Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Keepsake Bible by Sally Ann Wright

My Keepsake Bible by Sally Ann Wright is a treasury of Bible stories, prayers, and family history. Each of the Bible stories are one or two pages with wonderful illustrations by Honor Ayres. They cover some of the best known stories from the Bible, simplified for a young child, but still true to Scripture. The prayers are short and simple, and I appreciate that either Scripture reference or author attribution is given where necessary. These are all wonderful to read to young children, and familiarize them with the Christian faith. It book itself is a padded hardcover that is 8.3 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches---perfect for a young child to carry. This particular edition is suitable for girls and boys.

What grabbed my attention, though, is the section for family records and personal milestones. When I was younger, I loved looking through our illustrated family Bible, and was particularly fascinated by the genealogy recorded and the records kept. I also loved reading through my baby book to see what my mom had written about my "firsts". This Bible is a very good combination of both, and a way to teach a child about their immediate family, and explain that the child is also connected to the family of God. It gives a sense of belonging that is so vital in making a child feel secure and loved.

comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please mention as part of every Web or Amazon review that Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC - See more at: http://www.tyndaleblognetwork.com/5_nav/guidelines.php#sthash.uAf3c98s.dpuf
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations: I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers at no cost to myself for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.



comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please mention as part of every Web or Amazon review that Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC - See more at: http://www.tyndaleblognetwork.com/5_nav/guidelines.php#sthash.uAf3c98s.dpuf

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

In Plain Sight DVD

In Plain Sight, is an inspiring documentary featuring the work of six female abolitionists as they fight against sex trafficking in the United States. Journeying to six US cities, the film opens the viewer’s eyes to what’s happening down the street ‘in plain sight.’  Through engaging interviews with numerous victims of sex trafficking, the force, coercion, and deception of the children and women becomes apparent. In the midst of the darkness, stories of hope and freedom emerge as each survivor shares how she was impacted through the work of a sex trafficking aftercare home founded by one of the featured abolitionists.


My Review: Narrated by Natalie Grant who also co-executive produced with David Trotter, In Plain Sight: Stories of Hope and Freedom, features six modern-day abolitionists, along with some of the women who have been rescued from a life of prostitution and sexual abuse. The statistics continue to shock me, but the greatest impact is made by the stories of the victims themselves. Many were sexually abused as children and grew up believing that they were undeserving of any other life style. There has been a growing awareness in recent years that human trafficking is not just happening "somewhere else", but is a growing industry here in the United States.

But, more than just a documentary about the tragedy of human trafficking, In Plain Sight, offers HOPE and HEALING. Each of the safe places featured understand that there are trust issues and the need to just simply breathe for a while. Even more poignant to me than watching the faces of the women who agreed to be interviewed, was watching their hands. Their hands expressed more than their words could convey. This is a great DVD to help bring awareness of the issue of human trafficking, and, more importantly, it provides ideas of ways YOU can make a difference.


In Plain Sight website 
WORD Films website 
31 Ways to Take Action to End Human Trafficking 

Disclosure: I received a copy of this DVD from WORD films and  Edify Media Inc at no cost to myself for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own

About Word Entertainment:  A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and online initiatives. Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, BarlowGirl, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome, Dara Maclean, Point Of Grace and Sidewalk Prophets and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Print, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group’s Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jumpstart Your Leadership by John Maxwell

John C. Maxwell, #1 New York Times bestselling author, presents his 90-day guide to improving your leadership. Whether you want to increase your influence, prepare yourself for that big promotion, or get a handle on leadership for the first time, you can trust John Maxwell to help you in the journey.

Maxwell says, Leadership develops daily, not in a day." This portable volume will give you the tools to develop as a leader and activate your leadership potential.(back cover)


My Review: Jumpstart Your Leadership, published by Center Street, is content from John Maxwell's previously published book, The 5 Levels of Leadership. Set up as a 90 day plan, you can obviously stretch it out for the entire time or use it as a fairly quick read. Each segment begins with a quote on leadership from well known leaders, along with a lesson to be learned from that quote. The opposite page then asks a question about your own leadership, team members, or your actions/reactions to things and what you would have done differently. There is then room for you to jot down your answers. This is an excellent way to help you to really think about and analyze your answer rather than glossing over it. Plus, it makes it rather like a diary to reflect upon when you come to a point of needing to re-evaluate yourself and your goals in the future. Whether you are a leader of a company, a ministry, a family, or a person others look up to for any reason, this book can make you more effective and wiser.

I received a copy of this book at no cost from Hatchette Book Group. A positive review was not required and all opinions are my own.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Good Health, Good Life by Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer, #1 New York Times bestselling author, understands that modern life is hectic and has created a practical plan for achieving good health, one day at a time. Her easy-to-use 12-Key Plan for Good Health will help you develop life-changing habits for a healthier lifestyle, no matter what your current level of health. By following her simple, yet effective tips on eating, exercise, rest, and stress management, you will unlock a new level of well-being, empowering you to live the fulfilling life you were meant to lead. (back cover)

My Review: Good Health, Good Life: 12 Keys to Enjoying Physical and Spiritual Wellness, published by FaithWords, is based on material previously published in Look Great, Feel Great. But this smaller, more compact version is very handy to carry with you or to keep nearby when you need some positive encouragement and advice on changes you can make to lead a healthier lifestyle.

The 12 chapters, or keys, are filled with practical common sense advice that we have all heard, but certainly bears repeating. Each chapter is short, but packs a message that we all need to learn about taking care of ourselves. The 12 keys are:

1. Get God's Help
2. Learn to Love Your Body
3. Master Your Metabolism
4. Exercise
5. Eat in Balanced Ways
6. Water Your Life
7. Be Mindful About Eating
8. Curb Your Spiritual Hunger
9. De-Stress
10. Live With The Right Vision
11. Make It Easy
12. Take Responsibility


At the end of each message, Meyer lists 5 actions that expand upon what she said to bring clarity or to help you successfully follow through with what you have learned. The final thing in each chapter is Act on It! She provides a place for you to write down and commit what you plan to do to implement the lesson learned into your current lifestyle. These are lessons Meyer has learned from experience. I recommend this for people who want to start making healthier choices.

I received this book at no cost to myself from the Hatchette Book Group for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Roadmap Genesis

Roadmap Genesis is a faith-based film documentary that explains how the Biblical Book of Genesis is a roadmap to how to live a productive life and is as relevant today as it was at the time it was written.

Filmmaker Nolan Lebovitz had already found Hollywood success when his film, Tortured (Laurence Fishbourne, James Cromwell), became a hit. When he married and became a father, though, his perspective on the message he wanted his life to present began to change. While pursuing a calling to become a rabbi, he had an epiphany about the relevance of Genesis in the lives of people and wanted to share this discovery with others. His experience with and passion for filmmaking was the obvious choice.

Lebovitz traveled across the United States interviewing experts and public figures, as well as "man in the street" questions to get an overall feel of the importance others place on the first book of the Bible and its significance today. Some of the more well known people interviewed are Governor Mike Huckabee, Rabbi David Wolpe, Alan Dershowitz, Cardinal Francis George, and Ken Ham.



This is a very well made documentary from the technical aspects and from the material content. Genesis is a book that is rich in stories and relationships with God and with others. The points Lebovitz discusses cover a wide range of topics that continue to impact our lives today: racism, environment, family, faith, relationships with others and our relationship with God. His interviews, ranging from devout believers to skeptics and scoffers, made this a far more interesting film than one which only presented one viewpoint. There is a wealth of material to draw from in Genesis, but Lebovitz has made a general film demonstrating how we can learn much from Genesis and apply it to our lives.

I enjoyed watching this on my own, but also believe it would make a great DVD to use for a Bible Study group. Many people today believe the Bible is outdated or merely an old-fashioned rule book that has become meaningless, and this documentary could be just the conversation starter needed to help others explore the whys and hows of using the Bible as a roadmap. What better place to start than, "In the beginning..."? You can get a copy of your own by clicking here to order.

Roadmap Genesis website

Roadmap Genesis on Facebook
@RoadmapGenesis on Twitter
Roadmap Genesis on Google+
Roadmap Genesis on YouTube

Disclosure: I saw a prescreening of Roadmap Genesis through the BuzzBlogger.net division of BuzzPlant in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Love Letter From God by P. K. Hallinan

Author P. K. Hallinan imagines what God might say in a letter written to a child in A Love Letter From God. As with his other books, the story is told in a simple rhyming style that is able to leave a profound message to children about who God is and the love He has for them. The same reassurances of God's love for us and the promises we cherish that He will never leave us are the theme of this story and one that a young child can easily understand. The easy to read prose, along with illustration by Laura Watson will make this book a favorite with your 3-8 year old. I loved the cutouts of various shapes, including hearts and stars, and that it is sturdy book (not as thick as a board book, but still heavy-duty) that will withstand numerous readings from a child. 

Be sure to check out this special offer!
For the month of January, every book from www.idealsbooks.com with the word “Love” in the title will be 20% off! Be sure to Search “LOVE2015” for a complete list of books.
Promotional Code to apply at check out is LOVE2015




"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”  Deadline to enter is Sunday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 pm CST.

Ideals Publications
publishes 20 to 25 new children’s titles a year, primarily for two- to eight-year-olds. Our backlist includes more than 400 titles, and we publish picture books, activity books, board books, and novelty and sound books covering a wide array of topics, such as Bible stories, holidays, early learning, history, family relationships, and values. Our bestselling titles include The Story of Christmas, The Story of Easter, Seaman’s Journal, How Do I Love You ?, My Daddy and I, and The Story of Jesus. Through our dedication to publishing high-quality and engaging books, we never forget our obligation to our littlest readers to help create those special moments with books.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Eighteen-year-old Katherine Ramsey travels to London with her family to make her debut into society and hopefully find her future husband. Her overbearing aunt insists she must secure a proposal from a wealthy young man who is in line to inherit his father’s title and estate. But Katherine questions her aunt’s plans when she gets to know Jonathan Foster, a handsome medical student and strong Christian who is determined to protect the poor and vulnerable in London’s East End.

When a family scandal puts a damper on Katherine’s hopes for the season, she has time to volunteer with Jonathan, caring for children in one of London’s poorest areas, and romance blossoms. Katherine’s faith grows and she begins to envision a different future with Jonathan. But when Katherine’s work in the East End puts her in danger, Jonathan distances himself from Katherine to protect her. A wealthy suitor reappears, and Katherine must choose which path to follow.


My Review: The Daughter of Highland Hall is the second book in the "Edwardian Brides" series by Carrie Turansky, but it is not necessary to have read the first book to follow along with the story. There was enough background info woven into the story that I was able to get the gist of the relationships of all of the characters. Of course, my curiosity is piqued enough to want to go back and read Book One.

I love historical fiction written about this era and I enjoyed this book thoroughly. There were several story lines that were neatly connected together and the characters were well developed. Watching Katherine grow from a self-centered girl to a compassionate woman who puts the needs of others first came about naturally, as well as the strength of character that developed as she matured. Her Christian faith also evolved from that of a disinterested believer to a follower of Christ without feeling forced.

The character of Jonathan was also interesting as he transformed from one who is focused on pleasing his father and following in his footsteps. He had career choices to make, and while all were excellent, acceptable decisions, I loved that he prayed over the decision instead of simply doing what others thought was best. He also loved Katherine enough to care more about her loving Jesus than loving him.

Very well written book and I hope to read others by Turansky in the future. I certainly recommend it to readers of historical Christian fiction.

FTC Disclaimer: "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Carrie Turansky website
Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.

When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love—and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served. - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=226885#sthash.QPabcc19.dpufEighteen-year-old Katherine Ramsey travels to London with her family to make her debut into society and hopefully find her future husband. Her overbearing aunt insists she must secure a proposal from a wealthy young man who is in line to inherit his father’s title and estate. But Katherine questions her aunt’s plans when she gets to know Jonathan Foster, a handsome medical student and strong Christian who is determined to protect the poor and vulnerable in London’s East End. When a family scandal puts a damper on Katherine’s hopes for the season, she has time to volunteer with Jonathan, caring for children in one of London’s poorest areas, and romance blossoms. Katherine’s faith grows and she begins to envision a different future with Jonathan. But when Katherine’s work in the East End puts her in danger, Jonathan distances himself from Katherine to protect her. A wealthy suitor reappears, and Katherine must choose which path to follow.