Israel’s Mission by Ray Vander Laan {A Review}

israel_zpsorkr3cjqRenown author and Bible teacher, Ray Vander Laan is the founder of That The World may Know Ministries. He is also the creator and Bible teacher of the video lecture series, That The World May Know. Ray has a passion to see believers taught the Word and driven further into Bible study.

His latest DVD and Discovery Guide is titled, Israel’s Mission and he takes us on a journey through the time and land of the Patriarchs. He gleans from them the mission God gave to Israel, mainly that they would bring the “lost sheep” back into the fold. Also, he shows how God intended them (and believers) to be a kingdom of priests. We have the same mission.

The study has 5 sessions, each DVD segment is around 30 minutes in length and is designed to be used with the Discovery Guide. In the guide, you have a little more in-depth study, a place for discussion of the DVD lesson for that period, some discussion questions. There are also more teaching in Fact File, Did you Know, For Greater Understanding, and Think About it, pictures and maps. Designed to be done at home, there are also verses to memorize.

If your small group wants to dig deeper into God’s Word, you will want to look this series over.

I received a free copy of this DVD and Discovery Guide from the publishers and Litfuse for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Reservations for Two by Hillary Manton Lodge {A Review}

Neil and Juliette are in Italy. She is studying her history and culinary delights and he’s studying her. Her family is large and boisterous and spread around the globe.  Can the two of them find lasting love and happiness together? Could her grandmother’s letter prove to be the catalyst? What else is locked inside her grandmother’s fading memory?

You’ll have to read the book to find out for yourself.

This book, Reservations for Two by Hilary Manton Lodge, is the second book in the Two Blue Doors series. I was not aware of this before I requested to review this book. I thought it wouldn’t matter that I hadn’t read book one yet, I hoped it wouldn’t matter.

It matters.  In reading it, I’ve been able to piece together a little bit of book one but had I read that one first this one would have made a lot more sense. I found myself lost a lot. She does reference the first book so I was able to piece it together.

Aside from that I really enjoyed this book. It moved along nicely. The plot was well thought out and there was definitely enough to keep my interest.

One of my favorite parts of the book?

The recipes!

Oh yes! This book is not only about a girl who opens a restaurant with her family, her love life, it has recipes in it! And they look divine! I can’t wait to try some. The book has recipes for breakfast, lunch, supper, salads and desserts.

If you love recipes, this book is for you. If you love recipes but don’t particularly care for romance books, this book is for you. If you love recipes and romance books, you will seriously flip for this book.

Reservations For Two is a culinary delight, a masterpiece that will tickle both your taste buds and your imagination as you read.

I received a free copy of this book from Random House Publishers for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

The Case of the Sin City Sister A Divine Private Detective Agency Mystery {A Review}

Sister Eve Divine has a gift, a special gift She can solve crimes.  On a leave of absence from the convent, she helps her father solve crimes. Is being a private investigator a gift or a temptation?  Is she supposed to be a nun or should she hang up her habit and hang out her private investigator shingle?

This mystery is personal. It hits close to home. Her sister is missing in Sin City…Las Vegas. Eve and Daniel, a member of the police department, take a trip to find Eve’s sister in Las Vegas. Through light night sneak outs to casinos, snooping in her sister’s address book for possible clues, Eve slowly pieces together what might have happened.

But is she correct? Will she find her sister before it’s too late? And really, where is her sister?

You’ll have to get your own copy of this book and find out for yourself.

The story, The Case of the Sin City Sister, is masterfully written by Lynne Hinton. The story moves along at a modest pace, enticing you further into the story with every page you turn.  The book is written for adults but could easily be read by anyone who loves a good mystery.  I am rather picky about the books I read and the books my children read. We’re all fans of mysteries and I have no issue with them reading this book as middle-schoolers and high schoolers.

This book is the second one in the A Divine Private Detective Agency Mystery, but you do not have to have read the first book in the series to understand what is happening.

Lynne Hinton is the New York Times best-selling author of Friendship Cake and Pie Town. She received an undergraduate degree from UNC Greensboro and a Masters of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. She has served as a hospice chaplain and church pastor. Lynne is a regular columnist with The Charlotte Observer. She lives with her husband in Albuquerque, NM. Visit her website at Facebook: Lynne-Hinton-Books

I give this book 5 out of 5 turning pages.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Glory Days by Max Lucado {A Review}

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I LOVE Max Lucado. His books are always a delight. His books are always spot-on and chock-full of truth. I always learn something, and I’m always convicted in one area of my life or another.

His newest book, Glory Days, is no exception at all.  Glory Days is sub-titled, Living your Promised Land Life Now and is a study of Joshua.

Max shares that for believers in Jesus we’ve (hopefully) left our slavery and bondage in Egypt behind, and we’re tired of living in the wilderness of unbelief and we’re ready to cross into our Promised Land. Our Land that is flowing with milk and honey. We’re ready to do battle with the sins that inhabit our promised land and eradicate everything that will prevent our total surrender to God.

He shares that for the believer the Promised Land isn’t heaven, because in the Israelites promised land they had to do battle with the enemy and in heaven we will have no enemy.

If you’re feeling left out, alone. If you’re so tired of battling temptation (and losing), if you’re desperate for a fresh start, if you’re thinking the Christian life has to be more than this, better than this, if you’re tired of thinking your prayers are never answered, you need this book!

Max offers encouragement for the road ahead. Not as one who has arrived, but as a fellow traveler. Glory Days is like a pep talk very much like the ones Joshua would give to the children of Israel and much like the Lord gave to Joshua.

Christians, it’s time we started living in our Promised Land. It’s time we stopped giving the devil a foothold in our lives. It’s high time we started taking every thought captive, stopped worrying and started fully living in our promised Land. It’s ours. It’s promised. And God is there and He’s wanting to show us how to live in our promised land.  I’m ready to go.

Are you?

I received a free copy of Glory Days by Max Lucado from the publisher for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

But I’m Not a Wicked StepMother By Kathi Lipp {A Review}

(Dear Readers, I did not read this book personally, but my friend Nikki, who is a step-mother, read it for me and this is her review.)

Whether you are a new stepmom or a seasoned stepmom, But I’m Not a Wicked Stepmother is a book that offers wisdom and guidance for all.  Sprinkled with encouragement and humor, it is a tool that is beneficial for stepfamilies.  Covering many topics, it is a must-read for stepmoms.  It covers issues blended families deal with on a daily basis.

There are suggestions on how to build healthy relationships with stepchildren incorporating prayer and boundaries in the process.  It teaches how to make God and marriage a priority so the whole family will benefit.  Learn how to set realistic expectations, communicate effectively with your stepchildren and deal with ex-spouses.

Do you feel alone in your stepmom journey?  Do you need some encouragement when your blended family is in the blender?  Take heart!  You’re not alone!  The authors tell their own personal stories that stepmoms can relate to and gives encouraging advice to their readers.

“Your success depends only on those things you can control – your attitudes, words, and actions (including the choice to accept God’s grace and love).  Your success as a stepmother does not – indeed, cannot – depend on those things you can’t control, including the actions of your stepchildren .”  p.8

(I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of our review. All opinions are the her own.)

Grin With Grace

unnamedI love to study the Word.  Some of the best time I spend with friends is spent pouring over the Word of God. So when Kathy Carlton Willis approached me about reviewing her new Bible study book, Grin with Grace, I jumped at the chance.

Well, I jumped at the chance after she contacted me a second time and I realized I had responded in my head but never in an email.

I do that. And I’m working on it.

I did not make it through quite all of the lessons, but this is definitely a study you will want to with some of your girlfriends. “Grin with Grace explores ways to genuinely smile in the face of adversity and challenging circumstances.”  That is from the back cover of the book and oh-so-true.

Here’s what I didn’t quite like as much:  Kathy’s writing style is very easy, so easy sometimes I wondered if she was writing to a much younger audience.

That’s it.

This Bible study is biblically sound!! And we all know how much I love that!!  I love that her writing style is easy so Mommas and daughters can do the study together and they will both learn! And the cover is just plain cheery.

If you’re in the market for a new Bible study for yourself or your small group, this is a GREAT one!

I received a free copy of this book from the author for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.