Sunday, August 23, 2015

NIV Zondervan Study Bible

  • Hardcover: 2912 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 25, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310438314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310438311

The NIV Zondervan Study Bible, featuring Dr. D. A. Carson as general editor, is built on the truth of Scripture and centered on the gospel message. An ambitious and comprehensive undertaking, Dr. Carson, with committee members Dr. T. Desmond Alexander, Dr. Richard S. Hess, Dr. Douglas J. Moo, and Dr. Andrew David Naselli, along with a team of over 60 contributors from a wide range of evangelical denominations and perspectives, crafted all-new study notes and other study tools to present a biblical theology of God’s special revelation in the Scriptures. To further aid the readers’ understanding of the Bible, also included are full-color maps, charts, photos and diagrams. In addition, a single-column setting of the Bible text provides maximum readability.
The accessible and fresh interior design will capture your attention and enhance your study experience. Along with your purchase, you’ll also receive free electronic access to the NIV Zondervan Study Bible.

My take on this Bible:
This Bible is a true chunkster with 2880 pages this isn't a Bible that I would readily carry to church with me, but the features easily makes it a go to for in depth study.  One of the first things I checked with this Bible is whether it would lay flat when open and it certainly does, whether you turn to Genesis or Revelation or somewhere in between the pages lay flat making it easy to use. Another thing I always look for is a presentation page and this Bible that as well. Some of the features of the Bible include full color, with free digital access, there is a code included allowing ease for signing up for the digital access. There are over twenty thousand study notes, and while the layout for the study notes is double column, the text for the books of the Bible is single column, which makes for a very easy read.  The reference is along the outer pages and while printed a bit small it is still readable. Speaking of print the print size could have been larger, especially for older eyes, and I do wish that the print would have been in bold. Color maps, plenty of study notes, a concordance and several charts provide plenty of useful information when studying. Twenty-eight articles found at the back of the Bible discuss topics such as Exile and Exodus, sin, the temple, and creation to name a few. The NIV text is an easy to read version, and is one I use often. Overall, anyone looking for a study Bible where you will get plenty of bang for your buck should check this one out, if you are looking for an easy to use Bible this one fits the bill as well.

A complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Amazing Grace ~ Faith Blum

  • File Size: 3794 KB
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Faith Blum (April 26, 2015)
  • Publication Date: April 26, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Caleb hurried to the post office. He had to get in and out before his sister finished at the general store. “Any mail for the Stuarts?” he asked the postmaster.

The postmaster took a lazy look at him over the top of his eyeglasses and gave a heaving sigh as he turned around to check. “Yep. Somethin’ from Ohio and somethin’ from Montana.”

Tapping his foot, Caleb waited until the large man put the letters lazily in his hand. As he left he wondered why Anna had written someone in Montana and who she knew in Montana. It was really none of his business, but he was still curious. He folded the Ohio letter in half and stashed it in his back pocket. It would get wrinkled, but at least Anna wouldn’t know about it.

As Caleb struggles through some inner battles, he secretly starts a correspondence with a widow and her daughter. Their unabashed faith in God convicts him and increases his inner struggles. 

Unable to find a steady job, Maggie places an advertisement to become a mail-order bride. Her daughter, Rachel, is her motivation and encouragement, but if Maggie doesn’t find a job or husband soon, Rachel might not survive through the next year. 

Can Caleb learn to trust God despite his past? Can Maggie and Rachel hold onto their faith despite all their trials? What will happen when they meet in person? 
My take on this book:
Amazing Grace by Faith Blum continues the story of the Stuart siblings, Anna and Caleb, siblings that are dealing with the loss of their brother, while also worrying about their dad  whose only solace comes from a bottle, something that he thinks he is hiding from his children. Anna has found her faith again and just might be getting married, and Caleb answered an ad from a mail order bride, and now he corresponds with Maggie as well as her daughter Rachel. Thing is he is struggling with issues from his past that is keeping him from a promising future, because until he comes to grips with his past he feels like God can never forgive him. Will Caleb and Maggie find their way to each other? How will it impact the relationship with his father? 

I was totally excited to see this book available as part of kindle unlimited. Having read the second book, I really was anxious to see how the lives of Anna and her family was going, well let me say this book gripped my heart and had me feeling like I had stepped into the story.I love mail order bride tales and the story between Caleb and Maggie, and of course Rachel was great, because we see the struggles that each faces, but the author also allows us to see what happens once Maggie and Rachel travel to Caleb.  The doubts and struggles that Caleb was dealing with were something that many might relate to, and the message of forgiving oneself wasn't overdone, instead it was inspiring.  The author provides a great story with Maggie and Caleb, and it was great reconnecting with Miles and Anna, we continue to see their struggles and faith, but it was the story that takes place between Rachel and her grandpa that was touching.Anyone who enjoys a good clean historical read that pulls you into the lives of the characters providing faith, hope and the trials of life will certainly enjoy Amazing Grace. While the author provides enough information that you can read this book as a stand alone, I highly recommend reading the series because it's just that good. 

The Ghosts of Stony Manor ~ Roberta Hoffer

  • Series: The Stonebridge Ghost Tales
  • Paperback: 74 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Publishing, Incorporated (April 24, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1941278124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1941278123

In Book III of The Stonebridge Ghost Tales, Stony Manor in Southern Indiana is now filled with ghosts of almost every generation of the Jones family. Christian Jones Arnook and his mom Allison have come to accept living with ghosts. When a secret letter hints of a Jones family treasure yet to be found, all generations are united. Except there is one generation missing. Could he be the one who holds the key to the Jones family treasure? Will Christian and his mother lose Stony Mansion to underhanded businessmen? And what do the stone gargoyles have to do with it all? [Juvenile Fiction (rated G for ages 8-12) published by Dragonfly Publishing, Inc.]

My take on this book:
 Secrets are nothing new at Stony Manor, and of course a few strange occurrences are par for the course, after all there seem to be more ghosts , than living beings at the manor. When Christian finds a letter about a hidden treasure it could be the answer to the money issues that his mother worries about. Christian is determined to figure out where the treasure is and solve the mysteries that crop up, thing is school is about to start and he isn't going to have much time! What secrets will he uncover and will the family fortune be found?

I have enjoyed each book in The Stonebridge Ghost Tales, but think this was the best one yet! Christian is about to turn eleven and he is starting sixth grade in a new school. The mysteries and ghosts that surround the manor really keep the plot zipping along. I really enjoyed the interactions of Christian and his "ancestors" and it was interesting to watch them work together. I also enjoy the interactions between him and his mother, they really depict a true mother, son relationship. I thought the part the gargoyles played in the story was great and will certainly put readers imagination into overdrive. Glimmers of humor really round out this story quite nicely. Even though this book is geared toward ages 8-12 older readers will enjoy it as well. I only hope that Ms. Hoffer continues this series because I am certain that Christian and the residents of Stony Manor have many more adventures to share.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Heartbreak Trail ~ Susan K. Marlow

  • Series: Circle C Milestones (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (July 27, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825443687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825443688

The second in the Circle C Milestones series
Andrea Carter can ride, rope, and cut out cattle with the best of her brothers’ ranch hands. Yet, her mother has always held the family’s youngest daughter back from fully participating in ranch activities.
With the approach of her fifteenth birthday, even the ranch boss, big brother Chad, can’t deny that his baby sister is better at ranch skills than some of his cowhands. When Andi announces that her quinceaƱera birthday wish is to join the upcoming cattle drive, her family is stunned. But after further discussion and multiple newspaper clippings about spirited women who balked at society’s expectations, even Mother agrees that the only way to get this cattle-drive notion out of Andi’s head is by letting her and her cousin Levi go along as Cook’s helpers. Andi is elated. What can go wrong on a two-week drive to Los Angeles?
Andi quickly discovers that a cattle drive is a dirty, dangerous business with little sleep and the same food day after day. Between late nights, dust, mosquitos, and an abrasive cowhand trying to win Andi’s attention, it is definitely not a holiday. Andi grimly determines she will stick it out. When a river crossing goes wrong and Chad is shot in a gunfight with suspicious men who have been shadowing the herd, Mitch the trail boss finds himself dangerously shorthanded. Andi and Levi can no longer just give Cook a hand. It’s time to pitch in and help Mitch get their cattle to market―any way they can.

My take on this book:
Heartbreak Trail continues the story of Andrea Carter and life on the ranch. She loves to rope and ride, and is actually better at it than many of the others on the ranch, thing is she is a young girl turning fifteen and her mother wants her to be more ladylike. When Andi tells everyone her birthday wish is to join a cattle drive, and surprisingly her mother agrees to let her go if she will agree to help the cook. What sorts of adventures take place on the drive? One thing you can bank on is that Andi will be right in the midst of the excitement!

As the second book in the Circle C Milestone series I would recommend reading the series in order to fully understand the characters of the story.  This is such an easily readable story that once you start reading it you become absorbed in the story and the characters. I could understand why Andi wanted to go on the cattle drive, but she soon realized the hard work involved, realizing it wasn't going to be all fun. I watched Andi's frustrations, but also watched her grow and become more mature while on the trail. Speaking of which,  Ms. Marlow really makes you feel like your right along for the ride, experiencing the various aspects that went on during the cattle drive.  Filled with plenty of action as well as suspense blended together with Andi become more mature and "growing up"  makes for a page turning read. Truly a wonderful christian story that will appeal to the age range it's intended for but honestly would appeal to young and old alike. Anyone looking for a wild west adventure that will transport you back to simpler days and allow you to feel like they have stepped back in time is in for a real treat with Heartbreak Trail. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Apologetics Study Bible For Students ~ Review and Giveaway

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Hardcover: 1440 pages
  • Publisher: Holman Bible Publishers; Updated edition (February 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433614847
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433614842

The Apologetics Study Bible for Students anchors younger Christians in the truths of Scripture by equipping them with thoughtful and practical responses for whenever the core issues of their faith and life are challenged.

Multiple research studies have shown that spiritual focus often weakens among teenagers as they head into the attention-dividing realm of young adulthood. Up to 66 percent of them leave church altogether. The Apologetics Study Bible for Students works against that trend by helping this audience begin to better articulate its beliefs. In addition to the complete HCSB text and dozens of articles collected from today’s most popular youth leaders, including editor Sean McDowell, this new study Bible also includes:

  • Book Introductions for each of the 66 books of the Bible
  • Study Notes provide evidence of the reliability and truthfulness of Scripture.
  • 120 Articles written by today’s leading Christian thinkers dealing with life’s ultimate questions.
  • Two-color design-intensive layout on every page for the visual generation
  • 60 Twisted Scriptures address ways that various religious movements distort Scripture to support doctrine contrary to historic Christian teaching.
  • 50 Bone & Dirt feature important archaeological discoveries with an apologetics value.
  • 50 Notable Quotes from influential people throughout history.
  • 25 Tactics will equip students to withstand opposition to Christianity by outlining tactics and strategies for handling frequently heard anti-Christian arguments.
  • 20 Personal Stories will encourage and strengthen readers in their faith by describing how God has worked dramatically in peoples lives.
  • 20 Top Five are bullet point lists that help readers remember significant apologetics topics.

  • Along with these great features you can also go to in order to access sixteen weeks of informative videos, and even if you miss a few weeks don't worry each week is archived for easy access.
    This week the topic is The Dead Sea Scrolls

    My take on this Bible:
    In today's world faith and Christianity is more important than ever for our teens. When they are challenged about what they believe or just asked by fellow peers why they believe what they believe they might need a bit of help being steered in the right direction for the answer. With the Apologetics Study Bible they have a valuable resource that will make finding those answers easier. One of the stand out features of this Bible was the numerous articles included that answered a multitude of questions, and those answers included solid scripture reference so the user can look it up for themselves.I am far outside the age range that this Bible is intended for and found that the topics were relevant to me! The twisted scriptures was another feature that I really enjoyed reading, they are scriptures that people often try to twist to fit their own agenda, or perhaps make you question why you believe what you believe. The personal stories feature stories about teens, stories that the user just might relate too. There are so many useful features in this Bible,from the study notes, to the great articles and the easy to use layout making it a great study aid for teens, but truthfully this is a Bible that will appeal to older adults as well, whether they are just beginning their walk in faith or looking to learn more. 
    A complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review.

    Now on to the giveaway:

    Confident Faith Sweepstakes

    There are two ways you can win. First Go here to enter the Confidence in Faith Sweepstakes. You could win a free Bible, a mini Apologetic Library or even a FREE trip for twoto hear some of the world's best thinkers in Christian apologetics at NCCA. Enter now!

    Second: A copy of this Bible was provided by Propeller/FlyBy promotions for review and they were gracious enough to provide a copy for giveaway here on my blog. 

    Entering is easy, just leave a comment on this post telling me why you want to win,contest will end @ midnight August 18th.

    "Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

    Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


    Your prize will come from the sponsor. Good Luck! 

    NIV Bible For Teen Girls

    • Hardcover: 1728 pages
    • Publisher: Zondervan (August 25, 2015)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0310749697
    • ISBN-13: 978-0310749691

    Book Description

    An all-new inspirational daily reading Bible designed specifically for girls 13-18, in the popular NIV translation.
    The NIV Bible for Teen Girls, designed specifically for girls ages 13 to 18, is for real teenage girls with real lives. Packed with daily readings, highlighted promises of God, challenging insights, smart advice, and open discussion about the realities of life, this Bible is designed to help teen girls grow in faith, hope, and love.
    The NIV Bible for Teen Girls is as sincere about your walk with God as you are, helping you discover his will for all areas of your life, including relating to your family, dealing with friends, work, sports, guys, and so much more.
    Features include:
    Daily readings for teen girls by popular Christian female authors Character profiles of women in the Bible Book introductions for each book of the Bible Highlighted promises of God: verses worth remembering A concordance for help in finding verses The complete text of the bestselling New International Version (NIV) of the Bible

    My thoughts on this Bible: 
    The NIV Bible for Teen Girls has plenty of features to help the user grow closer to God. First of all lets take a look at the cover, it's very sturdy and should withstand years of use. The first thing I always check is to see if there is a presentation page and this one does, and it includes a scripture verse. Some of the features of this Bible include character profiles of women of the Bible, detailed book introductions, highlighted promises of God, daily devotional readings titled Growing in Faith, hope and love. Along with these features there is also a concordance, a table of weight and measures along with a topical index. I have to say one of my favorite features of this Bible had to be reading about the women of the Bible, it was nice learning what their names mean, and I like that there is also reference for where to find her "story" in the scripture. I found myself  using the index in order to skip right to this feature so that I could read about the many women of the Bible. 

    I think the subtitle  of this Bible is really appropriate because who doesn't want their teen daughter,  or granddaughter to grow in faith, hope and love! A cute soothing green that is very eye appealing, I think this is a Bible that any teen would be proud to use and carry to weekly Bible study or wherever they decide to use it! Quite pretty on the outside, and filled with faith growing information on the inside. 
    complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review.