Thursday, October 17, 2019

A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott Book Review

A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott is the historical fiction story of young Meg Pero who in the early 1870's sets out on a survey of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for the Army as the photographer taking over the job from her deceased father.  She longs to show the world her stunning photographic skills, but becomes deflated when she learns that the man in charge of the expedition is the one she used to love and walked away from many years prior.  Still Meg and Captain Ben Coleridge manage to work together despite their differences.  But Ben has an ulterior motive for the trip that he doesn't tell his other crew members.  When Meg and Ben get lost in the canyon wilderness after a suspicious fire at the camp, will they learn to put aside their past and make a new future?

I was drawn to this book because I love historical fiction and this time period is not familiar to me.  I loved the grand scenery described throughout the book as the Army made it's way across the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  The apparent love gone wrong between the two main characters, Meg and Ben, captured me at first, but as the story went on I felt the interaction between the two to be stiff and did not lead me to believe in their romance.  Also, the book had a mysterious element that was not the main plot, but was supposed to carry the story along.  But in the end, it didn't seem to be wrapped up so that I could understand it.  Honestly, I almost stopped reading this book because it seemed redundant, but the ending was satisfying and it did contain many interesting references to instruments and photographic equipment used in that time period.  

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Reads.  All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Abide: 40 Ways to Focus on Jesus Daily by Tara Cole Book Review

Abide: 40 Ways to Focus on Jesus Daily by Tara Cole is book that gives the reader simple ways to come to God daily (and it doesn't have to just be early morning).  Tara defines abide as "to be held; kept; continually."  In her book she invites the reader to explore 40 ways to come close to Jesus in the daily walk of life.  She has divided them up into five topics: Abiding in the Word, prayer, community, worship and service.  She gives a few ideas for how to read this book such as taking 5 weeks and studying each of the five topics.  Every chapter begins with a title, Bible verse and explanation of the way of abiding with Jesus.  After each chapter there are questions or sometimes even work pages to "practice" the topic discussed.  Tara's gentle words of encouragement inspire the reader to dive deeper and find her own unique way of abiding with Jesus.  At the end of the book, Tara also adds 40 ways to teach kids how to abide with Jesus! She also includes a great list of resources.

I have been a Christian for a long time and I've developed my daily quiet time in the morning.  But I often go about my day with no thought of my relationship with God other than the few prayers I send up through my busy day.  I know that I want to abide with Jesus through my day and even if I don't get that quiet time I want to be able to connect with God.  I felt this book was simple for a new Christian and also gives a seasoned Christian many new ways to reach out the Father in daily life.  And I absolutely loved the section for kids.  Tara covered this topic well and gives the reader a fresh and new perspective on drawing near to God and abiding through the day with the One who longs to be with us.

Get your copy of Abide: 40 Ways to Focus on Jesus and snag these extra bonuses by October 22.
Early Bird Bonuses:
  • Abide: How to Focus on Jesus - 5 Week Bible Study
  • John 15: 4 Graphic
  • Abide Spotify Playlist

*I was a given a complimentary copy of this book for review for being on the launch team.  All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

100 Words of Affirmations Your Husband/Wife Needs to Hear by Matt and Lisa Jacobson Book Review

100 Words of Affirmation Your Husband/Wife Needs to Hear by Matt and Lisa Jacobson are two books that cover ways to encourage your spouse with words.  Each book is written by the opposite gender so that is like a mentor is speaking to you in your own language!  Matt and Lisa took a lot of time to discover what would make the other half feel love and affirmed.  They each wrote a book addressed for one to the husband and one to the wife.  They are very similar in format, but different in context.  Lisa draws the wife to find a lot of little ways to give her husband love through words.  She shares stories and goes into a few deeper details.  Matt is very succinct, but makes sure his readers get good words to give as gifts to their wives with his short and often humorous stories.

I would recommend any couple to purchase this bundle and make a practice of affirming their better half with words of affirmation, encouragement and love.  I know I would love these words spoken or written to me!  Take a step to improve your marriage this year and be a word giver.

*Matt Jacobson-
*Lisa Jacobson-
*Faithful Life Podcast-

These are two amazing people with an amazing story.  Be sure to check out all their resources and their podcast.

*I was a given a complimentary copy of this book for review for being on the launch review team.  All opinions are my own.*

Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons Book Review

Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons is a book that explores four rhythms that contribute to the path of renewal. The four rhythms are rest, restore, connect and create. In each of these rhythms there are chapters that examine different ideas to mold these rhythms into your life. Rebekah shares vulnerable stories of her struggles and victories. She wrestles with these rhythms until they become part of her life. She encourages her readers at the end of each chapter with reflection questions that would be good for personal study or in a group discussion. 
 This book made me think more about what areas where I lack and how to rise up and prioritize certain rhythms that will give me peace and joy in my life. I think many people will resonate with Rebekah's message as it touches many parts of the life that we all crave. I just finished reading it, but I will be reading it again and answering all the questions and taking inventory on my strengths and areas to improve.  I'm excited for my journey.  

Check out Rebekah Lyons at:

Take a  free quiz to find your strongest rhythm:

*I was a given a complimentary copy of this book for review for being on a launch review team.  All opinions are my own.*

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Catching Faith 2 DVD Review + Giveaway

Catching Faith 2: The Homecoming is the continuing story of the Taylor family as they navigate the dips and turns of  life by relying on their faith.  Alexa feels like the world is caving in as she steps into her dream job, but still has to care for her mother with Alzheimer's and her son has just lost his career while her daughter gets engaged to her ex-best friend's son.  Thankfully she has a Bible study and support group and her husband valiantly tries to help Alexa calm down and be reasonable.  As each member of the family goes through their trial, they turn to each other and to faith to keep them grounded and moving forward.

This movie was a good example of how life quickly can spin out of control.  But as the family in this story learned, not letting the circumstances take away your joy, but grow character in you, that is the foundation of faith.  Although, I did feel this family needed a bit more guidance and direction, I did seem them come together to celebrate life in fun and positive ways despite all the setbacks.

*I was given a complimentary copy of this DVD for review from Edify Media.  All opinions are my own.*


Please fill out this form to enter the giveaway for this DVD.


Giveaway ends Sunday, Sept 8. 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Back Roads to Belonging by Kristen Strong Book Review

Back Roads to Belonging (Unexpected Paths to Finding Your Place and Your People) by Kristen Strong is a unique look at building friendships.  Kristen knows from the experience of moving that finding friends takes lots of time and energy.  But this book focuses on how to step back and embrace the role that God has designed for you and how to invite others to join you in that journey.  There are three sections to the book: Wandering, Finding and Inviting.  Kristen weaves stories from her life and others as she shares the many ways she has struggled with uncertainty, loneliness, frustration and disappointment.  But she also shares the positive way God brought her to new way of thinking, feeling and behaving.  Each chapter starts with a quote and leads into a personal story.  Then Kristen offers practical ideas for using God's Word to draw yourself closer to Him in this belonging journey.  And she ends each chapter with a traveling companion story and a belonging blessing. 

I must say that I chose to read this book because I just moved for the umpteenth time in my life, but since my last move was over 20 years ago, I feel like I'm starting over.  This book caught my eye because I desperately want to belong.  I have always felt like I have been an outsider.  And because my personality can be introverted, I have just thought I could feel OK, but not really.  Kristen's book really showed me my place is with God first.  When I have my priorities in order, He will help me to navigate friendships and learning to belong, but also having grace for myself and others.  I have to say, this book messed up my brain a bit.  I couldn't see how to take a back road to belonging, but by the end of the book, I felt Kristen was a sweet friend guiding me along a well worn path to a Place where I truly belong!

*I was a given a complimentary copy of this book for review from Revell Reads.  All opinions are my own.*

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Boy Mom by Monica Swanson Book Review + Giveaway (ends Aug 11)

Boy Mom by Monica Swanson is a book geared for moms of boys so that moms can give their sons what they most need. Monica gently guides moms to look at the big picture and then breaks it down into areas that give suggestions in ways to teach our sons. Each chapter is sprinkled with stories of her own life, books that have impacted her and excellent ideas. There are also discussion questions at the end of each chapter. She dives into areas for character, technology, spiritual growth, influences, work ethic, relationships and much more. And there also is a link to a printable that is outlined in the book for various topics such as how to share the gospel, identity in Christ, boy approved food and dinner conversation starters, just to name a few. 

I have to be honest, as I was reading this book I began to feel overwhelmed with what area to focus on for my son. They all seem so vital! But as I read, I realized that I will just take it one step at a time and keep this book by my side so I can refer to it often. I am thankful for Monica's ministry and how she has used her knowledge and life experience to help other boy moms in their quest to raise their sons in the way of the Lord.

Visit Monica Swanson at
She also has a podcast too!!

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley for review.  All opinions are my own.*

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