Friday, November 30, 2012

Dreams and Visions by Tom Doyle

I didn't realize how powerful this book would be! I was a little skeptical at first based on the title of the book thinking it would be more sensationalism but it was nothing like that at all. I didn't want to put this book down. Each chapter covers a different person's testimony of how he or she had a dream or vision of Jesus and how it spurred them to seek out more information. They were often led to another believer and they would share Scripture with them and usually give them their own Bible to read. I liked how the book was broken up geographically to show it's happening all over the Middle East. The passion Mr. Doyle has for Muslim's is inspiring. I think he presents great material and useful information on how to love Muslim's and realize that a very large percentage are born into the religion, not converted. The statistics he gives in the end were staggering to me. I think this is a fantastic book that everyone should read. I love what God is doing in the world! I think it's so valuable for us to hear these stories. I also like how he encourages us to pray for the people in his book as they are real live people, not just stories.

I received this book free from in exchange for my review.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Radio Theatre: Oliver Twist

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio presentation of Oliver Twist! It had been a long time since I read the book so I didn't really remember any of the details of the story. The voices were great, the sound effects were just right to keep our attention. We listened to this on a couple road trips as a family and the kids loved it just as much as we did. The recommended age is 12 and up and my kids are younger than that so there were a couple of places we fast forwarded because they were frightened, but that says to me it was great voices and sound effects! I loved this presentation and would recommend it to anyone. It was a great way to "read" a great classic Dickens novel.

I received this audio CD free from Tyndale publisher's in exchange for my review.

The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner

This story has so many levels to it. When I started out I struggled to relate Nora's story to Meg's story but once she ended up in Florence it began to come together. Using a third character, Sophia, it really added to the experience. I really enjoyed the development of the character's struggles and the realizations in the end. It did seem quite poetic. I appreciated the artistic value it brought as well. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys art, Italy, a flavor of romance and mystery as well.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Soul's Gate by James Rubart

I found this book quite interesting as well as entertaining. It definitely kept my attention. It dealt with the spiritual forces that we battle against. This is the first of a series so this book does a good job of establishing each of the main characters. They were all extremely different and likeable. They each have their own struggles that they are battling and I loved how they helped each other with their struggles. The whole battling inside someone's soul was strange but well done. I am glad that the author made a point in the end to say he doesn't believe that someone can actually enter someone else's soul. If you like reading fantasy, adventure and the spiritual realm, then you will enjoy this.  I really enjoyed the book and I look forward to reading the other's in the series.

I received this book free from in exchange for my review.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic

This is a great inspirational read. I like how Nick uses his abilities to help inspire others to faith. His testimony is quite touching and I love the fact that he has come to a place of being very thankful that God made him the way He did. The main theme of this book is "faith in action".  It's used everywhere. What a great theme to have, sounds quite familiar to another book - James. He gives many excellent examples of people who have different degrees of pain and trials in their lives and how they have overcome through faith in Christ. It doesn't mean their pain or their trials go away, they just now have hope and a purpose. This is a very practical book that gives practical answers to sometimes difficult questions. He really reaches out to the reader to do something, like putting your faith into action. It's a no excuses book. We all have talents and abilities that God has given us, we are called to use them. Very good read.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Men of Sunday by Curtis Eichelberger

I love football so was intrigued to read how faith plays out in the NFL.  It's easy to read, has really good examples, and wasn't quite what I expected.  I admit I thought I'd read how Christianity made these guys great football players.  Definitely wasn't that.  It really focused on how coaches and players dealt with faith within the football environment.  It was broken down by chapters that dealt with various subjects and used faith examples within the chapter to illustrate.  I thought the stories were touching and not every story was about someone who was a born-again believer.  It was also interesting to read about some players that I didn't realize were Christians.  Definitely a good read!

I received this book free from in exchange for my review.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sinner's Creed by Scott Stapp

I really enjoyed Scott Stapp's memoir. It was definitely revealing and from the heart. I was impressed with his writing. You can tell he is a poet and and his heart is in the writing. The environment he grew up in was quite terrible and its no wonder he was confused with who he was and who God really was. Having a father who beats you and puts himself in a position of him and God being one and the same would definitely cause some confusion in one's life. Scott sure has a firm knowledge of the Bible. He kept trying to reconcile the God He knew from the Bible and the God that was displayed through his step-father and Christian's he knew. I love that his song writing reflects his knowledge of the Scripture. I do find it interesting that their band took so much heat for being called a "Christian" band just because of some of his lyrics. It's so clear to me that his lyrics were filled with brokenness and searching. He is very candid about his struggles with addiction, depression and not being the Christian he knew he should be. This is a great read for anyone who has struggled with depression or feeling like you have to be perfect in order to please God. After reading this book, I had to get my old Creed music out! I'm glad to know the band is back!

I received this book free from Tyndale publisher in exchange for my review.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer

This is Book One of Mr. Brouwer's Merlin's Immortals Series. I found this book to be just ok. I really wanted to love it. I like fantasy, I like books about Merlin but there was something lacking in this book. I like the concept of the orphan king setting off to capture the mysterious Magnum. I like the various characters in the book but I wanted more from them. I felt like there was a previous book I was supposed to read before I read this one. That being said, I would definitely read the next book in this series, mostly because I want to know more about the characters portrayed in the book. I give this book 3 stars because of the lack of plot development but I liked the concepts and characters in the book.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The River by Michael Neale

The River is a very touching story about a boy who lost his father to a drowning accident while he was trying to rescue a kayaker. The story chronicles his life and how this event affected his life. The River is the central theme as he begins his early life loving The River as it was his father's love as well as job guiding tours down The River. Once his father dies, the boy becomes fearful of The River but is drawn to it as well. I really appreciate the symbolism in this story and the way the boy became a man and has to face The River again. This is a beautiful story of forgiveness and breaking free from fear to be the person he was made to be. Well done, Mr. Neale on your debut novel!

I received this book free from in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Girl's Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs

This is a great refreshing new look at the wonderful book of Ruth. I really enjoyed how the story and scripture was woven throughout the entire book. I didn't even realize I was basically doing a Bible study until the end and there was a study guide! The book is very easy to read and has a great flow that really allows you to understand what's really going on in the book of Ruth. I also appreciated the real life quotations at the end of each chapter that put into perspective how real life relates to what we can learn from Ruth and Naomi and Boaz. This is a great way to study the book of Ruth. I really recommend it.

I received this free from blogging for books in exchange for my review.

No Greater Love by Levi Benkert

This was an emotional story. There was a lot in it I could relate to. Levi tells his story of how he enjoyed great business success and the financial gains that come from that success and then the resulting downfall created by the recession. His family ends up going to Ethiopia to help with an orphanage and they end up staying there. This was a very touching story. I appreciate the emotion and honesty of running away from life's problems and calling it ministry. There's no question they love the children and people of Ethiopia very much and what may have started out as running away, God turned into a passion and love that is changing children and widow's lives. Levi does a really great job describing the incredibly emotional spiritual journey their family has been on over the past few years. This seems to be an amazing ministry and I encourage you to check out their website at
I received this book free from Tyndale publishers in exchange for my review

Redemption by Bryan Clay

This is a story of Bryan's life and how he was redeemed out of a life of anger and violence and through the encouragement of some key people in his life was able to channel that energy into something positive. Bryan became a great track and field athlete in high school and continued on through college and competed on all the various levels including winning a gold medal at the 08 Olympics. I appreciated Bryan's insight at how he was doing everything for himself and to relieve the anger he felt inside but as he grew and through many people praying for him he came to trust God and compete for His glory instead of His own. I thought this was a very inspiring story and I can see how his life story could definitely help influence teens in a very positive way. I think it's wonderful that Bryan has a passion to help youth who come from broken homes just like he did. All in all, I say this is an inspiring story to read.

I received this book free from in exchange for my review

Friday, May 25, 2012

Firestorm by Lisa Tawn Bergren

This was a sweet story about Reyne, a fire fighter who had been emotionally scarred by a wildfire that killed 4 of her co-workers. She meets Logan, a smokejumper who also fights fires and the romance begins. I appreciated how the story moved along and we got to be a part of their relationship. So many romance stories have so many problems up until the very end and you never get to see the happy times except for the epilogue. I thought the story was engaging and along with the romance there was a very sweet story of friendship being told about Reyne, Beth and Rachel. The end of the book had a novella that allowed us to see what happens with Matt and Hope. Very well done book.
I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Blind Hope by Kim Meeder

I think there were tears in my eyes by the end of the prologue and they didn't go away either. This was a beautiful story of a dog being rescued as well as a woman who learned about who she was and who God is through rescuing a dog. You know the saying "God works in mysterious ways", here's a great example. I loved how she understood her relationship with God through the relationship she had with her blind dog. Her blind dog had to trust that her master was leading her the right way. It was all about trust and obedience. When Mia, her dog, thought she could find her own way without listening to her master's voice, she ended up being wounded by running into something. She would finally give up doing it on her own and go the way the voice was telling her to go. Such a great picture of how it is with us and God wants us to trust and obey Him. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. There were some awkward interludes between Laurie and Kim that threw me off when reading and seemed unnecessary to the story. But other than that, this is well worth the read - as long as you are prepared for some tears.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

SEAL of God by Chad Williams

Seal of God is Chad's story of how Christ transformed his life. It begins with his background of who he was before Christ. It was fascinating to learn of his SEAL training. I really enjoyed reading about all that entailed. Chad did a great job showing us who he was before Christ and how becoming a Christian completely changed his life. I can't imagine going through hazing like he experienced no matter how tough you are. I also appreciated his explanation of how we are fighting evil through out the world and that is fighting for freedom. I think he did a great job explaining the gospel message in the end and anyone who reads this book will be challenged by that message.

I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my review.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spirit Fighter by Jerel Law

I'm torn with my review of this book. There were elements that I thought were great. It was engaging, exciting and kept my attention. However, there were parts that seemed a little over the top in explaining Scripture inside this novel. I am a big fan of fantasy and especially when it incorporates Scripture and Biblical stories but there's something about this one that I was not impressed with. It could be that it's the authors first book so the others will be better written but I'm not so sure. There are other fantasy stories based on Biblical truths out there that are much better. I will say the author did a good job of showing it was the character's faith and trust in God that gave them their "powers".
I received this book free from in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Coming Revolution by Dr. Richard Lee

This is an interesting read about the history of America and many details about our founding father's beliefs about forming this country. I appreciated the details that were put forth throughout the book as we do tend to forget how this nation was formed. I think Dr. Lee does a good job showing us how important faith in God was to the founding fathers and how they fought for freedom. I also found interesting the comparison to Marx and Lenin and what their communism and atheistic ideas did to Russia. I have read that in other books as well how the removal of religion from Russia has created a culture of a society who has no idea how to help one another and many suffer as a result. I think this is well worth the read.
I received this book free from in exchange for my review.

Friday, March 30, 2012

When the hurt runs deep by Kay Arthur

When The Hurt Runs Deep is a challenging yet wonderful book full of so many truths and helpful insights. I love that this book is full of scripture to back up the information that is given. The crux of the whole book is to recognize that God is sovereign and He is who He says He is. Ms. Arthur does a great job giving us example after real life example of people who have experienced true pain in their lives and the resulting glory that is given to God. I think this book is a valuable resource and could very well help someone who is having a problem seeing God beyond all the pain in their lives. I enjoy that she recognizes in the book that you may be ready to throw the book across the room but just keep reading, it will be worth it. This is a book that is very well worth it!

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos

This book is surprising in many ways. I think the quote on the cover of the book (my version of the book anyway) "Think Monty Python meets C.S. Lewis" (Relevant Magazine) is quite accurate. There were many times I was laughing hysterically in the book and other times I had tears coming down my face. I also don't think I have seen the name "Jesus" written so many times in one book.

Those are my initial reactions to the book but the heart of the book is fantastic. I think Mr. Mikalatos gets his point across in a humorous yet powerful way. The ridiculousness of all the different Jesuses really made a point to me and I can see how most of us create our own image of who He is in some way or another. It definitely made me think about how we view Jesus and our life circumstances can change our viewpoint of who He is. Yet He is the unchanging one, we are the one who changes who we think He is based on our circumstances. I really enjoyed this book but you have to be able to handle humor and satire. If you can't, I could see how this may be an annoying book that you wouldn't get.

There is also a reading guide in the back and I thoroughly enjoyed the author's notes that go along with some of the questions. This is completely worth the read. I highly recommend this book.

I recieved this book free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my review.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

If I Gained the World by Linda Nichols

This book was really sweet.  The picture makes it look like a dated book but it wasn't so don't go by the cover!  It did get a little slow in the middle but picked right back up again.  The main guy character really ticked me off for the longest time and so that made me root even harder for the girl.  The author does a good job of weaving characters together and giving a great description.

Great for a winter weekend by the fire or a summer beach read!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Viral by Leonard Sweet

I found this quite an interesting read. The book begins by pointing out the major differences between two cultures of Gutenberger's and Googler's. The generations have some major differences and should be addressed in light of how we share the Gospel and build relationships with others. I think he made some great points about how social media can be used to share the Gospel. I also think this is quite a timely book since social media isn't going away. It's growing and will continue to grow so I believe its beneficial to be knowledgeable about this Googler generation. I will say that certain chapters are drawn out and I felt like he kept repeating his point which caused me to skim certain chapters. All in all I thought it was a valuable read and would recommend it.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

This Thing of Ours by Cammy Franzese

This Thing of Ours is the story of Cammy Franzese and how her relationship with Michael Franzese began and the various struggles they endured throughout their life together. My husband has heard Michael speak at a church so I was already familiar with their story. She really got across the influence her mother had on her life. I appreciated the insight she gave and the faith and prayer life her mother displayed. I also thought the point she kept making about this was her choice and she must live with the consequences of her choice was a refreshing thought in a world where we often don't take responsibility and look for an easy way out. The legacy of her mother was truly inspiring and it really came across that it was the faithful prayers of her mother that allowed her to overcome.

I received this book free from booksneeze in exchange for my review

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wait No More

I enjoyed the account of this adoptive family and their journey through the foster-adopt program. This was well written and had me going through this journey with this family. I loved the stories of all 4 of their children and how different they were. I also liked the fact that they shared the frustrations and disappointments that are involved in having special needs children. I thought this was a great read especially if you are interested in fostering or adopting children. I learned a ton about the process as well as many thought provoking issues that come up with children who have suffered some type of abuse or neglect. Great read.

I received this book free from Tyndale publishers in exchange for my review.