Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World Of Urgent Need

David Platt was fresh off a trek through some of the highest mountains and remotest villages in the world. While there, he saw firsthand some of the most urgent physical and spiritual needs imaginable. Pastor David was shocked by the needs he encountered, an experience that last a lasting impression on him that changed the course of his life.

We can get so complacent in our everyday lives that we forget to focus on the needs of other’s. I felt the same way the pastor did when I spent two weeks in Africa this past June. I have seen true poverty, children with no future.

The sheer number of people who do not know Jesus is staggering. Everyone needs Jesus and His will for our lives is always bring the gospel to those who have not yet heard it whether in another country or in our neighborhood.

“Something Needs to Change” answer’s the question “What is God’s Will for my life.” An emotional plea to Christians to move toward the tragedies and brokenness of our world with compassion, love, and mercy that can only come from our hope in Christ

“Because you and I need to remember that our homes and our health and our bank accounts and our vehicles and our jobs and our comforts in this life guarantee us nothing in this world. One day ( and it could be today) they’re all going to be gone, so we need to remind ourselves to live today for what lasts forever.”

I highly recommend this book for those who really want to be challenged, to think other’s  and spur believers to get to work helping the world meet physical needs, but more importantly, spiritual needs. 

I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest opinion.

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The Killing Tide

What an excellent way to start Dani’s new series, Coastal Guardians. The Killing Tides was a quick read, but full of surprises and suspense. Several things happened throughout the story that I did not expect especially the ending. Will Finn and Harper be able to ignore the sparks between them? Will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough t9 track down an elusive killer before they come his next Mark? Looking forward to the second book.

This is a series that should be on everyone’s to be read pile.

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest opinion.

A Story of Redemption and Forgiveness

Once again Connilyn brings the setting and characters to life. The ability for the author to paint a picture of history, war, pain, faith, mercy, love, forgiveness and redemption. That His love withstands everything regardless of what we go through. Have you ever read a book that pulls you in from page one? Each page I heard people in the market place, the conversations that Rivkah had as a scribe. 

Rivkah, a strong woman who has recently been widowed agrees to marry her dead husband’s, younger brother, Malakhi. Through the encouragement of a friend, they both away to find freedom but instead finds oppression. Malakhi who is forced grow up while at the same time learning to deal with rejection,  injuries that he sustained during war time, and lost love. The two of them  question God’s faithfulness. Will their faith be restored? Where will God lead them?

Another well written book that will transport you back to Old Testament Times. The ending did not disappoint and book four will be released in 2020.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and the publisher and was not required to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Finding God’s Life For My Will

The lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for award-winning contemporary Christian band Tenth Avenue North shows readers that by seeking God first and focusing on serving Him, we can live daily in His will.

“Perhaps God isn’t giving me the plan because He wants to be the plan.” What an awe-inspiring, challenging, life changing book Michael has written. The theme throughout the book  is surrendering your will to God to allow Him to live His plans and purposes through you.

Micah 6:8. He wants you to walk with Him. He wants you to be humble. He wants you to carry yourself fairly and justly. He wants you to love mercy.

With all the humility you can muster, repeat John’s simple soul-saving words, “I am the disciple Jesus loves.” I highly recommend the book.

I received an advance reader’s copy from the publisher, Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

The Middle Matters

The

“The middle is the place where we might have outgrown the shape of our teenage jeans but ave finally grown into the shape of our souls.” This sums up Lisa-Jo’s book “The Middle Matters” The author talks about how our bodies and lives change as we get older and how we can embrace that change.

Each chapter is an intimate reflection on midlife, Lisa-Jo invites us to get a good look at our. Middles and gives us permission to embrace them—beyond what the media, the mirror, the magazines or our teenagers say. The author knows that the middle might be the best part of the love story of life, faith, doubt and marriage.

I enjoyed reading the chapter and found myself relating to her although I am over 50, I could still relate. 

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

A Better Way To Know The Bible Better

Core 52 is for spiritual health what CrossFit is for physical fitness. In just fifteen minutes a day, you can master the fifty-two most important verses in the Bible. Most of us want to know the Bible better, but few reach our goal, often because we’re too busy or we don’t know where to start. Core 52 removes both barriers, offering a commonsense solution that fits into our busy lives. Mark E. Moore mentions that eighty percent of people of people who attend church desire to know the Bible better and that sixty percent who aren’t connected with church also want to be better educated in the Bible.

Some of the topics are devoted to Bible history and the events such as the Creation, The Fall, The Crucifixion, and The Resurrection, and other topics focused is concepts such as Love, Worship, Grace, and Humility. With 52 readings, each one has a five-day plan. With 15 minutes, you can increase your Bible knowledge.
 

I recommend Core 52 to anyone who desires to better understand God’s word. Core 52 challenges me to remember memory verses and practical ways to put what I have learned into practice. There is an optional “Overachiever Challenge” which offers me a chance to memorize the top 100 Bible verses. Core 52 is a way to build your Bible IQ and Christian worldview.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Waterbrook and Multnomah in return for an honest review.

Across The Street and Around The World

Jesus said it plainly: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” How do we live this out in our ordinary lives? The world is changing. More than ever God is bringing people from other countries and cultures into our neighborhoods, workplaces and schools. But we often don’t know how to start building meaningful relationships with them. Author, Jeannie Marie shows us that following Jesus’ final instructions does not have to be impossible or hard as we might imagine

This is a must read for Christians everywhere! The author shares biblical knowledge, personal stories and advice on how to interact and connect with those in our neighborhoods. We should all be following Jesus advice and be the hands and feet and be disciples that go to the end of the earth. As I prepare for a mission trip to Africa, my eyes will be open more so as I have opportunities to interact with non-believers. Go buy yourself a copy of the book.

Star of Persia’s Cover Reveal

Synopsis:
In an effort to complete a war his father had planned to win, King Xerxes calls every governor, satrap, and official in his vast kingdom to his palace in Susa to strategize and feast. When they finally leave, he decides on one more week of frivolity, which ends in the banishment of his favorite wife, something he never intended to do. But when he discovers Esther, Xerxes is sure he has a second chance at happiness.

In her wildest dreams, Esther could never have imagined that she would end up as queen of Persia. Yet she knows better than to become complacent. Another of Xerxes’s wives is vying for position, and his closest advisor has a deep and dangerous grudge against Esther’s adoptive father. Caught in the middle of palace politics, Esther will find herself in an impossible position: risk her life or consign her people to annihilation.



Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David, the Wives of the Patriarchs, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Loves of King Solomon series, The Heart of a King, and the nonfiction When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat, Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Contact Jill through email (jill@jilleileensmith.com), her website (www.jilleileensmith.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/jilleileensmith), or Twitter (www.twitter.com/JillEileenSmith).

Pre-order “Star of Persia” today

Sign up for Jill’s newsletter at: https://www.jilleileensmith.com/journal//blog/cover-reveal


Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking

In his book Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking, Raleigh Sadler, president and founder of Let My People Go, makes the case that anyone can fight human trafficking by focusing on those who are most often targeted. This book invites the reader to understand their role in the problem of human trafficking, but more importantly, their role in the solution.

Human trafficking can be defined as the exploitation of vulnerability for commercial gain. Using the power of story and candid interviews, Sadler seeks to discover how ordinary people can fight human trafficking by recognizing vulnerability and entering in. Besides sex trafficking, there is also agricultural labor, hospitality and service industries. The book explores the victims and how we can help, but we can’t rush in with a “rescue” complex.

“Sin caused the exploitation of vulnerability-Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable- the young, prisoners, the homeless, the poor. We who are all vulnerable should be reaching out to those and become their friends. Only then can we change things. The author mentioned that “each of us has gifts and abilities that we can use. I promise you that as we grow where we are planted, we will be able to do much more then if we tried to serve in a way that is not a fit with who we are.”
I wonder how many of us has tried to serve in a way that is not a fit with who we are. We need to remember Jesus knows our plans way before we do, and as vulnerable people, we can empower other vulnerable people, because Christ was mad vulnerable for us.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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The Heart of A King

“The Heart Of A King” is the first book that I have read from author Jill Eileen Smith. Portions of the book are part of previous e-books, however I don’t feel it is necessary to read those to understand King Solomon.  The author is a master story teller and the reader will be pulled in from page one bringing scripture to life. I love reading biblical historical fiction and King Solomon did not disappoint. I look forward to reading the author’s other books.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of the book mentioned above in the hope that I would review it on my blog. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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The Memory House

“Our families will be bound together in more ways than one soon enough.” Rachel Hauck has done it again. Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House. Beck and Everleigh are two women whose lives change in the blink of an eye. Their lives are intertwined, Beck, burdened with a secret, suspended for misconduct and struggling to get her life in order. A mysterious letter arrives and changes the course of her life. The letter informs Beck that she has inherited a house in Florida.

Decades earlier, Everleigh Applegate, a widow lives an uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas and tears her life apart and destroyed her new, young, married life.

The Memory House offers healing to both women. I fell in love with the characters from page one. Mercy, forgiveness and faith are throughout the book. Another well written book by Rachel Hauck. 

The Baggage Handler

We all carry our baggage without realizing that it is pulling us down. Three people, Gillian, Michael and David arrive at the same airport, but on different flights. Each person manages to take the wrong bag from the baggage carousel. They each have something to prove while on their trip.

Gillian received an invitation to attend her niece’s wedding and wants to impress her sister, but only has a minute or two to change for a luncheon only to discover upon opening her luggage that it is the wrong one.

Michael wants to be an artist, but his dad has other plan’s for him and sends him to a university to impress the track coach. He has one chance to impress, however upon opening his luggage to take out his running spikes, he realizes that the luggage contains only men’s clothing.

David, a business man who has to save his job, but when he opens his luggage to get his presentation out, he see’s only woman’s clothing.

Each person calls the airport and is instructed to go to a remote location to claim their luggage. Once they get there, the Baggage Handler meets each one of them. He urges the character’s to to think deep down about what “baggage,” is weighing them down. How often do we let life just weigh us down? How often do we “stuff” baggage? The lesson that I took away from the book is that I need to just let go of my baggage, that it does nothing for me to hold on to it.

I related to Gillian, trying to be the best, only to find out that I just need to be my true self. “The baggage Handler smiled again. I’m not talking about dirt or grime. I’m talking about envy and comparison. Your looking at the world through distorted lens.” We are all uniquely made.

The author had me at page one. Short chapters kept me up reading late into the night. I can’t wait till David Rawling’s next book is released. I recommend everyone take the time to read the book.

I received the book from Thomas Nelson publisher in exchange for an honest opinion.