Faith to Foster

Product DetailsFaith to Foster
By T.J. & Jenn Menn
Abeille Books
Amazon Price:  $14.99

Book Description:  While our country is preoccupied with chasing the American dream, thousands of children long for a family and place they can call home. Foster children live in nearly every community, waiting in silent anonymity for someone to welcome them into their life.

Sometimes all it takes is exposure to prompt change.

Faith to Foster is a candid and vulnerable look into the life of ordinary foster parents TJ and Jenn Menn. It is a comprehensive journey chronicling their decision making process, how the children arrived, the birth parents struggle to rehabilitate, help from friends and family, emotional goodbyes, and how faith in Jesus empowered them through it all. This is a story they wished they d read before starting their foster parenting adventure.

TJ and Jenn share of their experiences and feelings in a way that encourages readers to serve their neighbors. Faith to Foster reminds Christians how God can use them to make a difference in their community. He can strengthen our congregations to change lives and redeem innocent children from harmful situations.

Indeed, Faith to Foster inspires believers to rely on the mighty power of our God as they seek to change their neighborhoods one child at a time.

Review

 This is a very valuable tool for understanding what it is like to be a foster parent and all that is involved with this type of ministry.   It gripped me from the first sentence.   The Menn’s writing is unassuming and there experiences are believable. They just couldn’t make this stuff up. I appreciate that they bust the “Pollyanna Myth” and don’t sugarcoat the experience.  Their candidness helps you to connect with not only the authors but the children as well. This book is an eye-opener, highlighting experiences that will both make you laugh and bring tears to your eyes as they share the ups and downs of fostering children and how God has been with them every step of the way.  It is a must read for anyone in human service work or ministry that involves children.
~Reviewed by Sarah J.
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    Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

    Product DetailsRaising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
    By Kristen Welch
    Tyndale House
    Retail Price:  $15.99
    Amazon Price: $14.39

    Book Description:  “But everyone else has it.” “If you loved me, you’d get it for me!” When you hear these comments from your kids, it can be tough not to cave. You love your children―don’t you want them to be happy and to fit in?

    Kristen Welch knows firsthand it’s not that easy. In fact, she’s found out that when you say yes too often, it’s not only hard on your peace of mind and your wallet―it actually puts your kids at long-term risk. In Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, Kristen shares the ups and downs in her own family’s journey of discovering why it’s healthiest not to give their kids everything. Teaching them the difference between “want” and “need” is the first step in the right direction. With many practical tips and anecdotes, she shares how to say the ultimate yes as a family by bringing up faith-filled kids who will love God, serve others, and grow into hardworking, fulfilled, and successful adults.

    It’s never too late to raise grateful kids. Get ready to cultivate a spirit of genuine appreciation and create a Jesus-centered home in which your kids don’t just say―but mean!―“thank you” for everything they have.

    Review

    Over the past decade, science has shown that gratitude is one of the most valuable and important emotions we possess, and it is a virtue that anyone can cultivate. In fact, researchers have developed many different methods people can use to foster an attitude of gratitude, and the science shows that many of them really work.  This is the book that parents have been waiting for!  It is chock-full of engaging examples and stories and clear, easy-to-follow recommendations for how to instill gratitude in your children…starting today!  Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World is a thoughtful, engaging, informative book that will change your family.

    ~Reviewed by Beth L.

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      The First Hostgage

      Product DetailsThe First Hostage
      By Joel C. Rosenberg
      Tyndale House
      Retail Price: $26.99
      Amazon Price: $18.38

      Book Description:  “The president of the United States . . . is missing.”

      With these words, New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, Jordan’s king is fighting for his life, and the U.S. president is missing and presumed captured.

      As the U.S. government faces a constitutional crisis and Jordan battles for its very existence, Collins must do his best to keep the world informed while working to convince the FBI that his stories are not responsible for the terror attack on the Jordanian capital. And ISIS still has chemical weapons . . .

      Struggling to clear his name, Collins and the Secret Service try frantically to locate and rescue the leader of the free world before ISIS’s threats become a catastrophic reality.

      Review

      Events in this novel could very easily happen in today’s world and many parts of the plot could be pulled form the headlines in any major newspaper.  It is that realistic.  The First Hostage follows. J.B. Collins a reporter for the New York Times who has been covering ISIS activities. This book’s opening finds him in Jordan, covering a recent attack in the area. During the attack the leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, the president of the U.S.A. is missing and presumed captured and the king of Jordan has to fight for his kingdom and his very life.   There is so much action and suspense that you will not be able to put the book down without a good reason.  I found myself up late at night reading because I was so intrigued.  The ending certainly sets the stage for the next book in this series, and readers find it hard to wait for it!

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        The Wait By DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good

        Product DetailsThe Wait
        By DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good
        Howard Books
        Retail Price:  $24.99
        Amazon Price: $15.10

        Book Description:  Hollywood power couple DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good candidly share about their courtship and marriage, and the key to their success—waiting.

        President/CEO of Franklin Entertainment and former Sony Pictures executive DeVon Franklin and award-winning actress Meagan Good have learned sometimes all we can do is wait for “the one” to come into our lives. They spent years crossing paths but it wasn’t until they were thrown together while working on the film Jumping the Broom that their storybook romance began.

        Faced with starting a new relationship and wanting to avoid potentially devastating relationship pitfalls, DeVon and Meagan chose to do something almost unheard of in today’s society—abstain from sex until they were married.

        In The Wait, DeVon and Meagan share the life-changing message that waiting—rather than rushing a relationship—can help you find the person you’re meant to be with. Filled with candid his-and-hers accounts of the most important moments of their relationship, and practical advice on how waiting for everything—from dating to sex—can transform relationships, allowing you to find a deep connection based on patience, trust, and faith.

        Review

        These authors are role models for today’s singles on why waiting for sex before marriage is the answer to a lasting relationship.  It casts a vision for today’s singles, both young and old.   This book boosts the message that abstinence until marriage is the only way to have a fulfilling, guilt free, disease free, two-become-one we’ve only just begun exciting journey. But honestly, this book isn’t just about abstinence.  It is also about taking things slow and not rushing a relationship in may aspects.  It was a really good, thought provoking read that should be shared.

        Reviewed by Cara O.

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          The Duck Commander Devotional For Couples By: Al and Lisa Roberston

          Product DetailsThe Duck Commander Devotional For Couples
          By: Al and Lisa Roberston
          Howard Books
          Retail Price:  $15.99
          Amazon Price: $11.63

          Book Description:  With the ongoing popularity of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, the much-loved Robertson family has more to share about family, faith, and love than ever before. Alan (the beardless brother) and his wife Lisa have created a devotional combining their hard-won wisdom about love and marriage to help bring couples closer together and closer to God.

          Alan and Lisa Robertson had a failing marriage. But with unwavering faith and the unconditional love of their ever-present family, they got through the tough times and rekindled their love. Now the Robertsons want to share what they’ve learned. Combining the spiritual with the practical, The Duck Commander Devotional for Couples has a simple purpose: to bring couples closer to God and to each other. Designed with busy couples in mind, this devotional encourages husbands and wives to set aside time weekly to enhance their relationship. Spending spiritually meaningful time together every day is often impossible, but Al and Lisa arranged this devotional with realistic goals, allowing you to experience success and the desire to meet together regularly.

          Each devotional includes inspirational messages, relevant scriptures, thoughtful questions, and prayer suggestions. Whether you are happy in your marriage or struggling to hold it together, setting aside time to focus on each other and deepen your connections will improve your relationship and bring you closer to God.

          Review

          My husband & I love this book! It encourages & challenges you at the same time. Each devotional is inspiring and helpful.  It’s like each one is made specifically for what a person may be going through each and every day.  The book has helped our relationship to bloom into a much richer relationship.  I would recommend this book to all couples wanting to start a devotional together.

          ~Reviewed by Sharon S.
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            The 40 Day Prayer Challenge

            Product DetailsThe 40 Day Prayer Challenge
            By SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt

            Howard Books
            Retail Price:  $19.99
            Amazon Price: $14.99

            Book Description:   From one of the beloved creators of Schoolhouse Rock and the popular GodWink series, New York Times bestselling author SQuire Rushnell teams up with his wife Louise DuArt for The 40 Day Prayer Challenge—a simple yet powerful idea that encourages partners to pray together for just five minutes a day for forty days.

            SQuire and Louise have practiced daily prayer together for sixteen years. Now, they offer readers step-by-step advice on where, when, and what words to use in praying with another person: be it a spouse, loved one, family member, or a friend. In a straight-forward fashion, with astonishing examples of how Partnered Prayer can restore relationships and revitalize families, countless questions are answered including:

            -How do we start praying together?
            -Can we pray about anything?
            -How do I get my mate to pray with me?
            -Does romance get better when you pray together?
            -Is there scientific evidence for prayer?
            -What if my prayers aren’t answered?

            In association with several prominent mega-churches and Baylor University’s Institute for the Studies of Religion, SQuire and Louise are initiating the first empirical research study ever done on the effects of prayer among two people over an extended period. The 40 Day Prayer Challenge also provides a no-cost online opportunity to participate in the ongoing study. When the fun and transformational challenge finishes at forty days, prayer partners will receive a scorecard on how well they did, and join others in experiencing the amazing, wonderful things that happen during Partnered Prayer.

            Review

            Prayer is an ancient spiritual practice that seeks to unify our hearts with God.  Many of us pray alone, silently to ourselves.  And yet, we have been told by spiritual leaders that prayer is most powerful when it is done with others.   This exciting new book gives you all of the tools you need to start using your resources and really change your life and see your prayers answered.  It offers a bold and fun approach to the most intimate and important activity of our lives, connecting to God.  Filled with strength and disarming realness, this book will take your spirituality, your relationships, and your deepest desires into a whole new dimension of possibility and accomplishment. I am so excited for everyone who reads this book!

            ~Reviewed by Charlene M.

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              The Valley of Decision

              Product DetailsThe Valley of Decision
              By Lynne Gentry
              Howard Books
              Retail Price:  $14.99
              Amazon Price: $12.62

              Book Description:   Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.

              Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision—leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.

              All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can’t—secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.

              With Maggie’s surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator.

              Will Lisbeth arrive in time to save her daughter from the clutches of Rome? How can God possibly redeem such a slew of unwise decisions and deep regrets? Filled with heart-wrenching twists and riveting action, Valley of Decision brings the romantic adventure epic, The Carthage Chronicles, to an electrifying conclusion.

              Review

              The Carthage Chronicles is an exciting series that combines time travel and romance and it produces adventures that you won’t likely forget.  Though this book does stand alone, I highly recommend that readers to read the first two books to get a sense of the characters. This has not been my favorite series, but I do love time travel and I like fiction that is based in the early years of Christianity. Gentry is a fabulous author. She knows how to mold and sculpt language to make her stories feel like they are breathing. (I know that sounds weird, but for me as a reader I feel like this book is so full of life how can it not feel like that when I’m reading it?)

               

              Valley of Decision is the third and final installment of this series.  Though this book does stand alone, I highly recommend that readers to read the first two books to get a sense of the characters.  The plot is exciting with many twists and turns that will keep you on your toes and turning the pages, making the book hard to put down.   Gentry wraps things up nicely, leaving you with a surprising, yet satisfying ending.  I highly recommend this book and the entire series!

              ~Reviewed by Allie B.

               

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                Return to Exile

                Product DetailsReturn to Exile
                By Lynne Gentry
                Howard Books
                Retail Price:  $14.98
                Amazon Price: $12.55

                Book Description:  How far would you go to save the ones you love?

                Six years ago, impossible circumstances forced Dr. Lisbeth Hastings to leave behind the love of her life, not just in another country, but in another time. Her work as a top-notch epidemiologist and parenting her little girl helps alleviate the pain, but at night when her exhausted head hits the pillow, images of her beloved Cyprian haunt her sleep.

                Cyprian Thascius returns from political exile a broken man. He’s lost his faith, the love of his life, and his purpose. He attempts to move on, to face the danger that is looming over Carthage, but when Cyprian’s true love suddenly reappears, his heart becomes as imperiled as the fledgling church he seeks to save.

                Have the years that kept Lisbeth and Cyprian apart created too wide a chasm to bridge? In the midst of a new epidemic and rising oppression, will their love be the most costly fatality? Filled with gripping action and raw emotion, this spellbinding adventure of star-crossed lovers captivates with every turn of the page in this electric continuation of The Carthage Chronicles.

                Review

                Let me start by saying that this is the second book in The Carthage Chronicles and I highly recommend reading Book 1 before you move on to this one.  But even if you don’t, you will still find this an exciting, compelling read.  This book takes you back in time with Dr. Lisbeth Hastings to 3rd century Rome, an era where it cost something to be a Christian.  Since the author writes in a true-to-life style, some of the descriptions are a bit hard to absorb, but they do make you grateful for living in this time when we are free to express our faith.  This exciting book uniquely pairs time travel and an inspirational love story to create an adventure well worth taking.  It is a very intriguing and emotional read.

                ~Reviewed by Allie B.

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                  Guardians of the Heart

                  Product DetailsGuardians of the Heart
                  By Loree Lough
                  Whitaker House
                  Retail Price: $13.99
                  Amazon Price: $10.98

                  Book Description:  Nell Holstrom wanted no part of her grandfather’s barren gold mine that had taken the lives of her mother, father, and younger brother; even if there may still be hidden wealth inside. Instead, she went to Denver and took a job as housekeeper at the old Stone Hill Inn. Asa Stone was barely more than a boy when his father dragged him and his brothers to fight with Colonel John Chivington. But Asa refused to participate in the raid on the peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe; and when the smoke cleared, his father and brother lay among the slaughtered. Besieged by guilt, Asa wandered the West for years before returning to Denver to rebuild the old inn he’d inherited. Together, Nell and Asa work hard to restore Stone Hill. But when disaster hits the inn, Asa retreats into despair and Nell is forced to return to her family’s mine. Asa faces the hard fact: He’ll never be the man Nell deserves. Can he overcome the dark secrets of his past? And will Nell still love him when she learns the truth?

                  Review

                  Loree Lough is one of my favorite Christian authors.  Her books are always “real” and scripturally sound and I can always trust recommending her to my friends knowing they will find a great faith-based read.  In her new book
                  Guardians of the Heart
                  , we will find an historical novel filled with action, intrigue, romance, and redemption.  The characters are very likable and you come away feeling like you are fast friends.  You will experience  highs and lows along with them as they travel their path to healing and wholeness.  It was a fantastic read.

                  ~Reviewed by Allie B.

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                    If I Run

                    Product DetailsIf I Run
                    by Terri Blackstock
                    Zondervan
                    Retail Price: $15.99
                    Amazon Price: $9.42

                    Book Description: 

                    Casey knows the truth.

                    But it won’t set her free.

                    Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

                    But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

                    Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

                    Review

                    Terri Blackstock is a Christian fiction writer that has become well known for her Christian mystery/suspense novels.  Her books are full of danger and intrigue as well as suspense and mystery and this one is no different!  In If I Run Blackstock sets the stage for and exhilarating, satisfying read with redemptive qualities.  The book is well written and the characters are fully developed and she has an overriding theme of God’s redemption in a messed up world.  It left me thinking deeply about my own expectations of others, and understanding Gods plan in my own life.  This author always gets me thinking and challenges me to take a look at my own preconceived notions and judgments.

                    Reviewed by Allie B.

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