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.”

Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | May 23, 2017

Life is loud–rest is a whisper

whispersHas your life gotten so busy and your world so noisy that the struggle for peace is elusive?  Have you forgotten how to rest your soul so you can be refreshed?

Bonnie Gray’s “Whispers of Rest” is a 40-day devotional detox for your soul and leads you on a spiritual journey guiding you to greater peace.  Each day of the 40 day journey offers Scripture, prayers, activities to guide you into rest and a time of refreshment, reflection and practices and challenges.

The simplicity of Gray’s book and the helpful suggestions and activities are amazing.  If you feel stressed and need to catch your breath, your soul is yearning for this journey.  It is time to nurture yourself and soak yourself in God’s love.

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 18, 2017

A homicide detective makes the case for faith

forensicJ. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective and former atheist who believes that most of us are not well prepared to make the case for what we believe.

In “Forensic Faith”, Wallace teaches us the principles investigators use so we can develop a clear, evidence-based faith.  Wallace walks us through devising strategies to master the evidence for Christianity, employing the techniques of a detective and becoming a better communicator.

The stand-out principle is that we must be able to defend our faith without using verses from the Bible or this must not be our only go-to.  Non-believers are skeptical and the Bible will not necessarily convince them.  We must be able to back up our belief with outside sources.  This will involve a little research and some work, but the rewards will be worth it.

Wallace pin1

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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 8, 2017

Becoming a Young Woman of God

devotedFor the most part, Marjorie Jackson’s target audience in “Devoted” is young women.  Her desire is to teach the young woman of God how to dive into God’s Word and discover how to be the woman God has created her to be.

Each inspiring devotional (31 in all) offers a scripture verse, a short commentary, personal/group questions, a challenge for the day and a unique hand-lettered art page for coloring.

Young women have a lot of distractions and our culture is always changing.  It is important for godly women to know how to navigate the world in the truth of God’s Word.  The questions will make you think and the challenges will help you apply what you’ve learned and put it into practice.

Although intended for young women, any age group can appreciate and learn from the truths presented in Jackson’s book.

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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 | April 30, 2017

Does your self-examination turn into cross-examination?

think againJared Mellinger asks, “do you overdose on introspection” in his book, “Think Again”.  Are we focusing too much on how we see ourselves than how God sees us?

A little self-examination is good, but if we obsess too much about our faults, our guilt, what we have done, what we haven’t done, then we become our own idol.

Mellinger explains how the gospel frees us from our own thoughts and opens us up to the truth about ourselves.  He reminds us to put our focus on Christ and find our purpose in Him, not ourselves.

Some of us have grown stagnant because we focus on the guilt Christ died to save us from.  Mellinger helps us define our false guilt.

This short book is filled with wisdom and sensitivity.  He doesn’t add more guilt to our already full plate, but with sensitivity, compassion and wisdom sits us down and confronts our misunderstanding of introspection and guide us to the truth that God yearns for us to know.

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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 | April 28, 2017

Praying through the Bible–Devotional Commentary

prayingScripture is full of examples of prayers that can add variety to our prayers and enrich our prayer life.  Some people have never had anyone teach them how to pray and others desire to improve.  God is pleased that we talk to Him and is not looking for perfection or a certain type of prayer.  However, our prayers can become less focused on content and more focused on God when we have a prayer plan.

Studying the prayers we find in Scripture can help us in our prayer life.  Markus McDowell’s “Praying Through the Bible-Vol 1” focuses on the prayers in Genesis through Joshua, and each chapter contains the passage, a study of its background, an exploration of its meaning and an application.

McDowell’s book is a great devotional and a great benefit to your time with God.  I am looking forward to more volumes covering all of the prayers of the Bible.  These will be great resources for my prayer time.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from Interviews and Reviews 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.”

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