Friday, December 29, 2017

A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star (Rwendigo Tales) by J. A. Myhre, Acacia Masso (Illustrator) **Review**

A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star (Rwendigo Tales)


The Adventure of a Lifetime

Ten-year-old Mu, orphaned as a toddler, has lived his entire life in the heart of Africa. For as long as he can remember, he has served in the household of a great-uncle where he is unloved and ignored. In his drudgery-filled life, Mu has little hope of happiness and little hope that anything will ever change. But one day everything does change. On his way to draw water one morning, Mu is astonished when a chameleon greets him by name and announces that they will embark on a quest together. And what a quest it turns out to be! Mu faces danger and finds unexpected allies as they journey through an everchanging landscape. Through his adventure, Mu learns many things about himself. Along with Mu, you will walk through Africa, encountering good and evil. Read carefully and you just may find out who you are too.

For 8-14 year olds

Review:
My daughter just turned 8 a few months ago. She had such fun reading this book with me. The story was clearly developed  in the prior books but it was still a lot of fun to read this book and with my daughter. I loved the morals that were in this story too. It was fun to see my daughter get involved in the story-line and see the bravery and courage in the characters. I thought it was neat how the one animal that is perceived as intelligent doesn't speak but uses other means to communicate, like Harpo Marx! All in all, this was a great story that I completely enjoyed, my daughter loved, and I look forward to reading the two previous books (even though this could be read as a stand a lone).

Descriptions and Prescriptions: A Biblical Perspective on Psychiatric Diagnoses and Medications by Michael R. Emlet **Review**

Descriptions and Prescriptions: A Biblical Perspective on Psychiatric Diagnoses and Medications


OCD, ADHD, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder . . . these are not just diagnoses from the DSM; they are part of our everyday vocabulary and understanding of people. As Christians, how should we think about psychiatric diagnoses and their associated treatments? We can t afford to isolate ourselves and simply dismiss these categories as unbiblical. Nor can we afford to accept the entire secular psychiatric diagnostic and treatment enterprise at face value as though Scripture is irrelevant for these complex struggles. Instead, we need a balanced, biblically (and scientifically!) informed approach that is neither too warmly embracing nor too coldly dismissive of psychiatric labels and the psychiatric medications that are often prescribed. Biblical counselor and retired physician, Michael R. Emlet, gives readers a helpful way forward on these important issues as he guides lay and professional helpers in the church through the thicket of mental health diagnoses and treatments in a clear, thoughtful primer in which the Bible informs our understanding of psychiatric diagnoses and the medications that are often recommended based on those labels. This first book in the Helping the Helper series will give readers biblical, gospel-formed categories that will help them understand and minister to those who are struggling with mental health issues.

Review:
This has been a bit different for me because as I continue my education in psychology and learning how to help/counsel people on a smaller scale, I am also a Christian and believe having a deeper understanding of psychology (a subject I have always been fascinated with and loved)is helpful and beneficial. I was eager to read this due to my educational and professional side but hesitant to see what I was going to read due to what others have told me about psychology and religion not mixing cohesively.  I have heard Christians and non-Christians say that either all or some of psychology goes against Christianity. The synopsis for example states that "Nor can we afford to accept the entire secular psychiatric diagnostic and treatment enterprise at face value as though Scripture is irrelevant for these complex struggles." I personally believe that science backs both. This books gives professionals and laymen within the Church understand DSM-5 labels/diagnoses and gives a clear path on how to help those with these diagnoses. For those that do not understand mental illnesses and what that does to the person, this a great book for them as well. I enjoyed this book very much and know a good handful of people just in my everyday life that would enjoy/benefit from this book .

Thursday, December 28, 2017

**Giveaway** Seeking A Familiar Face by May Patterson








Book Details:

Book Title: Seeking a Familiar Face: The Transformational Journey of Connecting with God by May Patterson
Category: Adult nonfiction, 175 pages
Genre: Christian Living
Publisher: Exploration Press
Release date: September 2017
Tour dates: Dec 11 to 29, 2017
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

The greatest adventure of your life awaits. And it will change everything.

Ever feel disappointed? Like your life isn't as fulfilling as you had always dreamed it would be? Are you laden down with responsibilities, feeling overwhelmed and empty, or maybe even a bit caged?

You're not alone.

Many people in the Bible felt the same way. Most had difficulties. Some felt stuck. Others were depressed, afraid and uncertain. And some just wanted to get closer to God. So they set out on life's adventure —seeking God—and encountered the One who fulfilled their longings and changed their lives forever.

The same can happen for you.

Seeking a Familiar Face guides you on the transforming journey of connecting with God, through simple, yet extraordinary ways. It doesn't matter if you are already seeking Him or just getting started, this book will encourage you to go a little farther toward locking hearts with God.

In this book you will discover engaging narratives from ten biblical characters, along with stories, humor, and practical ideas for seeking God. There are thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter to discuss with a friend or a group. Most of all, "Seeking a Familiar Face" will offer you fresh hope for deepening your intimacy with God.

Buy the Book:





Video of May Patterson explaining

how she came to write her book:








Meet the Author:




May Patterson has been writing and teaching bible study classes for several years. Her new book, “Seeking a Familiar Face,” was birthed from a Bible study she wrote in 2014 called “A Time to Seek.” She was trained in small group dynamics for over ten years at Bible Study Fellowship, serving as a leader for four years. She has written for several magazines including Focus on the Family, Upper Room Magazine and Shattered Magazine, among others. She is married to her dear friend, Mike, and they have three grown children. She loves to tell stories, laugh, and talk about the adventure of seeking God.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ LinkedIn ~ Facebook




Enter the Giveaway!


Ends Jan 6









Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace **Review**

Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith


Forensic Faith will help readers:
understand why they have a duty to defend the truth
develop a training strategy to master the evidence for Christianity
learn how to employ the techniques of a detective to discover new insights from God’s Word
become better communicators by learning the skills of professional case makers
With real-life detective stories, fascinating strategies, and biblical insights, Wallace teaches readers cold-case investigative disciplines they can apply to their Christian faith. Forensic Faith is an engaging, fresh look at what it means to be a Christian.


Review:
 This is a great books for those of faith. Although readers who are not Christian would also enjoy this read for insight, education, and understanding. For those that are Christian, it can be challenging to have conversations about topics and subtopics that you are unsure of how to answer due to lack of knowledge in that field. This books helps the reader learn how to communicate the truth of Christianity so that others can understand what Christianity is really about. The author talks in a strait-forward and easy to understand manner as though you're sitting for coffee for the conversation. When I was reading his explanations I would find myself saying "that totally makes sense!"
This book has been a lot of fun to share with my daughter and implementing the skills and knowledge of this book in conversations, especially having to do with Christianity. 

KJV Know The Word Study Bible

KJV, Know The Word Study Bible, Cloth over Board, Red Letter Edition


The  KJV Know the Word Study Bible  offers three easy ways to begin studying Scripture and helps individuals transition from being a casual reader of the Bible to becoming a regular student of the Bible. You can choose to study the Bible book-by-book, verse-by-verse, or topic-by-topic; each path offers powerful insights that will help you develop a daily routine of Bible study. The book-by-book series of notes leads you through the main points of each book of the Bible. The verse-by-verse notes help you to dig deeper into God’s Word. The topic-by-topic articles, which cover 21 theological topics, guide you through a series of insightful notes and give you a thorough biblical understanding of each topic. With the beautiful and timeless text of the KJV translation, the KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers you choices of how to study Scripture and grow in your relationship with Christ.

Features Include:

King James Version Bible text
Three easy approaches to study the Bible: 1. Book by Book; 2. Verse by Verse; 3. Topic by Topic
Insightful introductions for each book of Scripture
Words of Jesus in red
Beautiful two-color interior page design
Comprehensive list of theological notes
Concordance
Full-color maps
8-point type size



Review:
 This isn't my typical type of material that I review. I do read the Bible, but I am picky when it comes to which Bible I want to read from, etc. When it comes to reading, understanding, and studying the Bible, and it's contents, messages, lessons, etc.. you need a Bible you can do that with and not just any Bible will do that. I personally prefer the Old King James Version with red print. I actually picked out a Bible that I love and have been using the same Bible for more than 15 years. 
What made me want to dig into this Bible and check it out was the many resources it had, including giving options on how to study the Bible because there are so many ways to go about studying the Bible. I also loved the concordance which makes it incredibly easy to find particular topics you are wondering about or confused about. It's like have a "you are here" locator map to go with your Bible. I loved the introductions for each book. I haven't ever seen that in a Bible and I thought it was so unique, different, and insightful. I loved that the messages within the Bible did not change or alter yet it is user friendly and reader friendly making it easier to understand each verse; knowing which is philosophical, literal, poetic, part of a story to give a lesson, etc. I will continue to stick with my Bible but I will be (already have!) add this Bible to my study time and when I am having conversations with people about the Bible.

Sid Sanford Lives! by Daniel Ford






Literary Fiction
Date Published:  9/18/2017
Publisher: 50/50 Press

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png 

Sid Sanford always follows a path, just not his own. From backyard Wiffle ball games to New York City skyscrapers, Sid finds triumph and pain in equal measure during his uncertain, and at times violent, thrust into manhood. A colorful, loyal family, a plethora of eccentric friends, and a few star-crossed soulmates highlight his journey, but it’s ultimately up to Sid whether his destiny fulfills his potential or drowns in the bottom of a bottle.

Excerpt:


As always, Sid Sanford was following some plan, just not his own.
He debated whether or not to jump the ticket line in Grand Central like a prick. He finally picked up his duffel bag and darted in front of two male tourists who were already sipping out of tall boys disguised in paper bags.
“What the hell, dude?” One of them asked.
“Take me two seconds,” Sid said, already striking the touch screen.
“There’s a line back there,” the other said.
“I see it, I was just there. And now I’m here. The less we talk, the more I can focus on getting out of your way.”
Sid ignored the other comments from the rest of the pissed-off rush hour commuters and eagerly slid his debit card into the black prongs.
Unable to read card, the screen flashed. Please swipe again.
He impatiently obliged and started tapping his foot as if he were trapped in a meeting while in dire need of ridding himself of his morning coffee.
The transaction timed out.
The machine finally read his card. He grabbed his ticket and bolted toward track twenty-six. He sprinted across the station’s opulent waiting area, his worn brown shoes desperately gripping the slick, polished marble floor. He hustled through the gate and could see the train’s conductor signaling the final boarding call to the people on the platform. He slowed and power walked the final few feet. The doors snapped shut as soon as he stepped into the train bound for Waterbury.
Sid took a moment to savor the mundane victory and then found an open aisle seat. He tossed his bag onto the narrow rack above his head after pulling out his laptop and headphones. He put his ticket in the slot on the headrest in front of him and settled into the bruised maroon and dull blue plastic seats. He opened up his computer, found a decent playlist to zone out to, and closed his eyes.
His phone vibrated in his pocket. He looked down to find Constance’s name scrawling across the screen.
“Son of a—” He stopped himself when he caught a glance of the elderly woman sitting next to the window. “Sorry.”
The woman shrugged.
He dug his phone out and took a breath before answering it.
“Make it?” Constance asked.
“Yeah, on the train now.”
“Good. Have a safe trip.”
“Thanks. And thanks for checking up on me.”
“It’s what I’m here for,” she said. “Listen, I know we’ve had our differences lately…and well…since we’ve known each other. But I’m always here if you need anything. I know how you get with things like this. You shut down and won’t let people in. That’s not what you deserve right now.”
“Yeah. Appreciate it. We’re pulling out of the station. I’m going to sleep a bit.”
“Don’t miss your transfer.”
“I won’t.”
“Let me know when you get there. I love you.”
“Okay, bye.”
Sid leaned his head back and tried his best to suppress a memory of Jocelyn. She had moved into an apartment not long ago and had asked for his help. He had gotten assigned a high school track event and couldn’t make it. She assumed he was lying so he could spend time chasing after Constance. She wasn’t completely wrong—he could have easily caught a train out of the city after the meet—but he had fought with her all the same.
He ended up coming home after Constance broke up with him weeks later, armed with champagne and his mother’s whoopie pies. He had another surprise for her—he couldn’t remember what it is now—but instead of just handing it to her and winning back her friendship, he made her negotiate for it.
“Always the asshole,” Sid muttered.

“Give me a hint,” Jocelyn said.
“No,” Sid said.
“Why not?”
“Because any hint I come up with will ruin the surprise.”
“Really?”
“Really.”
“You’re probably right, men suck at giving hints.”
“True.”
“What if I told you that you couldn’t have anymore?”
She covered the last few bits of his whoopie pie. Any other Sanford might have bitten her hand off, but he remained calm and defiant.
“I’d have to give it up.”
“Are you serious, Sid?”
“Yep.”
“You were just having an intimate moment with that thing a minute ago, and now you’d just let it go because you don’t want to give me a little hint about my surprise?”
“Correct.”
“Is there anything I can do to change your mind? More food perhaps?”
Yes, actually, he thought. Fall in love with me. Marry me. Tell me not to leave ever again. Just say you love me and I’ll give you anything you want for the rest of my life.
“Nope,” he said instead.
Sid wished he could tell her how much he loved her, how achingly beautiful she was.
But he didn’t.
“I thought I was doing you a favor by procuring you some whoopie pies, and come to find out, you’re lobbying my mother for them the whole time,” Sid said.
“And she said I could come over anytime I wanted, so there,” Jocelyn said. “I really just need her to teach me how to make them.”
“At that point she’d disown me. I would be useless to her. Then she’d adopt you.”
“See! Everybody wins!”
Later, he went to peck her on the cheek, but instead kissed her full on the lips. It lasted a heartbeat, but he poured more passion into it than any other kiss he could remember.
“What was that for?” She asked.
I love you, he didn’t say.
“I’m proud of you,” Sid actually said.
“For what?”
“Just everything. If you ever want company again, just let me know.”
“I will.”
“I’d walk through fire to get back here to you.”

Sid coughed, urging the tears to wait until he landed in the passenger seat of his father’s car. The train pulled out of the underground tunnel and the brick and grime of Harlem appeared in the window.
He put his headphones on and turned on Neil Young’s “Cowgirl in the Sand.” He tapped the keyboard for a moment, unwilling to allow his urge to start Jocelyn’s eulogy to overpower him. However, it did in short order so he created a blank document and wrote,
“I met Jocelyn during a backyard Wiffle ball game.”




About the Author

Daniel Ford is an author, journalist, and the co-founder/co-host of Writer’s Bone, a literary website and podcast that champions aspiring authors and screenwriters. Sid Sanford Lives! is his debut novel. Ford lives with his fiancĂ©e Stephanie in Boston, Mass. He can often be found coaxing words out of a half-empty bourbon glass.




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