Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: My Favorite Bible

 "My Favorite Bible by Rondi DeBoer and Christine Tangvald - Illustrated by Ariel Pang"
         I have 3 kids at home so I am always looking for ways to get my kids exited about the Bible and Bible stories.  Our household owns many children's bibles, some I like, some not so much. When I saw this one I figured I'd give it a shot.
         First of all this Bible was put out by the same people that produce God's Word Translation. Keeping that in mind, this Bible is consistent with the type of language you would find in that translation; simple and easy to understand. It is written as a story narrative which makes it easy to read to the kids before bedtime. These narratives are also conveniently broken up into chunks that provide discussion questions and activities at the end of each section to help your children learn from what they just read. There is also a key verse at the end of each section for memorization or simply just to tie it into actual scriptural language. That being said, as much as I enjoy the narrative Bible for kids, I what to make sure the actual scriptural text is emphasized as I read through the word with my children; to KNOW the word well and not just the stories therein.  This is my biggest criticism in this Bible.
          The illustrations are a little too "fluffy" than I would like, but overall, well done and visually appealing. There are a few other children's Bibles that I can think of that have better illustrations.
           This children's bible will not collect dust on our shelf, the discussion questions and the way it is broken up into chunks makes this Bible stand out where many others don't, though it still has it's weaknesses, it will find it's way into story time once and a while at night with my kids or at least make a great gift to someone who is a new parent.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review Audio Book: The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead

       The Skin Map is a adventure/fantasy/treasure hunt on a quest to discover the parts of the Skin Map. A map that gives orientation to travelling alternate realities/worlds travelled by ley lines. Kit (the main character) meets his great grandfather who is well accustomed to travelling the ley lines and he ends up in the middle of his great grandfathers adventures.
       First of all I should mention that I don't usually use audio books. I made the exception for this one. I read the Skin Map when it first came out; it was my first Stephen Lawhead book. After reading it I went on to buy many other series from Lawhead, this book made me a Stephen Lawhead fan.  When I saw that the audio version of the book was available, I could not resist, simply because it is the first book in the Bright Empire Series. I tend to want to read the first books in the series over again right before the next book comes out, the audio version of this book allows me to do that more efficiently as I travel during the week and I could get through them a lot quicker in order to read the next book.
      That being said, the quality of this audio book is phenomenal. The narrator has great expressions and enough change of voice to differentiate the characters in the dialogue. If you have not read the novel, the audio version is a great alternative. The storyline is intriguing and will take you on a journey that keeps you wanting more.

I received this audio book for free from Thomas Nelson's program for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heaven is for Real for KidsA Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

Heaven is for Real for Kids is based on the best selling book "Heaven is for Real" (Click to see my review) . When I read the original book, it passed through many hands and has snowballed into a book that many have read and been encouraged by. It was hard to explain the concepts to our children because they are visual, my son was around Colton's age of his heavenly experience when I talked to him about the book. Colton and his family have done the admirers of the original story a great service by introducing us to a kid friendly version of the story. It shares Colton's story very briefly but has some pictures to go along with it. My kids from 1-5 are fascinated by the book and it gives us a great medium to talk to them about the things of heaven and the end time events leading up to it. It also gives the adults reading, a reminder of the wonders that are before us in the age to come. 
If you have children and/or have read the original Heaven is for Real book, this is a must have to go along with it. If you have not read the original, you should. Thank you, Todd, Sonja and Colton for this gift.
This book was provided free from Thomas Nelson's program for my unbiased review.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Love and Respect Devotional 
A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love

By Emerson Eggerichs

My wife and I have both read the Love and Respect Book and have both watched the Love and Respect videos.  It has been an asset to our home and marriage, opening our eyes and the eyes of thousands to the deep desires of male and female in a relationship. When the Love and Respect Devotional came out it only made sense to get it and apply the Love and Respect concept to our daily lives. 
This Devotional has 52 sessions making it easy for a weekly devotional with you and your spouse. Each devotional provides us with a reminder of the concepts taken from the Love and Respect message found in the books. Each chapter provides a key scripture to meditate on as well as well as a prayer that gives you language to bring your meditation before God and allow it to change the way you think.  In each chapter you will also find an "Action", it is basically a challenge to put into practice the Love and Respect concepts in a practical way. My wife and I look it over together and decide it if is something that we are remotely interested in doing, and many of them are not applicable to us; but it may be for others.
The most helpful piece I have found in the devotional is that there are discussion questions in the back, nothing ground breaking but it simply gets you and your spouse talking about your marriage. It gives you a medium to meet and discuss how to apply the Love and Respect message to your marriage.
The only thing I would like to point out is that this is not a Devotional that should be used as a personal devotional (or at least exclusively). This is a tool that seems designed to bring you and your spouse closer as the primary goal and if you are looking for a devotional to get you into the word I would recommend using something else.  Did I mention the book looks and feels very cool?
I recommend this book to any couple that have been introduced to the Love and Respect message and would like to apply it to everyday lives.

This book was provided free from Thomas Nelson's program for my unbiased review.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Bone House

Archived Reviews

Review: The Bone House  by Stephen R. Lawhead

The Bone House is the second book in the Bright Empires series of novels which is continues the story from The Skin Map. The Skin map was the first book I read by Stephen Lawhead and after reading it I went out and read several of his other novels because I loved the writing so much. So needless to say I was anxiously waiting a whole year for the release in the second Bright Empires book; The Bone House.  
Unlike the first book this book has a lot less action and adventure, that is not to say that I enjoyed it less. It was a great book to follow up the first one with a lot more background on the characters and a lot more in depth plot to set up the remaining novels that are yet to be released. As the Skin Map concentrates mainly around the books main character, Kit. The Bone gives us a better glimpse into Kit's girlfriend, Wilhelmina. We find out how she learned to jump and travel the ley lines and we find are treated to a  dynamic character. We are also given a bit of a History lesson behind the Burlegh and Flinders-Petrie which is starting to tie a lot of loose ends together. We are treated to a cliff hangeresque ending that makes waiting another year for the next novel, all the harder. 

Although the author gives a good review of the first story; if you have not yet read The Skin Map you will want to do that before picking up The Bone House. If you like adventure, fantasy, mystery, science or just want to enjoy good writing; I definitely recommend starting the Bright Empire novels by Stephen Lawhead. 

This book was provided free from Thomas Nelson's program for my unbiased review.