40 Verses to Ignite Your Faith

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Short, Laurie Polich. 40 Verses to Ignite Your Faith. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2019.

SUMMARY:
Filled with 40 scripture verses from the Bible that may not be the most memorized, repeated, nor tagged, 40 Verses to Ignite Your Faith takes a deeper peek at these verses and provides context, thoughtful insights, and lots of encouragement. Just a few pages in length, each verse is included along with a few bullet points and reflections. As an author, speaker, and being active in ministry, Laurie Polich Short offers wisdom, hope, and understanding in the journey of deeper faith.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Taking verses that are not quite as well know nor used, 40 Verses to Ignite Your Faith is well organized, easy to read, and provides plenty of thought- provoking occasions, especially as struggles and challenges are faced. Perfect for a group or personal devotion, definitely appropriate for a church library, sure to be appreciated as a gift, and perhaps even fitting as a sermon topic, I only wish it had been a tad-bit longer to use as a weekly devotional for a year. Certainly a book I would recommend as well as one I plan to use.

RATING: 4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of 40 Verses to Ignite Your Faith from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

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Taste and See

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Feinberg, Margaret. Taste and See: Discovering God Among Butchers, Bakers, & Fresh Food Makers. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2019.

SUMMARY:
Taking a naturally connected spiritual and culinary journey, author Margaret Feinberg and her husband, Leif, explore different cuisines and associate them with scriptures. With food being a pleasure, as well as sacred and symbolic, our tour guides provide food for nourishment both physically and spiritually. Complete with recipes and side notes, Taste and See fulfills completely in a friendly and relatable manner. Figs, bread, olives, and many more delectable dishes provide good food for thought…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Part devotional, part cookbook, part self-guidance and part story, Taste and See made connections for me I hadn’t previously envisioned. Fruits, veggies, meat and bread combined with the Bible to create a beautiful book. So easy to read and picture, at times, I felt like I was conversing with the author directly. Interesting and essential while also packed with savory recipes, I found this book to be more than I expected. A book I truly enjoyed and read cover-to-cover, I cannot wait to try some of the recipes. With my interest piqued just enough, I will now search out this author to see what else she has written, along with hoping she writes another book quite soon.

*RATING: 4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Taste and See from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Prayers Of My Heart

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Taylor-Williams, Debbie. Prayers Of My Heart: A Personal Prayer Journal. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2018.

SUMMARY:
Organized like a personal calendar and journal, set-up in monthly and weekly pages, Prayers Of My Heart has plenty of room for planning and recording prayer reminders. Unnumbered squares make it easy and efficient to add dates while using the monthly and weekly schedules. Simply fill-in the boxes with prayer requests and record thoughts, meditations, and notes in the lined journal pages at the back of the book. With instructions on using the system, sample calendars, an abundance of pages and a pleasing teal-blue color throughout, this compact book makes keeping prayers of the heart better organized.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
In a very organized book begging to be used, I found this workable and useful journal both valuable and productive. Upon first glance at the plentiful open pages, I was a bit unsure how to make the most of this prayer journal; however, after reading the directions, it clearly made sense. Perhaps taking a bit to create a journaling habit, I feel with a few tweaks, this book could also become a calendar as well as the prayer journal. Certainly a prayer scheduler I will continue using to help meet my goals.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Prayers Of My Heart from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

My First Book of Prayers

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Various Authors. Illustrated by Flint, Gillian. Nashville, TN: WorthyKids Ideals Publishing. 2018.

SUMMARY:
In a sweet board book filled with timeless classic prayers, My First Book of Prayers contains prayers for bedtime, playtime, mealtime or anytime a special prayer is needed. With simple yet colorful illustrations accompanying each prayer, this little book is full of rhyming prose meant to shared.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Simple, sweet, classic, and timeless prayers perfect for sharing fill this adorable book. Remembering some of the prayers from my own childhood as well as several I shared with my own children, this book brought back memories shared between loved ones. Easy to read, simple to repeat, perfect to share and charming to give, this book would be wonderful in a church library, a Sunday school classroom, a personal bookshelf or as a baby shower gift. Simply delightful!

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

I received a complimentary copy of My First Book of Prayers from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*

This Is The Day

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Tebow, Tim. With Gregory, A.J. This Is The Day: Reclaim Your Dream. Ignite Your Passion. Live Your Purpose. New York, NY: Waterbrook Publishing. 2018.

SUMMARY:
Offering and sharing straight-forward advice on reaching for your dreams today instead of waiting, This Is The day explores the steps in achieving your goals and dreams, no matter what they may be. Becoming the person God has intended you to be, today, with purpose, challenge, strength and faith, Tim Tebow is a well-known athlete, Christian and speaker who delivers easily and knowledgeably to both the heart and mind.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having followed Tim Tebow’s story and read his previous books, I was excited to also read his newest book. Written from an encouraging, candid and genuine approach, I first skimmed the book reading snippets which led me to then read the entire book. Nodding my head in agreement quite often, pausing to examine my own life, and formulating a plan for myself, I thoroughly enjoyed this direct, supportive, invigorating book. Split into relevant chapters with questions and challenges to ponder, my favorite part was the reminders scattered throughout the pages set off in squares.  Perfect for a Bible study, group discussion, or sermon series, This Is The Day needs to be read, shared and lived.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of This Is The Day from  Waterbrook Publishing for my honest review*

VeggieTales Very Veggie 5-Minute Stories

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Various authors and illustrators. VeggieTales Very Veggie 5-Minute Stories. Nashville, TN: WorthyKids/Ideals Publishing. 2018.

SUMMARY:
Full of true VeggieTales zaniness, values, irresistibility, and cleverness, Very Veggie 5-Minute Stories teaches genuine moral lessons, combines pleasing colorful illustrations, and delights readers of all ages. In a full-size hardcover book organized into 5 minute short stories, Bob and Larry are sure to amuse little ones as they find themselves in some comical situations.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Perfect! An everlasting fun collection of beloved VeggieTales short stories complete with the usual VeggieTales quality and expectations. Taking mere minutes to read and finish each charming story, Bob, Larry, Laura and Junior become knights, vikings, cowboys, and detectives to share lessons on being patient, taking turns, accepting responsibility, saying sorry, and loving each other. Wonderful as gift, for a church library or Sunday school lesson, this VeggieTales collection would also be ideal for bedtime, generational sharing or self-readers. Simply an inviting, amiable, engaging and adorable book!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of VeggieTales Very Veggie 5-Minute Short Stories from Worthy Publishing for my honest review*

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*

Hope For Each Day Devotional

Graham, Billy. Hope For Each Day- Words of Wisdom and Faith- Large Deluxe Edition. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2017

SUMMARY:
Filled with 365 daily devotionals, Hope For Each Day gifts pages of scripture, thoughts, stories, and words of wisdom from preacher, evangelist and author, Billy Graham. Updated from an earlier edition to include an imitation leather cover, a larger, softer size, a more deluxe interior design, a ribbon marker and of course, lots of grace, peace and faith from a devotional leader. Sturdy, readable and genuine, this devotional will leave a legacy.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Respected and honored, Billy Graham has ministered to many all over the world. Complied into a beautiful devotional with an updated and more elegant style, I so admired this devotional. Definitely a book I will use this year and many years to follow, I would be proud to give this one as a gift, present it to a church, or recommend it to a friend. Though not too deep, each devotional contains enough of a message surrounding hope and inspiration that I can delve deeper on my own or keep the smile within my heart for the day. Beautiful!

RATING:
5 ( out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Hope For Each Day from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children

Berndt, Jodie. Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children: Trusting God with the Ones You Love. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Realizing that children need prayers even when they are grown, author Jodie Berndt shares both Bible and personal stories, Bible scriptures, and relevant prayers, along with lots of compassion, encouragement and understanding. Organized into prayers for different stages and periods of life…relationships, milestones, health, safety and temptations are a few of the included areas. Through forgiveness, trust, appreciation, and realization, Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children may have an impact on all involved.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a necessary action by all parents for all adult children, I found this book to be well written, easy to follow, enjoyable to read, and paramount in prayer life. Realizing parents are not alone in whatever situation they may find themselves, it is heartwarming and endearing to know that God loves and cares for our children as much as we do. Praying The Scriptures for Your Adult Children sets the stage for praying with prayer pages at the end of each chapter. My only wish would have been a few journaling pages along with the prayer pages to jot down thoughts, ideas, revelations and outcomes.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Jesus Always

Young, Sarah. Jesus Always: Embracing Joy In His Presence- 365 Devotions. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2016.

SUMMARY:
Filled with 365 page-length devotions including completely written-out referenced scripture verses, Jesus Always is a larger beautiful edition encased in a soft imitation brown leather. Written from a first-person perspective, each devotion reads as if Jesus is speaking directly with you. Worthy of gift-giving, a silk pink ribbon accompanies this new release from popular author, Sarah Young.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Always having heard of this author and her very successful series of devotionals, I was eager to read one for myself. Available as a deluxe edition in an elegant cover jacket, the book opens flat with an easily read font and graceful borders. Enjoying the personal devotions and the included scripture verses, I would be proud to give this devotion as a gift (or keeping it for my own use). Looking for my new devotional for next year has now been checked off my to-do-list and I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of Jesus Always from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*