Friday, April 1, 2016

Live Free: An Adult Coloring Book


Have you tried an adult coloring book? Live Free: An Adult Coloring Book by Margaret Feinberg would be a wonderful way to start.

Live Free is a coloring book, journal, prayer resource, Bible study, and stress-reliever all in one. The beautiful designs in this book are accompanied by full-page lined journaling sections with Scripture verses that are repeated in the facing color-in designs. The theme of Live Free is "Who am I?" This theme is explored through the book with reflections on topics like:

  • You are a new creation.
  • You are God's child.
  • You are chosen.
  • You are God's friend.
  • You are children of the light.
The heavy-weight cardstock pages are suitable for exploring a variety of art mediums such as colored pencils, markers, and even paint. The author encourages users to get creative and not worry about staying in the lines, but rather to explore and meditate on the verses as their inner artist flourishes. 

Most of the designs depict items found in nature, like flowers, birds, and butterflies, as well as some geometric designs with lots of details. A really nice feature of this book is the size of the designs--they are detailed without being so intricate that they would be difficult to see if you have trouble focusing on tiny print.

Overall, Live Free offers many nice extras that aren't found in other adult coloring books, and it provides a fun way to delve deeper into Bible study and reflection.

The publisher provided a review copy of Live Free.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible

The NKJV, Apply the Word Study Bible, Hardcover, Red Letter Edition: Live in His Steps contains the full text of the New King James Version of the Bible. The literary authenticity of the King James version is still intact in this version; however, modern English is used to make the text clearer and easier to read. The Apply the Word edition includes many special features, including hundreds of notes, articles, charts, tables, and maps, and words of Christ in red. The look and style of this edition makes it appropriate for men or women, young or old. It is an especially nice format for a high school or college age student to use as a study Bible, both because of its graphic appeal and all its extra features.

The Apply the Word Study Bible's nicest feature, in my opinion, is the side note feature. These sideline notes appear all throughout the text, with a bright orange bar across the top that makes them stand out from the rest of the text. These tidbits of information are interesting and enriching, and I am learning more and more about God's Word through them. For example, in Song of Solomon, the sideline note about Song 7:5, 'Treasured Tresses':
"King Solomon was captivated by his bride's beautiful hair. The simile between his beloved's head and the peak of Mount Carmel does not indicate that her hair was white like snow but rather that her heas 'crowned' her body just as Mount Carmel crowned northern Canaan. Likewise, the allusion to purple was not a comment on the bride's hair color but a statement of its value. Purple was an expensive dye that signified wealth and royalty. Purple cloth ranked in value with gold and was even used to pay tribute" (p. 809).
Extras like this are helping me appreciate the Bible as literature, and they are providing valuable insight that I enjoy sharing with my kids during our Bible study time.

The publisher provided a review copy of NKJV Apply the Word Study Bible.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Grandma's Guest Review: The Painter's Daughter

Grandma read The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen and is guest posting today to share her thoughts on this book.

The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen is a sweet romantic historical novel beginning in the art studio of Sophia Dupont's father. Sophia assists him but keeps her own art work private. Wesley has come to assist Sophia's father, and she feels likes she is being put aside.

After Sophie and Wesley fall in love, he suddenly sails for Italy, leaving Sophia in a bad situation. Wesley's brother Stephen arrives seeking Wesley, meets Sophia, and then the story really develops.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Painter's Daughter. The descriptions of the landscapes and area made me feel as though I were there, and the story was so alive. There were many other characters in this book to fall in love with as well.

The Painter's Daughter provides such a lesson in life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wishing a good historical novel to read. I could not get enough of it and hated to see it come to a close.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Grandma's Guest Review: The Photograph

Grandma read The Photograph by Beverly Lewis and is guest posting today to share her thoughts on this book.

The Photograph by Beverly Lewis begins when Jed Sutzman travels by train to Pennsylvania to learn buggy making techniques from a very experienced buggy maker to take back to his shop back home. While on the train he discovers a book, Little Women, that has writings in the margins and a photograph of a young Amish woman in her capp. He questions this, realizing that photographs are forbidden, and he has questions about the photograph.

After arriving in Pennsylvania, he meets Eva Esch and feels a connection to her but still does not understand the photograph, although he sees similarities in the photograph and Eva. Eva also feels drawn to Jed after his arrival. Her parents died and she was faced with caring for her sister, Lily. Eva made candy to sell at market and help pay bills. Eva knew as her Dat had taught her that Our Father in Heaven would take care of her. Her sister Lily leaves, and no one know where she has gone. The family is concerned for her safety and are afraid she has taken on the English life. Jed continues to study the photograph and wonder about it. Eventually his path crosses with Lily and the story changes course.

I found the writing style of this book a bit cumbersome,so it was not a quick read. The setting of the story is very much how I picture life in an Amish community. I would rate this book as average and on a scale of 1-5 rate it a 3. I have read many of this author's books, and this is perhaps my least favorite.

The publisher provided a review copy of The Photograph.