Book Review, “In All Things,” Melissa Kruger author

In All Things cover

In All Things: A Nine-Week Devotional Bible Study On Unshakable Joy, by Melissa B. Kruger, is a study of the book of Philippians. This study is based on the idea that “Jesus never intended for us to have just a little bit of happiness in our lives. He wants us to have fullness of joy.”

According to the author, the book of Philippians, written by the apostle Paul while he was in prison, invites readers to joy. Each week of the study follows a three-step method to portray the texts. Each begins with Observation: What does the text say?  Next is Interpretation: What does the text mean? Last is Application: How does the text transform me? The author states that all three of these are vital to Bible study, making a connection with God possible. The book ends with a section pertaining to group study.

I found this book very well organized. The three-step method makes sense and is simple to follow. I especially appreciated the idea that we must apply the information we learn from the Bible to our lives, otherwise it is just learning Bible trivia.

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about the book of Philippians.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “NKJV Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible,” published by Zondervan

NKJV Faithlife Study Bible cover

The NKJV Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible is published by Zondervan in partnership with the makers of Logos Bible Software. This version is packed full of “Biblical insights that you can see.”

This Bible includes many features to assist serious Bible students. It has the full text of the NKJV. There are over one hundred full-color infographics, timelines, and tables. There are twenty-seven family trees and people diagrams, including three detailed timelines chronicling the life of Jesus, His ministry, and His death and resurrection. The book introductions include outlines, backgrounds, themes, and maps or timelines. Information regarding original Biblical languages is revealed in the verse-by-verse study notes. The words of Jesus are presented in red ink. Also, there are contributions by many respected authors or scholars, such as Charles Stanley, Lee Strobel, Timothy Keller, and Robert Chisholm.

This is a spectacular Bible. It is full of information about the Bible presented in colorful and appealing ways. I especially appreciate the many maps and timelines included.

I would recommend this Bible to anyone looking for a more serious study of the Bible.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

 

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Book Review, “The Woman’s Study Bible,” Thomas Nelson publishers

NIV Women's Study Bible cover

The Woman’s Study Bible, published by Thomas Nelson in the New International Version, promises “God’s Truth for Balance, Hope, and Transformation.” It is specifically designed to assist women strengthen both their Biblical knowledge and their relationships with Christ.

This Bible features special notes and features appealing to women and highlights women throughout the scriptures. It includes contributions from more than eighty women, varied by denomination, education, occupation, and ethnicity in order to encourage mentorship. Special features include a full-color design, readable 10.5 font, biographical portraits of over 100 Biblical women, verse by verse study notes, over 300 in-text topical articles, essays from women who are experts in various fields, book introductions and outlines, full-color maps, charts, timelines, family trees, quotes from Godly women of history, a topical index, and a concordance.

This is an incredible Bible. The large type makes it easy to read, and the use of color adds to the reading experience. I especially like the family trees. I also appreciate the introductions, which specifically include the audience and the literary characteristics.

I would recommend this Bible to any woman who wishes to expand her Bible knowledge and Christian life.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “Beneath the Summer Sun,” Kelly Irvin author

beneath the summer sun cover

Beneath the Summer Sun, by Kelly Irvin, is the second book in the An Every Amish Season series.  It follows Upon a Spring Breeze. This story features a widow with seven children whom the community expects should remarry.

Jennie Troyer knows that the Amish leaders expect her to marry again, but she cannot bring herself to do it. Everyone thinks that they understand her grief holding her back. What they don’t know is that her first husband was extremely abusive, and she is afraid to trust another man. Two men are interested in marrying Jennie and helping her with her children. Nathan Walker is a Mennonite book salesman interested in becoming Amish.  He loves spending time with Jennie and her family.  Leo Graber was in love with Jennie before she married her first husband, but his guilt regarding his father’s death held him back from courting her.  Now he wishes he could have another chance.

I enjoyed this book. It exposes the very real problem of spousal and child abuse in our world and does a marvelous job of describing the feelings and struggles of those abused. I especially like Mary Katherine, who is such a good friend.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “The Ladies of Ivy Cottage,” Julie Klassen author

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The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, by Julie Klassen, is the second book in the Tales From Ivy Hill series. It is set in 1820 in Ivy Hill, Wiltshire, England. Two single women who live in Ivy Cottage find themselves needing to make difficult decisions regarding their futures.

Miss Rachel Ashford currently lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. Her friends encourage her to open a circulating library with the only thing of value she possesses, her father’s books. As townspeople donate books to help, she finds things among them that greatly affect some of her friends. Sir Timothy, the man she has loved for many years, is one of them. She must decide what to do with the information. Meanwhile, Mercy Grove enjoys teaching her girls’ school and has given up ever marrying. When her parents issue an ultimatum, she must make a difficult decision. Should she marry a man she does not love and hope he will allow her to keep the school, or should she give up the school and live as a spinster?

I enjoyed this book. As usual, Julie Klassen wove a tale that became more intriguing with each page. I loved Rachel’s desire to contribute to the household and her refusal to take advantage of her friends. I especially liked Matilda Grove, with her spunky attitude and love for her family and friends.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian historical fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “God of Tomorrow,” Caleb Kaltenbach author

God of Tomorrow cover

God of Tomorrow: How to Overcome the Fears of Today and Renew Your Hope for the Future, by Caleb Kaltenbach, tells its readers how to set aside fears of the future. The future sometimes “brings good news, and other times it destroys our dreams.”

This book addresses how to face the future in an unstable society. It describes how people of the Bible faced many of the same issues in their time that we do today. Some of the points made in the book are as follows: “Since tomorrow belongs to God, we can graciously offer hope to people of today.” “Christians are supposed to be people who make a place for anyone, even those who don’t seem as though they belong somewhere, because God made a place for us.” “Loving God and loving our neighbor are inseparable actions.” And lastly, “You might not be able to walk a mile in another person’s shoes, but you can get a picture of his journey.”

This book discusses ways to trust God and work through fears of the future. I would recommend it for anyone who has such fears or knows someone who does.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

 

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Book Review, “The Prayer Bible,” Tommy Nelson publishers

The Prayer Bible cover

The Prayer Bible for Children, published by Tommy Nelson, is a delightful version of the Bible for kids.  Presented in the International Children’s Bible version, it is designed to help children “develop a heart for prayer and learn God’s Word.”

The many special features are included in this Bible to make it simple for children to use. The large text is easier to read. There are 160 pages of special prayers of the Bible and 64 color pages of poem prayers, scripture prayers, and Kid’s Question & Answers that address questions children ask most regarding prayer. Also included are bold subject headings and bold dictionary words, key highlighted verses, and footnotes. The dictionary and concordance in the back of the Bible assist with locating and understanding information. This Bible comes with a free prayer journal for recording a child’s personal prayers.

This is a wonderful Bible for children. Although I found the cover a little gaudy, the features inside make it a useful Bible to teach children about prayer and Bible study. I would recommend this Bible to anyone teaching children how to use the Bible effectively.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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