Courage for the Unknown Season Jan Silvious

The title speaks volumes! Oh how I do want courage for the unknown, for the difficult times I am not expecting. I need that courage before it happens, not grapple for it in the midst of the chaos! I am sure we could all write a book about the painful trials we have faced or are facing. The ones that cause us to feel weak and falter. I know I could. This book was a blessing and a soothing balm. I love the way Ms. Silvious writes, so gently and compassionately. I appreciated the biblical wisdom, comfort and encouragement she gave me. The target audience is toward those are aging. I certainly fit this having passed the big 65 this year.
When I was young the world was my oyster, and with youth we just always assume life will follow our script. As I have grown older I am finding life has a whole new learning curve. The future looks very different than I saw it in my 20’s to my 50’s and my experiences make me wonder about dealing with what is to come.
She gave me guidance in the area of staying healthy, giving me direction I needed. I have always lived a fit lifestyle but lately it has been challenging. Over and over I related to what a read and how it applied to my circumstances and feelings. She also provided the tools for me to apply these things in my life. I felt like I was not alone as few of us discuss this with our friends. I have had many amazing Christian people in my life from their 70’s to over 90 that were and are incredible examples. Yet I had no clue how they did it. To be honest I was so overwhelmed and confused about facing my old age and especially as a widow I had begun to think, “What’s left?” Sad I know.
Let’s just say she covered the “whole ball of wax” for me! I loved the chapter “Heading Toward Ninety”! Thank you Ms. Silvious! Your book is what I exactly what I needed for this season and the coming seasons of my life! God bless you!
I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.



Forever with Jesus By Lee Ann Mancini

Finally finally finally! A book for children that explains death to them in a
scriptural view and a way they can understand. It also includes Jesus’s death on
the cross for us! I had never seen a book with the Sea Kids, but I love them! They
are so cute and precious! If they touched my heart I know they will a child’s.
Grandparents are a treasure to grandchildren and it is usually one of the first
deaths a child experiences of someone close to them. As a minister’s wife for over
2 decades I have searched far and wide for a book like this. It explains a painful
loss of a loved one with the only comforting way there is: scripture. How beautiful
the author also gives the only hope we have: accepting Christ as our Savior. They
are shown peace and security that those they love are not suffering but happy and
whole. I cannot praise this book enough! It is a MUST for every Christian
teacher, parent and grandparent to share with the kids in their life. I plan to use it
in my Sunday school class. This will be one of my #1 children’s books from now on!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the book review program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Switch On Your Brain Every Day By Dr. Caroline Leaf

God created our brains to be amazing and powerful. I think this fact is ignored and often neglected in our daily walk. Our minds influence every aspect of our lives; mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally. I believe we often forget this and accept whatever thoughts come into our minds as … well okay. Scripture is filled with examples and the importance of our thoughts. Science has even verified this, but I love it that Dr. Leaf shows the scriptural truths behind what man has learned about our marvelous brains.
This is a full year of devotionals. It can even be a study if you would like. Everyday has a verse and a “brainy tip” as the author calls it. It is scientific information about our brains. These really had an impact along with the scripture on seeing the enormity of this and how it affects me. The author suggests you keep a journal. Each day write down questions you find yourself asking. Next answer them by applying them to your life. Lastly write down your personal thoughts and plans to implement what you have learned. This is far more than just a positive thinking book. It is tool to see and control your thoughts, changing your life and Christian walk. Pardon the pun but this is a “mind altering” book! I do wish the verses had been in the King James Version, but I easily looked them up.
I received this book from Baker Books in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Untouchable By Brittany Rust

First and foremost I want to praise the author for her courage and humility in sharing her story. She faced the embarrassment and shame to help others not fall into the same trap. For many, premarital sex is no big deal in our day and age. How wonderful Ms. Rust felt convicted and saw it as God does: sin. That was her transgression but the book can apply to ANY sin one might find themselves a part of.
Being a pastor’s wife for over 2 decades, I never quit cringing when I heard a Christian say, “I’ll never …..” because I knew they were in danger of doing that very thing. I must add the majority of the time that the people uttering those words did exactly what they believed they never could. Whether it is pride or feeling one has reached a level of supreme Christian that prompts these declarations I do not know but I believe it puts a target on our backs for Satan.
Ms. Rust not only warns us that anyone can fall but if they do, it is not a “death sentence” to our Christian walk. The same God that saved us and forgave our sins can heal and restore. She gives sound scriptural advice on how to protect ourselves from this flawed thinking and actually falling into sin. Ms. Rust doesn’t leave the reader there. She guides them with encouragement and God’s Word on how to move forward. I liked the chapter on the Amour of God, a very important gift from the Lord that is often overlooked as a means of protection. I felt it was outstanding that she told about the practice of true church discipline; holding the person accountable in love with the purpose of restoring them. That is something that is rarely seen today. It is very scriptural and much needed in churches today but rarely applied. This was a book written from the author’s heart.
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I stated are my own.

Lady of Tarpon Springs By Judith Miller

I love it when I love learning something new about history. Not just facts and dates but unusual subjects I would not have dreamed of. This novel truly did that! I never thought of the sponge business and the divers or how they risked their lives.
I felt as if Ms. Miller took be back in time and dropped me into the early 1900’s in the town of Tarpon Springs. Zanna Krykos and her friend Lucy Penrose are challenging the norms of the day. Zanna is a lawyer and Lucy is the town’s doctor. They are very close friends. When Lucy’s father suddenly dies she finds herself inheriting a sponge diving business he had arranged and she knew nothing of! She wants zero to do with it and asks Zanna to help. There is no way out and on top of that, 50 sponge divers are coming from Greece to be housed and fed! Lucy hands it ALL over to Zanna to manage. Heading the crew is Nicos Sevdalis. He and his men are unaccustomed to women filling any management capacity or giving them directions. Nicos and Zanna are forced to work together. He knows no English and depends on Zanna (Greek also) for translating. Their beginning is pretty rocky, but they become a team.
I am absolutely fascinated by the details about diving during that era. Having seen the big heavy diving suits I never thought of how difficult and dangerous it was. Not to mention the medical problems should something go wrong. My knowledge of sponges was zero. It impressed me how incredibly hard the work was for something I am sure people during that time took for granted.
The Greek customs, food and family dynamics was wonderful. There were times I felt I was hiding behind chair listening. I would love to try some of the food mentioned. When I pick up books by Judith Miller I know without a doubt I will enjoy them! She checks all my boxes for a good read: Christian, historical, suspense, and a dash of romance!
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay By Sheila Walsh

The title says it all! We go through life fretting because we are not okay in so many areas; like something is badly wrong with us. Instead of turning to the Lord, we try to stuff our perceived failures and limitations under the rug, which only stresses us more. Media, magazines, books everything around us shouts that we can and should reach some sort of perfection. This lie has become so ingrained in us we are blinded and view it as “truth”. Ms. Walsh’s book blasts fib to pieces with the real truth.
I found the book to be comforting, inspirational, and helpful. The author’s openness and honesty were a blessing. I could relate to her frustrations, depression and struggles. I wasn’t happy she had them but it was nice to know I wasn’t the only one. Someone else was facing the same thing plus sharing their insights to overcome. Also it was a reality check that even the most successful and spiritual people face the same conflicts.
We can’t be perfect in any area because we aren’t; only Christ is, and we live in an imperfect world. No wonder it all seems so impossible! God is always there to help, heal, love, pick us up…everything. Trying to fix ourselves is doing it in our own strength and we don’t have that kind of power, only God does. She reminded my past doesn’t irreparably break me nor does my present defeat me! The 8 steps she shares to move forward so simple and clear! We have to get our focus off of circumstances and self, plus trying to make our world “just” right and focus on the One that can! An outstanding book!
I received this book from Baker Books in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

365 Trivia Twist Devotions: Fun Facts and Spiritual Truths for Every Day of the Year By David R. Veerman and Betsy Schmitt

I have always loved trivia! There is always something to learn and I enjoy unusual facts. This book adds another bonus, the Bible! It can’t get better than this! Every page is full of interesting things. Each day of the year has a page with interesting facts, events, topics, or a little know “national day” to be celebrated. Included is a scripture that links the subject to the Bible. Some contain additional verses. (Something I really like!) I was disappointed it was not in the KJV but always read from mine when references are not the King James. The black and white illustrations also added to the page. Also an added plus is another piece of trivia for that day.
This is the ultimate family devotional book! I know older children, teens and adults will have no trouble paying attention. It opens the door for all kind of discussion. I would have my children make the scripture of the day part of their memorization. Something unusual I also liked was that the Table of Contents was arranged in scripture order from Old to New Testament. If you were doing a study of a particular books of the Bible or wanted do your devotionals in this order it makes it very easy. I also see this as a wonderful book for Sunday school classes or youth groups. You could have one before each lesson or expand on it turning it into a longer study. It holds so many possibilities! This is definitely not your ordinary devotional book!
I received this book from Lifeway Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal By Tyndale

By Tyndale
With adult coloring books and journaling all the rage, this book is perfect for both!
It is super sturdy so I can carry it anywhere with me and not have to worry about pages or covers being bent or torn. It’s perfect!!
The pages vary. They might have a subject of gratitude to focus on, a prayer, or a scripture. The coloring pages also have bits of color already in them which I found very appealing. Some pages are very simple leaving an area for you to add your own drawing. Others are more detailed. All are creative and fun. This is a very unique book that will bless you in three ways, coloring, journaling, and God’s Word. I would have preferred the scriptures be in KJV instead of NLT but that is just my preference. When you are done you will have a beautiful keepsake of encouragement to look back on again and again.
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Blogger Program for an honest review

Less Than Perfect By Ann Spangler

Any book by Ann Spangler gets my attention. She has a talent for making Bible study interesting and personal. I liked the title of the book as that explains me exactly; less than perfect. Every person mentioned in the Bible was put there for us to learn from, be it their successes or mistakes. I liked that this book took a closer look at those who messed up just like us today.
Ann brought these people to life for me, not just names on the pages of my Bible. With each of the 30 “less than perfect” Bible man or woman, she shares their story in her own words. This is followed with a section called “The Times”, my favorite part. Bible scripture references of when the character’s story is listed, even ones they are just mentioned it. That impressed me! Here the reader learns of the historical times the person lived during. For me this created a whole picture of the character and helped me see them as flesh and blood people. Lastly is “The Takeaway”. Approximately 4 to 5 questions to answer and reflect on. I found these to also encourage me to do a self-check as to if I was possibly making some of the same mistakes. It also aided me relating the temptations and faulty decisions to this day and time.
A wonderful devotional/study or lessons for a group. Thank you Ms. Spangler for another exceptional book! I always acquire so much from your writings!
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.”

The Daily Question for You and Your Child By Waterbrook

This book was very different than what I expected and I like it! My grandson is only 7 months old now but when he is old enough this book is going to him and his mother. This is a very unique book.
Packed into this one book you have a neat, easy 3 year journal. On the front cover is a place to insert the child’s picture. I would make a collage of 3 pictures representing each year the journal was used.
Inside are 365 questions, one for each day of the year. These have 3 sections of 5 lines each to record the child’s answers, and a place to write the year. Some are spiritual questions and some are just for fun.
The book is beautiful. It is well made, sturdy and perfect as a lifelong keepsake. I liked the fact that a child who could read and write would be able to use it alone. Or a young child who does not yet have those skills could answer the questions with the parent writing. I love the idea of the parent helping the first year or two and the child doing the last one. Either way it is a great way for the parent and child to spend time together.
Everyone likes to see pictures of them when they were young and hear stories about their escapades. The Daily Question for You and Your Child provides an extraordinary memento that will allow them to look back, seeing their ideas and thoughts at those ages. It will be fun to see how my little man progresses and matures in his thinking as the years go by.
I think every parent should have this book! What a wonderful baby gift too!
I received this book from the publisher through their book launch program. The opinions I have stated are my own.