NKJV Know the Word Study Bible: A Review

Book Description

_140_245_book-2067-coverStudying the Bible does not have to be an intimidating or overwhelming experience. The study of God’s Word can be easy and rewarding if you break down the Bible into easy-to-understand segments. The NKJV Know The Word Study Bible offers three easy ways to begin studying Scripture and helps individuals transition from being a casual reader of the Bible to becoming a regular student of the Word. Whether you prefer to study the Bible book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic, each starting point offers powerful insights that will help you develop a daily routine of Bible study. The Book by Book series of notes leads you through the main points of each book of the Bible. The Verse by Verse studies help you to dig deeper into God’s Word at a verse level. The Topic by Topic articles, which cover 21 key theological topics, give you a bird’s-eye view of Scripture and guide you through the main themes that run throughout the Bible.

Features Include:

• New King James Version Bible text • Three easy approaches to study the Bible: Book by Book, Verse by Verse, Topic by Topic • Book introductions • Words of Jesus in red • Two-color interior page design • Comprehensive list of theological notes • Concordance

My Review: I’m pretty sure this may be my first time reviewing a bible, so I feel weird doing so. Obviously, I’m not reviewing the text of the bible itself, but the way in which it is presented by the publisher.

This is a nice looking hard back copy with a nice paper quality and a good, clean print. What is unique about this bible is that it offers three different ways of study. This bible can be explored book by book, verse by verse or topic by topic. Each book has an introductory page to summarize what it’s about and to give you some suggestions on how best to study it. It offers highlights, book study notes, verse foot notes, as well as a topical guide to notes placed throughout the bible that can be followed on a particular subject.

To further use this bible, I took it to church with me in place of my regular “church bible”. It was easy to navigate and follow along with, and the notes were helpful to the text being read.

I would recommend this bible to anyone looking to enhance their study of the word.

*I received a copy of this bible free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

November Reading Round-Up!

Is today the fifth? Oops! I’m going to blame the holiday hustle and bustle for my tardiness on this post!

Speaking of hustling and bustling….that’s what I’ve been doing in my reading! I was seriously behind on my goal as of the end of last month and I knew I really had to step it up a notch.

Fortunately, it’s the Christmas season and that means Christmas books! I love Christmas books and they are usually relatively short, so I was able to read a good handful of books this month, which not only helped me to get closer to my goal, but it gave me a head start on holiday cheer!

So, let’s do this. Here is are the books I have read this month:

So, yes I read 13 books this month! I’m pretty sure that’s a record! Now, granted 10 of them were Christmas books, and thus a bit shorter, but still…win!

The book I read for my Monthly Reading Challenge was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The challenge was to read a Pulitzer Prize winning book. It’s a classic that I’ve always meant to read, and this was a good opportunity. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it like I’d hoped. The other non-Christmas books I read this month were Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (I just love her writing!) and Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark. Both of these were very good, and among my favorites now by their respective authors.

And now for the Christmas books! I read 5 by Melody Carlson! She’s quite the Christmas author! Haha! I always struggle to find stand-alone Christmas books, and she writes a lot and I’m thankful for that. I refuse to enter a series just to read the Christmas themed book. My favorite of her five was Your Heart’s Desire. There was just something about it that I loved. Second place goes to A Simple Christmas Wish. And, believe it or not, there were two that I found kind of disappointing. The Christmas Angel Project and The Christmas Shoppe, they just didn’t appeal to me as much as I’d hoped.

Of the other five, favorite goes to The Lopsided Christmas Cake. (and three cheers to Wanda Brunstetter for including recipes in the back of her books!) Least favorite would have to be The Mistletoe Murders. I’ve never read P.D. James, that I recall, but I wasn’t too impressed with this collection of shorts.

Anyway…I have ONLY 5 books to go to meet my goal for the year! Yay! I”m going to continue reading Christmas book in December because Tis the Season!

As a side note, I also realize that I have no review books to report. Nothing jumped out at me to review, and so I focused elsewhere. I do have a bible review coming momentarily though!

Merry December all!!

Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers: A Book Review

Earth Psalms

Reflections on How God Speaks through Nature

earth-psalmsMillions of readers have been transformed and inspired by Francine Rivers’ bestselling novels Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind. Now, in this weekly devotional, the beloved author invites you to join her in seeking the Creator through the marvelous natural world we live in. Francine shares observations she’s gathered over a lifetime of exploring—abroad and in her own backyard—and reflects on how they might apply to your daily life. What do the majestic redwoods, the persistent woodpecker, or a glorious sunrise reveal about our artistic and generous God? How could that change your outlook or the way you handle adversity?

Stunning photography, Scripture excerpts, applications, and prayers accompany Francine’s reflections, inspiring you to be encouraged. Be challenged. Be comforted. God’s power is immense; His attention to detail in precise; His love for you is vast and unfailing. The proof is all around you.

My Review: I jumped at the chance to review this devotional by Francine Rivers. I have always enjoyed her works of fiction and her writing style, so I was very curious to see what she would do with a devotional.

The first thing I was struck by was the beautiful, full-color images throughout this book. I love having that visual picture to coincide with the words of wisdom and insight she is offering. The second thing that I discovered was that this devotional is unique, in that it is a weekly devotional rather than a daily one. I love that idea because I feel like I can meditate on one devotional theme throughout the week and really take the time to focus on it. I often feel like life is rushed and we breeze through things so quickly. It’s nice to take a full week to really think on the devotion.

Each devotional offers some personal thoughts and reflections by the author, as well as several scriptures, sometimes quotes and a section at the end for reflection, application and connection.

This is a beautiful devotional that I look forward to reading throughout the year.

*I received this book free of charge from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

 

francine-riversNew York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers had a successful writing career in the general market for several years before becoming a born-again Christian. As her statement of faith, she wrote Redeeming Love, a retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush. Redeeming Love is now considered by many to be a classic work of Christian fiction and it continues to be one of the industry’s top-selling titles year after year.

Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes—all bestsellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the world. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for many honors, and in 1997, after winning her third RITA Award for Inspirational Fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame. In 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Francine’s novels have been translated into over thirty different languages, and she enjoys bestseller status in many foreign countries.

Francine and her husband live in northern California and enjoy time spent with their grown children and grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and she desires that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.

Visit her website at www.francinerivers.com and connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FrancineRivers) and Twitter (@FrancineRivers).

October Reading Round-Up!

I can hardly believe it’s the end of October/beginning of November already! Where has this year gone?

I have had a really good month of reading. I feel as though I read a good amount, but more importantly, I had some really enjoyable reading moments this month! And, isn’t enjoyment and satisfaction in reading the ultimate goal? For me it is.

I am quite excited to announce that I completed 8 books in October! I do believe that’s a record for this year, and it also gives me hope for November and December. As the year draws to a close, I am more aware than ever of my yearly goal and just how far away from it I still am! I currently need to read 18 more books to reach my goal of 75 for the year. That works out to 9 in November and 9 in December. I can do that, right? RIGHT?

Only one book in my October pile was a review book, and that was Newton & Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace by Jody Hedlund. (Read my review HERE) Two of my selections for this month were works of non-fiction. Those being Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole and The Power of the Other by Henry Cloud. These two books were completely different subjects, but both were of current interest to me. Perhaps sometime when I’m not busy reading or documenting what I’ve read, I will blog on these subjects. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about specific topics of interest. I often miss that.

One book I read this month was A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. This one was suggested to me by several sources and I could not ignore the praises I heard regarding it. I can’t say I loved it as much as some others did, but I rather enjoyed it and found it to be refreshingly different, which I always admire. My favorite thing about this book was the theme that family is truly who you choose.

Two others I read this month were on my list because I had heard about them somewhere. These two books: Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra and The Woman in Cabin Ten by Ruth Ware were really, really good. They were the kind of gripping, page-turning, suspenseful novels that truly capture the heart of why I love reading.

The book I chose for my Monthly Reading Challenge was The Gilded Cage by Lucinda Gray. I remember browsing the shelves at the library, in search of something that might be interesting, when I was caught by the cover of this book. Conveniently, the challenge for October was to read a book chosen based on it’s cover. Check and check. This one started off unsure for me, but ended up being a very solid mystery, worthy of it’s cover.

My last selection for this month was Unashamed: Rahab by Francine Rivers. This was a book that has been on my shelf and is the second in a series of biblical fiction. I read the first installment a few months ago, and because I had about a day left in the month, and this was a short read, I found it an opportune time to continue the series. As usual, I found this work of biblical fiction to be insighful, bringing more to life, women who I’ve read about many times. It’s always nice to glean a better, more in depth understanding of what some of these biblical women may have been like.

So, 2 months left in 2016, 18 books left in my pile…I can manage that, right? All while fulfilling the hustle and bustle of the season? Absolutely!

Here we go!

Newton & Polly A Novel of Amazing Grace by Jody Hedlund: A Book Review

9781601427649About Newton and Polly

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found…Now remembered as the author of the world’s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father—until the night he hears Polly Catlett’s enchanting voice, caroling. He’s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John’s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?

Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.

My Review: Amazing Grace…what a beautiful song that stirs the soul. Every time I sing it, I am humbled by God’s mercy and forgiveness, and every time I hear it, I’ve wondered at the life of it’s author. From the moment I saw this novel, I knew I wanted to read it and learn more about the man who penned this incredible hymn.

Admittedly, it took me a few pages before I became invested in the story and the characters, but before I knew it, I was hooked. I found myself mesmerized by Newton and Polly and their story. This book was beautifully written and deeply engrossing. The characters felt very real to me, perhaps more so because I knew they were based on real people, but regardless, the author brought them to life in these pages.

So many times throughout this book, Newton frustrated me and I wanted to dislike him, but yet, I could not. I absolutely adored Polly and I loved her mother and father as well. I really feel like the author captured the emotions of the characters, not only Newton and Polly in their relationship, but in the relationships between them and their parents as well.

This book was such an incredible journey and a pleasure to read. It was emotionally charged, oft heart-wrenching and deeply moving. I loved reading the redemption of Newton, as he finally realizes God’s amazing grace in his life.

Excellent book. Highly recommended.

* I received a copy of this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

About Jody Hedlund
Jody Hedlund is a CBA best-selling and award-winning author of fourteen books. Among a variety of genres, she especially loves bringing long-forgotten women of history to life. She is the author of Luther and Katharina, which was awarded the ECPA Book of the Year Award in Fiction. Her other novels have won the Carol Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christy Award. She resides in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

Befriend by Scott Sauls: A Book Review

978-1-4964-0094-9Is real friendship too risky?
We live in a world where real friendship is hard to find. Suspicious of others and insecure about ourselves, we retreat into the safety of our small, self-made worlds. Now more than ever, it’s easy to avoid people with whom we disagree or whose life experiences don’t mirror our own. Safe among like-minded peers and digital “friends,” we really don’t have to engage with those who can challenge and enhance our limited perspectives. Tragically, even the church can become a place that minimizes diversity and reinforces isolation.Jesus models a much richer vision of friendship. Scott Sauls, pastor and teacher, invites you to see the breadth of Christ’s love in this book, BeFriend. Join Scott on this journey through twenty-one meditations to inspire actively pursuing God’s love through expanding your circle of friends.Scott has met too many people whose first impulse is to fence off their lives with relational barriers that only end up starving their own souls.Yes, it’s true: Real friendship is costly. Love does make us vulnerable. But without risk, our lives will remain impoverished.

Join Scott in BeFriend as he summons you toward diverse friendship that can enrich your life and, in the process, reveal a better version of yourself.

My Review: I love books about relationships and friendships, so I was definitely eager to read this one! This book was a little different than I expected. It was less about friendship, and more about general acceptance and belonging. I love the concept and the reminder that we are all worthy of love and acceptance and that we need to open up our worlds to see beyond those who “belong” in our comfort zone.

This book does a great job of making you think about the diversity in the world and about how we truly need to love our neighbors and befriend those we wouldn’t typically think to befriend. I also love that the book is broken down into short, easy to read chapters. I think the author had some really genuine and honest insight and I really appreciate his thoughts and perspective.

This book didn’t turn out to be what I expected, but I’m totally okay with that because I feel like it had a lot to offer. We live in a world where separation, isolation and judgement are so high and I really love how the author encourages us to break down those barriers and open up our worlds and our hearts.

*I received a copy of this book free of charge from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

September Reading Round-Up!

The pile of books beside me is getting very tall. Do you ever think about the fact that you’ll never empty your TBR list, even if you live to be a hundred? There are constantly new books that pique my interest that get added to the pile and I know that for me, I’ll never hit a point where I’ve read them all.

It’s kind of a sobering thought. It also makes me panic and frantic to devour as many as I possibly can. It reminds me of the gentleman in that one episode of The Twilight ZoneTime Enough to Last“. Which also reminds me that I haven’t seen that episode in ages, and should watch it again. When I’m not reading.

Anyway, I digress. Let’s discuss the books I actually read in the month of September. It was quite a hectic, busy month, which is why I’m surprised that I actually did pretty well. I have to attribute that to the fact that I am guilty of reading several books at once this month. A little each day goes a long way! I typically don’t like to read multiple books at once, but sometimes it’s necessary.

So, for the month of September, I’ve hit a record this year! 7 books! Yay! Which is much needed because I am still quite behind on my yearly goal. So, without further ado, here are the titles I read this past month:

 

Of these, 2 were for review purposes: Really Bad Girls of the Bible and Befriend. Including those two, 3 of my reads were non-fiction. The other was Introverts in the Church. They were all very different subjects, so choosing a favorite of those is difficult, but I’d say that I got the most out of reading Introverts in the Church. It was well written and really hit home on a lot of points. It was nice to feel like I could relate to the author, and he to me.

The remaining four titles were all fiction. Lady Cop Makes Trouble was the second in a series. I absolutely love the cover art on these books. That alone almost makes them worth reading! The stories are good, but I do feel like the characters could use a little bit more something… Anyway, Murder on Amsterdam Avenue is by a favorite author and from a favorite series, but I somehow inadvertently skipped this book in the series! Upon discovering that, I immediately rushed to the library to rectify the situation. Under normal circumstances, I absolutely despise reading a series out of order, but since I had no choice, I had to do so. I am glad that I realized my omission, because it was a good addition to the series.

Don’t You Cry is another of Mary Kubica’s offerings. I believe I’ve read three of her books this year, (which may in fact be all of her books!) so I guess you can call me a fan. This one might actually be my favorite of hers so far. Lastly, my book for the September Reading Challenge was The Light Between Oceans. I was instructed to read a book on the current NYT Bestseller list. Since this one was just also turned into a movie, I thought I’d check it out. It started off slow and I worried for my choice, but after a while, I was engrossed and I really enjoyed it. In fact, I believe I would consider it my favorite read this month.

And, so, I am now officially 49 books in to my 75 goal and exactly 7 books behind schedule! I better hustle!