Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Single Dad Detour by Tez Brooks (Book Review!)

The Single Dad Detour: Directions for Fathering After Divorce

by Tez Brooks

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Single Dad Detour Tez Brooks

Genre- Christian Life / Men’s Issues

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 190

Age Group- Adult (men)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4360-2

Are you a divorced father? 

The Single Dad Detour, by Tez Brooks, written for the divorced father who needs help fathering after the divorce. 

This book includes humor, real-life stories from Brooks and other fathers, along with spiritual guidance to help guide divorced fathers into the next step of their lives.

Each chapter is based on driving and includes prayers, tips, Bible verses and more.

Read an excerpt.

About the Author-

Tez Brooks has four children.  He is a filmmaker for The Jesus Film Project.  He has been writing articles and books for over thirty years.

My thoughts-

Disclosure: I am a married woman.

I thought The Single Dad Detour was well written and the use of the car theme was perfect for men.

Since the book has the car theme, the table of contents is designed with the car and driver in mind.  Some of the chapter names were very catchy:

  • “Who’s Driving? (Giving God Control).”
  • “Model Cars (Avoiding Image Traps).”
  • and “Fuzzy Dice (Rethinking Tradition).”

The rest of the chapter names were just as catchy.

While it was great that I enjoyed the names of the chapters, I found that the information in each chapter was humorous, serious, and very helpful for a man who has been recently divorced.  These chapters have the author, Tez Brooks’, story, other men’s stories, and how it all relates to God.  At the end of each chapter there were study questions, Bible verses, ideas to use, and a prayer.

I recommend this book to any single dad no matter how long he has been divorced. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Skin in the Game, by Rick Lawrence, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Picture of the Week by B! (April 16, 2015)- Christmas Light Fun

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Too Many to Jail by Mark Bradley (Book Review!)

Too Many to Jail: The Story of Iran's New Christians

By Mark Bradley

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction

Published by- Monarch Books

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 302

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $16.99, ISBN 978-0-85721-596-3

Too Many To Jail

Are there a lot of Christians in Iran?  There are more than you might think in a Muslim country.  Today in Iran there are at least 100,000, some people say there are up to a million.  In 1979, there were fewer than 500.  Iran is now one of the fastest growing areas for Christianity in the world.  Why?

Is it because of politics, religion, or more?  There is still a lot of persecution of Christians, but there are new Christians every day.  How are they able to grow?  House churches. 

Learn more about this growing church in this book.

Read an excerpt.

About the Author-

Mark Bradley is a researcher with a charity.

My thoughts-

When I saw the cover of this book, I immediately became interested in it, because I did not know anything about the Christians in Iran.  After reading it, I feel that I am a lot more informed and amazed at the dedication of the Iranian Christians. 

I learned about the history of Christianity in Iran, how and why the government has become so hostile, and the importance of house churches.  What really surprised me was how many Christians there are and how much the religion is growing. It is growing more quickly than in many other parts of the world.  God is certainly working in this part of the world.  It is interesting how quickly the number of Christians can grow when there is need and desire.  It is too bad that many people in other parts of the world become so complacent. 

I really enjoyed reading and learning from the three sections in the "Appendix."  I was able to learn about the history of Christianity in Iran, different aggressive acts towards Christians, and a testament from Mehdi Dijab.

I learned a lot about Iran and Christianity when I read this book.  I highly recommend Too Many to Jail, by Mark Bradley, to you.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Too Many to Jail, by Mark Bradley, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerard Kelly

The Boy Who Loved Rain

By Gerard Kelly

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 320

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-120-2

Colom has had a perfect life, but something is terribly wrong.  He wakes up from terrible nightmares, but he does not know why he keeps having them.  He is also becoming suicidal.   

His mother, Fiona, wants her husband, a church pastor, to help.  David, her husband, thinks nothing is wrong and will not ask for outside help.

Fiona finds a friend from her own childhood to help her.  She leaves with Colom to get the help he needs.  Are these dreams Colom’s fault or is it something Fiona and David caused? 

Read an excerpt.

About the Author-

Gerard Kelly currently lives in France and is a poet, missionary, and pastor.  He has written fourteen book.

My thoughts-

The Boy Who Loved Rain, by Gerard Kelly, was interesting and well written.

I was drawn to the title, but after having finished the book, I do not understand how the title was determined.  I never read anything that determined that Colom loved the rain.  The Colom that I read about was more interested in spending time in his room.

I thought his dreams were very interesting and it was great that his family told him why it was happening.  (I won’t say more, because it would spoil it for you.)  I am glad that the suicide pledge was not used.

Fiona was a wonderful mother.  I was glad to see how she took care of Colom.  She also picked the right woman to help them.  It was sad that David (Colom’s father) was unable to see what needed to be done to help the family.  It was nice to read about a pastor who was not perfect.  I think most people put their pastor’s on a pedestal and expect them to be extra perfect.  They are only human.

I enjoyed the ending of the book.  It had parts I did not expect.  I think you may enjoy the book.   

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Boy Who Loved Rain, by Gerard Kelly, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Skin in the Game: Living an Epic Jesus-Centered Life by Rick Lawrence

Skin in the Game: Living an Epic Jesus Centered Life

by Rick Lawrence

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Genre- Christian Life / Spiritual Growth

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 143

Age Group- Adult (primarily men)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $13.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4359-6

Skin in the Game, by Rick Lawrence, is all about living a life centered on Jesus.

Each chapter begins with a question, like “Will You Risk?” and focuses on a Bible story.  In this chapter , it is the man who was blind from birth (John 9).

All of the chapters end with discussion questions.

Read an excerpt.

About the Author-

Rick Lawrence blogs at www.youthministry.com.  He is a church leader, speaker, and executive editor.

My thoughts-

Skin in the Game, by Rick Lawrence, was an interesting read.  I think this book would be great for both men and women.  I think it would be a better fit for men, because it is written by a man and tells a lot about his own experiences.  There are so many books written for women today, that I always enjoy finding a book that is geared toward men.   

I do not know if men will be interested in the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.  I think women will enjoy thinking about what they learned.  I am always glad when a book has end-of-chapter questions.  I like being able to go back and think about what I have read.

I liked how each chapter was titled as a question, because it answered a question which is important to knowing how I can live a life with Jesus at the center.

I enjoyed reading and learning how to live a life centered around Jesus.  I recommend this book to you.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Skin in the Game, by Rick Lawrence, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Mercy’s Rain: An Appalachian Novel by Cindy K. Sproles (Book Review)

Mercy’s Rain: An Appalachian Novel

by Cindy K. Sproles

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Mercy's Rain

Genre- Fiction / Christian

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 263

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4361-9

Mercy Roller has not known mercy in her young life.  She was married and widowed when she was thirteen.  She was a mother and childless when she was fifteen.  All of this was under the authority of her father, the Pastor.

Her whole community was under his control and nobody was spared his “righteous” actions.  Mercy decided she had had enough after a man died because of her father.  She took action against her father, she killed him.

She left home and found that God’s love is not evil.  Will she be able to accept that and be happy?  Will she ever see her mother again?  

Read an excerpt.

About the Author-

Cindy K. Sproles currently lives with her family in East Tennessee.  She writes devotions and is a teacher/speaker and different conferences.

My thoughts-

I had a hard time reading the first part of Mercy’s Rain, because of Mercy’s father, the Pastor.  He was so abusive to her and the rest of their community in Tennessee.  I did not want to read of all the ways he abused all of them.  After she killed her father and left the community, the book was much easier to read.

I really enjoyed reading about her new life with Samuel (a preacher), Terrance, and Isabella.  It was living with them that helped show her how God is good and merciful to those who worship him.  She was a blessing to them and they were a blessing to her.  She was even able to be a blessing to her mother, even though her mother had a hard time accepting her. 

Sproles is an excellent writer.  I could feel Mercy’s joys and pains as I read the book.  I could also see what it was like to live in the Appalachian Mountains during the late 1890’s.

I think that many of you would enjoy this book.  I know I did.

(I really enjoyed the cover.  The old cabin with its chimney was spectacular.)     

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Mercy’s Rain, by Cindy K. Sproles, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Volume 1: Starting Strong from Growing a Strong Marriage Study Guide and DVD (Review)

Volume 1: Starting Strong

Study Guide Written by Amy McGowan

(Review Product!)

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Love & Marriage

Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers

Age Group: Adults

Description of book-

ISBN: 978-1-61970-588-3 (Study Guide & DVD) $29.95

ISBN: 978-1-61970-584-5 (Study Guide) $9.95

ISBN: 978-1-61970-586-9 (DVD)$21.95

In Starting Strong, you will learn about how important it is to have a solid foundation in the Bible.  You will learn some of the concepts from John and Staci Eldredge, Chip and Theresa Ingram, Gordon and Gail MacDonald, Les and Leslie Parrott, Art and Lysa TerKeurst, and Gary and Lisa Thomas.

About the Author:

Amy MacGowan, the author of the study guide, teaches marriage enrichment seminars with her husband.

My thoughts: 

I thought the Starting Strong Study Guide and DVD were well written.

I especially liked the DVD, because I was able to see and learn how the couple worked together to answer the questions about how they met, grew into oneness together, how their identity should be in Christ, and how Christ should be in their marriage.  There was a couple of times that the audio was bad, but it did not distract from the rest of the sessions.  I did not enjoy it when the important phrases from a person would suddenly appear on the screen.  I found it very distracting.  I do wish that each couple was in each session, because I feel that I would have learned a lot from each couple.

I thought the interviews were well done and the couples stories were memorable.  As I watched the DVD I would tell how important the couple were to each other.  The couple that was the most memorable to me was that of Chip and Theresa Ingram.  They just seemed to really mean a lot to each other and they knew how to tell their story. 

I liked how the study guide included sections from the video.  I think there were enough quotes that if a couple would like to do this study without the DVD it would be o.k.  I would have liked to see more study questions, perhaps there will be more in the following studies. I also hope there will be more Biblical references.

I thought this was a good volume for an introduction to this series, Growing a Stronger Marriage.  I recommend that people, who are planning on becoming married, and those, who are married view the DVD and use the study guide.

Informational and Purchasing Links:

Go to this link for purchasing.

Website: http://www.hendrickson.com/content/growing-strong-marriage/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hendricksonpub

Video from the Growing a Strong Marriage DVDs: http://www.hendrickson.com/content/growing-strong-marriage/  

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received a free copy of Volume 1: Starting Strong, from Hendrickson Publishers, to review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.  I am part of The CWA Review CrewAll links were current when posted.