Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | February 25, 2015

Is Terror Our Destiny?

Jesus Jihad PeaceOur world is crying out for peace, but is there any hope?  Do current events, such as the increase in terrorism and the beheading of Christians, have prophetic significance?  Is God’s presence felt in the world today?

Michael Youssef’s book, “Jesus, Jihad & Peace” could not be more timely.  Persecution of Christians in the Middle East is increasing.  Terrorism is on the rise, and our government is turning a blind eye to the deep roots of the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS.  Youssef provides biblical answers to our most pressing questions.  He goes back to the beginning leading readers through biblical history and prophecy and offers hope in the midst of strife.

The only hope for peace in the world is Christ, but many will not accept Him.  Even some Christians remain fearful in spite of God’s assurance that we are not to fear.  Some American Christians have their heads in the sand with the false hope that the kind of persecution Christians face on the other side of the world will never affect us.  The Bible is specific that persecution is coming to all Christians.  Youssef’s book will wake you up.  It will offer not only information and answers, it also gives us a peace that God is in the midst of it carrying out His purpose.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Worthy Publishing, as part of  its First Look Blog Tour. 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 | February 24, 2015

Healthy eating made delicious

Dashing Dish“Dashing Dish” contains 100 simple and delicious recipes that are good for you.  Katie Farrell, creator of DashingDish.com provides recipes that are easy and delicious.  The recipes are not gourmet and include foods we all love to eat but with healthier ingredients and better ways to prepare.

From chicken enchiladas to no noodle lasagna, you can find the right meals for your family.  Some recipes take longer to prepare and cook, and Farrell also includes some slow cooker recipes. She also includes some tasty dessert recipes like banana bread and triple chocolate chunk muffins.  She has basically taken dishes we already love and transformed them into healthy meals.  I’m looking forward to trying lots of recipes from “Dashing Dish”.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Icon Media Group, 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 | February 24, 2015

Eat well without spending a lot

supermarketIt costs more to eat healthy, and prices at health food stores (like Earth Fare) can be outrageous.  Melissa D’Arabian, host of Food Network’s “Ten Dollar Dinners” and Cooking Channel’s “Drop 5 lbs with Good Housekeeping”, offers healthy recipes and shows you how to make your grocery store work for you in “Supermarket Healthy”.  Most recipes included are simple and take no more than 10-20 minutes to prepare plus cooking time (anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 1/2 hours).

If you have picky eaters, the recipes won’t be helpful, and you must really have a love for cooking and preparing meals.  If you are like me and just want to throw things together without the fuss of chopping, etc., then the prep will discourage you.  On a positive note, D’Arabian gives step-by-step instructions leaving nothing to chance.  There are plenty of helpful hints as well as a complete list of pantry items you will want to have on hand to cook healthy meals every day.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

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 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 | January 30, 2015

‘The King is Coming’

king is comingThe end is near.  A wake-up call or an insane rambling?  Does Scripture comfort you or scare you when you read about the end times?  Erwin Lutzer is a respected theologian and Senior Pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, Illinois.  In his book, “The King is Coming”, he seeks to reassure believers who are concerned about the end of the world and the second coming of Christ.  There are lots of opinions about what is going to happen, but ultimately only God knows with certainty.  Lutzer clarifies his believes with Scripture explaining why he believes a certain way.

He reminds us that we have nothing to fear as long as we trust God, and we can trust Him.  Lutzer doesn’t seek to debate other theologians who do not share his beliefs and opinions about what the Scripture says.  He teaches that we shouldn’t consume ourselves with thoughts of the tribulation and the end times.  We should, however, live in the here and now in the power of the Holy Spirit.

We can explore the end times on our own and come to our own conclusions.  Lutzer empowers us to do so in His book and encouraging us to live our lives in anticipation and preparation every day.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

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 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.”

I choose youLove is a choice you make every day.  Deb DeArmond offers thirty-one ways we can choose love in our most important earthly relationship.  Among them, choosing to pursue, bless, trust, forgive and submit.  Each chapter is easily read in fifteen minutes and is concluded with thought-provoking questions that allow you to focus on the topic and the impact on your relationship with your spouse.  It also gives you and your spouse something to discuss if you choose to go through it together.

The kind of relationship you have with your spouse is a choice you make daily.  Working on your marriage is not easy, but is worth it and one of the most rewarding things you can do.  DeArmond offers several ways to use the book, including reading it with your spouse, if married, or as an engaged couple, working through it as a devotional or as a small group study (a leader’s guide can be found at www.dearmond.com).

Our words and our choices are as simple as choosing our spouse each and every day.  God offers instruction in His Word about how to love our spouses and DeArmond breaks them down into 31 different ways to choose love in your marriage.  If you want a better marriage, “I Choose You Today” is a must-read.  It is never too late to do something positive for your marriage.

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. 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.”

What’s the secret for hanging on to the happily-ever-after feelings from the day you said, “I do”? It could be as simple as four little words: I Choose You Today. Be sure to grab a copy of Deb DeArmond‘s latest release and find out how you can make the declaration “I Choose You Today” a regular part of your marriage communication.

Deb is celebrating the release of her book with a Facebook author chat party on February 3rd.

ichooseyou-fbevent

Along with the February 3rd author chat party, you’re invited to participate in two marriage-strengthening challenges: one beginning February 1 and the other beginning in March. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to build your relationship with your spouse and enter to win some prizes along the way!

The Valentine’s Challenge: February 1 – 28

Tell your spouse “I Choose You” every day of the month. Sign up online at www.ichooseyouchallenge.com and receive a free downloadable February calendar to mark off the days of the challenge.

Deb will also be emailing participants 1–2 times throughout the month with giveaway opportunities and “keep going” encouragement.

The “I Choose You” Challenge: March 1 – December 31, 2015

Sign up online at www.ichooseyouchallenge.com to receive 10 weekly emails, each teaching one of the choices from Deb’s book along with practical applications. This challenge is broken up into three different sessions, covering all 31 choices from the book.

There will be giveaways and opportunities to win throughout the year. Participants can decide when to join—it’s not required to do all three sessions. do all three sessions.

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | January 22, 2015

Great research tool but hard to read through

name quest“The Name Quest” by John Avery captured my attention because I believed it to be about learning the character of God through His names.  I anticipated the author would dedicate his writing to providing insight into God’s names listed in the Scriptures and how each one reveals His character.

While Avery does touch on God’s names, “The Name Quest” is little more than a tool to show the author’s knowledge.  Some of the information was relevant to his topic while others deviated into other theological subjects.  He also weaves in some anecdotes some of which I did not consider pertinent enough to add to the topic.

His website, NamesForGod.net is actually a better resource than the book if you are looking for a list of names and meanings.  The author’s research was extensive and he knows Scripture well . The book may have been better if the material had been better organized.  It is a great research and study tool but it is difficult to read through.

John Avery is a Bible teaching pastor, small group leader and missionary.  He writes a regular Bible devotion at BibleMaturity.com and maintains a comprehensive resource for all the names of God at NamesForGod.net.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from BookCrash, 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 | January 22, 2015

Make it easy to simplify your space and live free of clutter

clutter freeVery few people live without clutter of some kind. Clutter can include anything from material items (stuff) or information we try to cram into our brain (fluff).  Some of these items are useful (good) while others just take up space and add extra stress to our life (bad).

We collect mountains of things from clothing to books, cooking utensils to cleaning supplies and even storage bins to hold them all.  My biggest fear is giving something away only to realize I might need it later.  The truth is we who live in clutter are aware that our space is cluttered, disorganized and unsightly.  It is just too overwhelming to deal with; we just don’t want to do the work; or, heaven forbid, someone else is contributing to the clutter and we have no way of getting rid of it.  What if you could get rid of your clutter in 21 days, more or less?  What if all you needed was for someone to offer you one easy step at a time?  Those bite-size pieces add up to chunks as you continue to work.

Kathi Lipp, author of “The Get Yourself Organized Project“, shows us how to get our lives under control by getting rid of our clutter in her new book, “Clutter Free”.  My particular struggle (apart from keeping things I don’t use because I might need it one day) is other people’s clutter.  I procrastinate over my own clutter because someone else won’t deal with theirs.  Is it fair that I work on mine while they don’t work on theirs?  Well…  That’s just an excuse.  Kathi offers several solutions to deal with this particular problem.

If you follow the simple guidelines in Lipp’s book, even if it’s at your own pace, eventually you will have a functionable home and a space you will enjoy living in.  Decluttering and simplifying have become the trend for the past several years.  While many organizing professionals will try to find a place to put your stuff and recommend costly storage baskets, bins, boxes, etc. in which to store it, Lipp takes it to another extreme.  By asking the following simple questions, you may find you can actually live without it saving money in the process.  The three questions are:  Do I use it?  Do I love it? Would I buy it again?  If you can answer no, to all three, get rid of it.

“Clutter Free” is a no-nonsense book.  If you really want to get rid of clutter once and for all and are not looking for just another way to store and hide your stuff, this is the most helpful books on freeing your home from clutter available today.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free as part of the Clutter Free blogging tour.  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 | January 20, 2015

Own your life by living intentionally

own your lifeLiving life intentionally means something different to everyone.  Women have so many roles to fill that sometimes it becomes a struggle to define our priorities and do life.  We are pulled in ten different directions and many times the things we are asked to do don’t line up with God’s plan for our life that day or any other.

We have to learn to take control of our life and our priorities once God has given us direction.  This is difficult for women who find it difficult to say no.  We get out of control when we commit to the wrong priorities and say yes to everyone who asks something of us.  In her book, “Own Your Life”, Sally Clarkson delivers a message every woman needs to hear.  She shows us how to control the chaos by owning our priorities and commitments (this was included in my favorite chapter).  She helps us see how to own our life by giving God control and cultivating spiritual practices that will allow us to be spiritually and emotionally healthy.  Clarkson learned these principles the hard way–by living through difficult times and choices.  Every decision we make has an impact on how we live our life.

Clarkson and her husband, Clay, co-founded Whole Heart Ministries.  She is the Women’s Ministry Director at Whole Heart Ministries and is a conference speaker and author.  For more information, visit sallyclarkson.com

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale, 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 | January 20, 2015

Praying with power and purpose

authority in prayerDutch Sheets is passionate about prayer and has a gift of empowering others who desire to transform their lives and the world through prayer.  He believes that many Christians want to pray and desire to learn how to pray effectively, but they do not realize the power and authority God has given them.

In his book, “Authority in Prayer”, Sheets reveals God’s plan for prayer, His purpose for prayer in our lives and how we can partner with God in prayer to further His kingdom.  So many times, Christians make prayer all about them when, in reality, prayer is all about our partnership with God to further His kingdom.

Through the examples of others, Sheets reveals to us that we, too, can have authority in prayer to proclaim things we never thought possible.  If you are unsure of your prayer life or desire a more effective prayer life, “Authority in Prayer” should be the next book on your reading list.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing  Group, 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 | January 20, 2015

‘The life-changing magic of tidying up’–the KonMari Method

konmariMarie Kondo began cleaning and organizing at a young age and has developed a method of cleaning and organizing, called the KonMari Method, she claims will be a one time end all method of keeping your home clean and tidy.  The method is presented in her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.

The best advice I received from her book was “what you don’t need, your family doesn’t either”.  So when you are getting rid of your stuff, throw it away or donate it to a thrift store.  Don’t give it to your sister, your brother, your son or your daughter.  Just get rid of it.

Kondo’s method involves doing everything in one fell swoop not a little at a time which means you may have to take a week or two off of work just to tackle your project.  She believes in organizing by category not by room which means all “like” items will have to be gathered from around the house and brought to one place in order to go through it.  I can see where the method could work primarily because once you do the work, you won’t do it again regardless of whether or not you need to.  She does try to help you identify the things you need to part with and those you don’t.  It is an odd method, and it’s not for everyone.  Some people, like me, would give up in the middle of the process.  Kondo does admit that some people can’t do it.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

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 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.”

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