Saturday, January 26, 2013

God Gave Us Christmas

"God Gave Us Christmas" by Lisa Tawn Bergren is another installment in the "God Gave Us" series - this one focuses on the Christmas holiday and what it really means. In this book, Little Cub asks his parents who invented Christmas. What I thought was nice about this book was that in a few instances, Little Cub asks about Santa, for example, he asks Mama if Santa invented Christmas. Mama's response was the God invented Christmas. I thought it was nice to debunk some of the importance of Santa Claus and teach children to focus more on the true meaning of Christmas.

Mama and Little Cub go on a trip to find God, and discover how he invented Christmas. Through their adventures, Mama shows Little Cub how God is at work, and tells him all about Jesus coming to Earth. For example, at night, they set up a campsite and as they watch beautiful lights in the sky, Mama tells Little Cub how God sent Jesus to be the light of the world.

I thought this book was very cute, and age appropriate. It's a great way to help young children focus on Jesus' birth and the holiday season, rather than Santa Claus and presents. My four year old loved it, and I thought it made a great addition to bedtime reading around the holiday. I would recommend this book for ages 3 and up.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Just Like Jesus

"Just Like Jesus" by Max Lucado is a book that really changes your perspective on how we should be living our lives. The premise of this book is that God wants you to be just like Jesus - to have the heart of Jesus. This book challenges you to change your perspective, and change your heart through these twelve chapters of what I can only describe as therapy for your heart and soul.

Lucado offers up these twelve chapters, each with a different quality we need to apply to our hearts in order to have the heart of Jesus. These characteristics are things such as purity, hope, forgiveness, and honesty. Through personal stories, Biblical references, and historical references, Lucado ties up a perfect package of what our hearts should feel and look like, according to God's desire for us.

I thought this book was great. In typical Max Lucado fashion, I found it to be inspirational, well written, and a great way to really refocus my own heart. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to open their hearts to more in their own life.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from's blogger program in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bible Stories That End With A Hug

"Bible Stories that End with A Hug" is an adorable children's book written by Stephen Elkins and illustrated by Simon Taylor-Kielty. This book is the ideal Bible story book for young children - I would say ages 3 and up. This book offers over 60 stories for kids that simplifies main stories found in the Bible. Each story gives the relevant Bible verse for the story, and then a short, easy to read synopsis of that Bible story. Short enough for young children to understand without losing interest.

The vocabulary used in the Bible stories in this book are perfect for young children - easy to understand language, and small words that allow kids to understand what is being said. After the story, there are a couple of questions that children would ask, and answers that are based on what we learn in the Bible.

The illustrations in this book are absolutely beautifully done. Colorful, vibrant, and entertaining - they will draw children in! Each story ends with a big hug for the child, as well, which I thought was a really cute idea, as well.

Overall I would give this book a 5/5. Perfect for the age group, beautiful illustrations, and based on sound Biblical principles. Loved it, and so did my four year old!

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just Like Jesus Devotional

Max Lucado's companion devotional to his book, "Just Like Jesus" is this devotional that challenges you to spend thirty days learning about your faith, your savior, and how to become more like Jesus. 

"Just Like Jesus Devotional" is a month long challenge to allow Jesus to take over your heart. The devotionals themselves are based on four principles: thinking, hearing, reflecting, and speaking. Each daily devotion begins with a bible verse that sets the theme for the day, then a brief explanation of that verse and how it can be applied to our daily lives. Then, Lucado poses a series of questions in the "thinking" section, meant to prompt you to truly understand what it is that God is trying to tell you.

The "hearing" section of the devotion follows, and offers a longer verse that compounds on the questions posed in the "thinking" section. "Reflecting" follows with a few questions about the verses you read in the "hearing" section. Finally, the devotion ends with the "speaking" portion, that essentially helps inspire you in prayer.

What I liked about this devotional was that the daily devotions are truly inspiring. I loved that the sections at the end of the reading build on each other, and really make you think about the impact that Jesus has on your life, and your relationship with Him.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in walking deeper in their faith. Lucado knows how to make you really ponder your own spirituality, and this devotion is 30 days of challenging you to live deeper in your faith.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from's Blogger program in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson join forces in the book, "Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe." This book offers practical advice in place of the traditional school of thought that motherhood "just comes naturally". This book shares the motherhood tales of these two women with us in a way that makes me relate to their situation, and appreciate their perspective. The ideas and principles that these women share with us in "Desperate", can add so much to our daily lives - ideas such as anchoring certain daily events in our schedule to maintain control of the day really struck a chord with me. As a mom of a four year old, and expecting our second child in a couple of months, I am already anticipating the chaos that will ensue, and this book really helped put some new ideas in my head for helping me manage a growing family, while still maintaining my own sanity.

I thought that this book was well written, and is the kind of book that any mom could benefit from. The book is humorous, thoughtful, and easy for any mom to relate to. I would highly recommend this book to any of my mommy friends. A great read, and a helpful resource.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from's Blogger program in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. The views expressed above are solely my own.