Monday, March 31, 2014

Heaven is for Real: Special Movie Edition

I am reading this book for the second time in preparation for the movie which comes out this month (April 2014).  I am struck once again by this amazing story.

Last time I read the book, I was focused on Colton's experience in heaven as it lines up with what the Bible teaches.  This time when I read, I was focused on Todd's experience as a dad watching his son suffer through an undiagnosed illness to the point that Colton was near death.  As a parent, I can understand Todd's emotion, including being angry with God.  The scene where Todd is alone in a hospital room having a meltdown with God is so moving to me.  I need to know that it is okay to be honest with God because even in the midst of my inner turmoil, He still loves and cares for me.

If you have not read this book, read it now.  As excited as I am to see the movie, the book is always better.

Thomas Nelson provided a free copy of this book in exchange for me review which I freely give.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Take This Cup

I did not read the first book in the Jerusalem Chronicles so this review is solely based on Take This Cup, the second book in this series.

The story is told from the first-person perspective of Nehemiah, a young boy living during the time of Jesus.  He is only 8 years old when he travels alone to Jerusalem leaving his family behind due to unfortunate circumstances.  He must fend for himself and ensure the safe delivery of a unique cup.  Like Nehemiah, the cupbearer to the king of the Old Testament, young Nehemiah is the cupbearer to the King of Kings.

While I did not dislike the book, it was not as interesting as I had hoped.  The fictitious story was woven together with elements from the New Testament including Lazarus's resurrection, the Last Supper, Nicodemus's question about being born again, as well as many of Jesus's parables.  If you don't know the Scriptures, it may be hard to separate fact from fiction.  I also did not believe that an 8 year old boy would be able to tell such a story as well as process the events that were occurring around him.  I would have believed a mature 12 year old, but not someone so young.

Zondervan provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Distortion

I was excited to get an advanced copy of this book as I have been a fan of Terri Blackstock ever since reading The Suncoast Chronicles.  She writes good books of suspense and intrigue mixed with drama and a touch of romance.

This book is a continuation of the Moonlighters Series, and I have read Truth Stained Lies, but it was not necessary to read the previous book.  This time Juliet Cole finds herself in a seemingly avoidable tragedy until she starts to undercover the truth.  Her husband was not the man she thought he was, and he was involved in things that she had no clue that he was doing.

I do not want to spoil the story for anyone reading this review; however, I will say that the story line went from surprising, to far-fetched, to completely unbelievable.  I just could not believe that a wife would have no idea that her husband was involved in drug dealing and used his practice to fuel the prescription drug problem.  Also, the family was connected to 4 murders but the murders are no related.  I find that hard to believe.

Even though I was not pleased with the story line, Blackstock is a good writer.  The book was easy to read, and the action was not hard to follow.

I had this book on my list to buy as soon as it came out, but I was able to get a copy for review.  I am glad that I did not have to pay money for this book and that Zondervan through the BookLook Bloggers program gave me a free book in exchange for this honest review.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Miss Brenda and the Loveladies

Brenda Spahn had it all including a successful business, a loving husband, multiple homes, and vacations around the world.  Yet all of that did not truly satisfy.  She realized that there was more to life, and she needed whatever that was.

As she almost spent time in prison, Brenda's eyes were opened to the plight of women who leave prison.  As her eyes opened, she opened her home to help these women make the transition from prison to freedom, physically and spiritually.

I never realized how difficult is would to return to life after prison.  Neither did Brenda, but she did not let that stop her from helping these women.  In helping them, she was helped.  Brenda will be the first to admit that she became free when she started to help these women learn to be free.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  Read the author's bio or find out more information.

Inscribed

This collection of 4 books is written for women by women.  Each one delves into a different facet of our spiritual life.  Each one challenges us to live our lives to the fullest and to experience God more deeply.

Leaving Ordinary is a book on prayer.  Donna Gaines shares how to truly connect with God in an intimate relationship with Him.

Dive Deeper is a book on faith.  Jennifer Jernigan explains the d.i.v.e. method to Bible study.  Using the book of Ephesians, the reader learns how to define, investigate, visualize, and embrace the Word of God.

Living So That is a book on making choices.  Wendy Blight equips the reader with practical application of the truths of the Bible.

Amazed and Confused is a book on Habakkuk.  Heather Zemple explores the book of a minor prophet who many of us have a hard time even finding in the Bible.

All of these books are well written and Biblically sound.  The one that most challenged me was Amazed and Confused.  I was so encouraged by the prophet Habakkuk and his authentic faith.  I was amazed at how much I could learn from this short 3 chapter book of the Bible.  I was also amazed at how much I could relate to Habakkuk.

Thomas Nelson provided me a free copy of these books in exchange for my review which I freely give.