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Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Archive for Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Jun
29

Review: Born To Wander

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I loved this book. I have always felt a restlessness in my soul, and Born To Wander addresses the topic in a straightforward and authentic way.

Enter to win a copy of Born To Wander: https://www.blessedfreebies.com/borntowander.html

BOOK DETAILS:

Why are we so restless?

All of us have a little wanderlust—a desire for that next thing, that new place, but this competes with our longings for security, control, and safety. We don’t like how it feels to be unsettled and uprooted. Whether we’re navigating a season of transition, dealing with the fallout of broken relationships, or wrestling with a deep sense of restlessness, we are all experiencing some form of exile. And most of us do whatever we can to numb the feelings of unbelonging, powerlessness, and unsettledness that come with it. But the truth is that exile has a profound purpose if we can just learn to lean in.

Over and over again Scripture tells us that the people of God are exiles and wanderers. And this is good news because exile is what transforms us into pilgrims. In Christ, we are no longer directionless wanderers, but pilgrim followers who have a clear purpose and a secure identity. In Born to Wander, Michelle Van Loon weaves together personal stories and keen insights on the biblical themes of pilgrimage and exile.  She will help you embrace your own pilgrim identity and reorient your heart toward the God who leads you home. Engaging and thoughtful, enhanced with practical suggestions, prayers, and questions, Born to Wander will teach how to trust God even when you don’t understand what’s happening around you and follow Him even when it hurts.

If you keep chasing security, you’ll never find it. Embrace the purpose behind the wandering and discover the freedom and safety of resting in God alone.

“Every one of us carries a restlessness that runs as deep as the marrow of our born-again bones. Our relationships shift like tectonic plates. We change jobs. We switch churches. And our culture tells us the cure for our restlessness is to buy a new mattress, a new car, or a new tube of toothpaste.”

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Jun
03

Review: CSB Study Bible for Women

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Enter a giveaway for this lovely Bible here: https://www.blessedfreebies.com/csbwomensstudybible.html

I adore this new CSB Study Bible for Women. It is beautiful – with a soft blue and cream linen cover, and bright spring colors sprinkled throughout the interior. It  has so many great features, such as Character Profiles, Word Studies, and even a place to keep track ofSpiritual Mentors in your life.

I appreciate the CSB translation. It is modern, straightforward, and easy to understand. It’s written in such a way that I can sit down, read, and comprehend what God is conveying in each passage. The CSB Study Bible for Women also takes it a step further by providing study tools throughout, which allow me to learn more about what I’m reading without leaving the page.

 

 

MORE ABOUT THIS BIBLE:

Now available in the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) translation with revised and updated content and a fresh, new interior design, the CSB Study Bible for Women will equip you to reach deep into God’s Word. As the most comprehensive study Bible ever prepared for women and by women, the most powerful aspect of this Bible are the “threads” of specialized study thoughtfully woven throughout pointing you to God’s larger story and allowing the Holy Spirit to write His revealed truths on your heart. In the CSB Study Bible for Women, you’ll join a host of other women, all academically trained in the original languages of the Bible and passionate about God’s Word, for an intimately deep dive into Scripture that will equip you to unlock the riches and majesty of His Word, and ignite a passion to mentor others in your life to do the same.

Features include:

  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Two-column text
  • 8-point type
  • Extensive commentary notes
  • Word studies
  • Answers to hard questions
  • Doctrinal notes
  • Biblical womanhood articles
  • Character profiles
  • “Written on My Heart” applications
  • Extensive book introductions
  • Presentation page
  • In-text maps
  • Charts & timelines
  • Concordance
  • Full-color maps, and more.

The CSB Study Bible for Women features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.

 

Purchase Your Copy Here:  http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/products/the-csb-study-bible-for-women-hardcover

 

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May
08

Excerpt from Everyday Holy by Melanie Shankle

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In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We
do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit
himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

ROMANS 8:26

Now that I’m more than a decade down the motherhood road, I’ve realized that being a good mom doesn’t mean being a perfect mom. A perfect mom puts sand in a plastic box so her toddler can have a meaningful sensory experience and doesn’t care about the mess. A perfect mom plays board games for hours on end and makes hot chocolate bars with candy cane stir sticks and makes sure the milk is organic and the chicken nuggets are made only from chickens who were allowed to roam free in sunlit barns. She never loses her patience, never checks her text messages while her child is around, and is the president of the parent/teacher association while managing a Fortune 500 company before returning home to prepare a delicious, nutritious meal for her family.

In short, the perfect mom doesn’t exist. And if she did, we would all hate her.

The perfect mom is a unicorn, mythical at best. But a good mom is the velveteen rabbit, a little worn from use. And while I’m not confident in a lot of areas of my life, I’m confident that I’m a good mom—because what ultimately makes a good mom is the part that requires showing up. I’ve held back hair as she’s thrown up over the toilet and, I regret to say, all over me. I’ve wiped her bottom and her feverish forehead. I’ve stayed in the school parking lot long after she’s walked through the school doors, praying and hoping that today would be a better day. I’ve sat in the rain and the cold and in heat that rivals the surface of the sun to watch her play soccer. I’ve cried when she’s overwhelmed by joy, and I’ve cried
when disappointments have her down. I’ve yelled too much, lost my patience, and seen how many mornings I can get by with Frosted Flakes for breakfast. I’ve driven more carpools than I can count, attended Taylor Swift concerts, and spent many weekend nights with my house full of tween girls with high-pitched squeals who think cleaning up after themselves means putting half-empty soda cans under the bed. I’ve looked at my phone too often, set the clock ahead an hour so I could tell her it was time for bed, and pretended to have an upset stomach just so I could have a few minutes alone in the bathroom.

But I have no doubt that she knows she is deeply loved because I have faithfully shown up for the job for the last fourteen years. It hasn’t been perfect, it hasn’t always been pretty, and nobody is likely to turn our story into an award-winning movie. Being a good mom doesn’t really make the highlights reel because there is very little glamour in packing another peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. It’s just about being faithful with what has been entrusted to you for such a short time. Read More→

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Nov
09

Recipe: WHITE CHICKEN CHILI WITH CILANTRO AND LIME

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By Amy Nelson Hannon

Oh my word. Y’all, it’s finally Fall! Fall is my favorite! If I had to list all the things I love about Fall in order of what I love best, it’d be nearly impossible. Football, crisp mornings, jeans and boots, apple everything, pumpkin everything, adding more blankets to the beds, and the anticipation of the holiday season! I mean, how’s a girl to choose?!

One other favorite of mine during this season is sturdy soups – a bowl full of earthy, warm goodness that gets at my soul. What’s the difference between regular soup and sturdy soup you might ask? Sturdy soups have girth. They are spoonfuls of hearty bites. And they fill bellies way up. You know, they’re sturdy. They can stand alone served with only a few fixins on top. Have I got a sturdy soup for you!

This recipe is an adaptation of one found in my church cookbook. Y’all know that if you can ever get your hands on a church cookbook, then it’s a keeper. Church cookbook recipes are those tried-and-true, time-tested, crowd-pleasing dishes. I know, because I’m a pastor’s wife, and I’ve been feeding people for more than 20 years. So you learn what’s good, what people come back for, and what people request recipes for. And this White Chicken Chili meets the criteria for sure! It is so creamy and loaded with flavor, and the texture is divine with hearty bites of tender chicken and white beans. Sturdy. This recipe is the first soup that my family asks for when the weather officially turns cooler and there’s football on TV. Here’s to fall! And here’s to full bellies and full hearts! – Amy Nelson Hannon, author of Love Welcome Serve: Recipes that Gather and Give

 

WHITE CHICKEN CHILI WITH CILANTRO AND LIME

{serves 6-8}

 

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ – 2 cups yellow onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

3 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

3-4 cups chicken stock

½ cup dry white wine like Chardonnay (optional)

1 bay leaf, broken in half

3 cups cooked, shredded chicken

3 cans white beans of your choice, drained

3 jalapeno peppers, minced

3 cups fresh grated Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Salt to taste

3 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped (plus more for topping)

The juice of 3 limes

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven (around 5-6qts). Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until they’re tender and just starting to get color.  Add the garlic oregano, cumin, and ginger, cooking for one more minute. Stir continuously so the garlic doesn’t burn!  Add stock, wine (if using) and bay leaf.  Cook uncovered for 5 minutes over medium heat until somewhat reduced.  Add chicken, beans, and jalapenos. Simmer uncovered for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.  Read More→

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May
29

Review: Life Verse Creative Journals

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life-verseThe Life Verse Creative Journals by Jana Magruder and Morgan Grace Magruder are a great way to both relax and spend time in God’s Word.  The set comes with both a blank journal for writing (or drawing if you are more talented than I am) and a coloring book full of verses and pictures.  It’s a great set to kickstart a new journaling habit or to give as a gift.

life-verse-insideI’ll admit, I wasn’t so sure that I would enjoy coloring as an adult. As a child coloring drove me crazy because I could never get the pictures to look as pretty in real life as I imagined them in my head. And I was so concerned about staying in the lines, that it was more stressful than relaxing.  However, I do find it to be more therapeutic now that I’m older.  I do still stray out of the lines once in a while, and the pictures are still prettier in my head, but I am much more relaxed about it. Especially since I don’t plan to ever show them to anyone else. 🙂

These journals are a nice way to spend some quality time meditating on Scripture, talking to the Lord, and relaxing.

 

 

* I received these books from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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May
06

Review: Restless by Jennie Allen

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restlessAbout Restless
Restless explores the fact that God has called each of us to do great things in his name, and then helps us discover what that might mean for each of us individually. Jennie says, “We are called to dream but we’re afraid to. But because we are called, when we don’t act on it we become restless—restless to find purpose, to make a difference in the world, to matter.”

Jennie doesn’t suggest women add one more thing to their to-do list, but instead invites them to stop and listen where they are. She frees them to be themselves and to see themselves as valuable. In addition to this permission to dream she helps them get over themselves and their issues and then offers a simple process on highly designed journal pages to identify the raw materials—the unique threads—they’ve been given by digging into five areas:
–  Gifts
–  Suffering
–  Places
–  People
–  Passions

Using her own story and that of women with whom she has walked through this process as examples, Jennie weaves in the story of Joseph the dreamer and how God used his threads to fit into the greater story of God. Untangling the threads of our lives and assembling them together in one place reveals a beautiful plan designed by the Creator himself: God’s Agenda + my threads + the need + the Holy Spirit = my purpose

And since living out our purpose is often filled with uncertainties Jennie addresses the doubts, fears, and challenges that hold women back from what they’ve been called to do. This repositioning of their lives is not a promise that all things will be perfect, or will go perfectly, but a promise that it will be the start of the best part of life—the part that completes what we were made for.

Review
What a breathe of fresh air Jennie Allen provides in Restless. The kit that I received is actually a video-based small group Bible study, but I used it on my own. I know, I’m a real rebel. 🙂 Read More→

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May
02

New Book Highly Recommend by 47 Top Leaders – Get 25 Free Gifts If You Get It Now By May 7th

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Frank Viola has just released a new book called God’s Favorite Place on Earth that could literally change your relationship with God, help you defeat bitterness, free you from a guilty conscience, and help you overcome fear, doubt and discouragement once and for all.

This is a book that will jar you out of your “Christian rut” and give you new eyes for looking at EVERYTHING. It’s a quick, inspiring, and entertaining read.

In addition, if you get the book between May 1st to May 7th, you will also get 25 FREE GIFTS from 15 different authors including Leonard Sweet, Jeff Goins, Andrew Farley, Steve McVey, DeVern Fromke, Pete Briscoe, Frank Viola himself, and many others.

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Over 47 Christian leaders have recommended the book including John Ortberg, Greg Boyd, David Fitch, Leonard Sweet, Jack Hayford, Mary DeMuth, Mark Batterson, Jon Acuff, Anne Miller, Craig Keener, Pete Wilson, Todd Hunter, Jenni Catron, and many others.

The premise of the book is simple and 100% Biblical: when Jesus was on the earth, He was rejected everywhere He went . . . from Bethlehem, to Nazareth, to Jerusalem. The only exception was the little village of Bethany.

The curtain opens with Lazarus, who is now ready to die, telling the incomparable story of Jesus’ interactions with him, Martha, and Mary. God’s Favorite Place on Earth blends drama, devotion, biblical narrative, and first-century history to create a riveting book that you’ll find difficult to put down. Within each narrative, the common struggles Christians face are addressed and answered.

Go to GodsFavoritePlace.com to claim your 25 FREE GIFTS, read a Sampler of the book, and watch the gripping video trailer.

 
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Jun
03

Book Review: Click Millionaires by Scott Fox

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Click Millionaires by Scott Fox is a great book for those just starting out who want to build a career online.  Scott Fox is a proven expert in the field as proven by his online ventures, including a Click Millionaire.com community, and his other books in this genre Internet Riches and e-Riches 2.0. What I like best about Fox, though, is that although his books discuss the phenomenon of creating wealth through an online business, he is straightforward about the fact that most of us aren’t even looking to create “wealth,” we simply desire to make a decent income from home. And this is exactly what he teaches readers to do.

Click Millionaires starts out with a great chapter called, “Work Doesn’t Have To Be Something You Hate.” It calls out to those readers who wake up each morning dreading the day ahead of them. Fox states, “There has to be a better way!” and then he delivers on that promises with a book packed with ideas on how to create your own “better way.”

Review by:
Jill Hart

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Apr
25

Review: Directory of Business Talk Radio Shows Ebook

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Are you looking for ways to promote your business without spending a lot of money? One great way to do that is to be interviewed on radio shows – both “on air” and online. You’ll need to put together a pitch – something that relates to your business and will catch the eye of the media.

Once you have that perfected you will need to find places to be interviewed! One great place to do that is this great little resource: Directory of Business Talk Radio Shows. This ebooks contain title of show, name of host, theme, where aired, guest criteria, email, website, phone (optional), and best method of contact. It was compiled by “Talk Radio Advocate” Francine Silverman who knows her stuff!

If you’re ready to take the plunge into media interviews or just need some new places to contact, this is the resource you’ve been looking for!

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Feb
10

Love and War by John and Stasi Eldredge

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Does your marriage need an overhaul? Or maybe just a tune-up? This is a great book for any married couple who wants to reignite the fire! ~ Jill

About the Book
lawWhat the Eldredge bestsellers Wild at Heart did for men, and Captivating did for women, LOVE & WAR will do for married couples everywhere. John and Stasi Eldredge have contributed the quintessential works on Christian spirituality through the experience of men and the experience of women and now they turn their focus to the incredible dynamic between those two forces.

With refreshing openness that will grab readers from the first page, the Eldredges candidly discuss their own marriage and the insights they’ve gained from the challenges they faced. Each talks independently to the reader about what they’ve learned, giving their guidance personal immediacy and a balance between the male and female perspectives that has been absent from all previous books on this topic. They begin LOVE & WAR with an obvious but necessary acknowledgement: Marriage is fabulously hard. They advise that the sooner we get the shame and confusion off our backs, the sooner we’ll find our way through.

LOVE & WAR shows couples how to fight for their love and happiness, calling men and women to step into the great adventure God has waiting for them together. Walking alongside John and Stasi Eldredge, every couple can discover how their individual journeys are growing into a story of meaning much greater than anything they could do or be on their own.

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