Friday, December 20, 2013

Book Review: My walk with Christ

My Walk with Christ by Delbert D Hobbs is a collection of thoughts by the author about his faith and stance on many things in the church and Bible.  Ever since the fateful night Delbert Hobbs gave his life to Christ, his life has changed drastically. Through his conversion and many years of faithful serving and learning, Delbert Hobbs has come up with a collection of his hot topic points that he discusses in his book.  Many of these views I agree with, some I do not have the same interoperation as he.

I started out really liking this book.  From the title I assumed this book would be about the author himself and his journey to and through faith. Instead it is more a quick synopsis of his he came to faith followed by a long list of “Here’s what’s wrong with Christians today” stance.  Although I agree that many Christians today are just floating through life not taking a stance when one is needed on many topics, somehow Mr. Hobbs comes off as self-righteous and elitist in this views and practices of holidays, family, and his personal health issues.  I am glad that God has given him a clear path on how to deal with this pain and his family but just because I decide to stay in contact with my family or take medication when necessary for pain does not mean I have a lesser faith than he.

All in all I would not recommend this book to anyone I knew to read.  The book is written in a broken format and has too many comments and harsh legalistic viewpoints that I do not agree with


Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review for free.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Review: Country Faith

County Faith is a collection of 58 country music stars favorite verses and why.  This collection includes stars like Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert, Scotty McCreery, Trish Yearwood, and many many more.  Each singer gives a short discussion on why they chose the verse they did and what significance it has in their lives.  This book is being sold as a one a day reflection.  Each passage/singer’s thought is very short and only takes a minute or two to read.  This book is also a good coffee table book with pictures of each of the singers for a quick read in your few minutes of quiet.

This book is refreshing to see how the Bible has effected so many country singers and how they hold onto these verses to give them guidance, strength, and peace in their lives.  In that way their lives are not so different from ours.  They still have the same struggles, losses, and obstacles as the average American. 

Some of the passages are better written then others.  Some are more personal and others very vague and generic but in general the book the very well put together.  Also I think it is great that 1% of the listed price of the book is donated to Sophia’s Heart Foundation.  Yes, 1% isn’t very much but considering the large number of county music fans I’m sure it will accrue into a substantial donation.

Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review from Zondervan publishing from free.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Book Review: Lean Body, Fat Wallet

Lean Body Fat Wallet by Ellie Kay and Danna Demetre is a book on how using the same simple approach and tips you can lose weight, dump debt, and save money.

Ellie Kay has many years of personal and professional experience in how to eat right, lose weight, and keep it off.  Danna Demetre also has many years of personal and professional experience in getting out of debt and saving for the future.  Together they realized the same concepts of what goes in must equal what comes out, fighting temptations, etc. can be applied to both areas in life.

While the book is easy to read and the authors do a great job and presenting a simple method, I found the concepts and applications a little too simple.  Yes, we all know calories in should be less than or equal to calories out and that you should spend more than you earn but the book went little further than that and many keep yourself accountable and positive. 

This book would be good for beginners who are starting out fresh in either area.  There are some helpful hints but it’s more about creating the right attitude and general concepts.  I do wish they would have brought their faith into it a lot more.  I think these are two areas that the Bible has a lot of references in how we should live and not live and they are rarely mentioned.  I am surprised the book genre was labeled as Religion/Christian Life. 

Note: I did receive a copy of this book to read and review for free from Thomas Nelson Publishing.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Review: No Cape Required

No Cape Required: A Devotional 52 Ways to Unleash Your Inner Hero by Kristen Parrish a series of quick read devotions that describe at attribute of 52 different heroes and how we as Christians should strive to possess them. 

I enjoyed these quick devotions.  They take less than 5 minutes each to read.  There is alwys scripture attached to the attribute and a couple suggestions of what you can do.  There is also a simple prayer to say asking for this characteristic.

I think this book would be great for a Mom or Dad. 60+% of the characters would be known by most children and could be used as a great lesson to them.  Although young kids might not know Jane Eyre and Andy Dufresne from Shawshank Redemption they would know Superman, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Robin Hood, etc. and could be taught the great simple lessons.

Another thing the author discusses in the beginning (and for good reason) is that these people/characters are not what we should strive for but the single characteristic.  None of us will be Superman but we can strive for Justice.  Robin Hood was a thief but he did understand Charity.

I plan on using specific characters on my children.  The others are great reminders and visual reminders of all the wonderful godly characteristics we should strive for.


Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review: Lifted from darkness

Lifted from Darkness by Alexa Foster is a true story of the author’s story of abuse.  When she was 19 she met the most beautiful man she had ever seen while waitressing.  He was attentive, rich, and helpful when she got stuck in a bad situation.  Instantly she fell in love with him and planned their future.  She ignored many warning signs and warnings from friends and family.  Soon after they were married the abuse started.  It escalated throughout the many years she stayed with him while taking care of this daughter from a previous relationship.

This story I’m sure is true for many women.  For me, it was a very hard read.  I do not like conflict or confrontation.  The author is very real about her abuse and how she justified it. She does not make excuses for all the times he abused her or all the times she forgave him.  Although she never goes into graphic detail (because it wasn’t necessary) she does describe the abuse in enough detail it made my stomach clench every time.  I wanted to rip through these pages and save this women and the child.

Throughout all of it, her strength and perseverance comes across.  When she is finally able to unshackle herself from the abuse she thrives.  More importantly she can look back at the awful times and see how God was still present in her life and would use them in her future.

I did enjoy this book.  There were times when I wanted to put it down and just write my own quick ending in my head but God knew the story was supposed to end. 


Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Review: Unglued

Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst is a wonderful book helping women look at the underbelly of their lives and give all the regrets, hurt, insecurities, fears, and unresolved angers to God.  This book does a wonderful job walking through the stressful emotional lives as women and helps us resolve all these issues with Jesus and lean on him.  Although this textbook answer seems so obvious, it is so hard for us to fulfill in everyday lives. 

I love how the author with humor can truly show herself and women as emotional beings, designed by God. She wonderfully shows how each time of insecurity, rage, fears, etc. can be used to look toward God and become closer to him.  I love her positive attitude.  I love her ability to look at these unglued situations see the seed that caused it, give it to God, ask forgiveness, and move on. 

This book is for all women.  Although her target audience is married women with children, it can apply to anyone.  It gives the reader permission to accept your emotions and learn that they are “indicators not dictators of how we act.”  Using these indicators we can better assess situations, comments, feelings, etc. and react accordingly. 


Note: I was given a free copy of this book to read and review. The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book Review: Samson

Samson; A savior will rise by Shawn Hoffman is the story of a Jewish inmate at Auschwitz. When he is recognized as a famous boxer from the last he is used for the Nazi’s entertainment; a boxing fight for entertainment but with deadly consequences.  The winner is granted extra provisions for themselves and their family.  The loser is put in the gas chamber with his family.  Samson has many life and death decisions to make that effect many.  In all this he struggles with his faith and how and why God is allowing this all to happen.

I will say this book is intense from the very beginning.  I think anything with Holocaust is but the author does not gloss over the depravity of it all.  Maybe it’s just me (and my 8th month pregnancy hormones) but this book gave me nightmares about the horrors of concentrations camps. But through it all I really enjoyed this book. 

The author does an amazing job telling the story with true grit.  This book is not the children.  It does open your eyes to the mistreatment of Jews during WWII and the callousness of the guards and doctors who experimented at the camps.  The authors decision to not shy away from the true horrors of Auschwitz makes the book that much harder to read and that much more moving.

Note: This book does contain an insert of real holocaust pictures that may be disturbing to some.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review: The Daniel Cure

The Daniel Cure; the Daniel Fast way to vibrant health by Susan Gregory and Richard J. Bloomer is a comprehensive look at the Daniel Fast.  Through this book you understand the ins and outs of the Fast/Diet/Lifestyle along with how your faith is intertwined with success.

This book includes multiple chapters outlining how, when, why to use the diet.  It also includes over 50 recipes and a 21 day devotion to do when you first start your journey.

This book is well laid out of thought through.  The authors have done a wonderful job writing so the information is easily understood. They also do a great job at anticipating the questions of the reader and answering them.    I also enjoy the small success stories thrown in the chapters to help encourage the reader.

I hope to implement this diet at some point.  I have started small for now.  Because I am expecting baby #3 now, I am worried about what effects the toxins released from my body would do to her.  I plan on implementing the full 21 day fast after I have completed nursing in a year.  Until then I will implement as much as I can (and my doctor recommends).  In general, I believe, everyone could do better at eating more fruits and veggies and less processed empty calorie foods that are so readily available.

Note: I did receive a free copy of this book from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book Review: God, Mankind, and Eternity

God, Mankind, and Eternity is described by the publisher as "a spiritual perspective on the creation of the universe and the life of humankind in that universe. It addresses the philosophical who, why, what, and where of humankind’s purpose and the scriptural view for the morality of human beings. It emphasizes our spiritual relationship with God, God’s love for humankind throughout the ages, and our redemption from the curse of sin."

I will first say that I believe most church goers have a strong opinion on how they believe creation occurred.  Whether a day age theory, literal day, poetic form, evolutionary creationist, etc., most people have an opinion.  A strong opinions.

There are a few minor points that I disagree with the Author on the theory of creation but that aside, his picture of creation, especially of man's creation, is beautiful. 

The Author, Oscar L Avant,  walks through history discussing Adam and Eve, the fall, Babel, Abram, Moses, Jesus, life after Jesus, and the final days  discussing the relationship between God and man in the physical and spiritual realm. 

I will say this book took me a few pages to get into.  But once I did, it became a really easy read.  I think it took me ~20 pages to get this writing rhythm and method.  He kind of jumps around on semi related subjects (aka chasing a rabbit) and then tries to bring it all together.  Considering my pastor is a expert rabbit chaser, I was able to follow along pretty well.

I would recommend this book to any believer who wants another great walk through our history and how we got to where we are today.  His discussion of the spiritual realm throughout all this is something that is not discussed in most churches on a regular basis and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book to read and review from the publishing company for free.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Review: The total Money Makeover

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, Classic edition is another great book written by Dave Ramsey.

This book I would say is supplemental to Dave's book Financial Peace.  I this book there are a lot of testimonials, Myth and Truth Discussions, and a general outlook to this steps to financial independence.  This book is just enough information without being overwhelming.

I really enjoyed this book.  This book is an easy read.  It reads more like listening to his show than a financial book.  His enthusiasm and encouragement resonates on every page.

Although Hubby and I have never gone through the traditional steps laid out by Dave Ramsey, we have always followed the guidelines.  Thankfully we have never been overwhelmed by debt and are very good about only buying what we can afford.  But this book  excites me to try better. To pay off the mortgage and really plan for the future we want.  I cant wait to share this book with Hubby and get him excited about our future financial independence and dreams.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Book Review: God's "Weigh" to Your Ideal Health

God's "Weigh" to Your Ideal Health by Michael Scott Lowery is a book just as the title describes.  Mr. Lowery uses biblical truth to talk the reader through why and how God wishes us to be at our ideal weight so we can better serve him

My first thought when I started reading this was "Why is he so obsessed with a number.  With the weight.  Not ideal health?" In my mind your body being healthy is much more important than something you read on a scale.  But then I realized he used weight 1) because it made a puny title and 2) because that's what were obsessed with.  The remaining book is about ideal health under the guise of the number.

In general the author makes a lot of good points although sometimes he can be a bit extreme.  For instance anytime he talks about unholy non-God food he uses donuts as the example.  Although I understand that donuts are not healthy I do not think that are the epitome of all that is wrong with this world. 

I  really enjoyed this discussion on first you must learn guidance on picking an orange or a donut.  But I wish he would have discussed further that it can go so much deeper when looking at food and determining if it was raised/produced/etc. in a way that is glorifying God.  This is something my husband and I have been striving for the last few years.  In my opinion God did not want animals suffering in large crowded pins, being sick, forced to eat food they were not intended to and injected with steroids, hormones, etc. so that we can eat dinner for less than $1.00/lb.  God created these creatures, fields, plants, etc. to glorify him.  Man was given the task of tending this not dominating over it and destroying it to suit out purpose.

I also really liked how he kept going back to "don't trust me.  Read your bible and find the truth."  He was very good at always referencing verses in the bible but emphasizing how the reader needed to be engaged in the bible daily so that they could find all the truths, on this subject and everything else, in the Word.

I will say this book has really opened my eyes to a lot of the foods that we eat and don't think about.  I am very glad I read this book and cant wait to dig deeper into the bible to solidify my opinions on a lot of this topics.

Random side note:  There were a few things in the way the author wrote this book that personally annoyed me.  The main culprit was whenever he would talk about "God's way" in the book he always used "God's Weigh."  Minor annoyance but stop referencing the title and use the correct word! 

Note: I did receive a free copy of this book to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Review: Fatal Tide

Fatal Tide by Lis Wiehl is the third book in the Salem trilogy.  I read the first one because I had read other book by Lis Wiehl and liked them.  After 50 pages of the first Salem Trilogy, I was hooked.  I have been eagerly awaiting the other two.  The second came out 6-8 months ago.  It was really good (not as good as the first, but still).  I was so excited to get my hands on the third one and see how everything played out.

Fatal Tide is the final chapters in the story of Dani and Tommy fighting evil forces (demons) who are trying to destroy the world.  We left off with Tommy and Dani defeating a dragon like beast and realizing the evil forces at St Adrian's Academy had poisoned water supplies around the world with a new drug that would turn children into violence addicted murderers.  Now Danni and Tommy along with a few close trusted friends must infiltrate the school and pharmaceutical company to find out more information in what they can do. With the help of a few friends along the way they all fight for something greater than their lives or their town.  They fight for the world and with the heavenly realm to keep Hell from consuming the world.

From the beginning this book is full of action and suspense.  There are many close calls and many deaths.  Lis Wiehl has done an amazing job (again) bringing this story together to create an amazing third act.  This is a book that is very hard to put down.  I cant wait to see what she comes up with next.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book to read and review for free from  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Review: Jesus on Every Page

Jesus on Every Page by David Murray is a book about how Jesus is reflected and in not only the New Testament by also the Old Testament.

As most Christians, I knew the prophesies and foreshadowing of Christ in the Old Testament.  Lately my pastor has spoken more on how Jesus was more involved in the Old Testament. 

Mr. Murray took all my theories and expanded on them one-hundred fold.  He does a very good job at going through all the different histories, beliefs, laws, etc. and show how Jesus was intimately involved.

I would say like most good book, while reading, 25% of the information I had a light bulb moment and agreed with immediately.   Another 50% I am very intrigued by his stance and all the evidence supporting and am excited to do some further research and see if I agree.  The remaining 25% the author and I have different interpretations of The Word.  Although I clearly understand his point and the evidence supporting it, I do not agree with his conclusions.

All in all I really enjoyed this book.  I found it very well written and laid out.  It is also well put together with references and evidence supporting his beliefs.  He does quote a lot of other scholars, which I personally found a little off putting.  Instead of describing how he came to a conclusions a lot of times it was just that he had read a book and would quote how the other author came the conclusion.  I understand its all builds onto his greater point but it seemed less emphatic to have the author quote you other authors to get his point across.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book to read and review from Thomas Nelson Publishing through  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensate for a positive review.

Book Review: A Plain Disappearance

A Plain Disappearance by Amanda Flower is book about murder in the Amish Community. 

Chloe moved to the town of Appleseed Creek almost 2 years ago.  In those two years she has stumbled onto 2 murder mysteries and helped the police solve them.  Now she is glad that it is almost Christmas time and all the murders are behind her.  She is out on a walk/date with her ex-Amish boyfriend Timothy.  As they go for a walk on a snowy evening they come across the body of an Amish girl.  Again, Chloe has to call the police and ends up involved in the mystery of who would murder a young, beautiful Amish girl.

As they piece together the girls life they are amazed at the number of potential suspects; the controlling Amish father, jealous ex courter/boyfriend, current courter/boyfriend, obsessed English teenager/neighbor, Ex-Con car mechanic, or someone more sinister? 

I really enjoyed this book.  I found the characters fun and real.  The story had enough depth to follow and a lot of unexpected twists and surprises to keep me up late reading page after page.  I also enjoyed how the faith portion of the book was brought out by how the characters lived their lives and not overly blatant or out of place.  I am excited to read more stories in this series and see how the characters grow.

(Note: nothing wrong with quoting scripture, its just always seems disconnected when every time there's a problem a character stops to say "Well this is just like Matthew....quote verse perfectly out of preferred translation" and it seems to solve everything)

All in all I loved this book.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book to read and review for free from Handlebar Publishing.  All the opinions above are my own and I was not compensate for a positive review.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Book Review: A Walk Through the Dark

A Walk Through the Dark How My Husband's 90 Minutes in Heaven Deepened My Faith for a Lifetime By Eva Piper, with Cecil Murphey is an amazing account of Eva Piper’s side of the story.

I had read Don Piper’s 90 minutes in heaven a couple years ago and love it.  I was moved and convicted while reading it.  Don’s book describes his experience after being in a car wreck and being dead (aka no heart beat) for 90 minutes.  After a pastor came and prayed over his lifeless body, he came back to life.  Don then goes through a year of painful surgeries and medical treatments to fix his broken legs and arm.  The major injury was 4 in of his femur were missing and were slowly regrown using a device that rebreaks and stretches the existing bone every 4 hours, 1 mm at a time, until the 4 inches have been made. He struggles with constant pain and the depression of being brought back to earth from the perfect Heaven he spent 90 minutes in.

But, the entire time he was describing his story I wondered what it must have been like for his wife and kids.

This book is the answer to my questions. Eva and Cecil did an amazing job communicating Eve’s struggles, emotions, and true feelings.  I loved how she described her struggle with God and why this was happening to her family.  I agree with her that you can question God without questioning your faith or His Godness.  Does that make sense? 

I love how this book focuses on what she learned from the experience not the pain she suffered.  I love her advice on how to handle other people in these long term situations. 

If you can’t tell, I loved this book.  I devoured the ~230 page book in 2 days.  I was only planning on reading a little bit before I fell asleep.  Next thing I knew it was 2 am and I was half way through. 

I would definitely recommend this book and Don’s book to everyone I know.  I cant wait to pass this book on to friends and family to read.

Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review from for free.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book Review: a Bride for All Seasons

A Bride for all seasons: The Mail order bride collection by Margaret Brownly, Deborah Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher is a series of four stories of men and women who tried to find spouses through the Hitching Post Mail Order Bride Catalogue.  Unknown to the men and women involved, the middle man at the Hitching Post like to edit the ads and correspondence to entice the couples to marry.  After traveling thousands of miles to the Wild West to meet their prospective husbands, the women (and med) are shocked to learn about the edited tidbits of their spouses lives. 

 I really enjoyed this series of stories.  The authors did a great job of developing the characters and allowing the conflicts to play out naturally.  Nothing was overly forced of abruptly fixed to complete a story.  I also enjoyed how all four authors were able to incorporate their faith into the characters without making it too forced.

If you enjoy Christian fiction book with Wild West or Country/Amish themes, I think you would like this book.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Review: unveiling Grace

Unveiling Grace; The Story of How We Found Our Way out of the Mormon Church by Lynn K. Wilder is an amazing book.   I thought I would find it interesting but I was amazed at how I could not put this book down.

Unveiling Grace is the story of Lynn and her family being introduced and becoming Mormon.  They lived the near ideal Mormon life for many years until one day their phone rang.  Their son who was on his mission in Florida converted to Christianity.  This huge blow leads the entire family to dig deeper into the Mormon bible to disprove his life.  From this they realized that the Bible was the true word of God and the inconsistencies in the book of Mormon.  In the end the entire family leaves the Mormon Church and converts to Christianity.

This story is so good.  I have stayed up very late reading this book.  I just could not put it down.  This is an amazing book for Christians who want to learn more about the Mormon faith and how it differs from Christianity.    

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Review: Reclaiming Love

Reclaiming Love: Radical relationships in a complex world by Ajith Fernando is a book about making Love your first priority.

 This book is an amazing collection of thoughts about how love can revolutionize everything.  Forgiveness, bitterness, envy, contempt, etc can all be fixed if we learn to love as God commanded us to.  This is more than the “I love you, you love me.”  This is “ Love because you have first been loved,” “The greatest commandment is this, to love your neighbor as yourself.”  This is everything Jesus has ever showed us about love, everything Paul and the apostles showed and wrote about as Jesus and love took over their life.

I really enjoyed this book.  He did an amazing job at explaining individual concepts (i.e. the best remedy for contempt or envy is love) and then getting very specific with examples of people in history and in his life.  I loved his use of Corrie Ten Boom’s story over and over again about how love is drastic and life changing.  I have always loved her story.


Note: I did receive a free copy of this book from  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Book Review: The point

The Point: The redemption of Oban Ironbout by William E Jefferson is a book about a couple who go on a journey to Estillyen.  Estillyen is known for its monks and nuns who read stories to anyone who will hear.  Specifically they read a 10 part series about parts of the bible and Christ’s journey

Holly and Goodwin MacBreeze are traveling to Estillyen for two reasons.   One, to find peace after Holly was diagnosed with cancer and two, for Goodwin to find the cabin is grandfather spoke about when he was a child.  These needs for peace and answers send them to Estillyen which answers these questions and so much more.

I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn’t.  Something about the way it was written made it so hard for me to focus and keep reading.  The characters were interesting, the monks stories thoughtful and insightful but it could not hold my interest like I wanted. 

In the synopsis of this book it was compared to Pilgrims Progress and the Shack.  Although it is kind of like them in the method is it written I would not put it on the same level.  I am huge fans of those books and once I start reading I cannot put them down. This was just not the same. 

I wish this author the very best with the book.    Unfortunately this is not a book I will keep in my collection and continue to pull out and read over and over again.

 Note: I did receive a free copy of this book to read and review.   The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Book Review: Intentional Walk

Intentional Walk; An Inside Look at the Faith That Drives the St. Louis Cardinals by Rob Rains is a collection of short stories and biographies of St Louis Cardinals players, coaches, and staff and how their life has been effected by their faith.  It is amazing how many Godly men have walked onto the field and supported the St Louis Cardinals.

Originally I chose this book for two reasons.  One, I grew up near St Louis and went to many Cardinal games so I was intrigued. Second, father’s day is coming up and I hoped this would be a great book to pass on to my dad.  This book came through for both.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  It has players who made many mistakes and found their faith late in their life/career and it has people who grew up with a very strong faith that influenced many on and off the field.  This book is very refreshing to know that there are still some amazing Godly men out there is positions of fame that use their gifts to glorify God. 


Note: I did receive a copy of this book from free from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Review: Bittersweet: A Savage Memoir

Bittersweet: A Savage Memoir by George Savage is just that, his memoir.   In this book George talks about everything in his life; family, growing up, jobs, cars, places traveled, and medical issues.  There is very little that he does not cover in this book.

I was very surprised about how this book was written.  From the publishers summary I was expecting a much different story than just this man’s memoir.  I think this book would be more suited for just passing among friends and family (or a freebie on 

In all honesty I really did not enjoy this book.  After the first couple chapters, I just wondered “Why am I reading this?”  There is so much detail in this book about his life; I guess I can only seeing friends and family caring about what car he had in 1951 and what he swapped it for.  This man lived in an amazing era of history and I found his childhood stories very interesting.  The family loss from TB, the wars, depression are all amazing times to read about how individuals and families survived and adapted during such harsh times. But this was only a portion of this story

Note: I did receive a copy of this book from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Review: Simply Delicious Amish Cooking

Simply Delicious Amish Cooking by Sherry Gore is a wonderful collection of Amish recipes from Northern Florida. I cannot wait to try all of them. The cookbook includes categories like breakfasts, seafood, meat, sides, desserts, and breads.  This cookbook contains over 300 recipes.

Sherry Gore has done a wonderful job compiling recipes, local Amish history, and helpful hints.  You can almost look through it and read it like a book instead of a cookbook.  Since I also live in Florida I found some the local favorites also in there.  Gator tail anyone?

I am very excited to have this book be added to my recipe shelf.  I am sure that I will use it for a long time.  These recipes only use common ingredients that most would have in their pantry. 

I did notice that a lot of the recipes depend on canned and semi-prepared items purchased at the store.  Although these are a great convenience, my family uses very little of these products.  We like to make everything with fresh ingredients and minimally processed foods.  I will have to adapt many of the recipes to meet my family needs.  It is still a great collection of simple meals that I will be able to reference often. 

Note: I did receive a free copy of this book from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review: 7 men

Seven Men and the Secret of their greatness by Eric Metaxas include seven short biographies of great Christian men in history.  The men included in the book were George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles W. Colson.  All of them led amazing Impactful lives for the greater good of God’s kingdom.

These men’s stories are amazing.  I am moved by their faith what God was able to do with them (and in spite of them).  All of these men made huge impacts on human history just by following God and their convictions.  It makes me think what amazing things God has in store in our lives if we only listen and obey.

This book is meant for anyone who wants to know what it truly means to be a man/woman of God.  These men were not perfect but they believe God had a purpose for everything and did not waiver.  Some of them died for their faith.  Some were imprisoned.  All of them had enemies who did not understand them.  But they all had a deep relationship for God and that was all that mattered.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book free from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Review: 4 Abundant Life

4 Abundant Life by Drs. Eric and Joanna Oestmann is a book about examining your life and looking at the true questions of how is God trying to bless you and you are getting in the way?   These blessing can be in every area of our life.

Spiritual- Are you trying to earn salvation instead of accepting his gift that is already paid?

Self-Image- Can you accept God made you in the image of him and you are beautiful or do you use the world’s thoughts on beauty to define how you feel?

Are we all really the Israelite recently freed from slavery, moving towards the land of milk and honey but all we can do is look around at the very temporary present and say “This isn’t fun. I was better off in Egypt.”

One of my favorite quotes in the book is “To love is to forgive.  To forgive is to love.”  I had never thought of forgiveness as an act of love but is completely is.  Even towards our greatest enemy forgiveness is required and an act of love. 

Overall I enjoyed this book.  There are a few times where I felt like the authors detoured to a topic that technically related but seem disconnected.  There were a few chapters I skipped after reading about 1/3 of it because I didn’t see how it related. I got the point but it did not specifically relate to me.

  It’s meant to be a quick read (they say 4 hours).  Although it is a quick read this book could have a huge impact on your life and the way you allow yourself to look at things if you let it.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Book Review

I was supposed to read and review What’s Your Mark by Jeremy Cowart but I never received the book.  Usually when you receive a paperback book it takes 1-2 weeks to arrive at my house. Currently I am 23 days in with no book.  More frustrating is that I have emailed the company multiple times and have never gotten a response.  Usually I get a response in 24 hours (as the website states).

At this time, I am no longer willing to wait on the book.  I shall post my review like this.  If I finally do get a copy of the book in the mail I will revise my review.  For those of you who are interested in the book the editors describe it as this

“Who was Jesus? What was his story? What mark did he leave? What's your story? What will be your mark? Join celebrity photographer and social artist Jeremy Cowart as he presents 16 compelling stories of people who are making their mark today. Their stories are just a sampling of the stories that all followers of Jesus can tell - stories from those in all walks of life whose inspiration is rooted in the truths found in the Gospel of Mark. And you’ll be inspired to make your mark---whether through your occupation, your talents or your selfless love and giving to others. Your mark may be teaching children at a school or at home, helping the homeless, or providing food to the hungry. Your mark might be an accidental mark, a reluctant mark, or an intentional mark. Whatever your mark, you’ll be inspired by the stories inside this new book, What’s Your Mark? Become a mark-maker today, and make every moment of your life count.

This book includes:

·   112 full-color pages of Scripture, stories, and photography by renowned photographer Jeremy Cowart
·   16 photos and stories of people---some names you’ll recognize, others not so well known---making their mark

·   Scripture text of the Gospel of Mark from the bestselling New International Version (NIV) Bible”

Sounds good right? 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Review: Invisible

Invisible by Ginny Yttrup is a story about how interaction between friends can turn into friendships, love, and much more.

Ellyn is a thirty something single female chef living in a small town. Although she loves her restaurant and the food she creates, she feels there is something missing in her life and in her. As she starts building new friendships with people in the town she starts to look at herself and her relationship with God in a much different way.

Twilla is still young and trying to figure out what causes all the issues she has in her life. Although she has come to recognize her demon “ED” she still struggles everyday and tries to find the cause and God’s love to make it go away forever.

Sabina was a professional psychologist with an amazing family and career until that day…. Now she is running away from life and her practice and hiding in a small town for a year to grieve. Long ago she has given up on God and the relationship her friends and family have with Him. If He loved them all so much how could he allow such things to happen?

Miles is a local doctor who grieves the loss of his wife two years earlier. Now he has the last promise made to his wife to fulfill. Try and find someone new to make you happy. His wife suggests “What about Ellyn?” As he starts learning what God’s plan is in he and Ellyn’s life is plagued with fear in starting to date all over again.

As these four characters interweave a beautiful story and true friendship, love, and God’s love unfolds. I truly enjoyed this book. It is a long book (~350 pages) but it read so fast and easy I had it completed in 2-3 days.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story. This book is not only entertaining but has a great message in always seeing God in you. You are his creation and Jesus lives in you (all you have to do is ask). One of my favorite parts is when Ellyn is told to look around at all God’s beauty in natures and all his creation. Why don’t you see that also in you? Are you not more important than the trees and river? So true. We over look the beauty in ourselves inside and out because we get caught up in the things we see as flaws.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from Handlebar publishing. The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Book Review: Persecuted

I recently had the opportunity to read Persecuted; the global assault on Christians by Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert, and Nina Shea.  This is a heart wrenching book of real stories of people all over the world who are being persecuted for their religious beliefs in Christ.  It is a reminder that Christian persecution didn’t occur just two thousand years ago or will occur some day in the future.  It is occurring right now, every day, every minute to millions of Christians.  Their proclamation as Christ as their Lord and Savior is truly a death sentence to many.  And yet they still make it.

The authors did a wonderful job with presenting the reader with all the details without getting too gory graphic.  This book made weep, my soul ache for fellow Christians, be disgusted in my intolerance to minor injustices that occur in our everyday lives, and be eternally grateful that I could drive to church on Sunday without the worry of imprisonment or physical harm to me and my family. 

This book is a wonderful reminder to many of us how fortunate out lives are.  We have freedoms of faith that many do not and yet we take them for granted.  I for one have been changed by this book and its message. 
Lord, help that my eyes stay open to this injustice of Your people.  Give me the courage to stand up for them and pray for them daily.  Lord, please grant them peace. Amen.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Book Review: Bathsheba bathed in Grace

Bathsheba bathed in Grace by Carol Cook is 8 stories of women in the bible from their view. Carol eloquently retells the stories of Bathsheba, Rachel, Leah, Sara, Hagar, Tamar, and Eve.

I loved this book. Ill repeat it, Loved this book.  Carol Cook did an amazing job at retelling these well-known stories in a way that made me rethink my old perception.  Why had I always assumed Bathsheba was giddy when David called her to the castle?  I had always heard it like a bad romance novel where an old high school crush sees her and she runs to him with abandon for one nights bliss.  In reality she was ordered by the king and had no choice.  And if anyone would have found out she could have been stoned to death for his decision.

I also enjoyed the author telling the same story from two perspectives.  Although we know more about Sara’s side of the story from the bible I loved her take on Hagar’s side.  A slave ordered to bear her mistress a child and then was thrown into the drama of the house. 

I think the most amazing thing about this book is just to see how much God can use us and our situation in spite of us. God grew his people and lineage in spite of all eight women.  I love the real questioning and faith of these women and their relationship to God. 

I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.  It’s not only entertaining but it strengthened by faith seeing parts of my life in theirs.  We all have doubts, jealousy, and fears but God loves us and will make our lives great if we only believe in him.

 Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: Moon Over Edisto

The book Moon Over Edisto by Beth Webb Hart is about Julia, an artist living in NYC who does everything in life to not look into the past. But when her ex best friend/stepmother comes to see her, her life is turned upside down.  Her old friend has lung cancer and asks her to watch her three children while she is in the hospital recovering.
From this she is thrown back into her past hurt and anger towards her deceased father and friend who betrayed her. She is also confronted with how this incident not only affected her life but how it still affects her mother and sisters life. 

This story line would have been enough for a great book but it’s always better when a guy shows up to keep her spinning. Her first kiss/crush shows up and helps her while staying in Edisto. 
Overall I really enjoyed this book.  It seemed a little long to me at times but that could have just been me wanting to hurry up and find out what was going to happen.
I think the author did a great job creating characters with good stories and texture to them.  I can’t wait for another book by her.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book to read and review from  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review: More than a bucket list

More than a bucket list: Making your dreams, passions, and faith a reality by Toni Birdsong  is a list of suggestions on how to make a bucket list or how to live a life that is full and intentional.  The suggestions range from visiting the holy land to eating every flavor of bon-bon.  From live faithfully to learn new jokes.  After each statement he does a wonderful job of listing suggestions on how to accomplish that goal or build your own goal from that idea. 

For instance if you goal is to “know your neighbors” than you can pick up a newspaper and see what in your town needs prayer and help, find the needs in homeless, shelters, food pantrys, churches, centers, etc.

I enjoyed this book.  The ideas are mixed together in no particular order.  I do like how it can go from the simple (read a new joke a day) to the extreme (run a marathon on hike Everest).  It does a great job also in not just listing physical goals but personal ones like be less negative, count your blessings, and forgive the person who wronged you. 

I also enjoy that his main focus is really to look to God and see what his great plans are for you. To always strive to bigger than you expected and what God always expected.

I am excited to take from this book and make my list of things I want to accomplish with the help and direction from God

Note: I did receive a copy of this book from free from to read and review. The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Review: Dark Eyes Deep Eyes

Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes by T. Neal Tarver is two stories of two people’s journey; one to heaven and the other to hell.  Wayne was pastor who felt like he failed God and God failed him when his church didn’t take the direction he felt led. He ended up leaving the church and working in a factory.  When he suddenly dies of a heart attack he is sent to heaven and goes on an adventure to learning all the pleasures of Heaven. Nick has turned away from God while a teenager. Now he is out to conquer as many things as he can; jobs, money, women, anything he wants.  When he suddenly finds himself in a car accident he is thrown into Hell and goes on a journey of pain, deceit, and agony.  He is unable to die but could feel pain and hunger. 

I really enjoyed this book.  There were a few times I thought the pace was too slow but the end is all worth it.  I also found is confusing at times with how the stories are broken up.  Every chapter switches from the Nick to Wayne story and vice versa.  In the beginning when I was still trying to pin down characters this made it hard to follow.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book from to read and review. The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Book Review: the five money personalities

The Five Money personalities; speaking the same love and money language by Scott and Bethany Palmer is an insightful book for couples with money issues.  Not “we don’t have enough money” issues but conflicts in how to (and not to) spend money.  It looks at how each person look and feels about money and allows them to understand their partner better and have a more information perspective of your spouse and yourself when it comes to money. 

Are you a saver, spender, security seeker, risk taker or flyer?  This book helps individuals understand the pros and cons of each category.  You then pick your primary and secondary money personality. 

It was interesting to me to discover you can have conflicting primary and secondary personalities.  For instance you could be a spender (primary) and a security seeker (secondary).  Knowing this will help you understand why you can make lots of purchases and then regret them and the money spent as you get home. 

This book does a wonderful job (as was its goal) to not look at the money but the core of the problem. 

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from www booksneeze com to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Review: The Amish Kitchen

I always love reading Amish stories.  Sometimes the plot lines are a little dry but not in this book.  An Amish Kitchen by Beth Wiseman, Kelly Long, and Amy Clipston are three stories on three different women in an Amish community in Paradise, PA. 

Fern is the local herbalist in her Amish community.  Her world and heart are turned upside down when her neighbor, declared bachelor, Abram comes to her house for help for his siblings.  In only a few weeks her life changes like she never expected.

Hannah is running her parents bed and breakfast when a stranger asks for a room.  Stephen is running away from his community to Paradise for a new start on life.  Fate sends him to a small bed and breakfast in Paradise, PA.  As these two lives collide they find comfort and friendship together and maybe something more.

Eve is forced to move her family into her parents’ house after theirs in damaged during a storm.  Eve is forced to be in close quarters with her mother, whom she’s never gotten along with.  Her mother is judgmental on herself and how they raise her children.  She struggles with how to connect to her mother and survive the stay.

These three stories are great reminders that God is always in control and has a divine plan.  All we need to do is trust and obey.  There will be many hardships but many moments of Joy and it’s all for the glory of God.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Book Review: 20,000 days and counting

20,000 Days and counting by Robert D. Smith is an inspirational book on doing things in your life instead of letting life pass you by.

I have been alive for 11,197 days.  Although I have done a lot on those days, I could have done so much more.  This book helps you look at your life and what you want to be/accomplish/do/etc and says THEN DO IT. 
Robert is a manager for the author Andy Andrews.  The first time Andy wrote a book Robert was rejected over 50 times by publishing firms.  Finally when a company agreed it was published and became a NYT bestselling book and is translated and sold all over the world.  Because he did not let the 50 plus nos stop him.

I enjoyed this book.  It is purposely written so you can read the entire thing in about an hour.  It also has a lot of nice quotes about time and life.  I hope am going to implement some of these “yes” techniques to live life better/fuller/louder/etc.  Because you never know when you last day will be.
Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Book Review: Asylum

West Bow publishing describes The Asylum by Ashley HodgesBazer as

“When Chase’s wife, Trista, goes missing, he follows a trail that leads to imprisonment on a space-based facility for the insane. Chase leads a revolt against the doctors and takes control. Other circumstances bring Trista to the ship, but when she encounters Chase, she is different. She calls herself Krissa.”

This science fiction space age book is one that many reviewers loved.  Because this isn’t really the genre of book I normally go for I hesitantly picked this book to read (yes I had a choice between almost 100 books so I could have picked anything…) but  I could not get into it.  I think it’s mostly my feelings on this genre.  It does have a good story line and good interesting characters but I can’t get past the space travel.  For me the book was slow.  Again this could be because this isn’t the kind of book I normally read. 

I hope other people give this book a try.  The author has done a good job writing a science fiction book with good characters and a great meaning woven into the story.

Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free from to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.