Sunday, May 20, 2018

Romans - Journible the 17:18 Series (Journibles: the 17:18 Series) by Robert Wynalda and Dr. Joel R. Beeke

To purchase click here

I'm back on tour and this is a really unique book.  In this book YOU become the scribe and make a unique and personalized book. 

Why the 17:18 series?
In Deuteronomy 17, Moses is leaving final instructions concerning the future of Israel. As a prophet of God, Moses foretells of when Israel will place a king over the nation (v. 14). In verse 18, the king is commanded to not simply acquire a copy of the law (the entire book of Deuteronomy) from the scroll publishing house, but to hand write his own copy of the law. Thirty-four hundred years later, educators are discovering that students that physically write out their notes by hand have a much greater retention rate than simply hearing or visually reading the information. Apparently, God knew this to be true of the kings of Israel also. From such understanding came the conception of this series of books.



How to Use These Books

Each book is organized so that you can write out your very own copy of Scripture. You will be writing the Bible text only on the right hand page of the book. This should make for easier writing and also allows ample space on the left page to write your own notes and comments. From time to time a question or word will be lightly printed on the left page; these questions are to aid in further study, but should not interfere with your own notes and comments.

What I really liked about the book:  This book allowed my creative genie out of the bottle.  I got to write out the whole book of Romans.  There was no right or wrong.  This is a pretty unique concept and I really spent more time meditating on God's word.  There is plenty of space for my personal thoughts and I can pass this book down in the family if I choose to do so. 

What I wish was different:  I have larger handwriting and there just wasn't always enough room for all the verses.  Some ended up getting squished and that makes the book not as pretty.  I also wish the reflection questions were a bit more in depth and stimulating.  I didn't feel like they helped me gain much new insight on Romans.  

But I'll leave the final verdict up to you.  Follow the blog stops and enter to win your own copies!  Happy Journaling! 


About the Author

Dr. Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. He has written, co-authored, or edited seventy books (most recently, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, Living Zealously, Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage, Getting Back Into the Race: The Cure for Backsliding, Parenting by God’s Promises: How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace, Living for the Glory of God: An Introduction to Calvinism, Meet the Puritans, Contagious Christian Living, Calvin for Today, Developing a Healthy Prayer Life, and Taking Hold of God), and contributed 2,000 articles to Reformed books, journals, periodicals, and encyclopedias. His Ph.D. is in Reformation and Post-Reformation theology from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). He is frequently called upon to lecture at seminaries and to speak at Reformed conferences around the world. He and his wife Mary have been blessed with three children: Calvin, Esther, and Lydia.



GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the tour, Reformation Heritage Books is giving away a grand prize of the entire set of New Testament Journibles!!   Click here to enter

Blog Stops
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 17

Vicky Sluiter, May 17

Seasons of Opportunities, May 18

Lighthouse Academy, May 18

Bibliophile Reviews, May 19

Purposeful Learning, May 19

Eat, Read, Teach, Blog, May 20

Just the Write Escape, May 20

Because I said so – and other adventures in parenting, May 21

Book by Book, May 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 21

God’s Little Bookworm, May 22

Artistic Nobody, May 22

Genesis 5020, May 23

Simple Harvest Reads, May 23

Have A Wonderful Day, May 24

amandainpa, May 24

Bigreadersite, May 24

With a Joyful Noise, May 25

Pause for Tales, May 25

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 25

Among the Reads, May 26

Live. Love. Read., May 26

Multifarious, May 27

Rebekah’s Quill, May 27

A Baker’s Perspective, May 28

proud to be an autism mom, May 28

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, May 29

Janices book reviews, May 29

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 30

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Woman of Courage (Audible Book) by Wanda Brunstetter

I had a long drive on our family vacation and needed a good audiobook to pass the time.  I was browsing through Amazon and found this book:  

I was excited.  For several reasons, it's a book about Quakers and they don't get enough love (in my opinion) in the Christian fiction world, I can drive and still listen to a good book, and it's a Wanda book!  Yay!  

From the blurb: Take a 3,000 mile journey with Amanda Pearson as she leaves the disgrace of a broken engagement and enters the work of a Quaker mission in the western wilds. The trip is fraught with danger, and Amanda is near death before reaching her destination. Among those she meets are an Indian woman who becomes her first convert and a half-Indian trapper who seems to be her biggest critic. But love follows her into the wilderness and will determine the course of her future. You are sure to enjoy this historical romance adventure from New York Times best-selling author Wanda E. Brunstetter.

OK, when I started listening I was a little concerned.  The audible narrator, Jaimee Draper, was a little extra perky and chipper.  Thankfully, she toned down as the story progressed and by the time we were halfway through she really was a fantastic Amanda.  

Through the story Amanda is being refined and becomes, with God's help, a true woman of courage.  Spunky, caring, and bold in her witness Amanda desires to work with a Native tribe in a mission after being jilted by her creeper fiance.  Having to bury her father on the journey, going through several illnesses, and meeting a stubborn guide on the way Amanda begins to see that God's plans for her life are more amazing than she can even being to imagine.  

The story starts out a little slow, but my husband and I were drawn in as it unfolded and we both enjoyed it.  So pick up your copy or recording and discover Woman of Courage!  Happy listening!  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Love Amy by Amy Young




I'm on tour again!  Join me and my fellow bloggers as we explore a really fascinating memoir.  To purchase your copy click here


She came to China with a lesson plan. What she found was a new sense of purpose. Amy Young traveled to China in the mid 1990s to teach English to educators. But she never expected the profound way they would enrich her soul. With the influence of the enchanting country and its extraordinary everyday people, Amy extended a two-year assignment to nearly two decades far away from home. Starting shortly after her arrival, Amy shared her stories and her unique perspective through a series of letters. Her nine years of correspondence demonstrated a country going through growing pains: from political unrest to the SARS epidemic to budding prosperity. Amy battled language barriers, cultural faux pas, and invasive mice with nothing to lose. She even fought for her life with a potentially deadly illness, unsure if she'd survive to share her tale. Throughout her journey, Amy drew strength from God and came to appreciate the beauty and power of an ordinary life lived well. Love, Amy: An Accidental Memoir Told in Newsletters from China is one woman’s deeply moving journey of self-transformation. If you like humorous anecdotes, immersions in Eastern culture, and honest stories that aren’t afraid to dig deep, then you’ll love Amy Young’s heartfelt tale. Buy Love, Amy for an inspirational guided tour into the heart of China today!

I am an avid reader of memoirs and really enjoy diving into diverse cultures.   From battling mice to being operated on without anesthetic you are drawn into her world with her powerful storytelling.  Her descriptions of China are amazing and you feel that you are really there along side of her.  Proof that real life is so much more imaginative than fiction can be.  

Amy Young grows as a person and she's not afraid to share her life with us.  I was rooting for her and came to care about the people she brought to life.  This was my first read from her and I'm definitely going back and finding her other writings.  

So pick up your copy today of this amazing story and be prepared for mice!  Follow the tour and make sure to enter for your chance to win below!   

About the Book


Title: Love, Amy

Author: Amy Young

Genre: Memoir

Release Date: June, 2017

She came to China with a lesson plan. What she found was a new sense of purpose.



Amy Young traveled to China in the mid 1990s to teach English to educators. But she never expected the profound way they would enrich her soul. With the influence of the enchanting country and its extraordinary everyday people, Amy extended a two-year assignment to nearly two decades far away from home.


Starting shortly after her arrival, Amy shared her stories and her unique perspective through a series of letters. Her nine years of correspondence demonstrated a country going through growing pains: from political unrest to the SARS epidemic to budding prosperity. Amy battled language barriers, cultural faux pas, and invasive mice with nothing to lose. She even fought for her life with a potentially deadly illness, unsure if she’d survive to share her tale.


Throughout her journey, Amy drew strength from God and came to appreciate the beauty and power of an ordinary life lived well.Love, Amy: An Accidental Memoir Told in Newsletters from China is one woman’s deeply moving journey of self-transformation. If you like humorous anecdotes, immersions in Eastern culture, and honest stories that aren’t afraid to dig deep, then you’ll love Amy Young’s heartfelt tale.



About the Author

Amy Young is a writer, speaker, and advocate for embracing the messy middle of your one glorious life. Author of Looming Transitions, Twenty Two Activities for Families in Transition, and The Looming Transitions Workbook, she also created the blog The Messy Middle (www.messmiddle.com), has been a part of Velvet Ashes, (an online community for missionaries) from the beginning, and contributes regularly to A Life Overseas. Amy enjoys nothing more than being with her people, wherever they are in the world. She also enjoys cheering on the Denver Broncos and Kansas Jayhawks. After nearly twenty years in China, she returned to Denver and much to her shock, discovered she enjoys gardening. 



Guest Post from Amy Young
The tug for a life that is “Anything but Boring”

When I was in college the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Sarah Plain and Tall changed my life. You’ve probably seen it and been moved too. Sarah, a spinster by the standard of her day, moves from Boston to the fields of Kansas to consider marrying a widower and help him raise his children and work his farm. Her brother could not understand why Sarah would move from so-called civilization to the middle of nowhere. But the longing she felt for her life to matter resonated deeply with me.

I was in the liminal space between adolescence and adulthood. Like Sarah, I knew I could stay where I was and live a good life, but I wanted more. And so I moved to China.

Our world is one that loves big, change-the-world stories. I love them too. I remember reading The End of the Spear, the story of Jim Elliott and his friends who were martyred for their faith. I also lost myself in the stories of Gladys Aylward, William Carey, Lottie Moon, and Amy Carmichael. I remember reading about a missionary that had some worm pulled out of his stomach that was the size of a large snake. Disgusting! Fascinating! All for the gospel! The life of faith was exciting and God was on the move all the time! While it is true, the life of faith is exciting and God is on the move, it is also ordinary, boring, disappointing, and confusing. When I started compiling the letters I wrote from my days in China, I was embarrassed by what “first year Amy” said. She was so clueless, so uninformed, so willing to display her lack of cultural knowledge. I wanted to put my hand over her mouth and ask her to please pipe down because she did not really believe what she was saying. But she did, “first year Amy” could not know what “fifteen year in China Amy” knew.

These change the world stories I love? Turns out they have been more sanitized than I realized without showing the cultural and ministry progression that must have taken place.

Even now, knowing what I know, part of me wishes my newsletters contained miracles and throngs coming to Christ because of my work. I thought throngs and miracles were what a “real” cross-cultural worker would do. I thought that would show that my life mattered, like Sarah’s when she moved to Kansas. Don’t we all want our lives to matter? I believed that mattering was measurable. By compiling and writing this book the lesson Love, Amy has taught me is that too often we confuse size with significance. I still hear the whisper that says, “Amy, really? You wrote about the cultural beliefs that influence standing in line and you think that is worth people giving of their prayer, money, and time?” Part of me is reluctant even now to publish these letters because they are common. In truth, I am happy with my life and the contributions I have made. Of course I have regrets and wish I’d handled certain situations differently. But if all we hear are the spectacular stories, we can miss the gift our beautifully ordinary lives can be.

Who made it into the Gospels? A widow and her two mites. A boy and his few fish. She is described as offering out of her poverty. His common lunch was used to feed more than he could have imagined. Jesus did not tend to elevate those in power or those who seemed impressive.

My first year, a fellow teacher in China told me, “You’re lucky you’re still in your first year. Wait until your second year and you have told all your stories. You’ll have nothing to say in your newsletters.” Isn’t that the heart of what we fear—that we will have nothing to say with our lives? The secret to combating this fear is not that secretive. Show up and be present. Taken individually, these letters don’t add up to much, but put them together and much to my surprise, month after month I wrote an accidental memoir.


As ordinary as it is, I do have to say, life in China was anything but boring! If you love memoirs and want to hear stories that will make you laugh or cringe (and sometimes both), join me on a college campus in China.


Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away a grand prize of a letter writing basket that includes a $25 Amazon gift card!! Click here



Blog Stops
Reading Is My SuperPower, April 19

Inklings and notions , April 20

Eat, Read, Teach, Blog, April 20

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 21

Mary Hake, April 21

Texas Book-aholic, April 22

Carpe Diem, April 23

A Baker’s Perspective, April 24

Simple Harvest Reads, April 25 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 26

Artistic Nobody, April 27 (Spotlight)

Lots of Helpers, April 27

Bibliophile Reviews, April 28

proud to be an autism mom, April 29

A Greater Yes, April 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 30

Janices book reviews, April 30

Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 1

Bigreadersite, May 2

margaret kazmierczak, May 2 (Interview)


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Amish Teacher's Gift by Rachel Good (The Love & Promise Series Book 1)

I was super excited to get a copy of Rachel Good's newest book coming out this month.  



From the back:     A Teacher's Love
Widower Josiah Yoder wants to be a good father. But it's not easy with a deaf young son who doesn't understand why his mamm isn't coming home. At a loss, Josiah enrolls Nathan in a special-needs school and is relieved to see his son immediately comforted by his new teacher, a woman whose sweet charm and gentle smile just might be the balm they both need.

With seven siblings to care for, Ada Rupp wasn't sure she wanted to take on teaching, too. But the moment she holds Nathan in her arms, she realizes she'll do all she can to help this lost little boy. Plus, it gives her a chance to spend more time with Josiah. Falling for a man in mourning may be against the rules, but his quiet strength is the support Ada never knew she needed. And, together, they could have the loving family she'd always hoped for.

This was a really great book.  I felt for Nathan and the struggles he was going through with his son.  He trying so hard to be everything for his little boy after the tragic loss of his mom.  He doesn't understand why she's gone and becomes fearful of the one parent he has left.  

Ada is coping with loss and grief as well.  She's struggling to be a breadwinner and raise her siblings who are also grieving.  When she is offered a job at a special needs school as a first year teacher she jumps at the chance.  Ada struggles to find a way to reach and teach her pupils.  Clever, caring and resourceful Ada's strength and courage shine through!

With themes of forgiveness, second chances and a sweet romance thrown in you won't want to miss this book!  So pick up your copy of The Amish Teacher's Gift on the 24th this month and enjoy a great first book in a new series!  Happy Reading!  


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Chance at Forever (Teaville Moral Society) by Melissa Jagears

I love a good series.  I can honestly say that some books get better and better as the series progresses and this is one of them.  
When I got my copy I was so excited.  The cover is gorgeous!  I just admired it for awhile and then dived into another great book by Melissa Jagears. 

From the back: "Heartwarming and sweet . . . compelling . . ."--RT Book Reviews on A Love So True 

Determined to protect the children of Teaville, Kansas, from the bullying she experienced as a child, Mercy McClain finds fulfillment working at the local orphanage and serving on the school board. When Aaron Firebrook, the worst of her childhood bullies, petitions the board for a teaching position, she's dead set against his getting the job.

Aaron knows he deserves every bit of Mercy's mistrust, but he's returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking the forgiveness of those he wronged. He doesn't expect Mercy to like him, but surely he can prove he now has the children's best interests at heart.

Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron overcome the past in time to battle the threats against the future of the town's orphans?

"The third book in Jagears' Teaville Moral Society series is a delightful addition with its wonderful message about God's promises for the future and the closure of one's past. . . . The characters are complex, and their struggles are realistic and believable, as are the details of the early 1890s time period. The romance is sweet and lovely, and Jagears knows how to pull heartstrings. If you are a historical inspirational romance reader, this is a fantastic read in an enjoyable series."--RT Book Reviews

Ok, let's start with the fact that this author home schools three kids and still manages to write amazing stories.  I home school and am lucky I can match socks most days.  This impresses me just as much as the story does. 

These books can stand alone, but I think you should read them all.  Characters from previous books pop in and it just makes it a richer experience if you have read the past ones.  

It's hard to pull off a repentant bad boy, but Melissa Jagears does a good job.  Aaron is a likable character and realistic.  I found myself cheering him on in the story and enjoying his path as he tries to make things right. 

Mercy was a bit difficult for me to like, but the reality is, she was bullied and the way she responded to Aaron is realistic and people can react that way.  She was hurt and that can impact you.  

This is a rich story and typical of the author's style the characters are realistically portrayed and sensitive topics are discussed.  We live in a fallen world and bad things happen.  I love the way they are dealt with in the story.  

With great characters, good major and minor story lines, and just a really great book I have enjoyed this series.  So pick up your copy today and dive into a great read.  Happy Reading!  

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ellie and the Prince (Faraway Castle #1) by J.M. Stengl

If you follow this blog you find that I love a good retelling.  I grew up in the Disney world of fairy tales and frankly, Cinderella wasn't my favorite.  She was a passive, meek, goody two shoes.  It was when I grew up and discovered the true tales and retellings that fairy tales came to life for me. 


J.M. Stengl entered the retelling scene and fairy tales may never be the same.  She already has two prequels out.  Cinder Ellie begins this story.  

From the description:  Don't miss this stunning Golden Phoenix Award-winning novel!

Serving as Controller of Magical Creatures at the illustrious Faraway Castle resort, Ellie Calmer knows her place. She is a servant, and she has no business thinking about handsome Prince Omar, a regular visitor at the resort, much less talking to him!

But then a unicorn on the resort grounds attacks a party of riders, frightening the guests, and a band of young and adventurous nobles decide to hunt it down. Suddenly Ellie needs Omar's help. She knows something must be wrong to have driven the unicorn to such desperate extremes. Can she and Omar find the unicorn before it's too late? And will she somehow protect her heart against the irresistible attraction she feels for the kind and gentle prince?

Ok let's start with what I loved,  Ellie is amazing.  This is not some meek female who lets the mice get the job done.  Sometimes having such a strong character can wash out the scenes and other characters.  Ms. Stengl does a good job of balancing it all out and letting the minor characters shine.  The story flows well and we meet more magical creatures.  I also see where the story branches out and begins to weave into other tales.  I felt strong connections to the characters and have eternal thankfulness that no singing mice were involved.  

My son, of course, loved the Cinder Sprites!  (I preferred the unicorn, but apparently, when you are a 10 year old boy a glowing horse is nothing compared to something that bursts into flames.)  He thinks they are still the most amazing magical creature, ever.  (Side note, our poor Guinea pig is being casted to play a Cinder Sprite)

I would have liked to have seen Ellie's reunification with her parents.  I think it would have been neat.  Plus the way Stengl described the mom I was interested to see how the mother/daughter relationship would function.  I also would have loved to have heard her guardian's side of the tale.   There are some other loose ends like the director of the resort that were left hanging.  I'm hopeful that they are in a future stories because they are worthy to be told.  

Overall, this is probably my favorite retelling.  With vibrant characters, Cinder Sprites galore, and a flowing story line, this book will have you under it's spell.  So plan on picking up your copy when it comes out!  In the mean time, pick up the prequel.  You can get it here!  Happy Reading!


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Monday, February 19, 2018

Twice Loved by Wanda Brunstetter

We did a secret sister in one of my online groups and my sweet sister sent me this little book after I had posted that it had been a tough week.  

This was such a nice surprise and a Wanda book I hadn't seen before!  

Bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter brings you a touching story of a single mother widowed after World War II. Bev Winters’s new job is an answer to prayer and just in time for Christmas—until her boss’s kindness awakens an old longing. Will her pride allow love after loss? Also enjoy a collection of 1940s recipes and handcrafts along with stories and trivia about Christmas 1946.

This is a really sweet book and it reminds us that things happen in God's time and way.  

Dan was nice and made his wife a promise that he would keep the toy store running after her death.  Bev's husband died and she needs this job.  I found her a little blunt at times.  I enjoyed watching their romance unfold. 

The story was gentle and an easy evening read.  The wartime recipes at the end were fun I was able to adapt them to my dietary restrictions and make a few!  

So pick up your copy of Twice Loved and enjoy a fun read!  Happy Reading!