The Bible Explorer’s Guide

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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*

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KJV Large Print, Thinline Bible

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KJV Large Print, Thinline Bible. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
With high quality leather-soft covers, gilded edges, readable larger type size, new Thomas Nelson KJV font style, double ribbon markers, words of Christ in red, and in the King James translation, the KJV Large Print, Thinline Bible is also portable and durable. Convenient for travel while being comfortable to read, this version also lays flat open, is pleasant for the eyes and fits nicely in hands. A beautiful Bible available in several cover-color choices and material options.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Already owning several Bibles but interested in one to take to church, the Thomas Nelson KJV Bible is perfect for such an occasion. Especially liking the easily readable and eye-friendly type size and font, the other amenities only add to the value. The soft leather covers in a rich black color combined with the beautiful gilded edges are striking while the ribbons are very helpful for referencing Bible locations. Definitely a Bible that will be used but also one I would be proud to present as a gift.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Thomas Nelson KJV Large Print, Thinline Bible from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

The Stage Is Set

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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).

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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*

Hunting Hope

Maples, Nika. Hunting Hope: Dig Through the Darkness to Find the Light. Franklin, TN: Worthy Publishing. 2016.

huntinghope

SUMMARY:
Having been through tough times herself, speaker, educator and author Nike Maples shares the importance of hope in her own life while paralleling it to the Bible. Comparing the rough seasons of life to the cold, dreary, lifeless season of winter, she reminds us even then we are not alone and that our God truly cares and accompanies us during those times. Illustrating the many hope hunters in the Bible- Paul, Moses, Joseph- personal stories, encouragement and hope are given throughout.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
So relate-able, so well-written and so personally encouraging, Hunting Hope inspires, reminds, strengthens and embraces while waiting for the sun to appear again. Using those dark times as a means to draw us closer to Him, believing and growing stronger in faith help remind us God is always in control (as hard as that can be to understand at times). Read in snippets or straight through, it is easy to follow and become immersed in, especially given her humor at points (like trying to find a rhyme for her name). Perfect as a Bible study, sermon series or a gift for someone in the midst of a winter season, this book will remain on my own bookshelf to be reread during my own chilly frosts.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Hunting Hope from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*

God Speaks

Evans PhD, Craig A. God Speaks: What He Says, What He Means. Franklin, TN: Worthy Publishing. 2015.

SUMMARY:
GodSpeaksWritten with the purpose of inviting people to read the Bible as well as presenting it as a timeless, generational and life-changing book, author Craig Evans shares his wealth of knowledge surrounding the Bible. Beginning with the meaning of the Bible, followed by what the Bible is all about, and ending with common questions about the Bible, God Speaks may stand the test of time along with the Bible…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Obviously a well-researched, knowledgeable and articulate author, Craig Evans organized, explained and justified the words contained within the Bible. Most importantly, I found a positive attitude continued throughout the book relating to the Bible which is not always found. Though written with advanced information, parts of the book would be also be perfect for the beginning believer, strayed reader, stuck Christian and those theologically trained. I also appreciated the importance of understanding the Bible while reading it throughout life; learning never ends.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of God Speaks: What He Says, What He Means from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*

A Young Man’s Guide to Discovering His Bible

George, Jim. A Young Man’s Guide to Discovering His Bible. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2014.

SUMMARY:
bibleWhile helping a young man to discover his Bible, author Jim George also offers explanations, thought provoking questions, relevant workbook pages and encouragement to live accordingly. Teaching young men to not fear the Bible but instead to embrace the adventure it can be, A Young Man’s Guide to Discovering His Bible also helps preteens and teens to view the Bible as authoritative yet friendly. Through God’ Word on peer pressure, dating, responsibility, temptation and friends, this book may lead to so much more…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Definitely user-friendly, this book leads a young man to uncover God’s Word and instruction within the Bible. Using age-appropriate stories, examples and explanations, Jim George does a nice job of relating to a young man at a level he will understand. Though fill-in-the-blank pages are provided as guides, they in no way are intimidating nor considered a chore as they relate nicely to the topics covered. I appreciated the relationship between the timelines (past people/ issues with today’s people/ issues) which are in many ways similar. A wonderful gift for a young man’s Graduation or Confirmation, it might also work well with Youth Groups or in a homeschool setting.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A Young Man’s Guide to Discovering His Bible from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*