Dec 6, 2011

Great Mogul Diamond

I know, I know…you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover. I just couldn’t help myself!  The cover of this book intrigued me!!  The story written within intrigued me as well!

What made me want to read this book the most was the fact that I work with children who have ADD/ADHD and Autism.  It’s very hard to capture their attention and many kids with ADD/ADHD HATE to read.  However, the response I got from showing them the “Great Mogul Diamond” would have said it all!

The book’s cover, in and of itself, draws any curious eye…which in a world where visual stimulation is a must for the young generation is a plus.  As you open the book and see the an insurmountable visual stimulation with the black lined pages, half black and half cream colored pages, half comic book style and half regular book style…would keep any child with attention deficit absolutely intrigued!

I had no idea that there were two other books in this chronicle, however it was easy to follow the story line.  Although G.P. Taylor made mention of the other stories…it all flowed together and I didn’t feel lost.  This is definitely a must read for 5th-8th grade school kids!

I received this book from Tyndale House in exchange for a review.  The opinions and views are all my own.

Nov 1, 2011

Lily's Wedding Quilt by Kelly Long

    I always love to challenge myself with different genres of books.  I usually love Christian thrillers, biographies, bible studies, and spiritual suspense.  Since I started writing reviews, I have ordered books that are not my usual avenue of reading.
     I ordered Lily’s Wedding Quilt in hopes that I would find a different genre of book that I would fall in love with.  I completely loved the story line and the character’s were fabulously woven together as Kelly Long reveals the lifestyle of the Amish community.
    Although it felt like it took me forever to get through this book, I would recommend it to anyone who loves Amish love stories, or historical fiction.  For those who usually don’t read this genre…it is a challenge, but I think you will thoroughly enjoy it!
    Kelly Long weaves real life into a fictional story.  Sometimes, we want things to work out certain ways in our lives and when God puts a twist into our story…we wonder if God is even present in our circumstance.  Then, as our stories unfold…we see that God was there the whole time!  As Lily and Jacob’s life are woven together through hidden circumstances…we see God’s hand secretly moving their lives in the path that He wants and in the end….well, I can’t tell you the end…but you can definitely find out for yourself!

I received this book at no cost to me from book sneeze and the opinions and views are all my own!

May 3, 2011

UnPlanned DVD Video Review and GiveAway!

Today on Life Worth Serving...I have a video review of the DVD UnPlanned...watch the video and find out how you can win a free copy!!






On May 17th, Unite for Life will be having a live webcast featuring Abby Johnson.  Webcast will start at 8 pm in all time zones.  Go to http://www.uniteforlifewebcast.org/ to join in!

Please visit http://lifeworthserving.wordpress.com/ for devotions and my life stories!

Apr 28, 2011

Scent Of Water: Grace for every kind of broken by Naomi Zacharias

The Scent of Water by Naomi Zacharias
As Naomi walks us into brothels, prisons, and devastation around the world, she reveals that life is not a fairy tale.  What we all long for in life, as women, is the fairy tale ending of “Happily Ever After”, however, life sometimes only involves an “ever after”.
Naomi Zacharias shares her own story of finding grace in the brokenness of her own life, as well in the lives of others as she travels around the world to look into the devastation and broken hopes of lives that long for the “Happily Ever After” 
The question that arose in my heart while reading the stories of the women in the brothels, the displacement camps where men begged for vegetables and children homes where babies were left while their mothers worked the streets was “Is God’s grace sufficient?” 
Can God’s grace cover such tragedy?  Such heartache? Such hopelessness? 
The answer I struggle with is “Yes”. 
I don’t truly think American’s know the utter, deep, despair that the world faces.  We tend to close our eyes to such things…because we have been fed the “Happily Ever After” fairy tale for far too long.
Naomi presents to us a challenge.  It is a challenge to see the world in the light of the grace that God offers to those who are broken, imprisoned, and wanting to die.  It is a challenge to offer that grace to those who do not know the scent of water…a living water, that is offered in God’s Son, Jesus.
I have received this complimentary book in exchange for my honest review from Zondervan.  The opinions and view are my own

Heart of Lies by Jill Marie Landis

HEART OF LIES by Jill Marie Landis
This year, I committed to challenging myself with genres of books that I normally don’t read.  Historical romances are one of them.  I am not one to read romance novels, much less historical romances!  My first challenge came as I requested Heart of Lies by Jill Marie Landis from Zondervan.  My first thought when I received the book was “What have I gotten myself into?”  By the look of the cover, I kind of regretted requesting it.
That’s why the saying goes…never judge a book by its cover!  I opened the book thinking, “I’m just going to get this over with.” 
From the beginning to the end, I was absolutely captivated by each character, plot, and motive!
In Heart of Lies, Jill Marie Landis takes us on a journey through the heart change that Maddie Grande is confronted with as she is faced with memories of her past.  Woven within the story is the hope of love in the most unlikely place, and a painful family reunion. 
Can Maddie find the truth of who she is while she struggles with the fact that she is a theft?  Is Tom Abbot’s love strong enough for Maddie to overcome her worst fears?  Will Maddie’s identity keep her bound to her obligations to the tribe she was raised in?  Can Maddie’s story ring true in all of our hearts as she is faced with standing at a crossroad of change, having to make some hard decisions?
I was provided a complementary book by Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.  The views and opinions are my own.

Mar 18, 2011

Transforming Prayer by Daniel Henderson

Have you found yourself in a place where prayer has become stale and mundane?  Do you come to God with a grocery list of prayer requests, only to find when you are done handing God your list, you still feel empty?  Is there still power in prayer, you might be asking.  I am here to tell you, there is!  In Daniel Henderson’s book “Transforming Prayer”, he addresses these very issues that many Christians face. 

Grocery list prayer has never worked for any believer who has wanted true transformation in their life.  Making a list of prayer requests and seeking the hand of God to move on a believer’s behalf was not God’s intention for prayer.  God intended prayer to be a two-way communication between the Creator and the creation.  Henderson presents a life-changing method that is not new to the Christian community. 

The fundamental difference between our prayer lists and the prayer concerns we find the Bible is that we pray about personal problems, while most of the biblical prayers focus on Christ’s purposes. (page 87)  How do we change the nature of how we pray?  It can only come through worship-based prayer.  Worship-based prayer seeks the face of God to bring transformation and not His hand.

Daniel Henderson explains in “Transforming Prayer” the basics and foundation of worship-based prayer.  He will guide through the “4/4 pattern” of prayer, as well as direct you in the most effective questions you can ask while on this journey of prayer.  It also comes with chapter-by-chapter questions for application and discussion.

I would recommend this book to any Christian who truly wants transformation in their prayer lives.  This book can only become effective if you are to put the principles of what Henderson teaches into practice.  Then and only then will you see that everything changes when you seek God’s face!

I have received this complimentary book from Bethany House, through the bloggers program.  The views and opinions are my own.




Mar 2, 2011

When the Hurt Runs Deep by Kay Arthur

There have been many different pains in my life that I thought I would never heal from.  I have asked God on numerous occasions, “Why God? Why have these things happened to me?”  I have been angry with God, and ran from Him because of the pain and heartbreak that I suffered.  Thankfully, the Lord was patient with me and waited on me to return to Him.  When I did, He embraced me with open arms and a heart full of love. 

I wish when I was going through the process of healing many years ago, I had read Kay Arthur’s book, When the Hurt Runs Deep.  In her book, Kay brings to the table the fruits of life that many people eat…death, abuse, suicide, etc., and all the emotions and hopelessness that are served as side dishes.  Kay gets right down to the heart of the questions that many people have when they are served these slices of life…“Why?”  “When the hurt runs deep, is there anything that can heal the pain?”

As she confronts some of these tough issues, she also serves a plateful of truth that is God’s Word.  With each subject, she lays out stories of the lives of people in the bible that have suffered through some pretty heartbreaking situations.  She tells of the triumph they gained through seeking God’s face and gives tangible ways that people today can gain the same victory.  Kay covers twelve “Healing Truths” that will help you in the process of healing When the Hurt Runs Deep.  At the end of the book, you can find a study guide that will help you get to the heart of the issues you face, and find the heart of God within those issues.

If you have faced heartache in your life that you have not been able to overcome, I highly recommend this book!  Kay’s words will bring a heaping full of truth, healing, and comfort as you journey through the process of healing from the hurts that run deep.

I have received this complimentary book from WaterBrook Multnomah, through the blogging for books program.  The views and opinions are my own.

Feb 27, 2011

Scars of a Chef by Rick Tramanto with Lisa Jackson

Rick Tramanto’s life was not always as prestigious and fulfilling as it now.  In his autobiography, Scars of a Chef, Tramanto tells the story of hardships he suffered, and the decisions that almost cost him his life.  Having an Italian background, passion was not something he lacked.  He was passionate about the things that caught his interest, and those things were women, drugs, and cooking.  Rick Tramanto takes us back to his childhood where cooking was a big part of his life, as well as his parents dysfunctional abuse of one another.  He then takes us on a journey of discovery into the culinary world, his addiction to “partying” and ultimately a discovery of true love.  Against all odds, Tramanto worked his way from a Wendy’s Chef to opening the four-star establishment Tru.  Scars of a Chef says it all, in this honest, down to earth autobiography you will find the wounds of Rick Tramanto and the healing God brought to create those scars. 

Tramanto takes us from the beginning to the end in this simple yet insightful autobiography.  He takes us into the kitchens of the most esteemed restaurants in the West Coast and reveals to us the struggles he faced, as well as the hardships he endured to get to where he wanted to go.  For a long time Tramanto was doing things his way until one fateful day, when life was falling down all around him.  I loved at the beginning of each chapter he quoted a scripture that went along with what he was sharing, and wrapped each chapter up with a recipe.  This book is just plain outright REAL. 

I received a complimentary copy of Scars of a Chef by Rick Tramanto Tyndale House Publishers as part of their blog review program.  The views and opinions are my own.



 


Feb 21, 2011

PUJOLS More Than A Game by Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth

When you think of RBI’s, Homers, OBP’s, and the diamond you think of baseball, right?  When you think of the St. Louis Cardinals you may often think of Albert Pujols.  What if you were to think of baseball being used as a platform for faith?  In PUJOLS More Than A Game Lamb and Ellsworth illustrate the beautiful story of Albert’s small beginnings to his climb into the Major Leagues.  From his humble beginnings in Santo Domingo, with an alcoholic father we follow Pujols to his first real encounter with Christ, then off to the Minor Leagues and shortly on to the Majors.  Wrapped up within the story of Pujols’ career comes a faith from a man that many children with down syndrome call a hero.  Not only will you find incredible stats and numbers about Pujols, you will find a man that puts God first, and uses baseball as a platform for his faith.

As a woman who does not follow baseball, and never knew who Albert Pujols was until this book, it was very hard to understand the baseball lingo.  I found it hard to follow the story because of the “jumping” around Lamb and Ellsworth did in Pujols career throughout the book. However, I thoroughly enjoyed reading of Albert’s faith, and how he uses his fame as a stage to share Christ with others.  If you love baseball, this is a must read!

This book was provided to me from Thomas Nelson through the BookSneeze program.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Feb 13, 2011

The Resurrection by Mike Duran

Each city has its own spiritual environment, unique with its own atmosphere that creates a passageway to the supernatural.  Much like our own cities and towns, Stonetree holds a spiritual atmosphere that has opened a door to a realm of mystery, darkness, and faith.  When Ruby Case, a crippled woman with a simple faith, resurrects a young boy from the dead the town’s secrets are also restored to life.  Was the resurrection a bonafide miracle or could it be related to the Stonetree curse?  That is what Ian Clark, the reverend of Canyon Springs Community Church, which Ruby attends, is going to find out.  As Reverend Clark searches for the truth about the resurrection, he finds himself charting unfamiliar territory as the secrets of his own past and the towns unfold.  The people of Stonetree have only one hope, a wandering Reverend and a crippled woman.  Interwoven with faith, fear, courage, doubt, and a drive to find the truth, both Ian Clark and Ruby find themselves together at a cross-road of decisions. Will their decisions lead them to unearthing the curse that has plagued the town of Stonetree for many generations, or will they find their faith overpowered by supernatural forces that has driven others away in previous years?

Mike Duran paints a beautiful picture of what real faith looks like when we are faced with powers that are greater than us.  He has an incredible ability to bring the characters to life, and creates a descriptive backdrop that would cause anyone to become part of the story.  I found myself relating to the different characters in The Resurrection, especially Ruby Case.  I could relate to her child-like faith, and her connection with an autistic girl named Jilly who has the ability to see angels.  This book is a must read for anyone who seeks supernatural warfare, and an edge of your seat thrill.

I have received a complimentary copy of The Resurrection by Mike Duran from Strang Book Group as part of the book review program.  The view and opinions are my own.




Jan 29, 2011

In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson

“It should not come as a great surprise to you by now, but I love words….I love them for their power to move you to tears and to laughter, to action and to rest.  I love their power to transform an argument into an agreement, a hope into a prayer, a moment into something holy”
–Robert Benson


That is exactly what Robert Benson’s words did to me as I read his book, In Constant Payer.  This man, whom I have never met, has moved me to such curiosity about the Ancient Practice known as the Daily Office, also known as daily prayer.  Through the labyrinth of words you will discover yourself getting lost within; Benson will take you through the hidden opening of his personal prayer life.  He explains with such poetry and eloquence the art of the offices, the significance of such offices, and his fear, that like most fine arts, it can become lost. 

I have never heard of the Daily Office until I read In Constant Prayer, and although I may never find myself practicing this style of liturgy, Benson has taken me on a journey of laughter, insight, and a realness that I have not seen in other writers.  He quotes many biblical truths, however there were no references when he was mentioning scripture.  Nonetheless, Benson has illuminated the truth that we are all called to a life of prayer, and the passion that he releases for the art of prayer has moved my soul to search for a deeper, more disciplined life of constant prayer. 

I have received a complimentary copy of In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson from BookSneeze® as part of the bloggers program.  The view and opinions are my own.