Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Prayer Books :)

This is like a prayer journal, a two in one. The top book is to write down requests and the bottom book is to write down when prayers have been answered. It's cute. When I got it, I gifted it to my daughter to see how she would use it. 

She likes to write down her prayer requests in the top book and if she feels a prayer has been answered then she writes it in the bottom book.

I recommend it for pre-teens and teenagers to help them be more comfortable with tracking their prayers. I've never been one to track my prayers, if I pray about it, I try to leave it alone. 

Key word *try* sometimes I fail in leaving it.

If I had to rate them. I'd rate them at at 3. They are nice but it would be better if they were better connected or rather better binded together.

{FYI: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.}

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Inductive Bible Study

So I was absolutely stoked when I saw that I had the chance to review this book.


Because I had been wanted to study more in-depth and I had always heard that the Inductive Bible Study Method was one of the best ways to study the bible.

Now here's the kicker, I had always been studying the bible (on a very basic level) in an inductive format. But after reading this book, which is actually a textbook, I learned just how much can go into studying the bible and how there is ALWAYS something to study and learn. You can never exhaust the bible.

This particular book examines studying the bible in an inductive format: Observation, Interpretation, and Application through the perspective of History, Literature and Theology. Now what I gather this to mean is:
Observing the bible (passage, book, verse) by checking out its historical context (what prompts the author to write), literary context (how is it written, genres, literary devices are used), and understanding theology that everything flows together, nothing with contradict the other and it all points to Jesus. 
The same holds true for interpreting the bible. I love how the authors state that there is essentially one interpretation of any given verse BUT near unlimited ways that it may be applied in relation to individuals lives. 
Application is important. Nothing in the bible means anything if it is not applied. It is not to read about love than to act with love. It is not enough to read about doing the will of God BUT you must actually act upon it. James says it best: faith without works is dead. Faith can only do you so much good if your works do not echo what you profess to believe in.

So my reaction: one of the best reads EVER. This book and Searching the Scriptures by Charles Swindoll have been absolute game changers in how I study the bible.

Would I recommend? Yes, I recommend any and everyone that intends to study the bible, to get this book and read it, kind of use it as a guide on questions to ask yourself as you study. And it all starts with prayer.

{FYI: I did receive this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.}

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jesus Today

I got Jesus Today (teen version) as a book to review and this is one of those books I am quite conflicted about.

The conflict comes in because it is apart of the Jesus Calling series of devotional books by Sarah Young.

A lot of the criticism that comes for this series is the way that Sarah Young writes in the first person as if it is God speaking to the reader. In this book, the perspective of writing is the same. However I have noticed that there is scripture included to go with each day's selection. It's almost as if (in this book) that Sarah channels what she believes the Lord is speaking to us based on different passages of Scripture.

I can understand the argument against Sarah Young. Yet after reading the devotions (not the entire book but many of the devotions) I can understand where she is coming from. Many preachers of today speak to us in a similar tone of voice, helping us to grasp the way God loves us and wants fellowship with us. Oftentimes we get so caught up in judging a person that we do not take the time to review a message along with the scripture attached to it. And realize she's not trying to actually mimic God but trying to help a hurting people see Jesus as we should see Him. Jesus wants relationship, God wants relationship. They want us to see the Bible a handwritten note from Him to us.

My honest opinion: I don't see the harm in this book. Why? Because I can see that Sarah Young is attempting to bridge the gap between what the bible says and how we can literally apply it to our thought pattern and our lives. In how we think and act in reflection of the bible. I will say it is more appropriate for both adults and teenagers.

{FYI: this is my honest opinion. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion).

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Studying in 2017

So this year, one thing I have chosen to do is to spend more time in the bible and more time studying God's Word.

I once read that how can you be completely obedient if you don't know what you're obeying. I know the bible yet there's always more to learn about God. I want to be so transparent in my relationship with God that I share my heart with Him before I share with any human.

So I am taking the liberty to utilize a couple books in my study time. Inductive Bible Study by Richard Alan Fuhr Jr and Andreas J. Kostenberger and Searching the Scriptures by Charles Swindoll.   Both of these books are phenomenal in aiding in actually studying the Bible but even more than that APPLYING the Word of God. Both of these books approach studying the bible in a similar yet different fashion. And both have drawn me in towards filling myself on the meat of the Word. I realize that so often I've been stuck on the milk of the Word and I want more out of it thus I must take my studying deeper, beyond the surface. Digging into word studies so that I can understand what the original languages intent behind words are. Because something I've learned is that often how we mean a world today in 2017 is not the same as how that word was meant in biblical days.

One thing I've learned from both is to always employ more than one Bible translation when studying. So I've compiled  about 4-5 different translations to use in my study, with two of them being study bibles.

I think that as I learn more about who God is, the more I can know Him and see Him at work each day. Chime in your study habits.

Monday, December 5, 2016

'I AM' Bible

If you know anything about me, I'm not a big fan of the KJV. I didn't start liking the NKJV until I got the Duck Commander Bible and the beauty of that bible makes it where I am more interested in the NKJV. However when I read the description for the I AM Bible I decided to give the KJV another try, see if I could like it.

The goal of this bible is to put in bold print the words spoken by God. And Jesus' words are red-lettered. I have the hardcover, so its nice and sturdy. It has lay flat binding, which is beyond awesome for study purposes. There are little explanation boxes corresponding with God and Jesus speaking to tell the reader who God/Jesus is specifically speaking to. Other than that, there are no other footnotes or comments. The print is fairly small, I do need my glasses to read it clearly. Yet it is not as small as the font in my Life Application Study Bible, so that is good. There is a topical index, glossary/dictionary, and concordance on top of the usual 8 maps detailing places of the bible both OT and NT.

 The boxes in the middle are the boxes which kind of aid the reader in understanding why and who Jesus was speaking to.
  Same here with the references to God's Words in Hebrews.
And again here in the OT.

I like the aesthetics of this bible. My only quip is how the KJV breaks down words, almost into syllables which used to be irritating to read but I guess now that I am older, I can appreciate to a degree for those names of people and places that I would otherwise need help learning the correct pronunciation of. I am glad that I got the opportunity to take a fresh look at the KJV and gain a new appreciation for it.

{FYI: I did receive my copy of this bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.}

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Earth Psalms

Earth Psalms is a collection of devotions paired with beautiful photographs of nature. The devotions are meant to spark reflection and application. There are 52 devotions for weekly reading. This devotional is a collaboration between Francine Rivers and Karin Buursma. Francine knew she wanted to write a devotional with added photos of nature so we can see the beauty and work of God in the nature around us but she wanted the devotional to have a bit more depth so that's where Karin Buursma comes in at adding in the hymns, quotes, reflections, and applications throughout the devotional. 

The book is very well put together with hardback and nice thick pages with full vibrant color photos. Each devotion is themed with a color as can be seen below the second devotions pages all have deep teal color coordination. Don't get me wrong this is a beautiful devotional and is very good on content but also because of its beauty it can be put on a coffee table of sorts to spark interest and conversation with visitors. Because they'll see the beautiful photos then possibly read the devotional or at least skim the devotional that goes with the photos. 

I think this would make a great gift for the believer, new or old, who enjoys nature.

{FYI: I received this book from the publisher, Tyndale, in exchange for my HONEST review.}

Monday, November 14, 2016

Devotions for a Deeper Life

A deeper life?
What exactly does that mean? Deeper in what aspect?

Well for the devotional I picked up by Oswald Chambers, deeper is spiritually deeper.
And considering the world and everything going on, can't we all go a little spiritually deeper, a little more intimate with God?
I raise my hand yes we do (at least I do).

Oswald Chambers helps us get there with this devotional. Each one starts with a passage, nothing too cheesy but enough to provoke thought. To cause me to stop and really ponder what I am reading. And then the full context of the main verse is given so that we can study further, study deeper on that day's topic. 
The book itself is nice sized not too big, its adequately sized to throw in a bag to read while commuting (train/bus/plane) or even to just take along to work to read while on break. There's also a bookmark ribbon to mark where you left off. Plus it is dated so no matter what just go to today's date and jump right in. 

Before I was really adhering to using my Jesus Calling devotional but after coming across this one, I've become a tad bit more interested in this one because it is clear that the speaker is not Jesus but is inspired by God. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Daniel Code

Hands down one of the BEST books I've ever read.
And for someone who reviews at least a dozen books a year, that's saying a lot.

O.S. Hawkins does an amazing job in bridging the gap between Daniel's time and this era. We truly do live in a modern day Babylonia. So much is taught and accepted that is contrary to the Word of God. And as Christians we often get caught up the idea that we must force the world to adhere to Christian beliefs. Yet we can be like Daniel.

Daniel understood that he would accomplish more if he just lived his life in obedience to God's Word. He knew that the kingdom he lived in was not obedient to God' Word but he didn't have to be like them. And in his obedience God shone like a the city on a hill.

I think that is the call to us today. We can't change the law. We can't force people to care about their neighbor beyond trying to make them adhere to Christian beliefs. But what we can do is love them. What we can do is LIVE out our lives in accordance with God's Word.

Whatever you do not believe in, do not promote it, do not do it. And leave it at that. Sometimes our lives is the only bible some people have ever read. So we need to make sure they're getting an accurate representation of the Word.

I sincerely recommend this book to EVERYONE. Does not matter where you are in your walk with Jesus. You should read this book as it will help live the Word of God in a world that is similar to Babylonia of Daniel's era.

{FYI: I did receive this book through the BookLook Blogger program in exchange for my HONEST opinion.}

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Store

I just wanted to share with you some bible studies (and a journaling devotional) that I've written. They all come in PDF format. And are extremely affordable: roughly $3 each. 
You can find them here!

If you purchase a copy, I'd love to hear your feedback and if you have a suggestion on a topic for the next study, comment below :)