Thursday, December 23, 2010

One Thousand Gifts

I do not normally do this as this will be a book that I buy and am not obliged to review, but the author (Ann Voskamp) of a luminous blog that I am a regular reader of has written a book to be released soon and I cannot wait to read it.  For a preview of her wonderfully deep, yet uplifiting prose you must visit her blog and sink deep in the rich words and images.  You may find her book here to pre-order. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Next up!

Life Without Limits

by Nick Vujicic
 I am super excited about the next book on it's way to me from Waterbrook Multnomah!  Maybe you have heard of this amazing man on a video or a forward from a friend, but in this book, Mr. Vujicic tells his life story and how he not only makes it through, but lives a victorious life.   Stay tuned for the review!

What a book!

I received my copy of Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski yesterday in the mail and had finished it before I went to bed last night.  I could not put down this attention-catching book!  Rarely does a book captivate me so deeply, but the conviction on this young man's heart, place there by the Holy Spirit, to walk 5 months in the life of the homeless was clear.  Five months and 5 major US cities later and the understanding of what the homeless in our nation face was more real than he ever expected it to be.  This book is not a challenge for believers to do the same as the author did, but to listen to the Holy Spirit and respond in complete willingness to conviction.  The challenge is clear- how do you live out what you believe?  Do you DO anything about the needs in those around you or just give lip service to their pain?  I highly recommend this book to any believer, young or old.  It crosses age and denominational lines and gets to the heart of the matter.  Get it today!

*Please note: this book was provided free of charge by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my unbiased review.

*Updated: What can you do about the homeless in America?  Here are some links to find out:
Christmas Under the Overpass
Read the first chapter of Under the Overpass

Monday, November 15, 2010

A New Blogging resource AND Book on the way!

Big news!  I am adding another blogging source to my repertoire and it is open to you as well without an application process!  Blogging for Books by Waterbrook Multnomah is looking for more book reviewers.  Click on the link to the left and check them out for yourself!  I was impressed at their selection and the easy usefulness of their site.  Let me know what you think! 

My first selection from their company is one I am very excited about.  Under The Overpass by Mike Yankioski captured my attention even in the midst of the plethora of other offered titles.  It is on it's way to me now so look for a review very soon. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Grace Of God- upcoming!

A bonus book to review from Thomas Nelson!  Occasionally they will throw one in there and it is always exciting when it does.  This one comes from one of my favorite speakers, Andy Stanley.  You will have to wait for the review until October 19th when it will be released, but here is what Thomas Nelson has to say about it:

Learn how God's grace can and will transform you.
None of us deserve what God offers, a life free from sin and hope for a glorious future, but unbelievably it's ours for the taking. Why? Because of God's grace. The unmerited favor, the lavish love and kindness he pours out on us, and has, since Creation.
But if it's so available then why do we live a grace-less life? Why are our churches filled with disillusioned Christians, weary of religion's demands, struggling with personal defeat because of issues or behaviors?
Join pastor Andy Stanley as he traces grace through the Old and New Testament, observing God's grace at work in the lives of some of the best, and worst, characters. He also uses personal stories from his own life to reveal how grace is not a natural response but is the most essential one. Together these stories unravel the mystery of grace and tell of its transforming power to set us free.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

On it's way: The Big Red Bible!

My 7 year old will be my review buddy on the next selection from Thomas Nelson!  On it's way to me now!  Here is what the publisher has to say about this one:

The same "Big Red" Bible that you've trusted for 25 years . . . now with updated, fresh, 3-D art for today's video-game generation. A full-text of the International Children’s Bible translation with bright Red cover and ALL NEW contemporary art, that was created especially for children ages 6 to 12. “Big Red” has been updated with an all new collection of beautiful full color pages, illustrating treasured Bible stories. Inside the type is big and readable for this age group. Kids will love having a Bible to take to church that’s easy-to-read and understand!

Searching for God Knows What

Searching For God Knows What by Donald Miller is a though provoking look at redemption.  His unique memoir-styled writing can take some getting used to, but when you glimpse the gold nuggets of truth in what he has crafted it is well worth the look.  Mr. Miller challenges the reader to think, look at things from a different perspective and challenges long held customs and attitudes held by "the church" in comparison to what the bible actually says.  It is a personal journey, when you read one of his books and this one no less.  Do you really know what you are searching for?  Do you even know why you are searching?  God does and he longs to share it with you!  Though it takes some discipline to stick with this book until it begins to pull together and make cohesive sense (at least for this blogger) it is well worth it. 

*Note: a copy of this book was provided compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for the honest review of this blogger.

Outlive Your Life

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado is a timely and powerful message to our generation.  Turn on the news and you are instantly overwhelmed by the good that you think you cannot do,but Max assures his readers otherwise.  His premise is that you and I can be the world to one person even though we may not reach the entire world.  What we do with our lives matters and wherever we are place is where we should wholly invest ourselves.  By beginning the book wondering what people will say at our funerals, he sets the stage for some life-changing pondering. 

Mr. Lucado's masterful retelling of well known bible stories within this context as examples really brings to home the timelessness of God's will for our lives- that we should be Jesus to others.  His voice, as always, rings true with grace and humor thrown in for spice.  I highly recommend this book to any person of any age who wants to make a difference in the life they are living without going off to search for a new one.  Making it real with scripture and recommended prayers at the beginning of each chapter really invited the reader to own the truths between these covers.  Check it out!  You will not be dissapointed.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to the blogger in exchange for an honest review.


Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist was a delight to read.  The author has a unique voice that sticks with you long after the last page is read.  I found my self going back over her life narrative searching out the many quotes to highlight that had become such a definer of the less than simple nuances of the life that I lead and could read in between her lines.  The way that the author talks about her thoughts on many relevant themes shows a wonderfully fresh absence of worrying about what the reader thinks of her personally just so long as they get the idea behind her words.  Tackling such topics as miscarriage and job loss is not easy, to say the least, but Ms. Niequist does so with a sparkling twist of honesty and grace that does not lose her humanness.   Mixed in with her angst on marriage, parenting, family, friendships and being a woman is an undeniable truth that God is who he says he is and points us to himself in all the areas of our lives while faithfully loving us along the way. 

Note: This book was provided compliments of Zondervan publishers in exchange for my honest review.

The Devil in Pew Number Seven

The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo. This one kind of snuck in there, but I am so glad it did!  This book was an amazing testament to the power of forgiveness in the face of overwhelming odds.  I believe that anyone who is having trouble forgiving would greatly benefit from reading the account of the author and the horrendous things that one man did to her childhood and family.  There were times, when reading this book, that I so wanted to put it down and not read anymore!  It seemed as if things could not possibly get worse!  Tears were ready, but by the end of the book they were tears of amazement.  The author did a wonderful job in telling the WHOLE story without sounding as if there were any trace of a grudge being held.  I would readily give this book 5 stars and a round of applause. 

Note: this book was provided to me complimentary by Tyndale House publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Two books at once!

On it's way to me from Thomas Nelson for my review!  So excited about this one.... I have yet to finish the Donald Miller book, but this is one that needed a review on a certain date before it was released to the general public so we were allowed 2 books at one time... here is what the book synopsis says...

These are difficult days in our world's history. 1.75 billion people are desperately poor, natural disasters are gouging entire nations, and economic uncertainty still reigns across the globe. But you and I have been given an opportunity to make a big difference. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope? Infiltrated all corners with God's love and life? We are created by a great God to do great works. He invites us to outlive our lives, not just in heaven, but here on earth. Let's live our lives in such a way that the world will be glad we did. (Please note: International Bloggers will receive International Edition.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pleasantly surprised by personal stories.

I just finished reading An Army of Ordinary People by Felicity Dale and was pleasantly surprised by what I found between those covers. (Provided this book free of charge by Tyndale in exchange for my review.) This book examines what the first Christian churches were about and how modern people have applied those principles to the idea of home churches for today. There are stories of people from all walks of life sharing how they have brought Jesus and teaching the bible into their homes, workplaces and even into leisure times. I was delighted with stories of how people's lives have been transformed just by ordinary people fulfilling the charge of Jesus to "Go into all the world...". Well written and yet down to earth, I recommend this book to anyone confused by the idea of mega church versus personal discipleship. It gave me a lot to chew on and challenged me to have integrity in responding to the call to share Christ everywhere I am.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Next Up: Searchng for God Knows What

On it's way to me now, from Thomas Nelson Publishers for my review: Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller. Here is what the product review page says:

New York Times best-selling author Donald Miller explores the origin and meaning of redemption in this fully revised and redesigned bestseller.

Hysterically funny, wryly provocative, and disquietingly insightful, Searching for God Knows What invites readers to examine their deep need for redemption, to feel it, know it, and live like it is true in their lives.

Miller weaves phenomenal characters and true-to-life spectacles into his acclaimed memoir style to enrich, inspire, entertain, and ultimately challenge readers to see life in a new way. He shows that one of the greatest desires of every person is the desire for redemption, to have brokenness repaired. Instead of the chaotic relationships, self-hatred, wreckless consumerism, and anxiety that overrun a life without redemption, Miller uncovers the beauty and power of the Gospel to fulfill one of our deepest needs.

Kaleidesope- pretty, but little substance...

Women of Faith author, Patsy Clairmont offers up this quirky, humorous look into the proverbs and how multifaceted they can be. In "Kaleidescope: Seeing God's Wit and Wisdom in a Whole New Light" Patsy shares her insights, memories and anecdotes as she sees them throughout the proverbs and in correlation with her fascination with kaleidoscopes through the years. While a good read and humorous, the book fell flat for this reviewer. Like cotton candy, there was a lot of surface insight with very little to chew on. There are many gems of hope and reminders of God's faithfulness that might be helpful as sermon illustrations or as a light book study, but do not look to this book to be very deep. Perfect as a gift book for someone looking for a different perspective or a shift in life, it will help the reader adjust their focus to see things in a little different light.

*please note: this book was complimentary from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Up next: An Army of Ordinary People

On it's way from Tyndale Press (a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest opinion of the product): An Army of Ordinary People by Felicity Dale. Here is what the product description says:

An Army of Ordinary People contains the key to explosive, transformational, 21st century evangelism. Renowned church planter Felicity Dale shares stories of how God has always used—and is still using—ordinary believers to carry out his work in simple ways throughout the world. Some of these stories are dramatic—people being led to the Lord by the friends who counseled them through drug addictions and criminal pasts. Some are everyday—a dad spending his Sunday teaching Bible lessons to his kids, or a couple inviting their neighbors over to dinner and a spiritual discussion. But in each of them, there is a light bulb moment, when someone just like you thinks I can do that! And as a result, the gospel is spreading . . . and lives are being changed.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Red Letters Project

I can honestly say I have never heard anything like The Red Letters Project. This amazing collection of 3 CD's covers every word spoken by Jesus that is recorded in the book of Matthew. It takes segments that follow a theme and puts them to music that echos the feel behind the words spoken. We have word-for-word translations, and thought-for-thought translations, but this adds the element of emotion and audio in such a way as to add contemporary understanding to the emotion that must have been felt or desired to be conveyed by the words that God chose to include in the Bible. Some of the selections are hard rock, some rap, and others alternative, but all stay true to using only the words of Jesus. I felt a call to sit up and take notice to those words in a way never before experienced. I urge you to check out this amazing project and see where you might use it in ministry or personal fulfillment. You will be glad you did! This project releases in June 2010, but you can check out more reviews here.

*Please note this material was a complimentary copy provided to me by Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Breakthrough to Clarity Contest!

The New Living Translation Break Through to Clarity Bible Contest and Giveaway

Visit and click on the tab that says “Sweepstakes”

Fill out a simple form, take a quick Bible clarity survey, invite your friends to join and you’ll be entered to win one of our exciting prizes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Up next: The Red Letters Project

To be released in April 2010, a unique opportunity! This dynamic, one-of-a-kind presentation of the words of Christ features 40 tracks—both sung and narrated word-for-word from the Gospel of Matthew. The Red Letters Project is an excellent gift for teens, young adults, lovers of God’s Word, and music fans. A unique alternative to spoken-word audio Bibles, The Red Letters Project was produced by entertainment-industry legend Russ Regan, a committed Christian who envisions this as his legacy project.

A complimentary copy of this from Tyndale House Publishers is on it's way to me now for my review so I will let you know what I think as soon as I can!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Next up.....

To be released soon, but Thomas Nelson Publishers has a complimentary copy on it's way to me for my reivew as I type....

Kaleidoscope Seeing God's Wit and Wisdom in a Whole New Light

By Patsy Clairmont

The Gospel according to Lost

Chris Seay has done a masterful job in The Gospel According to Lost of making some sense out of a television phenomenon whose joy in being is in confusing it's followers. There are always new turns, twists and tales in each episode and season. Mr. Seay does a masterful job of showing the biblical references as well as how each main character relates to one another and to the story as a whole. It was amazing to read through his detailed description and each connection point. Even if you have only seen a few episodes of the show you will be entertained and encouraged to understand just why this show has captured the imagination of the world. Even written one season before the end it is valuable to help regular viewers gain deeper cultural understanding that will be drawn on past the end of the show's life. The nature and tendencies of human nature are all here! I highly recommend this book to Lost aficionados and rookies alike.

*FTC (Federal Trade Commission) regulations now require that each book review be accompanied by the note that a complimentary copy of this book was provided to me for my review.*