Thoughts To Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones ~ Children's Book and Audio CDs Review

Sally Lloyd-Jones
Illustrated by Jago
Audio Narration by Davis Suchet
Juvenile Nonfiction

From Jago and Sally Lloyd-Jones, the creators of the bestselling Jesus Storybook Bible, comes this gorgeous and innovative collection of 101 simple-yet-profound thoughts on faith. Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing Deluxe Edition shares profound spiritual truths from the Bible told in a conversational tone—drawing insights from creation, history, science, the writings of great thinkers and preachers and writers, and more—to turn the reader’s eyes toward the God who loves them with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love. The deluxe edition also includes audio from award-winning actor David Suchet, allowing read-along opportunities or inspiration wherever you go.

Perfect for family devotions, bedtime, story time, or even as a companion to The Jesus Storybook Bible, this accessible yet theologically rich book reveals biblical truth in word and image, all working together and designed to do one thing: to make the reader’s heart sing.

My Thoughts

Sally Lloyd-Jones wrote Thoughts To Make Your Heart Sing with the intention of it being used to guide children into a daily devotional time. Her words combined with the artistic talent of Jago and the life-giving Word of God make for the perfect tool to help your little one begin that life-long habit. 

In the Deluxe Edition the daily thoughts have been recorded on two cds by the distinguished British actor David Suchet. I can think of so many wonderful ways to use this valuable set. I know the objective is for a daily reading, but it would be a perfect companion on a long car trip. When my kids were little it was popular to do read-along books with tapes. This book and cd set would work well in that same manner. Your child could follow along in the book while the narration was being played. It would not only help increase their reading skills but they would also be soaking in valuable principles from God's Word.

I do have a small confession to make . . . as an adult I love this for myself. Listening to the cds is like having a blessing being spoken over you by a beloved grandfather. For the past several days I have popped one of the cds in as I've gone about my business around the house. It has been a beautiful time of worshiping and communing with my Savior. As that soothing British voice speaks, I find myself pausing just to soak in the truth that is being put forth. We are loved with an everlasting love by an all encompassing Savior. Hallelujah!

I encourage you to get this for your little ones, but also to take the time to bask in it yourself. Let the Word and truth spread over you and cover you with an assurance of love like no other. 

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A Promise To Protect by Patricia Bradley ~ A Romantic Suspense Review

Logan Point, Book 2
Patricia Bradley
Romantic Suspense


Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn't heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn't mean he can get her--or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago--out of his head. When she calls out of the blue, it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. But all too soon, Ben is charged with a different task--protecting Leigh from the people after her brother. With Leigh doing everything in her power to avoid Ben, it's no easy task. And the secret she is keeping just may change their lives forever.

My Thoughts 

Patricia Bradley is quickly becoming one of my favorite romantic suspense writers. In A Promise To Protect she takes us back to the little Southern town of Logan Point. Ben Logan has been appointed acting sheriff while his father, the elected sheriff recovers from a shooting. Logan Point is usually a sleepy little town but an uptick of crimes seems to have coincided with the return of Dr. Leigh Somerall.

Leigh grew up in Logan Point but was from a not so upstanding family and earned a bad reputation through some of her antics. She was interested in Ben but he didn't take notice of her until college. Their romance seemed to be a match made in heaven until one fateful encounter changed everything. She's now a respected physician and decided to return to Logan Point to be close to her only brother Tony. Leigh has a very big secret to hide but the longer she's in town the trickier it is becoming. 

From the opening scenes of the book there is a murder and it looks like Leigh may be the next target. But as with every good suspense book, everything isn't as it appears. Could Ben really be the target? If so, who's behind the attacks and why?

This fast-paced novel will keep you guessing up until the very end. Layer by layer the story begins to emerge of  secrets, scandals and outright lies. I think you will enjoy uncovering the mysteries surrounding Ben, Leigh and the other residents of Logan Point.

A Promise To Protect  is book two in the Logan Point series. Book one is Shadows of the Past. Each book can easily be read as a stand-alone title, but of course I think you'd enjoy reading them both. 

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Photo Credit: © Cheryl Meints

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Love Letters From God by Glenys Nellist ~ Children's Book Review

Glenys Nellist
Illustrated by Sophie Allsopp
Juvenile Nonfiction

"I had so much fun making the world! 
But do you know the very best thing I made? 
It was you!"

What child doesn't love to receive mail? In this heartwarming lift-the-flap picture book, children can open and read their own personal mail from God as they experience some of the best-loved stories of the Bible. As each captivating story unfolds, children will eagerly await the opportunity to open the envelope and read God's message of love written especially for them. They will also delight in the final envelope that encourages them to write their own personal letter to God.

My Thoughts
My granddaughters and I love to write letters back and forth to each other. I enjoy doing this because it is an easy way for me to tell them one more time that I love them. It allows me to be a part of their lives even when we are miles apart. 
While it is important to me that they know I love them, it is even more important to me that they know God loves them. In fact He has given them beautiful love letters to assure them of that very fact. Those love letters are found in the Bible. 
In her book Love Letters from God, Glynys Nellist highlights some of the best Bible stories that convey the love of God. Each story is told in a very engaging way that will appeal to young listeners. Along with each story there is a short Bible verse that would be an easy memory verse to help your child remember the truth of God's love. At the end of each story there is a lift-the-flap letter that can be personally addressed to your child and is written to them from God. 
When I was reading this book aloud to a couple of my grandkids their faces just lit up when I read the letters to them. The idea that God would love them so personally that He would pen a letter to them made them feel so special. 
If you have children in your life this would be a great book to purchase for them. The importance of knowing God loves you cannot be overstated. The knowledge of God's love is the best gift that you can give to those special people in your life.
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The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance ~ Historical Romance Review

Brandy Vallance
Historical Romance


Bianca Marshal is looking for a man who can quote both Jesus and Shakespeare. Not surprisingly, that man is hard to find in the small Appalachian town where she lives. Her mother insists that Bianca lower her standards. On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, even Bianca wonders if her mother is right.

Still set on experiencing love, or at least a little adventure, Bianca wins an essay contest that propels her into a whirlwind search for the perfect romantic hero. Via the opulence of London and the mysteries of Palestine, Bianca's true love will be revealed--but not without a price that might be too heavy to pay.

My Thoughts

The Covered Deep is a debut novel but it does not read like one. Brandy Vallance has created a tale that reads like a work of fiction written in the Austen era. There is an indulgent father and an overbearing mother. The daughter, Bianca, is an incurable romantic. All she needs to do is find her perfect man. She's thought this through and has come up with a list of qualifications that she is refusing to compromise on, much to her mother's dismay.

Bianca is quickly approaching the dreaded label of spinster. Her father stumbles upon a solution in the form of a contest that will allow her to travel to the Holy Land. She enters and is declared one of four winners. That is when the Austenesque novel begins to veer towards the Bronte sisters style taking on a more sinister tone. 

From the first encounters with Sir Adrain and the other three contestants you know that something other than what is apparent is going on. The sense of danger seems to increase with each stop on their journey. Paul Emerson is the epitome of all that Bianca has longed for in a husband, but there is something that she can't quite put her finger on that holds her back from wholeheartedly giving herself to him. Her other two traveling companions, Madeline and Mr. Tabor, also have an aura of mystery about them that leads to unsettling feelings. 

The way that Brandy has woven the gospel through this intriguing story is very moving. The overall theme is that of forgiveness and redemption. The paths that are taken towards that end are both inspirational and heartrending. I look forward to reading more from this talented new author.

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I Love You More ~ 5 Simple Ways To Show It {Giveaway}

by Fitzysmom

We have a silly little game that we play around here called ‘I Love You More’. It started innocently enough with me telling my grandboy that I loved him. He answered back with, “No, I love you!” Of course my response was, “I love you more!” His response was, “No, I love you more!” After a few more rounds of those words we then added, “I love you more than ice cream.” Or whatever other ridiculous thing we could think up. This little back and forth goes on and on with total abandon until we are both lost in a fit of giggles.

Love is such a gift that we can give our kiddos. It provides security to them in the darkest of days. It really doesn’t take much time, money or effort to instill this valuable resource in our children. Over on the Tommy Nelson blog this month we have an article entitled, 5 Ways To Show Your Kids Love Today. The points of that article are as follows:

1. Use Your Words. Open up your mouth and simply tell your child that they are loved. Let them know that they are loved simply because they are your child. Stick a note in their lunch box. Put a post-it on their mirror. If they are older and driving, put a note in their car or just send them a text. There is nothing more heartbreaking than hearing an adult say that they never heard their parent tell them they loved them. Don’t be that parent. Say it to them over and over until it is so ingrained that as teenagers they roll their eyes and say, “I know, I know, you love me.” Trust me, deep down they crave it.

2. Do Something For Them. We all have dreaded chores that must be done. Whatever that task may be for your child go help them do it, just because. It is perfect because they are held captive with the duty so you can use that time to communicate to them that they are valued and loved. Even if it is just joining them in making their bed and picking up their room, you are still showing them that you desire to be in their presence and that what they are doing matters.

3. Give Them Something. Gifts don’t have to be expensive or big. What if you picked up a cute new pair of earrings for your daughter while you were buying groceries at the supercenter? For my boys an inexpensive pocket sized car will light up their faces. Just knowing that your parent thought of you while they were away conveys a sense of love and security.

4. Do Something With Them. Spending one on one time with each of your kids is priceless. For little ones, an ice cream cone at McDonald’s is magical. As they get older try a weeknight dinner and movie or maybe a window shopping trip to the mall. Just having your undivided attention lets your child know that you love them and are willing to set aside time just for them.

5. Give Them A Hug. This isn’t so hard when they are little, although I did have one that just was not a cuddler but I still pulled him in my lap and held him and told him he was loved. Physically hugging your teenager is just as important as hugging your toddler. If they are typical they will shrink away from it, but don’t let that stop you! A good backrub or back scratch, a squeeze of the hand, a ruffle of the hair, it all goes a long way in conveying your love and affection towards your child.

While it is important that our kids grow up knowing we love them, knowing that God loves them is even more important. In fact our love for them only matters during their physical lifetime, but the love of God has an eternal impact.

One of the biggest blessings in life is introducing your child to the Father. It is such an important duty of ours as parents that the Bible says in Deuteronomy 11:18-19,
“Impress these words of Mine on your hearts and souls, . . . Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Are you doing that? We encourage you today to in some way not only tell your children that you love them but that the Father loves them. Love is a powerful thing . . . pass it on!

We’ve come across an adorable little bedtime prayer book from Tommy Nelson that was written by Amanda Lamb. It is called I Love You To God And Back. We loved this sweet little book so much that we want to give a copy of it to one of our readers. Our prayer is that it will be a blessing to you as you teach your children that not only do you love them, but God loves them.

The Giveaway

We have partnered with Tommy Nelson to offer one of our readers a copy of I Love You To God And Back. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents and will run through midnight on Friday, November 7, 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.

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