Elizabeth Prentiss, author of Stepping Heavenward, is dear to our family!
Our family first became aware of Elizabeth Prentiss's writings from the 1850s when Mrs. White from The Legacy of Home introduced us to a Bible reading and journaling guide that accompanied Prentiss's book, Stepping Heavenward. We've also used another Bible study for girls and women to guide us while reading Stepping Heavenward. It has been one of the most rewarding studies I've ever done with my daughters.
Recently, Rebecca Perkins contacted me to see if I'd like to read and review her new updated version of Elizabeth Prentiss's book, Little Suzy's Six Birthdays.
It is delightful! Short, sweet chapters designed to be read to children ages 4-10, depending on their maturity, it is a nice update from the original text. The language style is slightly old-fashioned compared to how many children's books are written so casually today, but I found this to be a very calming book that presents timeless treasures and nuggets of wisdom in kid-friendly bits and pieces.
I have found that my children grow spiritually when reading and listening to books like Little Suzy's Six Birthdays! In addition, when they hear language and text that is at a higher level, it draws them to a higher level of language understanding and learning so that they're comfortable reading more than just the popular modern children's books that often have little substance. I highly recommend reading books with a higher level of English to your children...and the spiritual lessons in this book will be one of the best benefits of reading Little Suzy's Six Birthdays.
Here's a look at Chapter One:
Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is The New York Times bestselling author of more than ninety books. Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide. A keen interest in her mother's Plain heritage has inspired Beverly to write many Amish-related novels, beginning with The Shunning, which has sold more than one million copies and was recently made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. In 2007 The Brethren was honored with a Christy Award. She has been interviewed by both national and international media, including Time magazine, the Associated Press, and the BBC. Beverly lives with her husband, David, in Colorado. Visit her Web site at www.beverlylewis.com for more information.
Disclosure: Bethany House Publishers provided me with one paperback copy of The Fiddler in exchange for Joy In Our Journey's honest review of this book. No other compensation was provided.
Janice Thompson spins a story full of humor and crazy family dynamics in this colorful inside look at Hollywood with a healthy dose of romance.
Tia Morales is used to calling the shots. She’s the director of the popular sitcom Stars Collide, and her life on set is calculated and orderly. Well, most of the time. But her life outside the studio is another matter. If only she could get her family to behave as well as her stars do! When she starts butting heads with handsome camera operator Jason Harris, it’s enough to send a girl over the edge. Will she ever learn to let go and take life—and love—as it comes?
Joy In Our Journey's Review (written by guest reviewer, Jan):
How could an uptight, perfectionist, award-winning director cope with her off-the-wall family, boy-crazy sister, and a cast to work with that is at once fun, kind, caring, and also a little crazy, and still keep on with her life? How can she overcome her reluctance to trust anyone of the male persuasion, and find that man God has for her, if there is such a person? In Hollywood, it is no problem. The land of fantasy sometimes becomes reality. How Tia not only finds that one true love and allows him into her crazy life and her not-exactly-typical family, is a story that you enjoy. You will laugh at her inept brothers who are remodeling her house; you will breath a sigh of relief when she puts another great show into the "can", and rejoice when she admits her need of that special man. Read and enjoy!
The Director's Cut is available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller - from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker who reaches thousands of wives each year. She is the author of three books and has been a guest on several national radio programs, including Focus on the Family. She and her husband have four children and live in California.
Praying God's Word for Your Husband: What's it all about?
Women often offer up polite prayers to God without any real hope of seeing change in their marriage, their husbands, or themselves. Kathi Lipp, author of Praying God’s Word for Your Husband, directs women to Scripture and shows wives how to pray God’s Word boldly and in full confidence of seeing God-sized results.
With a light touch and an approachable style, Lipp shows women what a blessing it is to pray for their husbands, addressing specific concerns, like praying for his:
- career and finances
- relationship with God and others
- emotional health
- and more
Lipp shows readers how to stop feeling helpless and start making a difference in their husbands’ lives through bold, expectant prayer, whether they are new believers or have been walking with God for years.
Was this book helpful to me and my prayer life . . . and ultimately, to my husband?
I was expecting more of a lecture-style book, typical of non-fiction books. I was pleasantly surprised to find touching and poignant illustrations and true retellings of events in the author's life scattered throughout this book.
What I love about Praying God's Word for Your Husband the most is how I can look up a specific topic, like joblessness/employment, or depression or a husband's relationship with God, and I'll find specific Bible verses to go along with that topic, as well as heartfelt prayers and readings I can pray through, if I so choose.
I've heard some people say that they don't need a book like this to pray in a certain way, that they don't like to read through specific short prayers on specific topics. That's fine! They can avoid this book! But I would like to say that even if this kind of thing isn't your "style", it isn't wrong or incorrect to try something new for yourself, that could possibly enhance your prayer life beyond what you are currently experiencing!
I've been praying for my husband for many years now, even before we met! I enjoy praying for him, and I even have a little "31 Day Plan/Praying for Our Husbands" page printed out next to my calendar. Praying for my husband and others is very important to me! Sometimes, though, our prayers can become stagnant and repetitive. This book is encouraging us to pray through specific Scriptures for our husbands. We can also find Bible verses that speak to our husband's (or our own) specific needs, and pray through those verses. I've found this to provide more richness to my prayer time, and it has encouraged me to have more hope in what the Lord will do through my husband in the years to come.
Here's an example:
Praying God's Word When He Is Overwhelmed at Work
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Lord, I know you go with my husband as he does his work. You will never abandon him. He is feeling overwhelmed today with the stress of life. Calm his fears and give him strength and courage to face anything that comes his way. Let him know you are holding him up so that he may persevere.
He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalms 46:10)
I pray that my husband can cease striving and know that you are the God of his life. I pray that he would put you in the proper place in his life.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. (Psalms 61:2-4)
I believe your Word, which tells us that You love us. I know You see my husband's heavy heart right now. I know You are the answer for His every need. I ask you now to be his safe refuge, his fortress of strength. Protect his heart from the enemy. Encourage him and give him rest. He needs you now, Lord, and I know that You will lead him to rest in You. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Spirit.
Praying God's Word for Your Husband is available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller - from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Disclosure: I received one paperback copy of Praying God's Word for Your Husband in exchange for my honest review of this book. No other compensation was provided.
Joy In Our Journey's review:
Diana Wallis Taylor has told a story where you will most likely already know the ending, but you still want to read it to the last page to see what happens! This would be a great book for a book club to read and discuss.
A beautiful girl blossoming into womanhood, Mary has high hopes for a life filled with learning, family, and young love. In one dreadful night, all of that changes. The nightmares come first, then the waking visions of unspeakable terror, until Mary hardly remembers her dreams for the future.
Can the Most High deliver her from this torment? How long must she wait for healing?
This vivid portrait of the enigmatic Mary of Magdala comes to life in the hands of an imaginative master storyteller. Diana Wallis Taylor introduces you to a Mary who is both utterly original and respectful of the biblical account, opening your eyes to a redemption that knows no bounds.
A Note About the Author:
Her third novel, Mary Magdalene, was released in June 2012, and she recently completed her fourth novel of biblical fiction for Revell: Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. She won first place in the San Diego Book Awards for her short story, "Phipps and the Jay", and first place in Christian Romance for her book Smoke Before the Wind. She also won first place in Christian Fiction for her manuscript, "House of the Forest", and second place last year for Martha all in the Reader's Favorite Book Review and Award Contest. Her collection of poetry, Wings of the Wind, came out in 2006. Her writing contributions appear in various compilation books and magazines. Diana wrote the words and melodies to an Easter cantata called "Glorious" recently completed with her fellow collaborator, Carolyn Prentice, who did the orchestration.
Diana lives with her husband, Frank, in San Diego, California. Between them they have six grown children and ten grandchildren. She enjoys speaking and sharing her heart with women of all ages. In addition to her speaking and writing, she serves on the Board of the San Diego Christian Writer's Guild, the board of her church, sings on the worship team, and enjoys taking part in Professional Women's Fellowship.
I could have let it bother me, over the years. Instead, I merely smile and shrug it off. There are more important things in life to worry about, like whether or not I remembered to bring my debit card with me to the grocery store - when I'm standing there looking at the checker who has just totaled my full cart of purchases.
Guess what the main character's name is?
So, the author accidentally misspelled the main character's name.
Oh, I mean, my name.
Actually, I saw bits and pieces about this new book posted here and there on the internet. And I thought it was pretty amusing one evening when I noticed that the author, who goes by the pen name "Charity Hawkins", contacted me on Facebook! I guess she was doing a search for people with a similar name as the main character, and my name popped up! Ha!
Politely, she wanted to know a little bit about me. Normally, I'd hit the delete button at a stranger who was asking for personal information. But since I'd already heard about this book, and I had heard its publisher, Todd Wilson, speak in person at least once before, I replied to her careful questions.
"Charity Hawkins" was thrilled to learn that I was also a homeschooling mama of my children, a follower of Jesus Christ, and had a homeschooling website of my own!
We decided that I could do a book review of her new book (starring ME! - just kidding!), and I would also host a giveaway for another brand new copy of her book.
Charity Hawkins (although not her real name) is a wife and mother of three children. She makes her home in Oklahoma where she homeschools…though she still has no idea what she’s doing. When she’s not homeschooling her children, she’s probably enjoying a Thai iced tea, reading a book, or working on her new hobby…making dinner. You can read more from Charity at her website and blog. Go to www.thehomeschoolexperiment.com
What did I think about The Homeschool Experiment?
I took The Homeschool Experiment with me around town while I was reading it. After all, for busy homeschool moms, the best times to read books for pleasure are at the children's orthodontist, or while waiting for your child to get a haircut, or during a child's violin lesson, etc. Sitting in a quiet room at home, pleasantly reading a book, rarely happens around here.
While I didn't flash the book around town, saying, "Look what I'm reading right now!", it was interesting to hear people making comments about this book. I haven't experienced that for quite some time. Maybe because it is so unusual these days for the average American to see someone reading a physical book while waiting around town, instead of texting and viewing the internet on a smart phone, it is shocking to them. I don't know!
The orthodontist, who himself homeschools his children, said, "Is that for real? An experiment?" He was amused when I explained that the main character was none other than Julianne Miller. Of course, the names sound identical when pronounced, so of course, he thought it was about me, right? I made sure he knew that the book wasn't really about me. Ha!
Sure enough, I laughed so hard that it was embarrassing! Gulp.
My mom took The Homeschool Experiment with her on a trip to Alaska, and she got to the hilariously funny part (which I didn't tell her about beforehand), and she laughed so hard that she actually called me from Alaska to tell me about it! I wasn't home, so she left a message, but I'll tell you, I had another good laugh listening to her message!
Okay, so about The Homeschool Experiment: it is hilariously funny (oops, I already said that), and it is poignant and relevant to any homeschool mother's life no matter what stage of homeschooling she may be in. You will be filled with hope, encouragement, laughter, some great ideas about homeschooling, and discernment about homeschooling, all while reading a knee-slapping story.
This may sound weird, but I even think that people who are opposed to homeschooling will get something out of this book. Seriously - it is written so well and is such an excellent story. It may not change their minds about educating children at home, but I know it will give them more understanding about the whole process.
Disclosure: I received two paperback copies of The Homeschool Experiment - one for myself to read, and one to give away here, in exchange for my honest review of this book. No other compensation was provided.
In a small Southern community where everyone is holding tight to something, the biggest challenge may be learning to let go.
Becca Anderson is finally on the trajectory she’s longed for. Having been in the ministry trenches for years, she’s been recruited as the newest speaker of a large Christian women’s conference. But her husband feels called to become the pastor of his late father’s church in Hope Springs. Will small town living affect her big ministry dreams?
As these women come together, facing disappointments both public and private, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches that have long been divided along racial lines. God's plan for them in Hope Springs—and for Hope Springs itself—is bigger than they ever imagined.
Joy In Our Journey's Review:
In the development of the story, the lives of many family members are revealed—exposed—explained. Some have fascinating lives, some have devastating history, some are filled with drama and mystery. Some are only mentioned but are not developed at all, or maybe only slightly.
While there are many “light” moments, there are also many very serious and life-changing moments and events in this story, some which affect the readers of the novel both mentally and emotionally.
The main characters are seriously dedicated to their belief in Christ and devoted to following His directions for their lives. While pursuing their goals as Christians, they are confronted with sadness, doubts, disappointments, and fears, as well as joy and victory! They have to become aware of how to live in Christ and accept that life on earth is not all that we always hope and sometimes expect it will be.
An interesting, sometimes confusing story with many characters (the “family tree” at the beginning of the book is definitely a HUGE benefit), this is also an interesting story of human relationships with many spiritual insights. It reveals truths that can benefit any reader who will recognize their own weaknesses.
Enjoy this review!
Book Summary for Waiting for Sunrise
Sometimes finding your future means making peace with your past...
Patsy Milstrap wishes she could leave her past behind. Though she tries to put on a brave front for the sake of her family, the wounds still ache, and the scars on her soul are still deeply felt. At her concerned husband's gentle insistence, they take a vacation from South Carolina on Cedar Key, an idyllic island on Florida's Gulf Coast. A week in paradise will do them good, he says.
When a familiar -- and most unexpected -- face greets her at a seaside restaurant, Patsy knows she can no longer run from the past. But what will opening old wounds mean? And what will the future hold?
With a large helping of Southern charm, Waiting for Sunrise is a touching story of family, young love, and the need for forgiveness. Eva Marie Everson expertly draws out the bittersweet moments of life, weaving them into a tale that will envelop your soul.
Joy In Our Journey's Review of Waiting for Sunrise:
Were you born in the late 30's, grew up in the 40's and went to high school in the 50's? Waiting for Sunrise will bring back fond memories. Even if you didn't, Eva Marie Everson has written a book you will love! This is a truly well written story as well as fulll of the memories of that time.
How do you handle the really difficult things that are a part of life? Hurtful things that not only cause you pain, but are destroying your marriage and family? Patsy has much to try to forget, but she can't and finds it very hard to understand the deep hurts she has experienced. With the love of her husband, her family, and most importantly the Lord, Patsy slowly finds her way to peace and healing. This story - of a loving husband and how he helps his wife to again become the woman he married - is a book that is hard to put down.
I can confidentially recommend Waiting for Sunrise by Eva Marie Everson, and know you will enjoy it!
Author Eva Marie Everson:
Brittany, age 12, was the guinea pig this time. She read the book very quickly - amazing! - and quickly typed up her review. I'm very pleased to read Brittany's thoughts, which you'll see in her review, below.
Book Summary of The Best Friend by Melody Carlson
Brittany's review of The Best Friend
This book is actually pretty interesting! It’s about Lishia, who befriends a popular girl, and ends up messing up her life pretty bad. It’s a little bit stereotypical, nothing “out of the blue”, but written in a style that will catch your attention.
The front cover of the book is stunning! You would never think that it was a “Christian” book, if you get what I mean. It looks like any other teen novel, which is a good thing, for me, at least.
I thought this book shared a good message, but there were a few things I didn't like so well. This might seem like a good book for pre-teens, but I don’t recommend it for anyone under the age of 14, at least 13. There were a lot of references to alcohol, people getting drunk; and it mentioned people getting wasted a few times. Even the main character in the story got drunk in the book.
There was a reference to someone “sleeping” with someone else, which I didn’t think needed to be put in the story. During the book, people swore a few times, but instead of actually typing the word, she just wrote something like, “Riley used language Lishia did not agree with.” I thought that was pretty cool.
However, at the very end of the book, one of the characters said, “You ungrateful little bi-" and then it cut off the rest of the word, but you knew what she said. I didn’t think this was good at all.
Overall, this book is good, and I will buy the next one in the series when it comes out. For now, however, there are a few things in the book I wasn’t pleased about.
Thank you, Brittany, for helping us with this book review!
She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, The Jerk Magnet, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. Melody was selected for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books in 2010 and 2011. She and her husband live in central Oregon. For more information about Melody visit her website at www.melodycarlson.com.
Years of Nazi occupation have stolen much from Brigitte Durand.
Hope for a future, especially for a woman with a past like hers.
But that changes the day American fighter pilot Tom Jaeger is shot down over occupied France. Picked up by the Resistance, Tom becomes the linchpin in their plan to infiltrate a Germans-only brothel and get critical intel out through Brigitte, a prostitute rumored to be sympathetic to the Allied cause.
D-day looms, and everyone knows that invasion is imminent. But so is treachery, and the life of one American pilot unexpectedly jeopardizes everything. He becomes more important than the mission to a man who cannot bear to lose another agent and to a woman who is more than just a prostitute, who finally realizes that her actions could change the course of history.
The place is France during the German occupancy.
The story centers around four girls who occupy a house, which is reserved by them exclusively for the German soldier's 'entertainment'. The deprivation and mistreatment of the French people by the Germans led to many unthinkable actions in order to get military secrets and information to help the resistance. Could this information have been obtained in a less demeaning way? Maybe, but that is the story.
Flame of Resistance is well written, but also disturbing in its premise. After reading the book, it was clear that the life the French people led during the German occupation was horrible. Starvation, deprivation of basic needs, and the constant knowledge that their lives were of little value to the occupiers helped the reader to understand the people's actions and decisions, even if we would not agree with them.
The book was very interesting, but I would not recommend it for young readers.
About the Author:
Christy Award-winning author Tracy Groot lives in Michigan with her husband and three sons. She is the author of The Brother’s Keeper and Stones of My Accusers—which both received starred Booklist reviews—and Madman, a Christy Award-winner that also received a starred Publishers Weekly review. Luckily, she and her husband own a coffee shop in Holland, Michigan, where a caffeine junkie can find acceptability and safe haven. Visit Tracy online at www.tracygroot.com.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!
You'll find me in the kitchen
trying new Trim Healthy Mama recipes, loving God, and carrying out that love as I bless my husband and teen daughters.
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