Posted in Book Reviews

Which Shape Should I Be? by Pamela Kennedy

Book Review

Which Shape Should I Be? by Pamela Kennedy, is a great kids book!

Content

Not only does it teach your child shapes, but also reinforces the idea that we are the shape, and the way God made us to be. The book includes colorful and fun illustrations.

Recommendation

I wish it would have focused more on the being wonderfully made by God, a bit more, but overall is wonderful book for kids. I know my kids love it!

More Books by the Author

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Posted in Book Reviews

New Every Morning by Phil Barfoot

Book Review

New Every Morning, by Phil Barfoot, is a 365 day devotional, specifically focused on the aspect of worship.

Content

Each devotion is written by a different worship pastor, from across the country.

While the devotionals are insightful and very interesting to read, the font was so small, it hurt my eyes, and I had to stop reading it.

Recommendation

My recommendation to the publisher is to increase the font size, so people can enjoy this well written devotional.

About the Author

Phil Barfoot

Dr. Phil Barfoot is an internationally known composer, author, and music ministry professional. He has written and created more than 40 major choral collections and musicals, including High Praises, which won a Dove Award for choral collection of the year.

He is also the author of The Ultimate Idea Book for Music Ministry, used by more than 7,000 churches and universities in the U. S. and Canada. 

Phil has created and composed some of the best-selling choral music in Christian music. 

He is currently the CEO and President of Celebration Concert Tours International, a Franklin, TN based choir company. He is also the CEO and President of CCT Music, a Christian Music Publishing Company. He and his wife, Sheri, have three grown children, Amy, Aaron and Adam. They reside in Franklin, TN.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Insanity of Sacrifice by Nik Ripken

Book Review

The Insanity of Sacrifice, by Nik Ripken, was both challenging and inspiring.

This 90-day devotional is uniquely written by experienced missionaries with persecution and sacrificial experience.

Content

I like how the author shares their journey to learn lessons of sacrifice and challenging the reader to consider the same principles.

The devotions are just the right length, begin with a scripture, and end with a prayer.

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to anyone desiring to grow in their walk with Christ seriously and earnestly.

About the Author

Nik Ripken is the world’s leading expert on the persecuted church in Muslim contexts. He is a missions veteran of 30 years, having served primarily in North Africa and the Middle East.

He is the author of The Insanity of God and the new book The Insanity of Obedience. He and his wife have done extensive research on the persecuted church, and on Muslim background believers, in approximately 72 countries.

Posted in Living BOLD, My Books, My Faith

Book Release Party ~ Reflections

Hooray! My first ever book release party is in the books!

Thank you Erin for helping me set up my display!! It looked great!!

Thank You

First, I want to give a special thank you and shout out to Eric and Kristen Meeter, owners of Pressed Studio + Store in downtown Spencer. You both were an amazing couple to work with, and am so thankful for your wisdom, guidance, and hospitality.

Second, I want to thank Bri Schubert, owner of Bri Lifestyle Photography, for capturing the evening on film. Those pictures to come later, but so thankful for her willingness to be a part of the night.

with Bri Schubert

Last but not least, I want to thank my friends and family, as well as everyone else who was in attendance. As the author, I was so blessed to see the faces of those who the book will be impacting and I pray it is a blessing to each and everyone who reads it.


Reflection

As I reflect on the events of last night’s book release party, I find myself both joyous and thankful, as well as resistant and distant to God. Let me explain why.

The Due Date

As some of you know, yesterday was not only the book release party, but it was also my son’s due date, three years ago. Some asked if I did this on purpose, but I myself didn’t realize it until after the event had been scheduled.

When I realized the common date, I felt this sense of awe and deep sadness. What a better way to honor his memory, on his due date anniversary, than to share his story, our story, to those who need it most.

As a grieving mom, I am so thankful for the growth and healing that has taken place since then.

Vulnerable to Resentment

Yet, there is still part of me that is vulnerable, angry, and resentful. Just because I published a book about my experience, does not mean I stopped struggling with these feelings.

No matter how much I’ve already written about our miscarriage, it still stings. No matter how many times I’ve poured my heart and soul out, sharing with someone, there is still a somberness that remains. Can anybody relate?

Have in Common

As I was talking to several women and couples at the signing, I began to see a pattern among their experiences.

Not so Comforting Words

First, words from others can be more hurtful than helpful. If you haven’t been through it, don’t pretend to understand. Don’t try to fix it – because let’s face it, you’re not God – and you can’t.

Never assume it’s anyone’s fault but Satan, the deviser of evil, destruction, death, and despair. Who are you to know the true reason a baby dies? Who are you to yoke someone in despair, with an impossibly heavy burden?

Husbands

From many women I’ve talked to, several have made comments about their husbands or significant other’s reaction to the miscarriage.

Sadly, many say their husband dismisses it and disregards the wife’s feelings about the loss of their child.

After talking to my husband on several occasions, I have some compassion for these dads. My husband explained he didn’t get a chance to bond with our son. As such, his grieving looked much different than mine, and lasted much less time.

However, I urge husbands to have compassion on your wives. Don’t push her away because you are afraid to be vulnerable with her, or to seem weak. She needs to see you are hurting, so she knows she isn’t alone. You are the father, you are the only one she can truly share this baby with, and the loss of them.

A Success

To be honest, I have struggled for weeks with anxiety and worrying about this release party. Not because of anything circumstantial, but simply because of my inner struggle.

Yesterday, I was finally about to put that to rest. Those who attending the party blessed me with their stories and support. I am truly thankful for the treasure God produced out of our tragedy.

*I dedicate the party and this post to our son. We love you Sweetheart!*

Posted in Book Reviews

The Promises of God Bible Storybook

Review

The Promises of God Bible Storybook revolutionizes the concept of a children’s Bible.

Content

Not only does author, Jennifer Lyell, tell well-known biblical content and stories, but she also includes very important parts of Scripture not often included in children’s material.

Additionally, this Bible Storybook differs from others on the market.

It specifically focuses on the promises God makes throughout the entirety of Scripture, connecting the dots across biblical history.

I highly admire and value these sentiments.

Illustrations

Not only is this storybook filled with quality, biblical content, but incredible illustrations as well. The detail and the rare scenes of the Bible illustrated are quite remarkable and in a realistic style.

Recommendation

As an author, blogger, and parent myself, I highly recommend this book for families. Parents desiring to teach your children the promises of God, and teaching then the continuity of Scripture throughout.

This is one of the only children’s Bibles to include books of the Bible, such as Job, Isaiah, Galatians, and Revelation (to name a few).

About the Author

Jennifer Lyell has taught hundreds of children the Bible over the course of many years and finds her joy in those end-of- the-year Sunday School classes when the children teach it back to her.

Granted, teaching kiddos might be her passion, but it’s not her day job. For that she serves as Director of Book Publishing and Merchandising at LifeWay Christian Resources.

The hundreds of titles that the books business team has acquired, developed, or managed under Jennifer’s leadership include more than a dozen New York Times bestsellers, as well as multiple Christianity Today Book of the Year winners. Jennifer is an often off-the-path hiker who is happiest when adventuring (just like a child!).

Posted in Book Reviews

A SLUGS & BUGS Story: Are We Still Friends?

Review

When I saw this book as an option for review, I couldn’t resist. Between the name of the series and the colorful illustrations, I was hooked.

Content

Are We Still Friends? by Randall Goodgame, is a fun, playful story about friendship.

The friends, Sparky and Slug are getting ready for a picnic with the rest of their friends. But when Slug sees the delicious pizza flavored chips Sparky brought, he couldn’t resist trying just one.

I won’t give away the rest of the story, but this book teaches a great lesson about telling the truth and the importance in trust, especially in friendship.

Illustrations

As I said in the beginning, the colorful and playful illustrations caught my eye right away.

The illustrations are detailed, yet simple; colorful, yet blends well together; and creative, yet straightforward.

I love the way the illustrator made the characters so memorable and unique.

Recommendation

I (and my kids) highly recommend this book. Not only for the content and the illustrations, but for the strong, godly message to tell the truth, and to love and forgive our friends.

Forgiveness and trust are key to any successful relationship.

Meet the Author

Randall Goodgame is a singer/songwriter and the creative force behind the family music brand Slugs & Bugs. He has recorded eight solo albums and contributed to numerous others.

He has written songs for VeggieTales, Caedmon’s Call, Andrew Peterson, Jason Gray, Jill Phillips, and Eric Peters. Randall and his family call Nashville home, but he also began touring in 2010 to bring Slugs & Bugs to families nationwide.

Posted in My Books

The Miscarriage Project is Published!!

For those of you who’ve been following my writing and publishing journey, of The Miscarriage Project, I have exciting news!!

Finally Published!

After a three-and-a-half-year long journey, The Miscarriage Project is finally published and to purchase, as of yesterday!!

Behind the Cover

Here is the official Cover Reveal for my special blog readers:

Cover Reveal

It may seem a bit simplistic, but that is how I intended it to be. I didn’t want to trigger anyone who might read the book, with anything too sentimental or graphic.

Instead, the idea came to me of the three hearts, you see above.

Red & Black Hearts

The red heart signifies the life of the child, but also the love of the parents for the child. The black heart signifies the death of the child, as well as the grief, pain, and loss experienced by the parents.

Golden Heart

However, my favorite heart is the gold heart, which signifies the eternal life with Jesus that child has, as well as the hope parents can have in Jesus Christ, their ultimate Healer and Comforter.

I Have a Story…

Since God gave me this idea for the cover, rich with symbolism, an awesome coincidence happened.

While I was running an errand for a friend, in an office, I spotted something – and what do you suppose I saw?

You got it! Three hearts, colored with the exact three colors you see above! This decoration had an arrow through it, which looked quite exciting in my opinion.

Words of Wisdom

However, after consulting some trusted people in my life, I decided to not include the arrow, because it may give the wrong message.

I though it would be neat, because the Bible talks about children being like arrows in the quiver of a warrior, and I loved the symbolism there .

Even though we lost these children, their lives still matter and matter for God’s eternal kingdom.

Although, to others, it may represent their death and pain, and that was not what I wanted for my readers.

The Cause

My vision for this book is to help as many parents as possible!

Here’s how you can help:

Pray!

1 – First and foremost, you can pray. Pray for the book to reach the people who so desperately need it. Pray it is a comfort for them.

Purchase

2 – Purchase a book for yourself or a friend. This way, you can share this wonderful resource and pass the word, so the book can reach farther than we can imagine! Here is the current link to purchase the book:

https://www.westbowpress.com/en/bookstorehttps://www.westbowpress.com/en/bookstore

This will take you to the WestBow Press bookstore, and you can either search The Miscarriage Project, or look under New Releases to find it.

The Miscarriage Project is also available on Amazon, and in paperback, hardcover, and ebook formats.

Donate to Hospitals

3 – I am currently sponsoring a fundraiser, raising money to pay for these books. Once these are purchased with donations, they will then be donated to local hospitals!

To donate to the Books for Hospitals fundraiser, you can follow the Facebook link below to my fundraiser:

https://www.facebook.com/donate/951374825227793/

God is so amazing! He even worked out for a friend I met through B.S.F. (Bible Study Fellowship) last year, to contact me. It just so happens she works for our local hospital’s OB department, and is in charge of their bereavement services.

Thanks be to God!

Can I get an Amen to that?! I am so beyond blessed by God’s faithfulness and I pray our pain and sorrow can ease someone else’s.

Thank you for your prayers and support through this journey! I am so excited to see God’s impact with this book and how He will transform lives for the glory of His name.

Posted in Book Reviews

He Numbered the Pores on My Face: Hottie Lists, Clogged Pores, Eating Disorders, and Freedom From it All

Review

When I first read this title and subtitle, I had to do a double take. There is a big difference between the light-hearted hottie lists to the heavy enslavement of eating disorders.

The title got me. It is so intriguing, I had to read more.

Content

He Numbered the Pores on My Face, by Scarlet Hiltibidal, is a must read for any teenager, or young woman struggling with insecurities about herself.

Hiltibidal creates the most creative descriptions of people, places, and events.

She generates creative, unique, and comical examples and illustrations, to make get her points across.

Since He Numbered the Pores on My Face, is a chapter book, there were few illustrations.

However, they were used to enhance the effectiveness of the book. I also thought the chapter heading artwork was quite effective.

The book is well-crafted for a teenage audience, and is quite relatable for young adults as well. Hiltibidal includes humorous content to keep the book light-hearted, interesting, and fun.

Eating Disorders

In addition, Hiltibidal describes her personal struggles.

As a teenager, she struggled with an eating disorder.

I liked how her description of her struggle went from harmless to dangerous, giving a play-by-play how she got to that point.

Most importantly, Hiltibidal is very clear how dangerous eating disorders are.

Not only that, she backs up her conclusions with Scripture. Hiltibidal exposes the lies of Satan with the truth of Jesus.

Recommendation

Even as a young adult, this book made an impact on me.

I highly recommend this book for any young woman, teenager or adult.

Hiltibidal’s writing is humorous, relatable, and I couldn’t put it down!

Don’t miss out on this hilarious, meaningful read!

About the Author

Scarlet Hiltibidal is a very professional wife and mother to her family in Middle Tennessee.

She loves sign language with her daughters, nachos by herself, writing for her friends, and dreaming of being a famous chef while spilling the cheese dust from the macaroni box on the kitchen counter and using it anyway.

She treasures the freedom of resting in the work of Jesus and hopes to help others rest as well. Her book Afraid of All the Things released in January 2019.

Posted in My Books, Uncategorized

“The Miscarriage Project” Update!

I am proud to announce that The Miscarriage Project is in the second phase of publishing – design!!

As the author, I can’t express to you how excited I am to share this publishing journey with you, but even more to get this book into your hands!

The Book

Ten parents share their miscarriage grief journeys, describing their struggles with grief and the hope they found in God.

BOLD & Beautiful

Purpose

My goal in writing this book is to provide a resource for other parents experiencing the loss of a child.

Unfortunately, I am not alone in my grief. Too many women have lost children. Too many men have suffered alongside.

Today, you have a chance to make a difference!

Fundraiser for Hospitals

My goal with this fundraiser is to raise $5,000, in order to purchase, and then donate The Miscarriage Project books to local hospitals.

My hope is for the hospitals to give these to parents experiencing miscarriage, as a resource.

As they grieve, I want them to know they are not alone! 

Below is a link to a fundraiser I am running until the end of the month.

https://www.facebook.com/donate/951374825227793/?fundraiser_source=external_url

Are you ready to join The Miscarriage Project movement? Let’s go!

BOLD & Beautiful

#TheHaven #TheMiscarriageProject

Posted in Book Reviews

Scarlett’s Spectacles: A Cheerful Choice for a Happy Heart

Review

Scarlett’s Spectacles, by Janet Surette, is one of the most delightful children’s books I have ever read!

Content

The main character, Scarlett, has a problem. She can’t seem to help whining and crying about the little things.

Her mom explains, in the image below:

Interestingly, the message of this book hits home for me, as an adult.

As I too wear glasses, it was exciting to see an author portray children wearing glasses in a positive light.

Not only that, I too struggle with seeing the glass as half empty instead of half full.

It was a refreshing reminder to be thankful for the good God has given, instead of whine about the negative.

Illustrations

Before I chose this book to review, I was immediately drawn to the illustrations! I couldn’t resist the chance to read it!

As you can see, the illustrations are detailed, fun, and colorful. The pictures enhance Surette’s message immensely.

Additionally, I enjoy the realistic quality of the illustrations, and yet there exists a dreamy feel, as if the reader has entered into a delightful, fantasy world.

Recommendation

As a fellow author, I highly recommend this book to any parent, who would like to teach their children how to be thankful, and enjoy the good life God has given to us.

Scarlett’s Spectacles is well written, well illustrated, and has an inspiring message for all kids.

To the author, Janet Surrette, and illustrator, Shane Crampton, a job well done! I look forward to reading books from you both, in the future.

Meet the Author

Janet Surette is mother to Taylor the Strong, Avery the Good, and Scarlett the Loud.

Janet combines the skills of being a Christian speaker, author, and blogger with the wisdom of motherhood to produce winsome messages that engage parents and children alike through rhyme, compelling imagery, and a bit of spunk that crafts timeless messages into memorable resources that instruct and delight.

Janet divided her formative years between the United States and Canada, and though she loves living in Barrie, Ontario, she is comfortable on both sides of the border.

You can learn more about Janet at http://www.janetsurette.com.