Three Cups

Three Cups

By Tony Townsley with Mark St. Germain
Published by Thomas Nelson

Through a story of a little boy receiving three nondescript cups for his birthday, authors Tony Townsley and Mark St. Germain teach the principles of financial stewardship to young and not-so-young readers alike.

Told in first person from the perspective of a five-year-old boy, who is none too excited to open his birthday gift only finding three cups that he recognized from his family’s own cupboard. When his mother shows him the accompanying envelope of money, she explains he will now be receiving a weekly allowance.  She continues to explain how he is to divide his allowance each week among the three cups and watch as they take him on exciting adventures. One cup for savings, one for spending and one for giving. The story continues through the boys’ growing-up years and ends with his own five-year-old son opening a birthday gift … of three cups.

A very helpful parent’s guide is included at the back of the book to explain how the reader can start their own “three-cup” progam at home. We started a similar thing with our children when they were small to teach them the value of money and good stewardship.

The only thing I would like to see added to this book would be scripture to reinforce the biblical principles of being good stewards of all God has blessings.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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.”

See a preview of this book here.

Heaven is for Real for Kids

Heaven is for Real for Kids
A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

By Todd & Sonja Burpo
Published by Thomas Nelson

Although I have heard about the grown-up version of Heaven is for Real, but have not read it as of yet, I was excited to have the opportunity to review Heaven is for Real for Kids. Being a mother of three young children, I am always happy to see Christian books geared toward kids.  And this book does not disappoint. Very captivating and well illustrated, Heaven is for Real for Kids is the story of Colton Burpo’s “trip to heaven and back” when he was almost four years old.  The story, re-told by his parents, Todd and Sonja Burpo, is the story as Colton has told to them.

I enjoyed reading this little book. I appreciate the fact that biblical scripture is included to reinforce how Colton’s experiences through his brief visit in heaven line up with the truth of God’s Word.  Though I read this book in digital format as an ebook, I would not hesitate to give printed copies as gifts.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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.”

See a preview of this book here.

Just In Case You Ever Wonder

Just In Case You Ever Wonder

By Max Lucado
Published by Thomas Nelson

I was so excited to see Just In Case You Ever Wonder in the list of books available for review through BookSneeze from Thomas Nelson Publishers.  I have been reading this book to my now nine-year-old boys and five-year-old daughter since they were small.  As all my children are adopted and have their own unique stories, I have enjoyed adapting the storyline to fit their specific circumstances as I read it to them.  It has always been priority to be sure my children know about God and His saving grace through His Son Jesus Christ.  Just In Case You Ever Wonder has played a part in achieving that purpose. My one issue with this book, and it is a big one, is that Lucado fails to mention Jesus Christ in this book at all.  He writes about what a wonderful place heaven is, and how “In heaven you are so close to God that He will hug you, just like I hug you.”  But failing to even mention how we get to heaven, that faith in God’s Son Jesus Christ is the only way anyone will enter into heaven, is a major flaw in this otherwise awesome little book.  But, as I said earlier, when I read this to my children, I have taken liberty to ad-lib the truth of Jesus’ saving grace into the story. It just works …. just in case you ever wonder.

I would definitely recommend Just In Case You Ever Wonder as a wonderful God-centered bedtime story, but would suggest including Jesus in the story so children will hear the whole truth.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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.”

See a preview of this book here.

The Encounter

The Encounter
Sometimes God Has to Intervene

By Stephen Arterburn
Published by Thomas Nelson

Though the story related in The Encounter is fictional, Arterburn explains that he developed the story through a compilation two true stories. The book is basically divided into two parts, the first being the fictional story itself of The Encounter.  The second part is the brief retelling for the two true stories, followed by a few “questions and concepts” Arterburn has included to help the reader in dealing with their own similar personal issues.

The storyline is centered around the life a man named Jonathan Rush. Rush is returning to his hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska in search of answers to questions that have been tormenting him for years. Adopted at the age of nine by loving parents, who have recently passed away, Rush is seeking information about his birth mother, who abandoned him at the age of four, when he went to live in a local children’s home. The Encounter is Rush’s, as well as his birth mother’s, story of forgiveness, grace, redemption, and healing.

Recommend? Absolutely!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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.”

To view a preview of this book click here.

Dug Down Deep

Dug Down Deep
Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters

By Joshua Harris
Published by Multnomah Books

Written by established author and speaker Joshua Harris, Dug Down Deep is well written and addresses many common theological issues in a way that is fairly easy to understand. Harris is the son of a Gregg and Sono Harris, pioneers in the Christian homeschooling movement beginning in the early 1980’s. One of seven children, Joshua is joined in the writing and speaking arena by his younger, twin brothers Alex and Brett Harris.

In Dug Down Deep Harris’s well rounded and biblically sound foundational upbringing shines through.  He unapologetically but easily discusses many sensitive theological topics without the controversy that commonly accompanies them. Harris focuses readers on the common-ground for all Christians of keeping our eyes focused on Jesus and the truth of His saving grace, rather than arguing over differences in interpretations of the law.

I enjoyed reading Dug Down Deep.  I admit there were a few places I had to re-read to really understand what was being said.  Though overall, there were many more sections I highlighted so I could come back and re-read as great “ah-ha” statements. The presentation and organization of the chapters are very well put together. I definitely would recommend Dug Down Deep.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, through the Blogging For Books book review program, for review. 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.”

Thank You, God, For Blessing Me

Thank You, God, For Blessing Me
By Max Lucado
Published by Thomas Nelson

Little Hermie is caterpillar. Little Hermie is also the star in a series of adorable little books for toddlers written by established author and speaker Max Lucado.
Little Hermie demonstrates to toddlers how to be thankful for everything God has blessed them.  As Little Hermie “looks around and smiles at all he sees,” he begins to pray.
Thank You, God, For Blessing Me is a prayer from Little Hermie thanking God for his many blessings including food, eyesight, friends, family, flowers, stars and playtime. He also asks God to help him be kind and obey.  Very cute and well illustrated little book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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.”

See a preview of this book here.

Love You More

Love You More
The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter

By Jennifer Grant
Published by Thomas Nelson

Written in an easy-reading, light-hearted style, Love You More is a wonderfully inspiring read!  Much more than a story of one family’s journey through international adoption.  Love You More is the Grant Family’s story.  Adoption just happens to be a part of that story.  Jennifer Grant and her husband, David, are parents to four children.  Jennifer gave birth to three of their children.  Their fourth child, Mia, was born in Guatemala and came into their family through international adoption. Grant relays the ups and downs of their adoption journey, as well as ups and downs of their marriage and family through the years. Though she unmistakably portrays the love she has for her daughter Mia, Grant does not shy away from telling the difficult parts of her story.

As a mother myself of all adopted children, I know firsthand how rewarding, emotional and difficult the process can be all at the same time. Grant’s story is a realistic portrayal of the international adoption process. It is a story I wish I could have read while going through the adoption process myself.  It is a story I thoroughly enjoyed reading now.  It is a story I recommend to anyone.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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.”

See a preview of this book here.

Futurecast

FUTURECAST
By George Barna
Published By Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Are you one who can’t get enough statistics?  Love reading page after page of research data?  Then this is the book for you!

Ok, admittedly, I am not one who longs to sit down with my cup of coffee to read page after page of research data. But, that said, there is a need for a book such as Futurecast to provide data trends on how our current cultures are shaping our world’s future.  Futurecast is choked full of supporting research regarding current overriding beliefs, behaviors and attitudes in our society.  Trends in media, technology, entertainment, and the resulting “information overload” are presented and analyzed. The underlying goal of this book seems to be to to provide motivation for today’s Christians to actively stand up and begin to make a difference in our world. Toward the end of the book, Barna begins to provide positive suggestions for Christians to use to begin to make changes.  He points toward the only Source of true change, a relationship with God Himself.  Barna states “Take your cues form God, not the world.”
Overall, Futurecast is a resource book, providing research data to support claims that our society is heading away from God’s direction, while providing tips on what we, as Christians, can do to “redirect” these trends.

Recommend? Not so much.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Tyndale House Publishers, through the Tyndale Blog Network 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.”

Worlds Collide

Worlds Collide

By Alison Strobel
Published by WaterBrook Press

Excellently written and wonderfully inspirational book!

Worlds Collide is the fictional love story of Hollywood super-star actor, Jack Harrington, and the non-actress “girl next door” Grace Winslowe.  Ultimately told from the view point of Jada, the journalist chosen to tell their story, Worlds Collide turned out to be a very inspirational read.  Written in first person, with alternating chapters told from the viewpoints of Jack, and then Grace, the reader is brought gradually into the characters’ lives, eventually falling into the midst of a heartwarming love story.

From the beginning, the reader is drawn into the characters lives.  The events and circumstances are very real-life.  Though purely fictional, the storyline is woven so intricately, and characters illustrated so realistically, that I found myself questioning whether or not I had heard of the actor Jack Harrington.  As the reader finds from the beginning, Jack is living out his last days and wants desperately for his story to be written.  Not for reasons of fame as one might think, but to tell His story – the story of how the God of the Bible drew a one-time playboy actor out of the darkness of a self-serving life, and into the bright light of true freedom that can only be found through Jesus Christ.

Worlds Collide is an awesome mix of a love story between two people and their God.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, through the Blogging For Books book review program, for review. 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.”