Generous Love

 

 

A Fresh, Down-to-Earth Look on Living and Loving Well

If asked, most of us want to make a difference, to live and love generously. But we get caught in the crazy rush of household routines, work demands, cranky attitudes, difficult people, exhaustion, worry, and pride, and once again we fail to love the people around us at all–let alone well. We too easily default to focusing more on self than on others, on receiving more than giving, in ways we don’t even recognize. We dream of reaching out. We just…forget. Or don’t have the energy.

Using relatable stories, discussion questions, and careful application of God’s Word, author and speaker Becky Kopitzke gives you the inspiration and practical tips and ideas you need to see the opportunities around you, to reach out, to live generously, and to love others bravely and selflessly. To bless and be blessed is to actualize the joy of Christ–and to propel love forward.

 

Galatians 6:9 English Standard Version (ESV)

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

 

You know that verse mocked me this past 8 months. I was exhausted. I was bone tired. I was ………weary. I was told I just needed rest. To take some time off from the ministry I was helping organize. But honestly it didn’t help.

So I decided to read Becky Kopitzke’s new book Generous Love.

I am so glad I did. What a blessing this book has been. Now I think that this book will hit everyone a little differently. For me is was bringing me back to just the simplicity of serving. The one on one with people.

This book was challenging and humbling. There is so much I loved. Every chapter had discussion questions. But even further than that were examples of how to help and Bible reading challenges.

But even cooler than that was the fact that in her writing there is so much scripture incorporated. Almost every page had some sort of scripture reference. I LOVED that.

If you are wondering why you should serve, read this book. If your wondering how to serve when it is hard, read this book. It seriously could just be something as simple as giving someone a hug.

 

Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764230530
ISBN-13: 9780764230530

 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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Blind Betrayal

 

Deputy U.S. Marshal Casey Sloane has worked at the St. Louis Marshals office for two years and is given a routine assignment to help transport a reporter to D.C. to testify before a grand jury. Valerie, the reporter, was writing a story about an up-and-coming environmentalist who suddenly disappeared and, she later discovered, whose backers purportedly have ties to a terrorist.

When the seemingly ordinary assignment suddenly takes a shocking turn, Casey is forced to put aside her own feelings about the unexpected reappearance of a man from her past as she and two other Marshals take Valerie on the run. And as it becomes dangerously clear Valerie’s testimony has even bigger implications than they knew, they’ll do whatever it takes to make it out alive.

 

Nancy Mehls’s newest book in her Defenders Of Justice series is the best one so far. Blind Betrayal is a great example of good clean writing that deals with real life issues.

Blind Betrayal had my attention form the first sentence to the last. While it was geared as a romantic suspense I found myself not drawn into the romantic part so much this time. I really wanted to know how this story was going to unfold.

I found that I kind of liked being dropped into the story between Casey and E.J. There wasn’t all of that getting to know you stuff that sometimes can seem…..unbelievable.

Casey and E.J. were a good pair. Their background together was far from perfect but I really liked how they were able to heal from it.

While God does play a big role in this book, I find it interesting how Mehl always weaves in into her stories. Like it is just a natural part of being a U.S. Marshall or FBI agent.

You don’t have to read the first two in this series to understand this book, but seriously you just should read them because this whole series is a great read. I hope there is more coming!

 

 

Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764217798
ISBN-13: 9780764217791

 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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42 Seconds

 

 

The average length of Jesus’ conversations as recorded in the Gospels was 42 seconds long. This is good news for all of us. It frees us up to talk about the most important part of our lives in a way that’s natural, meaningful, and helpful instead of clumsy, awkward, and irrelevant.

Anyone who has spent countless uncomfortable hours walking from house to house with a clipboard or flash cards that talk about four spiritual laws understands.

Jesus’ conversations were remarkably simple. Contemporary Christian lingo has set up a dichotomy between what we call “discipleship” and “evangelism,” but the Bible doesn’t do that. Jesus had conversations all the time with those who thought they were close to God, as well as with those who deemed themselves lost and without hope. He invited all of them to come and learn from Him.

42 Seconds is a simple book that uses the ordinary moments of our lives the way Jesus used the same moments in his own. The premise is straightforward: If we can learn from Jesus how to have great conversations, it will change our lives and the lives of those around us. Its four-part structure, including five short chapters per section, is for churches and small groups to engage with the practical ideas together. 42 Seconds includes discussion questions to help groups and individuals implement Jesus’ natural rhythm of interaction in their own lives.

 

42 Seconds….. I mean seriously who would have thought to take the conversations that Jesus had and time them?

Well Carl Medearis did, and what came next was a fantastic little resource on ways to simply interact with people.

To some of us, this isn’t a problem. I myself have no problem asking people questions. But there were some things that I know I could work on. Like the chapter called Breathe Deep. This chapter struck a cord with me because I know I struggle with this. I always feel like I am going a million miles a minute and to slow down would be wrong.

But it is so important to be present. So I was glad to read that chapter.

Now, 42 Seconds is meant to be read with a group and discussed. That may be my favorite part. I want to discuss these chapters with people and dig deeper in Jesus’ life.

I will definitely be sharing this book with my friends and challenge myself to do better talking with people I don’t know.

 

 

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (April 17, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1631464892
  • ISBN-13: 978-1631464898

I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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Unimaginable

 

 

In a day when Christians are often attacked for their beliefs, professor and speaker Jeremiah Johnston offers an inspiring look at the positive influence of Christianity, both historically and today. In Unimaginable, you’ll discover the far-reaching ways that Christianity is good for the world–and has been since the first century AD–including:
· How the plights of women and children in society were forever changed by Jesus
· Why democracy and our education and legal systems owe much to Christianity 
· How early believers demonstrated the inherent value of human life by caring for the sick, handicapped, and dying
· How Christians today are extending God’s kingdom through charities, social justice efforts, and other profound ways

Like It’s a Wonderful Life, the classic film that showed George Bailey how different Bedford Falls would be without his presence, Unimaginable guides readers through the halls of history to see how Jesus’ teachings dramatically changed the world and continue to be the most powerful force for good today. This provocative and enlightening book is sure to encourage believers and challenge doubters.

 

 

Unimaginable, what an interesting word choice for the title of Jeremiah Johnston’s new book. Such a simple and yet profound word.

Johnston’s goal with his book is to try to imagine what life would be like without Jesus and Christianity. Now when I read that the first time I actually kind of chuckled and wondered “You can fit that all into one book?”

While I am sure Johnston can come up with more examples this is such a strong book. Obviously since I am a Christian  you would think that I would naturally agree with everything written. Well the truth is no.

I really do adore a good debate and love listening to people’s opinions. While each chapter had its own point to make, and did, the book still flowed well. There were things that I had never thought about before. Things I think about often. But I enjoyed gaining greater insight into these perspectives of Johnston’s.

I would definitely recommend reading this book. I do feel that you may have to love history a bit to enjoy this book. Overall though it is a good read.

One last thing….. to me living in a sinful world I don’t find it a hard stretch of the imagination to see what the world would be like without Jesus. What I do find Unimaginable is a future without Him.

 

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0764230816
ISBN-13: 9780764230813

 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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Where the Fire Falls

 

 

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty. 

    After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling? 

    As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

 

This is the first book I have read by Karen Barnett. Let me say Where the Fire Falls  was such an amazing book!

I am so glad I discovered Barnett. I swear every time I discover an author my “to read” list just grows.

I adored Olivia and Clark’s story. I think that their story was written in such a way that blended their surroundings in with them. I know that sounds odd but I believe this story was not just about Olivia and Clark but about Yosemite National Park as well.

I learned so much about the Yosemite’s history as well. Barnett was so descriptive there were times that I could just imagine being there.

But, this was also an excellent story of God’s grace and His redemptive power and timing. All of it was just woven together into this stunning novel, Where the Fire Falls.

This book just made me want to hop into the car and go see this picturesque land myself. When a book can do that, you know it is a treasure.

 

 

Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: WaterBrook
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.44 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0735289565
ISBN-13: 9780735289567
Series: Vintage National Parks

 

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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The Heart’s Appeal

 

 

Strong-minded and independent Julia Bernay comes to London to study medicine and become a doctor–a profession that has only just opened up to women. She witnesses a serious accident, and through her quick actions saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson.

Coming from a family that long ago lost its money and its respectability, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought was impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to rise above his family’s stigma and set him on the path to wealth and recognition. But his well-laid plans are upended when the accident brings Julia into his life. 

Michael soon discovers he’s met a woman every bit as stubborn and determined to make her mark on the world as he is. Sparks fly–but will they find common ground?

 

Jennifer Delamere’s newest book The Heart’s Appeal is the second book the the London Beginings series. Now I haven’t read the first in the series and I can say that it didn’t effect my understanding of this book.

There were some things I really liked about the book and some things I wasn’t crazy about.

First, this was a story about Julia and Micheal finding each other and despite being from two different worlds fall in love. While I know the book was about them part of me was dissappointed with a lack of chemistry. Don’t get me wrong they were cute but I just felt they were a little lacking.

Now that being said, the rest of the characters were vibrant and fun. They all had many layers to them and depth. My favorites had to be David and Lady Edith. I felt there was just so much more to their stories!

I loved the topics being disscussed. Women’s rights was a huge topic during this time period. I also loved the breaking through of class distinctions. Or that nouveau riche if you will. Those themes carried this book.

All in all it wasn’t a bad book. It was even charming at times. I may try the first book in the series to see how that one is.

 

 

Number of Pages: 368
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764219219
ISBN-13: 9780764219214

 

 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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A Refuge Assured

 

 

 

Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

 

 

I have read many books by Jocelyn Green………… but A Refuge Assured is my favorite.

This is such a remarkable example of historical fiction at its best.

This novel, one could feel Vivienne’s pain as she lifted her blood soaked hands from the streets. Or Liam’s internal struggle with who to defend with the whiskey task.

Green was so descriptive there were times I really felt as if I was there. Green must have done extensive research and it paid off beautifully.

There are just so many layers to Vivienne’s and Liam’s story. Rest assured this book is worth every single page.

What a wonderful example of know your history otherwise you are doomed to repeat it.

I can easily say this is the best book I have read in a long time. In fact I would go and read it a second time.

 

 

Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764219073
ISBN-13: 9780764219078
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The Empowered

 

Just when a mysterious death in Washington, DC, appears to have voodoo connections rooted in New Orleans, Trevor Black also receives an invitation to speak at the national ABA convention in the city.

He knows he’ll be in enemy territory, both as a disbarred attorney and as a follower of Jesus, but he determines to travel there and confront the supernatural element. Right after a grisly murder in his hotel room puts him on the suspect list, his daughter disappears, leaving a note that suggests a connection to the local cult religion. Now Trevor must not only crack the case but try to protect Heather from forces of darkness clutching at her soul as well. And just as he discovers that his ability to sniff out the supernatural has its limitations, Trevor learns that this web of evil extends far beyond isolated murders, enslaving scores of innocent children, with its head perhaps linked to the highest seats of power.

 

I really am all over the place with Craig Parshall’s newest book The Empowered.

This is the first time I have read anything by Parshall. I think I should have started with a different book. The Empowered is the second book in the Trevor Black series and while it is said to be able to stand alone…….I really felt in reading this that I needed to read the  first book to understand more of the background content that was being referred to.

Don’t misunderstand, yes you can read this book as a stand alone, but for me personally I think I need to go back and read the first book. There were heavy topics discussed in this book from murder to sex trafficking, but there should be a light shed on these dark topics.

There were many things I liked about this book. Quick moving plot, the characters, the way Parshall didn’t shy away from truly dark things in this world. But there were a couple things that left me….thinking.

While Parshall has a technically well written book, that was just it, it felt technical. Like all the right pieces and components were there but I just felt something was missing. Again don’t get me wrong, well written book, just the style is unique.

Overall though I do want to go back and read the first in the Trevor Black Series and will read any more in the series if they publish more.

 

  • Series: A Trevor Black Novel
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 9, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496411374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496411372

 

I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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Power Plates

 

 

Focused on the art of crafting complete, balanced meals that deliver sustained energy and nourishment, this book features 100 compelling and delicious recipes that just happen to be vegan.

These 100 recipes for wholesome and nourishing vegan food from blogger, nutritionist, and Food52 author Gena Hamshaw help you make delicious vegan meals that deliver balanced and sustained energy. Every recipe contains the key macronutrients of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins, which together make for a complete meal–things like Smoky Red Lentil Stew with Chard, and Falafel Bowls with Freekah and Cauliflower. Photographs accompany each recipe, showing how Gena’s simple techniques and fresh ingredients yield delicious meals. Additional tips and tricks for taking food on the go, and for cooking ahead on the weekend for quick weekday lunches and dinners, round out the collection.

 

You know those times when you just want something different??

 

Well, that is my whole purpose behind choosing Power Plates to review. I love trying new recipes and ideas. Even new ways of cooking. Thankfully my husband (despite his resistance to the fact it is a Vegan cookbook) is willing to try anything.

I will admit there were one or two ingredients that I was unfamiliar with, but once I looked them up I was excited to try them.

Some our favs were:

Protein Packed Caesar Salad ( The oldest kid loves Caesar salad)

Vegetable Harvest Pie (I almost fooled the husband….OK not really but he did try it!)

Spanish Quinoa

 

While I was skeptical of the Spanish Quinoa because lets be honest……Chorizo may be one of my most loved things…..of all time!!! It didn’t turn out like I expected but it was still super yummy!!

I love all the pictures and descriptions that come along with the recipes. For someone who has never really dipped her toes into the Vegan scene before, this cook book was not overwhelming at all. I will definitely be using this cook book again!!

Thanks to Gena Hamshaw  at The Full Helping for making such a great book!

 

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (January 23, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399579052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399579059

 

 

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

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Out Of The Ashes

 

 

After the death of their father, Collette and Jean-Michel Langelier are no longer tied to post-war France. While his sister dreams of adventure, Jean-Michel is hoping to finally escape reminders of the horrors he faced in the war. When Jean-Michel receives an unexpected invitation for them to visit Alaska and the Curry Hotel, it seems an opportunity for a change he needs. 

Katherine Demarchis is a young widow who does not grieve the dangerous husband she was forced to marry. Now she just wants to retreat to a quiet life, content to be alone. First, though, she’s agreed to accompany her grandmother on a final trip, but never expects to see a man from her past. 

Katherine and Jean-Michel once shared a deep love that was torn apart by forces beyond their control. Reunited now, have the years changed them too deeply to rediscover what they had? And when Jean-Michel’s nightmares return with terrifying consequences, will faith be enough to heal what’s been broken for so long?

 

 

What a charming book that Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse have written. Well maybe charming isn’t the correct word.

Engaging

Wonderful

Or even just a GOOD book

Even though this is the second book in The Heart Of Alaska series, Out Of The Ashes can be a stand alone book. (Although I will now have to go back and read the first one!!) Seriously why do I always find these books midway in the series!!

I really did like this book. The whole group of characters were so good. Personally I loved the French part because it just reminds me so much of my family. I adored Jean Micheal’s willingness and confusion when attempting to help his sister Collette.

Katherine and Jean Micheal were a couple that I could see myself being friends with. They were damaged and came back together with much baggage. I loved how the authors made their journey be about steps. While I don’t doubt God can heal immediately, it is a struggle to deal with things when you have been hurt as badly as they were.

I do hope there is more to this series!!

 

 

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764219243
ISBN-13: 9780764219245
Series: Heart of Alaska

 

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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