Monday, October 28, 2013

Peace on Earth

I was provided Peace on Earth A Christmas Collection by Mary Engelbreit from the BookSneeze program and Zonderkidz publishers in exchange for an honest published review.

This is a beautiful Christmas book - for children and/or for the coffee table. The cover has snowflakes on it with texture - very fun. All of the illustrations are in the familiar colorful Engelbreit style.

Except for one story which lasts four pages, each page spread is something different - a Christmas poem, a Christmas carol, or the Christmas story. My favorite part is near the end: two paragraphs by James Freeman Clarke about how God made so many different kinds of people. "Let us not torment each other because we are not all alike, but believe that God knew best what he was doing in making us so different."

Four stars.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Christmas Candle

Through the BookSneeze program and Thomas Nelson Publishers I was provided The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado in exchange for an honest review.

This is a cute Christmas story set in the 1800's in England. The story is based around a candle maker the week before Christmas. See, it is said that an angel visits the candle shop the week before Christmas every twenty-five years. The angel touches just one candle and that candle is said to be the vessel for God to work. This is the year for the angel to visit and everyone in the village is wanting to be the recipient of this special candle.

The story is the anticipation of the angel coming and to whom the candle maker and his wife will give this special candle. All the while the new preacher is not on board with the candle holding special powers. So what will happen when the candle touched by the angel is mixed up with the others?

I rated this book three stars. I had a hard time following the story line at the beginning and keeping up with the characters. The writing style was just difficult for me: a chapter would start with all pronouns and on the next page the pronoun was finally identified. But it is a cute Christmas story and one I will probably enjoy with additional readings - maybe each Christmas.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Runaway Emotions

I was provided an incredible book by the BookSneeze program and Thomas Nelson publishers: Runaway Emotions Why You Feel the Way You Do and What God Wants You to Do About It by Jeff Schreve. This book took me a long time to read - simply because I wanted to take the time to process all of the great truths! 

Each chapter highlights one emotion, what Shreve calls a "smoke alarm." Those emotions, that seem to take over, are warnings from God. Shreve follows that up with how to handle it God's way. 
  1. Embarrassment: When You Feel Inferior
  2. Loneliness: All by Myself
  3. Frustration: A Real Nowhere Man
  4. Worry: When Anxiety Attacks
  5. Anger: The Beast Within
  6. Guilt: When Your Conscience Is Killing You
  7. Discontentment: Unhappy Campers
  8. Depression: When All Hope Seems Lost
Some highlights from the book:
  • The very first chapter (EMBARRASSMENT) reminded me that we have already been given everything we need (patience, strength, etc.), but we need to claim those gifts from God. 
  • I definitely had some "take-homes" from the ANGER chapter as well... "when we see life from His perspective, we will say, 'Lord, You did all things well! You did every single thing in my life perfectly, Lord, and I'm so glad.'" 
  • The GUILT chapter reminds the reader of Hebrews 12: 7-8 summarizing it by saying, "If you're not experiencing discipline, then you're not My child." That "the smoke alarm of guilt is a blessing." Schreve uses examples such as premarital sex or harboring bitterness. If you don't feel guilty about those things, then you aren't walking with God. 
 Five stars and highly recommended!