Book Review, “Picturing Heaven,” Randy Alcorn author

picturing heaven cover

Picturing Heaven, written by Randy Alcorn and illustrated by Lizzie Preston, includes forty “hope-filled devotions with coloring pages.” Alcorn is a best-selling author and a leading authority on Heaven.

This book was designed to offer “comfort and relaxation while encouraging you with the restful assurance that God prepares a special place for those who love Him.” Alcorn hopes that coloring the pages illustrating Heaven will help readers to “develop a vital view of the magnificent New Earth God is preparing for us” He feels that pairing the reading of information about Heaven with coloring the pictures of it may lead readers to truly understand what it will be like. Each pair of pages includes a scripture reference, a short devotion, and a picture to color.

This is a wonderful book. The devotions are encouraging, and the illustrations are detailed and well-drawn. My only criticism is that the ideas of Heaven presented may not agree with that of all Christians. I would encourage one to look through the book before purchasing it in order to assess this issue.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adult coloring books and reading about Heaven.

Kara

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

 

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Book Review, “Whisper,” Mark Batterson author

Whisper cover

Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God, by Mark Batterson, is an essential book for anyone attempting to discern whether or not God is speaking to him. Many wonder if God still speaks to people today, and Mark Batterson answers in this book. He believes that God still speaks, but we need to know how to listen.

Batterson says in this book that a whisper from God can change one’s life in powerful ways. Knowing how to hear God can bring about miracles and bold visions. He strives to make hearing God more natural for believers by introducing seven ways that God speaks to His children. He presents the value of having a “whispering spot,” a specific place to listen to God’s voice. He asks the question, “Do you know how to hear His voice?”

This is a marvelous book. It addresses the questions many have about God speaking to us today. It presents seven ways to hear from God. I found these ideas quite interesting and would recommend this book to anyone trying to hear from God.

Kara

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

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Book Review, “Bringing Maggie Home,” Kim Vogel Sawyer author

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Bringing Maggie Home, by Kim Vogel Sawyer, is a marvelous novel.  It tells the story of a woman with a problem that occurred when she was a child and affected her entire life.

Hazel DeFord was 10-years-old when she left her 3-year-old sister for a few moments to chase a snake away from some baby bunnies and her sister disappeared. After this, Hazel’s father returned to his alcoholic ways and her family fell apart. Hazel later smothers her own daughter in an effort to protect her, but she never speaks of her sister. When Her granddaughter Meghan, a Cold Case detective, comes to visit while recovering from an accident, and Hazel’s daughter arrives at the same time, they decide to make a scrapbook together of Hazel’s life. Meghan accidentally discovers a picture of Hazel’s sister, and the secret comes out. Meghan asks her partner to investigate Maggie’s disappearance. When he discovers that several other children also went missing during the same time period, the investigation deepens.

This was an incredible book. I did not want to put it down. I especially liked Hazel and her steady faith. I liked the manner in which Diane and Meghan slowly began to accept Christ, even though they originally had no interest. I also appreciated the fact that Sean would not date Meghan until after she became a Christian.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian suspense novels.

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 One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional,” Julie Fisk, Kendra Roehl, and Kristin Demery authors

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The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional: 365 Inspiring Ideas to Reveal, Give, and Find God’s Love by Julie Fisk, Kendra Roehl, and Kristin Demery, is an amazing book.  It encourages readers to be more intentional in their attitudes and acts of kindness.

The authors began writing this devotional with a month-long daily act of kindness commitment, but ended up writing a year-long devotional, changing not only their own lives but also that of their families. Each devotion includes a scripture reference, a short inspirational personal story about God’s call for kindness and generosity, and a suggested act of kindness.  The devotions are designed for busy people and can be started at any time of the year. They are designed to help the reader form positive habits that connect with things that are important to God.

This is a wonderful devotional. I especially liked the suggested acts of kindness for each day. Some ideas were repeated later in the year, but they were easy to implement, such as writing an encouraging note to someone online or visiting someone homebound or in the nursing home.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to show more kindness to the world.

Kara

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

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Book Review, “Life-Changing Miracles,” compiled by James Stuart Bell

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Life-Changing Miracles: Real-Life Stories of Unforgettable Encounters with God, compiled by James Stuart Bell, is an incredible book. It is a collection of stories that show God’s power at work in the lives of everyday people.

This book brings stories of extraordinary events that have actually happened in the lives of ordinary people. It draws the readers’ attention to the work of God in both large and small ways. Some of the stories included are: Truck Driver Betty, The Belly of the Beast, God Had Other Plans, Lies That Kill, From Fantasies to Faith, The Indigo Vessel, Mom’s Terrifying Tumble, and My Little Red Heart. According to the introduction, the purpose of this book is to show readers that God can still work in our lives in any way He chooses, that miracles are not only for Biblical times, but still occur today.

I enjoyed this book. Its stories of ordinary people are inspiring. They include a wide variety of people and situations that hold one’s attention and show God’s presence in this world even today.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories of God’s work in the lives of people.

Kara

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

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Book Review, “KJV Know the Word Study Bible,” Thomas Nelson publishers

KJV Know the Word Study Bible cover

The KJV Know the Word Study Bible, published by Thomas Nelson, is an incredible Bible. It is designed to assist the reader in transitioning “from being a casual reader of the Bible to becoming a regular student of the Bible.” It encourages one not to “settle for being a reader when you can be a student of God’s Word.”

This Bible breaks down large passages into easy-to-understand segments. It offers three different ways to study: book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic.  Also included are book introductions, two-color interior page designs, a comprehensive list of theological notes, a concordance, and full-color maps. The Words of Jesus are in red. The Topic by Topic Articles are found at the beginning of this Bible, making it easy to locate information related to specific themes.  Some of those topics are: God the Father, Love, Purpose, Obedience, Evil, Relationships, and Suffering.

This hardcover Bible would be an asset to anyone wishing to learn more about the Word or deepen his relationship with Christ. I would recommend it to both beginners and those who have been studying the Bible for years.

Kara

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

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Book Review, “Crisis Shot,” Janice Cantore author

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Crisis Shot, by Janice Cantore, is the first book in the Line of Duty series. It is set in both Long Beach, California, and Rogue’s Hollow, Oregon, in the present day.  It addresses many current issues facing police officers and other first responders.

Tess O’Rourke’s dreams of becoming chief of police in Long Beach, California, come crashing down the day she shoots an unarmed teenager. Even when the grand jury clears her of wrongdoing, she realizes that her life will never return to its previous state, so she accepts a position as chief of police in Rogue’s Hollow, Oregon. The differences between the large metropolis and the small town are enormous, but Tess finds them just as challenging when her friend, the pastor’s wife, turns up missing and a man is found murdered. As she investigates with the help of sheriff’s deputy Steve Logan, they discover more going on in the small town than originally met the eye.

This was another incredible book from this author! The character development and details of the police work required to solve the crimes make the story riveting and the book difficult to put down. I especially liked Oliver Macpherson, with his heart focused on serving, despite his personal problems.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian suspense novels.

Kara

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

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