Fierce Hearted

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Gerth, Holley. Fierce Hearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
In her newest and most personal book yet, author Holley Gerth shares her inner most thoughts, fears, emotions and personal stories. Almost like chatting with a best friend over coffee, Fierce Hearted is organized in smaller chapters perfect for reading and reflecting. Encouraging each woman to realize she is “not the only one” who feels, thinks, hopes, loves, fears, and experiences such struggles and victories in life, Holley wants to empower all women to live more fully and love more bravely, following God as well as giving Him all the glory everyday in all things.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Written in such a raw and honest manner, Holley Gerth truly understands and acknowledges the inner most workings of women. Daring while inspiring women to share the journey, Fierce Hearted is well written with a strong, necessary message. With the book set in shorter chapters, I found I couldn’t stop from reading several at once. Nodding my head, feeling her pain, understanding her joys and relishing the encounter, this is definitely one book I will recommend, share with friends and give as a gift. Perfect as a Bible study or ministry, I thoroughly connected with Fierce Hearted from cover to cover. What a wonderful example Holley is to all women!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Fierce Hearted from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

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The Bible Explorer’s Guide

Zonderkidz. The Bible Explorer’s Guide: 1,000 Amazing Facts and Photos. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Is it possible that the olive trees at the traditional site of Gethsemane could be 900 years old?  Did you know the Philistines were one of Israel’s fiercest enemies because they knew the technology for making iron weapons? With 16,000 animals on board the ark, who knew that included 12 tons of animal waste every day? Filled with loads of Bible tidbits, references, and information, each two page spread is divided into themes, then sprinkled with material surrounding that theme including accompanying photographs. Easy to read yet packed full of information, The Bible Explorer’s Guide is perfect to share with all ages.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Visually pleasing with interesting portions of Bible trivia, though this book tends to be geared more towards elementary children, I enjoyed paging through it while sharpening my Bible skills and even learning a thing or two.  I was also impressed with the lead to the Bible scripture associated with the Bible facts shared in the different sections. Wonderful for a classroom, library or Sunday school lesson, it would also be perfect as a gift or for generational sharing. Drawn to the colorful photographs yet submersed into the fascinating information, it is definitely a book which could be used often and repeatedly. Well done!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Bible Explorer’s Guide from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

The Stage Is Set

Wright, Bryant. The Stage Is Set: Israel, The End Times, And Christ’s Ultimate Victory. Grand Rapids, MI: Backer Books Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Pastor, founder and chairman of Right from the Heart Ministries, and author, Bryant Wright has led several Bible study trips to Israel and shares his love of the land in his new book, The Stage Is Set. Focusing on the ever-changing current world while recalling God’s promises of the past, present and future, graphs, scriptures, thought provoking ideas and personal stories join together in this book based on the Book of Revelation. Throughout the book, the question begs to be answered, are we ready for the end of times?

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Well-written and reader friendly, The Stage Is Set offers possible scenarios for which we must be ready. Outlining events in an easy to understand manner, author Bryant Wright challenges his readers. Though I found the book interesting albeit I was not in total agreement on all points, it definitely was worth the read. Making a wonderful Bible study or sermon series, it would also create meaningful faith-filled discussions. Well thought out and organized, this book just seemed to seamlessly flow through the chapters.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Stage Is Set from Baker Books for my honest review*

The Jesus Bible

Contributors- Giglio, Louie. Lucado, Max. Piper, John. Zacharias, Ravi. Alcorn, Randy. The Jesus Bible: NIV edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2016.

thejesusbible

SUMMARY:
Reading the most popular book just became even more enjoyable. With the full NIV text accompanied by essays, sidebar notes, book introductions, full-page articles and journaling room, The Jesus Bible invites readers to meet and greet Jesus and follow His story throughout the Bible. As a sturdy hard-cover book with a binding that opens flat, the featured extras by noteworthy authors are scattered within for an enhanced experience. Focusing on the 66 books, in one story, all about one name, Jesus is glorified.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A thick grey-linen covered book with a ribbon to keep your spot, The Jesus Bible was welcomed at first glance. Upon opening it and reading the scripture verses, I thought the sidebar explanations were helpful in explaining the verses a bit deeper in a relatable manner. The articles and essays coupled with the corresponding verses clarify the scriptures further, all while keeping Jesus as the main focus. With extra wide sidebars for journaling or note taking, this Bible is very usable. With inclusions from some favorite authors, I find myself browsing the Bible even more than usual now. Reader friendly, well organized and extremely useful, The Jesus Bible is sure to become a favorite.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Jesus Bible from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Wonders Of Creation Bible

NIV Wonders of Creation Bible- Illustrations to Color and Inspire. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2016 (specific version).

wondersofcreationbible

SUMMARY:
With the full length version of the NIV Holy Bible complemented with over 50 pages of black and white illustrations to color, the Wonders of Creation Bible is a beautiful version. Filled with the original thin pages of the Bible but immersed with thicker pages for the drawings, the included animal and design pages are as graceful as they are charming. Accompanied by a lay-flat binding for easy coloring, a presentation page for gift giving, special verses included on each coloring page and a ribbon marker, this Bible is complete.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A perfectly sized Bible with readable size font and text, the Wonders of Creation Bible was beautifully enhanced with the illustrations waiting to be filled with a spectrum of color. The drawings are inviting, the coloring verses are relevant, the cover is alluring and of course, the message within is priceless. I really liked the idea of a more interactive Bible, combining two of my favorite things- coloring and God’s Word. Only thing I might add would be a few journaling pages to truly complete the experience.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Wonders of Creation Bible from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

The Bible Habit

Ramos, David. The Bible Habit:7 Strategies On How To Study The Bible. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
Based on the thought that it’s impossible to know God without knowing the Bible, author David Ramos shares his useful insights, tips and strategies for reading, learning and using the Bible. Filled with chapters on boosting memory, the power of context, building a reading habit, joining in community and the strength of prayer, The Bible Habit also includes a Bible Habit Toolkit which shares a genre guide to the books of the Bible, popular book abbreviations, and a list of  terms found within the Bible, all of which help becoming more immersed in the Bible that much easier.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
I found this handy little book to be filled with some great advice for studying the Bible. Though perhaps more targeted to beginners, I actually picked up a few tips as well as was inspired to do even more in my own Bible reading. Written on a friendly personal level, it was easy to read and simple to follow yet full of good information. Neither preachy nor heavy, the personal everyday correlations worked very well. Definitely a book for new believers, youth classes, a church library or even a nudge for the experienced Bible reader, I look forward to more books from this accomplished author.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Bible Habit from the author for my honest review*

Unlocking the Bible

Lasseigne, Jeff. Unlocking the Bible: What It Is, How We Got It, and Why We Trust It. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. 2016.

unlockthebible

SUMMARY:
Hoping to make the Bible a bit less daunting and a lot more understandable, author and pastor, Jeff Lasseigne, sets out to meet those goals in his book, Unlocking the Bible. Broken into two main parts, Part 1 answers more general questions about the Bible while familiarizing readers with the history, trustworthiness, New and Old Testaments, studying and teaching of the Bible. Part 2 then delves into each book of the Bible, discovering the uniqueness and qualities found within. Easy to follow, interesting to browse, and referenced for use, this useful book couples nicely with the world’s best-selling book, the Bible.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Sometimes not knowing where to begin, other times plagued with unanswered questions, and yet other times of complacency, often leads the Bible to being overlooked and not studied. Leaning on his vast knowledge of the Bible, Jeff Lasseigne helps the Bible to become more user-friendly and understandable. While Part 1 was interesting, Part 2 was where I actually learned some new information about each book. As a compact reference guide, it would work well paired with a Bible and used in a Bible study, given to new believers, or studied in various ministry groups as a learning tool or review option. A copy belongs with each Bible to help unlock it and bring it to life.
RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Unlocking the Bible from Baker Books for my honest review*

Proverbs Prayers

Mason, John. Proverbs Prayers: Praying the Wisdom of Proverbs for Your Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2015.

SUMMARY:
ProverbsprayersAiming to help others pray the Proverbs scriptures, John Mason writes from his own experiences and life changes having prayed the Proverbs himself. With guidance to read each Proverb and then pray the corresponding prayer, Proverbs Prayers provides the tools necessary to experience God’s presence, wisdom and strength in life as never before. Set-up as a friendly devotional in thirty concise sections filled with magnitude, blessing and grace, the Proverbs principles are chronicled and noted at the end for a quick reference.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Such punch encapsulated in a smaller devotional book! Taking the approach of studying the scriptures in a smaller-scale method, I thought this book on the Proverbs was perfect. Reading the scripture and praying each included prayer kept everything in one handy place giving me the necessary time to concentrate on the devotion. My favorite part was the conclusion listing of the Proverb principles with the coordinating scripture and brief thought. A perfect gift, devotional, Bible study or personal tool, Proverbs Prayers even comes complete with a beautiful peaceful cover.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Proverbs Prayers from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Boundless

Bishop, Bryan. Boundless: What Global Expressions Of Faith Teach Us About Following Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. 2015.

SUMMARY:
boundlessTraveling the world as a researcher for Youth with a Mission, Bryan Bishop experiences different religions following Jesus in unique, cultural ways. Challenging his own beliefs and way of thinking, as well as those of his readers, the author presents more culturally-tied expressions of faith with Jesus as the main focal point. Though different in customs and practices, the ultimate goal is the same.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Living in such a diverse world with emphasis on keeping customs and cultures alive, I found this book to be very thought-provoking and interesting. Unraveling some of the assumed conceptions, author Bryan Bishop shares his personal experiences in an easy, inviting manner. Perfect for a Bible Study (with included material), sermon topics, ministry or personal knowledge, Boundless is sure to provide new insights, answer questions, pose new thoughts and respect cultures while evangelizing Jesus. Though everyone doesn’t fit into a tidy religious box, the end result- being followers of Jesus- is worth the time spent. (Love the cover!)

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Boundless from Baker Books for my honest review*

Untangled

Scott, Carey. Untangled: Let God Loosen the Knots of Insecurity in Your Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2015.

SUMMARY:
untangledWith endless insecurities cluttering her life, Carey Scott sorts through the mess, discovers the reasons, works to overcome the obstacles and finally revels in the resulting joy. Showing entanglements in relationships, children, addictions, social media and even success, Untangled provides the encouragement and tools to realize the boundaries affecting life (especially women) and ways to deal with them. Heart-wrenching and emotional, many women will likely closely relate…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Open and honest, the author shares all. From quite the tangled mess to a patterned, organized neatness, Untangled includes personal stories from the author and other women, explanations and interpretations, relevant Bible verses, prayers and self-questions to ponder. Real-life situations are encountered and tackled without shame, all with God as the main focus. Living as God intended, without the insecurities marring the way, this book may change lives. Perfect as a Bible study, women’s ministry or retreat topic, or even a personal gift, Untangled is sure to be appreciated.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Untangled from Revell Publishing for my honest review*