Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Names of God Bible Book Review

SUMMARY:  Open the door to a more intimate relationship with God.
     One of the best ways to get to know God on a deeper level is to know His names and titles as revealed in Scripture.  Now the bestselling author of Praying the Names of God and Praying the Names of Jesus uncovers the richness of God's character and love found in His names right within the Bible text.
    The Names of God Bible restores more than 10,000 occurrences of specific names of God - like Yahweh, El Shadday, El Elyon, and Adonay - to help readers connect with the Hebrew roots of their Christian faith and experience a deeper understanding of God's character. Perfect for personal study, prayer, and reflection, The Names of God Bible includes these special features:
  • More than 10,000 names and titles of God restored to their Hebrew equivalent and printed in brown ink to stand out within the biblical text.
  • Names of God reading paths lead readers to the next reference of the name so they can pray and study the names of God throughout Scripture.
  • Name Pages feature:
    • background information associated with the most important names and titles of God.
    • key Scripture passages in which the name is revealed.
    • specific Bible promises connected to each of the featured names.
  • Calling God by Name sidebars shed light on the relationship between biblical people and the specific names they have called God. 
REVIEW:  This bible is one I have looked and hoped for since I first started seriously studying the Scriptures.  Written in a very easy-to-read translation (God's Word), The Names of God Bible helps the reader understand more about the God they are searching for and hope to know better.  At first, it can be a little intimidating to read passages like Genesis 1:1-3:  "In the beginning Elohim created heaven and earth.  The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water.  The Ruach Elohim was hovering over the water.  Then Elohim said, 'Let there be light!'  So there was light."  But, in the introduction to the book and at the front of the bible, the author includes the Hebrew name, the meaning and pronunciation. Now it is easier to understand what the original Hebrew writers were trying to convey when they wrote about the God they worshiped and served.
     When it comes to the names of Jesus, the author explains in the Introduction that His names and titles remain in the English translation.  In order to put them in their original Greek, it might make it harder for everyday people to read and understand them.  She does include Jesus' Hebrew name Yeshua to "emphasize the connection between the Testaments."
     This bible has been endorsed by Rev. Billy Graham, Josh McDowell, and Dr. D. James Kennedy, all very knowledgeable and trust-worthy Christian authors in their own right.
     This is a wonderful resource to have to read on its own or within a bible study.  I highly recommend it!!

This bible was provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for review without compensation.

Ann Spangler is an award-winning writer whose fascination with the Bible has resulted in books that have opened the Bible to a wide range of readers.  She is the author or coauthor of several bestselling books, including Praying the Names of God, Women of the Bible, and Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus.  Together, her books have sold 3 million copies.  She has help senior positions at two Christian publishing houses and lives with her two daughters in Michigan.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Christmas Singing Book Review

SUMMARY:  Gideon Beiler has loved Mattie Eash since they were children.  But when faced with unexpected circumstances, he makes up an excuse to end their engagement.  He doesn't want to lie to her, but he believes that teling Mattie the truth will be more hurtful.
     Brokenhearted, Mattie moves from Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania, to Ohio where she pursues her longitme dream of becoming a cake decorator.  She finds a new beau - a man offering the secure relationship Gideon has denied her.
     When Mattie is forced to return to Apple Ridge, she and Gideon must confront the suffering created by his dishonesty - and address the powerful emotions that continue to bind the two childhood friends.

REVIEW:  If you are looking for a short uplifting read, this is the book you are looking for.  Mattie was hurt deeply when Gideon broke off their engagement.  Moving in with her brother, she makes a new life in Ohio and fulfills a lifelong dream.  Mattie's cakes are a huge hit and her business takes off.  After an accident burns down her store, she is forced to return home and face Gideon again.  This is a great story of forgiveness and friendship.  She also weaves in the rest of Beth and Jonah's story, along with Lizzy and Omar, from The Sound of Sleigh Bells.  Awesome book!

This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review without compensation.

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author whose connection with the Amish community has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  Her ability to authentically portray her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families.  Cindy lives in Georgia with her family.  Visit her website at

Remembering Christmas Book Review

SUMMARY:  Can one Christmas change a life forever?
     Rick Denton lives his life on his terms.  He works hard, plays hard, and answers to no one.  So when his mother calls begging him to come home after his stepfather has an aneurysm, Rick is more than a little reluctant.  What was suppose to be just a couple of days helping out at the family bookstore turns into weeks of cashing out old ladies and dealing with the homeless guy who keeps hanging around the store.  The one bright spot is the lovely and intriguing young woman who works at his side each day.
     As Christmas nears, Rick's old life beckons, the hurts from his past loom large, and the decisions he makes will determine more than just where he spends Christmas Eve.
     With skillful storytelling, Dan Walsh creates a Christmas story that will have you remembering every good and perfect gift of Christmas.

REVIEW:  Rick does not want to be in Florida helping his mom with the family bookstore while his step-dad is in the hospital. He would rather be skiing with his friends.  Rick doesn't like Art, his step-dad, and doesn't want anything to do with his religion.  But, with the help of Andrea, the woman helping him in the store, he gradually begins to see that Art isn't such a bad person after all and Art's religion is more of a relationship with Christ.  I love the way the author wraps up the book, tying up all the loose ends, and giving us some surprises along the way.  This is a great book that is perfect any time of the year.
     Set in November/December 1980, the author reminds us of "a time not so long ago in 1980 when IBM had not yet launched the personal computer; the Boombox was hot; Reality TV was unheard of; MTV was just launching; Ronald Reagan was president; the Winter Olympics witnessed the USA team defeat the favored Soviet team and win the gold." 

Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Dan Walsh is the award-wining author of The Unfinished Gift, The Homecoming, and The Deepest Waters.  A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan serves as a pastor for 25 years.  He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. For more information on Dan and his books, check out his website at

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Christmas Shoppe Book Review

A small town.  
An eccentric newcomer.  
And an unusual store that is more than meets the eye.

     The small town of Parrish Springs is not quite ready for Matilda Honeycutt.  A strange woman with scraggly hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda keeps busy stocking and arranging her new shop on the town's quaint and lovely Main Street.  When rumors start to fly about what might be going on behind the papered-up windows and the locked door, the image-conscious residents start looking for a way to get this woman and her wares out of their town before Christmas.
     But Matilda Honeycutt has a little something for each one of them sitting on those cluttered shelves, just waiting to be discovered.

REVIEW:  This is not your typical Christmas story.  Matilda looks like a throwback from the Sixty's.  Her shop looks like a thrift store instead of a Christmas shop.  The business owners in town are all up in arms: some afraid she is going to run them out of business; others afraid she will mar the quaintness and charm of their little Downtown area.  Matilda is only here to bring about healing.  The items on her shelves look like junk but there is one item for each person that speaks to that person's heart, hurts, and hang-ups.  This story teaches us that if we look beyond the outward appearance and peer into the heart and soul of a person, we can begin to understand them.  When we look at our own hurts and pain and recognize where they came from, we can bring about our own healing.  This is a great book.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Melody Carlson is the popular author of more than 200 books, including The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington's.  She was recently nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market.  She lives with her husband in Oregon.  More information about Melody and her books can be found on her website at

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Crossing Book Review

SUMMARY:  Imprisoned by memories, Claudia Campbell lives each day in the shadow of a ten-year-old murder.  Who can set her free?
     On the way home from a football game, a decade earlier, a masked gunman opened fire on a Texas school bus.  Cheerleading coach BJ Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found.  Claudia, who had a close friendship with the young, spirited teacher, constantly relives the anguish of that day, caught in one moment in time.  When her husband, the assistant district attorney, becomes determined to uncover the mystery of that tragedy, the secrets buried over the years threaten to tear their family apart.
     Officer Casio Hightower will never forget the day his dreams were destroyed.  A star quarterback with a promising future, Casio was on top of the world - until one bullet changed everything.  He is eager to help Victor Campbell find BJ's killer, the man who shot him.  Maybe solving the case will help silence the demons driving Casio to hurt the woman he loves.
     As the Campbells and Casio teeter on the brink of losing everything, will they be able to discover that what begins at the crossing ends at the cross?

REVIEW:  This book is really good.  About the time I think I have BJ's murderer figured out and who the father of her child is, the story takes another twist.  The ending is nothing like I suspected.  My heart goes out to Claudia, who is suffering from undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  As her husband and Casio reopen BJ's case, Claudia suffers from more and more panic attacks.  If you are looking for a good, keep-you-on-your-toes suspense novel, this may be the book for you.

This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review without compensation.

Serita Ann Jakes has been involved in Christian ministry all of her adult life and has served alongside her husband, Bishop T. D. Jakes, throughout their marriage of nearly 30 years.  In addition to raising three sons and two daughters, Mrs. Jakes is Executive Director of the WoMan to Woman Ministries of The Potter's House of Dallas, where her husband is Senior Pastor.