Thursday, April 20, 2017

Litfuse Review: Getting Jesus Wrong: Giving Up Spiritual Vitamins and Checklist Christianity by:Matt Johnson

About the Book:
If you met Jesus today, and he asked, What do you want from me? what would you say? When Jesus asked that question long ago, he got a variety of answers. Some wanted a miracle, some a theological debate, some a sign that he was the Messiah, some wanted power, some wanted just to see him, and others wanted to get rid of him. We are much the same aren't we? We all want something from Jesus. We are just hoping for a little help to get through life a new direction, a purpose that will get us up in the morning, an exercise plan, a way to get organized. But that approach to Jesus doesn't result in real faith or love. 

 The real Jesus doesn't give us just a little help. He turns our world upside down. Getting Jesus right means a whole new way of thinking (the way up is down) and a whole new way of life (daily dependence on the one who knows the beginning from the end). Instead of a blueprint for living or a new workout plan, we get a rich life where the simple truths of the gospel inform our everyday life with each other. Where we daily remember our deep need for forgiveness, the joy of being forgiven, and gradually become those who receive grace and share grace with those around us.
My Review:
 Following after God and living for Him is a daily choice, most days it's easier than others. I'm glad that God does grants us grace in multiple areas, especially this one.  Running after Him especially when the world has turned against you or at least when it feels like it has is one of those times when it's all I can do to keep from breaking in a million pieces if I don't get to grab a hold of the remnant of Him, one more time. There are so many things He is to me but most of all lately, He has been comforter. I'm not sure if the Bible says it but sometimes He can be a challenger, as well.

 He challenges me to be better than I was yesterday. He challenges me to look outside of my own "box", even when it seems impossible. God is straight forward and simple yet so incredibly complicated. Just when you think that you have a hold of this "being a Christian thing" he takes you in for another round. He tells me I am to rely on Him for comfort, for living, for wholeness and that no one can complete this in me only Him. He never lies or tries to twist the truth so I know without a doubt I can count on Him and His word above all else. Whether its feelings or situations that turn my world upside down, I know for a fact that my God walks through that fire right beside me.

 Many times in my life, I myself have gotten Jesus wrong. I thought that He was no where to be found, when in fact He was beside me, all along. During the times I have made horrendous mistakes wondering why He didn't stop me. Or the time when I was so incredibly devastated by my mother's death that I went through a 20 year long depression and fog that swallowed me, sadness and all. There have been so many times, that it is virtually impossible to count. But, I have come to realize that in those times, all of them in every situation, He may have been quiet but I was never alone.

 The author many times has found himself at a crossroads of sorts where he thought he had God all figured out when in fact, he didn't. God I find personally, is sort of like that. He does NOT fit into a box for us to use when we feel like it and how we want. He is after all, GOD. He is our God. Our leader and the director of our life. This life is ongoing and each day as the author states we have to live the way He wants us to not how we want to. It is after all about glorifying Him. We spend our lives doing it here only to continue once we are in Heaven with our glorious King.

The author shares what he has learned on his journey through this life and following Jesus. While he didn't always get it right, he admits that he doesn't always get it right but we can't give up--we have to keep trying.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the author. All opinions are my own.

Becky Wade's 'True to You' Author Chat Party

Raise your hand if you're ready for Becky Wade's new series! Celebrate the release of book one, True to You, with Becky and other readers on Facebook on May 4th during a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Becky will be chatting about the book and answering your questions about the new series, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too!

Pre-order your copy of True to You so you're ready for a fun book discussion. Find out more about the book here.

Hope to see you on May 4 for Becky's True to You Facebook Party!

Litfuse Review: The Joy of Letting Go by:Vicki Caruana

The Joy of Letting Go
About the Book:
Parents let go of their children every day, even in ways they don’t realize. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

My Review:
 We are to raise our children so that when the time comes that we will be able to let them go.It is really difficult especially when they get to the older teenage years and they feel they are ready to be on their own. Its a hard road for sure. Right now among our 4 children I have a 19 year old, a 14 year old and an almost 12 year old. So two teens at once was not very fun but we are still navigating it. Some days are definitely better than others.

 For all of those that have a hard time letting go, author Vicki Caruana has put together enough devotional readings for 52 days or weekly for 52 weeks. I enjoyed reading about the authors son concerning a mistake he had made when he thought he had overslept. My oldest is having a hard time right now flying on her own. But she is also wanting us not so close. So it is a very aggravating transition for her as well as us.

 Keeping God at the center of life as well as at any and all milestones keeps us all centered. The devotional that is based on the life lessons of the author and many others teaches us that our kids are going to make mistakes and many of them we have to allow. But trying to guide them is also our responsibility. We don't give that right up just because they are teens. It is needed more so than ever now.

 A great read full of practical tips, examples, and inspiration to keep on keeping on.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the author. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: The Princess Parables: Princess Prayers by:Zonderkidz

 Princess Prayers
About the Book:
Good morning, Lord, it’s time to rise.
The sun is shining bright.
I’ve got my day ahead of me,so help me do what’s right.  

Help me to be kind and good and do my very best to show my love for you today, so others will be blessed.

Princess Prayers includes fifteen sweet prayers for little girls who want to live like princesses for God their King. Prayers are included for girls to be able to pray and learn alongside princess Grace, Hope, Faith, Charity, and Joy. Every little girl is a princess, and this padded cover board book will help them engage with Scripture and discover how to open their hearts to God.

My Review:
 If you are looking for a great, encouraging read for your little princess based on Godlike character and principles than you really should follow and learn more about The Princess Parables line from Zonderkidz. Great encouraging read that  will help each young girl reach their potential in Christ.

 This addition to the series is all about Prayers. It is a board book that is geared towards ages 4-8. It features roughly 15 prayers. These prayers run the gamut from morning prayers to prayers when you are afraid to God's love type prayers. They are so sweet based on Scripture and have beautiful illustrations.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the author. All opinions are my own.

Review: Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl's Heart by:Glenys Nellist

 Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart
About the Book:
In this heart-warming picture book designed for girls, author Glenys Nellist tells the inspiring stories of incredible women in the Bible. With beautiful illustrations by Rachel Clowes and sweet lift-the-flap envelopes, each story delivers a special message for children to open as they read their own personal love letters from God. Full of warmth and love, this picture book will fill girls’ hearts with the wonder of the Lord. The stories of Eve, Miriam, Rahab, Mary, and many more will delight children and remind them of the bond they can share with God, just like the women of the Bible.

My Review:
 It's few and far between these days that you can find encouragement for young girls. These days things are centered around treating them in not a Godly way. But thankfully, there are still some people out there like Glenys Nellist that still write what God has laid on their hearts to share with young girls. My daughter is grown now but she never tires of reading the author's books and we hope to share with her daughters one day the love that God has for them.

 In this lift-the-flap-book, you can find stories of young girls from the Bible that will lift up and encourage the young girls of today. These girls fought to do right by the Almighty and God allowed them to win that fight. I like to think that God is more than a little partial to us girls. He says such great things to us. He loves us all and only wishes the best for us. A great inspiring read for ages 4-8 but momma liked it too!

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the author. All opinions are my own.

Review: Life After by:Katie Ganshert

 Life After
About the Book:
On the day of a late spring storm, in Chicago, Autumn Manning boarded an “L” train. A bomb explodes, killing everyone in the train car except for Autumn—the sole survivor. A year has passed and Autumn suffocates under a blanket of what ifs and the pressing desire to bring the victims back to life, every day, if only for her. She doesn’t want their stories to be forgotten. She wants to undo what cannot be undone. An unexpected ally joins her efforts, also seeking answers and trying to find a way to stumble ahead.
But one victim’s husband, Paul Elliott, prays to let the dead—and their secrets—rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to hurt his loved ones.
Caught between loss and hope, these restless souls must release the past to embrace a sovereign God.

My Review:
 As shocking as it may seem, life doesn't go back to normal after a huge tragedy in our lives. And on a side note everyone's definition of a tragedy is different. Autumn Manning has experienced a life altering tragedy that still holds her life in it's ugly grip and won't let go. Paul Elliot on the other hand it means moving on and letting go. He hasn't had too much trouble moving on and he wants everyone else to do the same.

 I felt sorry for Autumn from the start. I have been through a death in my life that kept me in a very dark, desperate place for many years. It is such a suffocating place to be and to find peace in that place is near impossible. For many years I prayed that God would help me out of that place because I was ready to move on.

 Paul and his stance sort of worried me from the beginning because I felt like he was trying to cover something up. This book is an amazing book with an eye catching story line. It is definitely NOT a boring read. It full of action and suspense. I loved it!

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the author. All opinions are my own.

Lisa Lloyd’s ‘Chasing Famous’ Prize Pack Giveaway

Did you know you're constantly, often unconsciously, auditioning for a part? Learn how to master these issues and turn the spotlight on God with the help of Lisa Lloyd's new book, Chasing Famous. Chasing Famous is a redemptive book that teaches us how to take the focus off ourselves and shift it back on to the glory of God. Written by a professional actress who readily admits that she is the most self-centered person she knows, Chasing Famous provides practical and sometimes humorous examples of scriptural truth that will help you master the natural self-centered tendencies of life.

Discover what life really means when the focus is on God and enter to win Lisa's Spotlight on God Prize Pack!


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on April 28. The winner will be announced May 1 on the Litfuse blog.