Friday, March 26, 2010

Review - Busy Mom's Bible

I received a Busy Mom's Bible from Zondervan to use and review. I must say that this Bible has a beautiful cover without being too frilly or girly. I was impressed by the look and feel when I took it out of the box. It is very easy to locate the devotional "sheets" (DS) inside the Bible because they are colored and thicker than the Bible text pages. Each DS is broken into four sections, two on each side, with a different theme on the page. For example, between the pages of 2 Chronicles 20:1 and 2 Chronicles 21:15, there is a DS with the theme of Raising Your Kids. The first topic of the DS is Repeat Daily and there is a 1 minute reading, a 5 minute reading that expands on the 1 minute, a 10 minute reading that expands on the 5 minute, and a Word to take with you - Repetition. The DS are spread throughout the Bible but it is noticeable that the DS are not spread evenly (there are no DS before Joshua 7 or after 1 Corinthians 5).

I enjoyed the short DS and felt the topics covered were diverse and satisfying. I liked that the 10 minute reading had more verses at the back of the Bible, it makes it easy to look at a certain topic and see more information about it such as Bullies (Ps. 147:6, Gen 37:1-28, Ps 109:1-5, 26-31, Lk 6:31). This way you wouldn't have to flip through to find the DS on that issue, but just flip to the back and find more verses for encouragement.

My Dislikes
1)Why choose NIV? Maybe it's just my church but we tend to read the ESV or NASB for Bible translations. I do believe the ESV is more accurate and fairly easy to read.
2)The DS can be distracting. I especially think if you were in the middle of a sermon on a text that lies next to the DS, you would be very tempted to begin reading the DS instead of paying attention to the Bible text and sermon. (But this is common with any Study/Devotional Bible.)
3)Placement and way the DS is laid out. It would be nice if the devotion was right across from the verse it is listing, so if you wanted you could look at context!
4)Bible text pages are very thin and there's quite a bit of "see-through" from the next/previous page (though this is typical with standard Bibles these days).

My recommendations to give as a gift
1)would make a nice Bible for a new Christian who is a mom (or one who other moms seek advice from)
2)would be good for a mom-to-be or very busy mom - easy to place the Bible in a place where she could catch snippets or read verses and DS, while doing other things (not to be gross but like the bathroom or rocking chair or breastfeeding area).

Thank you to Zondervan for the chance to review the Busy Mom's Bible.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Reading Thing 2010

Yeah, it's that time of year again! Though I've only participated in the Fall Reading Challenge once, I enjoy each of the challenges by reading other bloggers' reading lists and reviews.

This year, my husband once again helped to make my list. I've provided Amazon links just to make it easier (no kickback).

1. Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel
One Day at a Time by Elyse Fitpatrick - I've been using this as a daily devotional but don't always keep up. I just try to read every day and keep a bookmark with where I am in the book so I keep reading through it.
Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson - picked out by my husband, one reason is John Piper read it and is still talking about it!
Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church by Michael Horton - my husband has read this and wants me to read it and discuss.
God's Big Picture: Tracing the Story-Line of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts - my husband picked it out.
Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety: Becoming A
Woman of Faith
and Confidence by Elyse Fitpatrick - rinse, repeat
6. something by Charles Martin, depends on what's available at the library but I'd like to read Chasing Fireflies. I've already read When Crickets Cry.
7. READ Greater Love by Robert Litlow - third book in the Tides of Truth series. I'd like to see how this one goes before giving a review of the other two books in the series.

I assume I'll add more fiction especially b/c I want to start READ book 4 of the Million Dollar Mysteries series. Also my husband and I have a daily Bible reading time that I won't list. Please keep checking back for book reviews! :) Happy reading!

updated 4/30 to add read books (Gilead, Greater Love, and A Quarter for a Kiss (book 4 of the Million Dollar Mysteries) reviews here, here, and here respectively)

Book Review

Ten Things I Wish Jesus Never Said by Victor Kuligin was picked by my husband to read for the Fall 2007 Reading Challenge. I'm a little late for the review. The book has lots of missionary stories from the author living in Namibia. But also challenges you to understand what Christ says and what the implications are of those words.

I specifically remember one situation that was quite troubling for the author - there was a woman who visited specifically when his wife was out of town. Then the woman spread rumors that certain things had occurred when his wife wasn't there. All of this was untrue and the woman had previously implicated other men so she was already known to be a liar. But this caused problems for the author's mission organization and interrupted their work there. A reminder to men here in the U.S. and abroad to be careful of putting themselves in awkward situations. It is better to follow the Billy Graham rule of never being alone with a woman other than your wife than to face the prejudices and implicating questions from others later.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Book Review - Christy by Catherine Marshall

1994 - I was very fond of the CBS show Christy starring Kellie Martin. I didn't watch every episode but was disappointed when the series was canceled. I KNEW that the story wasn't finished and I really wanted to know what happened, did she marry? did she stay in the cove?

1999 - During our final year in college, my husband and I bought a TV and had cable (really the first time in my life to have cable and the only year we had it). We watched some PAX and later became interested in their miniseries Christy. Eventually, my husband bought me the whole DVD set from PAX and I found out who Christy married. I was quite shocked but happy. I felt it didn't quite live up to the CBS show b/c Kellie Martin wasn't in it. But it was nice to see some of the same actors playing the same characters. And it was good to see more of the story!

?2002 - Because I consider myself a reader, it was kind of weird that I still hadn't read the book by Catherine Marshall! I finally checked the book out and started it but couldn't get through it. A young lady at church said it was her favorite but admitted that the story is slow until about chapter four then it picks up. Ah - now I had a clue and very good tip but I still didn't read it. :)

Late Summer 2007 - My husband gives me the CBS series on DVD for my birthday. I watched all of the episodes eyeing the behavior of the 2 suitors b/c I now knew who she married. I had seen the book at my friend's house and she said it was one of her favorites and she'd like to borrow my DVD set. Once I decided to join the Fall Reading Challenge, I added the book to my list and asked my friend if I could borrow it.

Fall 2007 - I read Christy finally! But I never posted a review!

Almost Spring 2010 - I'm thinking about joining the Spring Reading Thing but I'd like to get this review done! :) I thought the book was very good. I could relate to Christy's challenge teaching the students as I've taught Sunday School and VBS before. One of the main things she says is about their language, does she correct it or leave it as their (ultimately) heritage from their mountain culture. (At our last church I was often appalled to hear kids using the word ain't, but do you correct it or leave it???) One warning I would give to others especially if your young daughter wants to read the book or you're sensitive to the topic is rape is brought up in the book. It doesn't happen to Christy but one of the other main characters a long time in the past. I felt some of the details were not needed and the description was a bit much for littler ears. It was nice to finally hear the "whole" story from the Christy book. I can't believe how many of the CBS series shows weren't based on the book, it just seemed like they took the characters from the book and then went on with whatever storylines they wanted or whatever they would've faced in those days.

I do realize that the Christy book is fiction, but based on Catherine Marshall's mother's life. However, it SEEMS so real it's hard to believe it's fiction. If you haven't read the book I highly recommend it AND if you haven't seen the CBS show I highly recommend it AND if you haven't seen the PAX miniseries I recommend it (to finish out the story). If you just can't get enough or want to experience where the filming of the CBS show took place, then you should check out ChristyFest here taking place this year on June 16-20. Can you tell I'm a fan?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Coming out of the woodworks

So to speak! :) I've been trying to settle into a good routine that includes a little blogging, but haven't found that magic time yet! But I just HAD to post this after seeing it on Camy's blog. Camy Tang's first Sushi book, Sushi for One? is free to download from Amazon right now. It's a Kindle book but with Kindle for PC for free, you don't have to actually own a Kindle. It's a wonderful book and very funny plus you get to learn about all kinds of Asian foods and family dynamics. Camy is a wonderful author and very giving on her blog (hint - lots of giveaways and book suggestions), so add her to your Google Reader or Bloglines!