Monday, July 25

My First Hands-On Bible: Experience the Fun! Live the Truth!

I was so excited to receive this new Hands-On Bible for preschoolers!  Since my children were 2-years old, I've been using a Hands-On Bible Curriculum as part of our homeschool program.  I love it because it sounds like just what it is--totally hands-on!  Who doesn't love hands-on stuff?  It's so much more fun, and so much more real when you're learning by doing whether you're 3 or 33.

My First Hands-On Bible didn't disappoint me.  Last night, I used it while teaching twenty 3 and 4 year olds during church bible class.  They paid attention to the short story we read called "Samuel Hears God."  This bible uses the new living translation and also has a lot of fun hands-on kinds of things to do right in the middle of each story.  For example, every time I read about Samuel sleeping, the children were supposed to put their heads on their hands as if they were sleeping.  My students got really into it and even started snoring.  At the end of each little story is a simple prayer and a message that ties Jesus into the story, whether it's in the Old Testament of the New.  This is the awesomest bible I've found for young children!  It's marketed for preschoolers but my 7 year olds also get a lot out of it.

You can download your own samples of Hands-On Bible Curriculum here and read about it at the creator's site  Sunday Schools and home schooling parents all over the country use it.... and with this new bible, I'm thinking many more parents are going to discover how awesome Hands-On Bibles are!

This book was provided to me for free from Tyndale House in exchange for a thoughtful and honest review.

Sunday, July 24

Desiring God: Finding Complete Satisfaction & Joy in God!

This DVD set is based off John Piper's life motto and his book of almost the same name: "Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist."  People don't use the word "hedonist" much today but they're all over the place.  Hedonists are people who live for pleasure.  Everything they're about is in seeking pleasure for themselves.

So what's it mean to be a Christian Hedonist?  I'm one... at least, I hope I am!  A Christian Hedonist is someone who lives to seek pleasure... in God!  This DVD series or the book (whichever you choose, and I do hope you choose one of them) is all about living for your deepest joy, for the glory of God, and finding perfect satisfaction in that while living free to seek pleasure in Him.  You can read the beginning of the book here at Amazon.

Jesus really is the only one we can go to for complete joy, and we should never feel guilty for feeling perfect pleasure in living right and feeling perfect delight as Christians.  These DVDs and the book are so incredibly life-changing, inspiring, and amazing that I hope with all my heart you'll look into one of them if you can.

My hubby and I discovered John Piper last year when our church pastor recommended one of his books.  Mr. Piper is so gifted by God with great understanding and the gift of writing.  His books are so encouraging, thought-provoking, and life-changing.  We own the book "Desiring God" and when I saw that it is now also a 10-part DVD series from Multnomah, I jumped at the chance to review it.

If you can't afford to invest in a DVD series or a new book, I urge you--check out John Piper's blog at!  There are so many articles there that will give you wisdom and make you think about important issues.  If you want to desire God more & find complete satisfaction the only way it can be found, check it out!

This DVD set was provided to me by the wonderful people at Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for a thoughtful and honest review.

Tuesday, July 19

It Couldn't Just Happen: Knowing the Truth About God's Awesome Creation!

This textbook-like Creation Science book is a must-have for any Christian wondering about evolution and the reliability of God's word.  Contrary to what seems to be popular belief in some Christian circles, you cannot believe both the bible and Evolution.  The bible teaches that sin brought death into the world--before humans sinned, there was no death.  But in order for Evolution to be true, something had to die to create something else... and secular Scientists will tell you that for billions of years, numerous things died before humans even existed.

This book goes into pretty much everything you need to know about Creation Science and why Evolution isn't true (I'm not talking about natural selection--that's not Evolution at all & no Creation Science advocate will tell you otherwise.)  "It Couldn't Just Happen" is appropriate to kids from around 4th grade through adulthood.  It's 234 pages delve into a variety of topics including the universe and its origins, the geologic column, Darwin's Origin of Species, intelligent design, and so much more.  I believe that every Christian and anyone else for that matter who wants to understand what Evolution's really all about should own this book. 

At the end of each chapter, there are great discussion questions.  These aren't questions that have a right or wrong answer but are thought provoking questions that aim to challenge the reader & get them thinking.

The retail price is $14.99 but it's 50% off at Amazon at only $7.87... and if you're a mom and sign up for Amazon Mom for free you can get free 2-day shipping. 

The incredibly awesome people at Thomas Nelson blessed me with this book in exchange for a thoughtful and honest review.

Monday, July 18

The Complete Zoo Adventure: A Fun Creation Science Book!

I was so impressed when I received The Complete Zoo Adventure in the mail; my kids and I love it!  It's hard cover, can be used with kids from Kindergarten through middle school, and includes numerous reproducible activity sheets for younger ages, intermediate, and advanced. 

My kiddos had so much fun learning about the bible (lots of great bible verses are featured), mammals, paws & claws, and so much more and had a great time doing the dot-to-dots and writing activities that came with the book.  There are also 27 Field Fact Cards about animals featured in the book, 3 little Field Journals, and 12 name badges for when you go on a fun real-life zoo trip. 

If you click here, you can use Amazon's "Look Inside" feature to see some of the beautiful pictures yourself.

I was all the more impressed when I realized this book is an affiliate of the Creation Museum in Kentucky.  If you're ever that way, be sure and check it out.  We've been twice and only wished we'd had more time to spend! 

This book would be awesome to use right before you go to the the local zoo or the Creation Museum!  Here are some pics of our second trip there:

The Complete Zoo Adventure book was provide to my by the wonderful people at Master Books, A Division of New Leaf Publishing Group in exchange for a thoughtful and honest review.

Sunday, July 17

More Historical Fiction from Francine Rivers!

Since I discovered Francine Rivers 2 years ago, I have become spoiled with amazingly well-written, life-changing, inspirational fiction. All of her historical books are so well researched that you feel like you're truly there. This is no fiction that was written quickly... it was well thought out and thought-provoking.

Her Mother's Hope is the 1st book in the 2-book series "Marta's Legacy."  I liked this book better than the 2nd and I think that's because I love historical fiction.  The more vintage it feels, the better!  This book begins in pre-WWI Switzerland with a young girl, Marta, who's struggling with a lot of problems in her home--everything from an abusive father to a pampered, weak but loving sister.  Marta is definitely a strong woman.  I can't say I like her character, but her story is interesting and she ends up having an amazing daughter who I absolutely love in this book.  In the next book, well... she's just not who she was in the 1st and that's a disappointment.  All of the women in these books have terrible communication issues--they seem unable to tell and show their daughters they love them.  It's heart-breaking.  The final conclusion of the story in the 2nd book is wonderful, though, when that chain is finally broken.

I enjoyed these books, but not as much as Francine Rivers other series "The Mark of the Lion" which I recommend more highly than any of her others.

Wednesday, July 6

Here Burns My Candle--Historical Fiction at its Finest

All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle. -Saint Francis of Assisi

"A wonderful retelling of the story of Ruth by one of my favorite authors.  Here Burns My Candle is rich with historic detail and living, breathing characters that engaged me from page one right through to the perfect ending." -Francine Rivers

When I saw that Francine Rivers (my favorite modern author) recommended Here Burns My Candle, I was more than eager to read both books in this two-part series. Miss Rivers is well-known for her historical accuracy, compelling stories, and thought-provoking works of literary art. So, it seems, is Liz Curtis Higgs.

Here Burns My Candle is a book that won't disappoint. I read the 2 books out of order but still thoroughly enjoyed them both.  They flow quickly and are filled with secrets, betrayal, loss, redemption, and everything that makes a good tale.  The plots twist and turn with a dash of mystery and wonderment, essentially the story of Ruth and Boaz set in 18th century Scotland. You won't only read a love story of redemption and forgiveness, you'll also learn a great deal about the Jacobite Revolts, King George, Scottish brogue, and other Scottish history.

Read the first chapter here... but I'm warning you, if you do, you might just have to click "Add to Cart".  Miss Higgs weaves a story that seems so incredibly real and is very touching. Skip down a few reviews to read what I've written about the 2nd book in the series.

This book was provided for me by Waterbrook Press in exchange for a thoughtful and honest review.

Tuesday, July 5

The Final Hour--Fast Paced Teenage Fiction

The Final Hour is the 4th (and last) book in the Highlanders series by Andrew Klavan.  This series is super fast-paced with never a dull moment.  One prominent reviewer called it "a thriller that reads like a teenage version of 24... an adrenaline-pumping adventure."  It's definitely that, with the perfect amount of faith woven in.

I wasn't so sure I'd like this book.  After all, I'm more of a historical, Christian romance, classics kinda girl.  I liked it, though, and it's something I'd recommend to any parents with teenaged guy kids.

It's refreshing to find a series that's well-written and fast moving with a good amount of faith elements and minus any junk for that type of audience.  Highly recommend!

The awesome people at Thomas Nelson provided me with this book for review in exchange for a fair and honest opinion.