Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Book Crash Review: New Testament Breakthrough Version translated by Ray Geide

new_zpstaxpquyn About the Version:

Gain a better understanding of God’s Word from this exciting new version of the New Testament. This literal translation in today’s words tears down the language barrier and provides a more meaningful connection to the Bible. This New Testament unlocks God’s message to today’s world through:

  • more accuracy
  • easier to understand
  • correcting thousand of problems in other versions
  • bring out the descriptive and exact language of the original Greek documents
  • replacing old misunderstood words with new word that portray the correct meaning.

To find out more or to purchase a copy visit the website.

My Opinion:

I’m in no way a Bible scholar but I do enjoy looking at new translations as they become available, especially ones that are supposed to help Believer’s understand the Bible in our common language. I used to use only the KJV and while I still love that translation and use it, I must admit sometimes all the thee and thous throughout make it hard to understand. How much more so the new Believer, the baby Christian? Enter the New Testament Breakthrough Version translated by Ray Geide. I don’t agree with his take on words like lord, believe, Christ, gospel, and more not meaning what readers think they mean, but then again I grew up in the church and know what they mean in relation to my faith. I can see where a new Believer may have misunderstandings about some words he says are misleading, but not all, like tabernacle.

This is not a fancy Bible, there is no foot notes or side notes indicating where something was changed or translated differently or what it meant in Greek or Hebrew. There are no notes, say to direct us to an Old Testament prophecy that is mentioned in the New Testament. If you want those you’ll have to look elsewhere, this is a plain Jane Bible, one that is meant for reading and to be understood. One thing that stood out to me was the adding in of Old Testament Scripture, such as Matthew 11:10 says “This is the person about whom it has been written in Malachi 3:1, ‘Look I am sending My messenger our on a mission before Your face who will construct Your road in front of You’ (italics are included in this version). However, in my ESV it says in red letter, “This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you’.”

Overall, I think I’d continue to use this Bible if I wanted just a read worthy version, but not one to truly study by. Knowing that some of the language is changed because it is viewed as misleading such as the use of lord, has me thinking that some of the stressing that Jesus is Lord may be lost. Since there are no footnotes for further study I’d also take that in consideration when deciding if it should be used for study. That said, I think this may be great for a new Believer who is struggling to understand the Bible and who may not have a strong mentor near them but overall I still think some things may not come across as important. Also, I’m concerned that there is no oversight – whereas other translations of the Bible have many translators and each will check each others work with Ray working on this version on his own, there is no oversight should a mistake be made. When it comes to the Bible the Word of the Lord is clear what happens to those of us who take away or add to the Word.



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Book Crash Review: Bible Study for Busy Mamas Thirty Days in 1 Corinthians 13 by Pam Forster

About the Book:

1 Corinthians 13 is a full-blown description of love – not a sentimental or romantic feel-good love, but a practical, where-the-rubber-meets-the road, perfect love – the kind of love only Jesus has fully accomplished.

This study won’t just tell you to try harder at loving. As you spend time studying God’s Word, you’ll encounter love personified — the perfect love Jesus embodies — and knowing His love for you will motivate you to love others like He does.

Busy Mamas studies take a simple but deep approach to Bible study, divided into bite-size portions that will leave you encouraged and excited as you discover that you do have time for meaningful Bible study.

By giving you short study assignments, five to ten minutes per day for thirty days, this book will help you make time to thoroughly study 1 Corinthians 13 and learn about true, Christ-like love.

View sample pages and find ways to purchase at Doorposts.


My Opinion:

I had the chance to review this Bible study by Pam Forster based upon I Corinthians 13 AKA the Love Chapter, because it tells us what love is – patient, kind, and what love is not – boastful, envious.  It’s geared to be a 30 day study, just like the other one I reviewed here.  While most studies that are supposed to be for ‘busy mamas’ usually turn out to not be for busy moms – this one is different, it doesn’t have to be done at a set time, the study assignments are relatively short between 5 to 15 minutes if I had to give a time of course this depends on how deep you get into it.  If you have a lot of time one can easily delve more deeply into the study but if you don’t even just doing the the basic assignment will give you enough study information to go on – just getting into God’s Word is what matters.

My ESV journal Bible – the first entries I made. Hearts around the words love and charity and other colorings/decorations. Very relaxing.

The only supplies you’ll need are your Bible (you can use any translation you like), although you’ll want to have either online access for Blue Letter Bible, or have an exhaustive concordance and various other translations of Bibles for the word studies.  I like the online way as I don’t have a lot of table space but Pam also recognizes not everyone will have online access or even like it so she does tell you how to do the study without the online portions.  Also needed are some colored pencils, high lighters (if you’d like to make in your Bible otherwise you can do it on your paper), something to write with and paper.  This study is really just a guide, you can use it as you need to in your life without feeling like you’re doing something wrong, like me I’m not doing it every single day but more like every other or every two because I’m soaking up the information from the other days.

Another feature that this one has is a complimentary children’s study – they’ll be studying the same chapter you are, I Corinthians 13, but doing it with you (as a family, just you and the children, or you can omit it entirely) with their own assignments.  It is great for both the little children and older ones and ideas are given for both so no one needs to feel left out or behind.  I have not personally included my children in this one but since I enjoy it so much I will more than likely go back and try to do just the children’s part with them after I finish the study.  It’s a great way to include the children and get them growing in God’s Word and since everyone does the same chapter you’ll all be on the same chapter, no need for each child to have their own guides or for a teacher’s guide.  This is a fantastic Bible Study for busy mamas!



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

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Book Crash Review: Raegan and RJ in Space; Colonizing the Galaxy for Christ by Richard Collins

About the Book:

This is a 48 page graphic novel set in the year 2025, and tells the story of the first Christians to colonize Alpha Centauri! In this graphic novel we meet all the families, get introduced to Hope Tennessee and the Christian Space Program, see the CSS Faith launch, see Raegan and RJ save the Earth from an incoming asteroid and receive medals for bravery from the President, see all the kids have a race with the emergency escape speeders, see the families establish the colony of ‘New Hope’, and finally celebrate the first Christmas in a new star system.  Cover art and illustrations by Mr. Robert Stimpson.  This graphic novel is a 2014 book award winner!

You can purchase a copy of the book at Raegan and RJ in Space.

My Opinion:

In my house we enjoy graphic novels so when I had the chance to recieve a copy of Raegan and RJ in Space; Colonizing the Galaxy for Christ I knew I wanted to take a look at if for myself.  I must say that I loved that this was a Christian graphic novel, there aren’t many of those out and so this fills a niche that is needed for today’s youth.  The illustrations are well done as is the plot and dialog between characters.  That said some of the way things were done had me chuckling because they just weren’t believable such as sending school aged children to do missions in space when there are other adults on the shuttle.  Seeing that the story is set in the year 2025, just eleven years from now, it seems far fetched to think that a shuttle will be taking a group of Christians to settle a new planet 6 months away from earth, not to mention I don’t believe in Aliens in space so who would be getting the Gospel message.

Overall, I think this is a great concept but I think some children, including my 12 1/2 year old would find it cheesy (she hasn’t had a chance to read it in full yet).  The children are all very polite – no one calls each other names, back talks parents and no one questions the teacher.  Everyone is quick to praise and give the Lord the credit, which is great.  I just think there needs to be more fleshed out, such as why are children sent on missions?  Why is the group traveling to space when there isn’t anyone out there to share the Gospel with?  While I like the idea of this graphic novel, I would like to see a bit more substance given to it, it’s short at just 48 pages and I know graphic novels aren’t supposed to be the size of a tome but it seemed as if there was something lacking as I read it.

 (c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Book Crash Review: Thirty Days of Bible Study for Busy Mamas by Pam Forster #grow4christ

About the Book:

It’s not easy, getting into the Word when your house is full of little ones who need you twenty-four hours a day.

But it’s essential.

The goal of this book is to offer special encouragement and help to busy mothers who need the nourishment of God’s Word in their demanding lives. 30 Days of Bible Study for Busy Mamas: Colossians 3 will help you slow down and really study the Bible, even if you can only study for a few minutes at a time.

Here is a simple but deep approach to Bible study, divided into five-minute portions that will leave you encouraged and excited as you discover that you can study the Bible, even when your house is full of children!

So here’s the challenge: Set aside just five to ten minutes a day – even if it’s just one minute at a time – to study the Bible. This book will help!

Includes thirty days of Bible study directions in Colossians 3, plus extra sections like:

  • Ideas for marking in your Bible
  • How to make time for Bible study when you have small children
  • How to study more on your own after you finish the 30 days in Colossians 3
  • This study started as a series of posts on Pam’s Doorposts of Your House blog, where she discovered other busy mamas who were looking for simple but meaningful Bible study. If you aren’t sure where to start, or if you don’t think you have time for Bible study, this booklet will get you started!

You can buy the book (in print or ebook) at Doorposts or on Amazon.

My Opinion:

You may be thinking – I’ve tried it before and Bible studies that are supposed to be for busy moms, usually aren’t and it’ll be the same way with this one.  Put aside your misconceptions because this one study that only takes a few minutes and is truly for busy moms like you and I.  In only 93 pages you’ll be taken on a month long journey into Colossians 3 and read more in depth study of Paul’s letter to the church of Colassae (I hope I didn’t spell that wrong) using the inductive study method and online sources to really dig into the meat of one chapter.  A month?  On one chapter?  You’ll probably think that that sounds like a ridiculous amount of time to spend on just one chapter – but that is what makes it so good for busy moms because it takes 5 minutes or less to complete the days work and learn from Scripture.

The only items you’ll need are the study book, a Bible in your choice of translation (the study quotes the ESV), something to write on, something to write with and a computer with internet access.  If you don’t have have internet access, no worries, just get yourself a concordance and 2 or more Bibles in different translations (my library has a lot of Bibles in different translations).  There are optional items to have as well and since they’re optional I’m not going to spend a lot of time on those but they will aid you study greatly if you can access them like colored pencils or pens, a computer print out of Colossians 3 if you don’t want to mark in your Bible and an audio version of the Bible (some are available for free on the internet).  Next find a time where you can carve out 5 minutes or 1 minute here and there through out the day, gather your supplies in a basket or at least together (I use a cute small tote bag from my favorite company) and get started.

The book is so feminine and beautiful looking inside and out – it makes me want to do the study – so making the time to do it – whether it’s getting up a few minutes early, sneaking a couple minutes while the children are at one of their activities, the book makes it easy.  After the study is complete?  There are plenty of tips in the back for how to continue an inductive study on your own and more, which makes it great for moms who want to find a way to study and this gives us the confidence to do so on our own and really study His Word as we seek Him.

(c) 2013, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Book Crash Review: The Gospel According to Les Miserables by Selena Sarns #grow4christ

About the Book: This 30 day devotional book points out some of the many Christian themes within the story of Les Miserables, connects them to timeless truths found in the Bible, and offers challenges for all of us.

You can find the book on TheBiblePeople or on Amazon.

My Opinion:

I’ve been a fan of Les Miserables ever since I read this classic tome in middle school (yes, middle school – many odd looks from peers and teachers) – I love the book, the performances, the music and most of all the messages throughout.  I was so excited when I had the chance to review a copy of The Gospel According to Les Miserables: 30 Devotions to Inspire Faith from Book Crash because I loved the idea of tying Scripture to a book that has strong Christian themes of love, repentance, grace and more running through it.

The first thing I noticed about this book is the Javert is spelled Javier on the back cover – however his name is spelled correctly in the inside pages.  This is a short devotional since it only contains 30 readings, each with a central theme and a corresponding Scripture reference that ties the whole reading together nicely.  The whole reading takes less than five minutes, which is great for this busy mom, but not so much for an in depth study but of course, one could really take the readings and run with them on their own – if they have the time.

The devotions are written from an evangelical, conservative Christian stance and since I consider myself all of those the devotions resounded with me.  I did find it helped to read the surrounding Scripture as well and make notes in the devotional and Bible.  While some may find some of the readings repetitive I find that sometimes repetition can be a good thing – even the Lord repeats His message in His Word – some of us need that constant reminder of love, repentance and grace.  I know I will be keeping this near my Bible study supplies when I need a quick pick me up based in the Word.

This post may contain affiliate links.


(c) 2013, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Book Crash Review: John Locke: Philospher of American Liberty by Mary-Elaine Swanson

About the Book (from Amazon): You’ll love this 1600s champion of freedom who helped end the divine right of kings, twitted his friends, and inspired Sherlock Holmes’ reasoning (no kidding). His Biblical-governmental reasoning inspired English and American Bills of Rights and is quoted almost verbatim in our Declaration of Independence. Locke was the most widely read, taught from, and quoted writer in the establishment of American liberty. Jefferson considered him one of the three greatest men who ever lived. This book will inspire and equip Americans to restore and preserve our liberty for future generations! The magnum opus of this accomplished scholar and author will stand as the definitive biography and historical account of the most read and quoted thinker of our Independence era. The Biblical reasoning of John Locke was a major influence on the Founders in formulating American civil liberty. Fully footnoted and indexed.

About Mary-Elaine Swanson: (1927–2011), a historical researcher, educator, and speaker, wrote over 80 short biographies from original research in primary sources, in addition to her award-winning major biography, The Education of James Madison: A Model for Today. As Resident Scholar for American Colonial Studies she co-authored The American Covenant: The Untold Story book and film with Rev. Marshall Foster of The Mayflower Institute, now World History Institute; then as vice-president of the American Christian History Institute, she developed a Study Guide to The Christian History of the United States of America, Vol. 2: Self-Government with Union by Verna M. Hall. Her many presentations and articles included “James Madison and the Presbyterian Idea of Man and Government” published in Religion and Political Culture in Jefferson’s Virginia, “The Monroe Doctrine and the Hemisphere of Liberty,” and “The Law of Nature in John Locke’s Writings: A Break with Classic Natural Law.”
Nordskog is honored to publish posthumously her crowning achievement, John Locke: Philosopher of American Liberty. the Untold Story.

My Opinion:

I hadn’t really paid attention in high school during history (which is sad because I love history) because it was so boring so I hadn’t really known much about John Locke before choosing this book through the Book Crash review program.  That being said, I was not in any way prepared for the size of this book!  I was expecting a quick read (I requested it in December of 2012, supposed to have a review written in 4 weeks, and now it’s August 2013) which it was not.  I was actually thinking of using the book as a read aloud for my children ages 11, 7 and 8 but it will be awhile before I can do that – at least for the 7 and 8 year old.  This book was not one that I could sit and just read and get through, it is 403 pages of history and information on John Locke.

While I said that above, this is a great book – especially if you like history and/or politics, all with the revisionist twist that so often takes place in other mainstream books of this caliber.  It is divided into five parts with and forward written by David Barton of Wall Builders Foundation and an appendix of three documents of rights that were influenced by Lockean governmental philosphy.  The five parts are:

  1. The life and times of John Locke
  2. The glorious revolution: Locke adapted
  3. The American Revolution: Locked adopted
  4. The French Revolution: Locke abandoned
  5. The modern secular state: Locke repudiated

Mary-Elaine Swanson did her homework and created a wonderful work that shows the reader how Locke’s faith in God showed through his life and his politics.  I would definitely say this would be a great book for a high school student who wants to read a living book that is on their level or even an advanced middle school student.  I know I will be coming back to it as we get more into our American history studies and I’ll be encouraging my children to read this book as each of them is able to do so.

You can purchase the book on Amazon (affiliate link by clicking on the image below) or at Nordskog Publishing.

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Snuggles’ Japanese Alps Adventures by Tim Ostermeyer

About the book:

Snuggles is a cute 1 month old snow monkey who decides to plan ahead to make sure that he will be warm for the winter.  He plans to travel throughout the jungles of the  Japanese alps to get to the Japanese hot springs.  He has to go thru many obstacles on the trip, climbing mountains, climbing tree branches, jumping over rivers, etc.   Will Snuggle’s get to the hot springs before the big storms of winter arrive?  This is a Christian book that has 10 bible verses, a lesson on how to pray, and evidence showing how the 6 forms of evolution are all scientifically incorrect.  The lesson from this book is on planning (some people ruin their lives by not planning correctly).

My Opinion:

This is one of the cutest children’s books I’ve seen in a long while – the 40 beautiful full color pages that go through the book are pictures taken by the author and capture the beautiful Japanese snow monkey called Snuggles in the book.  The book begins with Snuggles and his mom and goes through as they travel to their winter spot in a hot springs, where all the monkeys go – but if they don’t leave in time they won’t make it through the winter.  Packed with Scripture that relates to the book and story it’s a wonderful way to get God’s Word in while reading with your children.

Also through out the book are facts, 100 facts in total, that teach about the Japanese Snow monkeys, the Japanese Alps as well as why certain types of evolution have been proven false.  If you didn’t know that Japanese snow monkeys only number 150,000 or that the Japanese Alps are considered the Switzerland of the Orient or what punctuated equilibrium evolution is then this book will tell you and more.  It’s a great children’s book, but it’s even more than that – it’s a teaching tool for both adults and children – I learned interesting facts as I read this book aloud to my children.

My son really enjoyed it and my middle daughter wants to get the penguin book next – but she wants anything to do with penguins.  If your child is fascinated by animals, as most are then this book would make a great gift idea including older children who could use the book as a springboard to do more research into these beautiful monkeys and the environment they live in.


You can purchase the book at Amazon or at Fun Adventure Wildlife Books.


Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


The Creation as retold by Janice D. Green

About the Book:

In The Creation, children’s author and illustrator Janice Green presents the day-by-day Genesis account with delightful word pictures and colorful hand-appliqued quilt illustrations. Questions included on each page encourage dialog between children and their caregivers. Through one-on-one snuggle time, children gain interest in the Bible as caregivers embrace the opportunity to share their faith.

My Opinion:

Whether for your own child or as a gift The Creation is going to be a wonderful book that will be cherished between the child and you (or their parent).  This beautiful hard cover book is a retelling of the Biblical and historical account of how the earth, humans, animals and all of nature came to be.  With retelling of Bible stories one must be careful not to take away from or add to the Bible and Janice Green has done a wonderful job of retelling the story on a child’s level but without degrading the Word of God.

The illustrations throughout the book are quilt blocks that Janice herself hand appliqued and created for this book.  Colorful and lively the book has a warm, homey feel to it that both adult and child, alike will love to come back to time and again as they read the story together.  The questions following the the story are short and are a great way to open dialogue between parent and child as Biblical truths are explored and ingrained into their lives.  I like to that the font size makes for an easy reader for a child who is just learning to read or who struggles to read.

You can purchase this book at Amazon. (may contain affiliate links)

**Disclaimer:  I received this book for free from Book Crash in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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