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/

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.

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.

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.

When We Say Father: Unlocking the Power of the Lord’s Prayer

When We Say Father:
Unlocking the Power of the Lord’s Prayer

By Adrian Rogers & Steve Rogers

My Thoughts

Slowly and carefully, this book wades through the Lord’s prayer. Line by line. Explaining and applying every word. The book is a small quick read but packs a punch. It goes through each section covering: The Person of Prayer, The Priority of Prayer, The Provision of Prayer, The Pardon of Prayer, The Protection of Prayer, The Praise of Prayer, and the Promise of Prayer. Every page focuses on scripture. It explains it in such a way that even a new believer can understand but a mature believer can grasp new things and understand the Bible better. There are practical examples and situations presented that help the reader further understand the text. I learned a lot through this book. The best thing the book does is that it encourages application! It’s no good to simply know about prayer if we don’t practice. This is a great little book. I encourage you to pick it up today!

I received a copy of this book as a BH Blogger. I was in no way required to write a review. Nor has this influenced my review in any way. All thoughts are my own.

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

Silencing Insecurity

Silencing Insecurity
By Donna Gibbs

Everyone struggles with insecurity… but everyone deals with it differently. If I don’t have my beliefs solidly planted in God’s truth I just might find myself free falling off the cliff of defeat, discouragement, and demise. Silencing Insecurity by Donna Gibbs is a great resource. The book moves from Part 1 about Identifying identity thieves to Part 2 which dives deeper into the different things that can cause identity questions and then on further to Part 3 which covers how we can look to God for our security and for defeat of our identity thieves. Each section has an intro which gives the reader a great summation of what they will be learning in that section. I feel like when I am done reading this section I will know all these things… and that is a great addition to this book! Each section finishes with some questions. They start off more focused on past and present thoughts and I wished they would have extended more into application but I found that the questions in Part 2 and 3 were more of those type. There is a great balance of scripture, commentary, personal experience, and the experience of others in this book! I think that is one of the greatest things about it. It’s not condemning at all. I loved the material in Part 3 and the questions were well thought out and very helpful for self-reflection and application of the material. I struggled a little bit with the layout of the book. I kind of wished the 3 sections were mashed together a little bit more so I didn’t have to wait til Part 3 to get to that material. This is just my personal preference though and not something I want to get nitty gritty about. Overall the material is great and pushes the reader towards Christ! The book might be considered geared towards young adults but anyone can read it and glean valuable insights.

I received a copy of this book from Revell. This has in no way influenced my review. I was under no compulsion to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

*Contains Affiliate links. I receive a few cents for purchases made through these links at no cost to you.

Renewed by Leigh Powers

About the Book

 

Book Title: Renewed

Author: Leigh Powers

Genre: Devotional

Release date: November, 2017

Ministry is a privilege, but it can also be a painful experience. Unrealistic expectations, church conflict, forced resignations, and our own struggles with burnout, loneliness, and insecurity can make church feel more like a place of wounding than a place of healing. How can wounded leaders find the courage to reject bitterness and keep loving the church?

Renewed is a forty-day devotional for women in ministry, ministry wives, and lay leaders who have been wounded by their congregations. You are not alone. God sees your pain. He knows your hurts. And he is waiting to bind up your broken heart. This forty-day journey into the healing love of Jesus will help you find the courage to stop hiding and start loving the church again.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Woah! Have you ever read a book and thought, this was written just for me? You can totally connect with the author and what they’re saying. It resonates on a deep level. She put words where you didn’t have any. This book was like that for me. Growing up as a pastors kid, being the wife of a worship leader, and being on church staff myself means I experienced many of the same things the author writes about in this book. She speaks truth with love and grace. She doesn’t sugar coat it. It comes out raw and ugly at times and many of us are afraid to say such things… we think them but who can we trust to hear our hearts? So we don’t dare say anything out loud! I love that Powers sends the reader to scripture and prayer. She encourages reflection and further contemplation through scripture. It’s not a self-help book. It’s based in the Bible; where all answers can be found! It doesn’t belittle or demean those who think or experience the things written in the book but it encourages full dependence on the Lord to grow and develop as a follower of Christ. It doesn’t encourage one to wallow in the hurt but to see victory through the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This is a book I will read and reread. I love the detailed table of contents for the times when I need to read something specific. I can easily find the devotional for that particular thing and go right to it. I’m thankful for the author’s willingness to go there. This book is a blessing.

I received a copy of this book as a participant in the Celebrate Lit blogger team. This has in no way influenced my review. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author

Leigh Powers is passionate about helping women find hope and healing in God’s Word. A pastor’s wife and mother of three with fifteen years of full-time ministry experience, she is a freelance writer, Bible study and devotional author, and a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She blogs regularly at www.leighpowers.com. You can usually find her with either a book or knitting needles in her hand—and sometimes both.

Guest Post from Leigh

I love ministry life. Several years ago, a young woman from Southeast Asia came to my English as a Second Language class for a year. Her English wasn’t very good, and I had to tug to get a word out of her. She came every week, but I wondered how much she was getting from the Bible stories we did during each class. At the end of the semester, I asked our class to share what they wanted to tell their friends and family when they went home. She looked up at me with big brown eyes. “I want to tell people about Jesus.”

Those are the ministry moments that thrill us. It is a privilege to help people find freedom in Christ, teach God’s word, worship with the congregation, and walk alongside people in their moments of joy or sorrow. On those days I can’t imagine choosing another life. Then there are days that make me want to hang it all up and go work at Wal-Mart. Days when anonymous letters get slipped under the office door. Days when you’re the brunt of gossip, when loneliness is like an ache in your bones, or when you start sending out resumes for new positions because you aren’t sure how much longer you’ll have the one you’ve got.

Ministry can be tough. Over the years I’ve met many women who have experienced the painful side of ministry. Church conflicts, forced resignations, depression, loneliness, feelings of inadequacy, and our own struggles with faith can take a toll. That painful side of ministry can make us start looking for an escape hatch.

I wrote Renewed in the middle of a difficult ministry season. It was a hard season, but it was also a season where Jesus showed up for me in an almost tangible way. At the same time, I was also hearing stories from other ministry wives and women in ministry that sounded all too familiar. I started putting words on the page, hoping that somehow God would use them to bring healing to other women in the same way he had brought healing to me. That outpouring of hurt, healing, and hope eventually became Renewed.

Some of you reading this are nodding along right now because you’ve been there too. You love the church, but you’ve seen how ugly it can be when we get it wrong. You’ve got wounds of your own, and sometimes you wonder if you can ever risk your heart again. If that’s you, I want you to know that there is hope. God has not abandoned you. God sees your hurt, he knows your pain, and he is waiting to bind up your broken spirit. He’s waiting. Turn to him, and may you find your spirit renewed.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, October 6

amandainpaOctober 7

A Baker’s Perspective, October 7

The Becca Files, October 8

Mary Hake, October 8

Living Life Free In Christ, October 9

Genesis 5020, October 10

A Reader’s Brain, October 11

More Of Him, October 12

proud to be an autism mom, October 12

Godly Book Reviews, October 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Carpe Diem, October 14

Kelly Harrel, October 15

Texas Book-aholic, October 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

Bigreadersite, October 17

Janices book reviews, October 18

Real World Bible Study, October 19

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, October 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Leigh is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4ee/renewed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Jesus Calling for Christmas

Jesus Calling for Christmas
By Sarah Young

 

Are your holidays too hectic? Take a few minutes to savor the season with this beautiful Christmas edition of Jesus Calling®devotions, a perfect gift that includes 50 short selections along with festive and breathtaking imagery.

Jesus Calling® for Christmas is a compilation of 50 seasonally appropriate devotions from Sarah Young’s bestselling brand. In addition to the heartwarming devotions, enjoy the Christmas story from the Bible, Old Testament prophecies about the birth of Jesus, and exquisite images.

Whether a self-purchase to enhance your observation of Advent and the birth of the Christ child or a natural gift for friends and loved ones, Jesus Calling® for Christmas will prove an annual treasure for celebrating the season.

My Thoughts

I have been reading the Jesus Calling book for a long time so I was excited to see a Christmas themed book. I am excited to add it to my advent reading. My very first thoughts about this book upon opening it up was how beautiful the images were. They are all Christmas/Winter in theme and are gorgeous. The book is very appealing to the eye.  The devotionals are the perfect length for a quick read. They leave you pondering the content for the rest of the day. The verses are perfectly matched. My only issue with the book is the layout. It’s not consistent. This was very distracting as I wasn’t sure what went with what. The days reading wasn’t clearly defined. This in my mind makes it more of a coffee table book than a devotional. I still love the content but I wish it was a little better structured inside. Overall the book is beautiful both speaking of images and of the writing. I enjoyed reading this book and will definitely put it out on a coffee table during the Christmas season.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers. This 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. 

The 6 Hearts of Intimacy

About the Book

Book Title: The 6 Hearts of Intimacy

Author: Bob & Cheryl Moeller

Genre: Christian Non-fiction

Release date: September 11, 2018

Understand the way your spouse gives and receives love for greater passion in your marriage.

The 6 Hearts of Intimacy is a “Love Languages” for sex in marriage. Rather than focusing on techniques, it unlocks the secret to true sexual fulfillment by revealing the unique way each spouse gives and receives love. Various books describe the distinct ways in which people express and accept love, but this idea has never before been specifically applied to intimacy in marriage.

Marriage experts Bob and Cheryl Moeller present six biblically based and proven ways to enhance your relationship with your spouse as they describe the Romantic Heart, the Giving Heart, the Guardian Heart, the Companion Heart, the Worshiping Heart, and the Ecstatic Heart. They also expose the “counterfeit hearts” that are present in many people’s marriages, leaving their sexual relationship self-focused and empty.

Many couples spend a lifetime attempting to express their love yet fail to achieve true intimacy. Sensitively written with practical advice and humor, The 6 Hearts of Intimacy shows husbands and wives how to successfully resolve conflicts in their relationship and how to care daily for their spouse’s unique heart of sexual love.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

The absolute best thing about this book is that it guides the reader to center their relationship around Christ. Through scripture, personal examples, examples of others and years of wisdom the authors tell the reader not only why its important but how it’s possible to have greater intimacy in marriage. The tone of the book is refreshing and relatable. I loved the inclusion of scripture to back up their points. They present doable application and questions to bring forth discussion and self reflection. The appendix has great evaluation tools. I love that this book can be used individually or in a small group. I learned so much from this book. There are so many things that I want to apply to my marriage. This book is greatly needed in our society today.

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

About the Author

Bob and Cheryl Moeller are the cofounders of For Better, For Worse, For Keeps Ministries, which is dedicated to healing hearts and restoring marriages, especially in under-served communities. Each is the author or coauthor of a number of books. Bob is also the author of numerous articles. The president of For Better, For Worse, For Keeps, Bob is a conference speaker, seminar presenter, and international guest preacher and teacher. He also hosts the television program, Marriage: For Better, For Worse, which airs on the Total Living Network and was awarded Best Television Teaching Show by the National Religious Broadcasters. Cheryl serves as the ministry’s Director of Marketing, Social Media Coordinator, and Director of Prayer Ministry and is a speaker and literary agent. Bob and Cheryl have been married for almost 40 years and have six children and four grandchildren.

Guest Post from Bob and Cheyl

You have God’s permission to enjoy sex within your marriage. He invented sex; He thought it up to begin with. You can learn to enjoy it and, husbands, you can develop a thrilling, happy marriage with ‘the wife of your youth.’ If your marriage has been a civil-war battlefield or a dreary wasteland, instead of a lovers’ trysting place, all that can change. You see, God has a perfect plan for marriage, which we may choose to step into at any time, and the mistakes of the past can be dealt with and left behind.

Indeed, the Ecstatic Heart finds its fulfillment in the intoxicating experience of joyful physical intimacy with your spouse that God Himself ordained, created, and blessed. The Ecstatic Heart celebrates married physical intimacy as a gift from God.

Blog Stops

lighthouse Academy, September 15

A Baker’s Perspective, September 15

A Reader’s Brain, September 16

Bigreadersite, September 16

Living life free in Christ, September 17

Reading is my Super Power, September 17 (Interview)

Life Faith & Health, September 18

Power of Words, September 18 (Spotlight)

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 19

margaret kazmierczak, September 19 (Interview)

A Rup Life, September 20

Mary Hake, September 20

proud to be an autism mom, September 21

Artistic Nobody, September 22 (Spotlight)

Texas Book-aholic, September 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 24

Creating Romance, September 25

Janices book reviews, September 26

Carpe Diem, September 27

Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 28

Pause for Tales, September 28

Giveaway

6da7b43f-86de-4c78-a777-666166f2f274

To celebrate their tour, Bob and Cheryl are giving away a grand prize basket that includes a Pomegranate Body Wash from Abba Products and Bath Salts from Divinity Boutique!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d5c8/the-6-hearts-of-intimacy-celebration-tour-giveaway