Book Review: Simple Discipleship

For those looking for a basic and practical step-by-step guide about discipleship this is a book that can be a great start. Simple Discipleship, by Dana Allin, is written for both the beginner and the pastoral leadership needing to re-evaluate their way of discipling their congregation.

Discipleship was never intended to be complicated. This book makes it clear that discipleship must be done in relationship. It is simple enough that even if discipleship has not been done well, it can help one realize it is less daunting of a task than one originally thinks.

It is split up into sections which can help those reading to figure out a step-by-step process that can be adopted into their church culture. Personally I felt like the majority of the book was review for me. I did learn some new ways of evaluating current systems in place as well as personal evaluation towards the end of the book.

In the chapter where Allin describes the four directions, I felt that emphasis on the Holy Spirit was lacking. In fact I felt like the focus on the Holy Spirit was lacking overall. With a proper understanding of Holy Spirit comes the key to avoiding discipleship as a formula or posing as a program rather than a part of every believers DNA.

Overall, for those looking to evaluate and look at the health and growth of their life and church, Simple Discipleship can be a book that can help get things moving in the right direction.

I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers and these opinions are my own.

Inspire for Girls

By Tyndale: Inspire for Girls, the Bible for Coloring and Creative Journaling

Upon looking at this Bible, I am instantly drawn to the cover. I love the colors and design but my favorite are the declarations written on the front and back. Words like created, precious, loved, blessed and masterpiece are some of my favorites.

When looking through the pages, one can color each one as well as the inside cover. There are devotionals, prayers, illustrations and an area for journal notes included throughout. Each book of the Bible has key scripture verses and fun facts. The colors are black and tourquise which outline and define the illustrations and letters. When colors are added it makes the page pop.

I am instantly enticed to begin writing in and coloring each page. This Bible would be a perfect gift for the girls that love art and enjoy doodling and writing. Each page is fun! Not one page is the same just like us. This Bible truly helps engage the reader and makes it come to life in a different way.

I have received this free from Tyndale House Publishers and these opinions are my own.

The Crescent Stone by Matt Mikalatos

I love this book! As I was 3 chapters into The Crescent Stone I thought to myself, “This is the book I wish was always written. It has everything I want included in it.” Then I read a review where that person said something similar to my thoughts. It is true. The Crescent Stone is full of so much fantasy, adventure and just the right amount of love and honor.

One gets swept up in another world where the battle between good and evil isn’t as it first seems. The main characters are full of integrity, honor, and love. Sacrifices are made and unconditional love is at the core of the main characters.

Magic has a price in this story. Unicorns are real just not as you might think. Friends stick together and risk their lives for each other. Hope is something that intertwines even those that are in opposition to one another.

If you have any questions about the content you can rest assured. It is good for teenagers and fantasy violence is the extent of anything that may be worrisome. The topics often bring up injustice towards groups of people and how our actions affect others. I rather enjoyed the true value of friendship and love that is portrayed very well within the book.

I cannot wait until the next part of the series is published. Thank you Matt Mikalatos for writing such a grand world full of adventure!

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers and these opinions are my own.

The Road To Magnolia Glen

Adventure, risks, murder, hope, and love. The Road to Magnolia Glen is a joyful read. Filled with suspense and hope from beginning to end, this fiction story will be sure to provide an enjoyable escape from life.

Pam Hillman intertwined characters and histories to bring together a great story. The love of God is gently woven into the pages portrayed mostly through the characters courageous acts to help strangers, brothers and families. A love story blooms from tragedy. Good triumphs over evil.

Overall, the book is enjoyable because it is a relaxing read. Was the story predictable? Yes, but at the same time I wanted to read more to find out if any twists or turns had occurred within the plot. Do you fall in love with the characters? Yes and ultimately you desire to have the stubborness from Quinn and Kiera bring them together in the end. I would continue reading this series after reviewing The Road To Magnolia Glen by Pam Hillman.

I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers and these opinions are my own.

A Trevor Black Novel

I did not read Craig Parshall’s previous book, Occupied but one has no issue picking up the second book, The Empowered and getting swept into a thrilling story. For those that enjoy mysteries, thrillers, and the supernatural this is an excellent book. Parshall does a great job weaving fact with fiction. He draws you in with a proper balance of good and evil battling until the very end.

I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the father- daughter relationship that buds and grows after a rocky beginning. The book combines a little bit of everything yet it could challenge readers to realize that there are spiritual battles that occur every day. Even though I felt like the emphasis on the power of voodoo was too much at times, the spiritual battle aspect was not. It is a fiction book so it was a fun read as I thought of what the spiritual realm barging in on our physical one may look like. Could demonized individuals really be able to pick one up like a Jedi and fling that person in the air? Perhaps not but one thing I do know for sure is that the power of God is always greater than the forces of evil.

Deliverance, the power of God, and the love from God for others was interwoven in with the suspense to help balance the darkness that kept chasing the main characters. If you like adventure, solving mysteries and suspenseful battles between good and evil you must read these novels.

I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers and these opinions are my own.

An Epic Coloring Devotional

                       

I absolutely love Picturing Heaven: 40 Hope-Filled Devotions With Coloring Pages! The illustrations are by Lizzie Preston while the book was written by Randy Alcorn. One of the sweet surprises were the gold detail on the pages. Not only does this add a gentle detail but it enhances your own coloring of the pictures. 

The daily devotions are Randy Alcorn’s own thoughts and interpretations of the scriptures about heaven. I may not fully agree with every detail that he presents but it still is a fascinating study. The most important aspect of the book is that it is so full of hope. Not only did it affirm my longing for heaven but I found that I enjoyed imagining what my eternal home will be like while I was coloring the pages. I imagined walking with Jesus, having everything restored & being with family & friends who are already there. 

This is a fun devotional that adds further interaction from the artist or amateur. The other suggestion that I would have that would add to this book is to have a journal or reflection page where readers and artists could either draw a picture or write out thoughts. This addition is not necessary but while I was reading and coloring I wanted to add more to the picture as well as take time to journal. Heaven is so near yet it is still a mystery to those of us waiting to go home. 

God is preparing a place for us. He loves us. Picturing Heaven is a great reminder to us all to live for eternity even before we get there. We are just travelers passing through. There is so much to look forward to!

I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers and these thoughts are my own.

Wow! The Good News in Four Words.

Written by Dandi Daley Machall and Illustrated by Annabel Tempest.

Wow, Uh-oh, Yes, and Ahh describe the sequence of events from Creation, the fall, to Jesus and then how it changes our lives when we choose Jesus. From beautifully illustrated pages with poetic phrases, both kids and adults are sure to enjoy this book. After the story is complete there is a parent guide to walk kids through key scripture verses for each four words. It is both artistic and fun for any age.

Initially I thought that the book was going to be much shorter than it was since my mind was focused on the simplicity of “four words”. After some reflection I was able to see that this book intends to give readers not only the short and sweet version of the Bible but how to apply it as well. I love that it encourages parents to do a follow up with the key verses that guide each word. When I asked my daughter what she thought of the book, she said that she thought it would help many kids and that she liked it. She also pointed out the colorful artwork and how many different people were in the book. Together we were able to enjoy the good news written in artistic form.

I plan on providing this book for my toddler class at church. Teachers will be able to teach the basics very well while keeping kids attention while they look at the amazing pictures on the pages.

 

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book and these opinions are my own.

WOW! pages

 

Love Letters From God: NIrV Bible

loveletter

This sweet children’s Bible is simple yet beautiful. If you have read the book, Love Letters From God you know that it is a personal application for kids to understand that the Bible was written for them. There are some excerpts of similar artwork throughout the pages but I was hoping for more of them since the book was amazing. Despite that the illustrations have how to guides on things like praying, the Ten Commandments and information about Jesus.

My favorite part of this version of a children’s Bible are the love letters from God. These are written by Glenys Nellist, who authored, Love Letters from God. It is the same simple layout. Your child gets to insert their name into the letter written from God and then they can reply back to it on the side. Below that there is a verse that the children can meditate on and memorize themselves. These three tools are excellent ways to help make the Bible become a big part of your children’s lives. If the Bible just becomes a book to read there is no point to it. But if we can get our kids to understand that the Bible is a love letter from God, that it is a guide on how to live our lives, we have a big win there. I believe that for many kids this could be one of their favorite Bibles.

I have received this book for free from booklookbloggers.com and these opinions are my own.