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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Miscarried Joy: Moving Beyond Incredible Pain To Extraordinary Faith

Tanika Fitzgerald is a lover of Christ, a wife to her husband, Maurice, a loving daughter and sister. She is passionate about equipping women to grow spiritually, live balanced lives and helping them to be ARMED for victory in every area of life. Tanika has been called to minister to others through her passion and gift of writing to inspire women all over the globe. She is also the visionary behind ARMED Magazine---a publication created to "Spiritually Equip for you Victory in Battle." Her inspirational writing has been featured in numerous publications including Hope for Women Magazine, Black and Married with Kids, and more. Tanika has also interviewed powerful voices in the Christian community, including Lady Serita Jakes, Sheryl Brady, Charles Jenkins, Earnest Pugh, and more! Tanika is a woman who is passionate about her relationship with Jesus Christ, family, giving to others, laughter, having fun, and enjoying every moment that life brings!


Miscarried Joy: Moving Beyond Incredible Pain to Extraordinary Faith (Nyreepress Publishing, October 2016)

Faith over fear. Patience over frustration. Pain with a purpose.

In Miscarried Joy, Tanika transparently shares her deeply personal and disappointing experiences of losing her babies due to miscarriage. There were times when she felt God was the cause of her pain. However, her journey through the lives of Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth and Naomi, revealed quite the opposite---God had allowed her pain for a much greater purpose. Each of these women had something in common: they learned to surrender their will and trust God's plan beyond the pain. They were pushed to a posture of prayer that led them from questioning God to have total confidence in Him. Tanika discovered that this season of waiting didn't show up simply to challenge her, but to change her.

With biblical depth, heart-filled transparency and a voice of passion, you will:

-Understand God's heart in the midst of incredible pain
-Discover the importance of trusting God's plan over your own
-Arm yourself with the strength to let go of bitterness and comparison to appreciate the beauty of your story
-Learn and implement spiritual principles and strategies to walk boldly in faith
-Embrace God's delay and birth contentment in your season of waiting
What have you miscarried? What purpose have you had difficulty conceiving? Is it a calling you fear stepping into? A vision that has not yet come to pass? Miscarried Joyhas something for anyone who needs help pushing through incredible pain to conquer discouragement, walk in faith and birth their purpose. God's delay in your life could be a set up for your greatest calling to be fulfilled.
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2gZ238j

To see what others are saying about the book, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
What a bueatiful offering Tanika Fitzgerald has given women who have suffered the pain of infertility and miscarriage.  With such tender transparency Tanika opens up her wounds for those who have suffered the same to peek in a gain a Christ-centered and faith filled perspective that will lead to healing and restoration.  I am so thankful for her bravery and boldness in sharing her journey.  While I haven't experienced miscarriage, I have several friends who have.  This book is extremely helpful for those of us who walk alongside those who have suffered miscarriages and deal with infertility.  It helps us know how to love on our friends better.  Tanika not only shares her personal journey but points readers to the One who can mold us and make us and make bueaty rise from the ash heaps of despare.  I appreciated how key points were set apart on seperate pages for easy reference.  I have a feeling that this book is one that will be read many times over for its biblical encouragement.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions ecpressed are my own.

Miscarried Joy Tanika Fitzgerald

Blessings,
Jennifer

Monday, November 21, 2016

The One Year Praying through the Bible for your Kids

Nancy Guthrie teaches the Bible at conferences around the country and internationally.  She and her husband, David, are the co-hosts of the GriefShare video series used in more than 10,000 churches around the world, and they host Respite Retreats for couples who have faced the death of a child.  She is the author of numerous books, including Holding On to Hope, Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow, and The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament.

You'll be blessed to connect with her at her website:  http://www.nancyguthrie.com/

The only sure thing you can count on when it comes to you kids is that God has got them.

As parents, we strategize and agonize.  We wish for secret formulas and surefire methods.  But somewhere along the way, we discover that what our kids need most is for God to do in their lives what only he can do.  The One Year Praying through the Bible for Your Kids is designed to provide you with a daily dose of parenting perspective and hope.

Join trusted author Nancy Guthrie as she takes you through The On Year Bible reading plan, helping you to mine each day's passages to discover how the Scriptures speak into the triumphs and turbulence of parenting as well as provide fresh ways to pray for each of your children.  Day by day you'll find yourself worrying less and praying more as your dreams and desires for your kids are increasingly shaped by the Scriptures rather than the culture around you.  Let go of fear, and expect God to work as you pray through the Bible for your kids.

My Thoughts:
I have been somewhat discouraged by much of the parenting resources that are "out there".  Even some "Christian" resources have been more geared toward a formula or steps to this or that kind of approach.  How refreshing to come by this guide by trusted teacher Nancy Guthrie!  Guthrie guides parents through the entirety of the Scriptures with sound biblical insights and teaching.  Each day gives you the Scripture passages for that day that will take you through a reading of the entire 66 books of Scripture in one year, Christ-centered thoughts from Nancy and a prayer to get you moving in the direction of applying Scriptural insight to your prayers for your kids.  In her brief commentary each day, Nancy teaches and shares background on the Scriptures to help users of this resource focus on Christ and how to apply His truth to our dreams for our kids, trading hope for worry.

Rather than another parenting book, why not turn to the Bible...the greatest parenting guide ever given!

*I was given a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions given here are my own.

Blessings,
Jennifer

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Courageous



Dina Leiman holds an MA in professional writing from Regent University and a BA in communications with a minor in English from oral Roberts University.  Over the past twenty years, she has had opportunities to teach college writing and literature, as well as high-school and elementary classes in English, humanities, and fine arts.  She lives in Virginia with her husband and three children. She can be found online at www.dinasleiman.com.








Will they trust God's call even when it leads to the most unexpected places?

Inspired by the vision of the young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind of Ipsworth joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross, seeking to free captives from prisons near Tripoli.  She'll gladly give herself to the cause, as she's haunted by a tragic mistake and feels she no longer deserves such joys as marriage and family might bring.

Sir Randel Penigree was reared to serve in the church but has always dreamt of protecting the innocent as a Templar knight.  Joining a crusade to escape humiliation at home, he finds himself drawn to Rosalind as they partner to train and protect a group of adolescents.  When faced with political intrigue and an unknown enemy bent on their destruction, they are forced to reconsider their priorities and the very nature of the God they serve.

My Thoughts:
I did not read the previous two books in Sleiman's Valiant Hearts series, but I sure wish I had! Courageous was an encouraging and inspiring book.  Sleiman gives readers a peek into the Crusades from the perspective of women and children.  She adeptly weaves into the story a picture of the importance of prayer and leaning on God for strength to journey through challenges and hope for personal restoration in grace.  The transformation of Rosalind and Sir Randel personally is worthy of the read alone and the developing romance between the two is icing on the cake!  Don't miss this series or this book in particular.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book and all opinions stated here are my own.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year: A Countdown to Christmas

Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children's works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.






About the book: 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Abingdon, October 2016)

Celebrate 31 days of a Christ-filled Christmas season.

For Christians worldwide, the month of December is filled with joy and wonder as we anticipate the celebration of Christ's birth. There is no other time of the year that can compare to the Christmas season for both the young and young at heart.

From December to New Year's Eve, reawaken the wonder, joy, and magic that is Christmas with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas.

With this soon-to-be-cherished holiday devotional, best-selling author Ace Collins will capture your imagination and help to make each day of December more memorable and meaningful to you, and those you love, by shining a light on the real spirit of the season.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2frWQG8

To see what others are saying about the book, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
What a delightful little book by beloved author Ace Collins!  The Holidays are often a crazy busy time with lots of activity that while good sometimes distracts our minds and hearts from focusing on what the real meaning of it all really is.  I'm thankful that Collins offers a way for us to keep our hearts engaged in the blessings of this time of the year through Scripture, insights into some of our favorite Christmas songs and focus on how we can bless others..."Feed the one you love" (special recipes) and "Pamper the one you love" (special homemade gift ideas).  The Most Wonderful Time of the Year brings readers back to the simplicity and wonder of the Christmas season.  You may be encouraged to even develop some new family traditions.
I remember growing up how our family would always celebrate Christmas Eve with my grandmother and grandfather.  Our whole family, all the aunts and uncles and cousins, would crowd into my grandparents' home and enjoy lots of yummy food and would exchange gifts.  Years later now, our family's have grown and we are spread across different areas.  It is virtually impossible to get everyone together at one time.  Rather than bemoan what "used to be", our families have each developed our own traditions and special ways to celebrate the season.  Collins' book will help you focus on what and who really matters.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Ace Collins

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer  

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Raven

Mike Nappa is an entertainment journalist at PopFam.com, as well as a bestselling and award-winning author with more than one million books sold worldwide.  When he was a kid, the stories of Edgar Allen Poe scared him silly.  Today he wons everything Poe ever wrote.  A former fiction acquisitions editor, Mike earned his MA in English literature and now writes full time.  He is the author of Annabel Lee.





As part of his street performance, a deception specialist who goes by the name The Raven picks his audience's pockets while they watch.  It's harmless fun - until he decides to keep the wallet of a prominent politician, hoping for a few extra bucks.  When he finds compromising photos of the councilman and his "personal assistants", The Raven hatches a plan to blackmail the man.  However, he quickly finds himself in over his head with the Ukranian Mafia and mired in a life-threatening plot code-named "Nevermore".

Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill must scramble to sort out the clues fo rescue The Raven from a wild card bent on revenge.



My Thoughts:
Mike Nappa is a brilliant storyteller!  I enjoyed the first Coffey & Hill novel, Annabel Lee and The Raven did not disappoint!  The Raven is rife with great characters, intrigue, suspense, and mystery. The tension between Trudi and Samuel is thicker than ever!  The twists and turns will keep the reader turning pages until the very end.  Do not start this one before bed.  The main character, The Raven is one that readers will love to hate, hate to love and in the end just plain love!  This is a breathless thrill ride for sure.  Don't miss it!

*I was given a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions here are my own.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Shadow of the Storm

When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kids (with a full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn Cossette is scribbling notes on spare paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure, out-of-print history books.  There is nothing she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible and uncovering buried gems of grace that point toward Jesus.  Although a Pacific Northwest native, she now lives near Dallas, TX.
Connect with her at www.connilyncossette.com, Facebook, and Twitter.
And don't forget about connecting with Connilyn on Goodreads.




  • Series: Out From Egypt (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (October 18, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 0764218212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764218217

In the darkness of the storm's shadow, only truth can light her way.

Having excaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mount Sinai.  When the people rebel by worshipping a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to assist a midwife.  When the experience awakens a new desire in her, she defies her mother's wish for her to continue in rhe weaving trade and pursues her heart's calling as an apprentice midwife.  

But when a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself in an impossible situation and bound to a man who betrayed her.  As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira comes face to face with the long-hidden pain of her past.  

Can she let go of all that has defined her to embrace who she truly is and believe in a hopeful future?

My Thoughts
I fell in love with Cossette's writing earlier this year when I read her debut novel Counted with the Stars.  That title immediately earned a spot on my "keeper shelf" and I knew I would be following Cossette's writing career from then on.  I waited a bit on pins and needles for the second installment in her Out from Egypt series, Shadow of the Storm, which met every expectation I had and more!
Cossette's research and impeccable attention to detail and characterization are but a couple of the reasons I love her stories so.  The way she weaves biblical truth into the story at such pivotal points takes reading one of her novels way beyond your normal reading experience.  Take this passage for example:
"I will go wherever Yahweh leads...I was no different than Israel.  No different than a newborn babe.  Grasping, straining to define my purpose through the haze.  This nation had been conceived in spite of our forefathers' sins, woven together in the harsh womb of Egypt, and brn of great suffering.  But Yahweh was making something new, something unique and beautiful, from all our disparate, jagged pieces.  Life from death."
Cossette has the unique gift of telling a riveting story that not only keeps your attention and keeps you turning the pages, but one that also encourages the reader's own personal evaluation of present life circumstances with an eye toward the will and transforming love of the One True God.

The third installment in this series, Wings of the Wind, will be out Spring of 2017.  So, here again, I wait a bit on pins and needles!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book.  All opinions stated here are my very own.

You will enjoy the interview with author Connilyn Cossette below.
What inspired Shadow of the Storm?
SOTS was actually the third book that I wrote in this series. The concept for Book 3, Wings of the Wind, came to me first. But as soon as Shira appeared in Counted with the Stars I knew I wanted to find out more about her and her perspective on God and the Exodus. Of course, there were no plagues to work with this time, so I dealt more directly with Shira’s personal struggles and her misconceptions of her own identity. During this time there was a lot of doubt, rebellion, confusion and a fair amount of questioning God among the Hebrews and foreigners, so I used Shira’s slow path toward healing to depict some of these struggles. Our hero too, struggles with consequences of poor decisions and his own failings but comes to realize that even his messy past and broken pieces can be made into something beautiful, just like Shira, and the nation of Israel.
What was the most challenging part of writing this story?
Well, honestly I wrestled with this plot for a long while. Counted with the Stars was easy in terms of external plot, since the Book of Exodus contains exciting plot points like plagues, the sea parting, Amalekite attacks etc. But this year at Sinai is fairly vague. Other than the Golden Calf incident, building the tabernacle and, soon after they left, a horrible storm that burned the edges of camp, there was not a whole lot to drive the story forward. And honestly, my first attempt was boring. So very, very boring. I was challenged to dig deeper, delve into Shira’s wounds and create a bitter, jealous antagonist that somehow still causes the reader to sympathize with her pain. It was tough to remold the manuscript that I began with into something better, but it became a story that reveals more of my heart than any other so far.
What was your favorite part about writing this story?
The research for this story was really enjoyable. Since I am an adoptive mom, never having given birth and certainly not familiar with midwifery, I spent lots of time reading, watching videos and documentaries, consulting with a midwife, and talking with friends who experienced midwife-attended births. I learned so much about the birthing process and came to deeply appreciate the heart of those who pour their lives into the support of pregnant women, in any capacity.
What aspects of yourself did you write into Shira’s story?
Although Shira has endured a horrific act of violence that I have not, she and I share a commonality—our children entered our lives by adoption, not biologically. Writing from the perspective of a woman whose body was barren and yet her heart full of maternal yearnings was in some ways easy, since it my own experience, and in some ways difficult, in that I had to dig back into some of those feelings of grief, pain, and even jealousy that I struggled with in my seven years of waiting to be a mother. Shira is also a bit like me in that we both tend to bury our hurts and put on a happy face, either from fear of rejection or to not “bother” others with our problems.  Like Shira, I’ve been learning to let down my walls and be vulnerable and also to see my own storms as blessings that make my roots grow deeper and stronger.
SOTS deals with some difficult subject matter, why did you chose to delve into these topics?
As I was studying Exodus, something that repeatedly came floating to the top was the women at heart of the story—their suffering, their wounds, and their courage. From Shifra and Puah, the midwives who stood against Pharaoh’s edict, to Miryam who watched her brother’s long, curvy journey towards his ultimate calling, to the myriad nameless women who served as slaves beneath the harsh and evil hand of Pharaoh and the Egyptians who oppressed them, murdered their children, and treated them as property. We know from history and even from current events, evil men who seek to dominate and oppress others are the most ruthless and disrespectful to women and children. Shira’s experience in Egypt was no doubt quite common among the Hebrews. I hope to show that women who have endured even the most brutal treatment can experience healing in God’s love, can be used to bless and heal others, and are precious in the sight of our heavenly Father. Broken pieces can be made into something beautiful.
What interesting historical facts did you uncover while researching?
Learning about the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was truly fascinating to me. Before when reading through Exodus I, like most people, skimmed through the seemingly endless instructions to Moses about how each part would be crafted. Once I delved into each separate element and the intricate processes, like the weaving, that were undertaken for each thing, I realized just what a problematic building project this was. From importing flax to make linen which did not grow in the desert, to the arduous process of shearing sheep and goats for wool, to the precious purple dye that had to have been purchased from traders all the way from Tyre, where it was harvested from a rare type of snail and the shani (kermes) dye which was made from a bug that lived on a certain type of tree found only in certain parts of the middle east—each detail had to be exact to the specifications of Yahweh, in order to reflect the glory of the Heavenly Temple, which the Tabernacle was patterned after. Also, I discovered that the worshipers of Apis and Hathor, the cow gods from Egypt, drank an ochre-dyed beer during their orgiastic rituals which stained their mouths bright red, which gave me a way for those involved in the Golden Calf incident to be found among the thousands of tents in that valley. 
What spiritual themes do you want readers to take away from SOTS?
Above all my desire is for readers, especially women, to dig into the Word of God. My imaginings about the Exodus journey are just that, creations from my mind, and not in away way meant to replace the truth of Scripture. Whenever a reader reviews one of my books and says it made them go back and read the story again with a fresh perspective, I rejoice. But with regards to SOTS, my hope is that Shira’s story will inspire readers to remember how precious they are to Yahweh, how trials and tribulations are ultimately for our good; they cause us to run to our Abba, make us dig deeper into the foundation of the Word, and reveal strength and endurance that we did not know we possess. The overall spiritual theme though, is that God can take your broken pieces—those wounded, ragged, messy parts of us—and turn them into something beautiful.

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul



Hannah Anderson lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where she works beside her husband in rural ministry and cares for their three children.  She is the author of Made for More:  An Invitation to Live in God's Image and regularly writes and speaks about faith, culture, and spiritual formation.

You can find more of her work at sometimesalight.com.







Feeling worn thin?

Come and find rest.

Nestled in the simple rhythms of rural life, taking cues from forsythia, milkweed, and wild blackberries.  Hannah Anderson meditates on the pursuit of peace and its natural companion, humility.

Part theology of incarnation, part stroll through fields and forest, Humble Roots reveals how cultivating humility - not scheduling or increased productivity - leads to true peace.  By remembering who you are and Who you aren't, you can discover afresh your need for God and the rest that comes from belonging to Him.

So, come.  Consider the lilies of the field, and learn humility from Christ Himself.

My Thoughts:
Hannah Anderson is a wise and kind teacher and she displays her wisdom based on Scripture in her latest book Humble Roots.  Through a mixture of personal story and biblical application, Hannah offers readers a theologically sound look at humility as she points us to the example of Christ.

"Jesus comes to bring us freedom and rest.  But this rest is contingent on something.  We must come to Him.  We must take His yoke.  We must learn of Him.  And here is the rub.  Here is the real source of our anxiety and stress.  Here is the root of our unhappiness:  The rest that Jesus offers only comes when we humble ourselves and submit to Him."
Humble Roots is a book to be savored, read slowly and absorbed thoroughly.  The words within its pages are a balm to the anxious heart.  Read it and be blessed!

 
*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Blessings,
Jennifer