Sunday, August 23, 2015

Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver

Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver is a 3 DVD plus study guide.  This is a Bible Study centering on the story of Lazarus and is meant to be used with the book by the same title and author.  The DVD set completes the weekly study guide and helps answer the questions posed within it.  This author also wrote Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World but you don't have to have completed that study in order to enjoy this one.  In this study there is scripture to study as well as the first part of the study guide to fill out then the DVD helps complete the guide as well as has an Israel portion of the Holy Land concepts and takes you to where the story takes place.  In the Israel portion there is also an interview with Amy Turnage who is the Director of Operations at the Center for Holy Lands Studies.  Amy brings in much about the culture of the region as well as little know facts which add to the understanding of the study.  Since the story of Lazarus in only a little over a chapter long in John there is also other scripture to aide in understanding the story.  In addition to all this there is how to apply this new understanding of the scripture to your own life--the Bible would just be a very interesting history book if the reader and studier did not apply it to enhance their own life.  This study is meant to be an 8 week study with weekly sessions lasting 2 hours long.  There is also a plan for a weekly 1 hour session.

I very much enjoyed this study of Lazarus.  I am finding that writers of Bible studies are very much acknowledging that most of us have to work in order to pay our bills and maybe don't have the time to put forth to do a very in-depth study.  In doing some of these studies many I am finding to be so superficial as to not be worth the effort.  This one seems to be not too difficult to find the time to do the studying necessary for the class if done in a group session but also not so superficial as to not having to put forth any effort at all.  I believe that we would not be seeking out a Bible study group if we were not willing to set aside time each day for Bible reading and study. I liked this study and found it well worth the time taken for the knowledge received.
I received this study guide set from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Autumn Brides by Kathryn Springer, Katie Ganshert, and Beth K. Vogt

Autumn Brides by Kathryn Springer, Katie Ganshert, and Beth K. Vogt is a 3 novella collection from the "A Year of Weddings Novella Collection".  In the September story Annie wants to make a clean break from the terrible life she had growing up in foster care.  She has just hit it off great with her new boss helping run her little bookshop.  They met over the internet and it is like they have known each other forever.  Things are going right along just as she had hoped when her boss's son the police officer stops her for having her brake light out and her tailpipe was also hanging.  Then the historical society of which she has joined has decided to do a historical wedding re-enactment with you guessed it Jesse, the boss's son, and Annie in the starring roles. 

The October wedding is just a pretend one.  Emma's dad is dying and she caught a glimpse of his bucket list.  The last item was walk Emma down the aisle at her wedding.  Emma had just broken her engagement when she found out that her dad was dying.  She really really wants to help her dad complete his bucket list.  Jake, who works at the local hardware store, happens to come over to fix the sink that has been dripping.  Jake happens to be her brother's best friend and like family to her (except when she was younger and had that crush on him.)  Jake asks her what was bothering her and she tells him about the bucket list and her having broken off the engagement and what was she going to do?  She mentions maybe getting back with her old boyfriend and did he think that he would marry her just pretend so her dad could complete his list.  Jake asks if she loved him.  She admitted no.  Then the most surprising thing happened, Jake said he would marry her.  What should she do? hmmm

Sadie is a professional chef for families in town.  She goes into their home and makes them a week's worth of meals and stores them away for them.  She has just gotten dumped by her last boyfriend by text message.  Who would do that?  Her life is not bad.  She loves her work.  Her best friend Erik wants to come over to her house to have dinner and discuss his breakup with his latest girlfriend.  Erik doesn't want any commitments with any of his girlfriends but he still manages to keep them as friends after he dumps them.  Sadie has turned 30 and can hear her biological clock ticking and now one of her families wants her to go with them to their new home in Oregon as their chef.  It would be a lot more money and closer to her family.  Out of the blue Erik her just a friend has asked her out on a real date.  What should she do?

I liked this book.  Each of the stories could stand alone as a story, each one being just over 100 pages long.  Any of them make delightful reading just before bedtime--just the right length.  Any woman or older girl would love reading this book.   I received this book for this review from Booksneeze and am delighted that I did.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Prince Who was Just Himself by Silke Schnee

The Prince Who was Just Himself by Silke Schnee is a delightful children's picture book for those 3 years and older. This book is filled with colorful imaginative pictures and just a few sentences on every page--a big prerequisite for my children.  Noah looks different than the other children in his family and they love him just the same.  Noah doesn't learn things as quickly as the other children in his family and they love him just the same.  The people outside of Noah's family laugh as him when his family took him out to show everyone but Noah just smiled at them and was happy.  His brothers said, "He is our brother" and also, "He is just himself".  Noah's parents are King and Queen of their kingdom and one day a terrible knight comes to destroy it but Noah saves the day by just being himself.

This book tells the story of Noah, who has Down syndrome.  The story never mentions the word Down but tells simply of some of the complexities of looking and acting and being different than the others in the area.  The story tells of how Noah even with all he can't do could do something that no one else could and so he did.  Loved this book for its simple way to talking to children about a big subject.  It would be easy to read to children of all ages including the very young.
I received this book from Handlebar for this review.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Heart's Promise by Colleen Coble

A Heart's Promise by Colleen Coble is the 5th installment of the Journey of the Heart series.  This I Ms. Coble's first series and it is situated in Wyoming Territory in 1866.  Emmie Croftner is currently living at Fort Phil Kearny for safety.  She has the comfort of other women in her grief.  She is pregnant and her husband, Monroe's recent death has changed her whole life around.  She had thought life back home difficult when Monroe died but then when his 'real wife' came back it was more than she could deal with.  She of course had thought she was his real wife and struck out on her own.  She had made new friends and even though she had to keep it a secret that she wasn't really married when she got pregnant.  Maybe she really was that 'slutty daughter of the town drunk' like Mrs. Lambert called her when she was just 13.  Isaac was showing interest in her but she kept putting him off because what would he think of her if he knew her secret?

I liked this book and easily read it in one afternoon (only 97 pages).  The only thing I didn't like is that I thought that this series should have been a book since I though this installment too short to be a stand alone book.  Any young girl or adult woman could read it and enjoy it.
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.

A Bone to Pick by Mark Bittman

A Bone to Pick by Mark Bittman is a thoughtful and thought provoking book on our food system in America.   The author tells by way of his column which he writes for the New York Times about the food system in the United States.  He tells how it nourishes us, and how the chemicals added to it by both the farmer as well as the manufacturer or storage mechanisms changes how the food is allowed to either continue to nourish us or to change the way our body works (good or bad).  He is pretty honest about how difficult it is to maintain the good qualities of the food contents while enabling shelf life to be extended to allow for an increasing profit margin for the middlemen between farmer and consumer.  He raises many points about how different farming and storage techniques as well as eating locally grown food could be done for the same money and maintain the profit margin.  He makes the point that our government talks about being concerned about the heath of its citizens but when the reader looks at where the money is actually going it is obvious that it is not really changing any real policies.  This is a book that reads as though the author is actually concerned about the practices protecting the food in our country and not just creating sensationalism to sell books.  He also tells ways to improve the way that the reader eats even if they cannot go all organic because of price.  He tells of some laws preventing the growing of vegetables in one's own yard in some communities.  So sad that the looks of vegetables growing is disagreeable to the elite but grass growing is not.  What have we come to?
I started reading this book with somewhat of a chip on my shoulder.  I come from farming and feel that the family farm is pretty much ignored in the so called farm bill.  This bill seems to be concerned with the nonworking poor and the factory farms and not the small "just want to continue to raise my family on the farm" type farmer.  Mr. Bittman sounds like a common sense kind of a guy though he admits to being able to afford what ever food he chooses to eat can understand the poor not being able to and raising different ways of eating safely.  I would recommend this book as good reading for any and especially those who are raising children and are concerned about their health and willing to do something to raise them the safest way possible.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.