Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The No-Homework Women's Bible Study: Group Hug

The No Homework Women's Bible Study: Group Hug by Christine Tate is a short study guide (50 pages) for small group Bible study. 

This guidebook is designed to be written in and has plenty of spaces for note-taking and reflecting on the questions in each lesson. The lessons are relevant to young women, with topics including self-care, organization, people pleasing, being prepared, weight management, Christian relationships, and more. 

Each of the eight weekly lessons begins with an ice breaker activity, then has a ten-minute lesson, followed by thirty minutes of discussion questions, which are the heart of the study. The author encourages readers to work in a small group, in a home setting, to establish a supportive circle of women who can both hold each other accountable and provide a safe network of prayer partners and mentors. 

The No-Homework Women's Bible Study: Group Hug is a wonderful way for busy women to carve out about an hour a week to grow closer to the Lord and to strengthen their faith while deepening their friendships.

The book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review, provided a review copy of The No-Homework Women's Bible Study: Group Hug.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Grandma's Guest Review: The Midwife's Tale

 The Midwife's Tale, At Home in Trinity Book 1 

This is a most enjoyable book, beginning with the arrival of a new doctor in Trinity.

The main character, Martha Cade, is a midwife and has concerns as to what this will do to her profession. Midwifery has been handed down in her family for generations. Martha's faith is tested as she endures this threat to her job as well as other trials. She helps with a difficult delivery and tells the young doctor why she does not like his method.

The Midwife's Tale is an interesting journey with roles reversing as the doctor becomes ill and has to be tended by Martha. They begin to understand each other and realize that there is room for both areas of practice in Trinity.

Martha is encountering personal problems as her daughter, Victoria has left town with a traveling troupe, and Martha is concerned for her safety. She prays for a safe return of her daughter and that she will realize how much she is loved.

Martha encounters many trials throughout this story, and it is hard to put down. I love the way all the trials are met with hope and faith. Even when her faith is tested, Martha relies on the Lord for strength and guidance.

I would recommend The Midwife's Tale to all my friends and eagerly look forward to the next book in this series next winter.


The publisher provided a review copy of A Midwife's Tale.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Bible Dominoes

Bible Dominoes is a sturdy toddler-sized game that follows the traditional rules of dominoes. It's great for teaching matching, categorization, colors numbers, and Bible tidbits. 

The pieces are large and sturdy chipboard with glossy colorful pictures. They are sized just right for little hands, and are durable enough to stand up to lots of playing and sorting. As children place their domino pieces on the playing surface, parents can ask open ended questions to get them to discover more about the information on the cards. What color is this? How many bugs to you see? What kind of animal is this? What sound does it make? 

The package description says that a booklet is included with the featured Bible stories in it, but our set did not come with a booklet. I don't know how comprehensive the stories in the booklet are, but I think it would be a must for parents to either have an accompanying story book or be well-versed in the featured stories beforehand if they desire to use this game as a Bible learning activity. 

Even without the stories, however, Bible Dominoes is a cute set and provides Bible enrichment by exposing kids to the familiar people and events from the Bible with hands-on learning.

The publisher provided a review set of Bible Dominoes.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Everyday Grace

Everyday Grace by Jessica Thompson is a relationship book that focuses on our relationship with Christ as the key to dealing with our relationships with other people.

Like most "self help" books, Everyday Grace offers advice for relationships with parents, children, spouses, friends, and co-workers. However, Jessica states that unlike many of these books, Everyday Grace does not offer a "how to" for fixing these relationships. She states that help of this sort might offer a temporary improvement, but without a true understanding of the grace of God, those "fixes" will be fleeting. Instead, she details the gift God gives us through grace, and with scriptural examples, she shows how to apply that grace to our interactions with others.

I find the book to be somewhat repetitive and even tedious at times, and lacking in maturity and experience. However, the author clearly shows that she is also on a journey towards grace, and she does a good job of providing real life examples that demonstrate this. I think these qualities make Everyday Grace worthwhile reading, especially for younger wives and mothers.

As a whole, Everyday Grace has some excellent points--consistently pointing readers to God as the source of healing relationships, rather than our own ability to follow a set of guidelines to "fix" them on our own. 

The publisher provided a review copy of Everyday Grace

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Love Like Ours

A Love Like Ours follows Becky Wade's Meant to Be Mine as the third book in the Porter family series. Lyndie James and Jake Porter were childhood best friends, but family circumstances led to Lyndie moving away for many years. In the meantime, Jake served in Iraq in the Marines, and he now suffers from the scars of PTSD, living a solitary life and keeping relationships at arms length.

Lyndie is an interesting character--she is fiercely independent and spunky--and not intimidated by Jake. Family is of utmost importance to Lindy. Her sister has special needs, and Lindy's love and loyalty define her.

Determined to prove that she can handle a job at Jake's ranch, Lyndie begins to get through to Jake as her optimism rubs off on him a little bit.

Jake was a background character in Meant to Be Mine, and I wanted to read more about him then, so I enjoyed following his story in A Love Like Ours. Becky Wade does an excellent job of portraying Jake's PTSD. His struggle to regain a sense of normalcy is handled realistically without turning him into a one-dimensional character. 

Becky Wade is one of my favorite Christian authors, and the way she incorporates the characters' faith throughout her books is spot-on. She avoids stereotyping them, but instead shows that they are flawed and still have a lot to learn. God's presence is evident throughout A Love Like Ours

Recommended for summer reading!

The publisher provided a review copy of A Love Like Ours.