Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Like Giving by Brad Formsma

 - Price: $14.99
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781601425751
Release: 2.18.2014
Self Help - Motivational

When you choose to live a generous life, you start to change and so does the world around you. Something incredible happens when giving becomes your own idea, not something you do out of duty or obligation.

When you move from awareness to action, miracles happen. As you make giving a lifestyle, you’ll realize you’re not only loving life more, you’re also creating a more generous world— a better world for all of us.

Rich with inspiring stories and practical suggestions, I Like Giving helps you create a lifestyle of generosity. Inside you’ll find:
• Giving—something you get to do, not something you’ve got to do.
• How to raise kids with a sensitivity to others’ needs.
• You don’t have to be a millionaire to make a difference.
• Practical ideas for giving to people around you every day.

I Like Giving is about experiencing the joy of giving. We all have something to give. Giving goes way beyond money or things. It can be a listening ear, a touch, or simply the gift of time. Giving is living. 

My Thoughts: 
OK first i want to say I really, really wanted to love this book. The premise of sharing and giving to make the world a better, more beautiful and harmonious place to live speaks to my heart. Sadly though I felt this book really lacked sound, biblical foundation of what giving is suppose to be about. Instead it came across very selfish sounding.

The books focus seems to be poured into how giving makes you feel and look instead of giving for the purpose of showing the world Gods love and continued care to meet our basic needs as laid out in teh bible. a couple good examples of how the author felt why we should give: “When I choose to give with no strings attached and no sense of obligation, I have the sense that I am valuable, that I am needed, that I make the world a better place”, or “Remember, giving is for you—it gives you life”. Making statements like this twists  the real reason we should be generous and giving in the first place-because God cares! The lack of a loving and generous God in the book really bothered me. Where was the mention of God's provisions for us, through the hands and feet of others?

I did not like the fact the book treated God like a genie waiting to grant your wishes far and wide. God is not a genie and sometimes no answer is the answer, it just may not be the one you want to hear. What really drew me to the book was the premise of finding new and exciting ways to help my children be more gracious givers and how to further develop that love of giving in simple ways. Sadly though the author did not really enhance on this topic and I felt cheated.

I do not want my whole review to be negative, there are parts of the book I really did enjoy such as talking about the adverse side effects of giving, how giving benefits both parties, etc. Learning to be a gracious giver and receiver is also important and I appreciated the fact that the author touches on this at some length. I love this quote:

“When we choose to give, we change, and the people around us change. When we move from awareness to action, miracles happen” (p. 6).

I leave with this: Matthew 6:2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full."

Check out ilikegiving.com for more information, short films, stories and more. You can also follow this movement on Facebook and on Twitter (@ilikegiving). Click HERE to read the first chapter of this book for free. 

 

About the Author: 

BRAD FORMSMA is the creator of Ilikegiving.com, a website viewed in more than 165 countries, which inspires people to live generously through its short films as well as a platform for all to share their experiences in giving. Brad and his wife, Laura, have three children and live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Disclaimer: 
I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product 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 Bloggingforbooks Review Crew.

Through the Deep Waters

 - Price: $14.99
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780307731296
Release: 5.6.2014
Fiction - Christian - Historical
eBook Review
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Print Review
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A past filled with shame can be washed away with a love that conquers all
Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.

The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her.  Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?

My Impressions: 

I have read several books by Kim and have yet to be disappointed by her ability to draw from real  life and paint beautiful relationships into her characters that are Christ centered in nature.  Excellent book that is easy to relate to and draw comfort from. What I really enjoy about this author is the way she gentle mixes in her relationships with God for each character. She does not come across as preachy, judgmental or overbearing in her approach that might push other readers away. Instead her approach is subtle enough that a non-christian would still enjoy her readings and still clearly see her faith played out in each story.

Dinah's light bulb moment in coming to grips with who God is and His love for her and  His desire for a closer relationship with her despite her past sins and lineage was very moving and easy to relate to from a personal standpoint. It reminds me that no matter what you are never to sinful or "dirty" to be cleaned and healed by the Almighty and brought back into a perfect relationship with Him.Just a beautiful picture of redemption and forgiveness painted throughout the book by Kim. 

I really adored Amos and just how sweet he was and his perseverance while he was in chasing down Dinah. Both the main characters are so broken and fearful,  that your heart breaks for them. True healing for them both came with acceptance of their past and comfort of the security of their future with God as the foundation. 

To find out more about Kim Vogel Sawyer and her charming novels, visit her website: http://kimvogelsawyer.com/

You can also try out the story here: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/wp-con...


For information on the publisher, author, and novel, click here: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalo...


About the Author:
KimVogel Sawyer is a best-selling, award-winning author highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope. More than one million copies of her books are currently in print. She lives in central Kansas where she and her retired military husband, Don, enjoy spoiling their ten granddarlings.
Kim Vogel Sawyer is a best-selling, award-winning author highly acclaimed for her gentle stories of hope. More than one million copies of her books are currently in print. She lives in central Kansas where she and her retired military husband, Don, enjoy spoiling their ten granddarlings. - See more at: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?work=221541#sthash.PxqYavMj.dpuf


Disclaimer:
I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product 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 Bloggingforbooks Review Crew.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Devotional

The Heavens Declare

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."
Psalm 14:1


Recommended Reading
Psalm 14
Physicist Tony Rothman wrote an article for Discovery Magazine discussing the problem secular scientists face with the complexity of the universe and the remarkable scientific laws and fine-tuning of the cosmos. "When confronted with the order and beauty of the universe and the strange coincidences of nature," he wrote, "it's very tempting to take the leap of faith from science into religion. I am sure many physicists want to. I only wish they would admit it."

Acknowledging the creative power of God isn't really a leap of faith; it's obvious for those who are honest and objective. Psalm 19 says (in The Message): "God's glory is on a tour in the skies.... Madame Day holds classes each morning, Professor Night lectures each evening. Their words aren't heard ... but their... unspoken truth is spoken everywhere."

The universe is filled with the evidence of God's greatness. In awesome wonder we can consider the worlds He has made. When we see His stars and hear His rolling thunder, we can praise Him. We can say with the writer of Psalm 104: "O Lord my God, You are very great."

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee: How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Stuart K. Hine

Read-Thru-the-Bible
1 Chronicles 3-4

Monday, April 28, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama Weekly Menu

Disclaimer: This post comes from  Sheri Graham, I simple did not want to loose it:

I have had many ask me to give some samples of what my meals look like as I have been following Trim Healthy Mama. I have to admit that I get stuck in a rut sometimes, but do try to change it up and eat a variety of foods throughout the week.

Day 1:
Breakfast – Scrambled eggs and bacon, coffee with stevia, vanilla, and unsweetened almond milk added – S
Lunch – Romaine salad with chicken bread on top, and Ranch salad spritzer or “light” Ranch dressing that has been watered down – FP
Snack – 1 whole pita bread cut in two and crisped in the oven or microwave, then spread with a wedge of Laughing Cow cream cheese – FP
Dinner – For dinners I usually eat the meat that I fix for the meal and the vegetable (except if it is corn or potatoes), then add a romaine salad or cooked broccoli on the side – S
Snack – Chocolate Cake – FP
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Day 2:
Breakfast – Pumpkin Pie Cake, and coffee with stevia, vanilla, and unsweetened almond milk added – FP
Lunch – 1 whole pita cut in half and filled with mayonnaise, fat-free lunch meat, and lettuce – S
Snack – Fat Stripping Frappe – FP
Dinner - For dinners I usually eat the meat that I fix for the meal and the vegetable (except if it is corn or potatoes), then add a romaine salad or cooked broccoli on the side – S
Snack - Spice Cake - FP
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Day 3:
Breakfast – Fat Stripping Frappe – FP
Lunch - 1% Cottage Cheese & Berries, with added vanilla and stevia – FP
Snack - Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding - FP
Dinner - For dinners I usually eat the meat that I fix for the meal and the vegetable (except if it is corn or potatoes), then add a romaine salad or cooked broccoli on the side – S
Snack – Chocolate Chip Cookies – S
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Day 4:
Breakfast – Oatmeal - E
Lunch - Sandwich made with Bread in a Mug then filled with mayo, mustard, fat-free lunch meat or tuna/egg salad, and lettuce – S
Snack – Choco Pudding – FP
Dinner - For dinners I usually eat the meat that I fix for the meal and the vegetable (except if it is corn or potatoes), then add a romaine salad or cooked broccoli on the side – S
Snack - Chocolate Cake - FP
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Day 5:
Breakfast – Chocolate Muffin in a Mug & Berries – S
Lunch - Fat Stripping Frappa – FP
Snack - 1 whole pita bread cut in two and crisped in the oven or microwave, then spread with a wedge of Laughing Cow cream cheese – FP
Dinner - For dinners I usually eat the meat that I fix for the meal and the vegetable (except if it is corn or potatoes), then add a romaine salad or cooked broccoli on the side – S
Snack – Fudgy No-Bake Cookies – S
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Day 6:
Breakfast – Breakfast Cobbler – S
Lunch – 1/2 Lavash Bread spread with mayo, mustard, fat-free lunch meat, and lettuce, then rolled up – S
Snack – Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding – FP
Dinner - For dinners I usually eat the meat that I fix for the meal and the vegetable (except if it is corn or potatoes), then add a romaine salad or cooked broccoli on the side – S
Snack – Rich Chocolate Fudge - S
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Day 7:
Breakfast – Spice Cake – FP
Lunch – Apple Pie Smoothie or Caramel Apple Smoothie – E
Snack - 1% Cottage Cheese & Berries, with added vanilla and stevia – FP
Dinner - For dinners I usually eat the meat that I fix for the meal and the vegetable (except if it is corn or potatoes), then add a romaine salad or cooked broccoli on the side – S
Snack – Ice Cream
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As you can see, I have a hard time incorporating “E” meals into my week so that is something I need to work on more. But I hope this helps you to see in a small snap-shot how a week’s meals can look. Now this isn’t all I eat, but just some ideas that I wrote down. I have lots more recipes that I have been using and incorporating into our menus, but I just wanted to give you a 7-day sample.
Oh..and if you can’t tell…I like chocolate :)!

Devotional

He Is - Fire

Verse: Deuteronomy 9:3

Fire symbolizes God’s presence and power. God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush and guided the Israelites with a pillar of fire. In this verse he promises to go before them like a devouring fire, judging the nations that defy him.

Fire can be either helpful or harmful. Contained, it provides light, warmth and fuel. Uncontained, it devours everything in its path. One way or another, God will be a fire in your life. If you defy him, he will burn with justice. If you serve him, he will illuminate the path before you.


This devotion is from the NIV New Women's Devotional Bible or True Identity by Zondervan. Used with permission.

And Now For Something Completely Different


Something DifferAuthor: Matthew Leon Martin
Publisher: Hopkins Publishing
Pages: 306 pp.
Genre: Theology

“And Now for Something Completely Different” is a verse-by-verse, in-depth consideration of one of the most important books of the Bible. The book of Hebrews is often under-studied because many Bible readers are unfamiliar with its purpose.

This commentary (written less like a textbook and more like a novel) expands on the narratives and arguments of its original, inspired author in order to walk the reader through the epistle, step-by-step. Thus the book will (1) show the purpose, functions and limitations of the Old Law, (2) explain the greatness of Christianity in contrast to the Israelite Covenant and (3) offer encouragement to Christians who may be (as the original readers were) considering abandoning Christ for an "easier" (temporary) life.

Unlike many other books devoted to the study of this great letter, this commentary avoids relying on cross-referencing other writers and their works. Instead, it keeps the focus on the 303 verses that comprise the epistle, with only occasional references made to related passages of Scripture.

My Thoughts: 

This was an amazing book that offered a verse by verse breakdown and commentary of the book of Hebrews. What I really enjoyed was the accessibility of information, although I would have liked the inclusion of a Bibliography since the author does use several commentaries/opinions from others. I felt the author did a wonderful job taking deep theological information and conveying it in a way the average layperson could understand and benefit from. 

The book proved to be a very helpful tool when engaging in my bible study with my children to help really breakdown each verse so they could understand it as well and by inputting other commentaries it gave us several other points of reference to dig into as well. This book is easy to recommend and will broaden the understanding of the bible for anyone who takes the time to seek Gods truth.I found this commentary to be Biblical accurate presenting God’s message to His people. 

About the Author

Matthew Martin is a 2005 graduate of the Memphis School of Preaching. He began preaching soon after becoming a Christian and after graduating High School, enrolled in MSOP. After graduation he served as the Associate Evangelist for the Forest Hill church of Christ (home of the Memphis School of Preaching) for three years before returning to Arkansas. He preached four years for the Higden church of Christ and now serves as the preacher for the brethren in Guy, Arkansas. He maintains a YouTube page featuring sermons, classes and online studies of various topics and books the Bible. Matthew has authored numerous tracts on a variety of Bible issues and founded and co-organize the Central Arkansas Gospel Crusade, which is a large area-wide Gospel Meeting designed to reach the lost in the Natural State.

***Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from book crash in exchange for my review. I was under no compulsion to present only positive aspects of the work.

The Landfill

by Kevin Hopson
Genre  Young Adult Dark Fiction
Tags  Landfill, dolls, resurrection, death, living dead, friends, high school
Release  April 4, 2014
Editor  Christine I. Speakman
Line Editor  Shawn Arnston
Cover Designer  Suzannah Safi
Words  7155
Pages  33
ISBN  978-1-77127-507-1
Price  $2.50

Billy, a high school senior, has lost a lot in the past year, including his younger sister, Sara. Billy lacks excitement and purpose in life until his curiosity takes him and his best friend, Connor, to an old, abandoned landfill along the river. Connor would rather forget the experience, but Billy can’t help but feel invigorated by their findings. Taking it upon himself to uncover the mystery, Billy finds his life coming full circle – but is that a good or bad thing?

~My Impressions~

This was a very short, only 33 pages, but engaging read. I love a good mystery book and this book has a bit of a Ted Dekker feel to it. I adored the surprise twist right at the end when I though I had everything figured out and knew how the book was going to end, then bam the author turns everything around. I cannot wait to check out some other short stories by this author that I can now easily recommend to others.

~About the Author~
Kevin Hopson: Prior to hitting the fiction scene in 2009, Kevin was a freelance writer for several years, covering everything from finance to sports. His debut work, World of Ash, was released by MuseItUp Publishing in the fall of 2010. Kevin has released several other books through MuseItUp since then, and he has also been published in various magazines and anthology books. Kevin’s writing covers many genres, including dark fiction and horror, science fiction, and crime fiction. His latest book is The Landfill. You can visit Kevin’s blog at www.kevin-hopson.blogspot.com.

~Disclaimer~ 
I received a free E-Copy of this book from pumpupyourbooks.com in exchange for my honest review.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

DOG GONE, BACK SOON (Book 2 of the Bedside Manor series)


When Dr. Cyrus Mills returned home after inheriting his estranged father’s veterinary practice, The Bedside Manor for Sick Animals, the last thing he wanted was to stay in Eden Falls, Vermont, a moment longer than absolutely necessary.  However, the previously reclusive veterinary pathologist, quickly found that he actually enjoyed treating animals and getting to know the eccentric residents of the tiny provincial town—especially an alluring waitress named Amy.

So Cyrus is now determined to make Bedside Manor thrive.  Not an easy goal, given that Healthy Paws, the national veterinary chain across town, will stop at nothing to crush its mom-and-pop competitor.  And the rival vet practice isn’t Cyrus’ only competition.  A handsome stranger shows up out of nowhere who clearly has a mysterious past with Amy.  To top it off, Cyrus finds himself the guardian of a very unique orphaned dog and smack in the middle of serious small town drama.

This charming sequel to The Patron Saint of Lost Dog, is a wild and delightful ride through one jam- packed week – where Cyrus must figure out how to outsmart the evil veterinary conglomerate, win back Amy’s heart, solve several tricky veterinary cases, find a home for an orphaned dog, and detangle himself from an absurd case of mistaken identity.

 
~My Impressions~
This is the 2nd book of the Bedside Manor series which follows The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs. The book is plain adorable. Filled with humor, mishaps,charm, and the simplicity of small town livin and all the gossip that goes with it. 

You have several different plots going at once throughout the book that can keep just about any reader entertained and engaged. We have a chaotic romance between Amy and Cyrus that just keeps getting worse as the book goes on till all cards are laid on the table, to a rival corporate vet practice trying to take over Healthy Paws by any means necessary, straight to meddling kids trying to help out to prove worth to themselves. 

Do I even have to mention the adorable cover that sells the book on its own? Then there is the kooky and zany doodle that pulls at your heart strings. I loved the relationship between Cyrus and his doodle. What really sold this book for me though was the warmth and compassion between animals and their owners. Every story was beautiful. I cannot wait for the 3rd book in this series now.




About the Author
Nick Trout is a staff surgeon at the prestigious Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. He is the author of three non-fiction books, the New York Times bestseller, Tell Me Where It Hurts, Love is the Best Medicine, Ever By My Side, and The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs and is a contributing columnist for The Bark magazine. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Kathy, and their adopted Labradoodle, Thai.

www.drnicktrout.com

Disclaimer: I was given a free E-Book copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion and review by Netgalley. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hair of the Corn Dog

  • File Size: 1188 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0991375920
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Fever Streak Press (February 26, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
In the latest laugh-out-loud confessional from A.K. Turner’s "Tales of Imperfection” series, the author relates her adventures on the Jersey Shore, at an Idaho drag show with her in-laws, and surviving the perils of an elementary school ice-cream social with equal parts wit and heart. The laughter pairs well with two parts cocktail.


Buy the Book at Amazon
Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE 


~My Impressions~
This was a unique book. I enjoy getting to take little glimpses into other peoples lives and what better way to do that then by reading a "confessional" book of someones life. As a mom I can relate to so many of her stories about her kids. I laughed so hard I cried at times. I have been in those situations and reacted very similar in many of them. I adored the "almost" art camp, the boating adventures and festivals the most. Mainly because I've been there myself. I find comfort when others freak out with their kids as much as I do. Gives me some sense of normalcy in my own life.

This was just a really nice, upbeat, laugh out loud, enjoyable book from start to finish. Although the writing is a little jumpy moving from thought to thought without really tying up the first one, its real. After all that's how we really talk anyway as women. I can easily recommend this book for anyone with kids, in-laws, or those who just want a good laugh.  
~About the Author~
A.K. Turner is the author of the bestselling This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store and Mommy Had a Little Flask. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Boise, Idaho, where she occasionally still dreams of one day being a Secret Agent.Learn more at AKTurner.com.




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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product 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  Pump Up Your Books Review Crew. 


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