Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Gigi’s Hugest Announcement (DVD)

About the DVD from the Thomas Nelson’s reviewer site:

The Royal Tea Party finds Gigi with a dilemma. She has important news to share with her best friend, Frances, but how best to make such a grand announcement? This slice-of-life peek into the life of God’s little princess reinforces the vital message that each child is royally important to God.

In The Pink Ballerina, Gigi and Frances take their first dance lesson. With reluctant practice and awkward help from Tiara (her new dog) and Lord Fluffy (her not-so-cooperative cat), Gigi struggles to dance perfectly to make God proud of her. But she unexpectedly learns that God is most proud when we show love to others.

My Opinion:

My girls were thrilled to get this DVD from Thomas Nelson – they really enjoy the God’s Little Princess items from Sheila Walsh so this was sort of like icing on the cake. Pink and frilly Gigi is God’s little princess and wants to share the news with her friend and neighbor but things keep falling apart. She is finally able to do what she knows God would want her to do. In the second title Gigi leans about God wanting us to show love to others.

I’ll admit I was a bit bored with this movie but my girls were very much into it – par for the course in this house. I will say neither I, my husband or my oldest daughter thought the use of lord toward Gigi’s cat was correct – considering the nature of the DVD – God. This did lead to us discussing the fact that we don’t call others lords and there is only one Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ, even though Sarah did call Abraham lord in the Old Testament.

Overall, I thought this was a neat way to introduce children to aspects of the Bible, I did think my 8 year old was a bit old for it but my 5 1/2 year old enjoyed it. The DVD sells for $14.99 and can be purchased at Thomas Nelson’s website.

**I was given a copy of this DVD from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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Finding an Unseen God by Alicia Britt Chole

Finding an Unseen God by Alicia Britt Chole has a subtitle of Reflections of a Former Atheist so it might actually turn off a Christian from reading it but don’t let the subtitle dissuade you – this book has something to offer even the most mature Christian. From Bethany House Publishing site:
” “I sincerely believed that there was no God,” she says. “As a young Atheist, I simply considered myself a realist who preferred unanswered questions over fairy tales.”

Then one day, without warning, Alicia’s Atheistic worldview was shattered.

Creatively written, Finding an Unseen God opens a window into Alicia’s surprising spiritual journey. With warmth, intellect, and compassion, Alicia invites us to carefully consider what we believe and do not believe, while she paints a vivid portrait of a God who relentlessly pursues even those who deny him.”

The cover is actually what grabbed my attention at first and drew me to actually read the book. The fact that it’s an unusual cover, made to look like a word search puzzle, intrigued me. Imagine my surprise when I opened the book and saw an actual word search puzzle that the reader can complete, with answers at the back of the book. The chapters are numbered in an interesting way as well, sort of like a cross word puzzle. This book is also a quick read, a bonus for me, I read it completely in one day. The book comes in at 176 pages and that includes the appendix and notes.

I enjoyed this book, the fact that the author admits to being an Atheist and then giving her life to Christ is a wonderful testimony to God’s pursuing even the most resistant person. Alicia also gives ways to lovingly respond to an Atheist when discussing our beliefs with theirs, yes, she points Atheist’s do have a belief system. Finding really helped me to understand an Atheist’s frame of mind in why they deny an existence of God, also she made it clear that a Pagan is not the same thing as an Atheist. I recommend this for any Christian who enjoys reading awesome testimonies of the Lord’s work or wants to know about how to respond to Atheists in a Christian manner.

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How Sweet It Is by Alice J. Wisler

I have never read any of Alice J. Wisler and while I was worried this
book wouldn’t stand up to other Christian fiction books, I was pleasantly surprised. I will admit I am sometimes leery of branching out into new authors so I am glad that reviewing for Bethany House allows me the luxury of enjoying new authors.

Deena Livingston is a Southern girl who moves into her grandpa’s cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. Her plans are to be reclusive and start her own cake decorating business while recovering from a broken heart after her fiance leaves her in the dust. Her new family is one she wouldn’t expect to eventually love but she must per her Grandpa’s request – and she is happy she did. A classroom of middle school students, a social worker who works with the children and a plumber are all things that may or may not get Deena to enjoy life once again.

This book really spoke to me. Deena wants to trust in God but her human side makes her want to rely on herself. Healing from a relationship that God didn’t intend for her. Realistically it summed up what most women go through before growing up and maturing in their walk with God. We struggle just as Deena struggles and eventually though we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, we have to rely on God to get us through and He will – in His time. It’s hard to realize that in times of hardship though.

The other thing I like about this book is it has some recipes. I have already tried one and it’s yummy and has been requested at two of my children’s upcoming birthday parties! There is a recipe for peanut soup hidden in the pages of story, and while my family isn’t excited to try it, I would like to one day actually put it to the test. How great is it that you can feed your Faith with a story that includes Christ and at the end feed your stomach with a great tasting cake? I’d say that’s pretty awesome!

So I say get yourself a copy of How Sweet It Is sit back with some Southern Sweet Tea (in my life it’s sweetened with Stevia LOL) and enjoy a book that weaves together Faith, imperfect human love, food and God!

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Timber Ridge Reflections 1 & 2 by Tamera Alexander

I had the privilege of reading the first two books in the Timber Ridge Reflections series by Tamera Alexander and published by Bethany House.

I was able to fully immerse myself in the historical aspects of the story lines as well as the characters, and seeming to walk in their boots. I felt like I really got to know the characters, their personalities and their families. It was a story that I fully enjoyed reading.

In the first book, “From A Distance”, we meet Elizabeth Westbrook who comes to the Colorado Territory to photograph the wilderness and the mountains for a paper back East. She comes up against some competition but then realizes that maybe life isn’t all about competing or all about working. She also helps break down some societal barriers that are put up from those of other ethnicities.

In the second book, “Beyond This Moment”, we are introducted to Dr. Molly Whitcomb. She learns the hard way that even though she has a Dr. in front of her name, she still lives in a man’s world, and travels out to Timber Ridge to escape after being given an ultimatum. As she lives her Faith begins to grow and she begins to rely on God to give her strength – strength to face the town, her friends and the man she loves – after her secrets come out.

These books seek to give God the glory, which I think the author accomplished – and isn’t easy to do in this day and age with all the feel good junk that is passed around – Tamera Alexander succeeded. The weaving of the story with historical facts, Faith in God, love for our fellow humans – makes for an enjoyable and fast read. I read both books in a matter of days – no mere feat when you add in homeschooling, housekeeping, and three children!

I look forward to reading more books by Tamera Alexander and am eagerly awaiting the next book due out soon!

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"How Can a Good God Let Bad Things Happen?"

I had the chance to read and review a book written by Mark Tabb titled How Can a Good God Let Bad Things Happen? I thought this book was fitting for this time in my life and was glad that I requested this book from NavPress.

Mr. Tabb uses the book of Job to help the reader understand that bad things, terrible circumstances in our lives aren’t from God and we need to continue to praise Him even if we think we will never get through it. Through Mark Tabb’s book I saw that what I see as trials in my life aren’t as bad as they could be. I still have a house, two vehicles, a husband, my three children are alive and healthy, even if our house isn’t big enough, our van is constantly breaking down, our house needs a lot of repairs – our circumstances could be much, much worse.

Reading this book helped me understand God a little more. The evil in the world is the result of the first sin, and Satan is alive and well in this world. While I never doubt and I do my best to never blame God for the bad things in my life – I am not sure how I would react if my children were to die, we were to lose our house, etc. Could I continue giving God praise? I would like to think so. Would I want to hear empty words from friends and family? Definitely not. I heard the empty platitudes when we lost our first baby, “oh it’s God’s way of taking care of it now” and so on. This isn’t what grieving and hurting people need to hear. Mark Tabb does a great job of getting this point across without belittling anyone or hurting anyone’s feelings. He does it with grace and maturity and in the end, his book is well written and gives sound Scriptural basis for his findings.

The only thing I could find wrong in the book, and it could just be personal preference, is that when Mr. Tabb refered to God or Christ as “him” it was a lower case ‘h’. I was always told that it’s a sign of respect to use a capital ‘H’ when refering to the Lord. Like I said it could just be a personal preference, but even with that pet peeve of mine the book was very enjoyable.

Please visit NavPress to see their other books and even place an order.

God bless

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