Posted in Book Reviews

Book Spotlight: Brave Beauty: Lynn Cowell

SYNOPSIS: What will my life be like? Who will I be? Whether girls put these concerns into words or struggle anxiously with these thoughts, during this season of change, girls have questions. Sometimes these questions also come with fears and they need a safe place to process these fears. From Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and blogger, Lynn Cowell, comes Faithgirlz Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You. For girls 8-12, Brave Beauty brings tweens 100 courage-building moments to reflect on Scripture and find confidence in God, rather than in someone, some place, or some thing, as culture will all-too-soon tell them to. Lynn will also prepare girls to:
Overcome confidence-defeating thoughts and stand on who Jesus says she is.
Shape her self-worth on Christ and overcome the temptation base it on environmental factors.
Build a strong foundation to face the fickle and flippant opinions of others.
Find approval of herself even when she lacks the acceptance of others.
Find security by turning to Christ as she steps through the exciting, yet scary world of growing up
Formatted as theme-based mini chapters, these moments can be read as one-a-days, one-a-weeks, or at the reader’s own pace. Simple and empowering, Lynn’s voice is relatable and conversational, making it easy for girls to feel like they’re spending time with a friend. This inspirational read will be set as a gorgeously decorated hardcover, with beautifully formatted pages in line with the well-known and loved Faithgirlz look, and with an easy-reference index to look up any topic.
MY THOUGHTS: In today’s world, girls are under pressure like never before. In an age group where girls struggle to learn who they are, they’re often bombarded with what others think they should be. While we as parents try to build them up, peers and media often provide them with a louder voice of cynicism. ‘Brave Beauty’ is a timely, and incredibly relatable book.

Parents of tweens know that they hate to be preached to or talked ‘at’. Lynn’s tone in the book is one of understanding without condescension. She’s captured the fine art of getting through to tweens while still be a nurturing, affective role model. While we surely do our best as parents to build self-confidence, it is a fragile thing easily broken. ‘Brave Beauty’ offers real world inspiration and encouragement to remain steadfast in an uncertain time in their lives.

I have 3 sons and no daughters, but, many of the reflections in the book easily apply to both boys and girls. Along with their faith in Christ, the one gift you should give your children is a feeling that they’re loved. Show them they support their self-esteem by gifting them a copy of ‘Brave Beauty’. I will become a book that’s re-read over and over again. I give it a full 5 stars.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Posted in Book Reviews

Bella’s Gift: Rick & Karen Santorum

_225_350_Book.1493.cover       As a lifelong Pennsylvania resident, Rick Santorum’s name is familiar to me. I remember his first win for the House & he stood out to me as a great candidate for families with his Pro-Life stance & obvious moral compass. After reading ‘Bella’s Gift’, I see my initial opinion of his character was right.

Whether or not you back the Santorums politically, all will agree that their family doesn’t just talk the talk. They live their faith. Beautifully honest, Bella’s life journey is told with integrity. While maintaining a family of eight children, the Santorums brave the ups & downs of parenting a special needs child. This darling, little angel was born with a condition known as Trisomy 18, or Edward’s Syndrome. Very few of the children born with this illness make it to age one. Doctors informed them that they needed to prepare for her impending death. They believed otherwise.

Fighting for Bella’s rights, they navigate the often complicated medical system. Relying on God to guide them in their parenting, Rick & Karen are not just role models for special needs parents: they’re role model for parents of every child. Beating the odds just seemed to come naturally for them.

Follow the dynamic story of a family overcoming the odds to celebrate their miracle girl. It is a must read for every parent of any faith. If you aren’t yet a parent, their story will give you a total new respect for those who are parents. I highly recommend reading it. You’ll be very glad you did! It’s absolutely a 5 star piece.



About the Authors

Rick Santorum, a native of Pennsylvania, was a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2012. He served in the House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995 and in the Senate from 1995 to 2007 and is the author of several books, including the 2005 New York Times bestseller It Takes a Family. Rick’s most important role and love in life is being a husband and father.

Karen Santorum is a former neonatal nurse and attorney. She is the author of Letters to Gabriel and Everyday Graces: A Child’s Book of Good Manners. Karen and her husband, Rick, are the parents of eight children. Her greatest role and love in life is being a full-time mother at home.

Elizabeth Santorum, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Dallas. During the 2012 Republican presidential primary, she spent a year campaigning on behalf of her father, Senator Rick Santorum. Appearing on CNN, Fox News, NBC, and many other news outlets at twenty years old, she became one of the campaign’s most requested surrogate speakers. Elizabeth has spent time doing mission work in Uganda, is currently a John Jay Fellow, and has always been a great big sister.




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Frederick A Story of Boundless Hope: Frederick Ndabaramiye, with Amy Parker




“My God won’t let me do that.” These seven words of boundless hope would irreversibly change the life of the teenage boy who spoke them.

On April 7, 1994 the life of Frederick Ndabaramiye and his family changed forever as the Rwandan genocide erupted in their homeland. When Frederick faced those same genocidaires a few years later, he noted the machete that hung from the right hand closest to him and wondered if his would soon be added to the layers of dried blood that clung to the blade. Either way, young Frederick knew that he wouldn’t be able to carry out the orders just given to him, to raise that blade against the other passengers of the bus, regardless of the race marked on their identity cards.

That bold decision would cause Frederick to lose his hands. But what the killers meant for harm, God intended for good. The cords that bound him served as a tourniquet, saving his life when his hands were hacked away. This new disability eventually fueled Frederick’s passion to show the world that disabilities do not have to stop you from living a life of undeniable purpose. From that passion, the Ubumwe Community Center was born, where “people like me” come to discover their own purposes and abilities despite their circumstances.

Through miraculous mercy and divine appointment, Frederick forgives those who harmed him and goes on to fully grasp his God-given mission. In this extraordinary true story of forgiveness, faith, and hope, you will be challenged, convicted, and forever converted to a believer of the impossible.


Powerful: that is the best adjective to describe this book. No matter how many stories you’ve heard about the ravages of war, you’ve never hear it quite like this. Frederick is an amazing person with an incredible grasp of grace.

After reading this, you’ll walk away with a new appreciation of God’s love & the healing power of forgiveness. It’s an absolute must-read & I highly recommend it with a 5 star rating.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Posted in Book Reviews


1392018  ‘Watch for the Light’ is a compilation of daily readings, dated from November 24th through January 7th. Advent is not always celebrated by every denomination & may be misunderstood by the general public. Regardless, every one of us needs to rewind, de-stress, & focus on the true meaning of the season. Jesus’ birth ushered in a time of hope & peace like never before. As we await His Second Coming, it’s time such as Christmas & Easter that allow us to reflect on the beauty & majesty of Our Savior.

In ‘Watch for the Light’, readers are treated to personal stories, poems, & and/or reflections from well-known & well-respected people. C.S. Lewis, Martin Luther, & Madeleine Engle are a few who are represented. Although Advent may be on different days annually, readers can simply use the dates as general guidelines. I skipped through to different days which didn’t coordinate with the calendar, in order to read excerpts of my choice.

I found almost all the readings to be very deep & thought-provoking. Annie Dillard’s ‘Bethlehem’ was one I enjoyed. There is one reading in which cursing is used. Let that be a caution to readers sharing with children. It occurs in Ernesto Cardenal’s ‘The Wise Men’. I was quite surprised that the editors allowed it, but nonetheless, it isn’t really offensive.

Whether one uses it as a devotional or simply new, light seasonal reading, I would definitely recommend it. It achieves its purpose to point us back the Nativity & the awe of Christmas itself. I give it a 5 star rating.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Posted in Book Reviews


21550786Written a century ago, Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt’s prayers are still read & sought after. Born in 1842 & passing in 1919, Blumhardt made quite an impact during his lifetime. From well-known theologians to parishioners, his words were revered & his insights valued.

In this collection, we are treated to daily prayers penned by this great man of God. Compiled much like a devotional, each prayer is subtitled with a date. Accompanying the prayer is a daily Scripture verse.

This would be an excellent addition to one’s daily devotional time and/or prayer life. Each & every prayer is a glimpse into the heart of the author. His declarations of love for God & God’s love for him are simply beautiful. It’s not often that we are able to see into the personal prayer life of anyone, least of all someone so admirable.

His transparency is not only uplifting, but will encourage readers to engage more fulfilling in their one-on-one time with God. One of my favorite prayers is for August 26th. In it, Blumhardt appeals to the Lord according to Psalm 25:4-5. We see him express how hard life can be & that he wants God to show him His way so that God is glorified. That’s a powerful prayer!

Readers will see that these are not prayers for material gain, but to build a lasting, Spiritual relationship with God. This would make a beautiful holiday gift for anyone with a heart for God.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Posted in Book Reviews

Once-A-Day Nurturing Great Kids Devotional 365 Practical Insights for Parenting with Grace By Dan Seaborn

_225_350_Book.1416.coverSYNOPSIS: “We strive to do what is best for our family, but there are many differing opinions on how to be a good parent. Truly successful parenting begins with focusing on God and making him the center of all we do. The Once-A-Day Nurturing Great Kids Devotional helps you to bring God into your parenting by providing 365 daily devotionals written specifically for parents who are seeking to build a stronger relationship with their kids and put God first in their family. These devotionals will inspire you as a parent to embrace the role that God has given you, while also equipping you with the tools you need to be a strong Christian role model for your children.”

MY THOUGHTS: The devotional is very well done & easy to read. It is devoid of color on the pages which would have given it a bit more personality. Most of the devotionals are what I’d call a common sense approach to parenting. Personally, I’d say it’d be a good baby shower gift for first time parents. Logically, most Christian parents are probably following these ‘tips’ already.

But, if you’re a parent looking for a new devotional geared for parents, then this would be good for you. I rate it with 4 stars.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Posted in Book Reviews

Mark Hitchcock’s ‘The Coming Islamic Invasion of Israel’


Mark Hitchcock has penned an incredible number of books on Biblical Prophecy. ‘The Coming Islamic Invasion’ is his latest. In it he explores Ezekiel’s Book in regards to the Russian/Islamic War against Israel in the End Times. This book is the third in his current series. As has been established many times of late by a plethora of authors, Mr. Hitchcock goes through the signs of the times, Israel’s enemies, & God’s role in it all.

While the book is full of wisdom & knowledge brought to us by a dedicated student of prophecy, I felt it was a replay of thoughts. Maybe we’ve just been inundated with Ezekiel-themed books recently. Whatever the cause, I was hoping for some sort of new declaration or new insight into End Times research.

Not taking away from the talent of the author, to me, I found it dry & repetitive. It just seems to deliver information without passion. No one has explained the prophecy better than the Prophet Ezekiel himself. Perhaps that’s because he was so passionate about relaying his prophecy to us. While theories differ as to the identity of the nations involved (I disagree on at least one named by Hitchcock), the information that Ezekiel provided us hasn’t changed. For decades, readers have been treated to the same information on the same chapter.

Hopefully, as his series progresses, Mark Hitchcock will go deeper into lesser known prophetic Scripture instead of popular ones. Whether we know who’s involved or not, the primary wisdom lies in trusting God for our futures & believing in His Son, Jesus Christ. All else fails in comparison.

Of all the Ezekiel-inspired, non-fiction pieces, this one doesn’t get my top vote. It contains the right information with the right intention & for that I give it a 3 star rating.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.