Planet 316 Story Bible

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Planet 316 Story Bible with Augmented Reality. Nashville, TN: WorthyKids/ Ideals Publishing. 2018.

SUMMARY:
Alongside more than 100 Bible stories accompanied by colorful illustrations, the Planet 316 Story Bible adds another exciting element-Augmented Reality. Downloading the free app allows the readers to move their devices over the pictures causing them to spring up in 3D. Audio and movement add context, depth and interaction to the characters encouraging a more meaningful and lively experience. The stories are written in child-friendly language, include the related Bible verses, and make the Bible very approachable for young readers.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A team of talented writers, artists and developers, Planet 316 uses current technology to bring the Bible to life, engaging and immersing readers in Bible stories. With easy to use technology (even for adults-LOL), I was enthralled with the characters seeming to pop off the pages, complete with voices and noises. Meeting the current young generation at a place where they are obviously very comfortable, using that technology to learn is genius. Definitely a novel and captivating idea, I would absolutely recommend this Bible to readers ages 4-8; however, older readers reading on their own may also enjoy the awesome interaction opportunity. So cool!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Planet 316 Story Bible from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*

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Live. Save. Spend. Repeat.

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Anderson, Kim. Live. Save. Spend. Repeat: The Life You Want With The Money You Have. Eugene, OH: Harvest House Publishers. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Paying off $93,000 in debt in only two years, blog writer and author, Kim Anderson, shares her strategies, skills, tips and results with readers who would like to do the same. Filled with personal stories and testimonies, various scenarios and examples, work pages and a sample budget, Live. Save. Spend. Repeat.  provides the necessary information and knowledge to live according to your means while enjoying life.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Perfect as an inspiration to keep the financial New Year’s goal, Live. Save. Spend. Repeat. is full of motivation, coaching, ideas, and reminders surrounding a major goal of getting out-from-under with a workable budget, worksheets, options and personal motivators. Well-organized, well-written and well-tried, the approach makes sense and appears to be manageable while yielding possibly life changing results. A good guide for anyone hoping to meet goals, strengthen their financial health, or climb out of debt.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Live. Save. Spend. Repeat. from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

VeggieTales-Very Veggie Bedtime Prayers

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Kennedy, Pamela. And Kennedy-Brady, Anne. VeggieTales- Very Veggie Bedtime Prayers. Nashville, TN: WorthyKids/ Ideals Publishing. 2018.

SUMMARY:
In a soft, cushy board-book, authors Pamela Kennedy and Anne Kennedy-Brady fill the sturdy pages with nighttime prayers. Surrounding the prayers are familiar, colorful and playful VeggieTales characters. With a mix of shorter and a bit longer prayers, each contains rhyming verse which reads quite easily. A few Scripture verses mingle on the pages in conjunction with the prayers, all with smiling Veggie figures.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Sweet, amiable, cheerful and engaging, VeggieTales- Very Veggie Bedtime Prayers is perfect for the evening routine of bedtime prayers. I like the simple rhymes which can be very calming as well as quickly learned. Familiarity is so important at a young age which VeggieTales delivers. The packaging of the book is soft yet strong for those chubby little hands (and spills). Great for home use, a church library, or baby gift, this board-book is sure to please.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of VeggieTales- Very Veggie Bedtime Prayers for my honest review*

The Lacemaker

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Frantz, Laura. The Lacemaker. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
As the “bride” of historic Williamsburg, circa 1775, Lady Elizabeth “Liberty” Lawson, does most everything her father, the British Lieutenant governor of the Virginia colony, demands of her…including a prearranged, high-society marriage. Spending her time continuing the generational task of making lace, Liberty soon finds herself accused of being a spy, saved only by Noble Rynallt, the cousin of her ex-intended. Treason, betrayal, trust, honesty and suspense all entwine together to create a novel not soon forgotten.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
With detail, language, customs and characters specific to the timeframe, author Laura Frantz obviously researched the time period carefully. Though it took a moment to become embedded in the language which slowed the start of the book down some, once familiar with the verse, my reading did quicken. Drawn to the gorgeous cover, held by the historical story within, and disappointed when it actually ended, I thoroughly enjoyed The Lacemaker. Already a fan of this author, I must admit, I am even more so now. Beautifully written with charming names of characters, I can only hope this might be a continuing series. (I appreciated the recipes at the end- quite interesting!)

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

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

The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional

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Fisk, Julie. Roehl, Kendra. Demery, Kristin. The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional: 365 Inspiring Ideas to Reveal, Give, and Find God’s Love. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum/ Tyndale House Publishers. 2017.

SUMMARY:
With a whole year of inspirational devotions to read, share and act upon, The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional is complete with a scripture verse, personal story, and an act of kindness to randomly perform for each day. Organized into days with a one-page devotion, the three authors take turns supplying the devotion with an associated idea for action. Easy and enjoyable to read but containing a possible huge impact, this one year devotional is do-able, relatable and personable.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Already looking for my next devotional for the new year, The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional will fill that need. Simple to begin any day during the year, I appreciate the organization and honesty with which it was written. Realizing the effect daily acts of kindness could have on myself as well as others, this book would work well in a group setting or for individual use. Having several other devotionals already from The One Year series, I know the reliability and timeliness of the included devotions as well as the scriptural references. Well thought out and organized, my search for a 2018 devotional is now complete.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional from Tyndale House Publishers 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*

A Primary Decision

Leman, Kevin. Nesbit, Jeff. A Primary Decision: The Worthington Destiny Series- Book 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

aprimarydecision

SUMMARY:
Sarah Worthington, next Attorney General and sister of Will and Sean, fears she may be the next target. As secrets lie deep, suspense turns inward, politics run wild and alliances become distorted, Sarah draws closer to the Polar Bear Bomber but at what cost? With personal gains and losses at risk, the Worthington siblings realize their greatest strength may come in numbers…and family.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Teaming authors Dr. Kevin Leman and Jeff Nesbit have scored another political thriller just in time for the election. As book 3 in The Worthington Destiny series, A Primary Decision is full of page-turning suspense. Though readable as a stand-alone, this novel would have deeper understanding and meaning on the heels of the previous books in the series. Already a favorite author of mine, Dr. Kevin Leman and his Birth Order books, I also liked the influence of author Jeff Nesbit on this current story. Well-written and well-enjoyed, I definitely will look for more from both/ either of these authors.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A Primary Decision from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Five Minutes With Jesus

Walsh, Sheila. Gragg, Sheri. Five Minutes With Jesus: A Fresh Infusion Of Joy. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. 2016.

fiveminuteswithjesus

SUMMARY:
Filled with hard “stuff” in life, many people don’t feel the joy that is so longed for these days. Financial woes, broken relationships, difficult illnesses and shattered dreams all surmount to rob away the joy that is yearned for. With a focus on finding and experiencing joy in everyday lives, authors Sheila Walsh and Sheri Gragg combine Bible verses and daily blessings to find a bit of happiness, no matter the circumstances. Set up in literally five minute sections, a personal connection, a brief Bible correlation and five Bible verses make up each daily devotional dose.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Uplifting, encouraging and warming yet doable in busy lives, Five Minutes With Jesus is a wonderful reminder to spend a few minutes with Jesus while remembering to breath and enjoy blessings. Packaged in a smaller book with bit-size devotional sections, each seems to correlate well with the stories and scriptures found within. Just enough to get the day going while putting a smile on your face, a skip in your step and a hug in your heart, this book leaves no excuse not to spend five minutes with Jesus. Go ahead…encounter joy!

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Five Minutes With Jesus from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Priceless

Smallbone, Joel and Luke. With Hue, Nancy. Priceless: She’s Worth Fighting For- Based on the major motion picture. Franklin, TN: Worthy Publishing. 2016.

priceless

SUMMARY:
James Stevens is spiraling downward quickly after a personal loss in his life and other major setbacks. With a young daughter dependent on him, he realizes he must make ends meet yet becomes involved in situations that may have huge consequences for himself, as well as for others. Clinging to faith and discovering his strength, James finds his choices affect something deep within him…his heart…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Loving the music of for KING & COUNTRY, specifically the title song, Priceless, I was interested in the novel and major motion picture of the same title by the authors, Joel and Luke Smallbone. Having an inkling of what the story may be about since hearing a blurp on the Christian radio station, K-Love, I had no idea the deep involvement of the storyline. Evoking strong emotions, opening eyes wide, and being drawn into the story, though not an easy read, it is definitely a well written novel. Listening to one of my favorite songs just took on an even deeper meaning. (Caution- perhaps more appropriate for mature audiences due to content.)

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

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

Words To Live By

Gilden, Linda J. Parker, Darlene V. Words to Live By: One Word A Week- 52 Ordinary Words That Lead To An Extraordinary Life. Franklin, TN: Worthy Publishing. 2016.

wordstoliveby

SUMMARY:
Words are powerful. Whether used to inspire, encourage and uplift or to hurt, degrade and humiliate, words can change lives. Suggesting ordinary words can have huge impacts on people, authors Darlene Parker and Linda Gilden share 52 everyday words which may lead to positive results if used to strengthen, embolden and hearten. Words such as honor, clean, barter, worship, rejoice, listen and accept are broken into sections containing 5 devotions each. With related scriptures, personal stories, and creative actions, there are enough ordinary words for a year but possible positive effects for years to come.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
While many choose a word to live by for a year, Words To Live By- One Word A Week takes that challenge a bit further. Set up in devotion form, the reader is inspired and then encouraged to share the word with others through words, thoughts and deeds. Easy to use, full of inspiration, and packaged with a beautiful cover, this devotional would be perfect for a ministry, Bible study, sermon series or personal use. Words definitely have the power to change lives depending on how they are used.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Words To Live By from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*