Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Book Review: "Love Does for Kids"

Fans of Bob Goff's popular book for adults, Love Does, will be excited to learn that he and his daughter have written a children's version. I haven't yet read the grown-up version, so I can't compare. I can only tell you about the book for kids.

Love Does for Kids is a quality hardcover book with 46 stories about the Goff family that illustrate their beliefs about love in action, faith revealed in how one lives one's life. Each story ends with a comparison to something that happened in the Bible or a simple observation about God. These would make great bedtime stories and could be used to start discussions about how Christians respond to God's love by living loving lives.

My only wish is that the authors or publishers would have included some Scripture references, so families could easily look up the stories or concepts for themselves. I always appreciate ideas firmly backed by the Bible's authority.

I thank Tommy Nelson Kids for sending me a complimentary copy of this book, so I could share my thoughts about it here. I plan to share the stories with my children in the coming year.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Book Review: "The Gift That I Can Give"

My daughter and I both loved Kathie Lee Gifford's new children's book, The Gift That I Can Give. The pictures, done by illustrator Julia Seal, are adorable. I enjoyed the simple features and bright colors on every page. Gifford's sing-song rhyming words were easy to read aloud and carried a powerful message. The brightly colored words with chosen ones highlighted were a nice feature, too.

I appreciated how Gifford communicated that every person has a God-given gift or two or three, that some gifts are flashy and seem extra-important, but quiet gifts are significant, too. She also shows children that God will reveal their gifts as they grow up and as they grow to know Him and that His only expectation is that they use their gifts to reveal His love to others. His love is a gift that everyone receives and that everyone can give away.

I thank Tommy Nelson Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy of this book, and I am excited to tell you about it. If you have young children, I recommend The Gift That I Can Give to your family.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Book Review: "Lady of a Thousand Treasures"

I've read a few of Sandra Byrd's book for teenage girls, but Lady of a Thousand Treasures was the first I've read that she has written for adults. I loved it! Byrd truly is a master of historical Christian fiction. She's an impressive wordsmith, too. I loved the way she sprinkled the book with unusual grouping words as a game of sorts her main character enjoyed playing in her head.

This character, Eleanor Sheffield, comes from a family of antiquities evaluators: authenticating, repairing, and finding new pieces for clients' collections. Until her father's death, the business had been run by brothers in the Sheffield family. Now Eleanor is running it with the help (and name) of her aging uncle. She finds an opportunity to make a name for herself and to earn the respect of the collecting community when a wealthy client passes away, leaving Eleanor in charge of determining the fate of his extensive collection. She is to investigate his son's motives and activities to decide whether he is worthy of inheriting the collection or if it should go straight to a museum. This son, however, just happens to be her childhood sweetheart and someone who had hinted at a proposal of marriage.

Just as Eleanor has no idea who she can or should trust, readers will be just as confused. It's a fascinating story with many unexpected changes in circumstance and characters worth getting to know.

If you enjoy great fiction in historical settings, I recommend this book to you. Tyndale House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy, so I could share my thoughts with you.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Book Review: "Becoming Mrs. Lewis"

It's not often that I choose to stop reading a book, but I found this book painful to read. The pace was slow, but considering the content, I expected that. No. I stopped reading the book because the characters didn't ring true to the image I've developed of them through reading C.S. Lewis's books or reading of them through other historical sources. I'm not saying that I know more about Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis than author Patti Callahan does. I'm sure I don't. But the characters as she presented them weren't ones I could respect. I felt as if I were listening to gossip about them behind their backs. I had to close the book.

Historical fiction is a tricky thing, especially when your main characters were actual people, not fictional characters. I'm sure Callahan did her best to present Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis as she perceived they were. And maybe they really were that way, but I did not enjoy reading this book.

I received a complimentary copy of Becoming Mrs. Lewis from Thomas Nelson Publishers, so I could share my thoughts with you.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Book Review: "Silencing Insecurity"

I'll warn you in advance: you need to be patient with this book, but it is worth it. Donna Gibbs has a powerful message which she presents step-by-step in three parts. The first section identifies and clarifies things that can make us feel insecure, but readers don't learn what to do about those things until later. I wanted answers up front. But when those answers came, I was glad I waited. Gibbs gives her readers a lot of valuable information and tells them how to use it most effectively. I'll be referring to this book again.

As I mentioned, Part 1 identifies things that can make a person feel insecure. Part 2 identifies problems that people have to deal with when they let insecuries take control. Part 3 tells readers where to look for a healthy self-image and how to increase their confidence for the needs of daily life. The book is written primarily for women because studies have shown that they are most likely to struggle with insecurity, but men can glean sound insight, too, if interested. Gibbs shares personal stories, wisdom she's gained as a licensed counselor, and Bible truth with gentle encouragement and authority.

If you are interested in building self-esteem, conquering insecurity, and learning to trust God more, I recommend this book. Revell sent me a complimentary copy, so I could share my opinion with you.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Book Review: "Unshakable Hope Student Edition"

I've really enjoyed reading Max Lucado's Unshakable Hope Student Edition Promise Book. It contains 30 devotionals about promises God has made to each of us, promises found in His Word. Lucado's goal is to help readers see how God kept His promises in Bible times, so they can live in confidence that He is keeping His promises now.

As always, Lucado brings God's Word to life with entertaining stories from his own life and with skillfully told-in-his-words Bible stories. Each devotional starts with a title and Bible promise followed by Lucado's thoughts about the verse. Main points are highlighted in text boxes. Devotionals conclude with lists of related Bible verses, thought-provoking questions, and promise for the student to make to God.

I'm not sure for what age this student edition is intended, but I would recommend it to high school students, college students, and adults who consider themselves to be lifelong students of God's Word. I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy, so I could share these thoughts with you.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Book Review: "Courage, Dear Heart"

When I saw Courage, Dear Heart as a choice to review, I was drawn to the cover and description, yet almost passed it by, thinking, "Oh, not another encouragement book." I'm so thankful I chose to read it! Before I'd even finished the first letter, I knew this would become a favorite for me to visit again and again. Having read the whole book, my opinion hasn't changed. You need to read this book!

Rebecca K. Reynolds book is a compilation of nine letters to a weary world. Following her first general greeting, she goes on to write to the rejected, the long-suffering, those living in chaos, the fearful, the skeptical, the disillusioned, the expat, and the homesick. You may not think of yourself as any of those, yet you'll probably find yourself wrestling with the topics Reynolds presents - just as she has done. Her letters challenged my thinking, and though I didn't always agree with her completely, I enjoyed accepting her invitation to dig a little more deeply. I appreciated the fresh perspective.

Along with Bible story illustrations and her personal thoughts and experiences, Reynolds quotes authors such as C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and others. She introduced me to a few authors whose books I'd like to read, too, and I'll be watching for more from her.

I thank Tyndale House Publishers and NavPress for sending me a complimentary copy of Courage, Dear Heart, so I could read it and share my opinion with you.