Basics for Believers

The Core of Christian Faith & Life
A Study of Philippians
By D.A. Carson

My Thoughts

Wonderfully insightful and applicable, this book will help the new Christian and the seasoned Christian understand the basics. There’s always something new to learn. I love the personable feel of this book. The author is sometimes blunt and to the point but it’s such an effective way to communicate the message. It is easy to read, understand and apply the lessons. The book of Philippians came alive to me in a new way.

The book is divided into 5 sections:
1. Put the Gospel first.
2. Focus on the Cross
3. Adopt Jesus’s Death as a Test of your Outlook
4. Emulate Worthy Christian Leaders
5. Never Give up the Christian Walk.

I was encouraged and challenged throughout this book. It is definitely one I will go back to in the future.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

Whispers and Wildflowers

30 Days to Slow Your Pace,
Savor Scripture
& Draw Closer to God

By Sarah Beth Marr

About the Book

Do you feel constantly busy but, deep down, constantly soul-weary? In this inspiring and practical book, Sarah Beth Marr helps you develop a regular practice of withdrawing from busyness to realign and refresh your heart, mind and soul.

If you feel distracted, burnt out, depleted, or overwhelmed, let Sarah Beth be your gentle and uplifting guide to greater personal peace and simplicity.

My Thoughts

My very first thought was, “This book is gorgeous!” Isn’t the cover just beautiful. I was so attracted to the book because of the cover. Then I opened it and found beautiful biblically based devotionals that were both encouraging and challenging. Sarah Beth draws from scripture, her personal life experiences, others’ experiences etc to weave a beautiful text that is easy to read and understand. I found myself wanting to spend time quietly with the Lord and let him into the garden of my heart. The prayers are great and the reflection questions are perfectly paired with the devotionals. They help the reader connect with the Lord on an intimate level. I did feel the devotionals were a little long. They could have been shortened a bit and not lose any effectiveness. Other than that I loved this book.

I received a copy from the publisher. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

For more information about the author, visit her website at http://sarahbethmarr.com/ or her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sarahbethmarr/

The Sky Above Us

Sunrise at Normandy Book 2
By Sarah Sundin

Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion.

Violet Lindstrom wants to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, arranging entertainment for the men of the 357th and setting up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long and estrangement.

Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near… and secrets can’t stay buried forever.

My Thoughts

Just like book 1 in this series, The Sea Before Us, The Sky Above Us takes the reader on a trip to Europe through the eyes of those on the ground, and in the air during WWII. Impeccably researched, this book makes you feel like you’re right there with the men and women who gave their lives for our country. The love story that moves along side the war and fighting lightens the air and brings the story more full circle to give the reader a picture of what it was like for the men and women of war in the time when they weren’t fighting. I loved the themes of grace and forgiveness and how the characters lives were transformed because of it. The Christian elements were well placed and natural in the flow of the story. They added another layer of depth that helped bring the story to life even more. There is so much going on in this story. It kept my attention well for the most part. I did find myself glossing over some of the fighting scenes. While they were wonderfully researched and well written I felt a little bored with the amount of detail.

I love Ms. Sundin’s writing and am looking forward to her future books! I received a complementary copy of this book as part of Revell’s blogger program. I was under no compulsion to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

For more information about the author, visit her webpage http://www.sarahsundin.com/

Praying God’s Will for Your Life

My Thoughts

Starting from “the most important step you’ll ever take” (p15), salvation, on to laying a firm foundation and into applying prayer to our walk with the Lord, this book takes the reader through why and how we should pray. The author uses personal examples, tons of scripture, and written prayers throughout the book. The personal content is applicable and relatable. I feel like there is a good balance of commentary, personal narrative and scripture. The chapters are broken up into good digestible chunks. It’s not too much to process all at once. I love this book. I like how you can read one chapter and put it down for a week and then pick it back up and read a little more, apply it to your life and be forever changed. It’s a powerful tool for a new believer, a growing believer or even a seasoned believer! This book will remain on my frequently picked up shelf.

I received a copy of this book from Booklookblogger program. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

Book Description

Now with bonus journaling space! A twenty-day prayerful walk to spiritual well-being from the author of the bestsellers The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent.

Praying God’s Will for Your Life is not a book about finding the right person to marry or deciding on a career. It is a book about a way of life and a heart attitude that are God’s will for everyone who knows Him. That way of life encompasses three important components:

An intimate relationship with God
A solid foundation in God’s truth
A commitment to obedience

As she has in previous bestselling books—The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent—Stormie invites you to discover the power of prayer, this time encouraging you to pray for yourself as you deepen your walk with God. Accept her challenge to pray for yourself in these areas every day for twenty days, and watch how God changes your life as you move into the center of His will. As you experience the power of God’s will in your daily faith journey, take advantage of the bonus Prayer Journal, which offers Stormie’s own words of encouragement and plenty of space for reflection and listing prayer requests and answered prayers.

Return to Bella Terra

By Maryann Diorio

About the Book

When she receives word that her mother is terminally ill, Maria Landro Tonetta travels to her Sicilian homeland with her son Nico. She finds herself yearning for the life she once knew as a child on Bella Terra, the family farm, now on the verge of bankruptcy.

Caught between two worlds, Maria dreams of moving back to Sicily with her husband and children to save the farm. When, however, Nico’s biological father unexpectedly appears at Mama’s funeral, Maria faces a new enemy to her dream. But is there an even greater enemy within her own soul?

My Thoughts

What a lovely setting for a book! I loved the cultural references and the trip to Sicily I went on while reading this book. It was great. I found that the story moved quite well and was easy to read. The characters were likable and had strong feelings. I struggled with the Biblical/Christian references being a little overboard and maybe a little forced feeling. I love Christian references in books and when characters live according to their faith and talk about it. However, when it becomes more than normal life and seems like its added to the storyline in a forced/excessive way it becomes rather distasteful. The problems and issues faced in the story are ones everyone can relate to which is excellent. I love the themes of love and family and redemption and forgiveness.

I received a copy of this book from BookCrash. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

Holy Roar

My Thoughts

“…the question isn’t what sort of worship makes you comfortable or will meet your need, but “What kind of worship does God call for?” (page 114) If I’m throwing a party for a friend, I want it to represent her. I don’t want it to represent me. I wouldn’t have all my favorite foods there. I would have her favorite foods. When I’m worshipping the Lord, it’s not about my preferences of what, why and how, but God’s! God instructs us in the Bible how he wants to be worshipped. This book highlights 7 of those specifics:

The Hands of Praise
The Fools of Praise
The Music of Praise
The Expectation of Praise
The Posture of Praise
The Songs of Praise
The Shout of Praise

What a simple book about how God wants us to worship. It’s not at all what we want or our preferences. We need to learn what God wants and do that. This book helps every reader, the new Christian, the teenager or preteen, the seasoned Christian and everyone in between, understand the words for praise used in the Bible and what they tell us about how God desires to be worshipped.
The simplicity of the book makes it powerful. It’s not super deeply theological. It’s easy to understand and super applicable. I learned so much reading this book. It’s a quick read too that packs a punch. I love the stories behind the songs that are included. It gives the songs so much more life to know where they came from. The scriptures are pointed and well chosen. The questions at the end of each chapter help the reader process the current state of their worship and help push them towards worshipping the way God calls us to. 

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers. This has in no way influenced my review. All thoughts are my own.

A Bound Heart

A Bound Heart
By Laura Frantz

Do you ever see a book cover and think, “Oh I want to find out what’s inside that book!”? That’s how I felt about this book. The cover is intriguing. Look at the scenery, the building, the lovely curly red hair. Doesn’t it look lovely? The writing I found inside well matched the cover. It was poetic and beautiful. The imagery used was spot on. I could hear someone with a Scottish accent talking. The story itself was well composed. It had ups and downs, love and loss, happiness and dread, injustice and forgiveness, etc.

I did have a little bit of a hard time getting into the book at the beginning but once the action kicked in it was way more captivating. I also found that reading the book was difficult. I had a much easier time understanding everything when I listened to the book. Once I got the feeling of the language and the way the author writes it was much easier to understand. There was an impeccable amount of detail included, which for the most part was a great thing. There were some times where I found myself lost in the details and I wanted to rush ahead.

This was the first book by Laura Frantz that I had the honor of reading. I would love to read more from this author. I love the settings included and all the reader learns about each place from reading the book. It’s like I went on a trip.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This has in no way influenced my review. All thoughts are my own!

Indivisible

Indivisible by Robert Noland

Indivisible is a book of 50 devotionals for couples on various topics geared towards strengthening marriage. Each day starts with a verse, a devotional, a “Creating Connection” section, and ends with questions for couples to discuss together. I loved the Creating Connection section. It was something to do. Go on a date, ideas for creating connection in various ways, challenges, fun school day love ideas like writing your names all over the place with ‘n’ between, etc. They are so helpful to apply what you read in the devotional. Everything is based on scripture and encourages building a God centered marriage. This book is great for newlyweds, couples who are 10, 20, 30 years in, as well as couples married for 40, 50+ years. It’s for everyone. The devotionals don’t take long to read through and the questions at the end can go as deep/lengthy as you like. The topics cover a variety of bases and are well thought out and well written. They are relational and easy to read and understand. I love this book! I think you will too. Check it out!

I received a copy of this book from Booklookblogger program. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

We Hope for Better Things

We Hope for Better Things
By Erin Bartels

Woah! This is an amazing book. I’m so glad to start 2019 with such an amazing read. We Hope for Better Things is a book that you have to mourn its ending; take a few days and debrief. It’s a triple time hop novel that blends 3 stories seamlessly, interweaving three individually excellent stories in a way that makes each story better. There’s no time to be bored or to feel like any of the 3 stories are monotonous. The stories rotate at each chapter. The author expertly leaves out certain bits of information that are only revealed in perfect timing. Sensitive time periods and topics are written with grace and great care. Forgiveness and love are key themes and are demonstrated in each of the stories. We also see the affects of racism, hate and ignorance. It causes the reader to question themselves and come out wanting to love people because we are all people created by God.
There were a few times where the names overlapped in the story and I wanted to know if they were connected. The answer never came. For example, one of the men that rode up to Mary and warned her about getting the men out of the town was named Sharpe. There was a Sharpe Elizabeth was involved with too when writing about the riots. I wondered if this was just an oversight or if these two were connected. It would have been great if they had been but I didn’t find any explanation of a connection. I also wish there would have been a little more explanation about Mary’s story line. I wanted some closure there. It would also be nice to have a family tree in the book. There were so many people I had a hard time connecting them all. Overall it wasn’t very important and I loved the story even through the little bit of confusion. It would have just made the book all the more better.
I loved this book! I can’t wait to read more from this author. I never would have guessed this was a debut novel. It was excellent. Don’t miss it.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was in no way required to write a review. Receipt of the book has in no way influenced my review. All thoughts are my own.

To Purchase a Copy Click

here.

*Affiliate link. I receive a few cents from purchases made from these links at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting this blog.

Who I Am With You

Who I Am With You
By Robin Lee Hatcher

Synopsis

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter — and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship — but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination.

Who I Am With You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

 

My Thoughts

I have read numerous Robin Lee Hatcher books and have found them all really well written and engaging. They are sweet stories with strong messages of faith, love, hope, forgiveness, etc. I love how Hatcher weaves these themes into her books so seamlessly. They don’t feel forced or hokey. Who I Am With You fell right in line with my expectations! From the moment I saw the cover I knew it was a book I wanted to add to my reading list. I fell in love with the characters from the very first pages. I was intrigued by their stories. There were some elements that were kind of obvious but then there were plenty of other elements that were complete surprises. I did wish I could see a little more deeper into the inner mind of the characters. I feel like a little more introspection would have helped me develop the characters in my mind further. I did feel like I could find things in each character that I could relate to. That definitely helped keep my interest. I found the story sweet throughout, even though the characters are dealing with some big issues. There wasn’t any huge cliff hanger type scenes. However, even without something huge happening in the plot I still felt like I was able to stay engaged with the story and never felt like I was bored. I did question the power of the 2nd storyline of Jessica’s great-grandfather. I felt like the connection between the 2 stories could have been stronger. They kind of felt disconnected in my mind a little bit. This is a great read. I love Robin Lee Hatcher’s stories and will continue to seek them out for lighthearted clean romance with great Christian themes.

I received a copy of this book from Robin Lee Hatcher as a member of her book launch team. I was in no way required to write a positive review. Being on the launch team has in no way impacted my review. All thoughts are my own.

To Purchase a Copy:

For more information about Robin Lee Hatcher visit her website here.

*Affiliate links. I receive a few cents from purchases made through these links at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting this blog.