Promises for God’s Princesses
Author: Katrina Cassel
Promises for God’s Princesses is a Devotional Book best suited for young girls ages 5-12. Each devotional takes less than five minutes or so to read, and there are 100 devotionals in the book. For each day the devotional has a bible verse with a theme “promise” for the day, along with a story or an example from a real life experience or event.
Having two daughters within this age bracket makes for a more relevant review. Both of our girls seem to enjoy reading this before bedtime. One of the bonuses of this particular devotional is that at the end of the devotional, it usually has a brief idea for an activity or practical application that corresponds with the promise for that day in order to help reinforce the verse, and promote better recollection of the promise. While I do not know if that was the author’s intended goal, the examples Cassel provides help to connect the reader with a long lasting picture that is sure to help children remember the promise presented each day.
As the child gets to the final devotional, the author makes a suggestion to reflect on what was learned throughout the book and encourages the child to see the changes that they have made while journeying through the devotional. I enjoy that instead of an abrupt ending, the author encourages the young reader to continue their journey with God and to reflect on His promises.
This book would suit any young girl who wants to grow in her relationship with the Lord. This devotional book would also be applicable for teaching small girls groups, as it provides a scripture, story, and a life application that the teacher could expand on. The book fits the niche between devotionals for little girls and teens, refreshing to see a book geared towards this middle-elementary aged group.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Bible Stories for His Beautiful Princess
Author: Sheri Rose Shepherd
Illustrator: Shelley Dietrichs
Step inside Bible Stories for his Beautiful Princess, and you are met with page after page of reminders of God’s love and faithfulness. This sweet devotional for little girls overflows with simple prayers to pray with your little one, as well as short Bible points and lovely Bible stories told in an easy, and understandable way. Having two little girls myself, I watched as they turned the pages, in delight. My youngest princess totes around this devotional at times and shares the stories and pictures with others!
The illustrations are also charming and filled with an array of pastels that are beautiful and elegant. Each page has beautifully drawn characters that capture the story from a child-like perspective. Dietrich’s use of color and imagination is evident on every page.
This book is sure to be a hit with any princess, Shepherd has done an exceptional job of taking Bible stories and truths and writing them into an easy to follow format. Each page of this devotional holds concise and sweet reminders and prayers connecting who God is to how He worked in the lives of the people in the Bible, and how He continues to love and draw near to us today. Shepherd also reinforces the value of the reader and makes each princess feel special to God. Adults will love giving this sweet book to the little princesses in their lives.
Please Note: I received a complimentary copy of Bible Stories for His Beautiful Princess in exchange for my honest review.
My Time With Grandma Bible Storybook
Written by: Phil A. Smouse
Illustrated by: Ela Jarzabek
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (October 1, 2013)
My Time with Grandma Bible Storybook written by Phil A. Smouse and Illustrated by Ela Jarzabek is a beautifully colorful book chalked full of delightful illustrations and Bible stories. Each story is a about a half page to a page in length and includes a scripture reference, as well as a simple love note from “grandma” which contains a few sentences of conversational explanation that relates back to the story just read. Along with the love note from “grandma” is a small love note from “God” which is a condensed bible verse. Each story is coupled with imaginative artwork that is sure to draw the interest and curiosity of little ones.
The stories and notes throughout the book are consistent in their format and their content. I enjoyed that the scripture verses were simplified in order to make them very easy for children to remember. Parents, Sunday School teachers, and grandparents would all benefit from reading this book to the children in their lives. The stories are simple, yet applicable. The teaching moments provided by the “love notes from grandma” prompt, prove to be helpful in explaining how the basic principles of the bible stories surround them in their day to day lives. With 15 stories to choose from you feel as though you get a sampling of the most widely known children’s bible stories in both the Old and New Testament, while also having a few lessor taught on stories. This book would make an excellent short devotional book, or simply a great teaching resource to augment an existing lesson. Overall, I would say that this book has a wide variety of uses from homeschool, to parent/relative devotion time together, to being a useful storytime/teaching resource in the church.
The age group that this book would most likely benefit are the 1-5 year olds. I have two children who are several years older however, and even they enjoyed the stories and thought the illustrations were lovely. An excellent resource to keep on the children’s ministry bookshelves, as well as at your home library if you read to little ones.
Well done, Phil A. Smouse and Ela Jarzabek for creating a bible storybook that many children will explore and learn from!
*I received a complimentary copy of the book from Tyndale Publishing House in exchange for my honest review.
A Call to Resurgence by Pastor and author Mark Driscoll takes a tough look at the issues facing the modern Church and Christianity in the Western world. In this blunt and extensive look at the challenges facing Christians in America in the present culture, Driscoll offers up historical references, deeply researched topics, and personal experiences which deliver an authentic and heart wrenching look at where believers in Jesus stand today in ministry, missions, and their personal walk of faith.
Driscoll touches on many difficult subjects that the church as a whole must confront and have answers for. The thorough research that is outlined along with supportive statistical information and person experiences of the author will likely cause the reader to jolt awake and take heed to various problems in the body of Christ. Driscoll touches sensitive topics such as the church stance on homosexuality, abuse, biblical roles of husbands and wives, as well as many other topics, yet does so in such a direct fashion that the reader will be compelled to know where they stand on such issues. Throughout the book, the overtones are convicting, yet motivating to Christians to get them to take up their cross and go forward with a clear mandate to get to work! Driscoll does not spare the reader the realities of the serious challenges that threaten Christendom, nor does he apologize for the forthright way in which he delivers the staunch truth of error in the church and in the way the church engages unbelievers.
Driscoll does well to break down theological terms that may be unnoticed or ill utilized in the body of Christ. The Christian heritage and laboring of many historical saints and well noted movements of God throughout history are well noted and expounded on. Such recounts add to the content of the book in a manner that challenges growth, examination of ministry, as well as laying forth possibilities for the future of Christianity.
If you are looking for a book that lays out many of the existing issues that face the church in our time, this book sheds much light on such issues and has countless research invested in revealing these issues from both a personal standpoint, as well as a statistical standpoint. A Call to Resurgence is a sobering invitation for Christians everywhere to cease from playing church and to give their lives wholeheartedly to the work of the Kingdom of God.
*I received a copy of A Call to Resurgence from Tyndale Publishing House, in exchange for my honest review.
The Wayfinding Bible- New Living Translation
Helping You Navigate God’s Word
Tyndale Publishing House: ISBN 978-1-4143-8564-8
The Wayfinding Bible is done in the New Living Translation and designed with the concept of three different routes through the Bible to give the reader a broad to narrow overview of the major themes that span the Old and New Testaments. The Wayfinding Bible has a host of resources included within its pages to help the reader expand on extra biblical information that is helpful to context and even modern application to historical aspects. The true focus throughout this Bible is Jesus and how He can be seen foreshadowed and how He is seen in each book from beginning to end. The reader will find it helpful that an explanary page is given at the beginning of each of the 66 books giving an overview and background information that is helpful to know concerning the main people within that particular book.
Also provided is a running timeline from start to finish showing where in time important biblical events took place. This provides an important backdrop and further reference for the reader and is quite helpful in determining the progress of biblical events. Throughout this Bible the reader will be delighted to come across colorful photographs of Biblical sites, detailed maps, and a plethora of additional historical information. In the back of the Bible are well executed additional study and reference tools as well as maps and a reading checklist to help the reader stay on track with their reading goals.
In my personal studies I have used the New Living Translation continuously for nearly the past decade. I was delighted to see this new format with additional tidbits of information throughout. This version did not disappoint and the care and dedication provided by those involved is quite evident.
The rich historical content, coupled with a vast array of additional tools throughout the Wayfinding Bible, help the reader to explore the scriptures in a fresh new way. The care and compilation of additional background information throughout this study Bible is unlike many others I have explored. As a Christian Studies graduate and a teacher, I found the Wayfinding Bible to be one of the best Bibles I have come across specifically for its ease of navigation. I would recommend this Bible to both new Christians, as well as seasoned Christians. For someone who is just starting to read the Bible, the layout in this particular version is second to none for clarity and overview.
Please view the preview below…
*I received a complimentary copy of the Wayfinding Bible from Tyndale Publishing House in exchange for my honest review.
Take Time To Be Holy: 365 Daily Inspirations to Bring You Closer to God.
Copyright (2013) by The Salvation Army and Bob Hostetler. All rights reserved.
Book Review: Take Time To Be Holy
Samuel Logan Brengle
Edited by Bob Hostetler
Take Time To Be Holy is a daily devotional compiled of the many writings of Samuel Logan Brengle. Edited by Bob Hostetler, each page is around 300 words or less and can be read in minutes, however, the reader will likely be meditating on the daily inspirations for much longer. It is first worth mentioning that Brengle (1860-1936) was actively involved and commissioned in the Salvation Army, where he dedicated a portion of his life’s work to serving others. A large part of Brengle’s work in preaching and ministering was in encouraging listeners and readers to better understand the requirement of holiness. Brengle likewise had a true gifting for teaching in practical ways on the “how to” aspect of achieving such a walk with God.
Throughout Take Time to Be Holy, the reader becomes saturated with rich biblical reference as well as Brengle’s personal insight and encounters through his journey in walking closely with God as he pursued holiness with complete abandonment. The benefits of living a consecrated Christian life flow from page to page and draw the reader into a place of deep hunger and desire to live a pure life in communion with the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The simple and yet powerful way in which Brengle teaches on walking in “the light that you have” while practicing deliberate obedience to God’s word, will compel you to grow deeper in your relationship with God.
Take Time to Be Holy is a purposeful, daily meditation that intermingles scripture with testimony as it exhorts the reader to abandon fruitless pursuits and to enter into a matchless fellowship with the Lord. This devotional leaves the reader feeling refreshed, motivated, and energized to chase after God with a true heart.
*I received a complimentary copy of Take Time to Be Holy from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*
The 166 Lifestyle (The New Normal Christian Life)
Author- Marc Lawson
If you are tired of living on the sidelines of Christianity and stuck in complacency, this book will propel you forward to living a life as Jesus lived it. Pastor Marc Lawson lays down simple foundations of not merely being a spectator in Christianity, but living an actively vibrant life where the believer is to step out in faith and trust God to do just what He says He will do in His word. Lawson breaks down many proud arguments Christians have and excuses that are continually used in the body of Christ that keep people from walking in the supernatural. Lawson walks the reader through various elements in the modern day church that have held the church back from doing the greater works. Scriptural basis is provided as Lawson explains a full range of topics that have caused faith lack in the church and have hindered the work of the Kingdom. By the time you finish reading the 166 Lifestyle, you will be challenged, equipped, and refreshed to step out in faith.
Updated Review (9-27-13):
After receiving several comic books, as well as a dvd from Eikon, I can tell you that you will not be disappointed with the Eikon graphics! I was able to include several of the Powerpoint slides in a lesson over the past few weeks, and the children in the class absolutely loved them! I was thrilled at the high quality of the Legends of Faith Comics. These would make a great gift or prize for the children, and we have tucked a copy into our treasure chest and it would not surprise me that it would be the first thing to get picked! The shipping of the merchandise was exceptional. I anticipated (considering the items were shipped from overseas) that it would take maybe a few weeks, but was wonderfully surprised at receiving the items in about a week! Keep up the excellent work, Eikon! We are very pleased with the products and service.
Eikon Bible Art is chalked full of eye-popping graphics that stand out in the world of Bible images. To those who serve in children’s ministries, you will immediately notice the effort, time, and heart put into the slides that this company has created. The art itself has a rich 3-d appearance and is packed with color and imaginative design that makes the pictures a remarkable addition to whatever curriculum one is teaching from. Eikon offers Powerpoint slides as well as video shorts and all at an affordable rate. While I was browsing through their online store, my two children were captivated by the images and wanting to watch the short videos. It is always advisable to ask the opinions of the marketing audience of those that would benefit most from the products. Naturally, the graphics were well received by my 8 and 6 year old girls who thought the pictures were “awesome!” They also offer a wide selection of biblical comic books. Anyone who is teaching the Bible to children/young adults would benefit from using these products. Those who homeschool and incorporate biblical studies into their day would also find that this adds a dynamic element to their teaching!
You can browse their full selection of materials by connecting to their homepage.
Recently I listened to an interview with Jim Caviezel who played Jesus in the enormously popular Passion of the Christ Film. His sincerity concerning his Christian faith and his admonishment to Christians everywhere to walk in holiness and righteousness in this hour was well received by the audience. He mentioned a project that he worked on along with many other notable voices, entitled “The Word of Promise”….an audio New Testament collection on cd. I purchased a copy through amazon at a relatively inexpensive price, and have been listening to it in my car ever since. The quality and sound effects are captivating. It is laid out almost like a theatrical play, and yet it is the New Testament in entirety. As you travel through various books of the Bible, you feel as if you are right there walking the dusty roads. If you enjoy listening to the bible while you are working, driving, jogging, etc., I would highly recommend a copy.