Thursday, August 30, 2012

Great Reference

Exploring The Unexplained is a nice reference book that is ideal for those just starting out on their Biblical journey.  While I do not think the title of the book fits the contents particularly well, what comes on the pages inside are insightful.
Exploring is set up as a user-friendly dictionary of the “Peculiar People, Place, and Things in the Bible”.  The author gives his criteria for what makes something “peculiar” in the introduction of the book.  Each entry tells you whether it is a person, place, thing, angel, or God.  It is nice to quickly identify what something is with so many Hebrew and Greek names throughout the Bible.  Each entry includes where it is found in the Scriptures followed by a definition of what it is. 
Unique to this dictionary is the “Issue” or question each entry puts forth.  It encourages you to think a bit more deeply on the subject than to just learn what it is and move on.  Thinking things through is always a good thing.
I think this is a good book to have around if you’re reading the Bible for the first time or if you spend any time teaching children or new believers.  You will be able to look up some facts and give answers right away.  If you have read through the Bible a few times then most of these subjects won’t be all that mysterious to you.
I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Another Great Trip Around The World!

Serpent of Moses, Don Hoesel, 978-0-7642-0925-3

There is just something fun and exciting about an adventure story that is really enjoyable.  This is another great story in the Jack Hawthorne Adventure Series!  In Serpent of Moses the story starts seemingly at the end.  Jack has found the artifact a London antiquities dealer sent him to retrieve.  Unfortunately for Jack, the Israeli government wants to regain a piece of Jewish history that was thought to have been destroyed thousands of years ago.  (A stretch of Biblical interpretation regards the staff that Moses held up to heal his people that some might take exception to).   Jack disappears and his longsuffering, semi-girlfriend decides she and her brother need to find him.  Not really knowing where he was, they start off on a world tour, enlisting the help of Jack’s ex-CIA friend Duckey, to try to track Jack down.  Libyan agents, Israeli Mossad, an Egyptian mercenary, and a Briton with an ax to grind are all in the mix.

I would really recommend reading the first book in the series, Elisha’s Bones.  This book can be read without having read of the first book, however, part of the story line is better understood if you read the other book first.  Both are fun, enjoyable stories.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.


Mr. Bevere’s latest book is written to the body of Christ to encourage us to love and pursue God with an unyielding passion.  This is a worthy pursuit and one that all followers of Christ should make their top priority is life. 
I appreciate the encouragement the author gives in the book to not give up on your pursuit of a powerfully active life in Christ, but it just seems that the points in the book were dragged out.  I felt that with each new chapter I wanted to say, “Yeah, I get this point.  Let’s not drag it out for six more pages.”  This could have been more concisely written.  But, it is possible that someone new to following Jesus could gain some good information here.

The only thing I really had a problem with was stated very early in the book.  Mr. Bevere seems to imply since we are of the body of Christ we have the unlimited power of Christ.  Even he makes mention of people thinking he has gone too far out on a limb with his statement.  And although I understand what he is trying to convey it could be confusing and could be used to create a doctrine in a new believer that is contrary to Scripture.  We are the body of Christ and under the authority of Christ, the head of the body.  The head tells the body what to do not the other way around.

For more information and to read an excerpt from this book--click here--or on the title above.
I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fun Story

Love in Disguise, Carol Cox, 978-0-7642-0955-0

Ellie Moore was born into the theater community.  After her parents’ tragic deaths, she is raised by theater friends and eventually becomes the personal assistant to one of Chicago’s premiere actresses.  When the actress sets her sights on London, Ellie is left behind and gets herself blackballed from the theater district.  Without skills outside of the theater she has little hope for gaining employment.  Using the acting skills she has learned through her life in the theater, Ellie manages to finagle a job with the Pinkerton Detective Agency.  She is sent to Arizona to assist a senior agent in investigating a string of silver thefts.  The plan soon falls apart and Ellie finds herself playing, not one, but two rolls of a lifetime!

Ellie definitely has spunk and determination.  Unfortunately for her, she also acts and speaks without giving thought to the consequences she will inevitably have to deal with.   Trying to present herself as two different women causes Ellie to create an intricate deception to fool the townsfolk while she attempts to learn how to be a detective with no training and no help.  She does not easily give up and works to find solutions to the problem she faces without complaining.  She has to deal with what she learns about God in the midst of her investigation and how to deal with the man she has fallen in love with when he thinks she is someone else.  Overall, Love In Disguise is a nice story and fun to read.
For more information about this story and to read the first several chapters of this book--click here--or the title above. 

Click here to read an interview with Carol Cox about this story.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Super Way To Teach You Children To Be Disciplined With Money

The MoneySmart Family System : Teaching Financial Independence to Children of Every Age, Steve Economides

I would like to say that the information in this book is fairly common sense stuff, but with so many of our families in financial messes, it is obvious that it is not.  It seems that the Economides hit on a pretty good way to take control, as parents, of how their family earned and spent its money.

Now, what works for one family may not work for another, but the formula that is laid out in this book seems like it is very adaptable to any family willing to put it to use.  The Economides household was more high maintenance than that of my own—my family not being as large—but I can see where the ideas they share in the book could be implemented in my own home.   Each family is encouraged to start the process when their children are young, but starting wherever you are is more important in learning about how money works in the real world than not starting at all.

I particularly like the help at the end of each chapter that deals with appropriate actions for each age group called the $5, $50, $500, $5,000 and $50,000 stages.  Each stage correlates to an age group from toddlers to adult children and what are fitting responsibilities for each group.  Hopefully by the time your children reach the $50,000 stage they will be so responsible for their own finances that they won’t need your help or guidance!  The book is super easy and fast to read.  There is an index at the back to help you find specific subjects or ideas presented in the book.

I recently read a review in which the reviewer was dismayed about the lack of overtly Christian principles in regards to money; giving is mentioned but not specifically tithing, etc.  Perhaps the generality is to appeal to a wider audience, I don’t know.  However, I do not need to read this book to my children verbatim to implement the basic ideas of the book.  What the authors don’t provide in “spiritual training” is, and always has been, mine as the parent.
For more information about this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adventure and Intrigue in the Alaskan Wilderness

Submerged, Dani Pettrey, 978-0-7642-0982-6

Easy Lay Bay is heading back to Yancy, and if that was your nickname in Yancy’s small town high school, you might not be any more eager to go back than Baily Craig is.  Bailey had a few wild years after her parents abandoned her to live with her aunt.  But life has changed; Bailey has grown up and is following the Lord, she doesn’t want to be reminded of the past.  When her beloved Aunt dies and leaves everything to her, Bailey gets pulled back to the remote Alaskan town she only wants to forget.
It is not long before Bailey becomes involved with an investigation of lost Russian artifacts that lead to the realization that her Aunt’s death was no accident.  Cole McKenna, Bailey’s brief high school sweetheart, is also working on the investigation.  Old feelings arise between the two but Cole is not sure he trusts Bailey, and Bailey is not sure she trusts herself.
The story is good, fast paced, and the premise of a lost Russian Alaskan island is a new one for me.  The characters are real and credible.  The McKenna clan is fun and has a great camaraderie that engages you and makes you want to be a part of it.  I did get a little tired of Bailey’s inability to forgive or trust herself, it became self-pity more than anything else.  However, she reflects the problem most of us have with forgiving ourselves even after God has forgiven us.  Besides that, I love trying to pronounce Russian names, and there are several in this story.  Does anybody else sound like Boris and Natasha when they pronounce these names, or is it just me?
For more information and to read the first few chapters of the book--click here--or the title above!      

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for and honest review.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What Are You Willing To Do To Have A Happy Husband?

 If you are a married woman, there is no person on this earth who should be more important to you than your husband.  How many wives can truly say that about their spouse?  How many are willing to prove it? 

In 31 Days To A Happy Husband, author Arlene Pellicane doles out some practical, intimate, funny, and ultimately, useful information about how to show your love and devotion to your one and only.  The book is separated into five main sections to help you achieve your DREAM marriage.  DREAM is an acrostic in which each letter relates to an area of a husband’s life that needs to be nurtured by his wife.  Each chapter is a day in which you learn more about the DREAM subjects and how to implement them into your life.

I think this is a great book.  Arlene Pellicane is very frank, which may make some uncomfortable, however, the subject matter is real life stuff that needs to be dealt with in a godly way.  Too many of us don’t know how and have the suffering marriages to prove it.  The hardest thing for some to get past is going to be how much a wife should put forth to please her husband.  This is not a bad thing, but I know that it will rub some people the wrong way.  Please keep in mind that the point of this book is how the Wife can please the Husband, not the other way around.  That will be have to be an entirely different book!
For more information and to read a chapter from the book--click here--or the title above!

I received this book from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Whole World Is Brought To Its Knees

And it’s not even the end of the world, at least not yet.  A computer virus created, or manipulated by a young savant, knocks out all the computers in the world, thus taking out all technologically dependent systems in the world.  People have to learn to survive in a way known by their great-great-grandparents.

Not knowing how or where the virus originated, our country’s top computer scientists work to track the problem while countries around the world blame each other for the global disaster and threaten retaliation.  All the while, shadowy figures threaten and manipulate men to do their will.

This story hooked me fast.  The sections of the book are told in a series of eights:  the first eight hours after the catastrophe, eight days, eight weeks, and eight months.  The story leads up to the coming of the antichrist in a very plausible way.  It is kind of scary because it is so realistic.  The main characters are shown to deal with the crisis as best they can, some relying on their faith.  Others trying to come to grips with what they see happening and deciding whether to believe in God or reject Him.  This is truly a great story by the authors.
To read a chapter from this book--click here--or on the title above!

I received this book from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.