Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 21, 2017

Titus 2 women: God’s beautiful plan

adornedTitus 2 is a model for all women, young and old, to live life side by side in a mentoring relationship meant to strengthen our Christian walk.  Older women invest themselves in training younger women to be godly women, wives and mothers while the younger women submit themselves to the teaching of those who have walked the path before them.  What a blessing women are to our families and our churches when they follow the path God has laid out for them.

Paul’s instructions in Titus 2 provides guidelines that will help us as women to experience the kind of community and influence God designed.

In many ways, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of “Adorned”, a book about Titus 2, has exemplified the Titus 2 model for all women.  She has sat up under some wonderful Christian women like Vonette Bright, wife of Bill Bright.  She has mentored women of all ages through her radio and online ministry, Revive Our Hearts, for many years.  Her wisdom and love for God has radiated through the airwaves and through her books.

If you are a seasoned woman of God, you’ve probably already heard about the Titus 2 woman and how important it is to seek the wisdom of other women as well as provide godly guidance to those who are just beginning their Christian walk.

Wolgemuth only recently married for the first time at age 58.  It was only at this time, after experiencing marriage herself, could she write a book as profound as “Adorned”.  She uses examples from her recent marriage to show how important it is to have someone with some marital wisdom to guide you in the right path.  Marriage is hard and while there are times we may all want to throw in the towel, older women who have withstood the trials and joys of marriage can offer wisdom to younger women willing to listen to their advice.

The book divides Titus 2 into three parts and each chapter ends with a “Making It Personal” section for both older women and younger women.  “Adorned” is perfect for a small group study combining both groups of women who can advise and help each other.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Moody Publishers, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 19, 2017

Heartwarming Savannah romance

summer skyNot typically a reader of romance novels, particularly if there isn’t some sort of mystery or suspense story to go along with it, I’m not sure why I chose to read “Under a Summer Sky” by Melody Carlson, other than the fact that I like Carlson’s work and it takes place in Savannah, one of my favorite cities.  It didn’t take long to dive into Carlson’s summer romance story.  Nicole Anderson is a high school art teacher looking forward to a relaxing summer in Savannah, house-sitting and managing an art gallery for a family friend.

Instead of the relaxing summer she imagined, she finds she must deal with a difficult employee, a runaway teenager and two brothers vying for her affection.  But, in Savannah, between the historical and incredible architecture and ghost stories, anything, even romance, can happen.

Love, love, love.  I love reading stories about places I’ve been.  Carlson’s descriptions were wonderful and her story was appealing.  Nicole’s personality and charm was just enough to make me want to meet her in real life.  She was compassionate and wise and she had a way of bringing people together in spite of themselves.  I absolutely loved this story and wish it never had to end.  It made me yearn to visit Savannah again.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 19, 2017

What the normal Christian life should look like

life for christ“A Life For Christ” is Dwight L. Moody’s guidebook for what a normal Christian life should look like.  Church today sometimes leaves out a key element in our Christian walk.  Church buildings are meticulously kept and sermons are well-prepared, but Christians are leaving on Sunday mornings not being encouraged to live a life that is impacting the world.

With the onset of the Internet and social media, people don’t have to attend church to see a sermon.  Many able-bodied Christians are choosing to “attend” church online (and sometimes even encouraged to do so) rather than being an active member of a local congregation.  Moody discusses what we are missing when we choose to walk our Christian life without other believers and how to change and become the people God wants us to be.  By living a life for Christ instead of for ourselves or others, we can demonstrate God’s love to the world around us.

“A Life For Christ” is encouraging and convicting.   Moody’s examples are relevant, even today, and help us see what we are missing in our Christian walk and how to become better at life.   Rather than condemning, Moody encourages readers to seek after and follow Christ and helps us encourage others as well.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Aneko Press. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 8, 2017

Kids’ Visual Study Bible makes reading fun

visual bibleWith over 700 images and background information, Zondervan Kids’ NIV Visual Study Bible is awesome.  If you could read a book by its cover, you would know you were in for a treat when you opened the pages.  From the charts and maps to the incredible information about the people, places and culture, this Bible is interesting and entertaining.  This Bible is perfect for 8-12 year olds and it is a Bible they will treasure and keep for a lifetime.  It has space to write their own notes and draw their own illustrations.

It’s the best Bible for kids because it shows them how to apply the Bible to their lives in creative ways.  Once you see this Bible, you will want for for yourself.  You can purchase in hardcover or imitation leather.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Handlebar Marketing as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 8, 2017

‘Under a Desert Sky’ a beautiful surprise

desert skySo many feelings. “Under a Desert Sky” by Lynne Hartke is a wonderful book–the depth of which is hard to fully explain–about her journey with a cancer diagnosis while at the same time caring for her parents who have been diagnosed with cancer.  Hartke takes us to hard places, difficult thoughts, painful emotions.  She gently guides us through her struggle with God, faith and hope for the future.  She’s blatantly honest at times making you wonder did she really say that? And being glad she did.

I laughed. I cried.  Her difficult story, though painful for her, brings hope to us all.  If you are grieving and having trouble finding faith in hard places, this book is excellent. I can’t even imagine the depth of her pain. Hartke’s faith is matched only by her excellent storytelling. I found myself all caught up in her life like it was my own and her grief became mine. But it was mixed with an incredible belief that God truly is good and good things do come from the heartwrenching pain we sometimes experience. I have so much admiration and respect for her.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 8, 2017

‘Some Small Magic’ is one big ‘oh, that just happened’

magicBilly Coffey puts words together and writes a story so mesmerizing that you relish the moments in the story.  But that same gift leaves you speechless.  “Some Small Magic” is about a boy who only wants some magic in his life.  His single mom is struggling. Abel was born “broken”.  They just need a little hope.  He fights back against a bully and gets into trouble.  He needs answers to the most popular question we all ask at some point in our life, “why?”.

Abel runs away from home.  That’s where I have to stop because revealing anything else would be giving away a magician’s secrets.  And Coffey, in his story, is a magician bringing a tale that takes a life full of doubt and brings it around to faith.  And it happens all of a sudden.  One minute you are in one place and the next a completely different place.

I love Coffey’s books.  They are full of character and characters.  They bring a life filled with hopelessness and despair to a place of hope and faith in a way that is sure, certain.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Booklook Bloggers, as part of Thomas Nelson‘s Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

good book “The Good Book” by Deron Spoo presents the forty biggest ideas of the bible and unlocks the Bible’s major themes.  Spoo makes the Bible come alive for those who may be intimidated by the length of the Bible.

In addition to including the text of the 40 major chapters of the Bible, Spoo gives a short commentary and a “for reflection” section that helps with application.

While I enjoyed reading Spoo’s selections and believe people will gain insight into God’s Word, I am hoping that this will lead people to read more the Bible rather than depending on this one book to satisfy their hunger for God’s Word.  I believe, for the most part, that people will open up to the wonder of reading the Bible for themselves and be encouraged to delve deeper into it as a result of Spoo’s work.  It is an excellent resource for small groups, including questions for discussion.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | May 30, 2017

Thriller about the greatest archaeological mystery

first gospel“The First Gospel” by Darryl Nyznyk is a historical thriller about the world’s greatest archaeological mystery–the Shroud of Turin.  Matt Carter, a law school graduate, discovers the brutally murdered body of his former professor, which begins a quest to find the truth about his family, the Shroud of Turin and why people will murder to keep it hidden.

From the very beginning, Nyznyk’s subject is intriguing.  A Jewish professor is murdered and everyone connected to his discovery is in danger, including Matt, who has no idea what’s going on until he finds out that the professor was desperately trying to contact him before his death.

The excitement and suspense continues to build, and Matt aces against time and evil to stop madmen from getting what they want.  Nyznyk keeps your mind busy and entertained.  He writes great fiction with memorable characters. “The First Gospel” is an imaginative look at how religious relics instigate fear and hate among those who seek to destroy the faith of the faithful.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from PR by the Book, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | May 25, 2017

Navigating the challenges of leadership

stayBobbie Houston is the founder, together with her husband, Brian, and global senior pastor of Hillsong Church and the founder of the Colour Sisterhood, a worldwide movement of women to make the world a better place.  From her experience, she has written about the challenges of leadership and the importance of staying rooted in a relationship with Christ in her book “Stay the Path”.

One of her biggest challenges is the criticism she and her ministry has received.  Her testimony of faith through the trials of starting and maintaining a ministry has kept her on the path that God has laid out for her.  In “Stay the Path”, Houston shares her wisdom in leadership and how to pray through our leadership struggles.

I have read about the criticism Hillsong has received through the years.  It is amazing that the Houstons can maintain their composure and faith through it all, but they have.  Through prayer and perseverance that can come only from God, they have demonstrated a love for God that has transformed them.

The wisdom Houston shares in her book can lead us all through the struggle of leadership in ministry.  It is impossible to wade through the deep waters of ministry without enduring criticism as we can easily see through social media.   “Stay the Path” offers wisdom from someone who’s endured–not by always doing it right but by handling it all with grace.

If you have any type of leadership role in church or other ministry, you can find encouragement and wisdom in this quick read.  Don’t give up. Stay the path.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Hatchette Book Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | May 23, 2017

Great fiction, questionable theory

chamberlainAt first, “The Chamberlain Key” reads like fiction, telling a story about a young, ambitious appraiser of artifacts and antiquities whose service is in demand by many powerful individuals in Washington, D.C.  A troubling dream leads the author, Timothy P. Smith, on a ridiculous journey to a remote spot in British Columbia which leads to his discovery  of the Chamberlain Key in the oldest Hebrew text of the Bible.

Modern technology deciphers this key that explains dramatic world events as well as influences the lives of every person alive today.  This story, claims Smith and his co-author Bob Hostetler, is true.  Smith discovers truths about his own family and finds clues to 9-11 and other world events.  Much like an earlier claim in “The Bible Code”, Smith outlines his discovery.

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Although parts of the book are interesting, I found his presentation both too vague and technical to either understand or to be believable.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Blogging for Books, as part of Waterbrook Multnomah’s Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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