Your Magnificent Chooser




We all have choices to make every day, even the youngest children. The choices we make play a large part in forming who we grow to be as adults. For kids, those choices can include whether to be obedient or disobedient, to share or be selfish, to have a good attitude or not, and more. John Ortberg addresses the ability to choose in a whimsical way by inviting children to use their “magnificent chooser” that God gave them to make right choices daily. Parents will love reading this book to their kids, and kids will enjoy the content while learning lessons that will stay with them throughout their lives.

As my kids have gotten older one of the things that I miss is reading children books to them. They still like me to read to them but instead of Dr. Seuss, John Lithgow, or some of mom’s other favorites….it’s now J.K. Rowling, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, or some crazy book on snakes.

So any time I get to review a children book I do because I LOVE them. A good children’s book can stay with a kid their whole lives. So then, what of Your Magnificent Chooser by John Ortberg??

First, what a great topic. It is something that I discuss with my kids even as they get older. The power of a good choice. I was excited the Ortberg touched on this topic with the younger generation.

The book itself is beautiful. Robert Dunn did very well with the illustrations. I loved the rhyming and how it was written. Something that was really cool was my youngest snuggled up and we read it together and he was confused. He wanted to know what the whole book meant so we had a talk about what it means to make a God honoring choice.

This is a book that will make a permanent place on our book shelves.

Number of Pages: 32
Vendor: Tyndale Kids

ISBN: 1496417429
ISBN-13: 9781496417428

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

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Is The Bible Good For Women?

bible good for women


Many, both inside and outside the church, are concerned that an orthodox understanding of the Bible is threatening and even harmful to women. After all, the Bible has a number of passages regarding women that are deeply troubling and hard to read.

But is that assessment accurate?

In this fascinating look at God’s work of redemption from Creation to today, Wendy Alsup explores questions such as: 
* How does God view justice and equal rights for women?
* What does it mean to be made in the image of God?
* How have the centuries distorted our interpretation of how God views women?
* How did Jesus approach the Old Testament and how does that help us read difficult passages today?
* What is the difference between a modern view of feminism and the feminism that Scripture models?
* How does the Bible explain the Bible to us?

Using a Jesus-centered understanding to look at both God’s grand storyline and specific biblical passages, Alsup gives practical, accessible tools for understanding the noble ways God speaks to and about women in its pages and the dignity He places on His daughters.


So, Is The Bible Good For Women? This title intrigued me. But, when I pulled it out of the box and my daughter read the title (and proceeded to say what a dumb question that is ….of course the Bible is good!)… I couldn’t help but wonder what I was getting myself into by reading this book.

And now that I have read it, my feelings are all over the place about it. This is a book that I would like to have a group of women read together with our Bibles right beside us and dig into the word for the truth that Alsup seems to be looking for. Alsup does her best to sift through scripture to determine God’s design/purpose for women.

She does start her book off in the introduction with a discussion on her opinion on gender itself. Which was completely unexpected and let for some really strong discussion with Erik and I. I also had the impression that sometimes Alsup was afraid to stand firm in her opinions.

Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of opinions in the book and Alsup did her best to express them. In my opinion though this book should be used as a group discussion and not just a read alone book. This book needs to be argued and debated, not just ingested.


  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah (March 21, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601429002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601429001


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

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Kingdom Family Devotional

kingdom family


This new devotional from Dr. Tony Evans and his son Jonathan Evans will provide both single and married parents with a resource tool to maximize those family devotional times, such as the dinner hour or bedtime. The family virtues–based devotional provides 52 separate topics, one for each week of the year, and five devotionals within each topic that will guide devotional times Monday through Friday. This is a wonderful way to build a spiritually strong family week by week, day after day—a perfect way to head into the weekend. Topics range from the basics of the faith—such as salvation, spiritual warfare, prayer, forgiveness, and discipleship—to essentials of living as followers of Christ: money, prayer, family, friends, and priorities. The subject matter is simplified so even young children can grasp important concepts. This is a perfect resource for busy families.

I cannot stress enough the importance of getting into the word of God everyday. Not just for myself, but for my family as well. How will my husband lead if he isn’t in God’s word. How will my children get the foundation they need or even know where to get their answers from if not shown?

That is why I like family devotionals. The new family devotional from Tony Evans Kingdom Family Devotional is right up my family’s alley.

First it is a 52 week devotional!! Yeah a whole year!! Second it is broken down into weekly themes and then daily devotionals from there. Can I just say how much I adore the weekly theme! Doing a theme for the week helps to reinforce what you are talking about day to day.

I liked how it was simple. There were activities for the family to do together. Like dancing, writing your own worship song, even writing your own sermon. I do believe thought that this devotional is geared toward older kids. My youngest is 8 and wont be writing his own sermon but he may just go and preach one! I do think that this is a good devotional overall for the whole family.

Number of Pages: 288

Vendor: Focus on the Family

ISBN: 1589978552

ISBN-13: 9781589978553

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

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Mark of the King

mark of the king


Sweeping Historical Fiction Set at the Edge of the Continent

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

Sometimes there comes a book, when you least expect it, that just exceeds all your expectations. Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green blew me away.

This is the first time I have read a book by Green and I have already begun to see where I can acquire her other books. This is one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read.

Green’s superb writing skills brought her characters to life. Julianne was amazing. Her character from beginning to end……oh seriously I felt that women’s pain being poured right onto the pages.

All the supporting characters from Lissette, to Marc-Paul Girard, Lilly, and even Dupree. There story lines and how they intertwined in each others lives, just so well done.

I must say that historical content of this book made my heart leap. I don’t recall ever reading a historical fiction book based in this time period or area. Green did not shy away at all from the hardships that people faced. Be warned there are some difficult topics dealt with in this book. Death, rape, miscarriages, and murder.

Truly though this book was one of the best I have ever read. I was drawn in before I even started reading the first chapter. In the first few pages Green wrote “To all who feel marked by judgement. May your life be marked by the grace of Jesus instead.” I loved those words. Read this book, you will not be disappointed.

Number of Pages: 400

Vendor: Bethany House

ISBN: 0764219065

ISBN-13: 9780764219061

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

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The Women of Easter

women of Easter


About The Women of Easter

This Season of Grace,
Deepen Your Faith in God
Who So Loved the World
that He Gave Us His Son.

You’re about to meet three women named Mary, each of whom has a life-changing encounter with Jesus. Mary of Bethany prepares the way for the Lord’s burial when she anoints His feet and fills the air with her perfume. His mother, Mary of Nazareth, remains by His side from His first breath to His last, her loyalty unwavering. Mary Magdalene, delivered of seven demons, bravely supports her Teacher through His darkest hours, then proclaims the glorious news of His resurrection.
What a trio. What a Savior!
Your mind and emotions will be engaged and your faith strengthened as each scene unfolds, preparing your heart for a richer, deeper Easter experience. Liz Curtis Higgs, a seasoned Bible teacher and award-winning novelist, combines her storytelling skills with a thorough verse-by-verse study of Scripture as together you explore the remarkable lives of The Women of Easter.

One of my many bad habits is that I tend to shy away from the “women” Bible studies, because well…..I have never considered myself girly. I just wanted the meat of scripture not a lot of extras.

But I couldn’t help but be drawn to this book. These three women, their lives were so drastically changed by Jesus. And that my friends is what it is all about.

Liz Curtis Higgs gives us a deep look into what the lives may have looked like for these women. With scripture and easy to read explanations Higgs dove deep into these women’s lives and how Jesus turned their worlds around.

I really did like this book. It was a good read that wasn’t overwhelming or over my head. It spoke to me not at me. There were many different Bible translations used in the explanations (I will let you decide if you like that or not). But many times she was going line through line of scripture explaining things. That I loved.

I don’t think this is just an Easter book as Jesus can change your life at any time in the year. It is defintely a good book if you want to dig deeper into the lives of these three women.

Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Waterbrook Press

ISBN: 1601426828
ISBN-13: 9781601426826

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.
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A Call To Mercy



Published to coincide with Pope Francis’s Year of Mercy and the Vatican’s canonization of Mother Teresa, this new book of unpublished material by a humble yet remarkable woman of faith whose influence is felt as deeply today as it was when she was alive, offers Mother Teresa’s profound yet accessible wisdom on how we can show mercy and compassion in our day-to-day lives.
For millions of people from all walks of life, Mother Teresa’s canonization is providentially taking place during Pope Francis’s Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. This is entirely fitting since she is seen both inside and outside of the Church as an icon of God’s mercy to those in need.
Compiled and edited by Brian Kolodiejckuk, M.C., the postulator of Mother Teresa’s cause for sainthood, A Call to Mercypresents deep yet accessible wisdom on how we can show compassion in our everyday lives. In her own words, Mother Teresa discusses such topics
        the need for us to visit the sick and the imprisoned
        the importance of honoring the dead and informing the ignorant
        the necessity to bear our burdens patiently and forgive willingly
        the purpose to feed the poor and pray for all
        the greatness of creating a “civilization of love” through personal service to others
Featuring never before published testimonials by people close to Mother Teresa as well as prayers and suggestions for putting these ideas into practice, A Call to Mercy is not only a lovely keepsake, but a living testament to the teachings of a saint whose ideas are important, relevant and very necessary in the 21st century.

As I sit here, hands above the keyboard, pondering about what I should write about A Call To Mercy I realize how my opinion on this book does not matter.

When I say that it doesn’t mean my opinion doesn’t hold value, it just means that how can one like myself even begin to critique a book a a women whose whole heart sought after a living God.

I grew up listening to stories of this amazing women, due to a Catholic upbringing. My grandmother spilled tears when learning of her death, yet she never even met her.

In reading this book over the Christmas season, a season where everyone “gives” it makes me think of what happens next. What happens after Christmas is done? Mother Theresa is still an inspiration even after her death. But she would be the first to admit her desperate need for God.

I loved this book. I loved the reminder as we leave the Christmas season of how much we have and how much more we should be giving away. I loved her heart for the “least of these”. She was such an amazing example of the love of Jesus.

Number of Pages: 384

Vendor: Image

ISBN: 0451498208

ISBN-13: 9780451498205

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

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100 Most Encouraging Verses



The 100 Most Encouraging Verses of the Bible

Everyone struggles with discouragement as they face various trials of life, big or small. Whether you are struggling with your health, family, job, or relationships, God wants to give you hope and peace again.

What does he want you to know and remember in the hard times? This book goes straight to the source of all Truth to reveal how much God loves you and how he’s right by your side through thick and thin. The 100 verses that are highlighted include well-known passages as well as hidden treasures you may have never read. Each verse is followed by a brief devotional reading that will help you find understanding and comfort from the text–and in the process draw you ever nearer to God. The book’s length and focus make it perfect as a daily meditation or to read as a family. It also makes an ideal gift for those who love the Bible and seek the hope of God’s promises.

100 Most Encouraging Verses of the Bible is a fun little devotional type book.  Because honestly who doesn’t need encouragement now and then?

These verses are presented in order in which they are found in the Bible and for some reason I really liked that. There were a lot of verses in there that you would expect:

Proverbs 3:5-6

Jeremiah 29:11

Pslam 27:1

But even with those familiar verses I really liked the explanations. For example with the Proverbs verse the entire devotion part was focused on one word….Trust. What it means to trust. I never really thought of the verse that way before.

I think this is a really good devotional for anyone who does need encouragement. I think this is just a good devotional in general.

 Number of Pages: 112

Vendor: Bethany House

ISBN: 0764217607

ISBN-13: 9780764217609

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

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Fatal Frost



Mehl Ramps Up the Suspense in This Brand-New U.S. Marshals Series

Mercy Brennan followed in her father’s footsteps in a law enforcement career, but she has no interest in any other connection to him. A U.S. Marshal in St. Louis, Missouri, she’s assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD that puts her back into contact with her father and in the sights of St. Louis’s most powerful gang.

When the gang has reason to believe Mercy has possession of some highly sensitive and incriminating information, her boss assigns Mark St. Laurent–a Deputy U.S. Marshal and Mercy’s ex-boyfriend–to get her out of town until they can guarantee her safety.

Initially unaware of the danger she’s in and uncomfortable working with Mark, Mercy’s frustration escalates when she discovers the extent her boss and Mark have been keeping her in the dark. It isn’t until a freak ice storm hits, stranding them at a remote location and out of contact with the district office, that the full severity of their situation becomes clear. As the storm worsens, the forces of nature combine with a deadly enemy closing in to put their lives at imminent risk. Can they survive long enough for help to arrive–if help is even coming at all?

I really adore discovering new authors. Not that Nancy Mehl is a new author but I have finally read one of her books… and really really enjoyed it! Fatal Frost is the first book in Mehl’s new series Defenders of Justice.

If I said it before I will say it again, I think contemporary Christian fiction is one of the hardest genres to write. Yet, Mehl executed it so well.  I thought Mercy Brennan was an amazing female lead. What a complex character.

Mark St. Laurent was another character that a truly enjoyed. He was patient yet persistent. It was refreshing to see the team he and Mercy made. He could be protective with out overbearing.

Overall this was a really a good book. I enjoyed the real life situations of this book. It was like I could turn on the news and have this book be relevant. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 1 edition (November 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764217771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764217777


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

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Inspiralize Everything



Oh yeah I totally jumped on this bandwagon. I have no shame that it was for one reason…..curly fries. Yeah my dorkiness knows no bounds. So when Inspiralize Everything came out I knew I had to have this cookbook!

This encyclopedia/cookbook is soooo fantastic.  Each section starts with the ingredient, a little bit about that ingredient, nutritional benefits, and more! I never knew parsnips were good for you! 😉

I have this book tagged up for all the recipes I want to try. I am also hoping my noodle loving youngest child will be willing to try all the new types of noodles I will be making. Oh but there is so much more than noodles as well.

Out of all the cookbooks that I have read, I have to admit that I have never seen a Chicago Style Carrot Dog. I will admit is frightened me a bit. Chicago girl here and yeah, you just can’t mess with the classics. 😉

But overall this cookbook is awesome. So many amazing pictures, nutritional facts, gluten free, and dairy free. This book is so well set up and all the pictures look so yummy.

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (August 16, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1101907452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1101907450

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

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All The Pretty Things



“The night the trailer burned down, I think Daddy was the one who set it on fire. . . . “

For a long time, Edie thought she had escaped. It started in an Appalachian trailer park, where a young girl dreamed of becoming a doctor. But every day, Edie woke up to her reality: a poverty-stricken world where getting out seemed impossible. Where, at twelve years old, she taught herself to drive a truck so she could get her drunk daddy home from the bar. Where the grownups ate while the children went hungry. Where, when the family trailer burned down, she couldn’t be caught squawlin’ over losing her things—she just had to be grateful anyone had remembered to save her at all.

And at the center of it all, there was her daddy. She never knew when he would show up; she learned the hard way that she couldn’t count on him to protect her. But it didn’t matter: All she wanted was to make him proud. Against all odds, Edie “made doctor,” achieving everything that had once seemed beyond her reach. But her past caught up with her—and it would take her whole life burning down once again for Edie to be finally able to face the truth about herself, her family, and her relationship with God. Readers of The Glass Castle will treasure this refreshing and raw redemption story, a memoir for anyone who has ever hungered for home, forgiveness, and the safe embrace of a father’s love.

I am so thankful for this book and its transparency. All the Pretty Things by Edie Wadworth is not only a stunning debut novel…. it’s also her memoir.

Its easy to say that I loved this book. What isn’t easy is what this book is about. Edie’s story is not a pretty one. Alcoholic father, being raised by a single mother, crazy family, and of course complete instability.

As we travel with Edie on her journey she lets us peek into her mind and what she struggled with. The writing itself was so easy to read and yet the content just tore at ones heartstrings. There is nothing but vulnerability on these pages.

Yet for me there was also something so relate able to Edie’s story. I understood it, even sympathized through many of its pages. I understand looking for that something that is missing, even if you don’t understand just yet what truly is missing. I loved this book. So amazingly well written and raw.

Go!! Read it now if you can…. but be prepared it may not leave you the way it found you.

Number of Pages: 272

Vendor: Tyndale Momentum

ISBN: 149640338X

ISBN-13: 9781496403384

Tyndale provided this book in exchange for my honest review.

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