NIV & NKJV Journal the Word Bibles – A Review

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If you know me, you know I LOVE Bible Journaling!  So, I am thrilled to review these two Journal the Word Bibles.  They are both beautiful and have similar styles and covers.  Here are some of the features of each:

First, the NIV Journal the Word Bible

The cover is a dark taupe canvas (with a bit of a blue tint) with leaves in various colors (blue, green, pink, brown).  The spine of the Bible is a beautiful dark blue.  The cover is thick and sturdy.

The margins are about two inches and are lined.  The pages are light cream colored and this is a single column Bible (meaning the text is not in columns on each page, but rather a single, wider column of text).  When you get to the Psalms, this leaves you with tons of space around the words for painting, coloring and journaling.

Now for the NKJV Journal the Word Bible (Large Print)

The cover of this Bible is very similar to the NIV one, however it has a beautiful teal on the spine and corners.  It’s the same canvas as the other, but the colors seem more vibrant and the canvas background under the leaves is more cream colored than the other (which has a definite blue/purple tint).  Because this Bible is Large Print, it’s much thicker than the other and thus quite heavy.  But I LOVE that the words are so large.  It is also single column, so there is plenty of space for journaling – it also has the same two inch, lined margins.  Here’s a comparison of the spines of the Bibles so you can see the difference in size.

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Also, here are pictures of the text inside each Bible so you can see the difference between the regular print (top picture) and large print (bottom picture).

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Both Bibles are beautiful, but I would love to see a Large Print NIV version with the teal colors on the cover.  If you’re interested in Bible Journaling, or know someone who is – either of these Bibles would make a wonderful gift

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. 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 < http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

 

All the Pretty Things – A Book Review

“Come on, my sister.  Don’t wait until you’re not afraid – jump scared.” (p xii)

All the Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth is a book that will stay with you long after you read it.  I finished the book about a week ago and I find myself replaying parts of Edie’s story in my head, remembering her heart and her words.  It’s a beautiful and haunting story about Edie’s life, with her relationship with her father playing a central role throughout the book.  Memoirs are some of my very favorite books, and this one is so compelling that it almost reads like a fiction story.  I kept having to remind myself that it was real.  Edie is a superb writer, especially after you get past the halfway point in the book – it really speeds up and pulls you in.

All the Pretty Things is basically the story of Edie’s life from birth to current day.  It’s a story of grace and redemption, of grit and determination. Edie grows from a poor little girl with an alcoholic father whom she loved desperately to a successful doctor with kids of her own.  My favorite part of the book is how all along the way she loves her people so selflessly and beautifully.  I cannot imagine being a child and having to take care of an alcoholic father, going with him to bars to make sure he made it back in one piece, always feeling hungry and never really feeling safe or secure.  I also cannot imagine a way to come out of that childhood without intense anger, bitterness or perhaps even walking in the footsteps of her daddy that she loved so very much.  Miraculously, she fought against bitterness and anger and instead of resigning herself to the life she was born into, she created the life she wanted through crazy hard work and fierce determination.  Her journey is so inspiring.  The unconditional love she shows for her father, while wisely learning to create boundaries to protect herself is an incredible lesson to anyone who struggles with difficult or dangerous people.

This book is exactly why it’s so important to tell your story – even (maybe even especially) when it’s painful or difficult to tell.  Edie’s story is not entirely unique.  There are millions of people who share similar stories of abuse, neglect, poverty or hunger and who will be touched and inspired by Edie’s beautiful words.  The vulnerability she displayed by writing about her life is brave and beautiful.  I was truly moved by her story.

Some of my favorite Quotables from All the Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth:

“…however confused I felt, I clung to faith because it was the only thing in my life that made sense, the thing I could count on in a world that was always changing.” (p 127)

“Maybe hope, however frail, was taking root in the deepest places; maybe sunlight and peace really would shine in her heart after the rain; maybe heartache can be the birthplace of the most beautiful things.” (p 135)

“..the painful parts of our lies are often the very things that God will use as gifts to bless and change us and the people we meet.” (p 134)

“The sacred mystery that surrounds death is like nothing else in life, and it is a privilege to walk the last miles home with someone.” (p 208)

“I see now that the heart doesn’t settle easily for blame – it longs to be redeemed.” (p 243)

“I learned that we all have wounds, and we can either open them up to the light of day so they can heal or we can keep them buried, where they will fester and one day wreak havoc on us.” (p 244)

“Parenting and living require more faith than knowledge, more grace than rules, more trust than answers.” (p 284)

 

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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A Mile Wide – A Book Review

“Our love of one another is the greatest measure of our faith.” (p189)

Brandon Hatmaker’s new book, A Mile Wide, is more than a call to a deeper faith – it’s an invitation into kingdom living.  It’s an invitation to live a life modeled after Jesus – filled with love, grace and mercy.

The book is broken into two parts: The Gospel In Us and The Gospel Through Us, each part including four chapters.  At the end of each chapter there are ten discussion questions, making this a fabulous book to use for Bible study, book club or even just to discuss with your family and friends.  This book is more than just a quick read filled with fun stories and interesting ideas – it is potentially life changing.  It will challenge you, encourage you, inspire you and teach you.

Brandon is a fabulous storyteller – down to earth and funny – and his stories will leave you longing for a more authentic and tangible faith.  The way that he sees people is inspiring.  As I read through this book I found myself talking back to the pages as though the author could hear me affirming his words or asking questions about things.  There were even a few times I read a paragraph and thought – man, that needs to be a whole book just for that one thought (such as the quote below in bold – I would LOVE to see an entire book on this concept).

The thoughts and ideas here are not new, but they are written in a way that might be more accessible to the average person.  There’s an easiness about this book that makes it hard to stop reading, but the words are so deep and profound that it’s necessary to stop every so often to really soak them in.  Humility and kindness drip from the pages in this book in a way that is extremely refreshing and comforting.  There are also some difficult topics here, though – loving others, showing mercy, seeing the needs around us.  Although the book is written in a very thoughtful tone, there is nothing surface-level about this book.  It’s a call to live like Jesus.  A call to authenticity, vulnerability and grace.  A call to a deeper, more meaningful faith.  It’s a beautiful book and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Favorite Quotables from A Mile Wide by Brandon Hatmaker (I really want to just quote the entire book to you, but that would be a lot of typing):

“..our interpretive lens should always be love.  It’s like the legend on a map helping us set our course.  How then should we love?  Choose love.  Every time.” (p5)

“Jesus came to rip the scales off our religious eyes to show us the heart behind the letters.  He moves from judgment to grace and chose love over law and people over position.  His gospel was for all, his community was inclusive, his discipleship was holistic, his mission was eternal, and his kingdom was vast.  Everything about Jesus and his dream for us was bigger, wider, and deeper than we can imagine.” (p6)

“The true gospel has never appealed to the masses, nor did it ever try to.  Jesus didn’t want fans; he wanted followers.  Yes, this kingdom will save your whole life, but you have to lose the one you have first.  There is no resurrection without a death.” (p13)

“Nothing matters more than humility, teachability, and repentance, because the opposites – pride, arrogance, and obstinacy – make us blind and deaf to every goodness and truth in the kingdom.” (p14)

“True gospel community starts with true vulnerability.  It’s where we end and the gospel begins.” (p96)

“Every move toward humility is a conversion.  Killing pride involves a thousand daily deaths that are hard and hurt and will cost us something.  But every time we choose to reject the lie of bigger and instead choose little, we are more converted to the greatness of the kingdom.” (p126)

“Everywhere we look there is physical, spiritual, emotional and relational need.  If we don’t see it, we are either looking in the wrong places or we’re not really looking.” (p138)

“Missional people attempt to live lives that are attractive to those who have no context for church.  They earn their places in the lives of others.  Only then do they hold the moral authority or personal permission to speak truth into someone’s life.” (p141-142)  [*this is probably my favorite quote in the entire book]

“Loving mercy and walking humbly are inextricably linked with seeking justice.  Loving mercy is the key motivation to justice, and personal humility is almost always the end result.” (p155)

“God is just.  But his justice is expressed through his mercy.” (p164)

 

 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. 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 < http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Greek for Everyone – A Review

I’m thrilled to be reviewing this book.  I was excited to receive it and begin to dig in to it.  I have no previous instruction in the Greek language.  I have a few Greek study resources that I use regularly, but I cannot read, write or understand Greek without help.  As a singer, I have taken a few courses on diction in other languages (Italian, French, German, Latin) – that showed me the basic rules of how to pronounce other languages.  I think I was expecting something similar with this book – although I’m not sure why I expected that.  Greek for Everyone by A. Chadwick Thornhill, is a very in-depth introductory textbook on the Greek language – it’s so much more than learning how to read or pronounce Greek.  It’s more about learning the basics of the language, grammar and words.  It says introductory on the cover, but I felt like it was more intense than just an introduction.  It has the feel of a textbook, which I wasn’t so excited about.  The information is solid and easy to understand, but it’s a very dry read.  I had to make myself pick it up and continue to read by telling myself again and again that I really want the information in my brain.

The book is broken into 18 chapters, most of which deal with grammar (verbs, nominals, pronouns, infinitives, participles, etc).  Chapter two is titled “The Big Picture of Language” and gives a good overview of how the Greek language is put together and how it differs from the English language.  Chapter 14 goes back to the big picture (after twelve chapters of grammar) and sort of puts it all together.  The back of the book includes two appendices (Answers to the “Your Turn” questions that are found throughout the book and an Appendix filled with Greek Paradigms).  There is also a Glossary of Greek Terms and indexes by words, scripture and subjects.

If you’re looking for a crash course in Biblical Greek – this is a great resource.  If you’re looking for something to simply help you understand a few Greek words or phrases, this book might be a little much to take on.  Overall, it is well-written, easy to follow and quite thorough.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Baker Books Bloggers.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

The Christian Book of Mystical Verse – A Book Review

The Christian Book of Mystical Verse compiled by A.W. Tozer is just beautiful.  It’s filled with poems, hymns and a prayers by over fifty different authors including Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, Frederick William Faber, John Newton, and Gerhard Tersteegen.  The book is organized into fifteen sections including topics such as the cross of Christ, communion, adoration of God, immortality and the world to come, victory, spiritual warfare and delighting in God’s presence.

If you are not a poetry lover, this is probably not the book for you.  If, like me, you love prose you will love this book.  I keep it in my car so I can read it at stop lights or in drive thru’s.  It’s a great book to read along with your regular Bible study as there are over 100 short poems, lyrics or prayers to reflect and meditate on.  Each one, on its own, is a wonderful inspiration for worship as many of them reflect on specific attributes of the Father, Son or Spirit and all of them are beautifully written.

In the back of the book, the selections are indexed by title, author and first line.  Keep in mind that this book is filled with words written long ago and therefore the language and writing style reflects that.  Many of these selections were written in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, however there are some, such as The Celestial Country by Bernard of Cluny (from the 12th century), that go back much farther.

I particularly love the poem by Anna Laetitia Waring titled My Heart is Resting, O My God.  Here is the last stanza (and my favorite part):My heart is resting, O my God,      

My heart is in Thy care;                    

 I hear the voice of joy and health

Resounding everywhere.

Thou art my portion, saith my soul,

Ten thousand voices say,

And the music of their glad Amen

Will never die away.

For anyone who loves poetry, The Christian Book of Mystical Verse would be an excellent addition to your collection.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

The Wonders of Creation Holy Bible – A Review

I’ve reviewed several Bibles this past year, but this is my favorite one so far!  The Wonders of Creation Holy Bible in the NIV is stunning and perfect for kids to learn to interact with the Scripture in a fun and creative way!

Here’s a list of what is included in this Bible:

  • Over 50 pages of black-and-white illustrations ready to be colored
  • Key verses called out on each coloring page
  • The full text of the NIV translation
  • Pink ribbon marker
  • Lay-flat binding made for the perfect coloring experience

This Bible is filled with pictures of butterflies, monkeys, trees, flowers, seahorses, kangaroos and even a walrus (which is the cutest!)  Although the cover has quite a bit of pink on it, I still think this Bible would be perfect for both girls and boys.  I mean, what little boy wouldn’t love coloring this awesome picture of a lion?!

 

I’ve been Bible journaling for about two years and my girls are always wanting to color in their own Bibles, but I’ve always had to come up with ideas for them on my own – this Bible is filled with opportunities for my girls to imagine and create alongside Scripture!  If you’re not familiar with Bible Journaling, it’s a movement of people who love to create, color, design, draw and write in the margins of their Bibles.  The idea is that the more creative we can be, the more we will want to get into Scripture.  It’s been a game changer for me.  It’s a way for me to meditate on the Word in a way that allows me to use my hands in a creative way.  I’ve always been a kinesthetic learner and the more I can use my hands, the more likely I am to pay attention and understand what I’m reading.  It’s the reason hat I read with a highlighter in hand.  I have a daughter who learns the same way and I believe this Bible would give her the opportunity to study the Word in a way that fits with her unique, God-given, wiring.

The Wonders of Creation Bible is the perfect size for small hands (it’s a bit over 5×8) and is hardcover so it will stand up to heavy use (which is exactly what you hope for in a Bible – that it will be heavily used).

I cannot recommend this Bible highly enough!

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. 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 < http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Finding God in the Waves – A Book Review

I’ve been anticipating this book for a while.  As a fan of both The Liturgists and Ask Science Mike podcasts, I couldn’t wait to read Science Mike’s very first book.  It did not disappoint.

Because I read almost exclusively non-fiction, I always read with a highlighter in hand so that I can mark every word I want to read again later.  After the first few chapters of this book, I put down the highlighter.  This book is almost all stories, in the very best way.  It’s impossible to mark favorite phrases or sections because it has to be taken as a whole.  This isn’t a segmented book filled with quotable phrases.  It’s more like a biography and Mike McHargue is a masterful storyteller.  This book was hard to put down – it’s just that good.

Mike took me through the journey of his story – a story of losing his faith, finding his faith and then helping others to find their own way.  Mike gave me permission, through his words, to ask questions I’ve never asked before and to not know the answers.  This feeling of not knowing everything is the essence of his book, which is ironic because Science Mike always seems to know everything.  There’s a spirit of humility and humor woven through his stories that makes the reader feel completely at ease.  It’s impossible not to be drawn into his life, his stories, his world.  It’s also impossible to not see glimpses of your own story within the pages of this book – the questions, the confusion, the seeking and wondering – it’s all there.

Finding God in the Waves isn’t just the story of Mike’s faith, it’s the story of faith in general.  Not knowing everything about everything is what makes faith faith and Mike’s book reminds us of that.  It’s okay to have questions and doubts.  It’s okay to admit that some things are just too messed up for us to swallow or accept.  It’s okay to say that there are parts of the Bible that don’t make any sense to us.  Questioning doesn’t obliterate faith, it expands it.  Faith grows when doubts are allowed out of their secret cages and into the light of day.  This book brought many of mine out of the darkness as I am sure it will do for you.

I told my husband when I picked this book up to begin reading that I was sure that this book would mess me up – that it would break things in me that needed to be broken.

It did.  And I’m thankful for that.

 

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from BloggingforBooks.com for the purposes of this review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own