Tag Archives: devotional guide

Book Review: The Psalms And Proverbs Devotional for Women

24 Jan

Women are searching for wisdom beyond themselves, for discernment that makes God’s will and way clear for daily living. No books in Scripture hold more instruction for how to live according to divine wisdom than do Psalms and Proverbs, and these daily devotions mine their riches with choice, seasoned counsel. Blessed will be the woman who pursues this path to wisdom with passion and commitment.

 

To purchase, click HERE.

 

Rhonda Harrington Kelley is the President’s Wife at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana. Rhonda was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and was raised in New Orleans. She is married to Dr. Chuck Kelley of Beaumont, Texas who became President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1996. She received two college degrees from Baylor University and her doctorate in Special Education/Speech Pathology from the University of New Orleans, Louisiana. Rhonda served as Director of Speech Pathology at Ochsner Medical Institutions in New Orleans for 15 years. She is now in full-time ministry–writing, speaking, and teaching.

Dorothy Kelley Patterson serves as professor of theology in women’s studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The wife of President Paige Patterson, the mother of Armour and Carmen, and the doting grandmother of Abigail and Rebekah, she finds her duties as the First Lady of Southwestern to be challenging and fulfilling. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hardin-Simmons University, a Masters of Theology (Th.M.) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) from Luther Rice Seminary, and a Doctor of Theology (D.Theol.) from the University of South Africa. She and her husband have traveled in ministry to more than 135 countries.

 

My Impressions: 

With over 35 contributing authors sharing their hearts and their love for Jesus, The Psalms And Proverbs Devotional for Women is the perfect resource to begin your quiet time with God. Co-editors Rhonda Harrington Kelley and Dorothy Kelley Patterson have compiled 366 devotionals for daily conversations with God. Each day begins with a passage of scripture from the Psalms or Proverbs with one key verse to meditate upon or memorize. Devotional thoughts about the scripture and its application in a woman’s life follow. A prayer prompt and space for journaling thoughts, insights, or prayer requests completes each day. A guide to read the Psalms and Proverbs through the year is an added supplement in the back of the book. I liked the well-thought out design of the book, the emphasis on what women find important (or need), and the firm foundation on God’s word. Each day is numbered, but not dated, so you can begin at any time. The only selection specific for a day of the year is Day 1 which focuses on New Year’s Day. But really isn’t any day you start spending time with God a New Year?!

So if your 2018 resolutions include spending more time with God, check out The Psalms And Proverbs Devotional for Women.

Recommended.

Audience: women.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to B&H Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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Book Review: 21 Days of Christmas (A Fiction Lover’s Devotional)

29 Nov

About the Book

Name of book: 21 Days of Christmas: A Fiction Lover’s Devotional

Author: Kathy Ide

Genre: Christian Fiction Devotional

Release Date: September 1, 2015

Christmas is more than just a holiday. It is a time to recapture the joy and wonder of God’s greatest gift: His Son, Jesus.

21 Days of Christmas will warm your heart with stories about giving, loving, and family. These engaging tales celebrate the hope and joy that make this blessed season unique. At the end of each story you’ll find an insightful message that will help you discover anew the true meaning of this special time of year. So grab a cup of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick, curl up in your favorite chair beside a picture window overlooking a serene spot, and savor the true meaning of Christmas through these inspirational and encouraging stories.

Click here to purchase your copy.


More About Kathy Ide

Kathy is the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series (www.FictionDevo.com) and author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors (http://secretsofbestsellingauthors.com). She has also written numerous articles, short stories, devotionals, play scripts, and Sunday school curriculum. She has ghostwritten ten nonfiction books and a five-book novel series.

She is also a full-time freelance editor, working with aspiring, new, and experienced authors as well as publishers.

Kathy speaks at writers’ conferences across the country.

She is the founder and coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (www.TheChristianPEN.com) and the Christian Editor Connection (www.ChristianEditor.com).

For more about Kathy, visit http://www.KathyIde.com.

 

 

My Impressions:

For someone who loves a good story and is looking for a way to focus on the real reason for the season, 21 Days of Christmas (A Fiction Lover’s Devotional) is a perfect choice. This unique collection has 21 short stories ranging from contemporary to historical settings revolving around some aspect of Christmas. In Star Light, Star Bright the reader sees the momentous birth through the eyes of Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph. In Camouflaged Christmas we see a young mother struggling to celebrate while her husband is deployed. And in The Last Ember we see a how a kind gesture speaks volumes to a despairing woman. And those are just a few of the wonderful tales shared by twenty-one different authors as they present their take on the real message of Christmas — hope, love, joy, and peace through the birth of the Savior. I liked that all the characters in the various stories were real and relatable, with struggles and doubts, hopes and dreams, just like you and me. At the end of each story a short Life Application is shared making each relevant for the reader. 21 Days of Christmas will make the perfect pre-Christmas gift for the bookworm in your life. Or pick a copy up for yourself and kickstart your day by focusing on what is truly important this Christmas.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Guest Post from Kathy Ide

Looking for a great Christmas gift for friends and family who love fiction … or devotionals? You can give them both in one book!

21 Days of Christmas: Stories that Celebrate God’s Greatest Gift is book two in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. It’s a collection of 21 fiction stories, each written by a different author—including well-known novelists such as Lena Nelson Dooley, Joanne Bischof, Jan Cline, and Lynn Kinnaman. Some stories are about the first Christmas, when Mary and Joseph brought God’s Son into the world. Others are about how we celebrate that history-changing event today. Each story is followed by a brief Life Application written by the author of that story.

The first chapter starts out with an amusing tale of a modern-day couple in the front seat of a car, on Christmas Eve, traveling to see relatives for the holiday. They’re griping about the hassles of the season, and hollering at the the kids, who are playing with the foil on Mom’s Jell-O salad in the backseat. Then we break from that to a scene of Mary and Joseph entering Bethlehem, about to bring God’s Son into the world. It contrasts the modern-day wife, not wanting to go into a sleazy diner because it’s the only place open on Christmas Eve, with Mary hesitating to go into a smelly barnyard to give birth. When the modern-day couple decide to tell their children the Christmas story—complete with snow and a little drummer boy—the contrasts become both highly funny and very poignant.

I wrote one of the chapters in the book. It’s about the first Christmas, from the perspective of Joseph. What he must have thought and felt when Mary was giving birth to Jesus, knowing that he had been personally given the divine responsibility to teach God’s Son about God. Based on the Old Testament teachings he’d been raised with, what did Joseph think Jesus would be like when He was born, and how did reality clash with those expectations?

This book makes a great gift for family and friends, with its beautiful debossed hardback cover, full-color interior, and a ribbon page marker. With stories about the Nativity as well as tales of modern-day people celebrating that event, almost anyone would enjoy receiving a copy and reading it—even those who don’t believe in Christ as their Savior. It’s small enough to be a stocking stuffer (or tucked into the pocket of a Christmas-themed pot holder!) and inexpensive enough to be a practical gift for those people you’re not sure will reciprocate, or who may feel uncomfortable if they didn’t get you anything.

This devotional would also be ideal to incorporate into an individual’s or a family’s advent celebration, reading one chapter a day during the three weeks leading up to Christmas.

Each chapter takes only about ten minutes to read, which makes it ideal for the hectic holiday season. And since each chapter stands alone, it doesn’t matter whether you read one or two stories, half the book, or the whole thing.

Other books in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series are:

21 Days of Grace: Stories that Celebrate God’s Unconditional Love

21 Days of Love: Stories that Celebrate Treasured Relationships

21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Motherhood

 

 

Blog Stops

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 21

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 21

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 22

Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 22

Blossoms and Blessings, November 23

Carpe Diem, November 23

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 24

Multifarious, November 25

A Reader’s Brain, November 25

A Greater Yes, November 26

Lane Hill House, November 26

Texas Book -aholic, November 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 27

Karen Sue Hadley, November 28

By The Book, November 29

Seasons of Opportunities, November 29

Mary Hake, November 30

Have A Wonderful Day, December 1

Remebrancy, December 2

God’s Little Bookworm, December 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 4

 

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away a grand prize of a set of 21 days devotional books!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c3c2

Book Review: Big And Little Coloring Devotional

8 Nov

Kids crave constant activities and attention. Adults crave quiet moments of refreshment. How can we achieve both? Big and Little Coloring Devotional engages adults’ minds with appealing biblical devotionals while providing a creative outlet through coloring to diffuse stress.

Let’s have fun with our children through coloring and facilitate their spiritual growth with Scripture. Big and Little Coloring Devotional will incorporate physical, spiritual, and emotional refreshment by providing authentic faith-filled devotionals combined with therapeutic doodling for both the adult and child.

 

 

Rachel Swanson is a dental hygienist turned author, speaker, and accredited christian life coach helping women discover their unique purpose and pursue their dreams. She inspires others by sharing personal real life refining moments with relatable truths on her blog, social media pages, in-person speaking events, and through her high-level online coaching program.

Rachel is married to her husband Jeff of 10 years. They have three children: identical twin boys (Gavin and Rylan) and 19 months later a baby girl (Aria). They reside in a wannabe country town in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California.

Web/Blog: http://www.RachelCSwanson.com
Facebook: @Rachelswansonofficial
Instagram: @Rachelswansonofficial

Jacy Corral (pronounced “Jackie”) is an illustrator, hand lettering artist, graphic designer, wife, and mom. After enjoying an extensive career in corporate marketing and design, she traded fancy slacks for yoga pants to focus on the great privilege of raising her daughter, investing in her home and marriage, and creating artwork that helps people to connect and reflect. Jacy lives with her husband, daughter, and miniature poodle in West Los Angeles, CA. She shares her creations regularly on Instagram and at http://www.hyssopdesign.com.

 

 

My Impressions:

While I have seen my share of adult and children’s coloring books, I have not seen one that combines both and can be be shared at the same time. The Big And Little Coloring Devotional does just that. It’s format allows the adult and child to face each other with compatible designs while allowing each to explore God’s word and work out their own creativity. Each two page spread includes a simple design with a Bible verse and a more complex design with devotional thoughts that expand on the scripture. Rachel Swanson has created the perfect way for mom and child to interact, have fun, and talk about the promises of God. And there are lots and lots of designs — this book will last a long time. The author shares how the book came about as she looked for ways to spend time with her daughter in prayer and Bible study. She says that the book is a creation orchestrated by the Creator Himself for you and your “little” to enjoy! Swanson has a hit on her hands as she combines God word, her devotional thoughts, and the beautiful designs of Jacy Corral. You are going to love it! Consider adding this one to your holiday shopping list.

Recommended.

Audience: parents and children

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to B&H Publishers for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Total Christmas Makeover

6 Nov

Give your Christmas a makeover with this practical approach to help your family learn what it means to truly celebrate their Savior.

In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it’s important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ’s birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.

Christmas is far more than a celebration of an event from long ago or a modern holiday centered around shopping. Mindfully take time to listen to how God continues to speak through the Christmas story as the Gospel narratives centered around the birth of Jesus provide encouragement and revelation concerning the love of God and his wisdom for us today.

In Total Christmas Makeover, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God’s grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season.

Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God’s Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ. She is the author of the First Corinthians: Living Love When We Disagree, Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness, and Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World Bible studies and Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home book. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids.

Find out more about Melissa at http://melissaspoelstra.com.

My Impressions:

If you are anything like me, you may dread the coming of Christmas. Oh, not the day itself, but all the things that go with it — shopping, crowds, obligations, and increased stress. In Total Christmas Makeover, Melissa Spoelstra looks at Christmas in a new way. She takes God’s word about sacred celebrations and festivals and applies them to the Christmas activities and traditions within our own families. With emphasis on ritual, relationships, and rest, this 31-day devotional guide will give you a new outlook and a new commitment to putting the focus of the holiday season where it belongs — on God.

Total Christmas Makeover won’t have you throwing out all the things you hold dear about Christmas time, but it will show you a way to streamline, tweak, and refit your traditions and thoughts towards God. Each day begins with scripture, then progresses to the author’s thoughts. She also includes a short prayer to jump start your time with God, along with questions to get you thinking about what should be part of your Christmas activities.  Practical tips conclude the short devotional. I especially liked the emphasis the author puts on remembering to honor God in all we do at Christmas, the importance of keeping our relationships strong, and finding the needed rest that God provides to his people. Because there are 31 selections, you can get started on Thanksgiving Day and finish up with the book before Christmas!

So if you long for a way to get rid of distractions that mar the beauty of Christmas, pick up Total Christmas Makeover.

Recommended.

Audience: adults (especially women)

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Book Review: Journey into Grace

14 Sep

Life is a journey of joyful moments and painful moments, including twists and turns that threaten to undo us. But if we allow God to work through the joy and the pain, that journey can lead to the life-sustaining richness of His Grace and an intimate relationship with Him.  That truth is the core of international speaker and teacher Darlene Sala’s new women’s devotional, Journey into Grace. With Darlene’s heartfelt voice alongside two coauthors, including her daughter, Bonnie, the 150 readings explore themes such as fear, forgiveness, learning, loving, prayer, and relationships.  This book offers women quiet moments with God as they bring their real life challenges to His feet.

 

Darlene Sala has had an active ministry role as pastor’s wife, counselor, Bible teacher, missionary, author and leader of Guidelines International Ministries, which reaches, teaches and touches lives with the love of Christ throughout the world.

Darlene speaks at family conferences and churches in the United States as well as internationally.  She leads the Guidelines Women’s Ministry Team in presenting the THRIVE:  Journey into Grace Seminar. Contact luisa.ampil@guidelines.org for more information.

Darlene is the mother of three adult children and grandmother of eight, seven handsome grandsons and one Princess.  She likes black licorice, does her best writing in the middle of the night and has an African Violet named, well . . . Violet.

My Impressions:

Darlene Sala, along with her two co-authors Bonnie Sala and Luisa Reyes-Ampil, has compiled a devotional just for women. Filled with daily wisdom, each of the 150 entries speaks to issues that all women face. Journey into Grace is divided into topical sections so that the reader can find devotional thoughts specific to what they are facing on any given day. Some of the topics include finding grace in every day experiences, forgiveness of self and others, help with carrying heavy burdens, strengthening relationships, getting through the hard times, and living a life of obedience. Each day’s entry starts with a scripture verse on point with the devotional thoughts explored. Many of the thoughts shared are personal experiences of the authors or their friends. The authors pose a question for reflection and then a starting point for prayer. Journey into Grace is a good choice for those who are struggling with specific problems or for those who need an extra dose of encouragement. I found the entries I read to be perfect for the day I was facing. It is so cool how God can arrange that!

The back cover describes life as a journey filled with good and bad, Journey into Grace is a good compliment to daily Bible reading and prayer time for the reader to find an extra measure of grace for her day.

Recommended.

Audience: women.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Too Blessed To Be Stressed

12 Jan

51kizchtjul-_sx355_bo1204203200_Thousands of women have had the pleasure of reading the wit- and near-wisdom-filled books from beloved inspirational humorist, Debora M. Coty. Her Too Blessed To Be Stressed has become a perennial favorite, selling upwards of 46,000 copies since its 2011 release. Now, ready to rescue you from the joy-sucking dully-funks, is an all-new 365-day devotional featuring just-right-sized, truth-filled readings (gift-wrapped in humor) for your heart. The Too Blessed To Be Stressed daily devotional touches on everyday life topics like relationships, love, boundaries, hope, brokenness, and praise, while helping you to arrive at healing, refreshment, and revitalization of spirit, body, and faith.

 

deb-coty-headshot-2Debora Coty is an inspirational speaker and author of the popular book series, Too Blessed To Be Stressed, with over 250,000 copies sold. Her passion is sharing an off-beat blend of biblical truth gift-wrapped in humor, encouragement, and unconventional wisdom with women of all ages. She believes that the stresses of life become manageable when we truly understand God’s blessings. Deb’s wit and insights have helped thousands of women.

 

My Impressions:

Does your busy life — work, home, family — keep you too stressed . . . to be blessed by God? Well, help is here in the form of Deborah Coty’s latest Too Blessed To Be Stressed . .  . Inspiration for Every Day daily devotional. Filled with wit and wisdom, these 365 offerings — one for every day of the year — are a great and quick kickstart for your day or a way to lead you into a deeper of time with God. Each day, Coty shares a scripture verse to reinforce God’s care and love for us, a brief story that feels like a conversation between friends, and a short prayer to start the conversation with God. A great resource for your New Year resolution to find more time with God, Too Blessed To Be Stressed is a recommended read!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Barbour for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: ScriptureDoodle and ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises

15 Dec

scripture-doodle-hiScriptureDoodle: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, October 2016)

With inspiring exercises and prompts, this unique interactive guide introduces readers to a creative connection between Bible study, artistic expression, and worship.

Often, in the busyness of life, Christians forget that God created them to enjoy creativity. With guided instruction and completed examples, this beautiful book invites readers to draw closer to God through their own art.

More than a coloring book, ScriptureDoodle is a combination of Bible study, creative expression, and artistic community with artwork shared online at #scripturedoodle. Exploring topics such as being generous, finding rest, and facing grief, ScriptureDoodle gives the heart the creative space it needs. This book stimulates the reader’s imagination and helps integrate God’s Word into everyday life.

 

9781434710437_hiScriptureDoodle God’s Promises: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, December 2016)

Some of the most incredible stories in the Bible are of God’s promises and faithfulness to His children.

ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in this interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art. Artist April Knight includes creative lettering tips, color ideas, and completed examples to inspire readers to respond to promises in Scripture related to trust, faith, and the power of God’s Word in all circumstances.

This unique blend of Bible study and creative expression provides the opportunity to connect with God as Creator in a new, life-changing way.

 

aknight-413April Knight is a worship artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Knight’s work includes live worship painting and leading ScriptureDoodle workshops online and at conferences and retreats around the country and internationally. Her family of four is her greatest joy, along with serving alongside her husband at their local church.

Find out more about April at https://scripturedoodle.com.

 

My Impressions:

Is the coloring book craze reaching saturation point? Recently a friend shared coloring book fails (The Golden Girls, really?), but the two ScriptureDoodle books put together by April Knight are a coloring book WIN! By combining the creativity God gifts all His people with (we are made in His image after all) with His Word, you can have days and days of meditating, creating and resting in His presence. The two books are designed as 6-week devotionals with each exercise to be completed daily. But I can see the user coming back to past designs to experience anew the comfort and refreshing that God promises. Besides providing scriptural guidance, Knight also helps with the fine points of doodling. I have a friend that loves adult coloring books and has been looking for something exactly like the ScriptureDoodle books. I guess I have my Christmas shopping done with this one!

I recommend both of these books who want to unleash their creative urges and spend some quality time with God.

Recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

To purchase these books, click on the titles — ScriptureDoodle and ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises

(Thanks to LitFuse for making available complimentary copies. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)