Sunday, November 22, 2015

Book Review: Another Way Home

Another Way Home
Another Way Home (Abingdon Press, October 2015)
Sometimes God’s ways are not at all what we expect . . . and exactly what we need.
Grant and Audrey are adding grandchildren to their family left and right, but middle daughter, Danae, and her husband, Dallas Brooks, have been trying for years with no baby in sight.
Though Danae is ready to consider adoption, Dallas will not even discuss it. Despairing of ever having a family of her own, Danae decides to pour her passion and energies into volunteer work with a newly opened women’s shelter in town. Looking for a good cause to fill her lonely days, she never expects to give her heart to the hurting women she meets there. She’s finally learning to live her life with gratitude, but then heart-wrenching events on Thanksgiving weekend threaten to pull the entire Whitman clan into turmoil—and leave them all forever changed.

Deborah Raney
Deborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deborah’s novels—for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

My Review: 
Who doesn't want to live where the cover shows?  This is the third book in the series and I did not read the other books.  I think that it would have helped, but it was not necessary by any means.  I might go back to read the previous 2 now that I have read and enjoyed this one.  The story line is one that many people can relate to in one way or another.  I found it very easy to see myself in the story and it was completely captivating.  I wanted to keep reading to see how God would work things out in the story.  If you are looking for a great, easy to pick up read I definitely recommend this book.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Book Review: Against the Grain (cookbook)



Revolutionary all-natural recipes for gluten-free cooking--from the owner of Against the Grain Gourmet.

Nancy Cain came to gluten-free cooking simply enough: Her teenage son was diagnosed with celiac disease. After trying ready-made baking mixes and finding the results rubbery and tasteless, she pioneered gluten-free foods made entirely from natural ingredients--no xanthan or guar gums or other mystery chemical additives allowed. That led her to adapt many of her family's favorite recipes, including their beloved pizzas, pastas, and more, to this real food technique. In Against the Grain,Nancy finally shares 200 groundbreaking recipes for achieving airy, crisp breads, delicious baked goods, and gluten-free main dishes.
     For any of these cookies, cakes, pies, sandwiches, and casseroles, you use only natural ingredients such as buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, and ripe fruits and vegetables. Whether you're making Potato Rosemary Bread, iced Red Velvet Cupcakes, Lemon-Thyme-Summer Squash Ravioli, or Rainbow Chard and Kalamata Olive Pizza, you'll be able to use ingredients already in your pantry or easily found at your local supermarket.
     With ample information for gluten-free beginners and 100 colorful photographs, this book is a game changer for gluten-free households everywhere.

My Review:

I have a gluten intolerance so when I saw this book as one to choose to review I jumped on it.  Although my family seems to handle gluten just fine, it is easier to make everything similar and it is also an opportunity to take out unnecessary gluten (and usually unhealthy) filled foods at the same time.  This book is beautiful, which I really appreciate in a cookbook.  The recipes have been about 70% able to be duplicated.  Cooking or really more baking gluten free is not the easiest thing to transition to.  Overall, I am very happy having this resource in my home and love the ideas I get from it.  

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Book Review: The Ology

The_Ology_cover final - PK
Help your kids understand who God is in The Ology by Marty Machowski, a beginners’ theology book great for kids of all ages. In the cellar of the old stone cathedral, Carla and Timothy uncover a life-changing treasure, a carefully wrapped ancient book known as The Ology. What adults might describe as a beautifully illustrated storybook of systematic theology, the kids discover to be a story of adventure, mystery, and wonder that leads them to the truth about God, themselves, and the world around them.

{MORE ABOUT THE OLOGY}

The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New (New Growth Press, October 2015)
A page-turning storybook of theology for kids
In the cellar of the old stone cathedral, Carla and Timothy uncover a life-changing treasure, a carefully wrapped ancient book known as The Ology. What adults might describe as a beautifully illustrated storybook of systematic theology, the kids discover to be a story of adventure, mystery, and wonder that leads them to the truth about God, themselves, and the world around them.
Truth is for kids, not just for adults! So The Ology gives kids of all ages a beginner’s theology book to help them understand who God is and how we, as his children, relate to him. Arranged within a traditional systematic theological framework, each truth in The Ology is also connected to the larger redemptive story of Scripture. The doctrine of God, for example, is presented in the larger framework of creation, where the attributes of God are more clearly on display. The Ology takes abstract theological concepts and makes them easier to understand with the use of creative examples, illustrations, and analogies. The goal is not to say everything that could be said about a theological topic, but rather to share the key thoughts behind a theological concept. The Ology is a starting point to learning theology and aims to create a hunger and desire in children to learn more as they grow older.
Designed for six-year-olds through preteens, this flexible resource includes built-in adaptations for use with younger or older children, so that entire families can enjoy it together. Read The Ology to preschoolers, read it with grade-school kids, and let older kids discover the “hidden” truths by reading the corresponding Scripture passages for each section. However you read it, The Ology will give your children a gift that will last a lifetime—a solid foundation of life-changing biblical truth that will point them to the God who loves them and gave himself for them.
A companion The Ology CD from Bob Kauflin and Sovereign Music is also available.
Marty Machowski

{MORE ABOUT MARTY MACHOWSKI}

Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over twenty years. He is the author of the Gospel Story for Kids series, which includes “The Gospel Story Bible,” “Long Story Short,” “Old Story New,” and the “Gospel Story Curriculum,” as well as the Advent devotional and curriculum “Prepare Him Room.” He and his wife, Lois, and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Find out more about Marty at http://martymachowski.com.



My Review:
This book is beautiful!  This book is designed for children six through preteens and I cannot wait to read it with my littlest one when she gets a bit older.  The beginning is written in story form with the intent to rope a child into the book.  The rest of the book is written mostly in Bible study form, but at a level that is enjoyable for children in that age range.  It is such a treasure to have in our house now and can definitely be used a resource to refer back to when needed or desired, not only as a great story book!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Book Review: Get Your Story Straight (teen/young adult devotional)


Get Your Story Straight

Get Your Story Straight (New Growth Press, October 2015)
What’s your story?
We all tell stories to each other–stories about what happened when we were kids, stories about last night, and stories where we dream about the future. Some stories are funny, some are amazing, others are sad, but they all have something in common–each of us is the hero of our own story. Our thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams take center stage. But when it’s all about you, it’s also all up to you. You have to make life work, find meaning, and hope for the best even when you mess up or things go badly wrong.
But what if we were made for something different? What if the main character in our life story isn’t us, but it is the God who became like us and is now with us? What if being fully human means knowing him and growing to be like him? What if the way to be fully alive is to be caught up in Jesus’s story?
This 52-week devotional book and small group resource is designed to help you live with Jesus in his gospel story–the good news that your sins are forgiven, your future is assured, and following him is the only meaningful way to live. No matter your age, where you live, who your family is, or what your past, God wants you to experience the freedom that comes in being secure in his love.
Divided into three parts, starting with creation, each section progressively explores the idea that the whole Bible is the unfolding story of Jesus. Through this grid, who Jesus is and why we need him will shape your understanding of freedom and grace and how you grow to be like him. This yearlong study for teenagers and young adults is designed for individual devotional times, but a small group discussion guided by a mentor would help participants to absorb and live out the truths of each week’s teaching.
Kristen Hatton
Kristen Hatton is a native Texan now putting roots down in Edmond, OK with her church-planter/pastor husband and their three children. With a public relations background from Southern Methodist University, Kristen has a wide array of professional experiences, none of which she counts as important as the job of being a “present” mom. Through leading a small group Bible study of teenagers, she has discovered her passion for teaching and writing about God’s grace.

My Review:
First of all, the layout of this book is wonderful!  I love how it is broken down into three parts and then broken down further into small sections.  It would be a tremendous devotional or Bible study for teens and young adults.  I plan to have my daughter go through it in a couple years when she will be old enough to really grasp the concepts and teachings.  It is very well written, enjoyable and extremely engaging.  I love that the principle of the book (in my opinion) is that your life was created and is designed for God.  It is yours to live, but the purpose is to glorify Him and live a life that shares His story with others no matter what you do.  It would make a wonderful Christmas present for the teen or young adult in your life!!

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.