Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To the One Who Conquers: 50 Daily Meditations on the Seven Letters of Revelation 2-3 by Sam Storms

In 50 Daily Meditations on the Seven Letters of Revelation 2-3, Sam Storms has carefully researched and written a book relevant to today's Christian. He presents information logically, expounding more explicitly with each succeeding chapter. Thought-provoking questions lead the reader to a deeper understanding of Jesus' message to the seven churches and how it relates to the Church today, and more specifically, to every believer. Mr. Storms faithfully quotes multiple scripture passages to validate his assertions.

I cried out to God in prayer many times as I read this book and meditated on its teachings. Chapter 9 analyzes why God allows suffering and even death for His Name's sake. The best description I've ever read of what eternity will be like for a Christian is on page 97. I've read that one page many times and rejoiced.

Although I don't agree with all that the author writes, I can still recommend this book. As you read any book on the Bible, you should look up the references yourself. This book succeeds in its mission - getting the reader to ponder the Bible's teachings and ignites a desire to learn more about the messages Jesus imparted in the book of Revelation.

Product Details:

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Crossway Books (August 31, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433501384
ISBN-13: 978-1433501388

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Chronological Study Bible - New King James Version (Thomas Nelson)

The Chronological Study Bible – New King James Version (Thomas Nelson) is laid out beautifully. With dates at the top of the page, the text is divided into none 'epochs' making it convenient to turn to the table of contents to find an event. Time Charts and Time Panels break down each epoch into more specific categories. If an event has no fixed date, it is placed with related events. Absolute chronology is provided for events with fixed dates. This makes it easy for a reader to place Biblical history into the context of world history.

I appreciated the introduction to each epoch with information about archeology, literature, people and groups of people, and more. The transitions into each section flow smoothly with thorough background information and relevant and interesting facts presented. Snippets about science and technology, and daily life and customs, and time capsules kept me aware of historical context. A concordance and colorful maps round out the abundant resources.

I chose to read about Jesus' final week in Jerusalem often called "Passion Week." I was most interested in reading the details of each day in order. It took some getting used to because I would first read Matthew's account followed by Mark's and Luke's, but fascinating to read about Jesus from each disciple's perspective. The notes on politics and government helped me understand in a more profound way the persecution from religious authorities that Jesus endured. I now understand, appreciate, and see Passion Week in a completely new light.

If you are looking for a specific Bible passage, turn to the Index of Scripture Passages in the back of the Bible. I must say, though, that this Bible is more for students of Scripture who want to feel like they were there, living in Bible times. All the extras in this Bible round out your experience and place Biblical events in context. You'll feel as if you're crossing through the wilderness with the Israelites or walking the streets with Jesus, watching Him save, heal, and deliver.

I like this layout very much, and highly recommend this Bible.

Product Details:
Hardcover: 1728 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 14, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0718020685
ISBN-13: 978-0718020682

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Light Across the River by Stephanie Reed

Light Across the River is the sequel to Across the Wide River. Both historical novels by Stephanie Reed tell the story of the Rankin family, conductors for the Underground Railroad. Reed’s careful research shows in the authentic dialogue and settings.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and recommend reading it first, but this book stands on its own. Reading the exciting and heartwarming adventure told through the eyes of Johnny Rankin and Eliza, a runaway slave, I cried, I laughed, and I learned. I shivered as the chunks of ice gave way under Eliza’s feet as she navigated the Ohio River in her desperate escape from slavery. Taking in shallow breaths, I could almost hear the slave hunters’ dogs and prayed that Eliza wouldn’t be found before she made her way to freedom – something we take for granted.

You’ll never forget the story. What a treasure trove of information and inspiration! Though designated as juvenile fiction, this is a book for all ages.

Product Details:
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications; 1st edition (April 30, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0825435749
ISBN-13: 978-0825435744

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Zooprise Party/Fiesta Zoorpresa by Rebekha Delgado (Author), Joy Delgado (Illustrator)

Every creature likes to celebrate his birthday - even an Okapi named Mori. Zooprise Party/Fiesta Zoorpresa is a bilingual (English/Spanish) book with a simple message - friends can be of any shape or size. At the end of the story are facts about the unusual animals.

Most children love birthdays and will identify with the excitement over celebrating a birthday, and sympathize with Mori when he thinks his birthday has been forgotten. The illustrations perfectly complement the story.

The Zooprise Party Activity Book ($4.95, ISBN 978-0975545423) contains 24 pages with fun activities like coloring pages, mazes, and puzzles.

With the cute story, the animal facts, Activity Book, and Teachers Guide (separate purchase), the Delgados have compiled an excellent array of activities to keep children entertained and learning at the same time.

For up-to-date news about the book, visit Joy's blog: Zooprise Party

To download coloring pages, puzzles, and crafts, visit Laughing Zebra.
Direct order information:
Laughing Zebra – Books for Children Bookstore
Offers free shipping and autographed copies

Product Details:
Paperback: 36 pages
Publisher: J.O.Y. Publishing; first edition (October 24, 2008)
Language: English, Spanish
ISBN-10: 0975545418
ISBN-13: 978-0975545416
Available through Amazon and Target.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Heart for Africa by Annie Jensen

A Heart for Africa recounts the history of the Rafiki Foundation, established by Rosemary Jensen, which rescues orphans and vulnerable teens from death, disease, and poverty, telling them of the love of Jesus Christ, and educating them as well. Rafiki provides schools, homes, and medical care.

Written and photographed by Rosemary Jensen’s daughter, Annie Jensen, the photos in A Heart for Africa will tug at your heart and delight the senses. Breathtaking photos of Africa’s landscapes and beauty stand in stark contrast to several heart wrenching stories in the text. If you have ever felt a burden in your heart for the spiritual and physical well-being of children in Africa, you’ll be inspired by this message of purpose and ‘hope against all odds.’

Product Details:
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (December 20, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0825438896
ISBN-13: 978-0825438899

Happy Baby, Healthy Mom Pregnancy Journal by Robert A. Greene, M.D. & Laurie Tarkan

During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through so many changes with emotions tumbling about. One way many moms get through this period without falling apart is by journaling. What if one book had diet and lifestyle advice, health tips, and journaling space? The Happy Baby, Healthy Mom Pregnancy Journal fits the bill.

Created by pregnancy expert, Dr. Robert A. Greene, the journal has a week-to-week plan for staying healthy and symptom-free during pregnancy and in the months following the baby’s birth. By keeping track of symptoms, the mother can bring them to her doctor’s attention. Pregnancy Pointers, Baby Milestones, and Symptom Soothers add up to well-rounded (no pun intended!) advice.

Staying informed every step of the way better allows moms the freedom to enjoy their pregnancies. When used as the authors intended, the Happy Baby, Healthy Mom Pregnancy Journal will be a cherished reminder of a mother’s physical and emotional state for the nine months it took to birth a miracle. Recommended especially for first-time moms.

Product Details:
Spiral-bound: 212 pages
Publisher: Potter Style (December 31, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307382214
ISBN-13: 978-0307382214

One Extraordinary Day by Harold Myra

Many people can identify with the main character in “One Extraordinary Day.” Daniel seems to have little control of his life. He’s overworked, tired, and depressed. His wife encourages him to get away for a day to re-energize. While walking in the woods, he meets a mysterious person. Is he simply a stranger or something more?

Harold Myra has crafted a story that has more of a ‘Twilight Zone’ feel than Christian fantasy. Stories filled with allegory entertain and fascinate me, but this book had more fact than fantasy, or was it the other way around? The book weaves the story of redemption in a simple and profound way, but I fear the message gets lost in the premise, and the loose threads of fantasy, of which there are many, are too tightly wrapped up in the end. It’s a pleasant enough book, but one I’d recommend only for readers with deep, theologically sound roots.

Product Details:
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (August 13, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414323581
ISBN-13: 978-1414323589
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