Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timeline {Book Review}

It is one thing to read a Christian inspirational work where the author takes her experience, discusses it, and refers to verses from the Bible to strengthen her writings. It is an entirely different level of depth that is found when an author takes experiences & people from the Bible, discusses them, humanifies the person, explains how God grew them and used them, and THEN blends in her own story after having laid down a biblical foundation. Marlo Schalesky accomplished this example of depth in her book, Waiting for Wonder.

Schalesky focuses on Sarah and the way she had to wait not just for a child, but also for the land God had promised. While Schalesky's key focus is Sarah, she also focuses on other biblical characters who learned, grew, and were used by God. The biblical characters (especially Sarah) become even more meaningful when Schalesky presents her personal experiences and relates them back to what God was teaching Sarah. It is a fantastic writing style, and I truly enjoyed this book.

**I received a copy  of the book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to give a positive review.**
Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God’s Timeline (Abingdon Press, November 2016)
What if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?
It’s easy to believe God when a promise is new. It’s hard when the years pass and nothing changes. It’s even harder when desperation strikes, your plans backfire, and still God does not fill the emptiness. But what if, in this waiting, God is calling us to more?
Join author Marlo Schalesky on a unique, contemplative journey to reveal the wonder that is often missed when we find ourselves struggling to wait well. Walking through the life of the biblical character Sarah, one who knows what it means to wait, you will discover a glimpse of God’s character that will give you strength to keep hoping and praying for the desires of your heart.
Waiting for Wonder is a journey into the heart of God where you will wrestle with personal questions, think deeply about God’s true character, and learn to appreciate His divine work as you discover your own path to the promised land. Recapture your hope, restore your soul, and renew your vision of a wondrous Savior when you learn to live on God’s time.
Leader guide also available.
Marlo SchaleskyMarlo Schalesky is an award-winning author of ten books, including "Wrestling with Wonder: A Transformational Journey Through the Life of Mary." A regular speaker and columnist, she has also published nearly 1,000 articles in various Christian magazines, including "Focus on the Family," "Today’s Christian Woman," "In Touch," and "Marriage Partnership." Marlo lives with her husband, six young children, nine horses, two dogs, five cats, two parakeets, ten rabbits, two chinchillas, three hamsters, and a bunch of fish in a log home in Salinas, California.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Great Resource as we Pray with Purpose

Intentional prayer--it's a reminder we shouldn't need, and yet we do. Pray A to Z is a great resource for how to pray with purpose, with passion, and to pray beyond ourselves. While it gives specific prayers, it is also written in a way you can still keep your prayers very personal. It is a good book for the longtime believer, yet also a great gift to give a newer believer who doesn't have much knowledge regarding the power of prayer.

**I received a copy  of the book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to give a positive review.**

Pray A to Z: Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community (Worthy, November 2016)
Change the world one prayer at a time.
How would our community change if instead of absently saying, “I’ll pray for you,” we actually did pray–deeply, intensely, and purposefully?
Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Praying for Your Community will help you topically organize your prayer requests and lay the burdens of your community at the feet of our Heavenly Father.
With compassion and encouragement, Amelia Rhodes offers Bible verses and prayer prompts, organized topically for every letter of the alphabet. There are five topics per letter–three prayers of petition asking God to work in a certain area of need, and two more prayers of praise to reflect gratitude for God’s presence in the daily issues and relationships of life. Through petition and praise, your specific, focused communion with God will lighten your heart as you place the heaviness of those prayer requests where they belong–on His strong shoulders.
Whether you are praying for a friend’s adoption journey, a neighbor’s bankruptcy, or a family member’s cancer, this book will give you Bible verses, prayer prompts, and prayer starts to guide you through praying for even the most difficult issues that affect the people you know and love. Perfect for either individual or group prayer, Pray A to Z will help you experience the peace that comes from communicating with God.
Amelia Rhodes
Amelia Rhodes is a speaker and author of "Isn't It Time for a Coffee Break: Doing Life Together in an All-About-Me Kind of World." Amelia's writing has also been featured in four "Chicken Soup for the Soul" titles, devotionals for the OneHope blog Undeterred and the international devotional "Upper Room." Amelia has a growing speaking ministry and speaks regularly to women's groups on topics of spiritual growth, friendship, and community, offering practical tools for living our faith in the everyday. She lives in Lowell, Michigan.

Monday, December 19, 2016

ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises: A Six-Week Devotional Experience {Book Review}

This book is great for yourself, or perfect as a gift! I have both ScriptureDoodle's by April Knight; my 7th grade daughter oohed & aahed over them, so I gave her this one. She absolutely loves it, and it's been a true delight as a mom to look through her book and see all the ways she is learning, growing, and being creative in learning scripture! I enjoy it, too, but because so many reviews focus on adult women utilizing this book, I felt it important to focus on how much I recommend it for junior high, high schoolers, and young adult women as well.

**I received a copy  of the book from the publisher, but was under no obligation to write a review. My honest opinion has been provided without any requirement to give a positive review.**

ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, December 2016)
ScriptureDoodle God’s PromisesSome of the most incredible stories in the Bible are of God’s promises and faithfulness to His children.
ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in this interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art. Artist April Knight includes creative lettering tips, color ideas, and completed examples to inspire readers to respond to promises in Scripture related to trust, faith, and the power of God’s Word in all circumstances.
This unique blend of Bible study and creative expression provides the opportunity to connect with God as Creator in a new, life-changing way.
Learn more and purchase a copy.
April Knight
April Knight is a worship artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Knight’s work includes live worship painting and leading ScriptureDoodle workshops online and at conferences and retreats around the country and internationally. Her family of four is her greatest joy, along with serving alongside her husband at their local church.