Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Dreaming of the Majors

About the Book

Dreaming of the Majors Front Cover

Book: Dreaming of the Majors

Author: Dick “Lefty” O’Neal

Genre: SPORTS & RECREATION / Baseball / History

Release Date: April 4, 2014

By all counts, Dick “Lefty” O’Neal didn’t have a chance of playing professional baseball. However, today he holds the distinction of being the only white baseball player to pitch for two teams in the Negro Leagues that flourished throughout the twentieth century. “Dreaming of the Majors” is his account of the dream he nurtured from the age of five to play Major League baseball, the people God brought into his life who shaped the dream, and the amazing and unexpected twists and turns Dick experienced along the journey toward fulfilling the dream.

 

Click here to get your copy.

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Let me start off by saying I am not an athlete.  I have never desired to be an athlete.  However, growing up I remember my grandfather watching baseball games. So when I had the opportunity to read and review this book, I felt the need to do so because of the relationship I had with my grandfather.

This book for me served as a combination of memoir, Biblical truths, and the importance of recognizing who God has called us to be.  I think one of my favorite parts of the book was when he talked about the boy who wanted his autograph at an Old-timers game.  The way he treated that boy was a true example of someone who intimately knows and follows Jesus Christ.

I also loved reading about Lefty’s relationship with his father and desire to have him be a part of his life.  So whether you are a sports lover, an athlete or neither, this book has something to offer.  It is definitely worth reading.  So check it out for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Richard O'Neal_Dreaming of the Majors

Lefty is currently an Adjunct Professor in Speech, Motivational Speaker, and MLB Scout. He is also a consultant for a possible movie, “Dreaming of the Majors,” which would be based on Dreaming of the Majors – Living in the Bush. He has two grown children, Amy and Adam. He and his wife Harriett have been married forty-plus years and live in Universal City, Texas.”

 

More from Lefty

“I wrote my story in order to pass on to my son and daughter what their father experienced in his walk through life as a Christian. I wanted them to understand that  if you have the right purpose, surrounded by the right people, you can make a difference if you listen to His guidance. Using a sports platform was perfect for me to share that whatever your dream is as you are growing as a ballplayer and a Christian helps you stand as an example for all who dreamed of playing a sport.

I had no idea the book would relate so well to anyone who dreams their dreams,  but more importantly, if it doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would they realize it was God’s plan to put them where they are. People have found that blooming  where they you are planted is right where God wants you to make a difference.

My story is one of hope, persistence, never give up attitude, and it encourages all of us to pursue our dreams regardless of the obstacles that stand in our path. But to remember that our Heavenly Father’s spirit has always been with us throughout the journey, wherever it takes us”.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 18

Jacquelyn Lynn, November 19

Connie’s History Classroom, November 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 21

She Lives to Read, November 22

For the Love of Literature, November 23

Artistic Nobody, November 24 (Author Interview)

deb’s book review, November 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

A Reader’s Brain, November 28

janicesbookreviews, November 29

Inklings and notions, November 30

Simple Harvest Reads, December 1 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Dick is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed Dreaming of the Majors book along with two autographed baseball cards and 1 autographed baseball!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ee19/dreaming-of-the-majors-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Soul Mend

Soul Mend FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Soul Mend

Author: Luann Dunnuck

Genre: Christian Non-fiction, Christian Personal Growth, Counseling

Release Date: April 12, 2019

Soul Mend Cover FrontRestore your emotional health!

Have you felt trapped in an endless cycle of fear, anger, guilt, and other negative emotions? Has depression, anxiety, fear of rejection, or the inability to let go of past hurts robbed you of peace?

No matter how hopeless or discouraged you feel, freedom is possible. It’s time to get to the root of your pain so you can heal. In Soul Mend: Discovering Spiritual and Emotional Health, author Luann Dunnuck shows you how to uncover the source of your emotional struggles and experience wholeness with the help of God’s Holy Spirit.

See the connection between your mental and physical health. Find scriptural truths to help you work through emotional struggles. God has answers for you and declares in Jeremiah, “Is there anything too hard for Me?” Let Him do the impossible in you as you apply the concepts in this book, rely more heavily on God, and regain the joy of living!

 

Click here to get your copy.

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Soul Mend examines the connection between mental and physical health.  When one or the other of these suffers, the other one will suffer as well.  This book is broken into sections.  The first looks at when nothing is working.  The second examines the cause and repair of damaged emotions.  The third, and final part, looks at continuing to overcome.

The book includes personal stories, such as Luann Dunnuck’s battle with Breast Cancer and more.  We need to recognize that only God knows the future, and we need to trust Him for everything. With Scriptural references to support her thoughts, Luann Dunnuck does a masterful job of weaving the words of this book together.

I found myself wanting to keep reading. I found myself agreeing with the fact that Satan wants us to believe in his lies rather than in God’s truths.  She illustrates many of her points with facts about Jesus and the words He spoke.  Truly this is a book worth reading.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Luanne DunnickLuann Dunnuck is a conference speaker, author, and counselor. She has a heart for those who are seeking emotional wholeness and spiritual health. Luann earned her master’s degree in Christian counseling and a doctorate in theology, and is a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God.

Her message of hope and restoration has been heard on radio and television—including Words to Live By, produced by RBC Ministries, and Crossroads Magazine. She and her husband, Robert, have three grown children.

 

More from Luann

SOUL MEND was written to break people out of their emotional chains! I know first hand what such things as anxiety, strife, guilt, and unforgiveness feel like. I know first hand how devasting these emotions can be on the physical body. After walking through some of these issues and recovering from a debilitating diagnosis I decided it was time to go back to school, get my counseling degree, and help other people!  In SOUL MEND I cover the three sources of negative thinking and how they impact our emotional and physical health. There are chapters on; a broken heart, stress, guilt, self-reproach, anxiety, and anger/bitterness.  Each chapter contains study questions to help the reader identity and heal from toxic emotions. The book ends on a uplifting and encouraging note on how God created you to walk in His destiny and His goodness. There is always a purpose in your pain and the Bible is clear that what the enemy meant for evil God promises to turn around for God when we seek Him (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28). I am excited to go on this journey with you and help you discover the healing and destiny that awaits you

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 7

Mary Hake, November 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 9

Artistic Nobody, November 10 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 11

Texas Book-aholic, November 12

janicesbookreviews, November 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 14 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, November 15

BookofRuthAnn, November 16

A Reader’s Brain, November 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 18

Stephanie’s LIfe of Determination, November 18

My Devotional Thoughts, November 19 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 20

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Luann is giving away a hard copy of her book SOUL MEND, and a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ee22/soul-mend-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Significant

Significant FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Significant

Author: Carol McLeod

Genre:  Christian Living, Women’s Interest

Release Date: November 5, 2019

significant coverIn the midst of our busy, stressful lives and the increasingly chaotic state of our world, we can lose sight of—or never really discover—our personal significance. We desire meaning and fulfillment but battle the stress and loneliness that often push their way into the forefront of life.
What makes you significant as an individual? As a woman? As a wife, mother, daughter, or friend? No matter what your age or current course in life, you can come to know your remarkable significance and eternal value. As you thirst for relief from stress and loneliness, you can build a foundation on what is divine and eternal, while also immensely practical for this life on earth. The truths God says about you as a woman are powerful and glorious!
In Significant, you will discover that you are the steward of your own self and will be challenged to embrace every season of your life. What is God calling you to do through the power of His Holy Spirit?  The days of cowering in fear, hiding behind insignificance, and wallowing in lack of opportunities are over. God is blowing doors wide open for women as never before. It is time for women to march forward in grand anticipation of all that God can do through even one woman submitted to the call of God and filled with His Spirit.
So often we look for identity, purpose, and comfort in all the wrong places. We have sought lasting meaning from temporary fixes, immature voices, and cultural Band-Aids. This book is a call to women who possess a relentless desire to discover their unique purpose, to embrace their true identity, and to be comforted by irrepressible hope.
Significant reminds women from every generation that identity, confidence, and purpose come from who God is—not from how we feel at any given time. How wonderful to know that we are allowed to be both God’s masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time!
You never know your true self until you know yourself in God.

 

Click here to get your copy.

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As I began to read this book, I recognized how easy it is to become trapped in the lies that I am insignificant and serve no purpose here on earth.  But that is a lie Satan wants me to believe. This book beautifully illustrates the fact that we are here on earth for one reason and that is the Highest God created us in His Image and formed us for a purpose.

With a combination of conversational style, Bible verses, questions and more, this book will make you think and recognize how important we are to God and in God’s eyes.  I love the fact that Carol McLeod begins the book by delving into the fact she wants her readers to become dear friends.  As I read the words on the pages of the book that fact became clear.

So if you are struggling with believing you have a purpose or if you just want a Biblical confirmation of how important you are to God, check out this book for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

McLeod_Carol2Carol McLeod is a popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats through Carol McLeod Ministries. She is the author of ten books, including Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue (Whitaker House, 2018), Joy for All Seasons (Bridge-Logos, 2016), Holy Estrogen (Harrison House, 2012), and Defiant Joy(Thomas Nelson, 2006). Carol hosts a daily podcast, A Jolt of Joy! on the Charisma Podcast Network, and a weekly podcast, The Joy of Motherhood, which is listened to by thousands of moms around the world. Her blog, Joy for the Journey (formerly A Cup of Tea with Carol), has been named in the Top 50 Faith Blogs for Women. After her 2013 devotional 21 Days to Beat Depression had nearly 100,000 downloads in the first month, YouVersion picked it up, where it has been read over 500,000 times in five years. She also has ten other devotionals on YouVersion, including Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue. Carol writes a weekly column for Ministry Today and often writes for Charisma magazine. She is also a frequent guest on and has cohosted 100 Huntley Street. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman’s Heartwon a Telly Award in 2005 for excellence in religious programming. The first Women’s Chaplain at Oral Roberts University, she currently serves on the university’s Alumni Board of Directors. Carol has been married to her college sweetheart, Craig, for over forty years and is the mother of five children in heaven and five children on earth. Carol and Craig are now enjoying their new titles as “Marmee and Pa” to seven captivating grandchildren! She and her husband recently moved to Oklahoma, where Craig serves as the North American Director for Global Partners, a missions organization that plants churches in remote areas of the world.

 

More from Carol

Significant is the book that I have yearned to write ever since I was a young woman in college and was deeply impacted by Elisabeth Elliot’s classic work Let Me Be a Woman. That book, which Elisabeth wrote in the form of advice to her daughter, Valerie, on the brink of her marriage, taught me, in every way that mattered, how to be a woman of value and purpose. Elisabeth knew that the only way a woman could exert any lasting influence on her culture was to embrace the truths found in the Word of God.

I remember longing to have a profound influence on a generation of women the way Elisabeth did on the young women of my own generation. I aspired, even at the naive age of twenty-two, to be a voice of wisdom and purpose for the women who would come after me.

The years flew by, and soon I was a young mother who was homeschooling her brood of five creative, active children. Every school-day morning at ten, I sent the children off to read alone or to go outside to play so that I could turn on my little transistor radio and listen to Gateway to Joy, the thirty-minute program that Elisabeth Elliot hosted for many years. In that season of my life, I was smitten by her knack for calling me out of the daily routine of dishes, laundry, and little sleep to a sacred place of loving and serving the Savior. Elisabeth reminded me time after time that even the mundane can be transformed into a place of beautiful worship. Even today, I can still hear her voice saying, “Anything, if offered to God, can and will become your gateway to joy.”

Isn’t it interesting to realize that a person you have never met has the ability to change your life? As I have learned from so many people whom I have never met in person, I hope that my voice will not just be static in your world, but that you will clearly hear and take to heart the life-changing truths I present in this book. You can be assured that these truths have been gleaned by a real woman who has embraced the fulfillment and joy that comes from submitting her life to God’s abundant calling.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, November 13

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 14

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner , November 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 15

CarpeDiem, November 16

Moments, November 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 18

For Him and My Family, November 19

Mary Hake, November 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 20

For the Love of Literature, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 24

A Reader’s Brain, November 25

janicesbookreviews, November 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away a copy of Significant and a $20 Starbucks gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f0bc/significant-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for A Precious Loss

About the Book

Book: A Precious Loss

Author:Sharon Fox

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Release Date: July 8, 2016

Front cover A Precious Loss_EN

Losing a child is the worst tragedy a parent can experience. And yet it happens to many from various causes, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), death from illness, stillborn birth, or miscarriage. APrecious Loss offers those who have experienced such a death awindow into the grief process. It presents the biblical grief model and the emotions to expect after a loss, and it includes the steps to move forward toward peace and contentment. 

While each parent’s experience is unique, this book is written with deep insight and strong compassion. It provides grieving parents with: 

·         Concrete steps to coping and recovery, including how to care for your health and your relationships and how to cope with emotions and behaviors you can expect to experience 

·         Biblical support for finding comfort and hope in your darkest hours

Recognition of the hard questions you may have, such as these: 

·                     Why me? 

·                     Was this my fault? 

·                     Is someone to blame? 

·                     Is this some sort of punishment for things I did or did not do? 

·                     Is there a purpose for my child’s death? 

·                     Can I trust God? 

If you or a loved one is grappling with the devastating loss of a child, this book will provide hope and encouragement to press on, knowing that God will sustain you through this painful experience. 

 

Click here to get your copy.

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Having never experienced a miscarriage or death of a precious infant, I can not imagine the heartbreak and devastation that must bring.  However, I have walked beside in real-life and through online friendships the deaths of babies who never had the chance to live outside the womb or died after birth.  I have seen the heartbreak and devastation these families have gone through.  Yet a lack of personal experience has often made me wonder what the correct verbal responses should be.

This book does a remarkable job of examining  the fact that no two people grieve in the same manner.  The inclusion of a chapter on God’s model of grieving the death of His Son Jesus Christ is a powerful and meaningful example.

I also appreciate how she addresses what someone should say to someone walking down the dark path of miscarriage, stillbirth, or SIDS.  This book is one worth reading for anyone who has walked the devastating path of losing a child or wants to be better prepared to walk alongside someone going down that devastating path.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

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Sharon Fox is a wife, author, speaker and co-founder of Brave Penny (non-profit). Her heart for those who mourn and struggle with loss has led her to write and teach about God’s model of grieving the death of his son, Jesus.  

 A Precious Loss, was written for families who have experienced miscarriage, SIDS, infant death and stillbirths. (Spanish – Una Perdida Preciosa) 

Sharon published Reframing Adoption, (also in Spanish) and a children’s Christmas book, The Stone Carver’s Son. 

She has led a grief recovery ministry for over twenty years. Sharon is acertified grief facilitator and has been a speaker at the National Conference on Adoption and the Anglicans For Life Summit. 

 

More from Sharon

Precious Loss (Una Perdida Preciosa– Spanish) was written to present a Christian perspective on the survival of families when a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death (SIDS) have occurred. A miscarriage or infant death is strikingly harsh and so many times unknown by others, which leaves the mother and family without support or understanding.  The statistics tell the story.  One in four conceptions end in miscarriage.  Seventy Five Percent of the marriages end in divorce when a child under three dies.

How do families survive the death of a child, a miscarriage, or tragic illness or accident that is such a sacred, personal and bewildering lossevent?  A Precious Loss is packed with sage advice, coping skills, presentation of God’s Model of Grieving, the Gospel, helpful, authentic recognition of the emotional overload of loss.  The book presents the blueprint from chaos, sadness, upheaval, questioning, new and strong emotions to contentment. It presents the pathway to the reach contentment and live abundantly again.

Blog Stops

Quietworkings, November 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Artistic Nobody, November 18 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, November 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 20

Simple Harvest Reads, November 21 (Author Interview)

As He Leads is Joy, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 23

For the Love of Literature, November 24 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, November 25

A Reader’s Brain, November 26

My Devotional Thoughts, November 27 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 28

Just the Write Escape, November 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sharon is giving away the grand prize of a $100 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ee18/a-precious-loss-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Considering Others

About the Book

Book: Considering Others

Author: Jungu Olobia

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living / Personal Growth

Release Date: March 4, 2019

Front cover Considering Others

Good manners and etiquette begin in the home, or wherever a child is taught or mentored. From an early age, children learn how to behave, and as they grow, how to interact in their relationships at school, church, and in their communities. Though etiquette varies between cultures, practicing good manners is a kindness that extends across cultures, because the way we treat one another matters. 

We want to raise and train our children in safe, healthy environments, but the daily encounters of a fallen world make it challenging. Much has been written on good etiquette, but this practical, captivating book points readers to Jesus Christ as the Lord and the Holy Spirit as the Teacher of good manners, clearly illustrating that the Bible is the Life Manual for good behavior that comes from God’s heart. 

From biblical examples to personal examples, reflection verses and practical steps, and prayers and Scriptures to pray over children, Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God will help parents, teachers, and mentors shape and develop godly character and good manners in children so they may lead healthy, successful adult lives in their sphere of influence around the world. And there’s plenty of takeaways for adults too! 

 

Click here to get your copy!

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As a both a parent and a former public school teacher, I recognize the importance of good manners.  As the wife of a soldier, I also know the importance of proper etiquette.  Throughout the years of my husband’s time in the service, we have had to attend military events both as a couple and as a family.  For my husband and I, it was important for our children to know how to properly behave. This book does a wonderful job of combining etiquette and good manners with Scriptural references as well as personal experiences.

So if you are looking for a book that covers everything from etiquette for meeting and greeting to family etiquette, to table etiquette to church etiquette and more check out this book.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

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Jungu Olobia is a wife and mother, with two degrees in business and informational technology. A Sunday school teacher for over sixteen years, she teaches children ages three to twelve. She enjoys volunteering in her children’s school and in her community. She and her pediatrician husband live with their two sons in Keller, Texas.  

 

More from Jungu

As parents and guardians, we want to raise and train our children in safe, healthy environments, but the daily encounters of a fallen world make it very challenging. Much has been written on good etiquette, but how many books point to Jesus Christ as the Lord and the Holy Spirit as the Teacher of good manners? After almost two decades serving and teaching as a Sunday school teacher, about a decade working in an IT position at a College, and with much encouragement from my beloved pastors and family, I wrote Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God.  Thank you so much for joining me today! It has been such a privilege and honor to be with you. We all love and care for our children very much, so thank you for allowing me to talk about my book, Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God. Writing my first book has been a walk of faith that has been both painful and joyous as I found out a lot more about my family history and how much I needed to pray!  Thank God, however, for His love and gift of His son, our Lord Jesus.

 Here is a question for us: What legacy do we want to leave our children?  Proverbs 13:22 tells us that good people leave an inheritance to their descendants. That scripture speaks to more than a financial or natural inheritance. It also speaks to passing on virtues that build character.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 14

Mary Hake, November 15

Vicky Sluiter, November 16 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 18

Creating Relationship, November 19

Artistic Nobody, November 20 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

By The Book, November 23 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, November 24

A Reader’s Brain, November 25

All 4 and About Books, November 26 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jungu is giving away a copy of Considering Others to two winners!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/edec/considering-others-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Deovtionals

Review and Giveaway for Glimpses of God: A Winter Devotional for Women

Glimpses of God in Winter FB Banner

About the Book

Book: Glimpses of God, A Winter Devotional for Women

Author: Shirley Crowder & Harried Michael

Genre: Non-fiction, Christian devotional

Release Date: November 6, 2019

Glimpses of God in WinterAs Christ-followers we also experience spiritual seasons. These seasons do not come in order like seasons in nature, which come regularly without fail. Each spiritual season we experience is defined by certain features also. In spiritual winter we think of the coldness of our relationship with God; in spring, new growth; in summer, warmth and heat; in fall, shedding the old and preparing for difficult days ahead.

This book is focused on winter—both calendar and spiritual. During our spiritual winters, when it feels as though God is far away or we feel stuck or dormant, we must rest in the truth of God’s sovereign mercy, grace, love, and care for His children. It is the first in the Glimpses of God” series.

 

Click here to get your copy.

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Winter is one of my favorite seasons, especially when we live somewhere there is snow.  So a devotional centered around my favorite season brings me joy.  The personal stories bring a lot to this devotional.  The book contains thirteen chapters with five readings per chapter.  The authors have done a fantastic job of bringing the season of winter and the Word of God into a wonderful combination.  I look forward to actually beginning this when winter begins.  I look forward to seeing what these authors create for the other seasons.

From titles like “Yearning for Sunshine”, “Beneath the Snow”, “Finding Joy in Winter” and more the daily devotionals contain the perfect balance of  Scriptural readings and personal stories, a prayer and thought for the day that kept my interest.

So check out this devotional for yourself.

I received a copy of this devotional for my fair and honest review.

About the Authors

Shirley CrowderShirley is passionate about disciple-making, which is conducted in and through a myriad of ministry opportunities that include biblical counseling, teaching Bible studies, and writing. She is Biblical counselor commissioned by, and serving on the national Advisory Team for, The Addiction Connection. She is co-host of “Think on These Things,” a Birmingham AL radio/TV program for women; and a freelance writer.

Harriet MichelsHarriet is a wife and mother to four grown children and grandmother to two precious grandchildren. She has authored a growing number of books, including “Prayer: It’s Not About You”, a finalist in the 2011 “Women of Faith” manuscript contest. She is also a freelance writer with numerous published pieces, including more than a hundred devotions in various magazines.

 

More from Shirley and Harriet

From Africa to America, Life Long Friends

March 14, many years ago …

In the heart of the African jungle in the Niger River delta of eastern Nigeria, the first cry of a newborn baby echoes from a small jungle hospital. The baby is a girl, Harriet Clarice, the third child of medical missionaries, Alice and Keith Edwards.

Harriet and her family stayed in this remote part of Nigeria for a year until the other family returned from furlough. At that time, they went for another year to Oyo, Nigeria to language school and then on to Ogbomoso in central Nigeria, where they stayed the next ten years. Keith practiced medicine at the hospital in Ogbomoso, and Alice worked with him as a nurse.

 

October 24 of the same year Harriet was born …

Deep in the Yoruba country of southwestern Nigeria, some 260 miles away from Joinkrama, piercing through the tropical night sounds, the first cry of another newborn baby cries out at a guesthouse in Ogbomoso. This baby is also a girl, Shirley Jeanne, the fourth child of missionaries Jeannie and Ray Crowder.

In 1962 the Crowders moved to Ogbomoso. Ray served as administrator of the 96-bed hospital, and Jeannie taught kindergarten and ministered to the Nigerian women with home visits and Bible studies. Harriet’s parents worked at the Ogbomoso hospital with Ray.

 

Lifelong friends

Harriet ended up living just up the dirt road from Shirley. They played together nearly every day and formed a friendship that remained, even after years and distance separated them.

Harriet and Shirley, and the others in this unique group of individuals, who shared a common childhood in Nigeria in our beloved tropical homeland half a world away from where most of us live now, grew up calling each other’s parents aunt and uncle. Even as adults, we still feel a kinship as though we are family—cousins perhaps.

Some years ago, at a mission reunion, Shirley handed Harriet a book to which she had contributed. That was the first time Harriet knew she was a writer. Shirley had discovered a few years earlier that Harriet was a writer, too.

Several years ago, Shirley suggested that they prayerfully consider writing a devotional book together. Through that experience, they learned that they work well together. Their similar understanding and views on scripture is a good foundation for the different strengths each of us bring when it comes to writing.

Since that first book, we have worked and continue to work together on other projects. Glimpses of God: a winter devotional for women is the first of a 4-book devotional series. Through our devotionals we want people to see Glimpses of God all around them. Creator God made the world and the seasons throughout the year. By using the seasons in nature, we help readers see correlations to the spiritual seasons Christ-followers experience and to get “Glimpses of God” in and through everything that happens.

So, we guess it could be said that we are once again “playing” with our childhood friend in spite of several decades having passed since they played together happily beneath the shade of mango trees.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader,  November 9

The Power of Words, November 10

Artistic Nobody, November 11 (Author Interview)

Jacquelyn Lynn, November 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 12

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 13

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 15

For the Love of Literature, November 16

CarpeDiem, November 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

Texas Book-aholic, November 19

janicesbookreviews, November 20

A Reader’s Brain, November 21

Inklings and notions , November 22

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, Harriet and Shirley are giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/ee16/glimpses-of-god-a-winter-devotional-for-women-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for Are You In The Game Or In The Way

About the Book

Book: Are You in the Game or in the Way?

Author: Ross Holtz

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Pastoral Resources

Release Date: March 10, 2017

Front Cover

Are You in the Game or in the Way?

A men’s ministry reality check: What is standing in the way of a vital men’s ministry in your church? 

The guy who should be at the forefront is often in the way of the program getting off the ground. 

·         Are you, as pastor, the main obstacle to the growth of a vital men’s ministry? 

·         Are you the guy who wants to start a men’s ministry in your church but don’t know how? 

·         Is fear or a sense of inadequacy keeping you from starting such a ministry? 

Pastor Ross Holtz tells his personal story of how he became a catalyst for growth, instead of an impediment will inspire pastors and men’s ministry leaders. 

What works, what doesn’t, and what is required in forming a vital men’s ministry. Practical and honest teaching filled with relevant and tested examples from recognizing the problem to finding the fix.  

Pastor Ross Holtz is a man who has earned the right to speak on ministering to and through men . . . One man’s journey from being a skeptic to a fully-engaged pastor who sees the power of a clear ministry to and through men . . . Pastor Ross bares his heart, and is, at times, brutally honest in a way that will resonate.  

—Chuck Stecker, president, A Chosen Generation

 

Click here to get your copy.

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As a woman, I can not necessarily relate to what goes through men’s heads when they think of men’s ministries.  But as a wife and mother, I recognize the importance of them.  I also recognize the importance of pastors being involved.  I appreciated how this book looks at different scenarios for creating and maintaining men’s ministries.

I think many churches put more emphasis on women’s ministries possibly because women have a greater desire for that type of community.  However, as I read this book I thought about the various churches we have attended through the years and the ones with men’s ministries.  Then I spoke to my husband about his feelings about men’s ministries.  I recognize men’s ministries need to focus on activities that relate to things that men are interested in doing.

I also appreciated how he emphasized the importance of the pastor taking an active role in men’s ministries.  Because as he stated, men are more likely to be involved when they feel like the pastor thinks something is important enough to attend.

So check out this book for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

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Geoffrey Ross Holtz, DD, is founding and senior pastor of The Summit (ECFA) in Enumclaw. He was awarded “Pastor of the Year” in 2014 by the National Coalition of Ministries for Men. Ross and his wife, Athena, the founder and publisher of Redemption Press, have a blended family of eight adult children and seventeen grandchildren and enjoy time spent sailing.  

 

More from Ross

I’ve been asked to tell something about myself or tell a personal story. I’m not adverse to talking about myself, but I’d rather tell you a very personal story.

There was a show on television, maybe still is I guess, called Overhaulin’. The plot of the show was that each week they would sneak a person’s car away from them, with family help, and overhaul it to make it really cool. It was every car-guy’s dream; to have someone restore a vehicle for you, that was special to you. And to restore it at their expense; Wow, doesn’t get cooler than that.

I never was on that show, but I have a story that I want to tell you. It was late summer in 2014. I had just remarried after having lost my wife of 49 years awhile before. The church that I pastor was having a car show as a community outreach on this particular Sunday. The day had started out rather weird. Several people seemed to be inordinately interested in my movements and where I was going to be as we set up the show.

“Oh, Ross, you need to go into the church, someone is looking for you.” Or, “Hey Ross, would you run get this for us across town?” Yeah, weird things. But I obliged and made myself scarce for the time leading up to the church service before the car show officially started.

So, we do the obligatory service; it ends, and my new wife and I start walking through the grassy field looking at the custom and restored vehicles that had come to the show. I, as is my style, was meandering along the cars talking to people I knew and folks with their fancy cars. Athena, my wife, seemed to be hurrying me along which was not like her at all. And, which was like me, I was just strolling along enjoying the cars.

Then, down the row a few cars, I spot the open hood of a 1961 Chev pickup. That year had a very distinct hood which was used only one year. “Oh, look at that. I had a truck like that years ago. Wow, and look at that, it’s yellow. Isn’t that gorgeous.” Funny, I failed to see the horde of people and cameras set up in front of that vehicle, all looking towards me.

Anyway, I hurriedly moved towards it and recognized it as a limited addition of that year’s Chevy truck. I said, “Hey look at that. It’s the same model that I had. That’s not your normal ’61.” I wondered if someone had restored my old truck.

I must give a bit of back story on my old truck. It had been purchased new in Los Gatos, California by my dad. He had needed someone to drive it home so he pulled my out of school to do that. I was 14. My father was not a stickler for legal technicalities. So I was the first to drive his new truck. It was new, but it was ugly. It was painted an ugly shade of puce. I mean it was really an awful color. My mother called it “Rosebud” because it reminded her of some kind of flower.

In 1975 my dad gave me the truck because he had no further use for it. So I drove it until about 1988 when it was totally worn out. So I sold Rosebud to a friend named Randy who had plans to restore it eventually. I sold it with the understanding that if he should he ever sell it, I’d get first right of refusal.

Fast forward Twenty-five years. A bunch of guys were sitting around a campfire talking and Randy announces that he’s moving to another state and getting rid of everything he owns.

“What about my truck? Are you taking it with you?” “Oh,” he said, “I gave that truck away a while back.” Those who were there said I looked disappointed, or something. I don’t remember feeling that, but it was said.

Now, back to the story. I was looking at this beautiful truck, wondering if it was the same truck, when I saw Randy on the other side of it. “Randy, you son of a gun, you restored my truck.” He said, “It’s your truck.” “Yes, I can see that. You’ve done a beautiful job with her. But why didn’t you tell me?” He said once more with strong emphasis, “It is your truck.” “Are we playing games?” I wondered out loud. And, to make it more cruel, someone had entered the truck in the show under my name. That wasn’t nice.

I was not very situationally aware at that moment. I didn’t see all the cameras and people that were focused on me. People were laughing and cheering. I didn’t notice. I was focused on the pickup that had been my dad’s. It took them four or five time to finally get across to me that this beautiful bright yellow, completely restored truck was a gift from the men of the church to me. Randy had given it to the men’s ministry of The Summit with the request that they make it new for me as a gift for nearly 30 years of ministry to the church. Dozens of men had spent 18 months completely disassembling and rebuilding it from the ground up. It now had a fresh corvette motor, disc brakes, power steering, and a custom paint job. I had been Overhauled. Not by Chip Fouse, but by a group of men, and boys, who cared enough for me to invest months of blood sweat and tears. Not to mention the thousands of dollars it took. I wept. I still weep when I think about it.

One final part of the story that needs telling. I remarried after Cathy died, as her instructions (another story). I guess I didn’t wait long enough for some people, or something. People, about 100 people, abandoned me and left the church. They might not call it abandonment, but I do. I asked some of the more prominent people, “Is there a sin issue here?” “No,” They said, “We just don’t think it’s good for the church for you to remarry.” As you might imagine, it was an extremely painful time for this 67-year-old guy. I had found another person to finish off my life with, which I didn’t think possible, and some people considered it wrong for me to do. They didn’t consider my feelings, and needs, only thinking of  theirs. Or so it seemed.

But all the while this tragedy was taking place, a whole bunch of good and committed friends, were investing their time and efforts, in secret, to rebuild my dad’s old Chevy truck. All the time I was in such pain, these good men were giving up evenings and weekends to do this wonderful thing for me. Isn’t that like God? Sometimes while we are in the dregs of misery, He is working, unseen, to bless us, to encourage us, and to show His love for us.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Vicky Sluiter, November 12

Artistic Nobody, November 13 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, November 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 15

A Baker’s Perspective, November 16 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 17

janicesbookreviews, November 18

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 19 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

My Devotional Thoughts, November 22 (Author Interview)

Simple Harvest Reads, November 23 (Guest Review from James Barela)

Lukewarm Tea, November 24 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Ross if giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of his book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f0bb/are-you-in-the-game-or-in-the-way-celebration-tour-giveaway