Winning the Battle by Stephanie Perry Moore

Alec London is beginning his 5th grade year and as if that isn’t hard enough, his dad is the new principal of his school! He finds himself in a very tough situation with not only his peers, but also his teachers and his Dad. To add to his difficulties, he is being bullied by 2 boys in his class, his mom is out of town on an extended business trip and his grandmother is sick. He is overwhelmed had doesn’t know how to handle any of it! His frustrations grow and so do his problems as he tries to solve them by himself. At one point he decides that Karate lessons would help him take care of the bullies, but even after talking his dad into it, the instructor refuses to teach him! After exhausting all his options, he learns that only God has the answers he needs!
This is the first book I have read but the 4th in a series. I was looking for good Christian books for my 9 and 12 year old grandsons. I have definitely found some in these books! I was very impressed with Ms. Moore’s writing in several ways.
First of all is the wholesomeness of the book. Too many books for this age group allow a character’s bad attitude or rebellion to be portrayed as alright or cool. Alec’s misbehavior is dealt with in the light of scripture and the correct behavior presented. I liked how his father was firm but loving. Throughout the book children are shown how to apply God’s Word to their lives.
The book was well written and interesting. The story flowed. I loved the way Ms. Moore captured the feelings, thoughts and situations a child that age would be facing. I believe 8 to 12 year olds will not only be able to relate to Alec and his predicaments but also see answers to their own situations using Bible knowledge.
Another surprising of the book is the fun educational activities. At the end of every chapter is a simple word search. Each one has words pertaining to different things about Karate. At the end of the book is a page of discussion questions, a vocabulary worksheet about the story, a math worksheet and a full list of Karate terms! This is a wonderful book! I highly recommend it! Thank you Ms. Moore for high quality Christian writing!
I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers for the purpose of this review.

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell

I was very excited to see this new book by Siri Mitchell. I have enjoyed each of her books I have read, including this one. What a special talent she has to not only bring to life her characters in their challenges and daily life, but also penetrating her stories with wonderful historical detail from the era!
The story is set during the Revolutionary War. Hannah Sunderland and her family are devout Quakers. Their strong beliefs against war and remaining neutral throw them into the very center of the conflict. They are forced to leave their comfortable home when Redcoats move in and drive them out. This leaves them no choice but to move in with their mother’s wealthy sister who left the Quaker faith years ago. As can be expected the two families clash on many issues.
To complicate things, Hannah’s twin brother ran away and joined the army, was captured, and put in prison. Now Hannah begins to question the beliefs she has held so close. Her parents suggest this is due to her brother’s sin and he should be left to face the consequences. Hannah’s heart breaks at their harshness and she cannot see leaving him to suffer in the horrific prison without reaching out.
Her secret visits to the jail unexpectedly involve her with Jeremiah Jones, the bitter war veteran and bar owner. He has suddenly found himself running an espionage that a former leader has abandoned. Here Hannah and Jeremiah’s lives are thrown together as he works to free the prisoners and she her brother.
She is as repulsed by his lack of Christian virtue as he is by her rigid faith. Their common ambition draws them in a closer relationship that neither desire. Both are forced by the horror of war to examine the ideas they have held so firm and decide what is truly right. In doing so, they discover strength and character in each other that neither expected to find.
The story is filled with suspense, courage, and surprises. I especially enjoyed learning about the Quaker faith during the late 1800’s. This book is well written and extremely enjoyable to read. I look forward to more of Ms. Mitchell’s books!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. 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

FINDING OUR WAY HOME by Charlene Ann Baumbich

At the age of 38, Sasha Davis’s fairy tale life as a famous professional ballerina ends with a serious injury during a performance. Her glamorous, exciting, whirlwind life is gone and she finds herself living in her recently deceased mother’s home, overwhelmed with memories of both losses. She withdraws from life and isolates herself from everyone and everything. Due to her condition, she reluctantly hires a temporary care giver to live with her. Unbeknownst to her, her new employee, 19 year old Evelyn Burke is her exact opposite in every way. Evelyn is as outgoing as Sasha is withdrawn, as happy as Sasha is unhappy, and as hefty as Sasha is fragile.
Evelyn quickly realizes that the job isn’t what she thought she signed up for. Sasha not only needs physical healing but healing of the heart too. The story unfolds as Evelyn full of forgiveness and patience works to help Sasha rebuild her body and spirit.
I loved Evelyn’s living example of Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” She brought to mind all the unhappy people we come in contact with that lash out. We are often frustrated and offended at their responses, but we need to consider the battles they are fighting that we cannot see. God may want to work through us to help them.
As I read I saw God working in each woman’s life through difficulties, that they saw only as problems and hindrances. I was reminded of the times I have failed to see complications in my only life as His hand at work.
Evelyn was such an example of Christ’s love. While these women had nothing in common, Evelyn’s strong faith and sincerity not only drew Sasha out of her shell but back to her relationship with God. As their friendship blossomed they faced heart breaks and unexpected setbacks together. Each woman truly found their way home.
Not only was this a very enjoyable book, but I took away a renewed sense of the power of love in the face of self-pity and bitterness. The story had so many beautiful illustrations of making God’s Word a living example in your life.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Press. 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

Being Kind and Caring Produced by Providential Pictures

Chuck Swindoll has long been one of my favorite speakers and authors. He has a gift for presenting things in such a way that you have many “aha” moments concerning God’s Word. Therefore, I was excited to see what this DVD. It was excellent. I watched it with my grandchildren ages 6 years to 13 years. We all enjoyed it, even the 13 year old!
Selfishness and unkindness is a problem among children that only biblical teaching can cure. This DVD did an excellent job of showing the effects these character flaws have on our relationship with others and our own attitudes.
The 1st story was about forgiveness. As the story unfolds, children learn about not only how to forgive, but why it is important. I was very pleased to see it also brought to light now we cannot take up offenses for others. We are not given the grace to handle what is not ours to deal with. Many problems between children come from taking on the hurts and anger of others as their own.
The 2nd story deals with working together. Children are naturally selfish and want the biggest and best for themselves. Looking out for “number one” often takes precedence over working as a team to succeed.
I thought the DVD did an excellent job of teaching children these biblical principles in a way they can understand and apply. The stories were entertaining and the characters engaging. I plan to share this with the young ones at our church. An excellent DVD!
I received a complimentary copy of this DVD from Tyndale House Publishing in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review.

IF YOU GIVE A TEACHER A MUFFIN

This was a springboard idea from the blog KEEPING LIFE CREATIVE. Here is the link http://keepinglifecreative.com/scrapbooking/if-you-give-a-mom-a-muffin/
I was thinking of doing something for the grandkids teachers. I came up with my version.
I plan to bake some big chocolate chip muffins in extra pretty cupcake liners. Tie them up in a bag with a ribbon and attach this.
Sorry there aren’t pictures, I am not that blog savvy yet!

If You Give A Teacher A Muffin
by Narita Roady

If you give a teacher a muffin,
She will take it to her class and set it on her desk.
She will cut it in 4 pieces so it will be easier to eat.
Looking at the pieces will make her think of fractions.
She will begin working on a lesson plan to teach fractions.
She will look at it and she will see the blueberries,
This will get her thinking about plants and how they grow.
She will start making worksheets for a study on plants.
The muffin crumbs will get all over her desk.
She will be reminded of how messy her students are.
She will begin looking for her book “Mr. Messy” to teach them how important neatness is.
After all this hard work she will get hungry and take a bite of the muffin.
It will taste so good she will think of eating healthy.
She will dig in her resources for a food pyramid to teach nutrition.
As she wipes the crumbs from her mouth,
She remembers she needs to call a parent and talk to them.
After she makes the call she realizes she is thirsty and needs a drink to go with the muffin.
She will go the teachers’ lounge for a cup of coffee and see the copier.
She will go back to her class and get the science papers she needs to copy.
When she comes back to her room she will take another bite of muffin.
She will think of how much her students would enjoy a muffin.
She begins to make a list of ingredients to buy for her class to bake some.
She accidently knocks the muffin off in the floor.
Getting down on her hands and knees to clean up the mess,
She realizes she isn’t in shape like she used to me.
Pulling up on her desk she makes a note to have her students do 20 jumping jacks tomorrow for P.E.
It is time to go home and she gets her purse and turns out the lights.
As she goes to her car she drinks the her coffee and thinks of the rest of her muffin she lost.
She visualizes baking muffins with 22 students.
She decides she will buy 22 muffins for her class for tomorrow and 1 for her.
And chances are. . .
When she serves her class the muffins someone will drop theirs on the floor,
And she will give them hers.