God's Word For Me Bible Storybook from Tommy Nelson ~ A Children's Bible Storybook Review and Giveaway

Tommy Nelson
illustrated by Marijke ten Cate
Juvenile Nonfiction / Bible Stories

Back of the book:


a collection of favorite stories in actual Bible text

I have taken your words to heart.
~ PSALM 119:11

As your children unwrap timeless truths from both the Old and New Testaments, they will be reading actual Bible text--selected passages from the International Children's Bible, the translation kids can read and understand.

In addition to Bible stories and intricate and engaging illustrations, God's Word for Me Bible Storybook includes these great features to help your little ones participate with God's Word:
  • Rember God's Word - memory verses so kids can hide Scripture in their hearts
  • Do God's Word - fun activities to help kids learn to live God's Word
  • Pray God's Word - short, meaningful prayers that show boys and girls how to communicate with the Lord
  • Favorite passages such as the Ten Commandments, the Twenty-Third Psalm, the Lord's Prayer, and more
  • A reading chart to help children and parents track their journey through Scripture
By reading favorite Bible stories in real Bible text, kids will develop a love for God's Word at an early age.

My thoughts:

Pouring the Word of God into my kids at every opportunity is important to me. I believe that the words contained within the Bible are the very words of life. Since the stories contained in the book do not change I am always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to convey that message to my children.

God's Word For Me Bible Storybook contains all the major themes of the Old and New Testaments. The text used is from the International Children's Bible and is written on a level that is easily understood for most children. The illustrations that accompany each account are colorful and do a great job of enhancing the story.

What sets this book apart from the dozens of other Bible storybooks are all the little extra learning tools that are included. Throughout the book there are small sections in the midst of each story that contain suggested memory verses, relevant activities, and easy to repeat prayers. Those things are nice and I think they will be very helpful but what I really liked were the resources in the back of the book.

There are a couple of charts that will allow your child to keep track of verses that they have memorized and their reading progress. There are also several sections of things that I think are of utmost importance to teach your children. Among them are the Lord's Prayer, the Twenty-Third Psalm, a list of the twelve apostles, the twelve tribes of Israel and of course the books of the Bible.

This book is just a fabulous resource for family devotions or homeschooling Bible lessons. It is a great beginning for setting up a routine of Bible study for your children that can develop into a life-long journey into the Word of God.

The Giveaway:

We have partnered with Tommy Nelson to offer one of our readers a copy of the book God's Word For Me Bible Storybook. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents and will run through midnight on Monday, August 4, 2014. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. The winner will be contacted by email and will have forty-eight hours to claim the prize. If unclaimed, a new winner will be drawn. The winners’ entries will be verified. Please enter the contest using the Rafflecopter form below. All entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Death Takes A Ride by Lorena McCourtney ~ A Cozy Mystery Review

The Cate Kincaid Files, Book 3
Lorena McCourtney
Cozy Mystery

Back of the book:

It's official. This case is 
above her pay grade--and 
Cate's in over her head.

Cate Kinkaid arrives at H&B Vintage Auto Restorations to give a friend a ride. But, as usual, trouble finds Cate even there--this time in the form of one dead man, one wounded man, and what appears to be a pretty obvious case of self-defense.

Despite having been merely an unfortunate bystander, Cate finds herself sucked into the case. And the deeper she gets, the more she begins to suspect that the shooting in the H&B office may not have been as cut-and-dried as it appeared.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lorena McCourtney takes you on wild ride in this clever cozy mystery that will keep you guessing.


My thoughts:

My reading in the summertime tends to be of the lighter variety. A good cozy mystery is just the right thing on a long summer evening. The Cate Kincaid Files are especially nice because they strike the right balance of being a light story that has just enough substance to keep you interested.

Death Takes a Ride is the third in the series. Dying to Read and Dolled Up to Die are the first two, but each one can be read as a stand alone. There is an underlying story that threads through each of the novels but each story contains a new mystery that doesn't really hinge on the previous ones.

When the story begins Cate is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her official license that will propel her from being an Assistant Investigator to a full fledged Investigator. When that happens it is expected that she will take over the agency so her Uncle Joe can retire and travel.

Cate is also trying to patiently wait for Mitch to take their relationship to the next level as in marriage. Unfortunately Mitch and his business partner have been offered a lucrative proposal that will take Mitch to another city. Cate begins to wonder if the relationship means more to her than Mitch. Will he ever get over his aversion to her being a PI?

As was the case in the two previous novels Cate didn't go looking to become involved in a murder investigation but it surely sought her out. To say that she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time is putting it mildly. At first it looks like a robbery gone bad, but then things just don't add up. The deeper Cate digs into a different matter involving the murder victim the more her intuition tells her that there is more to it than they first suspected.

The characters are just quirky enough to add humor to the serious theme of murder. Add in a big slobbery dog and a persnickety cat and you have the makings of a story that will amuse you as you try to figure out who the real culprit is. 

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Bloom Where You're Planted ~ Five Minute Friday

One Word Prompt ~ Five Minutes of Writing ~ No Editing

Today's Prompt: BLOOM


I have this little plant stake that has the saying “Bloom Where You’re Planted”. I never thought much about it until this past year. It always seemed like a quaint little trinket with a double meaning. Then the totally unexpected happened.

My husband had a major job change that left us living out of a suitcase and a hotel for the past year. It isn’t easy to make friends when you are only in a location for a month at the most. How do you even go about trying to find your niche let alone bloom in it?

Somewhere around month two it finally dawned on me that perhaps this was a season in my life that was meant for me to draw closer to my husband and to my Savior. Once I settled into that thought I really did begin to bloom.

I’m sure some of the hotel staff probably wondered what was going on in my room with the loud praise music and the wacky woman talking out loud to herself. (I tend to talk aloud to the Lord when it is just He and I in the room.) When my husband would come home to the hotel we would spend time together at the pool or just in the room talking about things that we just never had time to before.

The seemingly impossible began to happen. I began to bloom! Not only did I bloom but I would even hazard to say that I blossomed. I not only reconnected with my husband and Jesus but I remembered who I was. Beyond being a wife, mother and grandmother, I’m an artist, a lover of the written word, and a total Coca-Cola addict! (Hey, a girl has to have some vices to survive the wash, rinse and repeat life of living in a hotel.)

Now it’s your turn . . . where are you blooming at in your life right now?


Feel inspired to write? Link up with us here at Lisa Jo Baker's Five Minute Friday!


The Lord's Prayer Board Book From Tommy Nelson ~ A Children's Book Review and Giveaway

Tommy Nelson
Illustrated by Lara Ede
Juvenile Nonfiction / Board Book

Back of the book:

The Lord's Prayer

Using scenes from daily life, this beautiful book provides a perfect introduction to the prayer Jesus gave us. It is ideal for young children and adults to read together.

My thoughts:

As a Christian parent I feel like there are a few things that are mandatory that I teach my children about the Bible. In my opinion one of the most important things that they need to learn and memorize is the Lord's Prayer. I also think that the earlier you begin to ingrain these truths the better.

If your toddler is anything at all like my toddlers were they spend a great majority of their days following you or their older siblings around repeating what you say and do. Why not take advantage of that trait and begin to teach them simple phrases that will make a large impact on their life?

The Lord's Prayer board book is the perfect way to begin teaching your little one the Lord's Prayer. Each page contains the prayer broken down into short repeatable sections. What a delight it will be for you to hear that sweet little voice repeating the very words our Lord spoke. 

I'm sure that your sweet one will love the colorful pictures that depict scenes from their everyday lives. The bonus is a cute little handle that your little one can use to tote the book around. Who can resist the cuteness of those sweet little chubby hands carrying around the Word?!! I surely can't. 

The Giveaway:

We have partnered with Tommy Nelson to offer one of our readers a copy of the book The Lord's Prayer. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents and will run through midnight on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. The winner will be contacted by email and will have forty-eight hours to claim the prize. If unclaimed, a new winner will be drawn. The winners’ entries will be verified. Please enter the contest using the Rafflecopter form below. All entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Heart Wide Open by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson ~ A Christian Living Review

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson
Nonfiction / Christian Living / Women

Back of the book:


As a Bible-believing churchgoer, author Shellie Tomlinson harbored a secret in her good-girl heart. she longed for something more than routine faith; she wanted to love God with a genuine, all-consuming passion. So she got honest with Him:
"I admit it. I don't love you like I should, but I want to love you. Help me!"

In Heart Wide Open, Shellie invites you to answer the call of your restless heart and refuse to settle for anything less than the intimate friendship of God. Through her heartfelt and honest words, you'll find practical inspiration to help you:
  • exchange your "just enough Jesus" mindset for an all-out pursuit of Him
  • put sizzle in your Bible study by asking God to show you the wonder of His Word
  • trade formulaic devotions for a devoted life
Are you ready to stop struggling to make time for God and instead live every moment with God? Discover how to live with your heart wide open.


My thoughts:
I first fell in love with Shellie's work through her first two books, Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On and Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy! Those two books just tickled my funny bone. But let me tell you, Heart Wide Open struck a nerve.
This book is written for those of us who grew up with not only Vacation Bible School but Backyard Bible Club. If you could do a sword drill in your sleep or recite the books of the Bible in perfect order or sing all the verses from hymn after hymn from memory, this book is probably written for you. 
It's written for those of us who fell deeply in love with Jesus as a child but somewhere along the line that love of all things Jesus began to fade. The tyranny of the urgent began to replace what was important, which is our very relationship with Jesus. We entered that awkward Jr. High era that took our eyes off of Him and put them on him. Then before we knew it we were young mommas with a growing family and all our efforts were directed there. We still love to say and sing "Oh how I love Jesus!" but do we really? Or in the words of Shellie, do we just want to want to love Jesus? The good news is that Jesus promises that He'll take that want to and turn it into a need to.
In fact Shellie talks about how He will take all of those failed Christian rituals of ours like, daily Bible reading and devotions, prayer time, and faith and breathe fresh life into them. The secret is admitting we need the help in the first place. Instead of hiding our lackluster feelings like Adam and Eve in the garden, we just need to get naked before God and cry out "Help me!"
I have to be honest and say that until I read this book I hadn't really realized how apathetic I had become. But as I turned page after page I continued to think, "Yep! That's describes me to a T." The good news is that Shelllie also points out the simple fix . . . Jesus! So if you are longing for a deeper relationship with Christ, pick this book up and let Him pry your heart wide open. Trust me . . . you won't regret it!
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