Anchored – A Message of Grace

I had the privilege a few years ago to meet a little baby born at about 23 weeks.  It was an incredible experience and her mother and I have remained good friends since.  Reading this book brought back so many memories and even opened my eyes to more of what the mother and father went through during this time.  This book is about fighting.  Fighting to find hope, fighting to hold on to that hope, and fighting for a mother’s foothold in reality.

Kayla Aimee gave birth to her daughter, Scarlette, at 25 weeks.  After 155 days in the NICU, Kayla Aimee tells her story of how she and her husband survived those tumultuous days and hours.  For those of us with healthy children it is hard to fathom the pain and anxiety that such a stay in the NICU elicits in a parent.  Kayla Aimee tells us everything she felt through those moments while adding humour to keep the book from being depressing.

This book talks about the struggles she went through with her husband and the days she didn’t even want to talk to friends on the phone.  The moments of fighting for her daughter’s life and those moments of fighting for her marriage.  Kayla Aimee gives us an amazing glimpse in to what it is like for hundreds of mothers around North America and the world, who have similar struggles.  She also gives us ways we can help them, be an encouragement and pray for them.  With great humour she talks about the things one should not say to a mother with a baby in the NICU.   And she talks about how the Lord brought her back from the pit of despair to a place of hope.

I know that parents with babies in the NICU and those of us with healthy babies can all benefit from reading her story.  Giving hope to the hopeless and learning to be a blessing to those parents.

But God – Bible Study Review

I love having a community of women where I can bounce ideas off of them and have them do the same to me.  Brenda Ruse has been a huge encouragement to me in my endeavor to find good material for devotionals.  Last week I shared a book that I was privileged to read and glean from.  This week I am able to share a Bible study that Brenda herself read and wrote up for me to share with you all.  I would love to get my hands on it as she has spoken quite highly of it.

BUT GOD – Question Mark or Exclamation Point?

But God - Bible Study Review    #QuietWorkings

Author: Lorraine Strohbehn and Brenda Strohbehn

Versions of Bible used: KJV in this study; daughter, Brenda may use other versions in her blog, but you don’t need to use those or read them for this study

What I liked or learned:

This study was phenomenal in studying passages of Scripture containing the phrase, “But God.” At the end of each chapter, there’s a section of application called, “Petals from the Basket,” name taken from Brenda’s blog – explanation in the Preface The chapters could each be divided up over several days – so much is packed into each one. 2 chapter study on Joseph – Genesis 50:20 Contentment – Psalm 73:26 Pleasing God, not men – I Thess. 2:4 2 chapters: We were to We are – Galatianas 6:14 Thankful Heart – Romans 6:17 Moses – Net, fire, flood – Psalm 66:10-12 Trials and Temptations – Death of a Dream – I Corinthians 10:13

What I didn’t like or areas where author was weak:

I found the size of the book a bit cumbersome – hard to hold in your lap but perfect to use on a table – would like to see them reduce the size from 8.5 x 11 to a thicker book of maybe 6×9

Level of spiritual maturity needed for this study: mature believer, yet within a class or Bible study setting a new believer could glean much from this – need to also know how to look up references in Scripture; illustrations are easy for most to grasp

Background of author: wife and daughter of Dr. Ben Strohbehn – very fundamental in preaching and testimony

Another great Bible study for Christian women – one to help us learn about our Bible and about the great God we serve.

For more titles check out the link above: Devotionals for Women

Brenda Ruse

Brenda has been a pastor’s wife in the Maritimes for many years.  She currently teaches at a local Bible Institute and is involved in women’s ministries in her church.

A Life Exalted – Bible Study Review

I was blessed recently by Brenda Ruse (see: Reading With Discernment) to review a couple Bible study books she had gotten.  She was also kind enough to send along a “cheat sheet” of sorts that she uses and it helped me tremendously when considering each book and writing my review of it.  It’s nothing special but was a simple way for me to organize my thoughts.  I’m excited to be able to use it from now on.   I can’t wait to share all the new resources for the Devotional Bible Study link that are coming my way.

My goal this year has been to try and put together a good list of resources for Christian women of devotional and study books that we can use.  Many authors today are just not on the same page with conservative Christians and it’s hard to find something that you can promote 100%.  But they are out there and I am so thankful for all the ladies who have helped me create the list already there and are continuing to send me good material.  This book is one of those good ones.

A Life Exalted

A Life Exalted - Bible Study Book Review

What I Learned/Liked about the Book:

This book is a Bible study.  There is no going around that.  It is what makes this book such a good one.  It’s not so much about learning a principle or a lesson, as many study books are, but it’s about knowing your Bible better – being able to point to passages and know what they say regarding Christ’s surrender and exaltation.

The questions that the author poses in the book are based directly on Scripture passages (except for the application questions) and are easy to answer.  They aren’t obscure answers that you have to really think about in order to answer (and then wonder continuously if you answered it right or not).  I really liked that about this book because you know that a new Christian, or someone who isn’t strong academically could do this study and understand it.  There would be no confusion and no struggles while reading it.

In reality, this study is not so much about what the author is writing – there aren’t a lot of “words” to the book.  The study is more about teaching you to use Scripture to learn.  It’s very different from what other study books do.  Many other books are based on opinions and not on Scripture.  In this study, the author starts you thinking with a few short paragraphs and then has you go through Scripture to see what the Bible says about the principle she wants you to learn.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the name study she has towards the end.  The author shows how to take a name for God and follow it through the Bible to see how it is used and the context for it.  She gives a short example and then leaves it as something that you can continue on after the book is finished.  It’s a great option for continuing Bible study once your “Bible study book” is done.

 

What I Did Not Like:

There was one instance in the book where the author quotes Beth Moore, which I don’t particularly like.  I’m sure most people would not even have known it was a quote from her because the author cited all her sources for quotes at the end of the book and just put a number at the end of the quote to allow for readers to check into it if they chose to.  If it weren’t for the fact that I was checking the source for a different quote, I myself would not have known that she quoted Beth Moore.  The quote itself was a good quote but it just kind of bugged me when I saw her name.  I know I am probably going to get shot for saying that, hah, but I’m just being honest.

I thought this book would make an excellent study (and there is another that comes before it by the same author that I assume would be along the same lines) for women’s groups as I really think all women, no matter their level of Christian growth, would be able to do this study and learn from it.  It wasn’t so simple that I was bored.  I actually found myself liking the simplicity of it and learning from it because of that.  It’s also one that can be done by itself.  It doesn’t need a discussion time in order to understand all aspects of it.  It would work well in both settings.

Check out more great resources at the Devotionals for Women link above or go directly to:

Daily Devotionals

Bible Study Books

Spiritual Growth Books

 

Blessings for the Morning – Book Review

Blessings for the Morning - Book Review   #QuietWorkings

 

You all know I have been working on setting up a devotional library, so to speak, a place where Christian women can find good material to encourage them in their walk with the Lord.  I’ll admit, when I saw this book for review from Bethany House, I thought it was a devotional book.   So I was a little disappointed when I received it this month to find that it is actually a “blessings” book.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  There is nothing wrong with the book.  In fact, it’s a gorgeous collection of pictures with a Scripture verse for each morning along with a “blessing”.  There are just shy of 100, so about 3 months worth of daily readings.  I like that the readings are divided into topics so if you want to read something specific you can look for it in the index.  There are also 6 blessings added in a special section for Special Needs and Occasions.  These include Christmas and New Years among others.

The book reminds of something you would find on a coffee table or in a guest room.   It’s a neat little book that would make a good hostess gift or special occasion present.  I can picture myself waking up in someone else’s house and just reading a page, it wouldn’t be something I could see myself reading every day.

Unfortunately, I won’t be adding it to the devotional list.  The Scriptures are in NIV which also slightly annoys me.  This book is definitely not my style but I am sure it does appeal to some.  Still, I’m glad I had the opportunity to review this book.

Keepers of the Covenant – Book Review

Keepers of the Covenant (The Restoration Chronicles Book #2)

 

I blogged about the first in this Restoration Chronicles, Return to Me, a while ago and was excited to have the opportunity to review the second book from Bethany House Publishers.

Lynn Austin has taken us on a journey of the prophets in this incredible series.  It is definitely not your typical fluff and does require some thinking.  There were a few times I got bogged down but then something would capture my attention and I wouldn’t be able to put the book down.

Lynn challenges us spiritually in these book and I like that.  I actually underline sentences so that I can remember quotes unusual for an historical fiction book.

This particular story follows Ezra, a quiet scholar who is forced to become a leader when Haman issues his proclamation against the Jews.  It shows his courage as he leads his people into battle against the Babylonians and then again as he leaves his home and returns to Jerusalem.

Then we are shown his desire for cleansing when the men begin taking wives of the people of the land and his stand to remain holy before the Lord.

I had goosebumps throughout the book.  Lynn has a way of drawing you into the historical events and making you feel what God’s people must have felt going through these events.

I heartily recommend this book.  You won’t be disappointed!