Thursday, April 2, 2015

365 Pocket Prayers for Mothers

"365 Pocket Prayers for Mothers" is a year long daily devotional that caters to the mother's soul. Published by Tyndale, this devotional is smaller than most books, making it ideal to carry with you during the day. It easily fits inside of a purse or diaper bag, and offers tons of wisdom, insight, and loving words for even the busiest mom.

What I liked about this devotional is that each day's reading is only one page, which makes it very easy to fit into a busy schedule. I think that when this devotional was put together, the busy and chaotic schedule of a mother's life was definitely taken into consideration. Each devotional has a simple layout - a short explanation of what the day's reading/prayer is about (such as "When I need help finding my way" or "When I feel driven into the ground"), followed by a short prayer that you can pray that relates to that topic. The prayers is followed by a scriptural reference to reinforce that day's prayer.

This devotional is a great addition to any mother's life, and offers practical struggles that every mom faces with a helpful guided prayer. I loved that this was an easy thing to fit into my day, as my kids rarely let me sit down and read for more than five minutes at a time.

This would make a wonderful birthday/Mother's Day gift for the special mom in anyone's life. I highly recommend this one.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers through their blogger network program. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible

"The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible" is edited by Phil and Al Robertson of the hit TV show, "Duck Dynasty". The Bible itself is a traditional NKJV translation, so it is easy to read and written in, what I consider to be, the most plain English version of the Bible. What sets this Bible apart from other NKJV Bibles on the market is the articles that Phil and Al included.

One of the unique features of this Bible is the periodic appearance of a "Set Your Sights" article in this Bible. These appear frequently, and focus on faith, family, fellowship, forgiveness, and freedom. These articles offer Phil and Al's experience, views, and insight, in conjunction with Biblical reference and principles. Each article is signed by either Al or Phil so that you can know which Robertson wrote which articles. These articles also include a section at the end called, "On the Hunt", which gives the verses from the Scripture that are relevant and support the specific article.

Another feature of this Bible that is unique from other NKJV Bibles is a topical index that is based on the five principles that appear in the "Set Your Sights" articles. The index is organized in relation to core values, so for example, children and parenting are sorted under the "faith" topic.

Overall I would highly recommend this Bible to anyone. I thought that the frequent articles that Phil and Al Robertson added to it were helpful and insightful. I am a fan of the "Duck Dynasty" show, and loved that Phil and Al put this together. If you are a fan of the show, you will definitely love this NKJV Bible.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this Bible through the BookLook Blogging program in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Having a Mary Heart in A Martha World

"Having a Mary Heart in A Martha World" by Joanna Weaver is a book that is dedicated to finding a close and intimate relationship with God, even through the crazy grind of daily life. I was intrigued by the title of this book, as only a few months ago our pastor preached a sermon on this same topic. I remembered the emphasis that our pastor put on the Lord's words to Martha, "You are worried about many things, but only one thing is needed". Simple, to the point, and a little poetic. I was excited and intrigued to learn more about having a Mary heart in a Martha world!

What I love about this book is that it goes verse by verse through the interaction between Mary, Martha, and Jesus in the book of Luke. Seven of these chapters go in order through the verses in Luke that deal with Mary, Martha, and Jesus. Five of the chapters give solid Biblical advice for developing an intimate relationship with Jesus, as Martha did. Each chapter focuses in on a short Bible verse, followed by an in depth look at the verse, explanation of the circumstances/events of the verse, and then a healthy dose of practical advice for how to apply that principle in our own lives. Each chapter also offers up a small gray box that has personal experiences/advice from Weaver that coincides with the chapter.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. As a busy mom of two little kids, sometimes I find that the chaos of daily life overwhelms to the point where I don't feel like I am walking side by side with God, but rather running ahead of him, chasing a screaming toddler. This book has helped me slow down, and allow for the time to build that relationship with God.

I would highly recommend this book for any busy mom or grandma. It's a wonderful reminder of how our relationship with our Creator was designed to be, and with a wonderful example of that relationship in Mary and Jesus.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bible Study for Busy Mamas

"Bible Study for Busy Mamas: Thirty Days in 1 Corinthians 13" by Pam Forster is advertised as "inspiring, in-depth Bible study, five minutes at a time". As a busy mom of two little kids, I was intrigued by this book. Rarely do I have more than five minutes of uninterrupted time, so I thought this might be a great way to help fill in my days with more Bible study time.

The book is broken down by day, numbered "day one" through "day thirty". The daily reading itself is easily done inside the promised five minute time frame. However, rather than this book reading like a devotional with a focus on explaining, and strengthening understanding, it is more like classwork. Each page starts with just a short overview of the purpose of this particular "lesson", and is then followed by the "assignment".

Most of these "assignments" are slightly more involved that I thought they would be, which requires more time to sit and work on them. Then, the assignment is followed by "for your children", which is an assignment for you to do with your kids to help tie it all together. However, I feel like at times, this became more about doing so much that the message or purpose of the actual Bible verses were lost.

Overall I would say that this book had good intentions, but it really wasn't for me. When I'm picking up a devotional or Bible Study time, I look forward to that time being between myself and God, and I feel like this book tries to "assign" too much work and not enough wisdom.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from in exchange for this review.

Geoffrey Zakarian's, "My Perfect Pantry"

Geoffrey Zakarian's newest cookbook, "My Perfect Pantry" is one that is designed around a handful of specific ingredients that are commonly found in your kitchen. Featuring ingredients like baking soda, almonds, ketchup, and anchovies, these recipes are simple to make, but have great flavor! It will taste like you spent much more time cooking than you actually did!

Be sure to read the first few pages of this cookbook, as Geoffrey outlines some of the commonly used spices and herbs, so that you can make sure your pantry is fully stocked. Most of these items you will probably already have in your spice cabinet.

The recipes in this book are designed for the everyday cook, not for a professional chef, so the recipes are simplistic, and the ingredients are common. I hate when I find a delicious recipe I want to make, only to realize that I need to make a trip to the store in order to get uncommon spices or ingredients. Some of these amazing recipes include white asparagus salad, pizza margherita with olives and arugula, and brown rice crab cakes.

The only downside to this book is that it is organized by ingredient, rather than by type of meal. So if you are looking for an appetizer, you have to page through the entire book, because they are scattered throughout.

I would give this book a 4/5. The recipes are great, and I loved that it is all designed around easy to find ingredients. I think that this book could have been organized a little bit better, though, as I mentioned.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from in exchange for this honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review for this book.

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

"Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary" is am absolutely amazing resource for Bible study. Personally, I've never seen anything that is so exhaustive and complete all in one book. This dictionary definitions of terms, a brief history, explanation, and if applicable, the Biblical references of that word. This is organized like a normal dictionary, in alphabetical order. This is so handy to have on my bookshelf, and when I come across a name, place, or word I'm not sure of, I can easily find it in this dictionary, as well as gain a better understanding of the meaning/person/place.

As I mentioned, this dictionary offers people, places, and things, and I have found it most helpful in reference to names of people. I have a hard time keeping minor characters in the Bible straight, so being able to look it up in this dictionary really helps in getting the most out of Bible study time. What is handy is that uncommon words are also accompanied by a pronounciation key, so that you can sound out the word correctly.

There are also many photographs in this dictionary. Maps, historic relics, significant places, and architectural feats are all featured in this dictionary. Placed where appropriate, these visual aids are a helpful way of connecting with the Biblical places, people, and times.

Overall, I would give "Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary" a 5/5. I feel like this is a comprehensive study tool that supports studying the Bible. I loved all of the pictures that were added to this book, and thought it helped to make me feel more connected with the events in the Bible. I also really loved the pronounciation aid for some of the more uncommon names and terms.

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FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from, in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NKJV Study Bible

Thomas Nelson's newest study Bible, aptly named, "NKJV Study Bible" advertises itself as "The Complete Resource for Studying God's Word", and it is, in fact, an amazingly helpful and informative Bible. This Bible offers a full color edition, which really adds a lot to this Bible, with colorful photographs, maps, and bright boxes with study materials.

This Bible offers chapter introductions, as most study Bibles do, which gives you a summary of what the chapter is about. It includes pertinent information, like the author, theme(s), chapter outine, and the tie-in to Christ in the Scripture. The translation of this Bible is New King James Version, which does make it a little bit easier to read and comprehend than the older KJV. There are TONS of footnotes in this Bible - I felt like there were notes for nearly every verse! I loved how in-depth the footnotes are, to really help you unlock the meaning of what you are reading.

This Bible also focuses on some words that are used frequently in the Scripture, and gives definition, Hebrew version of the word, where it can be found, and what it means in context of the Scripture. I found this to be very interesting, and helpful.

Throughout this Bible, helpful and colorful boxes appear with helpful information, as well. Some feature colorful photographs with a summary of the photo, others include information about Biblical culture, or an understanding of the times.

Overall I would definitely give this Bible a 5/5. I really thought it offered so many amazing tools to really help you get the most out of your Bible. I would HIGHLY recommend this to anyone in the market for a new Bible.

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FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this Bible for free from BookLookBloggers, in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.