The Friend’s of Jesus

Product DetailsThe Friends of Jesus
By Karen Kingsbury
Howard Books
Retail Price: $19.99
Amazon Price: $14.02

Book Description:  America’s favorite inspirational novelist and #1 New York Times bestselling author offers a richly told tale about six of Jesus’ closest friends and companions, bringing biblical truths to life in this captivating continuation of her Life-Changing Bible Study series.

In our everyday lives, friends are the people whom we spend the most time with, go through struggles with at times, and who know us best. Each of Jesus’ friends—Peter, John, Matthew, Judas, Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus—traveled with Jesus and were part of His daily ministry, and each has a compelling story to tell. There were some who would question or doubt Him…and one would even betray Him. Kingsbury brings these fascinating personalities to life in ways that will not only help bring you closer to the truths found in Scripture, but also to Christ.

By combining valuable, instructive Bible study with compelling, insightful character sketches of Jesus’ companions, Kingsbury provides you with a deeper understanding of the scriptural teachings featuring these fascinating people. Emotionally powerful, thought-provoking, and soulful, The Friends of Jesus will help you to appreciate the Bible and understand how it applies to your relationships with the most important people in your life.

Review

This was an awesome book giving you a look inside at the friends of Jesus and what they might have been thinking and feeling as the life of Jesus unfolds in the Bible.  This book follows six people whom Jesus loved, Peter, John, Matthew, Judas, Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus and tells the story from their own unique perspective.  While we have no way of knowing what they were actually thinking and feeling, it helps me to grasp the Bible Truths more fully as I see things from a different perspective.  I am a fan of Kingsbury’s novels and while I am not a big historical fiction fan, I found this book to be an enjoyable, enlightening read.

~Reviewed by Rosie B.

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    Heaven Help Heidi

    Product DetailsHeaven Help Heidi
    By Sally John
    Harvest House
    Retail Price:  $13.99
    Amazon Price: $9.79

    Book Description: 

    Welcome to the Casa de Vida–eleven quaint bungalows located three blocks from the Pacific Ocean in tiny Seaside Village, California. Owner Liv McAlister never advertises vacancies beyond a small hand-lettered sign out front, preferring to trust that God will send the right tenant at just the right time. And He always does.

    Heidi Hathaway’s life has been turned upside down. After an accident leaves her injured, unable to work, and incapable of negotiating the stairs in her multilevel oceanfront condo, she leases her home and moves into a cozy little cottage in the charming garden complex where her friend Piper lives. There she finds so much more than a place to rest and recover.

    Piper Keyes knows Jared is not coming back from Afghanistan. After making it through the fifth anniversary of his death, she wonders if she’s at last ready to get on with life. She gingerly explores new avenues–photography, cooking, and buying her own boutique–and learns to open her heart again.

    The most comforting thing about living at the Casa is that the women there become each others mentors and confidantes, learning from their own mistakes and arriving at new, healed places in their lives.

    Review

    This is the 2nd book in the Family of Heart series by Sally John and has become my favorite series.  Heaven Help Heidi is a perfect example of why that is!  John captures not only your interest but your heart.  The characters are warm, loving, and supportive, though all of them are flawed and their lives are not at all perfect.  The Casa is a place you will want to visit and secretly wish that you could live there!  While the main storyline is about Heidi, there are many rabbit trails to follow that end up being inter-connected.  The author has an intriguing way of weaving several storylines together to make one amazing whole. While this is a stand-alone book I would definitely read Between Us Girls first to get to know the characters more fully before moving on to this 2nd installment.  I highly recommend this book and this series!

    ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

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      The Last Con

      Product DetailsThe Last Con
      By Zachary Bartels
      Zondervan
      Retail Price:  $15.99
      Amazon Price: $10.80

      Book Description:  

      THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA WERE THERE WHEN JERUSALEM FELL, THEY WERE THERE WHEN THE TEMPLARS DISINTEGRATED, AND THEY’RE THERE NOW . . . WAITING IN DETROIT FOR A BORN-AGAIN CON MAN TRYING TO SAVE HIS FAMILY.

      Former con man Fletcher Doyle is finally home after six years in the pen. He’s working a menial job, regaining his bearings in the world, and trying to revive his relationships with his wife and twelve-year-old daughter. No easy feat.

      But when Fletcher and his family go on a mission trip to Detroit—in the company of the condescending church leader who also happens to be his landlord—Fletcher finds his old life waiting for him. Within hours of arriving in the city, he’s been blackmailed into doing a job for a mysterious criminal who calls himself The Alchemist.

      A series of relics hidden by the Knights of Malta, as ancient as they are priceless, are in the sights of The Alchemist. What he needs is a gifted grifter with a background in ecclesiastical history . . . what he needs is Fletcher Doyle.

      Between hiding his reawakened criminal life from his wife and trying to hide her from their relentless landlord, Fletcher is ready to give up. But when his family is drawn into the dangerous world he can’t shake, Fletcher is forced to rely on his years in the game to save the only people who mean more to him than the biggest con in history.

      Review

      This is really and exceptional book.  It is very unique in the Christian genre as it deals with some rather intense issues and the hero of the story has a questionable reputation.  While the book has many dark themes, the author uses humor to lighten it up, which makes for a good mix.  It also has a strong historical thread that I found intriguing and enlightening.  I thought Bartels did a great job describing the events involving Malta and Marie Antoinette.   The novel may have seemed like your everyday thriller at the start,  but it  hit home as the story developed and we saw two men, one a fake preacher and the other an ex-con who was converted while serving time, both question the faith upon which they have built their lives. As the book unfolds we see them find inner strength and their true selves,   It was not only an action-packed read, but had a real moral to the story.  I was impressed.

      ~Reviewed by Pat B.

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        Your Blueprint for Life

        Product DetailsYour Blueprint for Life
        By Michael Kendrick
        Retail Price:  22.99

        Amazon Price: $13.48

        Book Description:   

        Your Blueprint for Life gives the strategies readers need to align their passions, gifts, and calling.

        As CEO of the Blueprint for Life ministry, Michael Kendrick is devoted to helping others discover God’s purpose for their lives. Your Blueprint for Life guides readers toward a Christ-honoring life—one that brings joy spiritually, financially, relationally, physically, and professionally. With practical guidance for discovering passion, gifts, and callings, YourBlueprint for Life gives readers concrete strategies for achieving the life they were created to lead, such as:

        • Intentionally carve out a specific time each day to hear from God
        • Prune your relational portfolio
        • Step into your children’s world
        • Remember you are a steward of God’s resources, not an owner of your resources

        For anyone who has ever wondered why they were put on earth, YourBlueprint for Life not only answers the question, but it also gives readers a solid guide to understanding and achieving God’s vision for their lives.

        Review

        Author Michael Kendrickempowers readers to truly discover their passion and purpose in life. In this book he walks hand in hand with people to show them they don’t need to settle for just another job.  Along with practical plans for finding meaningful work the book is a great encouragement for those feeling lost or stuck in their current situation.  Whether the job market is booming or slow, Kendrick offers great advice in helping you find a good career match.  It is perfect for people desiring to be more intentional about their quality of life.

        ~Reviewed by Dave H.

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          Her Brother’s Keeper

          Product DetailsHer Brother’s Keeper
          By Beth Wiseman
          Thomas Nelson
          Retail Price: 
          Amazon Price:$8.97

          Book Description:  

          Charlotte came to Amish country to find answers. What she never expected to find was peace.

          Charlotte Dolinsky is not above playing dress-up and telling a few lies to find out what happened to her only brother. In fact, that is exactly what she’s come to Lancaster County to do. Now, calling herself Mary and slipping on a kapp, Charlotte will lie her way into the confidence of anyone who knows why Ethan had to die. Unless she gets found out first.

          But when Charlotte befriends a quiet Amish man named Isaac Miller, she begins to rethink her motives. And with a little help from a friend back home, Charlotte might find out that love comes packaged in ways she couldn’t have foreseen.

          Isaac’s been caring for his cancer-stricken father and sympathizing with his frustrated mother for three difficult years. And that means he hasn’t been dating. He believes Hannah King is the woman for him, but Hannah is still grieving the loss of her fiancé, and Isaac has all he can handle on the farm. When Hannah’s family plays host to a woman named Mary, their new cousin shakes things up for all of them.

          As Charlotte digs deeper into the mystery of Ethan’s death, she finds more than she’d bargained for in the community he once called home. But will she ever learn the truth? And what will the community—and her new family—do if they learn the truth about her?

          Review

          I love Amish fiction and I felt that this particular book was an excellent read.  It really was a faith-based book with a mix of several genres.  While I wouldn’t call it a romance novel, it did have some romance.  While I wouldn’t call it a mystery novel, it did have mystery.  You get the picture!  If you enjoy reading Amish fiction or if you never have before but want to try it out then this would be a good book to read. It’s a story of love, faith, and forgiveness. I do highly recommend this book.

          ~Reviewed by Barb M.

           

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            Raising an Army of Helman’s Warriors by

            Product DetailsRaising an Army of Helman’s Warriors
            By by Mark D. Ogletree, Ph.D., Kevin A. Hinckley and MA
            Cedar Fort Publishing
            Retail Price: $15.99
            Amazon Price: $12.82

            Book Description:  You don’t need to be an expert to be a good mom; you just need the Lord’s help. Learn how to seek out the best parenting Guide the Holy Ghost in this insightful and inspiring book. With personal stories, research, and interviews, this is every mother’s must-read handbook for finding answers and keeping the Spirit in her home.

            Review

            This book is about how to make your home mission-friendly and gives advice on how to raise your kids to mission-minded.  God calls us to bring the Gospel to the world and we need to remember the importance of this when raising our families.  The authors give great advice and tips and share relevant real-life stories.  I found the book to be very edifying, with its principals easy to apply.

            ~Reviewed by Allie B.

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              Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Audio Library (Financial Peace University) [Audio CD]

              Product DetailsDave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Audio Library
              (Financial Peace University) [Audio CD] [Jan 01, 2012]
              By Dave Ramsey
              Financial Peace University
              Retail Price: $140

               

              Description:  2012 Membership Kit to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Learn the same financial tips relied upon by millions of others to handle your money and invest for the future. Tools include: Member Workbook, Progress Poster, Audio CDs and more!  Within the first 90 days of Dave’s most popular class, the average family pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700. These nine lessons will teach you to get out of debt the same way you learned to walk-one step at a time. Within the first 90 days of Dave’s most popular class, the average family pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700. These nine lessons will teach you to get out of debt the same way you learned to walk-one step at a time.

               

              Review

              My church held a Financial Peace class and I attended it and I found it to be Amazing!  This kit lets you get all Dave Ramsey’s teaching from the comfort of your own home.  This class helped me to reel in my spending and become debt free within a years time!  If you follow these principals you will find yourself out of debt and living a more simple life in no time.  I highly recommend this for your own financial peace.

              ~Reviewed by John C.

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                Living The Quaker way

                Living The Quaker way
                By Phillip Gulley
                Convergent Books
                Retail Price $14.99
                Amazon Price: $11.24

                Book Description: 

                Philip Gulley invites us into a bracing encounter with the rich truths of Quakerism—a centuries-old spiritual tradition that provides not only a foundation of faith but also vision for making the world more just, loving, and peaceable by our presence.

                In Living the Quaker Way, Gulley shows how Quaker values provide real solutions to many of our most pressing contemporary challenges. We not only come to a deeper appreciation of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality, we see how embracing these virtues will radically transform us and our world.

                Living the Quaker Way includes a 30-day spiritual practice that applies the Quaker tradition of Queries.

                Review

                I love to read Philip Gulley.  I found his fiction to be very readable and interesting so I thought I would give this book a try.  I am glad I did.  His writing style translated to this non-fiction book and I found the it to be easy to read. I learned so much about the Quaker way of life as well as general wisdom that I could apply to my own life.  I highly recommend it!

                ~Reviewed by Allie B.

                 

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                  you are more than you know

                  You are More Than You Know
                  By Patsy Clairmont

                  Worthy Publishing
                  Retail Price $15.99
                  Amazon Price: $11.60

                  Book Description: 

                  FACE YOUR FEARS, GROW STRONGER.  Moving from a fear-based life to faith-based freedom is a journey that takes time and courage. While remaining scared and small can feel comfortable, taking hold of strength and determination opens our eyes to a measure of the Lord’s goodness we’ve never seen.In You Are More Thank You Know, Patsy’s trademark humor spills out as she answers the question she is most often asked — how she overcame her own deliberating fears — and along the way helps readers face their own anxieties, dismay, worries, and despair. Through honest and intimate glimpses in to a heart changed by the power of hope, this book is a guide for the journey to find more of you…and much more of what God has for you.

                  Review

                  This is a very inspiring book.  It teaches the different ways that fear can manifest in ones life and why one does not have to be subject to fear.  Fear is destructive and we don’t need to let it rule our lives.  While Patsy Clairmont is a hoot, she also uses that humor to bring home points relative to our Christian walk.  She shares her own experiences that make her very real to the reader, making her advice easy to follow.   This is the best book I have ever read concerning fear and  I highly recommend it for those who are plagued or paralyzed by it.

                  ~Reviewed by Allie B.

                   

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                    Redeemed by Grace

                    Redeemed by Grace
                    By Ramona Trevino and Roxane Salonen
                    Ignatius Press
                    Retail Price $17.95
                    Amazon Price: $15.20

                    Book Description: 

                    At age eight, Ramona Treviño climbed to the top of a roof and begged God to let her know he was real. After receiving a sign, she made a pact with herself to follow him always. But family difficulties and growing pains made it hard for her to continue on that path.

                    Pregnant at 16, she dropped out of high school and entered an abusive marriage, which ended in divorce. Wanting to make a difference and to help girls in similar tough situations, she accepted a job as the manager of a Planned Parenthood facility in Sherman, Texas. Over time, however, Ramona began to grapple with whether she was doing women more harm than good, setting her on a path to seek the truth, no matter where it might lead.

                    Realizing she could no longer refer women for abortions or provide them with false assurances of risk-free sex, Ramona took a leap of faith and left the financial security of her job. Her ultimate conversion involved a full return to the Catholic faith of her childhood and a new role as a pro-life advocate and speaker.

                    This compelling story tells of Ramona’s struggle to reconcile her identity as a daughter of God with a world that sends conflicting messages concerning the source of our dignity and happiness. It is the honest and heartfelt account of a woman who, with the help of grace, strove to overcome the wounds of her own past while becoming an agent of healing for others.

                    Review

                    This book was inspirational.  Within its pages the author shares her life…the good, the bad, and the ugly.  She has a way of connecting with the reader and getting directly to the heart of the matter.  She is deeply insightful, helping you to examine your own life and encouraging you to take the steps to living life to its fullest.  This was a powerful, interesting, exciting and life giving book that has helped me to better understand God, his love and grace.

                    ~Reviewed by Deb O.

                     

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