Showing posts from 2011

Out of a Far Country - Another Book Review

I'm reviewing a book for WaterBrook Multnomah - a publisher providing me a complementary copy through a program called Blogging For Books. The book is called Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope, by Christopher & Angela Yuan.

I read this book - and I'm not typically one to pick up and autobiographical book - but this was really good. It was a very easy book to read in a short time and kept my attention all the way through. 
The subject matter is touchy. It's a story told from the perspectives of a mother and her son who is struggling with homosexuality. Each chapter alternates perspective.

Both parties begin their journeys with disdain toward Christianity, however Christ reaches them in surprising ways throughout the years of struggle and uncertainty.

The Yuans tell an amazing story of redemption and love. It's an inspiring story of how God can use the most unlikely circumstances to lead us to Him. There's …

The Baker's Wife - A Book Review

Main character, Audrey has a supernatural sense of other peoples’ pain. God gives her an ability to feel the distress of others and uses her to help heal them. As she helps her husband pick up the pieces, after unjustly losing his job as pastor of a small town church, she finds herself the suspect of a crime.
Early one morning, while driving in the fog, she hits an object. When she gets out of the car, she finds that she’s struck a motor scooter. Massive amounts of blood cover everything - but there’s no sign of a body.
Upon investigation, the blood and the scooter are found to be those of Julie Mansfield, the missing wife of Detective Jack Mansfield – the church board member who fired Audrey’s husband Goeff.
Mansfield is confident that Audrey and Goeff are lying and they know where to find his wife. His obsession in proving their guilt drives him out of control – to a point where he becomes dangerous.
As the mystery unfolds, the reader is held in a fantastic suspense, clinging to eac…

Bible Stories for Preshchoolers - A Book Review

Let me just begin by saying that I've been looking for a good book for my three year old with Bible stories. We've found a few, here and there, but they seem to be either too difficult for her to understand or too simple to explain the full message.
When I was given the opportunity to review this book of Bible Stories for Preschoolers, from Tyndale publishers, I was eager to do it.
The book is about the size of a regular Bible - pretty thick and hard covered.  This, of course, delighted my daughter. She immediately said, "This is my Bible."
Upon reading the first few stories, I was just as "in love" as she was. The stories are written just for a preschooler. Language is easy to understand - there are built-in questions, like "do you see the boat Noah is building?" And the stories are accurate - not silly, rhyming words that don't mean much - but real stories, written for the average preschooler.
Obviously not all the stories of the Bible are i…

When God Created My Toes - Book Review

My three year old daughter and I really love this book. First of all, the artwork - including cover art - is absolutely amazing. Then the simple, rhyming story is lovely. The vocabulary is perfect for a toddler. It was good to introduce the word 'created' instead of just 'made' for my daughter.
The story, itself, is precious and there seems to be a lot of love represented in the pages. The parents in the story seem to love their child and there are lots of warm images of such.
I would recommend this book to any parent for a toddler - boy or girl.
The main character of the story is a girl - but the book could really go either way.
Five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, for review. However, I am not required to submit a positive review.

WOF conference review, a guest post by Kimber M.

This is a review for the Women of Faith Conference - in Anaheim. Kimber M. attended in my stead and wrote a review for this blog for me. . . . here it is: On Friday, the first session was kind of an intro of all the speakers and a little sharing from them all. The main speaker that interested me was Andy Andrews. He was something else. He really touched my heart when he shared his story about becoming an adult orphan at age 18 or 19, can't remember which. He reminded me of how lost and ingnorant we can all be of our own circumstances and calling and why following a path that God has designed for us just makes sense. It was real. Of course the other main speaker, Patsy was extremely funny and a breath of fresh air from seeing all these real together, perfect bodies floating around. She helped me see the not so perfect me that God can use anyway. Then there was lunch... well let me put it to you this way, with the good comes the bad. Not that the lunch was bad, but getting…

unPlanned - a book & DVD review

Abby Johnson was the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas. She underwent two abortions herself and had counseled hundreds of women through the process. There were always protesters outside her clinic. It wasn’t unusual for Abby to read hateful signs from the protesters, or be the target of verbal attacks or threats. But one group, from the Coalition for Life, A peaceful and truly Christian group began praying for Abby. The peace with which the Coalition for Life members operated surprised Abby. One of the protesters and Abby even formed a friendship. Abby’s heart began to change, and one day – as she was assisting in an abortion, she realized that she couldn’t go on as the director of the clinic. Abby’s decision, that day, changed everything. Her next steps, into the Coalition for Life office, made national news, as she went from her role at Planned Parenthood to being a leader in the right-to-life movement. In unPlanned, Abby tells her story of courage and reformation. Th…

The Blessing

I am writing this review for Thomas Nelson publishers - they sent me a copy of The Blessing, by John Trent, Ph.D. and Gary Smalley.
This book was written, originally, in 1986 and has been revised and updated a few times.  They just released it again and they've done an amazing job of updating it for the age of the internet. 
The message of the book is the same - basically an instructional guide on how to bless the people you love.  The book outlines the five ways to give a blessing: 
Appropriate meaningful touch
Spoken words
Attaching high value
Picturing a Special future
Genuine Commitment The updated version also features a website where people can go to share with others about the concepts, read about ways to bless their children and learn more.  The authors have also partnered with Focus on the Family to initiate a challenge to individuals and churches to change the lives of one million children using The Blessing as a guide.  Five stars for this one. I love this book!

Knock em Dead 2011 - The Ultimate Search Guide: 25th Anniversary Edition By Martin Yate, CPC

This is another book review for Thomas Nelson Publishers. I received a free copy of this book - but I am not required to submit a positive review.
However . . . this book deserves a positive review. 
It is well written, very up to date and the most thorough job hunting book I've seen.
If you want to find a job, do a little searching for a different job, or would just like to know some tips on staying abreast on issues related to employment - get this book.
Well worth the cover price, and an easy to read guide to finding, landing and keeping the job you need, this book is a five star book and one I recommend.

Changed by Faith: Dare to Trust God with Your Broken Pieces . . . and Watch What Happens

Wow - this is another great book:  Changed by Faith: Dare to Trust God with Your Broken Pieces . . . and Watch What Happens, by Louis Palau.  I'm reviewing this book for Tyndale Publishers and - though I was given a free copy, I am not required to submit a positive review.  
Anyway . . . what a fantastic book!
I've read a LOT of Christian books lately.  And I am certain this is the best one I've read in a while.  This author has an amazing story and much of it filled my eyes with tears.  Palau illustrates that life is such an unsteady ride sometimes - and that Jesus gives us hope that no amount of riches, goods, praise or status can.  
While I read this book, I came to some good understandings about my own life, my current circumstances, and how I can live better and be better and serve better and love more fully.  
I probably sound pretty cheesy - recommending this book so intently.  But so be it.  I can't say enough good things about this book.  
Obviously - I'm givin…

The Final Summit - A Book Review

This is another book review for Thomas Nelson Publishers.  As a disclaimer - I was given a free copy of the book, The Final Summit, by Andy Andrews from the publisher.  However, I am not required to submit a positive review.

I liked the book.  I read fiction books from time to time - but not all that often.  When I do read them - I sorta like to read a book about realistic events, not as much sci-fi or fantasy.  It is hard for me to let my mind wander that far, I guess.  (I'm not a Lord of the Rings fan).  The Final Summit has a lot of fantasy and sci-fi.  It is in the Christian Fiction genre - so the type of "fantasy" writing is focused on accounts with an angel and being taken to another sphere of reality.  There is an essence of time travel as well.  The plot is pretty complex, but the author does a good job of setting the scene to bring the reader into another dimension.  The Final Summit is a sequel to  The Traveler's Gift - but the reader does not need to have …

What's He Really Thinking? -a book review

So I'm reviewing another book for the publisher, Thomas Nelson.  And - just a sidenote - you can sign up to review books too if you want.  Go to and check out the program.  Thomas Nelson publishers will send you free copies of books if you will take the time to review them.  You pay nothing and get to choose from a selection of titles. 

Okay  - on to my review of What's He Really Thinking:  How to be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life, by Paula Rinehart.

I really liked the book.  It is full of good information about men and how their brain works.  I have a fantastic husband, and books like these help me to further understand him and meet his needs better. 

The first thing that I liked about this book was the cover.  I know that's a bit silly - but every time I picked it up, I noticed (again) how well done the cover was.   I thought the way the author covered the subject matter was good.  She writes well and she expanded the audience to include…

Another Tyndale Giveaway!

In honor of Tyndale launching its new book club enewsletter they’re running a 30 day giveaway on their website. The Book Club Hub Newsletter will be an email newsletter geared towards people who are in or are running book clubs. It will feature suggestions, discussion guides and great ideas for your book clubs. You can see a preview by clicking here. To enter the giveaway you just need to visit the contest page and click on the book you’d like to sign up to win. You can even go back and sign up for both books. Each day is a new giveaway so you can return to the site each day and try to win. Every few days the books change, so check back!

Our Little Girl

A friend of ours was in town, over the weekend, and he took this nice little picture of Adam and I with our little Lily Ann.  She's growing up to be such a sweet little lady.  I am always so impressed at how she's handling the job of being a big sister.  All in all, she's just done really well.  She is so helpful with Miles.  She lets him play with almost all of her toys.  She loves on him, reads to him and tries to teach him to talk.  She's really starting to embrace her status as a big girl, rather than a baby.  It's just been a lot of fun watching her grow lately.

Happy Valentine's Day

Pop Heart Valentine's Day 5x7 folded card Modern greeting cards and party invitations by Shutterfly. View the entire collection of cards.

Son of Hamas - a book review

Son of Hamas was written by Mosab Hassan Yousef, the oldest son of one of the founders of the Hamas Terror Organization.  The author shares his story as an eye-witness to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his voyage out of the terrorism and torment of his environment.  Yousef was groomed to follow in his father's footsteps in the Muslim faith and in the Hamas group.  Instead - he rejected the teachings of hate and violence in his family and community.  He also, eventually, came in contact with the teachings of Christ.  Once he learned about "loving your enemies and doing good to those who hate you" he fully embraced it.

I really can't describe this book well enough to do it justice.  It is so very well written and the quality of subject matter is really interesting.  It reads like an espionage thriller in many ways - but it's all true.  I didn't want it to end.  It isn't an anti-Muslim or anti-Israel or anti-Palestinian rant.  It isn't…

The little ones

Just thought I'd post a couple of recent pictures of my babies.  Lately, I've been having so much fun with them.  Lily Ann is saying some of the cutest things and Miles is starting to interact more and he also says "Ma Ma".  Melts my heart every time. 

Adam loves his new job, we all love our new home, and our family is making it work.  We have been cherishing our time as a family and praying together more.  God's blessings are ever-present and we have so much to thank Him for. 

A New Blog . . and a GIVEAWAY!

Hi there!  Just wanted to let you all know that, in addition to this family weblog, I am now hosting a more public blog about cooking and food.  It should be fun - and loaded with cool recipes and whatnot.  This is a more public blog, so you won't see much of our kids faces - or details about our family life.  It's just about food. 

As a special "Grand Opening" for the new blog, I'm having a little giveaway.  Visit the blog and check it out.

See you there!

ps:  I will still be updating this family blog on a pretty regular basis too.