Friday, August 16, 2013

Worship Together Bible

Being the wife of a worship pastor, I was excited to get the opportunity to review this Bible.  My husband and I are frequently looking to identify which Scriptures inspired various worship songs so that he can reference them during the service.  Many of the songs highlighted in this Bible are ones that we sing or have sung at our church.

Within this Bible there are 2-page devotions for 50 songs.  Each devotion displays the song lyrics, the Scripture that inspired the song, a few paragraphs giving the song background (usually including quotes or thoughts from the songwriter), and a short devotional thought.  These devotions are what makes this Bible unique.  The Song Index near the back lists each song, the Scripture reference, and what page it is located on.  I think these devotions will be a great tool for my husband in preparing his heart for leading these songs.  They are also great for anyone wanting greater insight into why the songs were written.

The thing that I didn't like was the way the devotions were organized in the Bible itself.  It seems they were randomly placed throughout the text.  I expected that if I were to be reading in the book of Job that I would find the devotion for the song Blessed Be Your Name (taken from Job 1:21) to be found there.  Instead, it is found in the book of Genesis!  Why put these devotions within the Bible if there is not going to be a rhyme or reason behind where they are placed?  I would much prefer a book with these song devotions (and others) only, and then use it in conjunction with a study Bible.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blood and Bone by Don Hoesel

I chose to read and review this fictional story without realizing that it was the third book in a series.  Elisha's Bones and Serpent of Moses are the books that precede this one.  So for those of you like myself who feel like you are missing out on something if you don't read books "in order", you may want to start with the others.

Blood and Bone is a suspense novel with a plot that reminds me of an Indiana Jones movie or the Da Vinci Code.  You have a very smart couple trying to figure out clues and avoid bad guys, all in an attempt to recover an ancient artifact to ensure the safety of their children.  The story is entertaining, although I figured out I don't enjoy reading these types of stories as much as I do watching them on the big screen.  Too much action and not enough content that engages my emotions. 

There are a few brief lines of dialogue that serve to classify this as "Christian fiction", but not much.  Other than the violence, the content is foul language or inappropriate sexual content.  The characters display some trust in God and put their family first.

The only part of the book that I struggled with was the first chapter.  In fact, I probably would have quit reading at that point had I not committed to finish.  Having not read the other books in the series, the first chapter (which was a "flashback") was very confusing.  It doesn't tie back in until the end of the story.  Some of the word choices were a bit over my head too.  So in my opinion, the book should have started with Chapter 2 for easier comprehension.  Other than that I liked the way the story progressed. 

If you're into suspense and action novels, this is a great book to check out!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fight by Craig Groeschel

Since this is a book for men, I have a guest blogger husband!

Craig Groeschel is a man’s man!  He knows how men think, and his writing style reflects it.  I have only read a handful of books in my life, most of them fiction, but this is probably the quickest read of any of them.  I read “Fight” in less than a week!

Groeschel’s latest book, Fight, does not actually get released until this fall, but I received an early copy for review.  In it, he outlines what God created and called men to be…  warriors!  Following the story of Samson in the Bible (Judges – chapters 13-16), Groeschel points out the things that Samson did, things that we as men typically do, that were the cause of his struggles.  He illustrates how the warrior in Samson ultimately wasn’t enough until he realized where the source of his strength came from – God.

The focus of “Fight” is on lust, entitlement, and pride.  These three words encapsulate most of the thoughts of men:  I want it;  I deserve it;  I can handle it.  Groeschel teaches men how to change these three thoughts around, focus them instead towards God, and how to fight for your marriage, your family, and for your life!

Craig Groeschel, a pastor and author, writes this book in a way that makes it very easy for a non-reader like myself to not only get through it, not only enjoy it, but to anxiously desire to continue reading it.  The book is broken into 5 main sections, each section containing 7 mini-chapters of 1 to 6 pages.  You can sit down and read for 5 minutes or 45 minutes.  He mixes in stories from his own life that at times had me laughing out loud.

I would recommend this book to any man who wants help in releasing the warrior God created them to be.  If you’re fighting addictions, relationship issues, character issues…  any struggle that life is throwing at you.  God wants to equip us for battle, and this book can help!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.