Trusting God in All the Things Book Review

blue flower petalsTrusting God in All the Things by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk is a book of 90 devotions designed to help overwhelmed hearts find true calm. A calm that carving out daily time to connect with God provides.

Alternating between Karen and Ruth, these devotions touch on issues many women face each day. Some of the issues are disappointment, family, contentment, priorities, worry, plus much more.

Each devotion begins with a scripture. Following the scripture, either Karen or Ruth offers a devotional thought on how the verse applies to life. Two questions to ponder for personal reflection follow the devotional thought. A prayer with space to respond completes the devotion.

Through these short devotions, the authors offer the reader time to pause and reconnect with God for a little bit of calm amid the hectic of each day.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

With God I Always Have Hope Book Review

With God book coverWith God I Always Have Hope is a 90-day devotional filled with two-minute devotions which, although brief, are full of substance. Each devotion begins with a scripture, goes to a meditation on the scripture, and includes questions for reflection, a prayer to guide your thoughts, a declaration of truth from scripture, and practical action steps to take.

The devotions cover a wide range of circumstances we face where we need the hope that is found in Jesus. Here is a sample of what’s inside. Equipped for Your Calling Exodus 4:12, The God Who Hears Nehemiah 1:6, Hope That Doesn’t Disappoint Romans 5:5.

I found this book encouraging, no matter what we might face in our day to day life. Perhaps you will also.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

The Spark of Love Book Review

1850 prairie womanThe Spark of Love by Amanda Cabot is book 3 in the Mesquite Springs series. If you enjoyed the first two books, you are sure to enjoy this one.

As the story of Alexandra Tarkington and Gabe Seymour unfolds, four strangers arrive in Mesquite Springs, Texas in the 1850s. One seeks love. One seeks truth. Two arrive seeking to accomplish their evil intent. The author drops hints to the puzzle along the way, but it isn’t until the end of the book that all the pieces fall into place in a satisfying conclusion.

Spark of Love is an enjoyable book which kept me rooting for Alexandra and Gabe through twists and turns as buried secrets were revealed, plots of evil were overturned, and years of hurt were healed by love.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

To Disguise The Truth Book Review

Set in 1887 New York and Montana, To Disguise the Truth by Jen Turano, follows Eunice Holbrooke and her Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency as they assist Arthur Livingston in finding missing heiress, Eugenia Howland. Disguised in widow’s tweeds, Eunice can keep her true identity from Arthur for only so long before they join together to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Within the pages of To Disguise the Truth, you will find a story with a cast of varied characters which weaves together a tale of murder, deceit, revenge, family, forgiveness, and a runaway heiress who must be found before she loses her family fortune.

If you enjoyed the previous Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency books by Jen Turano, you will probably enjoy this final book in the series as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my February Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

He Loves You So Devotional Book Review

He Loves You So

He Loves You So Falling Deeper Into God’s Heart, is a 366-day devotional compilation of brief inspiring devotions. The devotions go day by day one scripture at a time through the Bible. The prayer reflects on the verse, affirming how it is applicable to life. The declaration sentence personalizes the verse as your own to hold on to.

Each of these devotions can be read in about one minute, but the value comes from spending time meditating on them. At least that is what I found to be true. What I appreciate most about this book of devotions is the way they are personalized.

If you enjoy the Sarah Young Jesus Calling series, then you may enjoy He Loves You So as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my February Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Shadows of Swanford Abbey Book Review

Shadows of Swanford Abbey bookcover

Filled with interesting characters, mystery, intrigue, twists, turns, and romance set in a foreboding medieval monastery turned grand hotel, Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen is a delightful book for fans of Regency Romance that  keeps readers guessing.

Set in 1820 England, Rebecca Lane receives a vague message asking her to return home to help her brother. In the process of helping her brother, she teams up with childhood friend, Sir Frederick to solve a murder.

Amid the pages of Shadows of Swanford Abbey, Julie Klassen weaves a page-turning tale of sacrifice, forgiveness, and restoration. A tale I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Perhaps you will as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

God With Us Book Review

God With Us 365 Devotions on the Person and Work of Christ complied and edited by Justin S. Holcomb is a book of devotions selected from works of classic Christian writers. These devotions focus on the person and work of Christ. The devotions begin with a scripture followed by a reflection.

The introduction states: This book celebrates that Jesus Christ is God with us and God for us. It explores the abundance, capacity, and immensity of Christ’s tender and powerful love for you. It explores His sovereign rule as Lord and King.

These devotions include works of Ambrose of Milan, Augustine of Hippo, Jonathan Edwards, John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, and many others. They require more thought than a quick read. I found them best used for reflection rather than application.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

A Heart Adrift Book Review

Heart Adrift book cover

Set in 1755, in the Tidewater Virginia area of York and Williamsburg, A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz tells the story of chocolatier Esmee Shaw and sea captain Henri Lennox, as war with France threatens the colonies.

After being apart for ten years, Esmee and Henri are reunited. Though still interested in each other, they are weary. When the Governor of Virginia asks Henri to go on a dangerous mission for the colonial government, their future together becomes uncertain.

Laura Frantz is a master at filling her books with likeable characters, and providing enough historical detail to make the story interesting without boring the reader with too many details. She layers intrigue with unexpected twists and turns to keep the reader turning the page.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Heart Adrift. If you enjoy Christian historical romance at it’s finest, then perhaps this is a book for you as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Bible Recap Study Guide and Journal Review

Bible Recap study guide coverBible Recap Journal and Bible Recap Study Guide by Tara-Leigh Cobble compliment the Bible Recap One-year Guide to the Entire Bible. If you missed my review of Bible Recap, you can find it here.

First off, let me tell you about the Bible Recap Journal. If you have been going through the Bible Recap one-year guide to the Bible, you probably already have a system for taking your notes. This journal will add little to your study. Each day’s reading has one 6X8 inch page with a small space for you to write down three things. Things I loved, things I learned, and things I noticed. There is space for questions/things I want to research, and your God Shot, which is where you saw God show up in your reading that day.

Now for the Bible Recap Study Guide. This study guide goes deeper than the journal. There are 4-7 questions specific to each reading. They are intended to draw you deeper in your study and reflection on what you read. Again, there is a small amount of space to write your responses. The hope of this study guide is that you will have one place to keep your thoughts for a comprehensive overview of the Bible’s larger story and how God’s character is revealed throughout Scripture.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Blueprint: for the Christ Follower and the Collective of Christ Followers Book Review

Blueprint: for the Christ Follower and the Collective of Christ Followers by J. David Peever compares building a house structure to building a church community going from the ground up. Filled with thought-provoking questions, Dave asks the reader to look beyond outward facades to what lies beneath, starting with the footer, all the way through de-cluttering and knowing whether to repair or replace. He suggests Christ followers ask themselves, why do we do what we do and why do we do it that way?

Blueprint is not a how to have a perfect life, or church, in 10 easy steps type book. Nor is it a book to rush through. It is a book filled with serious questions for each of us to ask our self.

How solid is our foundation? Are the supports sturdy? Are the walls sound? Does it all tie back to God as the footing everything else is built upon?

Through this book, Dave challenges the reader to ask themselves what their life and church are built on. The goal being to make sure we build on God’s plan, done God’s way, in God’s timing, with God’s chosen resources.

Now for more information about Dave.

Becoming a writer was never something I considered doing but rather something that just happened. My background in acting and directing and God’s call led to a need for me to create scripts. This was writing as a means to an end. I was an actor and a director who needed good quality Christian comedies and dramas to perform for live audiences. Writing a book never crossed my mind until I was asked to communicate my philosophy of ministry in written form when applying for a lead pastor position. This two page outline of how I approached ministry became my thesis for living life as a follower of Christ and a collective of Christ followers and for my book Blueprint. I was not the only one who had never considered the idea of me becoming an author of anything more than theatrical scripts. When I told my wife I had started to write a book she laughed. She said, “You don’t even like to read, why would you want to write a book?” It was great question, an appropriate question but in the end it didn’t matter. When God lays something on your heart; what you have done, what you are doing and what you are able to do all fade as He molds you into a person able to carry out His call on your life.

I love this, Dave. God prepares us for the job he calls us to. I need to remember this as I continue to struggle with trying to discern how God wants me to proceed with my writing.

I began shopping my book Blueprint around quite some time ago. I looked for an agent and I sent unsolicited proposals to publishing companies. It didn’t seem to matter; nothing seemed to work. The biggest eye-opener came when I contacted an agent to represent my book. The agent told me it didn’t matter if I created the best literary work ever, publishers would never look at a book because of the subject matter: Christian Living/ Church Life. If it wasn’t a famous pastor or worked for a well-known church organization they didn’t want to hear from me or my agent. Sadly I am neither. I looked into self-publishing companies but I did not have the money. After talking about this on my blog (I forgot to mention it wasn’t crazy enough for me to just write one book, I write a blog almost every week) I had many people suggest self-publishing on Amazon along with offers to create a book cover and edit my work. This was the route I ended up taking and boy am I glad I did!

It is so difficult, isn’t it? I am glad you found the best path for your book to be published.

My book has become part of my transitional ministry. I am a transitional pastor also called an intentional interim pastor. My job is to lead churches when they are between pastors. Although I had never considered my book Blueprint to be a transitional tool when writing it, God knew that it could become a great resource as churches and individuals reflected on God’s design for their lives and for their church. My ministry philosophy and Blueprint came from my concern that the church and by extension Christians, had become caught up in the latest how-to books from large churches and well known leaders which had led to the creation of beautiful landscapes and décor without paying attention to the structure that supports everything. Fancy programs and church services had become the main focus and sometimes the only focus of churches and Christians. Growing numbers became more important than growing faith.

That is such a sad truth. And that’s where the questions in Blueprint come in. What’s our focus?

The time between pastors is the perfect time to ask why do we do what we do and why do we do it that way? As for the individual Christ follower, every day is a great day to work through the same question. Blueprint isn’t the answer but rather a way to challenge yourself and your church to be structurally sound so there is something supporting the beautiful décor.

Thanks so much, Dave.

Folks, Dave’s contact information is listed below. His book, Blueprint: for the Christ Follower and the Collective of Christ Followers, can be found on Amazon.

Website: www.live4him.ca

Email: dave@live4him.ca

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!