Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff

A Book Review by Wendy

Book Description

The most important step is taking the first one.

The funny and talented Chip Gaines is well known to millions of people as a TV star, renovation expert, bestselling author, husband to Joanna, and father of 4 in Waco, Texas. But long before the world took notice, Chip was a serial entrepreneur who was always ready for the next challenge, even if it didn’t quite work out as planned. Whether it was buying a neighborhood laundromat or talking a bank into a loan for some equipment to start a lawn-mowing service, Chip always knew that the most important thing was to take that first step.

In Capital Gaines, we walk alongside him as he relives some of his craziest antics and the lessons learned along the way. His mentors taught him to never give up and his family showed him what it meant to always have a positive attitude despite your circumstances. Throw in a natural daredevil personality and a willingness to do (or eat!) just about anything, and you have the life and daily activity of Chip Gaines.

Capital Gaines is the perfect book for anyone looking to succeed not only in business but more importantly in life.

Book Review

If you’ve ever seen Fixer Upper, then you already love Chip and Joanna Gaines.  This book takes you a bit deeper into the story of Chip.  Turns out he is just as reckless and wacky in his youth as he is now.  It’s a fun book, a quick read, and it’s full of entertaining stories.  However, these are stories with a purpose.  Each one is accented to show you what he learned and how he grew into a better man with each one.  It’s not just that they are cute and amusing stories, they are turning points for Chip that changed how he viewed life.

My only criticism of this book, was that I was hoping for more of a Christ-centered book.  I know that he can reach a broader market with this one, by keeping it to general wisdom, but I get great encouragement from testimonies.  I was hoping this book would be the testimony of Chip Gaines, and that it would include more of his relationship with God.  That being said, this is a great book, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers < > book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < > : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Muslim: What You Need to Know About the World’s Fasting Growing Religion

A Book Review by Wendy

Book Description

Is Islam a peaceful and tolerant religion?

For all the debate over Islam and its growing presence in the world, one thing is often overlooked: Islam is not a religion in the sanitized Western sense. It is, in contrast, an all-encompassing sociopolitical legal matrix that has bred a worldview antagonistic to anything but itself. While there may be millions of peaceful and tolerant Muslims, many of them our neighbors, Islam itself is hardly peaceful and tolerant.

Islam is the only significant religious system in the history of the human race with a sociopolitical structure of laws that mandate violence against the infidel. The current narrative is that to tell the truth in this regard is tantamount to radicalizing Muslims and exacerbating hostilities that may otherwise lie dormant. A common refrain has reverberated throughout the West: “Islam is not our enemy.” As well-intentioned as this mantra may be, it is a potentially dangerous stance once someone understands Islam in full.

Despite its incoherence, Islam—one billion six hundred million strong and growing—is poised to fill the vacuum left by a Western culture slouching inexorably towards Gomorrah. Demographics alone are alarming. While polygamist Muslims boast a robust birth rate, native Westerners are moving rapidly toward self-extinction. Filling the void are multiplied millions of Muslims who have no intention of assimilating into Western culture.

Equally grave is the specter of global Islamic jihadism now exacting mass genocide on Christians in the East and ever-multiplying terrorist attacks throughout the West. We are also witnessing the co-belligerency of fantastically wealthy Saudis spending multiplied billions of dollars exporting virulent Wahhabism to the West. Worse still, Western governments, academic institutions, and media outlets seem bent on exporting a false narrative respecting the religious animus animating global Islamic jihadism.

In MUSLIM: What You Need to Know about the World’s Fastest Growing Religion, Hanegraaff not only outlines the problems in accessible and memorable fashion, but moves toward potential solutions in the clash of civilizations.

Book Review

This is the first book on Islam that I have ever read.  I didn’t really know what to expect.  What I found was a book that was terrifying in scope and concept.  If 15% of this is absolute truth and an accurate representation of this Middle Eastern religion, then it is too much to accept.  How is it that nothing like this has been presented to our public, but rather we are fed helping after helping of a peaceful disguise. This book will make you look into additional resources, and no apologetics library would be complete without it.

In addition to a thorough and thoughtful text, this book includes a lot of nice extras.  For example, there is a glossary for understanding the language relative to the topic.  There is also an appendix, reference notes, an index.  There is also a list of recommended reading, so that you don’t have to take the author at face value.  You are being encouraged to keep reading and studying.  You cannot bring the Gospel to a people, if you don’t understand the culture that you are presenting to.

Finally, I appreciate the introduction, where the author makes it clear, that Islam is not representative of all Muslims.  A person can be a peace, loving neighbor and not reflect the religion that is represented here.  This is an analysis of a religion, a cultural system, and a rule of government, it is not a personal representation of each adherent.  People are not always reflective of the system they support.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers < > book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < > : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible – Large Print

A Book Review by Wendy

Book Description

Easy to color and easy to read! Reflect on the precious truths of Scripture with the NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible, Large Print, featuring beautiful line art for coloring and a large type size. Perfect for all ages, this Bible’s thick white paper with lightly ruled lines in the extra-wide margins provides ample space for your own artistic expressions and journaling.

Book Review

When I was a little girl, I used to color everything I could get my hands on.  I was one of those weird kids that actually used the whole crayon until it was gone.  This Bible was made for me.  It’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful!

The cover of the book is a beautiful fabric covered hardback.  It doesn’t look like a Bible.  It looks more like a journal, a collection of writings.  Love letters from God bound for you in this lovely edition.  There are coloring sections scattered throughout the Bible, with large journaling margins on every page.   There are even whole page coloring sections.

If I had to make a complaint about this Bible, it would be that I wish the words of Christ were in read.  It is also a large print edition Bible.  Which is unusual because the font is still so small.  It would be difficult for me to read, and I don’t even wear glasses, yet.  If you are buying this Bible for a loved one that has difficulty reading, the large print in this Bible is not large enough.

It’s also not a study Bible.  In the back of the book, there is not a lot of reference material for deeper study.  There is a table of weights and measures, but that’s about it. There are some subnotes along the bottom, but not a lot of cross references.

In conclusion, this beautiful Bible is for you to enjoy the Word of God, and explore your own creativity while meditating on scripture.  It’s a must-have Bible for your artistic nature.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers < > book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < > : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

I AM Devotional: 100 Devotions about the Names of God

A Book Review by Wendy

Book Description

The God Who Saves. The God Who Provides. The Holy One. The names of God tell us who He is and how He loves us—explore the glory and the goodness of God in I Am Devotional.

Children will learn to trust God in everything as they learn about the names and character of God in the I Am Devotional. Through 100 devotions, children will see how God’s names reflect His love, strength, trustworthiness, etc., and what that means as they develop a strong faith.

Name of God: I AM

Meaning: God is to be worshipped

Application: Worship God by how you live!

Diane Stortz has a proven history of connecting well with both children and parents in her writing. With sales of 500,000 inspirational books for children, Diane is a trusted name for Christian families. The art of Diane Le Feyer has captivated readers of I Am and will continue to delight in this accompanying devotional with vibrant illustrations throughout and a vivid cover embellished with foil and lots of striking glitter.

The I Am Devotional is the perfect companion to I Am, the Bible storybook that first introduced children to the names and character of God.

Book Review

My husband recently did a series on the Old Testament names of God.  Understanding the nature and character of God is so important to developing a relationship with God.  If you don’t know who God is, then you cannot love Him, you cannot worship Him, and you certainly cannot submit your life to Him.  So many today are recreating God in their own image.  They are generating a tolerant Jesus, who makes no demands on their life.  This is so dangerous.  For none of us want to hear, I never knew you from our Lord.

This book is an introduction to the names of God, for our youngest believers.  It doesn’t keep it simple, but dives right into the Hebrew terms used in the Old Testament for God, such as El Emeth (God of Truth).   In each devotional, the name and description are placed in the upper left corner of the first page.  There is a scripture reference where the name is used, and then a devotional with the life application.

Most scripture references are in the ESV translations, but there are some presented in NLT, ICB, NIV, and NKJV.  For the most part, the scripture leans toward accuracy versus imprint.  There are a couple of GW (God’s Word) translations, but the majority of the verses are not.

I am so excited by this devotional and the simple method with which the names of God are presented.  The illustrations are beautiful.  The Word of God is honored, and the intention is that children would better know their Savior, Jesus Christ.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers < > book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < > : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

The Gospel According to Paul

A Book Review by Wendy

Book Description

From master-expositor and Bible teacher John MacArthur, a revelatory exploration of what the apostle Paul actually taught about the good news of Jesus

The apostle Paul penned a number of very pithy, focused passages in his letters to the early church that summarize the gospel message in just a few well-chosen words. Each of these key texts has a unique emphasis highlighting some essential aspect of the Good News. The chapters in this revelatory new book closely examine those vital gospel texts, one verse at a time. John MacArthur, host of the popular media ministry Grace to You, president of the Master’s University and Seminary, and longtime pastor at Grace Community Church, tackles such questions as, What is the gospel? What are the essential elements of the message? How can we be certain we have it right? And how should Christians be proclaiming the Good News to the world? As always, the answers John MacArthur gives are clear, compelling, well-reasoned, easy to grasp, and above all, thoroughly biblical. The Gospel According to Paul is written in a style that is easily accessible to lay people, including those who know very little about the Bible, while being of great value to seasoned pastors and experienced ministers.

Book Review

When it comes to Biblical experience and knowledge, it is hard to top John MacArthur.  His teachings rest on decades of study and research, and it would be difficult to find fault with his findings.  This book comes not only from the scripture, but also on the teachings of trusted past theologians.

The Gospel According to Paul is a very exciting book.  In this look at the Gospel message, the author places the writings of the Apostle Paul on top of each other, almost like an overlay.  He takes all of the Gospel writings from the Epistles and shows the continuity of it, and then outlines a single distinct message.  Further, the author points back to the Old Testament scripture that Paul used to validate the truth of the Gospel.

It’s interesting to consider that the strongest proponent of the Gospel, was the one that originally rejected the message when it was presented by Jesus.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers < > book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < > : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Cherish: The One Word that Changes Everything for your Marriage

A Book Review by Wendy

Book Description:

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.”

Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book—Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever.

Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

Through personal stories and real world examples, Thomas proves what husbands and wives can begin doing today to turn their marriage around—even a marriage marred by neglect and disrespect.

So how do you cherish your spouse? Thomas will show you how going out of your way to notice them, appreciate them, honor them, encourage them, and hold them close to your heart will bring hope, light, and life into your marriage.

Review:

This book is a marriage book.  Before you roll your eyes at the number of Christian marriage books on the market, I will tell you that this one is different.  Many marriage books will tell you how to not fight.  They will tell you how to communicate and cooperate.  They will tell you how to make a tough situation manageable.  They will tell you how to make a marriage that lasts.

This book is different.  This book teaches how to make a marriage happy.  This book gives practical application steps that will help your marriage grow from enduring to enthusiastic.  It shows you how to get to the sweet spot of marriage by cherishing your spouse.

It sounds like a cheap word meant for a Valentine’s Day card, but I’ve seen what it looks like.  As a pastor’s wife, I get to know a lot of people.  I see the difference between a marriage that has endured and a marriage that has thrived.  I’ve seen the older couple that still holds hands through the church service, or the wife that leans into the husband during the moment of prayer.

The best example of cherish I’ve seen is a couple in our church that is about to look at hospice care, as cancer takes over.  The doctors have no other treatments, and I see this couple still continue to cherish each other.  He never leaves her side.  He sleeps in a hospital recliner every night.  When you go to visit, he expounds on her grace, virtue, and the gift of their life together. More than that, I’ve seen what a life spent cherishing each other has done to their daughter, as she waits on them both.  This family truly nurtures each other, they love each other, and they cherish each other.  That’s what I want for my family, and I found a way to get there through this book.

Not all books minister to me as this one has.  Within a couple of chapters I was lifted up, convicted, and reassured.  I read through this book in a few hours, and I plan to read it again and again.  Next time, with my husband holding his own copy.  Be deliberate about your marriage, be intentional, cherish.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers < > book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < > : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

NIV Faithlife Study Bible: Intriguing Insights to Inform Your Faith

A Book Review by Wendy

Book Description:

Stay curious. There’s more to explore!

No matter where you are on your faith journey, there’s always more to explore in God’s Word. Dive in and feed your curiosity with the NIV Faithlife Study Bible.

Filled with innovative graphics and rich commentary, this visually stunning study Bible delivers helpful insights designed to inform your faith. Robust study notes are built on the original languages and adapted from the popular Faithlife Study Bible app, which has reached over one million readers.

The balance of striking graphics, comprehensive study features, and intriguing insights from multiple points of view will keep you curious as you explore the treasures of God’s Word.

Features include:

The full text of the most read, most trusted modern-English Bible – the New International Version (NIV) In depth book introductions that include an outline and information on authorship, background, structure, themes, and a map, a timeline, or both Verse-by-verse study notes with the unique focus of revealing nuances from the original biblical languages for modern readers Informative contributions by respected scholars and best-selling authors including Charles Stanley, Randy Alcorn, and Ed Stetzer, among others Over 100 innovative full color infographics, comprehensive timelines and informative tables to enrich Bible study Three detailed life-of-Jesus event timelines chronicling his infancy and early ministry, the journey to Jerusalem, and the passion and resurrection 27 family trees and people diagrams illustrate the interconnectedness of key characters in Scripture Helpful overview articles give a bird’s-eye view of the books of the Bible, noting the type of literature and key themes of each book. 14 original color maps at the back of the Bible provide historical and geographical context for key events of the Old and New Testaments

Book Review:

This Bible is very exciting to me.  I was thrilled by the color pictures in this Bible.  Not just because I like picture books, but for a deeper reason.  The teachings of the Bible are best understood through context, or the place, time and audience of the teaching.  While all scripture is still relevant today, we understand better when we understand context.  We find deeper meaning that leads us to greater truth.  The pictures and other illustrations help with that context.  They give you concrete representations of what life was like during the different periods of the Bible, from the typical Israelite home to what kind of fishing boat Peter had.

The only complaint I have about this Bible is that I really enjoy Red Letter in my Bibles.  There are times when God is leading me in study, where I just want to read the words of Christ.  However, this isn’t a deal breaker for me.

Everything about this Bible is useful, from the graphic family trees, to the study notes, to the concordance in the back of the book.  It really seeks to help you get the most from your time of study.  I typically bless someone at my church with each book I review, but I think I may just have to hold onto this one… at least for a bit.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers < > book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < > : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

NIV Thinline Bible Bonder Leather, Indexed

A Book Review by Wendy

Book Description

The NIV Thinline Bible captures the depth and beauty of the Bible, in a take-anywhere size. With a new custom typeface, this Bible delivers a more pleasant reading experience, making it even easier to understand God’s Word.

Book Review

This Bible has a nice cover, and an easy to read font.  The new font, adds breaks to the letters to ease the reading.  I wasn’t a big fan of the new font, but that doesn’t mean that another person won’t love it.  It’s the reason kindles allow for multiple font types.  I also tend toward the larger print Bibles.

This Bible has several features that I enjoy in a Bible, especially as a Bible teacher.  There are a couple of features that are important.  Such as, the weight of the Bible in your hands as you are teaching, especially if you teach standing.  While a larger font is nice for teaching, this font was not so small that it became an obstacle.  Another nice feature of this Bible is the lie-flat feature.  It won’t flip shut on you if you let go to make a point.  Finally, the index allows for quick reference between multiple books, especially useful for topical Bible studies, that require a lot of back and forth.

I would definitely recommend this Bible to anyone teaching from the NIV, 2011, edition.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers < > book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < > : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

The NIV Sola Scriptura Bible Project

A Book Review by Wendy

Book Description

In the same spirit of Bible reading in the early church, the NIV Sola Scriptura Bible Project removes chapter and verse numbers, red letters, and cross references found in modern Bibles. The Old Testament is arranged according to traditional Hebrew ordering, and the New Testament is reorganized, placing each of the four Gospels as sectional heads.

Book Review

One of the problems with Bible study, is that so often, verses are lifted out of their context.  The wisdom of the ages, the Word of God, reduced to a sound byte or a bumper sticker.  Scripture turned to slogan.  With the verses removed, it forces the reader to view scripture as a whole in context to the material around it.  It purifies what has been tainted by familiarity and overuse.

Cosmetically speaking, there is nothing to complain about here.  The cloth over board books are comfortable and attractive.  The font is a good size, and the footnotes blend into the text with an “or” reference.  The ribbon place marker is nice.

There are very few books that receive a five-star review on our blog.  This is one of them.  Take a new look at scripture, with fresh eyes.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers < > book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < > : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Devotions for a Deeper Life by Oswald Chambers

A Book Review by Wendy

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From the Back of the Book: Oswald Chambers, author of My Utmost for His Highest, remains one of the best-loved and most deeply respected theologians and writers in church history. Few authors inspire and encourage as he does, and never is this more apparent than in Devotions for a Deeper Life.

Devotions for a Deeper Life, excerpted from lesser known essays Chambers wrote in the early twentieth century, will instruct and encourage you with its accuracy and poignant reflections on the Christian life. This daily devotional dives into what it means to live out your faith in dynamic and compelling ways. More than 75 years have passed since the original publication, but the content remains relevant and deeply inspiring.

Oswald Chambers created one of the most classic and influential books in church history when he penned My Utmost for His Highest. His insights and understanding of the nature of God challenge readers to examine their faith and grow in depth and maturity. Devotions for a Deeper Life brings this message to an entirely new generation of believers and will show, once again, the timeless beauty found in the truth of Scripture.

My first impression of this book is relief.  This is a devotional that was written outside the influence of popular culture.  The author, Oswald Chambers, lived over a hundred years ago, so you get an interpretation of God’s Word outside what is currently accepted as truth.  Our current taint for a happily ever after gospel and a timid Jesus won’t be found in this devotional.

The devotional is dated, so that each day the reader can follow a prescribed reading pattern.  There is a scripture reference and then a devotional passage.  It concludes each day with a prayer thought and recommended reading within the Bible for further study.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers < > book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 < > : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”