Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Michael W. Smith: Sovereign {a #FlyBy giveaway}

Michael W. Smith has a new video that released today, from his album Sovereign.  Sky Spills Over.

Smitty was one of the very first Christian artists I actually listened to.  I was forced to listen to some as a teen, but I couldn't even tell you who they were.  In the late 80s, I started working with the youth group at my church.  Michael W. Smith was one artist that I recall from those days.

The song Friends in particular. I chaperoned a high school group on a trip to Pennsylvania, where we worked on various building projects for elderly and disabled city residents. That was a lot of fun for all of us.  My group was fixing a decrepit porch and laying a new concrete walkway so the widow who owned the place could safely get to her garage.

Every night, there was a big 'thing' for all the workgroups, and that always included music.  Every night included at least one song by Michael W. Smith.  The last night, of course, we all belted out "Friends are friends forever... if the Lord's the Lord of them..." and practically everyone cried and hugged and bawled and sang some more.

Michael W. Smith was pretty great at emotional songs back then.  Some things don't seem to change.

Michael had this to say about the song Sky Spills Over:
I’m really passionate about the song SKY SPILLS OVER. It was fun creating it in the studio and I’ve been overwhelmed at the response it gets when we perform it live every night. My son Ryan is a really talented filmmaker so I always enjoy working with him on a project. But what made this project even more special was that 3 of my own grandkids were in the video. This video was a lot of fun to make. I hope people enjoy it!
Grandkids?  Ouch.  That doesn't work for me.  He's only a couple years older than me, isn't he?  <sigh> 

I have a copy of Sovereign to give away!  US and Canada only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bonhoeffer Student Edition {a BookLook Blogger review}

A couple of years ago, I read (and reviewed) the book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.  I loved it.  What I had really wanted at the time was a book for my kids to read, but that biography was huge (over 600 pages!) and that seemed a bit much.

So when I saw Bonhoeffer Student Edition, also by Eric Metaxas, I knew I needed it.

From the publisher:
What would you do if your faith could cost you your life?

The fascinating story of one of Christianity’s most courageous heroes, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is now abridged and adapted for students. This compelling account of Bonhoeffer’s remarkable testimony—combined with historical, theological, and political elements and enhanced with photos—brings the story to life. How did Bonhoeffer become someone who would defend God’s truth, even when it was a matter of life and death? How did he endure the hardships that came with his faithfulness? How might we respond similarly to injustices today?

New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas vividly portrays the struggles and faith of Bonhoeffer, a man who had the courage to follow his convictions into Nazi Germany and stand up for the truth of God.

My thoughts:

At just under 250 pages, this book is far more reasonable for a school assignment. 

Even after reading the adult version, this one pulled me in and I simply could not put it down.

One thing I loved was that the first chapter was titled "The End" and it dealt with Dietrich's funeral and how his parents found out he had died.  For students who aren't already at least vaguely familiar with Bonhoeffer, I appreciate that they know from the start that he died young.  They go into the story of his life already knowing how it will end.

Each chapter except the first and last ones include some questions for the student to think about.  Some of the questions really make you examine your beliefs, while some are more about thinking through what you have just read.

This book is fantastic, and I am really hoping that Metaxas will have more student edition titles coming out in the near future.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, May 24, 2015

How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible {a Bethany House Blogger review}

Let's start off with this.  I have read through the Bible.  More than once.

For a long time, I'd read through the Bible every year.  I've read the Bible out loud to my kids more than once.

Sometimes, though, I worry that statements like that make me sound super-spiritual and weird.  When the truth is, I'm not always ever sure I'm doing this whole thing right.  I'm sure this is supposed to impact me more directly than it does, I'm supposed to feel more of a relationship, I'm just supposed to actually become super-spiritual or something.

How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible by Keith Ferrin jumped out at me when Bethany House offered it for a May nonfiction review option.

I didn't want to review it though.  Because I've been trying to cut back on reviews and have a bit more time to process some of the junk going on in my life this year.

But it wouldn't let me go.  So I signed up.

From the publisher:
Do you feel like you should read the Bible more?

This book will help you
want to read it.
Keith Ferrin has been talking to churches for years about enjoying God's Word. Here he shares the most helpful ideas and habits you can start using today. You will find ten proven tips that are equally practical whether you are a longtime Bible student or simply exploring what this life-changing book is all about.

Aimed at deepening your relationship with God, these simple suggestions will help you focus more easily as you read, remember Scripture better, and most importantly, enjoy the Bible and its Author more than you ever dreamed possible.

Includes Discussion Questions and Reading Suggestions for Small Groups

My thoughts:

When the book arrived, I started kicking myself.   WHY did I sign up for this?  I really don't need someone else making me feel guilty that I'm not doing this Bible-reading thing right. 

Maybe I could just read the first chapter or two and write a review based on that.

But Ferrin sucked me in.  He isn't heaping guilt on me. 

What he is doing is giving ten tips, most of which are really straight-forward and dare I say 'easy' to implement?  Okay, well, they aren't all actually easy.

I ended the book (yes, I did read it all) feeling encouraged and challenged.  I want to jump right in to either his 60-day challenge, or into one of his 4-month challenges.  Because those look absolutely phenomenal.

That doesn't work, though.  You see, my church is doing something starting July 6, where we are committing as a church to reading through the New Testament in eight weeks.  So I don't have enough time to do one of Ferrin's challenges before this church one begins, and I know that overlapping them is a bad idea for me.

This challenge at church, though, falls oh-so-very in line with the ten tips that Ferrin is giving.  I kept thinking in each chapter about how I can use that with my church challenge.  Some of it is just going to happen automatically, and it was really exciting to see how this book is preparing me for the church challenge.

(Which is funny, because had I known that my church was going to be doing this whole read the New Testament in two months thing this summer, I never would have asked to review this book.)

I do have six weeks, though, before the challenge at church starts.  Six weeks where I'll be traveling, and dealing with going through my mom's things, and I'm not sure I want to exactly start a major challenge exactly.  Because I had thought about adapting a 60-day challenge to a 42-day one.  But that is setting myself up to fail.

Instead, I am going to focus on incorporating some of Ferrin's non-challenge tips into the next few weeks, and being really prepared for our New Testament work in July.

Bottom line:

I highly recommend this book.  It is already transforming how I look at Bible reading

Disclosure:  Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.  No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Join the Odyssey Adventure Club for a ‘Buck’ (Plus a Summer Challenge)

Don't know about your family, but my kids have all loved Adventures in Odyssey.  I love being able to log on and listen whenever we want to.

Right now, you can join the Odyssey Adventure Club for only a Buck!


Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means school will be out for the summer! Parents, does that fill you with dread, knowing all you'll hear for the next few months is, "I'm bored!"? Keep reading because we have a deal for you—one that will only cost you a buck and that will keep your kids safe online while allowing them to have fun and to grow in their relationship with Jesus.

Buck Oliver is back in the latest Adventures in Odyssey album, and to celebrate, you can try the Odyssey Adventure Club for just a buck for your first month. Sign up before May 31st using the promo code BUCK! *This deal only applies to first-time accounts and is good the first month only.

Members receive:
  • 24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value).
  • A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine.
  • A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month's episode.
  • On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app.
  • Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more.

Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination.


Your favorite Adventures in Odyssey characters are also Taking the Plunge in Album 59 and now you can, too! This summer, dive into your faith and grow closer to God by joining the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge. It includes these simple things:
  • Learn 5 memory verses
  • Get active with 5 family activities together
  • Share God’s love and your faith in 5 different ways

When you commit to the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine Taking The Plunge Summer Challenge, you'll receive:
  • A promo code for an exclusive Odyssey Adventure Club first month offer (for new members only)
  • Adventures in Odyssey special studio message
  • “Strange Journey Back” book excerpt
  • “Jones and Parker Mysteries” book excerpt
To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Disclaimer: As part of the Odyssey Club Blogger program, I receive access to the Odyssey Adventure Club and some other resources in exchange for posting about the Club. I am not required to give positive opinions.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Privileged Species {a Schoolhouse Review Crew review} Review

I'll confess: prior to showing up on my list of upcoming Schoolhouse Review Crew vendors, I had never heard of them. ReviewChecking out their website, I discovered that they are all about providing Christian movies -- whether educational, inspirational, or entertaining.  Looking over their website, I certainly noticed titles I knew, and some I didn't.  Privileged Species was one that was new to me, but it sounded vaguely familiar.

Once we received it, I realized that we own Privileged Planet, a documentary we really loved.  That movie talks about all sorts of amazing 'coincidences' such as the outer gas giant planets providing protection from comets, or earth needing to be in a very narrow size range in order to support life.

Once we realized that, we were pretty excited to watch Privileged Species: How the Cosmos is Designed for Human Life.

From the opening sequence with Bill Nye speaking about how unimportant people are (insignificant specks on an insignificant planet orbiting an insignificant star...), this documentary grabbed our attention.

Essentially, this film is going through and addressing three substances -- Carbon, Water, and Oxygen -- and their amazing properties that make it so that life is possible.  For instance, carbon is an incredibly stable element, but it is only stable in a fairly narrow range of temperatures.  You know, temperatures that are normal on Earth.  Carbon isn't stable on Venus (it is too hot), or on Uranus (it is too cold). 

Did you know that scientists have identified 65,000,000 carbon compounds so far?  And that new ones are still being found?  That is an incredible number.

The photography is gorgeous throughout the film, and the animation sequences were wonderful.  By animation, I'm not talking cartoons, but things like showing the flow of blood and how if water was more (or less) viscous, things would be quite different.  The animations went along with what was being discussed quite well.

They also quote a wide variety of people throughout the documentary, which is always nice to see.  There is just so much packed into this 33-minute video, and you will definitely see things you missed when you view it again.

The movie prompted a discussion of Intelligent Design vs. Creation, and how this film does not make any claims about God, but speaks of a designer.  So many other resources seem to jump past the scientific parts and go straight to "God did it."  There is a time and a place for that, too, but my kids all (ages 9 to 18) appreciated that this one stuck to the idea that "scientifically, there is a lot going on that cannot be random chance," as Thomas (age 14) stated.

The Schoolhouse Review Crew also had the chance to look at some other titles from  Flight and Metamorphosis are similar in that they are documentaries with incredible footage touching on the science behind some of the amazing had-to-be-designed things on our planet.

Go read some of the other reviews for these titles, plus Exploring Ephesus, Torchlighters: The John Wesley Story, and Unbroken.

I know I'm coming up with a list of movies that I want to purchase. Review

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, May 15, 2015

Chance of Loving You {a Tyndale House Blog Network review}

I have a few favorite authors in the Christian Romance category.  I've talked about them before.  When I saw Chance of Loving You was written by three of my favorites, I simply had to jump in to review this book.

I've read a couple of other anthology types of books in the past, where some authors "get together" and each write a portion of a book that ends up being separate, yet somehow connected, stories.

Chance of Loving You includes three separate stories that are tied together by the fact that they involve some type of a contest, and they each include a recipe.  The three bestselling romance authors include:
These stories were fun.

The publisher's description of the stories:

For Love of Money by Terri Blackstock Trying to launch her own design firm while waitressing on the side, Julie Sheffield was drawn to the kind man she waited on at the restaurant last night . . . until he stiffed her on the tip by leaving her half of a sweepstakes ticket.

The Recipe by Candace Calvert Hospital dietary assistant Aimee Curran is determined to win the Vegan Valentine Bake-Off to prove she’s finally found her calling. But while caring for one of her patients—the elderly grandmother of a handsome CSI photographer—Aimee begins to question where she belongs.

Hook, Line & Sinker by Susan May Warren Grad student Abigail Cushman has agreed to enter the annual Deep Haven fishing contest. She’s a quick learner, even if she doesn’t know the difference between a bass and a trout. But nothing could prepare her for competing against the handsome charmer she’s tried to forget since grief tore them apart.

One chance for each woman to change her life . . . but will love be the real prize?

My thoughts:

I enjoyed all three stories immensely.  One fabulous aspect is that they are each fairly short, so I didn't have to stay up until 4 a.m. finishing the book.  I could stay up until 1:00 instead, and do the next story the next day!

Terri Blackstock's story is quite different from what I normally read from her, so that was lots of fun. 

Candace Calvert's story mostly took place in a hospital, with the main characters being a hospital employee and a member of the police.  That is typical of many of her stories, so I felt right at home with that one. 

Susan May Warren locates her story in Deep Haven, with the main characters all traveling there for the fishing contest.  A few familiar faces from her other novels make appearances here, which is fun.  If you've never read a Deep Haven novel, though, you don't miss out on anything in this one.

This was a fun book to read!

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

Just Random Stuff: Mid-May Edition

I haven't done one of these for awhile, so I'm hitting you with one today.  Just to get some things off of my mind.

First, May in Colorado.  You never know quite what to expect.

  • I know I make comments about wanting my kids to stay little, and I comment on being sad when they go having big birthdays (like 18!!  Oh, my!) and all.  It doesn't mean I don't want them to grow up.  I know that is the goal in parenting, and I embrace that.  But I can still be sad for a moment now and then as I realize how fast it happens.
  • All of my children are now using Notgrass American History.  Richard and Trina are using the middle school version and the teens are doing the high school one.  I have truly missed having them all studying the same basic history.  Really missed it.  One way or another, this will continue.
  • I am so relieved that AWANA and AHG are over for the summer.  Cannot begin to express how much of a relief that is.
  • Life is short.  Hug your kids.  Tell your mom and dad you love them.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Heart's Danger {a Litfuse review}

It is time for another review of the Journey of the Heart series by Colleen Coble.  This time, I'm reviewing book 3, A Heart's Danger. 

Previously, I have reviewed A Heart's Disguise  and A Heart's Obsession.  I feel a bit off about those reviews, now that I've gotten through the third book.  I was not particularly liking the main characters, and I know some of my problem had to do with the fact that Sarah (female lead character) lost her dad.  Her mother had died years before.

I'm not handling books about people who are going through the death of a parent very well.

Sarah risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves—but will the risk be worth it? Find out in book three, A Heart's Danger, of Colleen Coble's A Journey of the Heart series. Rand’s new fiancée wants to keep him from returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns. Sarah just wants to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell—the man whose love she craves—and Croftner—the man whose lies have cost her everything.

My thoughts:

I like Sarah a lot more now that she is in Wyoming.  Her compassion for the Sioux living near the fort is wonderful, and her determination to move on and make a good life for herself and her brother is certainly commendable. 

This portion of the series is action-packed, with lots of fairly unlikely coincidences that didn't annoy me as much as I expected.  Unlike the first two titles in the series, this one comes to a nice conclusion that doesn't leave me anxious to get the next in the series.  At this point, I'm curious as to where things will go as we move into book four, but no pins and needles are involved.

I would highly recommend starting with book 1, as I really don't think these titles stand alone.

Enter to win the perfect pairing giveaway: three books (books one–three in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series) and coffee to pair with your new book!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of A Heart's Danger
  • A pound of Colleen's favorite coffee, Captain Davy's Coffee Roaster Costa Rican
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 31st. Winner will be announced June 1st on Colleen's website.


Disclaimer:  I received this book through LitFuse Blog Tour.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book {a Blogging for Books review}

A while back, I reviewed a fabulous cookbook called The Great American Slow Cooker Book.  One of the things I loved about that cookbook was that they had directions for three different (common) sizes of slow cookers.

When I saw there was a new title available, The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book, I jumped on it.  Too quickly, I'm afraid.  My thought process was that I own three pressure canners or cookers, I've never used them to cook, really, so this would be perfect.

Once the book arrived, I realized that this book assumes that you have a 6 quart pressure cooker (though a 5.5 quart will work too), either electric or stovetop.  My devices are all either WAY too large for what they are proposing, or far too small.  So I set about just reading through the book so I could write a review.

In the process, I decided I needed a new pressure cooker.

Fortunately, I had some money available from some wonderful birthday presents, and I got a really nice electric one.  I'm thrilled.

My thoughts?

I am enjoying this cookbook.  It shares some features with the Slow Cooker one I reviewed before.  Specifically, it:
  • rates each recipe by the amount of effort required.  Love that.  The labels are common sense ones.  "Not Much" for a recipe like Turkey Sausage and Macaroni Casserole, where you brown the veggies and the meat in the cooker, then add ingredients, pressure cook, add a few more ingredients and let it sit.  "A Little" for a recipe like Pork Tenderloin with Black Beans and Coconut Rice, where you brown the meat, remove and add some veggies and cook til softened, add spices and cook, stir in a bunch of ingredients and stir until dissolved, add meat back, pressure cook, and serve.  Or "A Lot" for a recipe like Stuffed Flank Steak with Bacon and Pickles, which has a whole lot of steps but it sure sounds amazing.
  • uses mostly normal types of ingredients.  Not necessarily things I keep on hand, but things that I at least have heard of.  
  • has a "Testers' Notes" section for each recipe that is simply fabulous.  Like the Maple Dijon Wings recipe, where the notes tell you not to use anything but real maple syrup, and they give suggestions for if you prefer a thinner sauce.
 There are some other features here as well:
  • Each recipe includes instructions for both a stovetop pressure cooker and an electric one.
  • Some recipes include serving suggestions, like the Salsa-Braised Chicken Leg Quarter recipe, which suggests a rice/bean mix that you use as a bed for the chicken and sauce.
I haven't prepared many of the recipes yet, but the ones I have tried have worked out great (aside from my learning curve in figuring out my new cooker!)  It is amazing how quickly rice cooks, for instance, and I am loving that.  Just the other night, I used the pressure cooker to cook up rice (using instructions in the book), and used that to make jambalaya.  It was by far the best jambalaya I've ever made, and one big part of that was that the rice was actually cooked.

One thing I noticed is that these recipes frequently call for fresh herbs.  That isn't something I've traditionally had available to me, but I am growing some now so that should make those more possible.

I don't love this cookbook nearly as much as I did The Great American Slow Cooker Book, but it is still a pretty fantastic collection of recipes -- 500 of them! -- and I am glad I own it.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Andrea Carter's Tales from the Circle C Ranch {a Kregel Book Tours review}

I'm excited to be telling you about another fabulous book by Susan K. Marlow.  Andrea Carter's Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a collection of stories that cover about seven years of Andi's life.

And they are lots of fun.

From the publisher:
Join Andrea Carter for more adventures in nineteenth-century California!

The independent tomboy Andrea Carter and her beloved horse, Taffy, were first introduced in Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home in 2005. Since then, popular author Susan Marlow has penned five more books in the Circle C Adventures series, filled in Andi's early years with the Circle C Beginnings series, and started a chronicle of Andrea's teen years in Circle C Milestones.

Published to celebrate the tenth anniversary of this positive role model for girls, Andrea Carter's Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a collection of short stories inspired by fan questions that fills in many of the gaps between Circle C Beginnings and Circle C Adventures. Taking place between 1873 and 1880, each story is prefaced by an explanatory note that pinpoints the action of the story in relation to events in the existing Andrea Carter books.

Wholesome fun, and with a clear Christian message throughout, Andrea Carter's Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a must-read for fans of the series and a fun introduction for those who haven't yet discovered these historical gems.

My thoughts:

These stories are delightful, even if you haven't read many of the books about Andrea Carter.  I've only read a couple before, but these were fun anyway.  I would imagine for anyone who has read most of Marlow's books about Andi, this would be even more special.

Andi is delightful.  Mischievous, spunky, and definitely a handful.

I read this book myself, but I will be sharing this with my kids.  My daughter will love it for sure, as she has read a few of the younger Andi books and she adores Andi. 

My sons will appreciate the way Andi's brothers are written.  They are all such wonderful examples of how a big brother should behave, as they are not always perfect or sweet, but when the chips are down they are there to protect their sister. 

Of course, the downside of reading this book is that I now want to complete my Circle C collection.

Disclaimer:  I received this book through Kregel Blog Tours.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.   

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A. D. The Bible Continues: The Revolution That Changed the World {a Tyndale House Blog Network review}

I'm not normally a fan of books written based on television shows, or based on movies.  Partially, I suppose, because I don't watch that much television.

But I've seen an episode of A.D. The Bible Continues, and I was impressed with it.  Seeing that this book is written as another look at the early church, well, I was interested.

A.D. The Bible Continues: The Revolution That Changed the World by Dr. David Jeremiah is worth a read.

From the publisher:
When Pontius Pilate ordered the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, he thought he was putting an end to the Jewish uprising that had been threatening the authority of the Roman Empire. What Pilate didn’t realize, however, was that real revolution was just getting started.

Based on the epic NBC television series, A.D. The Bible Continues: The Revolution that Changed the World is a sweeping Biblical narrative that brings the political intrigue, religious persecution, and emotional turmoil of the Book of Acts to life in stunning, vibrant detail. Beginning with the crucifixion, NYT best-selling author and Bible teacher Dr. David Jeremiah chronicles the tumultuous struggles of Christ’s disciples following the Resurrection. From the brutal stoning of Stephen and Saul’s radical conversion, through the unyielding persecution of Peter and the relentless wrath of Pilate, Jeremiah paints a magnificent portrait of the political and religious upheaval that led to the formation of the early Church.

Complete with helpful background information about the characters, culture, and traditions included in the television series, A.D. The Bible Continues: The Revolution That Changed the World is not only a riveting, action-packed read, it is also an illuminating exploration of one of the most significant chapters in world history.

Get ready to watch history unfold. The revolution that changed the world has begun!

My thoughts:

I expected a book that related to the television series, which did worry me a bit to be honest.  What we have, though, is a book that helps to explain the events of the episodes of the show, but you certainly don't need to be watching the series to get a lot out of the book.

The writing style is fairly easy-to-read, but not quite conversational in nature.  A bit more academic, you could say.

He starts with an overall introduction (Before There Was an A.D. ) that whips through basic story of the old testament in a few pages.  Then the first two chapters come from the Gospels, with the first one being on the trial and death of Christ, and the second chapter on His resurrection.  The rest of the book covers the first eleven chapters of Acts.

My favorite part of the book is all the little grey boxes that explain specific people, events, places, traditions, etc.

Dr. Jeremiah does a great job of making some of the scholarship around the books of Acts easily accessible to regular people.  I like this title, and I will be looking for A.D. The Bible Continues: The Book of Acts.

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mother & Child Project {a Family Christian Blogger review and giveaway}

Eighteen years ago, I woke up to yet another day of bedrest.  At that point, I had been on bedrest for fourteen weeks, and it was pretty exhausting.  I was working from home, which was a huge blessing.  And as it was the beginning of the month, I had some reports that I needed to get out.

I expected a pretty boring day.

It was anything but.

This is eighteen years ago tomorrow.  My first time seeing Connor.

My doctor called, and she was concerned about a few things.  That meant an appointment at the hospital for something called a biophysical profile.  A more thorough ultrasound was how she described it.

What we discovered at the hospital was that my baby was dying.  Shutting down.  The baby had stopped growing a month or more earlier, and things were bad.  Really bad.  Before I really knew what was happening, they had me prepped for surgery and were wheeling me to the operating room.  They didn't have time for anything besides general anesthesia.

That meant that the next thing I knew, I was waking up and my baby was gone.

Think about that for a moment.

Eventually, I found out I had a son, weighing just over three pounds, and he was in NICU with Dale. And he was a fighter.  About twelve hours later, someone brought me a polaroid picture of him, with lots of tubes and needles and equipment.  I wouldn't see him until the next day.  

That itty bitty baby turned eighteen today, which is one of those mixed emotion types of events.  Especially when I think back to the fact that as I was being wheeled off for surgery, none of the medical personnel dared to even hope for a live baby out of this event.

I had amazing, modern, wonderful personnel around, and the odds of his survival were incredibly tiny.

What does this have to do with a book review?

Simply this.   The Mother & Child Project is a book about a really simple idea.  One thing that can make a tremendous difference in developing countries is decent maternal care.  Connor wouldn't have had even that "incredibly tiny" chance of survival in most of the world, and my odds wouldn't have been good either.

Almost 287,000 women die each year from pregnancy and birth complications.  That is huge!  Those moms leave behind other children, who often don't survive either.  Healthy mothers and healthy children make a huge difference in their communities, and Hope Through Healing Hands is working to promote awareness.  This is a preventable problem, and the many chapters in this book are pointing that out.

How can you help?

What can you do?

I have a $10 Appreciation Certificate to Family Christian to give away.  You can use that towards the purchase of your own copy of The Mother & Child Project (which is $15.99 right now), or anything else you want.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book and an appreciation certificate for a giveaway, free from Family Christian Stores through the Family Christian Blogger program.  I was not required to write a positive review, and any affiliate relationship does not impact my opinions. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”