inspirational true stories from accounts that he has collected over the years, this book shows how ordinary people can display strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome any obstacle or challenge.  Essentially this book shows the reader there is nothing to big for God to handle.  Even in a seemingly hopeless situation, there is always a lesson to learn and a way to overcome. This book is a perfect outreach opportunity to give to anyone who may be struggling with life.  As a blogger I received this book published by Thomas Nelson publishers for the purpose of writing this review.  

Monday, October 22, 2018

NKJV, Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Third Edition, Hardcover Kingdom Equipping Through the Power of the Word By Jack W. Hayford

NKJV, Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Third Edition, Hardcover Kingdom Equipping Through the Power of the Word

By Jack W. Hayford

The NKJV  Spirit Filled life bible is the newly revised edition of the original.  This new edition features full color graphics to place emphasis on the study features.

This themed bible places emphasis on spiritual gifts and is consistent charismatic Christian tradition which places emphasis on modern day spiritual gifts such as tongues.  This issue of spiritual gifts is divisive enough to cause distinct denominations within the Christian church.  Nevertheless, the ideas of spiritual gifts is not a major doctrine and therefore not an issue of theology that is fundamental to faith.  The idea behind charismatic believers is that the gift of tongues and other physical miracles from the ancient church and apostles is still available today to all believers.  And then there are bible believers who are just as solid in their faith who believe that these spiritual signs are no longer available having served their purpose in the early church and Jesus' lifetime and that Jesus is the only testimony we need.  Furthermore, charismatic churches believe in a second "installment" or "infusion" of the Holy Spirit distinct from what the believer receives when he is born again.  These concepts are very well explained in the articles and reference materials in the back of this bible.  Basically anything you wanted to know about the history and biblical roots of the charismatic movement is here in this bible! This bible is like Charismatics 101- an introductory course as well as more advanced indepth material as well.

Within the bible text there are sidebars of information clearly designated from the bible text.  The reader will find concepts such as "Word Wealth" and "Kingdom Dynamic" which provides more information and expands on biblical concepts, theology and terminology.  The end of the bible books include "Truth in Action" charts as well. All these helps draw the reader into a deeper understanding of the bible and its message.  Word Wealth is basically like a dictionary, defining a specific word or concept. There are also maps and charts throughout.  The subtle insertion of color breaks up the monotony of the columns and sets apart the biblical helps.  

This bible is a great choice for those who wish to build their faith.  I would like to see this bible in the NIV or NLT version as well for those who prefer reading a more modern translation. 

As a blogger for Book Look bloggers I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of writing this review.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The End Times Survival Guide Mark Hitchcock

The End Times Survival Guide

Mark Hitchcock  published by Tyndale publishers is a newly published guide written for everyone, Christian and non Christians alike.  This guidebook is a resource to any reader about what to expect in the end times based on the bible accounts and prophetic words.  In simple to understand language, the author, Mark Hitchcock, applies current events and observations and connects them to biblical prophecy.   This book helps the reader with an explanation as to why things occur as evidenced by world and political events as well as environmental events.  This book provides the key for this generation to understanding the end times in the context of what is actually happening now.  Rather than the events of revelation and the bible appearing to be an abstract, fictitious account, the author shows the relevancy as well as urgency of applying biblical principles and prophecy to one's own individual life.  This book adds credibility to biblical authority for today's apathetic and unbelieving generation as well as the Christians of today.  This book  delivers an important message. For anyone truly interested in learning about how Revelation and prophecy applies to our modern days, this book is essential.   As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

Monday, October 15, 2018

My Christmas ABCs (An Alphabet Book) By Tommy Nelson Books

My Christmas ABCs (An Alphabet Book)

By Tommy Nelson Books

My Christmas ABCs (An Alphabet Book)  By Tommy Nelson Books is a beautiful, yet sturdy boardbook, perfect for young children to integrate learning the alphabet with the Christmas season.   The book is illustrated by Jordan Wray. Full color illustrations feature colorful, sparkling glitter.  The alphabet is features alongside a colorful Christmas themed illustration.  There is Wiseman for W, Tree for T, and Candycane for the letter C.  This quick little book can either be read to children or read by young readers in kindergarten or preschool. This would make a perfect gift for a Christmas stocking or as part of a Christmas gift for any child. As a blogger for Booklook bloggers I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

NKJV, Ancient-Modern Bible

NKJV, Ancient-Modern Bible, Hardcover, Comfort Print One faith. Handed down. For all the saints.

By Thomas Nelson Bibles is a beautifully bound bible encased in a hard bound slipcover.  This bible is smaller sized with a small font, making it more of a personal sized bible that is easy to carry.  This New King James version bible features a new "comfort print" style of font.  

The bible features historical excerpts and passages as  full length articles.  The excepts from well known theologians, philosophers and Christian thinkers are located in the side bars separate from the main text of the bible.  This is a beautiful and useful bible.  The only downside is the extremely tiny font which makes it difficult to read even with the "comfort print".  For this reason I don't see this as a bible I will read frequently.  This bible would be perfect if it was in a larger scale, bigger with a larger font.  In the end, the usefulness of a bible depends on practical details such as font size and readability. Simply put, this bible hurts my eyes to read.  This is not going to be an issue for most readers, but it is something to consider if font size makes a difference.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this bible published by Thomas Nelson for the purpose of writing this review. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

ESV Story of Redemption Bible

ESV Story of Redemption Bible

ESV Story of Redemption Bible
The ESV version of the Story of Redemption Bible is a beautifully presented bible featuring the trust worthy, accurate ESV translation.  The pages are thick, off white with  an easy to read font size in paragraph format.  Two tone illustrations are featured at the start of each book.  Within the text, are separate passages offering insight into the biblical text.  This useful and accessible bible encourages  daily bible reading in a format reminiscent of a novel.   The off white pages and gold toned accent color gives this bible an authentic antique heirloom appearance.  This sturdy bound bible will last through years of use.  The beautiful presentation pages would make this perfect to give as a treasured gift.  This bible is not the typical study bible format and is a good outreach to those who don't frequently read the bible. The minimalist designs will appear to readers of all ages. As a blogger for Crossway, I received this book for the purpose of writing this review. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

I Can Only Imagine (Picture Book) A Friendship with Jesus Now and Forever By Bart Millard with Laura Neutzling

I Can Only Imagine (Picture Book) A Friendship with Jesus Now and Forever

By Bart Millard with Laura Neutzling; Illustrated by Sumiti Collina
Published by Thomas Nelson is a new book based on the well known inspirational song writer Bart Millard's music.  The picture book is filled with colorful, bold illustrations that will introduce young children to the concept of heaven in simple understandable terms.  Each page spread of this picture book, assists  in encouraging a child to imagine what heaven would be like. Based on everyday experiences, a child is encouraged to imagine "what if" scenarios based on pleasant  experiences.  While the ideas may seem simplistic and grounded based on worldly experiences, this book makes a good spring board for a discussion about heaven, death and faith.   This book will appeal to families who have a basic understanding of bible concepts.  I feel this book reinforces stereotypes of what heaven may be like.  Nevertheless the significance of this book is that  it will encourage young readers and families to explore their own views of heaven and possibly to seek out the truth based what the bible has to say about heaven. I feel this picture book will create a yearning for some readers and even their parents to learn even more about heaven.  As a blogger for BookLook I recived a copy of this book for the copy of writing this review.

Monday, June 18, 2018

100 Bible Stories for Children

100 Bible Stories for Children is a brand new bible story book featuring beautifully crated illustrations along side bible stories based on the bible.  This beautifully presented bible story books is a simple, traditional bible story book that gives the bible the dignity it merits.  Unlike many modern bible story books featuring brightly colored cartoon styled art, this bible features traditional, expressive artwork in subdued colors.  The stories are truth and faithful to scripture, without over simplification.  The text combined authenticity with God's word, simplified just enough for even the youngest of children to understand, without altering or changing the biblical message.  For parents who want a faithful and true account of the bible for their children, this is the perfect choice.  In spiritual terms, it is definitely a watered down, lukewarm version of the bible as many newly published storybook bibles on the market. This bible story book is a return to traditional bible teaching, something that is needed very much especially for today's generation who seek to return back to the truth of the bible.  This bible story book is perfect for adults and parents to read to children of all ages.  The durable binding will stand up to years of use, as well as the thick pages.  The ribbon bookmarker is a nice touch to keep your place.  This bible can be read from start to finish or you can go directly to a particular bible story independently.  As a blogger for Tyndale I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

365 Questions for a Woman's Soul: With Answers from God's Heart

365 Questions for a Woman's Soul: With Answers from God's Heart by Katherine J. Butler, with contributions by Ronald A. Beers  and  Amy Mason is a brand new pocket sized book filled with spiritual answers that one can turn to in any time of need.  This beautiful book features a flexible, textured leatherette cover, with a serene imprint of a solitary leaf.  This inviting volume, s small enough to carry in your purse, backpack or to leave on the nightstand beside your bed.  This book is versatile as it can be used as a daily devotional, or it may be used as needed depending on the topic or need.  This book is similar to the "where to turn to" feature that is included in traditional bibles.  Fr each topic such as anxiety, anger, worry, or jealousy, there are applicable verses, as well as a short devotional ad prayer prompts.  This book is like having a spiritual mentor at your side to assist in any needs.  The authors have gleaned and pruned from the bible, a biblical verse for every need.  This particular prayer book is specifically for women, addressing the topics that are more common to women.  Nevertheless, unlike many devotional or prayer books that are dedicated to women's needs, this particular book is full of spiritual substance, and does not address superficial issues that seem all too commonplace these days in books geared for women.  I believe that this book has the ability to offer relief and spiritual strength.  It is a resource t turn to not just once but everyday and as needed.  As a blogger for Tyndale I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

Friday, May 25, 2018

A.W. Tozer Three Spiritual Classics in One Volume

A.W. Tozer Three Spiritual Classics in One Volume: The Knowledge of the Holy, The Pursuit of God, God's Pursuit of Man, published by Moody Publishers is a new release of three classic books.  The new generation of readers may not be familiar with the classic Christian works written by Tozer which were first published in the 1940s and 50s.  Even as far as a generation ago, Tozer became aware of a change in the attitude of Christian believers, feeling that a "rediscovery" of faith was needed.  The author recognized the need to rejuvenate one's faith.  His words are just as true and applicable to today's readers as they were 70 years ago.  This collection of his three most influential works are presented in one easy accessible volume.

Tozer's writing style represents a different and more traditional style in contrast to today's generation of Christian writers and pastors.  Although the writing style is traditional, it is not difficult to understand.  The easy to read sized font, is the perfect size, especially for those readers who find classic literature to be daunting.  This three volume set is a great way for the new generation of readers to explore classic Christian literature and also bears testament that many of the issues we face in today's generation are longstanding spiritual issues faced by previous generations of believers as well.

While it is true that nothing can replace the reading of the word of God for oneself, there is much value in having a spiritual mentor to guide your way through life and faith.  A.W. Tozer is a spiritual mentor whose words speak to multiple generations of believers and seekers as well.  He was a self taught theologian- led by the spirit, and did not benefit from expensive years at seminary colleges and universities.  His insight offers hope for all of us believers who learn from the Holy Spirit's direction.  This three book volume is not a book to be skimmed, but rather to be read slowly in order to reflect on the powerful thought.  Those who take the time to read and to meditate on his message will be rewarded with spiritual fuel.

While this book is considered theology, those who follow along, processing the messages internally will have a greater insight into God and God's powerful divine attributes including perfect justice, supernatural wisdom and transcendence.  From there, the reader is guided in pursuing God and drawing closer. The reader receives enlightenment on the barriers from drawing close to God, and with this awareness, how to overcome these barriers.  Finally, Tozer explains how God pursues each and every one of us in a personal relationship through the word of God, the bible, as well as the Holy Spirit.  The believer is taken through an instructional course from start to finish, beginning with a discussion of who God is, and the powerful and unimaginable attributes, how to find God, and finally how God reaches out to us.  I recommend this treasure for all readers who are looking to grow their faith.  For those who take the time to dig into this treasure, the reward will be a greater insight and insight into the greater picture of faith.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Moody publishers for the purpose of this review.

Archeology l Study Bible ESV

The Archeology Study Bible, featuring the English Standard Version, is a beautiful compendium of archeological information side by side with the bible text.  The bible features a large number of full color photographs, graphs ,in-depth  articles as well as study notes at the bottom of the page.  The larger sized font, makes this bible perfect for daily reading and study as well.  The presentation of this bible is as beautiful as well as useful.  The hardcover, with its golden embossed letters and decorated spine presents a dignified presentation to make this bible suitable for gift giving as well as having it on display as part of a treasured library.  Of all the archeological themed bibles on the market, this bible has the most useful as well as the most practical features making it the best choice for personal study.

Although this bible is most likely to appeal to those bible readers who want to dig deeper into the historical and archeological foundations of their faith, I believe that historians, students as well as history  teachers will also appreciate this bible as well.  The in-depth full length articles  will give the reader a thorough foundation into archeology and how it correlates to the bible.  This bible will expand the foundation of one's faith through seeing the historical roots in context of the bible text.  This bible brings the world of the old and new testaments to life, giving the reader a taste of the ancient cultures, societies, politics and daily life of the ancient times.

In sum, to what makes this bible stand apart from other bibles in the archeological- historical genre are the following: Beautiful graphical presentation with color photographs, graphs and illustration, Easy to read font, full length articles featuring topics such as geography, coinage, history and dating methods, the accurate, yet modern English Standard Version.  This hardcover volume is made with quality durable materials- giving the bible the dignity it deserves. The binding will last though years of use.  In contrast, I've seen other study bibles with covers and binding that don't even last a single  year of daily use. This bible also includes traditional features such as an in-depth concordance, maps, and presentation page on thick card stock paper. Many modern readers of this new generation may be more familiar with the NIV or the New Living bible translations.  The English Standard Version is not difficult to read, yet it is very accurate.  I believe that readers who enjoy the NIV, should give the ESV a try.  I'd recommend this bible for long standing bible readers as well as for those who are new to the bible.   As a blogger I received a copy of this bible published by Crossway for the purpose of writing this review.

Monday, May 21, 2018

It's Happening: A Generation is Crying Out, and Heaven is Responding by William McDowell

It's Happening: A Generation is Crying Out, and Heaven is Responding by William McDowell is anew inspirational book that is certain to motivate even the most apathetic and skeptic readers into a greater faith.  Rather than seeing faith and Christianity as a passive existence, a daily routine of attending church or bible studies, McDowell shows the reader how each and every believer can be a part of a revival movement.  Many Christians are familiar with the book of Acts of the new testament and the early spread of Christianity.  Many look with awe at a time many believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and capable of great acts of faith, a catalyst to revival.  Those days are not simply part of the historical roots of faith.  Revival and the work of the Holy Spirit, does not simply disappear in modern times.  Author, William McDowell shows the reader that the Holy Spirit has a presence and that not only is revival possible, but it is in fact actually happening right now.  The author speaks personally to each and every reader, to offer encouragement as well as direction as to how to become part of this movement.  As a pastor at Deeper Fellowship Church based in Florida, this book was inspired by a revival movement that he himself witnessed within his church.  Throughout the text, personalized prayers are included so that the ready may share in becoming spiritually ready to participate in the revival movement.  This is a book to reach a new generation of believers, capable of transforming lukewarm, apathetic believers into those willing to sacrifice to witness for the truth.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Charisma House for the purpose of writing this review.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ever Faithful A 365-Day Devotional By David Jeremiah Published by Thomas Nelson

Ever Faithful  A 365-Day Devotional By David Jeremiah  Published by Thomas Nelson is a brand ew daily devotional featuring selected devotions.  This textured hardcover, pocket sized book will make a beautiful gift or welcomed companion at the bedside night table, for those who could use daily bible based inspiration.  The quality presentation of this book, and the thick glossy pages make this a beautiful book as well as useful  for daily inspiration and encouragement.  Each day of the year features a new topic or theme, with a bible verse, and a devotional passage.  The passages are short so daily reading is easily incorporated into your life no matter whether you are extremely busy or weary with grief.  A book marker will assist the reader in keeping a place marked.  For those familiar with David Jeremiah, this is a welcome addition to incorporate this faithful leader's inspiration into your day.  Those who are not familiar with this author will find that the devotions written are relevant, inspirational and true to bible teaching.  This is a modern devotional that bridges the gap between accuracy of the word and reaching today's generation of readers.  As a blogger for Booklook bloggers I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.