Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Book Crash Review: Catbird Singing (Amish Horses Series Book II) by Thomas Nye

About the Book:

Lenny Gingerich leaves the interstate during a storm and finds himself 100 years in the past, or so it seems. An accident leaves him stranded on an Amish farm. Within days, he is driving a six-horse hitch and caught up in an old-fashioned love triangle. Bishop Mose tells Lenny to stay away from the girls, but try as he might, that is not easy. Lenny and his sidekick, a dog named Russell, both have a knack for getting themselves into trouble and everything becomes a tangled mess. While farming with horses, Lenny hears a catbird singing beautiful spring songs, which turn into an annoying meow as summer heats up. Life becomes difficult for a young man who doesn’t understand catbirds or Amish girls.

You can purchase your own copy at CrossLink Publishing.

My Opinion:

I had never heard of Thomas Nye before seeing this book come through an email for review, since it was Amish fiction, I requested it and then realized it was the second in a series so off to the library I went. Thankfully, I was able to locate a copy of the first book and read that before this one arrived which was a great thing as it really can’t stand alone. Some books can, but it really helped that I read the first book, Under the Heavens, because Catbird Singing picks up about two years after the first book and most of the characters in Catbird Singing are introduced in the first book. I want to say I loved this book, but I can’t – I liked it but it was hard to get through, there were a lot of descriptions that could have been omitted as they didn’t really make the story more interesting and the conversations seemed stilted between the characters. I’m not sure if this was supposed to be a young adult book or not, but it seems like it could have been although my 13 year old daughter might have been bored with it had she an interest in Amish fiction.

I didn’t love this book, but I did enjoy it – it is set in an Amish community in Iowa, which was different for me as the books I read set the Amish communities in Pennsylvania or Ohio. There wasn’t much in the way of lifestyle which was nice, since most Amish fiction readers know quite a bit about the Amish faith but it really was a book written from a teen boy’s view of the world, and outsider who happens to have Amish relatives and a way with horses. I must say that I do look forward to reading Thomas Nye’s next book in the series as I’m intrigued by Lenny and whether he’ll decide to become Amish and get his Amish girl or stay English and go to college. Overall, it was a good, simple read – it didn’t have any type of mystery or real suspense – and I’d definitely recommend it to someone who enjoys Amish fiction but wants to get away from the typical Amish fiction that saturates the market today.

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Family Christian: Matt Redman Unbroken Praise CD (review and giveaway)

I’m always on the look out for new albums to listen to in the car while we’re doing our many driving errands during the day, so when I had the chance to receive Matt Redman’s CD, Unbroken Praise, I knew I had to jump on it. Unbroken Praise has 11 tracks on it and you can listen to samples of them by following the link above to the Family Christian product page. While I enjoy all the songs on the album I have to say, “It Is Well With My Soul”, is probably my favorite. All the tracks are recorded live, so I know that may not appeal to everyone, however the sound quality is great and the applause of the audience is usually at the beginning and the end, not in the middle as I’ve heard some live tracks do.

Also normally, when I’m driving I like fast, upbeat music, however I also like being able to just get in the moment and get my praise on – even if that means stares from other drivers, or my children. It’s not so slow that I’ll go to sleep but not so fast that you feel like your at a rock concert – there is a time for each style. You’ll find the following tracks on the album:

  1. Louder
  2. It Is Well With My Soul
  3. Flames
  4. Unbroken Praise
  5. Abide With Me
  6. King Of My Soul
  7. Songs In The Night
  8. No One Like Our God
  9. The Awesome God You Are
  10. No Longer I
  11. Majesty Of The Most High

Whether you just want to get your praise on in the car or in the house this is a great CD to do that, Matt Redman has a wonderful voice and the music is one that you can sing along to, even if you think you can’t sing, the Lord loves a joyful noise! I know this album will be in my music rotation in my car for a long, long time especially with a long drive coming up to visit some friends, I’ll be able to sing along without getting put to sleep and also give the Lord praises for our safe traveling mercies. Truly, this is a wonderful CD and I do encourage those who like Matt Redman or just want a contemporary twist on some old favorites to get their own copy.


Contest is open to U.S. Residents ages 18 and older, void where prohibited. Winner must respond to the email I sent within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected. Winner will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter. Easiest way will be to right click and open in a new tab. Ends 9/3/15

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Get Access to Every ‘Adventures in Odyssey’ Episode Ever!

It’s August, which means it’s nearly time for your kids to pack up their pencils, zip up their backpacks, and hop on the school bus. Aside from prepping them for their new teachers, new classes, or maybe even a new school, it’s important to prep their faith. Sign your whole family up for Adventures in Odyssey‘s Odyssey Adventure Club for a special price of $9.99/month. The club is an essential tool to teach your children to share their faith at school, to be bold, and to grow in their relationship with God.


Join during the month of August for $9.99/month, and you’ll receive these benefits for being a member:

  • Unlimited streaming of Adventures in Odyssey library (800 episodes) retail value over $1,500 USD
  • New monthly exclusive episodes
  • Monthly Web Quests
  • Monthly Clubhouse magazine subscription (U.S. Residents Only)
  • Daily devotions based on Adventures in Odyssey episodes
  • OAC monthly member newsletter
  • OAC exclusive video stories
  • Animated Odyssey videos, Last Chance Detectives, and more!

Spend the last few weeks of summer vacation with your kids listening to Adventures in Odyssey episodes and build their faith!

Ready to join? Head over to the website and sign up today!

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BookLook Review: All You Want to KNow About the Bible in Pop Culture by Kevin Harvey

About the Book:

Somehow, it’s hard to picture pop culture and Christianity going hand-in-hand, but maybe we simply aren’t looking at things the right way. All You Want to Know About the Bible in Pop Culture reveals places where readers may be surprised to find redeeming values and gospel messages in today’s movies, music, popular TV shows, and much more!

When you look closely, past the outrageous outfits and the antics of teen pop-sensations, it’s easy to see that from the big screen to the small screen and right down to the radio waves, God and His stories are still prevalent in pop culture today. There are movies and television shows that speak eternal truth, reality show families who represent believers well, even fictional Christians portrayed in a positive light. And if you listen closely, musicians are still conversing with God as the original songwriters of the Bible did. For the reader searching for meaning in media today, All You Want to Know About the Bible in Pop Culture is the perfect choice.

Features include:

Fun Bible-based facts and trivia questions
Examples of biblical messages from current TV shows, films, and pop songs
A casual and engaging resource

You may purchase a copy at Faith Gateway.

My Opinion:

Now I’ll admit I requested this book more for my oldest than myself, but I knew I had to read it and so I did – I don’t usually try to find Jesus or Biblical themes in everything I watch or listen to. I know that if I’m watching say, CSI, more than likely it’s not going to have a Christian theme, if it does it’s usually Christians being made fun of, or if I listen to KISS more than likely there isn’t going to be much God talk. I think though, for our younger culture who is very much into the movies and even being able to personally interact with celebrities on social media that knowing how to see God in EVERYTHING is worth knowing. Kevin, the author draws parallels to some famous superheroes and other modern, well known celebrities or fictional characters and he does a good job at it (although I don’t recommend reading it late at night or you may not get much out of it).

For my children and I the favorite parts of the book were the quizzes at the end of certain chapters and games like the mazes or cross words – we did the quizzes at night in our cabin during our church’s family camp. Some of the choices were funny, like Alf was mentioned as a choice and we all laughed at that while some had us needing to grab our Bibles and re-read the account and were left in awe by what we had forgotten or not learned. I also enjoyed learning that some of our rote sayings like “escape by the skin of his teeth” was actually in the Bible and is attributed to Job – it makes our phrases take on a whole new meaning when one can see that they come from great men and/or women of the Bible. A great read for adults and while not all quiz questions were suitable for my now 9 year old, it was easy to skip them and include the whole family in on their Bible knowledge!

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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