Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | June 9, 2019

Jesus cares for women and responds to their deepest needs

jesus  Have you ever wondered if a single man who traveled with 12 other men could ever understand you as a woman?  Have you read the New Testament and missed how often Jesus interacted with women?

Jesus cares deeply for all people, including women, and He proves it throughout the New Testament.  He didn’t always seek out women, but when they came to Him, He never denied their need.  He saved Mary Magdalene from seven demons. He was a frequent visitor of Mary and Martha. He offered salvation and unconditional love to the Samaritan woman, often referred to as the woman at the well.  He rescued women who were broken, flawed, isolated, insecure, unfulfilled and rejected.

In “The Women Who Met Jesus”, author Dorothy Valcarcel discussed 18 women in the Bible who came to Jesus and found love, peace and healing.  In addition to the Bible stories, she shows how modern-day women with the same needs and issues can come to Jesus and find their miracle.  She offers personal stories and life stories of other women to show us examples of how Jesus works today.

Discover for yourself the transformative power of Jesus’ unconditional love by reading “The Women Who Met Jesus” and be forever changed as you encounter Jesus and let Him meet your deepest need.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, as part of its 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, 2019

How to truly listen to God

hearing  God is constantly communicating with His creation.  He intends for us to live in relationship with Him?  Are we too busy?  Are we distracted? Or do we not know how to hear Him?

Nathan Finochio addresses our hearing problem in “Hearing God”. He examines the myths we’ve all heard and separates these myths from the truth and, in doing so, gives us a proper perspective on listening and hearing the voice of God.

While we may find it difficult to hear God due to a lack of knowledge, fear or the distractions of life, Finochio shares with us how to encounter God.  If you desire to hear God’s voice but are struggling in your efforts, “Hearing God” will guide you through biblical teaching and real-life stories. Finochio’s practical advice and biblical wisdom will help you discover how to listen, how to respond and how to separate truth from myth in order to hear God’s voice for yourself.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of Waterbrook Multnomah’s “Hearing God” Launch Team.  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 27, 2019

Encountering God in His Word

scripture  Do you struggle with reading the Bible?  Is it hard to find the time or the desire?  Or maybe you don’t understand why or how to approach it.  There are so many different opinions about how to read the Bible, when to do it and how to do it.

Deborah Haddix teaches readers how to read Scripture as a relational process in “Engaging the Scripture”.  Her passion for the Bible is clear.  She offers simple advice and gives great ideas to find time, develop desire and how and where to start.

In her “Resources for Focused Reading” section, she highlights various techniques to help with application and memorizing such as verse mapping and Scripture journaling.  She also offers resources for writing the Scripture that is helpful to new and seasoned readers.

“Engaging the Scripture” is an excellent resource and gift for new believers or anyone who struggles with Bible reading but has a desire to read it and apply it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of the “Engaging the Scripture” Launch Team.  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 27, 2019

Everyone knows your name; no one knows your secret

living lies  Lane Kent lives with depression, but no one wants to talk about it least of all her father who is a well-respected judge running for office. Living with the shame and disgrace of depression and trying to take her own life, Lane tries desperately to overcome her feelings so she can take care of her son after the death of her husband. When she discovers a dead body in the woods, she must work with Deputy Charlie Lynch to uncover the truth behind the murder.  In order to help Deputy Lynch, she must face her troubles and risk revealing her secrets which, if they are discovered by the public, could affect her entire family.

In “Living Lies”, Natalie Walters focuses on the stigma of depression while telling a compelling story. While society has come a long way, by bringing this topic to the forefront of her story, Walters is helping society come to terms with this culturally unacceptable issue.  The storyline is captivating and keeps you in suspense.  Charlie and Lane make a great team, and I’m hoping that their story will continue.

Lane’s story is about hope in the midst of depression. It is necessary for these kinds of stories to be told so that we become more comfortable talking about mental illness. Instead of covering it up and hoping it will just go away, we need to start finding a way to help people who are battling it. Walters captures Lane’s emotions showing us that there is hope in even the darkest of tunnels.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, as part of its 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 | May 27, 2019

‘Where’s the Joy’

joy  There is still joy to be found. Sometimes you have to look for it and be willing to accept it in the small things.  This is what you learn from reading Danny Williamson’s book, “Where’s the Joy?”  Williamson tells stories from his own experiences to demonstrate that you can always find joy in life if you look hard enough.

At times, we don’t recognize joy for what it is–we want to feel happy but, unlike happiness, joy comes in spite of your circumstances.  Sometimes the very circumstances that seem to be awkward or unfulfilling are the times that bring about the greatest joy if you allow God to take over.

While “Where’s the Joy?” appears to be all about Williamson, you can still find ways to search your own life for moments of joy. Williamson gives you permission to stop labeling your experiences or circumstances as good or bad and start finding the joy God desires for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of Lindsey Hartz Creative Author Ambassadors Launch Team.  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 27, 2019

Mixed feelings about ‘The Noble Guardian’

noble  Michelle Griep’s story begins with Abigail Gilbert, a young woman who was raised by a father and step-mother who just wanted to be rid of her.  As soon as she could, she set out to find love through marriage to a man she barely knew. As she set out on her journey, highwaymen were wreaking havoc on travelers.  Samuel Thatcher, lawman and hired protector, saved her from their grasp.  All he wants is to make enough money to buy land and retire.  Abby offers him the money he needs to make his dreams possible, but can they tolerate each other long enough for him to earn it and keep her safe?

I had high hopes for “The Noble Guardian”. Griep is an excellent writer–the previous book I read attests to this. While this story is good, I couldn’t get into the book.  The first part of the book just went too slow for me.  Fanny, Abby’s handmaid, was not very likable, and I was glad she didn’t play a bigger role.  I didn’t read the entire book (I read the first 20 chapters and the last 2)–but just enough.  The book didn’t grab my attention; however, I am certain that readers who like historical fiction, particularly the mid-1700’s England will enjoy “The Noble Guardian”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Barbour Publishing, Inc. 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 | May 14, 2019

Change is possible; just exhale

exhale  Spending your life in a constant battle with who you are and who everyone wants you to be is exhausting. Why not take a deep breath, exhale and set your sights on a different destination?  Instead of following someone else’s roadmap for where you are going and who you are (even if it is your own), why not follow the path that God has mapped out for you?

Cheri Gregory and Amy Carroll show you how to lose who you are not and find who you are in “Exhale”, releasing on June 4, 2019.  “Exhale” gives you permission to fail on the path to success. Refreshing.

Success may not look the way you envision it, but God has a plan and a purpose for you even if no one by you and God can see it.  Many of us feel like there is no hope for change, but Cheri and Amy offer wise advice and compassionate guidance for discovering the “you” God intended when He created you.

“Exhale” includes a tone of encouragement and lots of good advice.  You will receive so much you will need to read it again and again to fully grasp the encouragement that will push you onto the path to true change which can only be brought about through your connection to Jesus who is the instigator of change.

I particularly appreciate the quick reference guide at the end of each section that help to solidify the truth into my thought processes and help me change my mindset.  “Exhale” is your next self-help book offering fresh hoe to approval addicts like me.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of Cheri Gregory’s and Amy Carroll’s “Exhale” Launch Team.  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 14, 2019

Build your Bible IQ in a year

Core52  In “Core 52”, Mark E. Moore takes readers through a 52 week, 15 minute a day, Bible reading and study for the purpose of mastering the 52 most important verses in the Bible.  If you want to know the Bible better, Pastor Moore offers a way to build Bible knowledge and Christian worldview as well as creating a hunger to read the whole Bible.

Each week, you follow a schedule of reading, memorizing, meditating and performing an application task.  Also included is an overachiever challenge and bonus reads for those who want to go further in their study.

You will learn about creation, your true identity, covenant, finding happiness, prophecy, the greatest commandment and many other topics covered in scripture.  Although I am not a fan of highlighting the “meat” of the scripture, Pastor Moore does a great job presenting the material in a way that makes you want to read more.

“Core 52” is a great way to increase your understanding of key Bible theology. It will also help you read the rest of the Bible with greater clarity and help you apply what you read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of Waterbrook Multnomah’s “Core 52” Launch Team.  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 14, 2019

Great guidebook for new Christians

character  The introduction to “Cultivation of Christian Character” by J. Oswald Sanders, begins:

“The genuine disciple of Christ earnestly desires a closer walk with God and a greater conformity to Christ.”

Dr. Sanders addresses the feelings of inadequacy to live the Christian life in “Cultivation of Christian Character”, originally published in 1965.  Each chapter covers the basics of developing Christian character and spiritual maturity.  This handbook is a great resource for new Christians as well as mature Christians. Dr. Sanders teaches us how to live the Christian life without adding judgment or condemnation.  He is not advocating a works-based salvation, but instead shows us how to live and walk in the Spirit.  “Cultivation of Christian Character” is an excellent small group resource that lend itself to deep discussions and encourages others in their spiritual walk.

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 | May 14, 2019

Story of Love and Restoration

summer tide  After losing her mom and best friend and adopting her best friend’s son, Cam throws herself into her career.  Her sisters, Maddie and Blaine, deal with their mother’s death in their own way while their father, Paul, buys Three Sisters Island.  On discovering that their father has sold everything he owns and buys a remote island, the sisters think he has lost his mind.

Paul wants to fulfill his and his late wife’s dream of returning to the camp where they met.  He plans on reviving the camp and, in the process, bring the island back to life. Even though they aren’t completely on board with their father’s plan, the sisters agree to help him transform the camp into a hotel in an attempt to bring tourists back.

Somewhere along the way, they all discover that the island has a lot to offer and become invested in their father’s dream.  In the meantime, Cam, the control freak, Maddie, the worrier and peacemaker and Blaine, the aimless youngest child, discover that their differences make them better together.

The family drama sometimes gets tedious, but the end result is a beautiful love story between the sisters as well as between them and the islanders.  Suzanne Woods Fisher’s “On a Summer Tide”, is a wonderful story of restoration of places, people and relationships.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, as part of its 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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