03 December, 2011

The Barber Who Wanted to Pray, by Dr. R. C. Sproul


The Barber Who Wanted to Pray is a book for children by Dr. R. C. Sproul that is sure to delight both young and old. In grandfatherly fashion (one can almost imagine him reading this book to his own grandchildren), the reader and listeners embark into the life of a barber, Master Peter, who learned from Martin Luther about how to pray and then taught his grandson, who in turn taught his own family! As you learn along with the McFarland family about prayer your kids will be guided through the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Apostles’ Creed. They will learn to pray through these prayers as they do this hopefully they will develop an understanding of a deepening relationship with our Lord and Savior and how to better share their deepest concerns, hopes, and fears through prayer. Excellent, excellent, excellent! :-)

I read this book to my kiddos and even though my oldest just turned two, they were both highly interested and hopefully, learned just a bit of God’s goodness and love for them. The story is beautifully illustrated with warm pictures and this book is destined to be treasures and oft read. I am so thankful to Crossway for allowing us the gift of this book to share with our babies. This book would make a wonderful Christmas gift for… well, just about anyone! :-)

More reviews can be found at crossway.org/blog! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crossway Publishers. 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.”

Give Them Grace, by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson


Give Them Grace, by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and her daughter, Jessica Thompson, is the best parenting book I have read yet. The results are profound when grace (rather than legalism or condemnation) is applied in a home. I cried often as I read this book as I realized how much failed to receive God’s grace in my own life as well as praying that I would be a grace-endowed mother to my babies, and was deeply absorbed in it while yet on the forward! I would recommend to every parent or individual with a heart for children.

I love how it gave me a thirst for a deeper understanding of the Gospel. Each page resonated in my heart as reflecting what Dwight and I want most for Chloe, Zachary, and lil’ Bitty Baby – that is, for them to love the Lord with all their hearts and to live solely for Him. We want them to desire Him. We also want to reflect His goodness to us by our actions towards them as our children! (I am grieved over how often I show selfishness instead. ) :-(

I appreciate that this book is sensibly applicable as well as theologically sound. Their guidance - while being practical and reasonably wise from experience - is also derived straight from the Gospel, and mirrors the grace that God shows us (His children) moment by moment. If you are quite Covenantly-bent, you may disagree with the addition of charts aiding parents in correct response towards common issues (disobedience, lying, etc.) in which responses differ based upon whether the child is saved or unsaved. Though, personally, I found these to be wonderful! I would also caution parents from straying from grace towards themselves by feeling that they must memorize the charts and apply them word for word. Just receive them as a gift of mentoring, and use them as guidance. :-)

Check out more reviews at crossway.org/blog!  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crossway Publishers. 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.”

Safely Home, by Randy Alcorn


Although fictional, Safely Home is written by Randy Alcorn in an attempt to share his passion for the persecuted Church with his readers. The many who serve Christ to the point of giving of their lives is certainly not fictional, even though we westerners, unable to grasp the fullness of the horrors occurring even today throughout various parts of the world is hardly fictional at all. Death, torture, pain and persecution is a daily struggle which they view and breathe amidst, for themselves as well as for their loved ones. They have chosen to serve and love God as Savior regardless of the cost. Even though that face deep pain, both physically and emotionally, they are faithful to the end. They love their Heavenly Master with passion and fervor, even as they face fears just like any of us. It is so easy to forget or to gloss over the realism of it all – hopefully this book will be used to build compassionate prayer and expectant hope in each reader.

In this book, the reader meets two former college buddies – the one a successful but emotionally pained businessman who is working in a business liaison with China, the other a Christian Chinese husband and father who serves God faithfully as he works by day at a locksmith shop.  They each come to understand personally what a follower of Jesus may encounter, and of the grace that He always gives freely to those who are His.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Press. 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.”

Spiritual Warfare for Women, by Leighann McCoy


Spiritual Warfare for Women is a practical guide to basically seeing the sinful nature we have from birth, the saving and redeeming grace of our Savior, and the relentless tactics of the enemy to leave us as discouraged, argumentative, and fruitless saints. The author, Leighann McCoy writes courageously and faithfully to her fellow sisters in Christ (that’s us!) to say that there is victory when we cling to the personhood of Christ and the truths of the Gospel for our daily survival and hope, resulting in a joyful life – even amidst the trials and conflicts that will come – as we stand firm in the faith.

I often really struggle with discouragement and feeling like an absolute failure – which is just how the enemy wants me to be! How this must sadden the heart of my Savior, who shed His blood for me and then rose triumphantly! This book has stirred me and reminded me of so many truths, which although I “know” I haven’t clung to much at all lately. I am so thankful for it and pray that as I reread it in the next few weeks that God would really do a transforming work in my mind and life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. 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.”

As Silver Refined, by Kay Arthur


As Silver Refined: Answers to Life’s Disappointments captures some of Kay Arthur’s teaching and brings it to us in written form. To me, it seemed to be a compilation of an encouraging book for women to see God amidst life, a Bible study which brings truth to each day’s circumstances in raw relevance, and a sisterly chat over a cup of tea from a mentor with a heart for God. Not a bad deal!

The truth she shares is true… and often hard to live out. Life is full of happiness, but it also brings much waiting, hurt, and disappointments. When things turn unsure or even sour, do I relish my standing in Christ and lean on Him for strength? Or do I feel alone and angry, despairing in the seeming lack of hope? In this study – designed for thirteen weeks – she embarks the reader on a journey towards habitual cycles of freedom and the realization that God wants to make us as silver refined – a living reflection of His goodness and grace.

This book would make an excellent choice for either personal reading or to be studied as a women’s group. Although I have mixed thoughts on other studies by this author (and need to review and pray about them more before stating anything further!), I found this book to be excellent, thought provoking, and eye opening. I am grateful to have received it for review.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Publishers. 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.”

When God Whispers Your Name, by Max Lucado


When God Whispers Your Name, is another compilation of encouragement to a weary soul through the avenue of storytelling by a master storyteller. Well known for his ability to weave truths into words, Max Lucado seeks to share hope to the reader and knowledge that amidst the weariness and uncertainty of life here on earth, we have a Savior who cares deeply for us – and knows us by name.

This book is a collection of many stories. In some the character are old. In others, they are young. Some are Bible stories, others possibly derived from the neighbor next door.  Maybe on one of the pages you’ll find a story that reflects perhaps a bit of you.

Although I enjoy the stories Pastor Lucado shares, I can’t help but feel that the hope he shares is somewhat shallow. Yes, it is encouraging to know that God knows our name when we are feeling down… but the mailman knows it, too. For lasting hope we need an introduction to our Savior and a good look at the cross – knowing that He suffered and rose to bring us victory in the daily life. Then, we can really appreciate that such a great God knows our name, in fact, He knew it well before we were even born. 

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

The Generals: Pershing, by John Perry


As another addition to the series entitled The Generals, Pershing: Commander of the Great War is a look at the triumphs, legacy, and even love of one whom led our nation’s men amidst the first Great War. General John J. Pershing fought with honor and order and led courageously, yet also maintained a deep love for his family- and was heartbroken when a tragic fire at home claimed the life of his sweetheart and their daughters while he was gone. His son survived, and he strove to maintain a fatherly relationship with him even when separated by distance and war.

I appreciate how each book in this series seeks to offer a reflective and truthful look into the personal lives of each General it presents, while maintaining an attitude of honor. These men gave a great service to our country, and I am very grateful. It saddens me however, how often the reoccurring theme of mistress’s reappears. (Even though in this case it wasn’t until after the death of his wife.) I have seen this more often in the Generals serving in the two World Wars. It serves as a good reminder to pray for those currently serving our country, that God would give them victory on the field, and that throughout their life they would reflect purity and honor in their moral lives. I cannot imagine the horrors they witness and resulting emotional comfort they seek– they need our prayers. 

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

22 November, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% coupon When You Take the North "Pole"

I'm SO sorry to say that their "Poll" is now closed, but I wanted to still take a moment to brag about their products! If you are wondering what to gift a child in your life, I'd check them out because:

1: They are quality products. (I.e., in our home this means no lead paint to scrape off, no batteries, and durable wood or plastic)

2: Wonderfully priced. Okay, so I will totally admit that these are worth every penny of their list price. However, amazing deals generously abound! I just bought 2 magnetic sets and then 2 larger puzzles, and paid under $3 for each. Other have even been free (thanks to Swagbucks)

3: My babies LOVE them. That makes for a happy mum and daddy!

Here is the outdated text to illustrate how fun this company can be. (Isn't a "poll" a great idea? I love the word spoof!)

Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys is the best! Just click on the image to place your vote in the north "poll!" You'll get a Melissa & Doug 25% off coupon** to use at MelissaAndDoug.com just for voting!

23 July, 2011

The Final Hour, by Andrew Klavan














The Final Hour is the fourth book in a series of crime and adventure entitled The Homelanders. It is written by Andrew Klavan, a renowned author of suspense!

Reader o' mine, I must confess that it is Dwight who read this book. I saw enough death and action to realize that it was not for me at a quick initial glance as I flipped through it. :-) So I passed it on to my courageous husband and he shared with me what he thought. Whew. Because quite honestly, Adventures in Odyssey is a bit too much for me at times... ! Give me Miss Potter any day.

He thought that this book was well written even though the plot was easily anticipated. He appreciated that it was a quick easy read and also that it did not contain the foul language so often found in books of similar content and intrigue. He expressed interest in reading the other titles in the series. He practically read this book in one sitting, so that must tell you something! He said that storyline is basically a continuation of the book's hero, Charlie West. as he seeks to confirm his innocence while stopping a vicious terrorist attack from coming to fruition (just in the nick of time!). Once again, wrong is avenged and the right is victorious... The end.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

Every Single Woman's Battle, by Shannon Ethridge













I received Every Single Woman's Battle: Guarding Your Heart and Mind Against Sexual and Emotional Compromise as a review from Waterbrook Press' Blogging for Books program. What I received for review wasn't the actual book (of that title) but rather the accompanying workbook. With that in mind, here is what I thought:

- Kudus to the author for writing on such a sensitive subject with clarity and grace, while at the same time managing to be straightforward and pointed. Since this book is simply the workbook and intended for personal or group study, I didn't have the opportunity to read the actual chapters, but found the questions and discussion ideas to be very practical. This as an area that the church is not to be niave about and we are to seek to be pure and glorify God through our sexuality, pleasing Him in all areas of our thought and life.

- I believe that rather than having the actual book and workbook be separate, they ought to have been printed as one volume. This is confusing and ends up costing the reader more in the long run. They need both anyways, so why not give them both to begin with?

- There is space for the reader to write in as they go through this study, but I don't feel that the publisher allowed for enough space. Make the book wider, bigger, etc. to allow for this to be usable. For a Bible study one would need to have the book, this companion workbook, their Bible, and then a notebook? Yikes... just too much.

I would like to see this improved upon by the publisher, and I am eager to read the actual book. (And then take another look at this workbook! ;-) ) I can see this being particularly life-changing and edifying for a youth group to go through together (guys doing the guys version and girls doing this one of course!!!!).


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Publishers. 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.”

25 June, 2011

A Place Called Blessing, by John Trent













A Place Called Blessing: Where Hurting Ends and Love Begins is a novel that takes the concepts taught within the bestselling book “The Blessing,” and weaves them into a story of tragedy, redemption, and hope. I cried as I was introduced to the main characters: Josh, a little boy with a troubled and difficult life as he grows and becomes a man; Mike, a coworker who befriends Josh and becomes like a brother; Anna, who is Mike’s mother and Josh’s landlord, opening her home and her heart to Josh. 

After losing his parents in a drunk driving accident, Josh faced a series of difficult foster homes until tragedy struck and his life became hopeless in his little eyes (at age six). Feeling unloved, worthless, and responsible for the terrible accident that occurred, he grew bitter and angry. But after he was out of the children’s home and on his own at age eighteen, God intervened and Josh received craved for unconditional love.

This book clearly illustrates the power of forgiveness and in giving another hope for their future and a belief in themselves (that is proper and life-giving). Although not a very lengthy book (I read it easily in an evening), it is weighty in sharing through the lives of the characters and its twisting plot  how even when lives are intertwined by pain – God writes the final chapter and can bring hope and even joy at the close. This book was written in hopes of the message grasping today’s generation, and I truly hope that others will take the time to read it. Whereas information (however good) can bring much change and desire to benefit another’s life, there is something about a story that leaves you unable to forget. My prayer is that God will always keep in my mind and heart the need to build up not only my children, but all who He brings into my path as I realize that I may have no idea the pain they have endured or currently face.

Overall I feel this is an excellent way to reach another generation with the message of the blessing which Dr. Trent along with Focus on the Family is trying to accomplish. I do wish however, that the author would have taken the liberty to present a clearer message of the gospel and was also disappointed that the Lord's name was used inappropriately once in this book.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

17 June, 2011

Freedom From Performing, by Becky Harling

Freedom From Performing: Grace in an Applause-Driven World, is a Bible study for women based upon the parables of Jesus and is graciously written by Becky Harling. In this book, she has chosen to share candidly of how she discovered joy and freedom as she learned to live for the the approval of One, not the approval of everyone. She desires that each of us women might learn to be content to be us, not some picture of perfection we've drummed up  and placed as an idol of our hearts over being who God has made us to be. She encouraged me to realize that there are times in my life when service to God will simply mean loving my husband and cherishing my children. I don't have to (and ought not to!) run myself ragged leading studies and doing church work, espeically if the reason I am doing it is because I don't want to let others down, or will feel badly about not doing it, or someone thinks that I should be doing it... and so forth. The excuses to be out of God's will while doing God's work are endless! And when you add the "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality of having to have a nice car, gorgeous home in a nice neighborhood, fancy meals, etc. it is a wonder we haven't lost our minds! Sadly though... what we don't realize is how much we DO lose when we get caught up in the spiral of a theatrical life of performance and our family, our health, and our joy suffers.

I believe this ought to be required reading for every one of us wives whose husbands are involved in ministry as a vocation (whether your husband is a pastor or a CPA, like mine!). And I believe every woman who desires to be involved with the local church read it too. And those who wag their fingers and criticize us mamas for not going and going 24/7.... well, why don't I loan you my copy. ;-)

 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Navpress Publishers. 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.”

Billy Graham in Quotes, by Franklin Graham


There is so much that I appreciate about the life and ministry of Billy Graham that I was eager to review this compilation of quotes gathered by his son and arranged topically in this anthology work suitable for ones personal library or for a gift. The softcover binding is simple yet attractive and the chapters or topics are easily perused or searched through. In reading this volume which I received as a review copy, I found many of the quotes to be engaging and true, liking this one in particular: 

No situation is beyond God's control. 
Over my wife's desk are these words: 
"Fear not the future; God is already there."

In his work as an evangelist and preacher, Dr. Billy Graham sough to bring the wisdom of God's word to daily life. He believed that Christianity wasn't simply about being relevant, but about having a heart for the Word of God and striving to obey Him in all things. This compilation is an honoring look as the words which he spoke for the glory of God.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

Connecting in Communities, by Eddie Mosley









 Connected in Communities: Understanding the Dynamics of Small Groups is intended for pastors, church leadership, and small-group point people (hosts/ leaders) but the lessons can be integrated into anyone’s ministry perspective or mindset. The writer sought out to learn (and then engage us in that learning as well!) by procuring wisdom from several well-known church leaders specializing in small group ministry. They each struggles and triumphs, bringing the reader to understand the heart being small group interaction and allow them to not just view small group ministry as “another program” or “Christian thing to do.”

I found an overarching emphasis to be on the need for the church to be in the community, and the belief that this is best procured through the utilization of small groups within the church. Core groups that will strengthen and shape each other, not just come Sunday morning, but as daily life goes on in each family and group member. Each core group is then “assigned” their surrounding neighborhood or community and encouraged to let life happen – hosting block party barbecues, gardening in their front yards and talking with neighbors as they walk by, inviting children over to play (with their own kids), conversing at little league games –intentionally letting their own neighbors know that they care about them and opening relationships so that true Christianity can be lived out and the saving grace of Jesus shared. 

I appreciated the understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all program. The emphasis is simply on seeing the need for small group community within a church and how to go about proactively and intentionally bringing the reality of a small group ministry about in your local congregation. I loved being a part of our small group in Colorado Springs and can only wholeheartedly agree with how important they are! I also appreciated the practical tips and advice on starting a small group if there isn’t one already – with help on childcare, hosting, food, timing, curriculum, etc.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers. 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.”

The Blessing, by John Trent and Gary Smalley














We are each made for and thrive within a healthy relationship. After all, we are made foremost for a relationship with the Lord and to bring Him glory! But there are times when tragically earthly relationships tear down rather than build up; they breed destruction rather than life. They cause one to wilt and to feel downtrodden.

We each long to be unconditionally loved and approved – and we long for that approval and love to come from our parents from the time we are conceived! But how is that practically given? Does it come natural or do we, as parents, need to mold that into our parenting and life? What if we didn’t experience unconditional love as a child ourselves, or as we grew had our self-worth and value stripped away through painful experiences or situations? The authors, John Trent and Gary Smalley, share how we can give and receive the gift of unconditional love and approval coming from healthy relationship – the blessing - in our own lives, in the lives of our children, and in the lives of others God allows to intercept with our own through what they call five essential elements.

Honestly, I cringe when I read anything having to do with a particular amount of “steps” or “elements,” as they have in this particular book. But the reader (as I have) can easily grasp the heart of the message and wholeheartedly agree with the essential need for it in one’s life. It is crucial. And this book offers much practical help for its implementation. I was able to hear John Trent when he spoke to the staff at Focus on the Family and was happy to see this book The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance (which was first published twenty-five years ago!), become available for review so that I could obtain a copy for our family.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

07 June, 2011

Love & War, by John and Stasi Eldridge






Love & War: Finding Your Way to Something Beautiful in Your Marriage is written by John and Stasi Eldridge, who continue the candid and deep vulnerability readers discovered in their earlier best-selling books Wild at Heart and Captivating. Through personal stories of heartache and humble triumph in their marriage as well as in those willing to share with them, they encourage couples to view each other not as enemies, but as lovers worth fighting for, showing how to win “by fighting for each other, instead of against each other.”

As a woman, I dream of our marriage being like a fairy tale. Yet I am a sinner saved by grace, married to a sinner saved by grace. Furthermore, I am a woman married to a man. We can often be as different as night and day! J In our daily life, however, I am able to glimpse with the Eldridges’ the incredible mercy of God, who loves Dwight and I more than we even love each other. Far more. And he is working a tale for His glory and even our delight!

Although I have many other marriage books that I prefer over this one, I greatly appreciate their emphasis on prayer and on life being a battleground in an unseen spiritual war. Satan truly does want our marriages and families to fail, and we need the cleansing and freeing power of God in the midst. We need to ask for it, to crave it, and to live in it. Hopefully the reader will grasp the heart of the Eldridges’ in this and be further spurred to engulf their own marital relationship in prayer as a lover-team for God’s glory.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Publishers. 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.”

Love Written in Stone, by Dr. Philip Carson









Love Written in Stone: Finding God’s Grace in the Boundaries He Sets, is written by Dr. Philip Carson who is a practicing family Physician in addition to serving as Senior Pastor at his home church in Sierra Madre, California,

Sadly, it can sometimes seem within the Christian community that serving the Lord actively means living outside of our natural ability in a way that tears us down and fails to bring Him glory. What others expect of us and what we view as “ministry” leaves us feeling overwhelmed, tired, and physically ill, and wondering how we will actually be able to accomplish everything on our to-do list while still being a sweet and supportive helpmeet to our husbands, patient mother to our children, encouraging sister to our church “family,” and creative keeper of our spotless home. We feel discouraged (and sometimes are chided) when we are unable to attend (or better yet, host or lead!) that women’s Bible study. We are told that it is far better to leave our babies in the nursery so that we “are free to serve the Lord” in the choir or youth classroom, even though it screams against our natural inclinations. We stay up late (yet again!) working on making the décor for the ladies’ tea or the food for the meal you have invited another family over for “just right,” We push our limits while dropping cliché’s like “all for the glory of God” or “God gives strength to the weary” from our bottomless bag of appropriate Christian statements. But who are we really kidding? Is this “good life” any better than our neighbors down the street who are honest about living life for their own esteem?

With candor and wisdom from his duel-responsibilities in the church and practice, as well as from family life as husband and father to four, Dr. Carson gives biblical perspective on areas such as commitments, health, relationships, finances, and time.  I found this book to be a primer of sorts in setting boundaries and feel that it is more for the new believer or for just the community at large. I wish that it faced head-on the expectations faced within the church. But overall, this book does offer guidelines derived from scripture which when followed, will allow the reader to experience more joy and contentment in their daily life. Trials do come, and temptations and persecutions arise, but often (at least here in America), our stress is often due to issues we brought upon ourselves due to greed or pride. This book will offer some guidance and it is worth reading.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany Publishers. 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.”

Making the Best of a Bad Decision, by Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer












The first thing that caught my eye about Making the Best of a Bad Decision: How to put your regrets behind you, embrace grace, and move toward a better future, written by Dr, Erwin W. Lutzer, is the cover illustration portraying two vividly yellow lemons and a glass half-full (or perhaps some might say half-empty) of their tart juices. We probably have all at one time or another experiences in some small way what this simple piece of artwork intends to portray – a decision or experience that later realize we have learned from and grown through, but really kind of wish could have gone differently or perhaps never occurred. Sad when dealing with minor situations and tragic when dealing with life altering decisions that profoundly shape our lives and the lives of those around us. When decisions like this have been made, however, do you despair or do you cling to the cross of Christ for grace in our time of need and wisdom to pursue God’s best?

Dr. Lutzer is the senior pastor of The Moody Church in downtown Chicago and is well-respected for his wisdom and spiritual guidance to those whom he serves in pastorate as well as to the listeners who tune in to via radio or online to hear his broadcasted teaching.  In this book, he offers hope to those who currently are struggling with regrets large or small, and shares biblically ways to live a restored future. He highlights the following possible decisions that may have brought regrets: choosing what you feel is “second best”, marrying the wrong person (note: his belief and definitely my own is that once married… you are married to the right person for you!), financial decisions gone awry, choosing to cross a moral boundary, choosing a vocation you want out of, realizing something you have done has caused another pain, and then ultimately the worst scenario of a decision gone wrong- failing to prepare for eternity. There is also a chapter on how to make wise decisions biblically.

This book closes with a practical discussion guide.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Press. 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.”

Money Secrets of the Amish, by Lorilee Craker













Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving, a fun and different look at finances and is written by Lorilee Craker. In this book, Lorilee invited us along with her as she visits Amish Country and speaks with several families about ways that have been helpful to them when it comes to living well in a budget while setting aside for the unknown.

I appreciate how this book assumes that anyone can save. Perhaps, your finances may only allow for you to save $5 a week, but are you doing that? With quirky fun (and good natured references to the Plain lifestyle), her book covers a wide range of helpful tips ranging from shopping styles (where you shop and how), habits of thought (are you willing to be content with what God has already provided?), eating styles (eating locally and simply as well as looking for deals), saving choices (why there is really no good reason to not save something!).

As a young wife and mother I am busy looking for ways to lower our budget for necessities during a current time of unemployment for our family. With no money coming in, we certainly don’t want it to be a free-for-all going out! :-) I found this book to be encouraging and helpful. We are grateful for how God provides daily for us, as well as for the wisdom he blessed us with prior to this time, so I can heartily agree with her points regarding the importance of saving! We have never made much, but by being intentional about saving and making do with less, we are able to experience peace during this time, and hope to someday be able to put a substantial down-payment on our first home. We are learning that much of financial worries can be dissolved when we are willing to differentiate between needs and wants and fearlessly clear our muddy heads of the dangerous concept of entitlement. You wouldn’t regret finding a copy of this enjoyable book and reading it! J

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

15 May, 2011

The Generals: Macarthur














The Generals: MacArthur, America’s General is written by Mitchell Yockelson who through his detailed writing of this memoir invites the reader to once again return to an era where manliness and leadership where sought and young boys often looked towards those with military wisdom and achievement as a hero rather than comic characters or movie stars.

As a soldier in the U.S. Army, General Douglas MacArthur embodied strength and fearlessness amidst combat, which he encountered during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Many are familiar with his famous and oft-quoted words, “ I shall return.” He was also known for his jaunty mode of attire and lifestyle.

The writer gives a favorable and insightful view into the public and personal life of General MacArthur, highlighting his family ties and particularly the generations before him who proudly served their role in military careers. I enjoyed reading about his many triumphs on the battlefield. I also found interesting the close relationship he shared with his beloved southern-bred mother, known as “Pinky.” I was disappointed to read however, of the mistress enjoyed during the time following his divorce with Louise (Cromwell Brooks) and his subsequent remarriage to Jean (Marie Faircloth). It saddens me to so oft read of the moral failures of such otherwise great (though usually and tragically ungodly) men and leaders.

I look forward to obtaining other volumes in this series highlighting American Generals. :-)
 
*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to  write this review.

The ESV Seek and Find Bible













Written for children ages 5 to 9, I was pleased as I flipped through this latest children’s Bible from Crossway Publishers. I like that it has five hundred vibrant and eye-catching illustrations and engaging short stories typical of bibles compiled for children alongside the text of the entire word of God (Children are never to young to be immersed and often are far more understanding and receptive than given credit for!). I appreciated the “character profiles” which each highlight a bible character and through numerical notations, coordinate it to the passage in which he or she is introduced. One particular addition that stood out to me was the “Seek and Find” Bible studies suggested. I thought it was wonderful way to encourage children to dive right in as they ask themselves the three key questions provided alongside a key Bible verse and related Bible readings to the particular story or passage being studied.

I have found the EVS (English Standard Version) to be easily read and comprehensive for the greater part. In addition, your young reader will find the simple dictionary located towards the back to be helpful in understanding terms and words. Several maps are also included.

This edition has a colorful hardback cover with an identical protective slipcover. The font in slightly enlarged to aid in readability. The pages, although thin, are not flimsy or easily torn. The colors are a fun and slightly eclectic blend of blue, orange, and green.

For more information, you'll want to be sure to check out www.crossway.org/blog !

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crossway Publishers. 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.”

A Deeper Kind of Calm, by Linda Dillow











In this four- week devotional entitled A Deeper Kind of Calm: Steadfast Faith in the Midst of Adversity, the reader is invited alongside the writer on a quest to know the unfathomable peace of God regardless of whatever circumstance we find ourselves in or in spite of our emotions that reel about us and cloud our minds. It is a journey to contentment that serves as a follow-up to her previous book, Calm My Anxious Heart.

At the time I received this book to review, I was busy packing and cleaning. My husband was helping me as much as he could while continuing to job search while at the same time training the new employee who was his replacement. Our precious little ones, too young to understand what was going on but knowing that something certainly was up, turned into adorable and breathing forms of cling-wrap. We have since moved from Colorado to northern Missouri, are living in a rental and have prospects but no actual job (or income). I am tempted to excuse my fears and impatience, but this book has encouraged me to face them as sins and to look fearlessly at the face of the One who hold our future and us in His loving hand! Our Lord is sovereign and good, and as I found through reading the stories given in this book taken from the life of the author and her acquaintances, He is near! This book has encouraged me to turn from discouragement to joyful excitement and I hope that it will do that same for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Navpress Publishers. 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.”

31 Days of Drawing Near to God, by Ruth Myers













Previously released as The Satisfied Heart, 31 Days of Drawing Near to God is aptly subtitled Resting Securely in His Delight. I enjoy the personable way that the author, Ruth Myers shares from her life as well as from the word of God, so I was happy to see this book listed as one of the selection choices for review. With 31 short chapters this book was easily incorporated into my daily devotional time as I learned from this older Titus 2 woman about resting and delighting in the delight God lavishes on His own. I can be so quickly caught up in two the busyness of life as I care for my little ones, feeling so exhausted and overwhelmed, and this particular writing encouraged me to see myself as the Lord sees me. I’m so hard in myself, often seeing only my shortcomings and imperfections, but He sees me as His Bride and Purified one. What humbling compassion!

This book is highly recommended for women of all ages (and men, too!). The writer is engaging, thoughtful, refreshing, and gracious. The theology and teachings are sound and honoring to the word and glory of God. She and her late husband served in Asia with the Navigators and she now resides stateside in Colorado.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Publishers. 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.”

Knock ‘em Dead, by Martin Yate, CPC







My reaction upon seeing this title available for review was two-fold. Initially, I laughed at the hilarious title. Secondly, I was impatient to request a title for myself! With Dwight soon to be in search of employment, I was praying for anything that might be helpful to him. I wondered if Knock ‘em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide would prove to be worthwhile. This book is updated for this current year (2011) and is also the 25th Anniversary Edition. To be still sought after (the author is a New York Times bestselling author and this title is highly recommended by many.

So I requested it. And waited for it to arrive.

Flipping through it I found it to be interesting and informative. It gives a fair amount of time to the interview. Wondering what to wear? You’ll find out in this book. Wondering what types of questions might be asked? I was amazed at some of the questions… they were enough to melt my heart with fear (and thankfulness that it was Dwight who would be answering them and not I, isn’t that terrible?) Well, suggested answers are given in this book!

Dwight was disappointed that more thought was not given to the resume and cover letter suggestions, but that was easily understood once we realized that the author had written another book with those in mind. In checking out the website address provided, he discovered much additional information there.

All in all, we found this book to be a helpful tool for those desiring to make a good impression as they seek new employment.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

28 April, 2011

Unsinkable, by Abby Sunderland













Unsinkable: A Young Woman’s Courageous Battle on the High Seas is written by Abby Sunderland along with Lynn Vincent. This book is the story of Abby’s quest to become, at age sixteen, the youngest person ever to sail around the world solo, nonstop, and unassisted. I was riveted to her tale, and couldn’t put the book down, finishing it in one swoop! Sailing is in her blood, as shown by her Dad and brother’s incredible previous journeys. I know I wouldn’t be able to do what she did! In this book the reader comes alongside her as she tells of when her boat rolled, the many times where she didn’t know what to do and through the prayer of others was providentially rescued, of her harrowing repairs at sea when the entire sail (and her life as well!) were at stake, and her joy at being reunited with her family even though her dream was not accomplished at that time.

This book was not one of the most faith based that I’ve been able to review from Thomas Nelson, but was very captivating and suspenseful as you waited to read the outcome! I would recommend it for all who dream of adventures.

*This book was gratefully received free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Max on Life, written by Max Lucado













Max on Life: Answers and Insights to Your Most Important Questions is a compilation of questions that one might ask themselves (or perhaps you!) about God, relationships, conflicts, romance, finances, eternity, etc. There are one hundred and seventy-one questions along with their given answer! Each question and answer couplet takes up just a few pages at most and the entire book is organized along with a handy Topical Index in order to make it useful and reader friendly.

I found this book to be trivial and disappointing. I felt it was characteristic of the modern Christian “fluff” that is prevalent and easily found and believe that the author could have used his renown and years of written experience to produce something that could have caused much more impact or encouragement to those who would read one of his books. Although the questions are truly ones oft asked, they are also the same questions that authors seem to have “on standby” and I feel that this material is best found elsewhere. But that is just my personal opinion and perhaps you may discover that this book holds the key to queries and questions of your heart and mind which you have always sought an answer to…regardless I still can only give it two stars. 

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest review. 

11 April, 2011

The Final Summit, written by Andy Andrews












The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle that will Save Humanity is written by famed storyteller and writer Andy Andrews. Through this story, the reader will be engaged through a tale woven in the threads of history to grasp the message intended to change the life of the reader, to inspire them to dream, to charge them with a truth that will cause them to live their life afresh and unafraid of risk.

My favorite part of this book was being introduced to Eric Erickson, a man who was willing to risk his reputation and even his life in order to dream a scheme that would topple the Nazi regime of World War II and allow the Allied Forces to gain access to private German affairs and ultimately win the war. I found his story to be incredibly fascinating. He is one character, one who truly did exist outside the pages of this book, which emboldens and sets ablaze the message of this book of living a life unchained and not diminished by fear. There are two words which are left with the reader as they close the cover of this compelling tale… but you will just have to read the book yourself to discover what they are! :-)

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

20 March, 2011

Voyage of the Vikings










Voyage with the Vikings is an exciting story for youth written by Marianne Hering and Paul McCusker as a part of the Adventures in Odyssey series titled The Imagination Station. In this particular book, the reader is swept along with the plot’s main characters Patrick and Beth as they travel through time back to the year 1000AD and find themselves aboard a wooden ship near Greenland! Onshore they meet the famed Viking Erik the Red, along with his wife and son, Leif Eriksson. While in Greenland, their assignment from Mr. Whittaker was to find a Sunstone, but they don’t even know what one is – much less what one looks like! Not only will you be able to discover whether Patrick and Beth do indeed fulfill their mission, but you will also join them as they share God’s love and forgiveness with Erik the Red, who is furious about the new God of the Christians and wants to make Patrick and Beth his slaves! 

I found this book to be fun, lighthearted and intriguing – typical of Adventures in Odyssey! At the back of the book there is a short puzzle to which the reader will discover answers as he or she reads through the imaginative story. This book is the first in its series.

*This book was gratefully received from Tyndale Press at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

FamilyLife Marriage Bible


I was tickled when this Bible arrived in the mail! Dennis and Barbara Rainey, founders of FamilyLife ministry have produced this Bible with the desire to share the good news of the Gospel while equipping couples and families with resources to strengthen their relationship in a way that brings all the glory to Christ. Published in an attractive hardbound New King James Version edition with a protective slipcover, the reader will encounter alongside the precious word of God various sidebars that will direct the reader to further understanding of Scriptures that apply to the marriage relationship. There are also fun little romantic ideas and counsel regarding common marital or family conflicts sprinkled throughout. I recognized several of them as being common to the Rainey’s books and even their daily radio messages, but found them to be still as helpful and fresh as ever. I desire to be the best wife I can be to Dwight and find biblically sound mentoring to be vital and welcomed. :-)

This edition would make a lovely gift for a newlywed couple and includes several pages at the front serving as an attractive spot to record generational lineage information, special dates that occur such as births and new lives in Christ, etc. I love it! Perhaps it will come out in ESV? :-)

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

Secure Daughters and Confident Sons, by Glenn T. Stanton











Secure Daughters and Confident Sons: How Parents Guide Their Children into Authentic Masculinity and Femininity is authored by Glenn T. Stanton, director for Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family here in Colorado Springs. In this book, he bucks the tide of today’s growing belief that both Mama and Daddy aren’t necessary for a child’s wellbeing and growth and that having only one or even a Mom and a Mom (as in a lesbian relationship) are just as beneficial to a child’s maturity if not perhaps even better than heterosexual parenting. He tackles this controversial subject with gusto as he implores that gender matters in a hugely socio-economic way!

The reader will encounter stories, statistics, and Biblical insight which will establish the essentialness of having both Mama and Daddy in the home - not just for the family’s stability, but so that the child is able to be nurtured in the fullest and best sense through the strengths that each gender provides to become a well rounded adult. He details how a father’s physical and action oriented masculinity complements a mother’s nurturing and protective femininity. It is obvious that the author delights in the handiwork of God displayed through the differences of each gender.

Mr. Stanton also directs parents to be aware of the differing needs of their children based upon their gender. Even though he writes that parents need to be cautious about “boxing” their children into a specific mold (i.e., boys shouldn’t want to cook or do anything girly, or girls shouldn’t want to play sports, etc.), he underlines the core of how God created boys and girls specifically and how these differences ought to present themselves in our parenting strategies as we seek to understand our children’s needs. He writes that a boy needs to make a difference, to save the world (even if it incurs destroying something in the process!), to be innovative, to be honorable, and to be respected by those around him (this one caused me to think of the book Love & Respect). In regards to a girl’s needs, he writes that she needs intimacy, community, modesty, security, to be viewed as the most important person in the world to a man, and then to also be able to see herself as capable so that she does not succumb to a victim mentality. As a mother to both a son and a daughter, this book gave me much food for thought. It was very helpful!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review even though it is possible that my husband might encounter the author in the halls today at work. The opinions I have expressed are my own and have no bearing upon my husband’s ability to cut the author’s royalty check. 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.”

Chasing Elephants, by Brent Crowe












Amidst the church at large there is often much controversy. From doctrinal debates to differing theological stances to the preferences regarding the color of the carpet much divisiveness has caused conflict to be a prevalent theme through time. What blight to the cause of Christ! What a sad reflection upon His death for sinners and His triumphant resurrection!

Based upon the premise of conflict already resounding throughout our Christian circles one might come to think that it would be best to avoid any slight of confrontation in beliefs and stance. But one who does not stand for something will fall for anything. It is crucial for the believer to stand firm upon the core truths of Scripture. But what about the areas of life for which the Bible does not specifically state how the believer ought to choose? We must understand that everything we do ought to be for the glory of God and to the glory of our Redeemer, but what if you are faced with a decision that really doesn’t hold to a moral absolute? Pastor Brent Crowe has tackled this thought in his book entitled, Chasing Elephants: Wrestling with the Gray Areas of Life.

In the first half of the book, the author writes on what it truly means to be free in Christ and how that plays out in a believer’s life. He writes on the dichotomy of those strong or weak in their faith and how their choices affect the other. Then in the second half, he addresses (without telling a believer how they ought to choose!) various “gray areas” such as social drinking, social networking, the Internet, entertainment and even assisting those in need. This is a topic that all must prayerfully address in their own life (and marriage or family!), so that one can wisely ascertain through biblical perspective how the Lord desires for them “to walk.” We then need to obey the Lord’s leading for our own life, while extending grace to others as they live how God is leading (ahem… I’m not talking about sinful living… we’re talking gray areas, though and attitude of grace needs to be extended to all as we share the message of salvation with all we encounter!). A worthwhile read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers. 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.”


19 March, 2011

The Organized Homeschooler, by Vicki Caruana

 









The Organized Homeschooler is written by veteran home educator, mother, and organizer Vicki Caruana to come alongside those of us who need help in this area as a friend would, encouraging us to get the job done while giving practical tips and direction. Although I love to sit and organize, I often find that it just doesn’t stay the way I’d like for it to. And although I can easily offer excuses (i.e., the four of us in a 1-bed apartment, two children under 17 months, my health, etc.) the real issue isn’t the obvious clutter. It is my lazy heart and my failure to see my need for organization from God’s point of view and how it hinders my effectiveness in serving my family – my ultimate ministry! So I appreciate how the author deals with the heart, and then moves into offering solutions for dealing with topics such as: Thoughts, Time, Space, Supplies and Materials, and Paperwork. I found her to be a huge fan of a filing system and she describes how that has worked for her family and their homeschooling “clutter.”

I think ultimately however, even though the need to be organized is universal, the method which will work best for a given family will definitely be quite varied! Admittedly, I was able to walk away from the book with several helpful tips, but I did find her filing system is just a bit too intricate for my personality and our individual family. I need it to be simple folks! :-) And even though I see her heart in admonishing the reader to really take a hard look and evaluate how they are spending their time, I think she took a bit too much liberty in stating what she believed would constitute or define the reader as having “too much free time” based on the little questionnaire found in the book. Overall though, I do feel this is a helpful book and worth taking a look at in a homemakers’ quest for a peaceful and organized home where the Lord can be most glorified and the family strengthened. 

*This book was gratefully received from Crossway Publishers at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

17 March, 2011

Left at the Alter, by Kimberley Kennedy













 Left at the Alter: My Story of Hope and Healing for Every Woman Who Has Felt the Heartbreak of Rejection, is the story and testimony of Kimberley Kennedy, a beautiful young journalist and producer who seemed to have it all – a supportive family, an incredible job, and a fairytale love story that was on the brink of what was to be the happiest day of her life – her long-awaited wedding day. Kimberley’s dream was suddenly shattered when she heard the words of her fiancé at their wedding rehearsal, “I just can’t do it.” She candidly shares 
how this pivotal moment in her life affected her life, causing her to tailspin into deep emotional pain, public humiliation and even bewildered anger at God. However, the story does not end there and in this heartfelt telling of her experience, she shares with the reader how she found hope amidst the deep pain and confusion and how she learned that present circumstances do not have to shape our future life story.  She shares lessons of refreshing renewal through tools she discovered of how to heal and move on when faced with rejection from a loved one. And she  closes in telling how the Lord is proving faithful in meeting her deep emotional needs for love even as she continues to be single with the following: 
 
            “When you fall in love with God, you can be assured of one very special thing: you will never be left at the alter. Instead, you will live with Him happily ever after. And the honeymoon will never end.”

I found this book to be well written and containing very helpful advice to one with a broken heart. I found her to understand. Which is very helpful to one faced with deep hurt. And I love how rather then telling her story with bitterness, she simply uses it as a platform and springboard for sharing hope. I enjoyed reading it.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

08 January, 2011

Love and Respect, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs



:: Based upon Ephesians 5:33 and extensive biblical and psychological research, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs reveals the power of unconditional love and unconditional respect and how husbands and wives can reap the benefits of marriage that God intended. (Taken from Booksneeze.com)::


Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires – The Respect He Desperately Needs, is written by widely known and respected marriage counselor, mentor, conference speaker, and author Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. With wisdom and candor, he draws the reader into learning and understanding a truth that will bring hope to today’s discouraging outlook on the state of marriage by showing that you can be far more than just lovers but best friends that find joy in each day that God gives breath! I purchased my first copy of this book while yet single, and I think that this book is one of several that set me up for two years and going of pure happiness and contentment with the man God had for me. Rather than simply being a formula: he shows love, she shows respect = great marriage, this book will draw you to biblical understanding of the one you are married to, and encourage you and challenge you to cement your marriage in the truth of God’s word.

As I continually discover more about showing Christ’s love to my husband, I must also understand that he is human, and a sinner saved by God’s grace who loves me with all his heart and *is learning*! I’m so glad I’m not the only one! :-) By showing him respect by accepting him as he learns and trusting that God is working through him I am free to be content with how God leads us as a couple. I love being married! :-) I would heartily recommend this book to others and wanted to receive this review copy so that I would have an extra copy to share with friends.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

07 January, 2011

Unto the Hills, by Billy Graham



Unto the Hills, is a year-long devotional written and compiled by Billy Graham, the well-known and respected evangelist, famous for his crusades which have been held all over the world and attended by current and past generations. This book is a reprint of the original that was published twenty-five years ago. The reader will enjoy a short and inspiring daily reading from which they will find a text, message, and closing prayer. Throughout the course of the year, this book covers a wide variety of topics and the reader will have much to gain from this beloved pastor who has a long lifetime of experience in ministry and in sharing about the Lord.

I found this devotional to be a good choice for a reader wanting something that will inspire them for the day and provide food for thought that would direct them to thinking of the Lord and His Word. Although the daily texts aren’t especially deep, profound, or new, I did not discover them to be incredibly trivial. The truths given will benefit the reader regardless of age, ethnicity, position, or walk in life. That is the beauty of God’s Word, which will never return void.

I found the short memoir to his late wife, Ruth, to be beautiful as he expressed how she invested in the original compilation of this book and shared his joy at being reunited with her soon in Heaven.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.

The Faith of Ronald Reagan, by Mary Beth Brown





The Faith of Ronald Reagan is a warmly written memoir of America’s 40th president that offers a glimpse into his faith through his own words and writings as well as supporting interviews with those who know him best. The author is New York Times and USA Today best-selling author who also writes a nationally syndicated column.

I will admit that I am definitely not the most knowledgeable person alive when it comes to being aware of the personal lives of those who have served our country as President or First Lady, so I was intrigued when I first saw this book available and desired to read it and learn more about President Reagan’s life according to this author. I love discussing everything possible with my husband, and whereas he seems to understand and know practically everything, I needed to get up to snuff! :-) Although the book was fascinating in regards to President Reagan’s struggles as an actor, in politics, his first marriage sadly ending in divorce, his opposition to Communism, and his responses to assassination attempts, what I enjoyed most was simply looking at the pictures of him and his second wife Nancy and observing the love and devotion they had for each other as expressed through is words about her and to her.

*This book was gratefully received from Thomas Nelson at no cost in exchange for my agreement to post this review.