GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Book Review: The Pinecraft Pie Shop book 1: Made with Love by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore


love_zpskbjceed3 About the Book:

Lovina Miller should be thrilled. Pinecraft, Florida, has everything a young Amish woman could ask for: sun, sand, volleyball games, and evening singings in the park. But Pinecraft lacks the one thing Lovina desperately wants—a pie shop of her own. She longs for a place to gather with the community and serve the treat she loves.

A young carpenter named Noah Yoder strolls into her life and offers a way to make her dream come true. But before Noah and Lovina can build a shop—and a life—together, they must each face heartaches from the past. Is their new love stronger than their regrets?

You can purchase your copy at Harvest House Publishers.

love2_zpsm6hcjcin About Tricia:

Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. A USA Today bestselling author, Tricia has published over 40 books and has written more than 500 articles. She’s well-known for her Big Sky and Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors Amish series. For more information visit Tricia at http://www.TriciaGoyer.com. Tricia, along with a group of friends, also runs http://www.NotQuiteAmishLiving.com, sharing ideas about simplifying life.

love3_zpsousbu2xi About Sherry:

Sherry Gore is the author of Simply Delicious Amish Cooking and Me, Myself and Pie and is a weekly scribe for the national edition of the Amish newspaper The Budget. Sherry’s culinary adventures have been seen on NBC Daytime, Today.com, and Mr. Food Test Kitchen. Sherry is a resident of Sarasota, Florida, the vacation paradise of the Plain People. She has three children and is a member of a Beachy Amish Mennonite church.

My Opinion:

I’ve read many of Tricia’s book before, such as Where Treetops Glisten and Mom’s Night Out, among others. I have never read any of Sherry Gore’s other books though and that is something I will be rectifying soon. I used to be obsessed with the Amish culture, so much so, I tried to convince my husband to convert but there were some issues and we couldn’t and he wouldn’t so we stayed English. I didn’t quite connect with Lovina like I wanted to, she was single, still at home and all she wants is to open her own pie shop – I could relate to the dream part but not so much some of her mopey attitude. Enter Noah, who has a bad reputation among the Plain People and well I’m sure the reader can figure out what happens next, or can they?

Full of twists and turns, I had a hard time figuring out what was going to happen next because just when I think I figured it out, I was wrong. I like that, I don’t like boring, predictable books and this was not that. Even though I’m not as obsessed with the Amish as I once was I still enjoy a book about them. That said there is romance, nothing risque, obviously but I’m throwing that out there. Lately, when I read romance novels my heart isn’t in it but this one seemed so real it was hard to not want the ending to be what it was and so I could enjoy it without feeling like my heart was being ripped out. A fantastic book if you’re looking for a quick, summer read.

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(c) 2016, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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BookLook Review: Diary of a Jackwagon by Tim Hawkins w/John Driver


About the Book:

Popular Christian comedian Tim Hawkins shares his hilarious perspective on life in the 21st century.

In this wide-ranging, long-awaited book, comedian Tim Hawkins holds forth on everything from family, culture, and music to church, parenting, and education. Readers will enjoy laughing their way through the book, always feeling good about the clean and sometimes inspiring material they are laughing at. Chapters include riffs on marital communication (“marriage needs a challenge flag, like in pro football”) aging (“the diabolical orifice witch hunt”), worship music (“pick the right key, because I’m not Barry White and I’m not a Bee Gee”), and fatherhood (“There are no manuals for parenting. Color-coded warning labels or open-ended prescriptions would be just as helpful.”)

For fans of Jim Gaffigan’s Dad Is Fat and Food: A Love Story, Tim Hawkins’ hilarious first book reveals that for life’s many difficulties, laughter is the best medicine-when there aren’t any pills left.

My Opinion:

My family and I fell in love with Tim’s comedy when we saw him on Bananas, a local Christian comedy place that was aired on one of our stations and has unfortunately gone away – and way before we knew his family were fellow home-schoolers. I’ve also had the pleasure to see him in person at a show, unfortunately my husband and children weren’t with me, so I really, really wanted to like this book! I did like it but not as much as I thought I would – mainly because most of the material in it was stuff I’d already heard, either live or on Bananas. Since Tim also includes songs in his performances, it hard to really get a feel for the song when he’s not actively singing it and instead you’re just reading the lyrics.

I did enjoy the “Tweet Thought” at the end of each chapter and I did enjoy the book but it’s just better to hear him live – if you haven’t then I highly suggest you search out some videos of him BUT read the book first and then go watch. If you’ve already seen him the book will still be funny and your children may look at you like you’ve lost your mind as you laugh out loud every few seconds but it’s just not the same. So while I’d recommend this book, especially if you’d like something clean and wholesome and that you could read out loud with the family gathered round, comedy is much better live.

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(c) 2016, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Litfuse Publicity: The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan


murder_zpsp7rape4f About the book:

In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever—if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

To learn more and purchase a copy visit here.

What to read up on Jem and Merinda before reading book one? Check out the e-novella, A Singular and Whimsical Problem.

murder2_zpsdekiylvn About the Author:

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

You can connect with Rachel on Twitter and on Facebook.

My Opinion:

I’m a huge fan of a certain detective and his side kick so when the description listed this as a female version I knew I had to check it out. I really, really wanted to like this book and I did – the mystery of the three murders of Irish women had me flipping the pages faster than I should have. Set in Canada, it was very reminiscent of the above mentioned male detective – without all the “mind-palaces” and drug use. Merinda and Jem use costumes to access places that women wouldn’t have been allowed access, of course this also puts them into jeopardy with the Morality Squad. I did enjoy learning that the Morality Squad was made up by the author for the book, however she does say at the end that in Toronto women were tried in courts for things such as idleness,dissolution and incorrigibility.

What did drive me slightly crazy while reading this was Merinda’s constant refusal to hear anything about God and her staunch women’s lib mindset. She doesn’t like it all when Jem begins falling in love. Then there is Jem who constantly wonders what she is supposed to do, and disregards her parents advice about what to do with her life, which is specifically to find a husband. I get that not everyone is called to married, and that is fine, but Jem’s blantant, almost seemingly disrespect of her parents, made me a bit testy. However, in light of these issues Jem and Merinda work well together and eventually they solve the crime, however I won’t disclose the intricacies of the crime.

I have to reiterate that I did like the book, it was an enjoyable read even with some of the issues I found in it – I hate to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I admit when I could tell there was a complaining scene or a women’s lib scene I did skip it and move on – not that I’m against women’s lib but I am against the idea that they espoused that being married and having children made a woman somehow not equal or as important as her husband. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in this series to see how Jem and Merinda are faring in their world and to see if they’ve matured any.

To see what other bloggers thought please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

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Meet best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem, who launch their own Sherlock Holmes-esque consulting detective business in 1910 Toronto in Rachel McMillan’s The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

Rachel is celebrating the release of The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder with a Murder Mystery Prize Pack giveaway (details below) and an author chat party on April 28!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 4/28. The winner will be announced at The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Rachel and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

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RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

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Review: Living on His Income: Rembrances and Advice for the Christian Housewife by Mrs. Sharon White


living_zpsov46j902 About the Book:

Teaching on the Christian home is needed more now than ever for housewives. . . Here you will find brief examples of 5 housewives over 3 generations from Mrs. White’s family. This includes her mother-in-law and grandmother. . . There are also 9 short chapters of advice and encouragement. These cover such topics as standard of living, the content wife, being dependent on him, and the house account. . . Practical resources are recommended at the end of the book. . . You will be inspired to continue on as a cheerful housewife, knowing your work is just as important as the mission field.

You can purchase your own copy on Amazon.

My Opinion:

You may be wondering why I wanted to read a book about living on a husband’s income since I’m a widow? Well, it’s because I’m still technically living on my husband’s income – in his career he paid into a retirement system and I now get a monthly stipend for each our children and myself. However, I also have taken a part time job to supplement that benefit. That said I also am praying that the Lord will bring another godly husband to me and I can once again be a studious homemaker full time. I’ve read a few of Mrs. White’s other books such as Economy for the Christian Home and Early Morning Revival, this book while short on pages is big on ideas and advice on how to live and be happy living on your husband’s income.

In today’s world we are so caught up in keeping up with the Jones’ that we fail to realize what exactly we are supposed to be doing – that isn’t to be buying the newest gadget – but to bring glory to God. This isn’t a workbook but more of a guidebook, Mrs. White shares short stories of her Grandma, her Great Aunt, her mom, her mother-in-law and herself and how, through the generations these women of faith learned to live on what their husband’s brought home and be happy about it, even when it meant meager living or what we’d see as poverty today. I like her advice on setting up a house account, although I do track our monthly expenses because the heating bill or water bill fluctuates month to month and I like to see by how much.

One thing I’ve become more aware of is our eating out, just by looking back in my check register we ate out way too much in February – that was because we had a lot going on and I’m trying to get better at preparing ahead of time, I’d rather have money in the bank or be able to help out a missionary than spending money at restaurants. This is a fantastic little book on how women in Mrs. White’s family lived on their husband’s income and how she too, continues to do so. If you’re thinking of leaving the workforce, cutting back on your hours and wondering how can we live on what he makes or even if you already are at home and trying to be a better steward, this book can help inspire you to be that homemaker.

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Aneko Press: Christmas Time by Sue Murray Barksdale


About the Book:

Since Christmas is such a captivating time of year, it’s the perfect setting for telling children about the miracle of the Lord Jesus Christ’s birth. Using selected passages from the first chapters of the gospels of Matthew and Luke, Christmas Time – It’s All About Jesus tells the story of Jesus’ birth in a delightfully poetic and child-like way. The sensational illustrations create an unforgettable image, so a child can always remember the true meaning of Christmas.

As an added bonus, Pastor Russ and Sue have developed devotionals to be used by families to enrich their Christmas celebrations. These are complete with attributes and names of Jesus, questions for discussion, and activities to do as a family to share Christ with those around them. Coupled together, this story and devotionals will enhance your celebration of Christmas during the season and all year long!

About the Author:

Sue Murray Barksdale has been a pastor’s wife, mom, and educator for over 30 years.  She and her husband Russ live in Arlington, Texas, where Russ pastors the multi-site The Church on Rush Creek, a multi-site church. Sue has a BS in Elementary Education from The University of Houston and enjoys teaching at a public charter school in their neighborhood.

Russ and Sue consider their relationship with their grown children and spouses and their six beautiful grandchildren as one of the greatest blessings in life! Their desire to leave a legacy of Christ-centered lives motivated them to write this book for their own family and all the children in their sphere of influence. This is Sue’s second book, her first being G.I.F.T.S.: A Prayer Book for Kids and Those Who Love Them.

My Opinion:

Before I begin this review I want to apologize, I’m very late – this is a child’s Christmas story book and as we approach the Resurrection seems a bit out of place but I want and need to write this. This is a very cute story recounting Jesus’ birth in a good Biblical way, it doesn’t try to weave in Santa, trees or gifts but sticks to why we really celebrate Christmas. The illustrations are cute and child like with the characters also taking on a child like appearance, something young ones can relate too. The story is short which is great for young attention spans who usually can’t sit still for long periods.

At the end of the story are five short devotionals using the letters in the word glory – “Jesus came as a Gift, the Light, as the Only door, we can Rejoice in Him, Yes to God’s promises.” In each devotion there is a short reading, a prayer and family activities, one is to pick a favorite song about God and go caroling in the neighborhood. As always the activities are tweak-able, and as a home-school parent, I’m good at making things that won’t work the way their written, work for my family. This is a very cute children’s book and I have to say it’s the best at sticking to the Biblical account as I’ve seen in awhile.

Please visit Aneko Press’ Blog Tour Link-up to see what other bloggers thought.

 

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Bethany House Review: The Midwife’s Choice (At Home in Trinity #2) by Delia Parr


midwife_zpsxraytvdq About the Book:

Come Home to Friendship, Family, and Faith in the Town of Trinity

In a time when the traditional ways of medicine are constantly being questioned by new doctors fresh from medical school, midwife Martha Cade tries to balance her life’s calling with the demands of her family. Recently reunited with her estranged seventeen-year-old daughter, Martha finds herself torn between guiding her child and allowing her to be an adult. At the same time, she must decide whether she’ll risk reopening the heart she’d long closed off to love.

Though a small town, Trinity, Pennsylvania, is fraught with secrets, and as a midwife, Martha moves among its people. She knows which homes are filled with light and love, which families have slipped into grief, which wives are unhappy, and which husbands dare to cross lines…As Martha struggles with the conflicts of being a mother, a midwife, and a woman, she learns the greatest lessons of all–that hope can shine even in the darkest hours, and that faith has a way of making the impossible possible.

You can purchase your own copy at Baker Publishing Group.

midwife2_zpsukrju4qr About the Author:

Delia Parr is the author of seventeen historical and inspirational historical romance novels, including The Midwife’s Tale, Hearts Awakening, Love’s First Bloom, and Hidden Affections. The mother of three grown children, she was a longtime high school teacher in southern New Jersey before retiring to Florida’s sunny west coast. In between visits to her grandchildren in several different states, she spends her time writing and volunteering alongside other women who share a bond of sisterhood as sisters of faith.

My Opinion:

I’ve not read any of Delia Parr’s books before and this is the second in the At Home in Trinity series and I have not read the first. While it is number two it is easy to pick up and just read – it could almost stand alone although I got the impression some of the characters were introduced in the first book, but it wasn’t hard to just begin reading – that is a huge make or break for me. I was intrigued by the whole “estranged daughter” in the book’s description but honestly when we are introduced to the estrangement situation it doesn’t sound like any estrangement I’ve witnessed and it seemed more like a misunderstanding between an almost adult daughter and her mom.

There was a hint of mystery in the book which added to the overall romance theme and gave a good climax and had me turning page after page. The characters come to life and are quite believable and as such the reader can envision they are actually in the little village of Trinity. The book is set when midwives are becoming a thing of the past and doctors are becoming all the rage but the book takes the view that both have their places, which is great because they do. Overall, this is a fantastically developed book and I look forward to reading books 1 and 3 when I can.

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Litfuse Publicity: Wispers in the Reading Room (A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery) by Shelley Gray


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About the Book:

Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye . . . and perhaps her heart.

Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.

Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.

Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn’t merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.

Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks-the man so many people fear-is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

You can purchase your copy here.

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About the Author:

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), The Protector, recently made the New York Times best seller list. A native of Texas, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Colorado and taught school for ten years. She and her husband have two children and live in Southern Ohio.

You can connect with her at her website, on Twitter and Facebook.

My Opinion:

I have to apologize for two items of note, the first being how late I am in getting this review written and the second is that I have not read the other two books and that is a mistake I will be rectifying soon. While there are two books before Whispers in the Reading Room, this book does stand alone and stands alone quite well I might add. Back before huge libraries with multiple branches came about there were reading rooms, quiet, low key affairs and that is where Lydia works and where Sebastian Marks frequents – both notice the other but have not yet been thrown together until now.

Shelley writes superbly and the mystery weaves a tangled web of deceit and also one of reconciliation and ultimately love. Lydia needs everyone to think that she is still quite eligible for a marriage to one of society’s elite but what she finds our about her beau is anything but redeeming. Mr. Marks comes to her aid and there begins the mystery, who is he? Who is she? Then of course what will become of all of them – the maid, his ‘man’ and the jilted ex-beau? Well I’ll let you read to find out – it was a quick read and one that will keep you guessing the who done it well into the early hours of the morning.

Please do note that there is murder but it’s not described in detail until one the main characters is killed and even then it’s not something that I wouldn’t have an issue with my oldest daughter reading. Also there are mentions of women who are plying their trade, also known as prostitution, but the details are not involved and I don’t think the word prostitution is used – if it is I don’t recall it. Overall, though this book was a fantastic work of fiction and I’m looking forward to reading the first two books because I truly enjoy Gray’s writing and this one is no different.

To see what other bloggers thought please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

 

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Litfuse Publicity: A Thousand Shall Fall (Shenandoah Valley Saga #1) by Andrea Boeshaar


About the Book:

A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off—only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.

Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally—and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.

Purchase your copy here.

About the Author:

Andrea Boeshaar is the cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers and runs “The Writer’s ER,” a coaching service for writers. She is the author of thirty published works, including Threads of Faith, a finalist in the Inspirational Readers Choice Awards. Andrea is also the author of a popular devotional and regularly blogs on a number of sites.

You can connect with Andrea on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

My Opinion:

I am a huge Civil War history buff, visiting the historical sites and reading books set during that time or about that time gets my interest piqued so when I had a chance to read A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar I had to join in the tour. The book takes place in the Shenandoah Valley of West Virginia, which ironically enough is where I’m writing this review at – in a city that is mentioned in the book several times – and others that I’ve actually visited. Carrie is the heroine that most of us like to read about, strong and confident and sure of her ability to save everyone – she dresses as a man in order to go after her runaway sister and in the hopes her mother may finally love her and welcome her back home. Colonel Peyton Collier is a changed man, although the only ones who believe that is his Aunt and her freed slave, Tabitha.

The book kept me turning the pages quickly and even waking up in the middle of the early morning to get more reading in, a source of frustration that there is no down time at work to read or I would have had it read sooner. I was swept up in the tale of the North and South forces as they battle to take town after town and those who are neither side and terrorize the citizens. Carrie’s story feels so real, the romance that forms after a lapse when she sutures the Colonel’s arm and her struggle to be a caring, loving daughter and sister even after the truth of her familial heritage is revealed. I can even ‘see’ some of the landscape, especially Harper’s Ferry that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting – the writing of Andrea Boeshaar is rich with feeling and descriptions that make it a wonderful read.

If you’d like to see what other bloggers thought please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

 

 

The search for her runaway sister goes awry when Carrie finds herself arrested during the Civil War for impersonating an officer in Andrea Boeshaar’s A Thousand Shall Fall. Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel who arrested her. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally—and more than that, someone she could love. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Andrea is celebrating the release of A Thousand Shall Fall with a Kindle Fire giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of A Thousand Shall Fall
  • A Kindle Fire HD 6

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 10th. The winner will be announced December 11th on Andrea’s blog.

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Litfuse Publicity: Pass It On by Jim Burns and Jeremy Lee


About the Book:

Parents often experience a “freak out” moment when they realize their children’s view of God will primarily come from what they learn at home.
Most parents spend more time helping their kids succeed at academics or athletics than infusing shared spiritual experiences into the rhythm of everyday family life.

While the idea of strategically passing down our faith can seem intimidating, the annual Rites of Passage Experiences contained in Pass It On make it easy for your family to celebrate milestones from kindergarten through high school graduation. Forever change the direction of your family’s spiritual legacy . . . starting now!

Purchase your own copy at David C. Cook.

 

 

About the Authors:

Jim Burns is president of HomeWord and executive director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. He has more than 1.5 million resources in print and a radio broadcast heard on 800 stations a day. Jim resides in Southern California with his wife Cathy and their three daughters.

Connect with Jim on his website, Twitter, and Facebook.

Jeremy Lee is the founder of ParentMinistry.Net, a subscription-based service for children and youth ministry workers. He was on the writing team for the Simple Truth Bible from Group Publishing and the Ignite Study Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers. Jeremy lives in Nashville with his wife and children.

Connect with Jeremy at his website, Twitter, and Facebook.

My Opinion:

One of my worries in regards to being a widowed mom is am I going to be able to pass on my husband and I’s faith single-handily. When Pass It On came up for review especially with the secondary title of “building a legacy of faith for your children through practical and memorable experiences”, I knew it was a book that I needed to read. I’ve always thought, even though we aren’t Jewish, that rites of passage for children are something that Christians should do – to recognize who their children are as they grow in their faith. Mr. Burns and Lee give parents the tools they need to be able to bless their children at whatever stage they are at and make it meaningful – even if the child rolls their eyes or deny wanting anything to do with a ceremony. My only issue with the book was the use of grade levels to determine where a child is at – as a home school family – my children don’t fit into the typical grades like if they were in school so one may be above, another below or another in between. The good thing is this book is flexible and if your ‘kindergarten’ aged child is more mature and seems to fit in the ‘first grade’ then use that.

So each grade has a different spiritual aspect attached to it, so second grade is “an invitation to the Bible”, the authors walk through what is going on in this child’s life and how it affects their faith, then they describe what a rite of passage could look like for that child (these passages don’t have to be huge to-do’s just gather the immediate family) and some ideas for gifts ranging from the cheap to the more expensive as well as Scripture. The authors then list what the average second grade child is like physically, emotionally, relational and spiritually – this will help parents better gauge where their child fits especially if the family doesn’t assign grade levels. I know it comes in handy for myself such as my 9 year old son who isn’t reading yet (not for lack of trying though) but is working at a fourth grade level in all other subjects.

Overall, I think this is a fantastic book and I know my oldest who is 13 will more than likely find it cheesy but I’d love to try to fit these into our lives especially as I try to strive to make our faith more strong and real in light of our new lives. The rites of passage aren’t bound in stone and each family can tweak as they need to for their family or for their child – but the authors do say if you do it for this child and the other children see it be prepared to do it for the next child and so on. I often find it hard to have one on one time with the children as we’re so busy and I’m only one person but the other positive about a rite of passage is letting the child know they are loved and cherished by both the Lord and myself even if the one on one attention is lacking. I will be referring back to this in the coming months and try to figure out how to implement this in our lives.

To see what other bloggers are saying visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

 

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Litfuse Publicity: The Finishing School by Valerie Woerner


About the Book:

The Finishing School:How One Book Nerd Began Living What She Learned (Nyree Press, August 2015)

Are you tired of waiting for change to happen in your life? Do you feel stuck, even though you want to live more intentionally?

In today’s world, our most precious pursuit of a life well lived gets squeezed out by the silliest of things: binging on Netflix or ice cream, shopping trips for things we don’t need, bad habits we can’t seem to get a handle on, and so much more. Valerie has been there despite knowing what she wanted for her life. Actually do it? That’s the challenge.

After gobbling up all the non-fiction and self-help books her donut-filled belly could handle, she decided it was time to put her knowledge to good use and start actually living it out. You will hear about her journey through victories and plenty of failures and find practical tips to apply to your own pursuit of holiness. You will find homework at the end of each chapter that includes a worksheet to put real change in motion for your own life as well as recommended books to further study those topics that really test you.

Purchase your copy here.

About Valerie:

Valerie Woerner is owner of Val Marie Paper. She and her husband, Tyler, live in Louisiana with their daughter, Vivi Mae. The Finishing School is her first book.

You can visit Valerie on her website, Twitter and Instagram.

My Opinion:

I’ll admit I was intrigued by the cover and the title more than actually wanting to read the book by the description because I really don’t have the time to add more books to my TBR pile, but I’m so glad I got sucked in to this book. As a fellow “book nerd” or more scholarly, bibliophile I liked that instead of just reading Valerie wanted to actually live what she was learning. I think one thing we tend to forget is that we all, or most of us read, self help books but do we turn to the real self help book? The Holy Bible, as our true and right and honest self help book? Not usually – we tend to think it’s dated or not relevant to our world today, which in these last few months I have realized how wrong that really is, using Scripture and insights from other books Valerie gives us helps in becoming women who really live their faith.

I really enjoyed the chapter on having a truly rest filled Sabbath, whether it’s on Saturday or Sunday – I’d really like to try to implement some of her ideas because besides church on Sunday the rest of my Sabbath is just like every other day and it shouldn’t be. The other chapter that really spoke to me was, “Not a Tchotchke in Sight: A Guide to Minimalism”, this has me wanting to go home and really pare down our belongings – as must I enjoy having all the books around me I know it’s not feasible to keep every. single. one. At the end of each chapter is the homework where you are guided to either download, for free, the worksheet from Valerie’s website or purchase the workbook to correspond with this book – I will admit I haven’t used either but will more than likely be going back to download the sheets, other recommended resources are also suggested.

As much as I loved this book I will mention that Valerie does cite Anne Voskamp’s One-Thousand Gifts book and The Message para-phrase of the Bible, however this wasn’t a huge concern but I am putting it out there for my readers who may not like those two books. One thing that did bother me was in the chapter, “Sermon Hall Pass: A Guide to Forgiveness” where the whole “judge not, lest thou be judged” is used. That said I’m all about not being offended at everything anyone says or does – Christian and non-Christian’s alike, but we are told to be aware of other people’s sins and to use the outline in Matthew to bring them back to fellowship and some Christians don’t like that (in regards to those who are true Believer’s, not for those who aren’t). Overall, this is a great book and I would so like to lead a study at my church for the women and older girls who would like to attend so as our church’s motto says, Love Christ, Love Others, Make Disciples we can learn to live and do that.

For more information and to read more reviews please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

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