Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bible Promises to Live By for Women by Katherine J. Butler

Bible Promises to Live By for Women by Katherine J. Butler is a pocket sized book filled with scripture verses to turn to in a variety of relevant topics.  Addressing issues such as abandonment, jealousy, aging, beauty, gossip and  confidence, this powerful book is the first place to turn to when you are in need of bible inspiration when addressing life challenges.  Each  section is ordered alphabetically and listed in the table of contents to aide the reader in quickly turning to the verses that address her particular need.  This book is not meant to be read cover to cover, but is a help guide to turn to when facing a specific need.  The leatherette flexible textured cover is durable, and light weight making this book the perfect size to pack in a purse or back pack or keep at the bedside table.  It is light enough to be held in one hand.  This is a book worthy of keeping at the bedside table- a perfect companion to the bible in having quick and easy access to relevant scripture when in a time of true need.  Unlike traditional devotional books, this book does not feature lengthy commentary.  Just a sufficient description is included to address each topic followed by 4- 5 relevant scripture verses from the bible.  Selected verses are featured in larger front.  The two tone color scheme is inviting and makes this book easy to read over and over again.  This would make a great gift for yourself or a loved one going through a difficult time. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Tyndale  forthe purpose of writing this review.

Jesus Always Large Deluxe Embracing Joy in His Presence By Sarah Young Published by Thomas Nelson

Jesus Always Large Deluxe,  Embracing Joy in His Presence By Sarah Young  Published by Thomas Nelson is a beautiful printing of the classic devotional book.  For those familiar with the Jesus Calling devotional book this book will not disappoint.  Each page offers relevant devotional entries that are based on bible scripture.  Sarah Young painstakingly threads scripture with common themes to address relevant issues that readers may face in everyday life.  She weaves scripture into a letter as if Jesus himself is writing.  This unique point of view, written in the second person- where the reader is addressed personally by Jesus, adds additional relevancy making scripture promises come alive.  What is even better is the fact that Young also includes the scripture verses each entry is based on making this a more useful tool  when using scripture  to assist with life problems such as anxiety, insecurity, doubt and illness.  This exhaustive book is worth keeping at the bedside to read over and over again.  The scriptures allow even greater effectiveness in this book if you want to return to God's promises for direction and for scripture memorization.  When I read this book I was impressed at the relevancy of this devotional in addressing issues and in providing God's word from the bible for each entry.  So many devotionals out there may be loosely based on scripture but don't provide scripture references as a back up.  Not only are the references included, but the bible verse in its entirety as well.  This beautiful volume features a flexible leather like vinyl cover.  Large font makes it easily readable.  The book is light enough to hold in one hand and read in bed as well.  This book would make a treasured gift for yourself or a loved one.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

A Record of my Vinyl collectors journal

A Record of my Vinyl

Not technically a book or a journal, this specialty collector's book is a way of cataloging your record collection. The title, a pun on words is a clever description for this vintage styled record keeping book.  The book description may be a bit misleading;  because this is a structured book,  rather than containing blank or lined pages, each page contains space to fill in for each of the albums in your collection.  There isn't space for freehand noted or other information.  It is like a structured card catalog for your record collection. This book is similar to an accountants journal but for record albums.  I'd imagine the most dedicated of vintage record collectors would have the diligence and motivation to painstakingly record details on all their albums.

This is a niche book for dedicated record album collectors and enthusiasts.  The casual collector might find this to be a fun item to display on their book shelf with its authentic textured cover that looks and feels like a vintage phot album.  I'd imagine only the most serious record album collectors or record album dealers might actually use the features of this book to hand catalog their entire collection.  For those with the motivation and tome  to catalog their album collection the old fashioned way- this book, once collected will become a treasured keepsake or conversation piece to pass down and display.  This book also includes additional features:

- a small amount of Space for notetaking  or memories about each of your albums
-Tips for cleaning  and maintaining a your record collection
-information about selling your collection of records.  These features take up a few pages and are not the bulk of the book.  This book would make a great gift for yourself or a record collector.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Potter for the purpose of writing this review.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Evidence that Demands a Verdict


I first was introduced to this ground breaking new outreach book as a college student.  It's launch in 2017 brings back memories.  There were not too many publications available addressing issue about the authenticity of the bible.  Especially in college, many student's found their faith challenged and the bible the credibility of the bible was questioned within the classroom by professors  and outside the classroom by peers.  This book was revolutionary in that it gave credibility to the area of apologetics.  It armed bible believing Christians with facts as well as the tools needed to defend one's faith.  For many college students this book was a lifesaver.  This book is a must have for anyone who wishes to have the tools needed to defend their faith.  Not only that, this book is the perfect outreach opportunity for skeptics providing common sense, factual support in a systematic and comprehensive format, with sufficient detail and evidence to satisfy even the most stead fast opponent.





#TrueEvidence

Pre-Order Evidence That Demands a Verdict and download two chapters, “The Martyrdom of the Apostles” and “The Historical Existence of Jesus,” immediately! Use the link bit.ly/OrderEvidence to take advantage of this bonus offer.

Evidence That Demands a Verdict, the modern apologetics classic that guided millions to defend their faith, is NOW completely revised and updated—because the truth of the Bible doesn’t change, but its critics do.

#TrueEvidence




Overview of Evidence that Demands a Verdict from the publishers:

Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World by Josh McDowell, Sean McDowell
The modern apologetics classic that started it all is now completely revised and updated—because the truth of the Bible doesn’t change, but its critics do. With the original Evidence That Demands a Verdict, bestselling author Josh McDowell gave Christian readers the answers they needed to defend their faith against the harshest critics and skeptics. Since that time, Evidence has remained a trusted resource for believers young and old. Bringing historical documentation and the best modern scholarship to bear on the trustworthiness of the Bible and its teachings, this extensive volume has encouraged and strengthened millions. Now, with his son Sean McDowell, Josh McDowell has updated and expanded this classic resource for a new generation. This is a book that invites readers to bring their doubts and doesn’t shy away from the tough questions.

Features Include:
• Thoroughly revised and updated from the previous edition
• Now co-authored by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell
• All-new chapters defending against the latest attacks from Christianity’s critics
• Designed to be a go-to reference for even the toughest questions
• Offers thoughtful responses to the Bible’s most difficult and extraordinary passages
• Expansive defense of Christianity’s core truths, including the resurrection of Jesus Christ



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My Great Big God 20 Bible Stories to Build a Great Big Faith By Andy Holmes         

My Great Big God 20 Bible Stories to Build a Great Big Faith

By Andy Holmes  is a brand new pocket sized board book for preschoolers and toddlers.  Filled with bold bright illustration, each page features a short re-telling of a well known bible story focusing on the power and mightiness of God, lovingly referred to a "My Great Big God". The rhymes make these stories memorable and children will enjoy them over and over again.   The only thing I found might be confusing for some young readers is the New Testament story featuring Jesus.  Rather than simply using Jesus, there is a clarification as Jesus being "my Great Big God's" son.  While theologically true, I feel it does not suit the flow of this book. The glossy thick pages and padded cover are the perfect size for young children.  This book is sturdy enough to stand up to use.  The bright illustrations will draw in even the youngest of children.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book published by Thomas Nelson for the purpose of writing this review.

David Bowie by Dylan Jones

David Bowie: A Life by Dylan Jones  is a brand new biography that brings the Life of the well known performer in a whole new light.  This non traditional re-telling of Bowie's life is woven together
through the voices of those who personally knew him in life. There are countless chronicles of this musician's life in the bookstore- enough to fill an entire library.  What makes Jones' work stand out is that it is a compilation of the voices and perspectives of well known artists, and figures who knew him or interacted with him in real life.  Like a quilt woven together, a complete and unique portrait is created.  Hundreds of anecdotes make Bowie accessible and real to those who know him from his music, videos and movies.  The back features a timeline to enable readers to put it all in perspective.  This book is a good tribute to Bowie's life.  An original performer deserves a thoughtful, original biography that is as eclectic and unexpected as his musical works. This new biography keeps in line with the unexpected and surprising legacy left by Bowie. This book is like another "gift" for Bowie fans everywhere. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by  crown publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

There is no way that anyone in this  modern era of social media could have missed that the news that the infamous artist, David Bowie died three days after turning 69.  Not only that, he left an intriguing new album released on his birthday- just three days before his death. Without a doubt this music video release was planned to coincide with his imminent death as the artist had been fighting a private battle with cancer.  Although I am unfamiliar with most of David Bowie's works, aware of the musician from the sidelines, listening only when others played his songs on the radio during long car trips, I could not help but find myself intrigued and drawn to his newest release by the title of "Lazarus".  I could only imagine Bowie's giddy anticipation as he knew he would be leaving the world this complicated, musical tidbit of packed to the brim with symbolism for the fans, critics, religious leaders and psychologists alike, to interpret, discuss and dissect long after his death. To describe this last album as a "parting gift" to his fans seems fitting.

The opening scene of the musical video, Lazarus is poignant as Bowie is confined to a hospital bed: empty, devoid and clinical.  His disheveled colorless hair, shiny diaphoretic skin, and the tortured blue vasculature of his distended aged veins are clearly visible as he writhes around in bed, experiencing terminal agitation as well as spiritual distress, engulfed in regret and longing.  The absence of medical equipment normally seen in the hospital setting as well as  the chipped antique metal framed bed, the pilled salmon bedding, the dingy off white tile floor, the antiqued solid wood wardrobe and the threadbare yet ornately ruffled vintage nightshirt suggest that he is in a nursing home.  Confined to bed, deprived of sensory information as he has a band of gauze wrapped around his eyes, his only sensory input is enabled by two tiny pin sized holes provided by the carefully placed metal rivets. 

An ominous dark female figure slinks out of the heavy wooden wardrobe and finds herself underneath the bed grasping hesitantly upwards.  Ironically, while confined to bed, Bowie apparently rises a few inches off the bed- just enough to suggest levitation, but not enough to allow him to escape the confines of his bed reflecting his imprisonment, emotionally, spiritually and physically. 

As a nurse, it is important to allow the aged and terminally ill opportunities to reminisce as they approach the end of life. Bowie accomplishes this literally and figuratively throughout the piece.  In a scene change, from the sick- bed, Bowie is depicted in an eccentrically patterned, form fitting pair of black long underwear.  He finds a burst of energy, dancing as he continues to reminisce and reflect.  His alter ego is energetic and frantic as he pours out his story. His scissor like movements are quick and frantic in an attempt to release excess energy after having been bed bound for an indeterminate amount of time. This burst of energy is short lived, nevertheless.   In a quick change, his animated facial expression goes blank in mid- song. His eyes  become glassy as they stare off into the distance, detached, in an attempt to disengage from the reality of this world, in preparation for his inevitable death.   Adapting a mechanical, repetitive form of movement that can barely be classified as dancing, his song becomes more forced and structured.  The animated,  emotional piece is short lived as Bowie seamlessly retreats into a devoid expressionless human shell.   From that point the only animated personality is confined to the bed as depicted by Bowie's grandiose gesturing and wide range of intense facial expressions ranging from intense pain, regret and anguish as he grimaces and writhes in the bed.

Near the end, he exhibits a pained, tortured expression as he holds up a black quill pen, as if faced with an impossibly difficult choice.  One wonders the significance of the sharp black quill pen- as if it represents an inner battle- as demonstrated by the intense anxiety on his face. While one may ponder some mundane explanations for the anxiety, I can imagine it represents him contemplating major end of life decisions.  The high pitched screeching music only intensifies Bowie frantically scrolls not only on paper but the sides of the table and the legs as he experiences a cathartic release of frantic energy.  The final scene shows Bowie's facing turning off like a light switch as his pained anxious facial expression is replaced by a stone- like gaze.  He slowly retreating back words with an unsteady Parkinson's like gait back to the oppressive, ominous heavy wardrobe- his gaze glassy and dead. His short, uneven shuffled steps end as he backs into the wardrobe and closes himself inside. 

The lengthy music video Black star is even more complicated and intricate as it explores Bowie's search to reconcile his life with spirituality. Disturbing images of  rhythmic, decerebrate, seizure activity minimally resembles dancing. Parodies of barbaric, senseless ritual activity represent Bowie's condemnation of organized religion, no doubt.  Perhaps these disturbing artists with their expressionless seizure like posturing are representing Bowie's belief that faith in the bible is the product of mindless, brain dead individuals automated by antiquated and barbaric superstition.   

For many musical performers, religion- and specifically the bible- is like the big white elephant in the room. At one point in another, in everyone's life, one must make some sort of decision as to whether to believe the bible's claims about Jesus or to reject them.  There is an in incongruency between the lyrics of the
album with the images portrayed on the video- as if the satanical parody of the cross cancels out the searching spiritual lyrics.  It is apparent that Bowie experienced spiritual anguish near the end of his life as he pondered the truths about God.  Nevertheless the message as portrayed by the disturbing images of the video suggest that Bowie rejected Jesus' claims and also the bible in favor of his own judgment and interpretation of Jesus and spirituality.  The imagery of Blackstar could not have been more evil, more vile, more disturbing, than  if it had come from Satan himself.  On the other hand, Bowie's lip service to the bible may bring out the curiosity of his fans becoming a catalyst to investigate the bible that he alludes to.  There is a quote attributed to Bowie circulating around social media "I don't know where I'm going from here but I promise it won't be boring".  I agree it is accurate, and pretty sure it stands true from his vantage point in the afterlife, but probably not in the way that he intended. 


Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Action Storybook Bible An Interactive Adventure Through God's Redemptive Story

{THE ACTION STORYBOOK BIBLE} An Interactive Adventure Through God's redemptive Story is a new bible in a graphic comic book format.  This full color book features bold illustrations along side, the fast action packed story of the bible.  Unlike other cartoon bible story books, this bible features authentic comic book quality artwork in each and every scene.  There are authentically detailed illustration with text that makes the word of God come alive in a comic book type of format.  This is a book that will appeal to readers of all ages; not just kids but adults as well, especially comic book enthusiasts.  This storybook bible represents a wonderful outreach opportunity to reach more people than ever in spreading the gospel message.  For those new to the bible this is a great way to learn the gospel message.  Those familiar with the bible will enjoy seeing this illustrative adaption and comparing it to the actual bible.  This bible is the perfect outreach opportunity for those who love reading graphic novels as well as comic books.  An entirely new generation will be reached with this new bible.

This bible storybook would make the perfect gift for yourself or a special loved one.  As a mom of 4 kids, I find that I enjoy reading this bible myself as I would to share with my kids ranging from age 3 to 16. Even if you don't have kids, this is still a book you will want.  If you are into comics, superheroes, action sagas and adventure stories, you will love the engaging format of this book that is entertaining enough for young readers, with sufficient attention to detail to engage discriminating adult readers as well.  The Action StoryBook bible is faithful to the word of God.  The dialog is consistent with the bible- other than the format, liberties are not taken to dilute the word of God.  Its the basic message basically in a new innovative format. One is never too old to read the bible in a graphic format.  This bible is available for order online on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

FEATURES INCLUDE:

Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action!

The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God's redemptive story together. An entry point into the world of The Action Bible, it tells of the amazing creation story, powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel, God's miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus, and more! God's promise for the world is displayed throughout every page. Discover your family's place in God's incredible story and together put your faith into action!
Interactive features include:










  • Fifteen key episodes from God's Word-each one loaded with several stories along with over 350 brand-new illustrations throughout.









  • Short and easy readings-for children ages eight and under with rich, colorful images.









  • Life, Faith, Action! features-conclude every episode and invite families to talk about how God moves in the stories, how to see God in life today, how to put faith into action, and how to easily talk to God with a suggested prayer.









  • Hall of Fame visual index-the place to look up favorite Bible characters by discovering their icon connections and finding them in the stories.




  • Discover your family’s place in God’s incredible story and together put your faith into action with the new The Action Storybook Bible from David C Cook! Explore God’s redemptive story together with your children ages 8 and under in the 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God’s story. Master-artist Sergio Cariello created more than 350 brand-new illustrations to captivate your family and help you recognize how God is moving through each story.Join the adventure to begin to figure out where you fit into God’s beautiful and exciting plan for the world by entering to win the Kindle Fire giveaway!

    One grand prize winner will receive:

    Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 29. The winner will be announced October 2 on the Litfuse blog.

    Click to Enter at Litfuse publicity

    http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/the-action-storybook-bible



    Catherine and Sergio

    {More About Catherine and Sergio}

    Catherine has written more than twenty-five books for children, including the bestselling “Adventure Bible Storybook.” As publisher of children’s resources at David C Cook, she leads product development for The Action Bible® collection, which has sold more than a million copies. Catherine lives with her husband, their three children, and their big furry dog in the Colorado forest. ||**|| Brazilian-born Sergio Cariello has been an accomplished artist since childhood, drawing a regular comic strip for his city’s newspaper at age 11. He spent many childhood hours poring over “The Picture Bible” (Portuguese edition), never dreaming he would illustrate an updated edition (“The Action Bible”) decades later. Sergio has worked for Marvel Comics and DC comics and has illustrated Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Iron-Man, Wonder Woman, Fantastic-Four, and dozens more comic book characters.
    Find out more about Catherine and at http://www.theactionbible.com.



    Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook!


    http://www.theactionbible.com/superherokids/




    DOES YOUR CHILD LOVE COMIC BOOKS?
    HOW ABOUT SUPER HEROES?



    Now is your chance to have DC and Marvel illustrator Sergio Cariello make your child's dream come true!



    Parents!


    David C Cook is proud to introduce the newest book in the Action Bible collection: The Action Storybook Bible (coming October 2017). Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon

    Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon

    Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Barnes And Noble

    Plus click the Link below to enter to have a chance to win an illustration of your child as a super hero by Action Bible artist Sergio Cariello (who has also illustrated comics for DC and Marvel!).

    http://www.theactionbible.com/superherokids/








    {THE ACTION STORYBOOK BIBLE}

    Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action!
    The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God's redemptive story together. An entry point into the world of The Action Bible, it tells of the amazing creation story, powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel, God's miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus, and more! God's promise for the world is displayed throughout every page. Discover your family's place in God's incredible story and together put your faith into action!
    Interactive features include:






    • Fifteen key episodes from God's Word-each one loaded with several stories along with over 350 brand-new illustrations throughout.





    • Short and easy readings-for children ages eight and under with rich, colorful images.





    • Life, Faith, Action! features-conclude every episode and invite families to talk about how God moves in the stories, how to see God in life today, how to put faith into action, and how to easily talk to God with a suggested prayer.





    • Hall of Fame visual index-the place to look up favorite Bible characters by discovering their icon connections and finding them in the stories.


    • Friday, September 8, 2017

      Start Where You Are Note Cards by Meera Lee Patel

      Start Where You Are Note Cards by Meera Lee Patel

      This boxed set by Merra Lee Patel is a beautiful gift set of inspiring cards paired with art, that comes in its own keepsake box.  This is a beautiful gift set to give as a gift or to use for yourself.  Each of the cards is an inspirational quote from a writer or historical figure.  These cards are almost too beautiful to use, and are perfect for special occasions and for writing letters to family and friends.  These days most people send quick emails and post on social media.  This vintage inspired set will inspire many to pick up a special pen and to discover the satisfaction of letter writing and sending cards. These inspirational cards are even beautiful enough to put in a small frame and to hang on your wall as artwork.  I'm thinking that I might select a few to frame and leave on a nightstand and a wall.  These cards are published by Tenspeed/Potter/Harmony publishers.   As a blogger I received a copy of this set for the purpose of writing this review. 


      Carole P. Roman - anything from history, picture books and even chapter books- this versatile author has something to offer for children of all ages.

      Oh Susannah series: Children of all ages love this new series.  Older children gain reading skills as they read these chapter books on their own.  For younger children they make the perfect bedtime story.



      Captain No Beard- Learn moral lessons and help with problem solving with the Captain No Beard series of picture books


      If You Were Me and Lived in..... geography series teaches children of all ages about the world around them.  The graphic novel format even appeals to older school aged readers as well. 





      Saturday, August 26, 2017

      The Gift of Heaven By Charles Stanley Published by Thomas Nelson

      The Gift of Heaven

      By Charles Stanley
      Published by Thomas Nelson

      The Gift of Heaven By Charles Stanley  is a new small sized gift book that covers the topic of heaven.  Unlike a long book on the theology of heaven, this book features short passages of text along side a full color nature scene.  Selected quotes from the author as well as scripture are featured throughout the book with a featured scene in the back ground- much like a motivational poster.  This book is perfect for those who want answers to questions as well as those who are grieving and seek comfort.  This book is perfect for seekers as well as those who are bereaved or facing terminal illness.   The nature scenes are generic but beautiful: scenes of mountains, flowers and trees.  Each scene is different.  The photographs do not detract from the text.  This book is covered in topical sections.  It can be read from start to finish or be started at any mid point.  This is a perfect gift for those who wish to transition from the worldliness to a spiritual eternity minded mind set. This book is most appropriate as an introduction to biblical teachings on heaven.  This book would make a good outreach opportunity for those on hospice or in a nursing home.  Secular as well as religious readers will find comfort from this book.  Most importantly, near the end, the gospel message is condensed and simplified to point to the reader on what must happen to have eternal life in heaven.  Far too many feel good type of books leave out the gospel message of salvation.  The thing about books like this is that many readers dont fully read it from cover to cover.  It often sits un read on a coffee table or night stand.  It may even become a treasured keepsake.  I encourage anyone who buys this book or receive it as a gift to actually read each page.  It's not just an aesthetically pleasing book.  It has the potential to answer questions and provide words of true comfort.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

      Wednesday, August 23, 2017

      Start Where You Are Week-at-a-Glance Diary by Meera Lee Patel

      Start Where You Are Week-at-a-Glance Diary by Meera Lee Patel is a versatile journal that is as beautiful as it is functional.  Unlike other calendars or schedules, this one can be adapted to start at any day- it is not limited to starting January 1st or in July for the academic year.  The dates are all blank- except for the day of the week.  You can literally pick and choose any start date without having to wait or waste valuable pages.   This simple date book looks like a thin paperback book, it  is bound together like a paperback book- yet the pages are thick and the cover is durable. This date book is portable yet sturdy. Throughout this book- every month/ 30 day period, are inspirational quotes with colorful graphics. This weekly diary is the perfect gift for yourself or for anyone.  The biggest dilemma one may face is to when to actually start this book.  To adapt it as a beautiful keepsake, it can be adapted to begin on a special date such as a birthday, anniversary or the start of a new job.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Potter/Tenspeed/Harmony publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

      Thursday, August 17, 2017

      Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook!



         


      Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook!


      http://www.theactionbible.com/superherokids/




      DOES YOUR CHILD LOVE COMIC BOOKS?
      HOW ABOUT SUPER HEROES?


      Now is your chance to have DC and Marvel illustrator Sergio Cariello make your child's dream come true!



      Parents!


      David C Cook is proud to introduce the newest book in the Action Bible collection: The Action Storybook Bible (coming October 2017). Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon

      Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon

      Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Barnes And Noble

      Plus click the Link below to enter to have a chance to win an illustration of your child as a super hero by Action Bible artist Sergio Cariello (who has also illustrated comics for DC and Marvel!).

      http://www.theactionbible.com/superherokids/






      {THE ACTION STORYBOOK BIBLE}

      Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action!
      The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God's redemptive story together. An entry point into the world of The Action Bible, it tells of the amazing creation story, powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel, God's miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus, and more! God's promise for the world is displayed throughout every page. Discover your family's place in God's incredible story and together put your faith into action!
      Interactive features include:





      • Fifteen key episodes from God's Word-each one loaded with several stories along with over 350 brand-new illustrations throughout.




      • Short and easy readings-for children ages eight and under with rich, colorful images.




      • Life, Faith, Action! features-conclude every episode and invite families to talk about how God moves in the stories, how to see God in life today, how to put faith into action, and how to easily talk to God with a suggested prayer.




      • Hall of Fame visual index-the place to look up favorite Bible characters by discovering their icon connections and finding them in the stories.


      • Wow! The Good News in Four Words by Dandi Daley Mackall

        Wow!

        The Good News in Four Words by Dandi Daley Mackall is an innovative bible story for young children.  This book is a unique outreach for young kids, telling the story of salvation using four words, literally.  This is a simple yet entertaining way to deliver the life saving message of the bible to kids.  The colorful bold pictures will appeal to children as well.   There is no picture book like this one. The author, Dandi Daley Mackall delivers an original way to tell the story of the bible. I think the words of this book as well as its message will stick in the minds of young children long after they have read it.  I believe parents will also be pleasantly surprised as well.  It is important to continue to come up with new ideas to reach the newer generations of children.  The timeless lifesaving message of the bible is repackaged in an entirely new and relevant way.  As a blogger for Tyndale I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.




        My Rad Life: A Journal by Kate Schatz

        My Rad Life: A Journal  by Kate Schatz  is not what you might expect based on the appearance of the cover.  What looks like it might be  superficial journal for teens, delivers much, much more.  This book is actually an in depth empowering, thought provoking  book for women  and girls of all ages.  This is not simply a "Barbie-esque" type of journal for girls and adults who have outgrown their Barbie and Disney princess coloring books.  You won't find make-up tips, silly boyfriend advise, trendy recipes  or superficial fashion hints.  Do not be deceived by the title, the use of the word "rad"   is used in a nostalgic or vintage sense.  This is a refreshing new journal option for young as well as adult readers that addresses real social issues. This book doesn't promote the sterotypical woman who simply cares about recipes, make up, clothing and other superficial wasteful self indulgent lifestyle choices.   This modern styled journal features inspirational and empowering quotes from women of all generations, from as young as age 16 to classic theorists from previous generations.  Filled with unexpected and powerful quotes of social activists and independent thinkers, this free style journal is a versatile place to include your thoughts, notes and even doodles.  This journal can be a structures catalysts if you choose to follow the writing prompts for your own thought provoking insight.  Or you may choose to simply write freestyle, journaling on your own subject matter.  Either way, this journal can be adapted to any purpose, using the quotes and cartoon illustrations as thought provoking motivators.  Personally I feel this is a great gift for any teenager or college student. This author should be applauded for her  bold new book, not succumbing to what the stereotypes society promotes for women. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Ten Speed Press. 

        NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

        NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture

        By Craig S. Keener , John H. Walton
        Published by Zondervan


        The NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible By Craig S. Keener ; John H. Walton, General Editors  Published by Zondervan is more than just a bible- it brings the culture and historical context of the bible to life.    This bible is now available in the NIV and NKJV as well.

        This is a beautiful study bible- full of articles, full color photos and diagrams.  If you are looking for a study bible- you will not be disappointed! Every page features either an article, photograph or informative graphic.  This bible is far more advanced than a traditional study bible.  Full color graphic study bibles started with the prototypical Archeological study bible printed years ago.  There is some resemblance to the out of print Archeological study bible, and the newly published First Century bible also by Zondervan. If you want to own one single bible that is good for study as well as beautifully designed and illustrated, the full color Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible is the really the only bible you will need.  This bible has every study feature you could ever ask for in a bible- including historical, theological and life application information.  This bible is full of full color photos, maps, charts, illustrations as well as the tiny footnotes- traditional study notes on the bottom of the page.  It is like a history book and bible rolled into one volume.  This bible is great for new bible readers as well experienced readers.

        The font is very easy to read and not too tiny.  As far as everyday study, the font is big enough so as not to require the reader to squint.  Unlike most study bibles where the bible text is extremely tiny, I found the bible text to be readable.  It is nice to see that the publishers recognized the need for a full color bible- with an abundance of study resources and photos from the historical point of view. I do not feel any bible reader would ever need to buy another study bible.  Perhaps teachers, sociologists,  history enthusiasts and tourist travelers will be drawn to this bible as well. There is a wealth of study notes on each page as well.  

        Some of the material may be redundant for those who already own the First Century Study bible.  For example, many of the diagrams, maps and illustrations photographs and charts are in both the Cultural Backgrounds Bible and First Century bible.  There is some unique content and photographs, but maybe not enough to justify owning both of these similar study bibles.

        Although there appear to be quite a bit of study notes included, they are more like foot notes.  The study notes add quite a bit of historical and cultural detail but really do not clarify  spiritual concepts.  If you are looking for a bible with extensive study notes for spiritual clarification- this study bible is not the best choice.

        For anyone looking for a good bible that will provide a lifetime of value and study, the NIV Cultural Backgrounds bible is among the top choices in my opinion. I think any bible reader will be impressed.  It is also easy to read with a somewhat larger and clearer font size.  Jesus' words are in red letter font as well.  As a blogger for booklook I received a copy of this bible published by Zondervan.

        Have a tough time deciding what bible to choose? Please visit this guide online.
        http://pjtheemt.blogspot.com/2011/06/bible-versions-communicating-gods-word.html

        Wednesday, July 26, 2017

        The Red Letter Words of Jesus By Jack Countryman Published by Thomas Nelson

        The Red Letter Words of Jesus By Jack Countryman  Published by Thomas Nelson is a beautifully bound pocket sized book highlighting selected scripture verses from Jesus' words in the new testament.  Unlike other devotional books- this small volume focuses on the words of Jesus.  Each selected verse is one of Jesus' words from the new testament.  The title "Red Letter Words of Jesus" is based on the concept that many bibles specifically print the words of Jesus in red colored font to distinguish from the reminder of scripture.  Each two page devotional spread features a beautifully illustrated verse- is red type font, along side a short devotional passage written by the author, Jack Countryman.  If you are looking for a new devotional that will lead you back to the spiritual basics, this book is a good choice.  This book would also make a beautiful gift as well.  As a blogger for booklook I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.  This book is published by Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson publishers. 

        The New American Heart Association Cookbook

        The New American Heart Association Cookbook, 9th Edition: Revised and Updated with More Than 100 All-New Recipes

        by American Heart Association  Is the newest edition of this classic cookbook.  This basic cook book belongs in the kitchen of every chef  and family.  Not only does it include a variety of hear healthy recipes- low fat and low cholesterol meal choices- it includes everything from basic to more advanced recipes for every level of chef.  If you are looking for a basic cookbook containing a variety of basic recipes to appeal to a family, friends and guests of all ages, this is the only cookbook you will need. This would make a great house warming gift for anyone who is moving into their first home as well.  The one thing I would change is to at least include a color insert of photographs of selected recipes.  There were no photographs included in this cookbook other than the photos on the cover.  At minimum, I'd expect a cookbook to have some photos at least.  Considering the suggested retail price, this is one thing that bothered me.  I'd imagine there are many chefs who probably won't mind that there are no photos included, but some basic and beginner home cooks might like at least some visual content of what the finished meal should look like.   As a blogger I received a copy of this cookbook for the purpose of writing this review.

        Oh Susannah: Things that Go Bump by Carole P. Roman

        What may seem like trivial problems to an adult, may be an insurmountable mountains for a child.  In her newest chapter book series, "Oh Susannah", Roman empowers grade school children to tackle the everyday problems they face.  In her second  "Oh, Susanna" book, "Oh Susannah: Things that Go Bump" Carole P.


        Roman follows where the first story leaves off. In this story, Susannah tackles her fears and social anxiety over a sleepover invitation.  What an adult may dismiss as a silly unfounded fear, Roman captures with authenticity.  The author gets inside the mind of a child so much so that a child can fin
        e reassurance through the story in order to tackle their own fears. I'd imagine many parents can relate to this story as
        well.   Once again Roman shows her versatility as a children's writer,  With skill, she writes an entertaining as well as a comforting tale about what happens when you keep secrets and burdens hidden inside.   This is the perfect story for elementary school readers to read as well as the perfect bed time story for parents to read to children.  The illustrations by Mateya Arkova are the perfect graphic touch to start each chapter. The haunted sleepover theme and the ominous looking old home on the cover make this a perfect story to read in October.  The cliff hanger ending will keep the readers engaged, waiting for the next story in the series. As a blogger I received a complimentary copy of this book.  It is available for purchase on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble.
        Children of all ages enjoy the new series.

        Tuesday, July 25, 2017

        If You Were Me and Lived in...Israel: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World by Carole P. Roman,

        If You Were Me and Lived in...Israel: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World

        by Carole P. RomanKelsea Wierenga (Illustrator)




        There is another new volume in Carole P. Roman's Cultures around the World series.  If You Were Me and Lived in...Israel: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World by Carole P. Roman,  illustrated by Kelsea Wierenga is the newest book.

        There are plenty of commentaries and tourist books on Israel.  It has much symbolic, religious and political significance.  Countless affluent religious tourists make the expensive trip to visit this location. No doubt if you have access to social media, you have seen vacation photos in your newsfeed from your upscale, upper class friends.  Tourist photos do not give the whole picture of daily life in this culture.  Written from an objective, secular viewpoint, the reader gets a unique, unbiased  perspective of everyday life.   The author goes beyond the stereotype of Israel to review the basic day to day life that a child who lives in Israel experiences: school, sports, pastimes and more.  This edition  is a beautiful and informative work of art, celebrating Israel with its combination of  cheerful cartoon tour guides superimposed with beautiful, full color, picturesque photography.  Without a doubt,  each book in the "A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around The World" series offers the reader new surprises each time.

        I can imagine this book series would make a good transition as an educational television series. Hopefully at some point in the future, consideration can be made to publish these stories together in one larger volume. 




        When reading about Cuba, the photo shoot with the happy family   jumps out at the reader, against the backdrop against a traditional city neighborhood with its stonework benches  and age withered apartment complezes.   Other authentic  details and textures, bright blue skies, stonework, and architectural details,  add appeal and beauty to the simplistic cartoon scenes.

         The cartoon tour guides will certainly capture the attention of all young readers as well as parents and educators. I believe the "Carlesque" styled mixed media illustrations with the simple line cartoons in her   books are  an unexpected treat.  Mixed media illustrations are very popular and appealing for young readers as evidenced by the popularity of Eric Carle's kids' books.  By combining geography with mixed media- I believe that Roman will generate even greater interest and attention for her educational series. This sets her books apart from cartoon only illustrations.

        The consistency of these geography books makes this series perfect for the school setting. An educator can count on the fact that students will be introduced to the basics. There is enough detail to make this series appropriate for middle school and even high school students as well.


          It would be great to see this series used as part of a  school geography or social studies curriculum.  It is clear that each book, though simple in design, presents a wealth of information and research.   This book as well as the other books in the series is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

        Friday, July 21, 2017

        Assisted suicide or euthenasia- what's your view?

        Most people have heard of the idea of living wills and advanced directives- especially those who work in the healthcare field. Those living with chronic progressive and/or terminal illness and their families, most likely are also knowledgeable about advanced directives and living wills. Hospice services help those patients with a terminal illness to receive comfort care in their final days.    Palliative care services aides those who may or may not be eligible for hospice, but  have intractable pain or other needs that might not be fully met with mainstream pain management alone.

        Assisted suicide, is an entirely separate concept, and it is not legal in the United States.  Commonly referred to as euthanasia, the idea of assisted suicide is a complicated subject, and is distinct from Hospice services.  Personally I have known some confused individuals and even healthcare professionals who  may even equate hospice and palliative care services to be no different than euthanasia.  Yes, it is true that effective pain and symptom management might require increasing doses of medication to be effectively controlled, nevertheless this is not considered euthanasia or suicide. Although for some living with terminal illness, there is the rare occasion that severe intractable pain  might need to be treated with palliative sedation, in no way is this to be equated with euthanasia or assisted suicide.


        Dignitas- assisted suicide video - This video depicts the last day of a man in the later stages of  a terminal neuro-degenerative illness. It is the policy of Dignitas, the assisted suicide service organization-  to take a video of the patient for the purposes of establishing that his death was not coerced and to rule out a crime when an investigation is conducted.  For this reason, one may come across assisted suicide videos on the internet.  In this video, can see that the man's degenerative conditions has progressed so as to cause almost a full body paralysis and to impair his ability to breath on his own.  It is clear even with ventilation support, the work of breathing is debilitating for this man. One can see his gasps for breath as he talks.  It is obvious the man is suffering physically and emotionally, and that his mental awareness and cognitive ability is fully intact.  Also this is not legal in this country, nor should it be legalized,  it is hard to place judgment, nonetheless,  on this man's decision, nor should one presume to make judgment on this man's personal decision to end his life.   I was unable to find any information if this man had access to hospice programs. One can not say with assurance if this man had access to Hospice, if he would have still experienced the hopelessness, distress and physical pain leading to his decision.  Nevertheless, I have seen the effectiveness of hospice programs in alleviating the physical and emotional distress of alleviating individuals in terminal stages of illness ranging from cancer to degenerative neuro- motor diseases.  I personally feel its worth while to make hospice more accessible to patients and to take measures to reduce the fear and stigma that many associate with hospice programs.


        Wednesday, July 19, 2017

        Your Guide to the Apocalypse: What You Should Know Before the World Comes to an End by Matt Hagee  

        Your Guide to the Apocalypse: What You Should Know Before the World Comes to an End by Matt Hagee   is the perfect guide book for those who have ever been curious about what the bible has to say about the end times.  The apocalypse is a common theme these days- especially since 2012 with psuedo- scientific and social predictions of the end of the world. A popular genre in movies as well as novels, it is difficult for the casual reader to sort out the pop culture views from biblical reality.  The bible has much to say about the end times, but it may difficult for the average reader to decode- and sort through the relevant prophetic related scriptures that are woven throughout the old and new testament.  In his new book, Hagee does thorough research into matching up political, social environmental events with what the bible has to say about the end times. This book is written in a mater of fact narrative style, that is simple for all readers no matter where they may be in their spiritual growth. Bible readers as well as the general audience will be able  to learn much about what the bible has to say about the end times.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Waterbrook press for the purpose of writing this review.

        Tuesday, July 18, 2017

        100 Favorite Bible Verses By Thomas Nelson Published by Thomas Nelson

        100 Favorite Bible Verses By Thomas Nelson  Published by Thomas Nelson is a beautiful, portable devotional book features 100 of the most relevant or popular bible verses.  This compendium is certain to feature many familiar bible verses.  Each two page spread features a beautifully illustrated bible verse and a short devotional that expands on the verse.  I found the devotional passages to be enlightening,. making me think abut familiar verses in an entirely new way.  For example, just about everyone has heard of the "Love Is" passage from Corinthians.  It is commonly cited in anniversary cards, for example.  Yet how many considered that this can be applied to any relationship such as with interactions with grumpy coworkers or gossiping neighbors?  Its sounds counterintuitive for many to apply this beloved passage to enemies, but that is what Jesus asks us to do.  The devotional passage opened up an entirely way to read into this sometimes overused passage which is often used as a common catchphrase in romantic relationships.  There were other eye opening insights for commonly known bible verses as well.  I'd recommend this book to any bible believer in whatever stage of spiritual growth they may be in.  Whether a new believer in the bible wanting an introduction to basic memory verses or an experienced bible enthusiast who wants new insight into familiar bible passages this book will not be a disappointment.  This book is not simply a superficial survey of popular verses.  Rather it offers meaningful, in depth insight.  The beautiful book is reminiscent of the art featured in the "Beautiful Word" Zondervan series of bibles and devotionals, but is not associated with the series.  There is some common styled graphics and art, but this book features bible verses from the NIV, NLT and NKJV as well as other translations.  As a blogger for booklook I received a copy of this book published by Thomas Nelson for the purpose of writing this review.

        Wednesday, July 12, 2017

        Foundations of Drawing: A Practical Guide to Art History, Tools, Techniques, and Styles by Al Gury

        Foundations of Drawing: A Practical Guide to Art History, Tools, Techniques, and Styles by Al Gury is an all in one volume- an art technique course and history rolled into one.  If you are looking for one single art book to introduce you to art instruction as well as a brief introduction to art history, then this is the only book you will need.  Perfect for the beginning artist as well as the established professional, this book will open the reader to new art methods and the history behind creating art.  This is definitely a book you will return to often, for reference as well as for instruction.  This book is like having your own personal art instructor at your finger tips.  Also included are beautiful reproductions of art, step by step photos of the stages of art as well as photographs.  Be sure to take this book with you as well when compiling and shopping for your artistic tools.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Potter/Ten Speed/ Harmony publishers.  This is certainly a book that will be treasured; an essential reference for all artists.

        Tuesday, July 11, 2017

        Night Night, Train By Amy Parker Published by Thomas Nelson

        Night Night, Train is the newest picture board book By Amy Parker  Published by Thomas Nelson.  Parker's bed time themed picture books are part of our bedtime routine for my 2 and 4 year old.  This newest picture book features beautiful colorful art and the popular train theme.  The serene animal  cartoons and peaceful nighttime sky with the bright moon and the stars will serve as a perfect way to prepare young children for med.  The dreamlike story covers everything from dinner to bathtime, story time and prayer time on the quaint nostalgic train ride.  This book will be enjoyed just as much by girls as it will be enjoyed by boys.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book published by Thomas Nelson for the purpose of writing this review.

        Friday, June 23, 2017

        Bible Sleuth: New Testament by Scandinavia Publishing House (Produced by), Jose Perez Montero (Illustrator)

        Bible Sleuth: New Testament  (Produced by), Jose Perez Montero (Illustrator)  is a new hybrid book that is  actually a game. Whether or not your child is familiar with the Where’s Waldo series of books and games, parents and kids alike will enjoy the new book, Bible Sleuth: New Testament.  This book provides an opportunity to introduce young children to the bible using an innovative format. The Bible Sleuth is the perfect outreach to reach a new generation of parents and kids who might pass up the traditional bibles and bible story books available on the market. Each two  page spread is a new hide and seek puzzle where kids participate in the game to find the missing pictures.  The hide and seek games are difficult enough to engage older kids as well.  The pictures are complex and entertaining as well. This is the perfect book to take along on a road trip or a long plane ride to keep kids of all ages entertained.  Not only that, children are sure to gain a new interest in the bible and bible times as they are introduced to the culture of bible times: clothing, food, architecture and other aspects of life in bible times.  As a blogger for Tyndale I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.


        Monday, June 19, 2017

        If You Were Me and Lived in...Cuba: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World by Carole P. Roman,  illustrated by Kelsea Wierenga

        There is another new volume in Carole P. Roman's Cultures around the World series.  If You Were Me and Lived in...Cuba: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World by Carole P. Roman,  illustrated by Kelsea Wierenga is the newest book. This edition on Cuba  is a beautiful and informative work of art, celebrating Cuban culture with its combination of  cheerful cartoon tour guides superimposed with beautiful, full color, picturesque photography.  Without a doubt,  each book in the "A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around The World" series offers the reader new surprises each time.

        I can imagine this book series would make a good transition as an educational television series. Hopefully at some point in the future, consideration can be made to publish these stories together in one larger volume. 



        When reading about Cuba, the photo shoot with the happy family   jumps out at the reader, against the backdrop against a traditional city neighborhood with its stonework benches  and age withered apartment complezes.   Other authentic  details and textures, bright blue skies, stonework, and architectural details,  add appeal and beauty to the simplistic cartoon scenes.

         The cartoon tour guides will certainly capture the attention of all young readers as well as parents and educators. I believe the "Carlesque" styled mixed media illustrations with the simple line cartoons in her   books are  an unexpected treat.  Mixed media illustrations are very popular and appealing for young readers as evidenced by the popularity of Eric Carle's kids' books.  By combining geography with mixed media- I believe that Roman will generate even greater interest and attention for her educational series. This sets her books apart from cartoon only illustrations.

        The consistency of these geography books makes this series perfect for the school setting. An educator can count on the fact that students will be introduced to the basics. There is enough detail to make this series appropriate for middle school and even high school students as well.


          It would be great to see this series used as part of a  school geography or social studies curriculum.  It is clear that each book, though simple in design, presents a wealth of information and research.   This book as well as the other books in the series is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.