Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Lifegiving Parent

There are some authors I instinctively turn to for parenting advice. Sally Clarkson is one of them. She has a remarkable way of showing parents, especially mothers how our motherhood is ministry work even if we never actually serve in a ministry at church. And here we come to the finale of a trilogy of books (the review for book 1 will come after this one). 

The Lifegiving series is one that seeks to transform the way in which we live, in how hospitable we are, and how we parent our children. It's not pushy as you must do these things but is more of showing different ways that she and her husband are doing it and have been doing it for decades. 

The Lifegiving Parent is a joint effort between Sally and her husband, Clay. Prior to reading, I thought it would be equal writing between them as I absolutely enjoy Sally's writing style. However, after reading, I realize that this is really Clay's book. Sally contributes at the end of each chapter little tidbits of momoirs of her take on what Clay has discussed in the chapter.

I'll be honest, it is a fairly good book when it comes advice on parenting. It has 8 touchpoints of ways we as parents shape and give life to our children. Each one is equally important to the parenting of our children and each one plays a huge part in who they will eventually become. And as parents, especially as Christ-following parents who want to be intentional about raising our children to have a strong foundation and faith in Christ, this book is a good point in the right direction for accomplishing that goal.

My only drawback is that I expected more of Sally's writing. Much of the promotion on this book is that it is a Sally Clarkson book, only to realize once you start reading that it is really a Clay Clarkson book and it banks on Sally's name to draw the audience. Clay is a good writer, however, for me, he doesn't have the charm and drawing in the reader quality like Sally does. Sally's words do more than tell a story and convey a message they illustrate the imagery she wants you to see and helps you to imagine the sights and smells that she's telling you about. Clay's writing does not quite have that effect and that's OK because it's what distinguishes him from Sally. 

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

The CSB Study Bible for Women

One thing I love is a good bible. Especially a good study bible, with great features and great study notes.

The CSB Study Bible for Women actually falls in line with the other two Woman's Study Bibles that I've reviewed You can find them here. While yes, they are published by different publishing houses and are different translations, what they do have in common is the editing team is the same. So you will notice A LOT of similar features. The blue floral design is similarly found in the CSB and the NIV versions. The opening pages are similar. They both feature a Ketubah breakdown and family lineage pages.

Now, this study bible has word studies, which feature a frequently used word on a certain page then that word is broken down to its root word.

This is the edition I was given to review. I quite like it. It's simple yet beautiful. There are also TWO ribbon markers which is awesome!! Especially since I am known to be reading in more than one place at a time.

So this is what a book introduction look likes it includes an outline of the book as well. For those of us who tend to study more deeply and want to know the specifics of when a book was written, the timeline at the bottom of the page is quite helpful. It offers biblical events and world events of that time period.

This is where we can see a word study in action. Some word study sections feature more than one word as seen in the previous set of pictures. Also featured is "hard question" where certain questions are answered (each hard question section relates to the passage it is found near).

The "doctrine" sections, break down certain doctrine's within the Christian faith. Each doctrine section is found where the foundation of that doctrine is found in Scripture. 

I personally like the CSB Study Bible for Women better than the other versions I've come across that was edited by Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley. This one has more useful information embedded. The concordance is larger in the CSB as well. I also like that this bible does not feel as heavy as other full-size study bibles. 

It is also quite beautiful and as I've noticed quite popular among women (I'm in a facebook war binder group with hundreds of women). I've seen it recommended MANY times. I would definitely recommend it. The only thing I would add is in-text cross references. However, I'm sure it would make the bible much bulkier.

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations


So how awesome is this??? First, off let's backtrack. This is the Adventure Bible Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations. It is apart of the Adventure Bible series (bibles geared towards children) It's a book full of experiments for your children to try out. And there's usually a Bible verse to go with each craft (generally at the end of the craft). This has been quite popular on my Instagram, with one mom even asking me to do a flip through so she could see what the book contained. The book is quite thin and can easily be carried around in hand or a backpack for outdoor adventures and crafts.

So take a look below.

Table of Contents, as you can see these are very outdoorsy type of projects, which I love because it encourages our children to get out of the TV and electronics.

See the bible verse. For this one, it is Philippians 4:19

If I remember correctly, this craft continued onto the next page and had a bible verse there.

Here's the back cover.

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

Why Her?

When I saw this book, I was super hesitant to request to review it because it seemed like yet another "me too" book. And I wanted something deeper. But then I saw that Proverbs 31 was (and still is) doing a bible study through it, I decided to go ahead and review it.

So it is about Nicki's experiences yet she takes us through the biblical experiences of Rachel and Leah, Jacob's wives, the mothers of Israel. These women were the epitome of comparison and disappointment and coveting what the other had. Something that is extremely prevalent in today's culture of Instagram and Pinterest where you get a snapshot of someone's life and almost immediately can fall prey to comparing your life to theirs. 

Nicki walks us through 6 lies and the responding truths as we combat the lies of the comparison game. And that is what makes this book NOT another "me too" book. Nicki goes beyond saying here I struggle, she says Yes I struggle but here's how I'm working on it so you can too. And that is what makes this book awesome. 

As you can see each Truth is roughly about 2 chapters long.

And if you have the opportunity to get the bible study companion and watch the videos offered through Proverbs 31, DO IT. (as of this posting, they are still available).

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

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Everyday Holy

So the title of this devotional is what drew me to it. Prior to this book, I'd never heard of the author. I guess I came to this book with my expectations a little too high. With the title that it has, I expected more Scripture. However, this devotional is very personalized to the author's encounters and experiences in life. It does start with a bible verse and that's all the Scripture you get for that devotional. Everything else is an experience of the author's where she saw God in her circumstances. In some way each day's verse is to relate to that day's devotion and her encounter. It would have been awesome to at least add a prayer prompt in response to the devotional, where the reader could pray themselves through similar situations.

There are 100 devotions, so that's about 3-4 months (depending on if you include the weekends). It's hardback with a nice ribbon marker. It does have a very luxurious feel to it.  The devotions are anywhere from 2-3 pages long and there's a wide range of topics but there is no topical index or table contents to help you navigate in case you're looking for encouragement in a specific area. There's a mix of translations for the verses, although NIV is the main translation used.

All in all, it's a decent devotional. Not my favorite and I will likely pass it on to someone else who may be in need or would like to have a devotional.

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Life Giving Table

I've been sitting on this book for quite awhile. Sitting savouring what I was reading and enjoying the recipes shared in the book by Sally.

So this is book two in the Life-Giving Series. This particular book focuses on mealtime and how it can be used to disciple those who dine with us. Of course, because Sally is a mom of four, a majority is told from the perspective of using meal time to disciple the hearts of our family and set a tone of nurturing each other through meals and the time spent. However, she also includes some experiences of hers from before she and Clay had children so their mealtime discipleship would be for their friends and acquaintances while abroad on missions, specifically in Vienna, Austria.

Mealtime does not have to be just eating but also includes the conversation that can occur over meals (I say can because not everyone converses during meals).

So one of the best parts? The nuggets found throughout the book and the recipes that are tried and true direct from Sally's kitchen (each chapter includes several recipes). The first chapter that is written by Sally's husband, Clay. And it is so good because you get the why from a male's perspective, who purposefully participates in this process. As a mom who wants to leave a godly influence on my children, this book, as well as the others in the series, are apart of the treasure trove.

This is the table of contents. As you can see there are about 14 chapters and each chapter has about 2--4 recipes at the end, there are at least 30 recipes in this book. There is an appendix with conversation starters which is awesome for families who are just introducing the idea of discipleship around mealtime.

This is how each chapter starts off. The table-discipleship principle at the beginning of each chapter kind of gives you an idea of what that chapter will cover.

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

Friday, April 6, 2018

Lies Women Believe

I remember the first time I heard about this book, it was a number of years ago and I was quite curious as to what it contained. Then the expanded edition was set to launch and I applied for the launch team, didn't make it. But then the book showed up in the book reviewer program as an option and I JUMPED AT IT. Thankfully, one of the admins even allowed me to received the study guide as well to review at the same time. AWESOME. Usually its only one book at a time.

I have literally taken my time reading through this book to review it. Studying through it with the companion study guide and it has been eye-opening. 

So there are three sections in the book: Foundations, Lies Women Believe and Walking in Truth.
Chapters 2-10 cover the lies women believe in specific areas: 
  1. Lies we believe about God
  2. Lies we believe about ourselves
  3. Lies we believe about sin
  4. Lies we believe about priorities
  5. Lies we believe about sexuality (note this section is not in the original)
  6. Lies we believe about marriage
  7. Lies we believe about children
  8. Lies we believe about emotions
  9. Lies we believe about circumstances.
     The companion study guide further expounds on the book. Each chapter in the study guide starts with what section of the book it covers, recaps that section of the book, then has three question sections: Realize, Reflect, and Respond. 

     It asks you personal questions that help you to identify if you believe this root lie and how the belief and action upon that lie affect your life. Sometimes we say we believe one thing but the way we act and live our lives shows that we really don't believe what we said. For example, we can say we trust God but does every action we make show doubt? We can say we believe that the Bible is incorruptible and the absolute truth but do our actions show that? Because if we did, we love more and forgive more. We'd love people, treat them well, and still rebuke the sin in their lives, without fear of their reaction or anyone else's reaction. 

     I can tell you off the bat, the chapters on sexuality and children will immediately ruffle many feathers as these go heavily against the culture we live in. We live in a culture where it is fairly acceptable to be gay and if you refuse or do not accept it, you're labelled as judgmental and hateful. We live in a culture that says it is fairly acceptable to have abortions. We live in a culture where premarital sex is not a bad thing and adultery is ok if you're not happy and even glorified on TV and in movies.

     Now depending on where you are on the spectrum of beliefs will tell you just how offended you might be by this book. If you're pro-choice and accepting of LGBT then you will be offended. And you NEED to be. Maybe then you may read God's Word and realize that culture does not dictate TRUTH. Just because it has been regarded as acceptable by people, does NOT make it acceptable to the Lord. The ancient Israelites learned that with pagan worship and lost their hedge of protection for a number of years because of it.

     I HIGHLY recommend this book and the companion study guide to EVERY generation of women. We are in a place to influence those around us and we need to be a godly influence. We aren't called to sound like or look like this world so why do we attempt to do so?

{FYI: I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my HONEST opinion.}

The Lifegiving Parent

There are some authors I instinctively turn to for parenting advice. Sally Clarkson is one of them. She has a remarkable way of showing par...