mockingbirdsLeah stutters.  She is withdrawn.  She struggles to make friends.  This can be lonely for a child.  But when her parents move to Mattingly, her world changes all because of an invisible friend she calls the Rainbow Man.  When the Rainbow Man, through a picture painted by Leah, brings hope to a man who had practically given up, the town gets excited, but a local pastor is wary and warns the townspeople to beware of the girl with the vivid imagination.

When events begin to happen that seem to lead the town down a dark path, the pastor becomes even more resolute on his mission to rid the town of the girl and her imaginary friend.  By the time he realizes that the little girl may be hearing from God more clearly than he is, he fights to save the town.  But are his efforts enough?

This is a can’t put down book that is thought-provoking and strangely spooky.  It is convicting.  If you aren’t listening to God, this book will challenge you to be still before God’s still, small voice.

Billy Coffee has written three books about Mattingly, including this one, “In the Heart of the Dark Wood” and “The Devil Walks in Mattingly”.  Some descriptions say that you can read them in any order, but I would definitely advise reading them in the order I listed above.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.  You can also purchase the three books in one volume on Kindle only at this link.

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 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 14, 2015

Chasing your dreams

dreamAll of us have God-given dreams that we yearn to see fulfilled.  Some of us fail to fulfill these dreams out of fear–of rejection, failure or a “simple” matter of not wanting to get out of our comfort zone.  But some do get off the sidelines and follow their dreams and those are the ones who most likely fulfill their purpose whether they experience tremendous success or seeming failure.

Pete Wilson’s book, “What Keeps You Up at Night?”, to show you what to do if you have an unfulfilled dream, how to act on it and move forward.  You will learn how to recognize and confront the fears that paralyze you and how to turn to God in faith and trust to discover what steps you need to take in order to pursue the dream God has put into your heart.

Wilson’s book will encourage the discouraged.  He will show you how to give your fears and doubts to the Lord and give your life meaning.  The reflection questions and next steps at the end of each chapter will help you apply the wisdom Wilson teaches.  If you are struggling with where to start or if you don’t want to end up with unfulfilled dreams and purpose, this is a must read, but only if you are willing to pursue the next steps.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

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 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 5, 2015

Love your neighbor, but don’t be weird

love neighbor

In January 2014, my husband bought a house.  And not just any house–a fixer-upper.  I was not amused.  After 17 months, we still aren’t finished, but at least we are able to live in it, so I appreciated the chapter of Amy Lively’s book, “How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird”, where she discussed her experience while renovating her home.

I prayed over my attitude and God convinced me (sort of) that He would use this house for His glory.  i am determined to create (eventually) an inviting and warm home where people will feel comfortable and free to share their lives with us.  So far we have hosted several small groups that have spoken volumes into our lives.

My next step is to take Amy’s ideas (which are wonderful and, at the same time, frightening) into my neighborhood (without being weird). I am sure all of my neighbors know who we are–the power tools we used until late at night and sometimes early on a Saturday and Sunday morning was a great introduction.  And lest we forget, the smoke alarm (false alarm) going off in the early morning hours that sounded all over the neighborhood.

Christ’s command to love our neighbor takes the Great Commission to a new (un)comfort zone.  When I was growing up, the neighbors all knew each other.  We celebrated together, played outdoor games together, went to school together.  Today, we are lucky if we recognize each other in their own driveway.

In many ways, I am looking forward to sharing my life with my neighbors.   But I’m also fearful.  At least Amy’s do’s and don’ts will help me avoid the weirdness that comes from knocking on doors and inviting others to my home.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 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 5, 2015

Ulrich Zwingli biography is informative work on the Reformation

zwingliUlrich Zwingli, a contemporary of Martin Luther, was instrumental in bringing the Reformation to Switzerland.  It is an informative book about an important, but forgotten, figure in religious history who was overshadowed by Luther and Calvin.  In spite of his important contribution to the Reformation, Zwingli’s moral character quite possibly kept him from being more well known.  If you want to know what really happened during the Reformation, this is a necessary biography to read.  It is short and to the point and will provide additional information about a man who brought much insight into the Scriptures and encouraging the people to read the Bible for themselves.  William Boekestein gives a good deal of information about the Reformation in addition to his insight into the life and times of Ulrich Zwingli.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews, a service of Cross Focused Media, LLC, 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 5, 2015

‘Bash and the Chocolate Milk Cows’ imaginative

bashWeirdness and craziness is on the menu when Beamer visits his farm cousin, Bash.  This year, Bash, schemes for a way for the cows to make chocolate milk on April Fool’s Day.  Amidst all the practical jokes, Beamer unwraps clues about baptism and the Great Commission.

This is the third installment in Burton W. Cole’s Bash Series.  It is written for children ages 8 to 12, but I would say that it is probably best for 8-10 year olds.  It reminds me of a time when kids played outside and entertained themselves instead of playing with video games and watching television.  Although their shenanigans get them into lots of trouble, the adults make the best of it and teach the children valuable lessons.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Shelton Interactive, 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 5, 2015

My daughter loves “The Diva Diaries”

diva diariesThis is “the girl version of ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid'” says my 9-year-old daughter.  Catie Conrad, the diva of the diaries, is the self-proclaimed most unpopular girl in middle school.  She struggles to be a Christian and do the right thing while dealing with the drama queen of school, Miranda Maroni, and the antics of her little brother she calls the “germ”.  She has to be nice to her brother and civil to Miranda, her least favorite people on Earth.  She and her best friend, Sophie, keep each other sane as they put the frustrations of studying and tests into perspective.  Catie wants to be a fashion designer and designs her own clothes.  Miranda is jealous and always tries to undermine Catie and make fun of her.

My 9-year-old loves this series.  The story is fascinating and teaches young girls Christian values and how to deal with others.  Not only does the story entertain, but it also teaches girls how to turn to God when they figure out they can’t handle things on their own.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Shelton Interactive, 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 5, 2015

Don’t judge a book by its cover

sidebysideThe description on the back cover doesn’t do justice to Jana Kelley’s “Side By Side”.  When I first signed up for the book tour, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t enjoy it.  However, one page in and I was hooked.  Mia, an American Christian wife and mom to three small children, moves to North Sudan with her husband.  Halimah is a young girl who becomes a Christian in a country where an Islam who becomes a Christian can be put to death.

Mia struggles to live in the Sudanese culture.  She is frustrated with the language and the culture.  She gets homesick and begs to go home.  Although she struggles with cultural differences and trying to find her place in a country where she feels lost and alone, Mia desires to follow God and submit to her husband.

When Halimah’s family discovers her secret and goes into hiding at Mia’s, Mia discovers her purpose and that she can find joy in her circumstances.

“Side By Side” is an excellent fictional account of how many Christians are living in Sudan.  Muslims who convert to Christianity many times have to keep it a secret from their family and live with the knowledge that if found they will be disowned or worse.  Mia was frustrated because she missed her freedom in the United States but after meeting Halimah she realized that there are some things worse than missing the comfort and security of home.

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.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | April 27, 2015

The Art of Crowdsourcing

mindsharingLior Zoref, who worked for 14 years at Microsoft, discovered due to social media that more and more people have turned to crowdsourcing to find information. In “Mindsharing”, Zoref discusses what crowdsourcing is, the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., and how to use social media to get information about everything from health issues, parenting dilemmas and marriage questions.

Zoref’s book is good for people who are unfamiliar with social media and want to know more about interacting with their friends, followers and influencers.  Most people are already familiar with crowdsourcing and mindsharing they just didn’t know what to call it.  The Internet holds a wealth of information, but when it comes to what works and what doesn’t, the experiences of others is what counts.  With social media, we can benefit from those experiences.

I recommend this book only if you don’t know how to ask for advice from friends or influences in your social media network, or if you aren’t currently using social media and need a reason to start.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 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 | April 27, 2015

Replace anxiety with Peace

worryDoes worry take over your thoughts or your life?  Even if you only worry about certain things or you worry about everything, you can learn to replace fear with peace.  Dr. Tim Lane, President of the Institute for Pastoral Care and author of “Living Without Worry”, offers real answers.

Dr. Lane discusses worry that accompanies your past, your present and your future.  He shows readers how to replace worry without truth and how to cast our anxieties on Christ and leave them there with peace.  Each chapter ends with questions for reflection that will help apply what you read.

Dr. Lane’s book is a helpful resource to help you deal with worry.  It will help you realize the uselessness and futility of worry and how real, lasting peace is possible through Christ.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews, a service of Cross Focused Media, LLC, 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 | April 19, 2015

‘What about the Church?’

“What About the Church” contains six separate booklets of sermons prepared and presented by Russell M. Stendal.  Each sermon is about the responsibilities we have as God’s people living in the end times and on this side of the new covenant.

Our denominations, groups and organized movements don’t measure up to God’s standards.  The Scriptures don’t outline the structure of the church other than what Paul says in his letters.  Pastors and church leaders may not approve of Stendal’s thoughts on tithing.  It is actually the most enlightening part of the book.

I have read several of Stendal’s books and have found them particularly thought-provoking.  I would have enjoyed hearing these sermons presented.  He does not sugarcoat his message.  Some of his messages are hard to hear.  He bases his writing on the Scripture, and he has an interesting theology.  I am sure that it comes from his life raised on the mission field and living as a missionary all of his life.  He has written many books, including “Rescue the Captors” about his experience as a hostage of Marxist rebels in Colombia,  South America.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Life Sentence Publishing, 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.”

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,623 other followers