Book Review, “A Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God,” Larry Osborne author

Contrarian cover

A Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God: Spirituality for the Rest of Us, by Larry Osborne, is written for the common person. “It’s simply meant to offer insight into the minds and hearts of those who don’t read so well, who work with their hands instead of their minds, who still show a few symptoms of ADD.” It is meant to challenge the current system of spiritual development.

This book is divided into three parts. Part One examines genuine spirituality. It includes ideas such as: What Does It Mean to Know God, How Two Utterly Different People Can Both Please God, and Why Ambition Should Never be Confused with Spirituality.  Part Two discusses spiritual growth.  It includes topics such as: The Way Most People Grow, How Small Groups Change Everything, and How the Holy Spirit Does Exactly What Jesus Said He Would Do. Part Three examines what God wants. It includes: Blind Spots, Is Faith Overrated, and Chocolate-Covered Arrogance.

This is an interesting book.  It challenges traditional ideas of Christianity and church membership. I especially liked the idea the author presents that God tore the curtain in the temple in two when Jesus died, but we keep sewing it back together. We need to remember that God opened the door for all to approach Him.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in bringing Christianity to other common 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, “NKJV Deluxe Reader’s Bible,” Thomas Nelson publisher

NKJV Cloth over board Bible

The NKJV Deluxe Reader’s Bible, published by Thomas Nelson, is “perfect for both devotional and extended reading.” Its simple cloth over board design and protective box make it practical for everyday use.

This Bible is designed to eliminate distractions from God’s Word sometimes created by cross-references and notes. It puts as little between the Word and the reader as possible. Chapter and verse markers are located in the margins. Line matching eliminates most ghosting, and the 10-point text itself improves readability. There are no translator’s notes. There are two satin ribbon markers and a Smyth sewn, lay-flat binding.

This is a wonderful Bible.  Its simplicity reminds me that it is God’s Word that we need. Footnotes, articles, and cross-references are extra help, but not absolutely necessary. Even the simple color scheme of this Bible is designed to minimize distraction.

I would recommend this Bible to anyone wishing to focus on the Word of 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, “If I Run,” Terri Blackstock author

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If I Live, by Terri Blackstock, is the third book in the If I Run Series. It follows If I Run and If I’m Found. It is set in modern day and is filled with suspense.

Casey Cox remains in hiding, running from the law officers trying to locate her and charge her with murder, a murder that she did not commit. But with her face plastered all over the news, it is difficult to disguise herself. Dylan Roberts, a private investigator once hunting Casey, now believes that she is innocent and works hard to expose the real killers. But when Dylan’s apartment is burned, he knows that his life is now in danger too. Dylan works to capture the real criminals and to keep Casey safe, a task that gets more and more difficult by the day.

I enjoyed this book very much.  It was a fitting conclusion to the series. Casey and Dylan captured my heart as they risked everything to expose the truth. I especially liked Dex, a loyal and true friend.  I also appreciated the way Dylan and Casey honored God in light of their mutual attraction, even when they had to share a hotel room.

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, “Where the Fire Falls,” Karen Barnett author

 

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Where the Fire Falls, by Karen Barnett, is a Vintage National Parks Novel. It is set in Yosemite National Park in 1929.

Olivia Rutherford is a watercolor artist who believes that an avant-garde persona is key to becoming wildly successful in the art scene. She takes on a lucrative contract to paint Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine. She hopes that the money from the job will help keep her past hidden from the nouveau riche art circles. Her guide, Clark Johnson, assumes that he is who he appears to be. But Clark also has secrets. As the two discover the wonders of the park, the dangers increase.

This was a great book. The author’s efforts to bring to life Theodore Roosevelt’s vision for protected lands is wonderful. The characters were believable and easy to relate to.

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

Kara

 

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Book Review, “High Treason,” DiAnn Mills author

high treason

High Treason, by DiAnn Mills, is the third book in the FBI Task Force series.  Set in Houston, Texas, it tells the story of an FBI/CIA task force put in place to protect a Saudi prince and his family.

FBI Special Agent Kord Davidson is with Prince Omar and his look alike body guard when the body guard and friend is killed. When a task force is formed and Monica Alden is assigned to team up with Kord, he is skeptical. But he soon learns that Monica is an asset to him and an essential for keeping the prince safe. With more attempts on the prince’s life and more people killed, Kord and Monica piece together every bit of information to find the person responsible. Monica befriends the prince’s sisters in an attempt to find out what they may know and keep them safe. When she finds the youngest sister secretly meeting with one of the prince’s staff, pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place.

I enjoyed this book. I especially liked the was Monica was respectful to the Prince and his family and their beliefs while remaining true to her Christian faith. I also found myself fond of Fatima, even though she was originally very gruff and unfriendly.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading 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, “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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