Thursday, November 2, 2017

"Total Christmas Makeover" by Melissa Spoelstra

Pages: 208
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub Date: October 3, 2017

From Amazon:

In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it’s important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ’s birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.
Christmas is far more than a celebration of an event from long ago or a modern holiday centered around shopping. Mindfully take time to listen to how God continues to speak through the Christmas story as the Gospel narratives centered around the birth of Jesus provide encouragement and revelation concerning the love of God and his wisdom for us today.
In Total Christmas Makeover, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God’s grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season. 

My thoughts:

This is  great study or book to work through right before (or during) the holiday season.  I liked the "practical approach" and "reflection questions" the best.  I don't know necessarily if I would do this during the holiday season, I don't feel as if I would be able to devote a lot of time to it.  I think I might spread it out throughout November and December though and give it a try.

I give this book 4 stars and was given a copy inexchange for my review and promotion.

About the author:

Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women's conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God's Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ. She is the author of the "First Corinthians: Living Love When We Disagree," "Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness," and "Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World Bible" studies and "Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home" book. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids.
Find out more about Melissa at

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Mountain Between Us - Charles Martin

So I'm not a big male author fan, I normally try to steer clear of those books.  I lead a book club at the library where I work, and most of the members are huge Charles Martin fans.  So I thought, why not check this book out since the movie would be releasing soon.  And I have to admit...I enjoyed the story-line.  There was just enough romance and adventure to keep the pages turning most of the time.  There were some lulls throughout, but overall I would give this book 4 stars and recommend reading it.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Inspire - the Bible for Creative Journaling


Publisher: Tyndale
Pages: 1524
Pub Date: March 22, 2016

From Amazon:

2017 ECPA Christian Book Award Finalist (Bibles category)
The Inspire Bible was ECPA’s Bestselling Bible of 2016!

Inspire is a single-column, wide-margin New Living Translation Bible that will be a cherished resource for coloring and creative art journaling. It is the first Bible of its kind―with over 400 beautiful line-art illustrations spread throughout the Bible. Full-page and partial-page Scripture art is attractively displayed throughout the Bible, and the illustrations can be colored in to make each Bible unique, colorful, and customizable. Every page of Scripture has two-inch-wide margins, with either Scripture line-art or ruled space for writing notes and reflections, or to draw and create. The generous 8.65-point font ensures optimal readability, and quality cream Bible paper is great for creative art journaling. Inspire is available in the popular New Living Translation, and is designed uniquely to appeal to art-journaling and adult coloring book enthusiasts.

  • Softcover editions have Inspire foiled in metallic blue on an attractive coloring-book-style cover, plus extra hits of foil to embellish the flowers and leaves.
  • Deluxe Hardcover editions feature a lovely, aquamarine LeatherLike over board, with beautifully-designed full-color page edges, a matching ribbon, and an elastic band closure.
  • Deluxe LeatherLike editions feature a beautiful, vintage floral printed silky LeatherLike over flexible board, with matching aquamarine-patterned page edges, a matching ribbon, and a Smyth-sewn durable binding.

My thoughts:

I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE coloring.  Not the high-stress, teeny tiny intricate color-for-2 months coloring, but the sit down, relax, and just-have-fun coloring.  I've tried journaling in my regular Bible.  But let's be honest...unless your an artist, or have a smidgen of talent, this type of journaling will not work for the average OCD person.  I tried tracing my pictures on the page first, then free handing pics from You Tube tutorials, but they never turned out just right.  I ended up stressing that I had "ruined" my Bible pages, and how is that getting me in the right frame of mind for my quiet time with the Lord?

Then I met the Inspire Bible.  No tracing, no planning, just pick a passage to meditate on and complete the simple joys of coloring.  And the nice thing is that I don't have to finish a picture or page in just one sitting.  If I only get part of the way done I just pick back up in the same spot tomorrow!  It can't hurt to "redo" my devotional reading two days in a row, right?

I highly recommend this Bible for those that may not be artistically talented but love to worship and create from the heart.  I give the Inspire Bible 5 stars!

**I was given a copy of this item in exchange for my honest review.**