Saturday, July 29, 2017

#REVIEW: Coffee, the World, and Jesus, but Not Necessarily in That Order by Ron DeMiglio

Title: Coffee, the World, and Jesus, but Not Necessarily in That Order
Author: Ron DeMiglio
Series: none
Published Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0825444654
Buy It Link: Amazon

Synopsis: Life lessons and almost irreverent musings from twenty-five years in the global coffee industry

When many Christians take a long, hard look at the lives of the spiritual elite in America, they want to shout, "I don't want to be like that!" Ron DeMiglio knows how they feel and he's not afraid to do the shouting—even when those shouts are sometimes directed at himself.
Coffee, the World, and Jesus is a collection of mildly contrarian musings from this international coffee businessman who happens to love Jesus. In these humorous vignettes about the relational, flawed, unwavering faith Ron clings to, readers will find glimmers of their own daily struggles to reflect Christ in a fallen world. For the religiously cautious, the disillusioned, and jaded followers of Christianity, this is a refreshing look at how God reveals Himself to be so much bigger than politics, dogmas, or western influences.
Ron's sidesplitting series of stories about how he found his spiritual groove smack-dab in the middle of his God-breathed, coffee-scented uniqueness will appeal to readers looking for a quick bite of spiritual growth with their next latte.

My Rating: 4 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book took a few chapters to really start getting into, and that's why I'm giving it 4 stars. In the very beginning, I really felt like I was plodding along, however, then I felt like I got into the rhythm of the writing. Once that happened, then it became a great book to read. This book is a fantastic group of musings of how God uses each of us in our daily lives to teach us more about Him, and how to reach out to those who may not have a relationship with God.
I've always believed from my own experiences, that God truly reaches out to us where we are, instead of us having to reach out to God. This book reinforces that thought process. Each of the chapters are funny and well-written.

Monday, July 17, 2017

#REVIEW: Nothing to Fear by Barry Black

Title: Nothing to Fear: Principles and Prayers to Help You Thrive in a Threatening World
Author: Barry C Black
Series: None
ISBN: 978-1496418685
Pages: 256 pages
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum
Published Date: Feb 7, 2017

Synopsis: “I’m really concerned about the state of the world. It feels like things are falling apart.”
“I’m worried about my family’s future.”
“How can I stand firm in my faith in today’s culture?”

Our times are turbulent ones, and questions and worries like these can haunt us and keep us awake at night. Yet is it possible that, ultimately, there is actually nothing to fear? Barry C. Black is the spiritual “leader of leaders” for the US Senate―shepherding those on the front lines of the decisions that shape our culture. Now, Chaplain Black shows all of us how to thrive in the midst of today’s turbulence and confusion by following eight principles that Jesus gave his disciples prior to sending them into a dangerous world. These teachings are as relevant today as when Jesus first spoke them two thousand years ago.

Containing Scriptural insights and powerful prayers to help you seek God’s guidance and blessing, Nothing to Fear will illuminate the way to live boldly, bravely, and faithfully in the face of today’s perils.

My Rating:  3 1/2 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was just okay for me. As a person that struggles day to day with what can be overwhelming anxiety, this book taught me that no matter what God's got our back. And lately, this world has been so messed up, so scary, so worrisome, that the cloud of darkness can overshadow my knowledge that God's got this...all of it.
So, on one hand, it was good to read and remind myself of that fact. It was good to see it in print, to reassure myself. I can see myself re-reading parts of the book in the future when things get so messy.
On the other hand, however, the book seemed to jump from subject to subject and felt choppy. Almost as if I was reading a bunch of different sermons on the same general subject. This made for disconcerting reading, and almost made me want to put down the book.
Overall, if you need the reassurance that God is in charge of everything and you can't control anything, most of this book is for you. Just don't expect it to be a continuous process in reading.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

#REVIEW: ICB Blessed Garden Bible

Title: ICB Blessed Garden Bible
Publisher: Tommy Nelson (Thomas Nelson)
Published Date: June 27, 2017
Pages: 1312
Reading Level: 6-10 years old
ISBN: 978-0718092207
Buy It Link: Amazon | Thomas Nelson

The ICB Blessed Garden Bible is a beautiful way for little girls to carry the full text of Scripture with them. Its beautiful cover design with multiple foils and glitter will delight any young girl as she reads and learns God’s Word from the Bible children can read and understand, the International Children’s Bible® translation.
The International Children’s Bible® translation, the Bible kids can read and understand, has been a favorite of kids, parents, and teachers. With its easy-to-read text, the ICB has a third-grade reading level, making it the ideal translation for children beginning to read and learn Bible.
The ICB Blessed Garden Bible is a full-text ICB Bible with swirling, floral details, foil, glitter, and winsome illustrations. This will appeal to both moms and daughters, as it capitalizes on an organic garden trend. Inside features 24 colorful pages of study help inserts, including a presentation page for personalizing. Young girls will enjoy this softer more sophisticated look as she reads God’s message of love just for her!

My rating: 4 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this Bible in exchange for an honest review.
This Bible is advertised for little girls, but I don't see anything specifically for little girls. This could be for any child from 6-10 years old. The cover is a light teal color, with a whimsical, garden feel using gold and silver foil, glitter and cute little animals (love the little fox in the center). The right hand side of the front cover has a design that is reminiscent of a diary with the keyhole.
Reading through Ruth quickly, the reading level seems appropriate, but I will really test this out with my youngest daughter this coming week.
The paper is just as thin as any other Bible, the font a little larger perhaps to make it easier to read. Overall, this is a beautiful Bible for any child in this reading range, however, I take exception to the fact that it is marketed as girl specific.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

#REVIEW: NIV True Images Bible

Title: NIV True Images Bible
Series: none
Contributors: Livingstone
Publisher: Zondervan
Published Date: June 27, 2017
ISBN: 9780310080039
Buy It Link: Zondervan

For 15 years, the best-selling NIV True images Bible for Teen Girls has been a trusted resource guiding teen girls ages 13-18 towards a closer relationship with God. Updated for this generation, this new edition is packed with tools and insight to help teens navigate today’s contemporary cultural issues with confidence, love, and grace.
Facing today’s contemporary issues can be difficult, but the NIV True Images Bible gives teen girls a fresh perspective on faith-related issues and provides tools to navigate a complex world. They will ask the big questions, take valuable lessons to heart, and help others do the same.
Beautifully designed from the inside out, this Bible is filled with challenging insights, honest advice, and personal notes helping teen girls build a closer relationship with God as they set out on a personal journey of their world. Following Jesus isn’t unfashionable or illusive. It’s an authentic way of life!
This newly updated edition uses the accurate, readable, and clear NIV translation and includes features strategically designed to empower teen girls in their quest for truth.
  • Complete text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version
  • 12 Magazine-Style Quizzes that help girls learn more about themselves
  • In-depth introductions establish the context of each book in the Old and New Testaments.
  •  “In Focus” notes explain the Bible’s perspective on contemporary cultural topics such as perfectionism, spiritual growth, eating disorders, pornography, prayer, self-harm, relationships, sex, bullying and popularity on social media
  • Over 300 “Genuine” notes focus on the value of authenticity and true inner beauty.
  • Over 100 “Love Notes” give opportunities to reflect on God’s love.
  • 500 “Dare to Believe” challenges help you discover God’s truth about life and faith.
  • 52 “Mirror Images” share the stories of Biblical women.
  • “Christianity 101” introduces you to the basics of Christianity
  • “Beliefs 101” helps you dig deep into the underlying principles that shape your worldview
My Rating: 3 1/2 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Can you explain to me why everything marketed towards girls has to be pink? Or frilly? Pink with gray lettering, that's what this Bible is. Here is an example:

NIV True Images Bible For Girls
NIV Revolution Bible for Teen Guys

Why do we need to continue with these gender stereotypes, and in a Bible? My 11 year old, whom I was hoping to give it to, because I think she might be open to at least doing some of the quizzes, but yeah, she's into dark colors right now. The pink was an immediate turn off for her, and I can see why, I don't like pink either. I think she probably would have liked the Revolution Bible better.

The text is the complete NIV text, with cute little "Love Notes" from God for the girls, and good introductions for each bible chapter, as well as the "In Focus" sections that deal with a few of the modern day issues our pre-teens and teens deal with, like perfectionism, pornography, sex, bullying, online popularity, etc.

Overall, this Bible is just okay for me. I'm not too impressed with it.