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Book Review ~ Dear Grandchild, This Is Me By Waterbrook Multnomah

About the Book


Preseving the Family Legacy

A Heartfelt Keepsake for Your Grandchild, Inspired by You
Being a grandparent is a wonderfully rewarding experience. With this valuable keepsake, you can gift your voice and memories to future generations. Whether providing snapshots of your childhood, details of your heritage, or your declassified personal “secrets,” your grandchild will treasure this glimpse into your unique story.

Category

Non-fiction

Genre

Family/Legacy/Keepsake

Rating

4 Stars

Review


Waterbrook Multnomah brings another piece that adds to the beauty and collection of family, keepsakes, and legacies. With this easy to use book, an individual could write their story, capturing experiences in photos, words, letters, and other materials that portray one’s steps in their journey of life. This makes for a more fun and intimate communication between the present and the future, bringing it to flesh in the most real and organic way. As with a journal but much deeper, you can tell your story through your eyes and personal tangibles, which is uniquely fresh.

This Keepsake, in some ways, provides profound insight into your present journey as you handle and choose the tangibles that will tell your story,  because it persuades you to be more intentional about making memories that matter.

A truly beautiful way to tell your story through your eyes over time! With this, you’re sure to make a neat and interesting autobiography.

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Book Review ~ Core 52: A Fifteen-minute Daily Guide To Build Your Bible IQ In A Year By Mark E. Moore

About the Book


Build your Bible IQ and Christian worldview in just fifteen minutes a day! Over the course of a year, Core 52 will help you master the 52 most important passages in the Bible. 
 
“You will gain the tools you need for living the life God has called you to.”—Kyle Idleman, pastor and author of Not a Fan 

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”—1 Timothy 4:8 

Most of us want to know the Bible better, but few reach our goal, often because we’re too busy or we don’t know where to start. Core 52 removes both barriers, offering a common-sense solution that fits into our busy lives. Respected Bible professor and teaching pastor Mark E. Moore developed this proven process from thirty-five years of helping people grow deeper in God’s Word.

Each week features a brief essay, memory verse, Bible story, trajectory verses, and practical ways to put what you’ve learned into practice. An optional “Overachiever Challenge” offers the chance to memorize the top 100 Bible verses by year’s end.

This simple approach allows you to become familiar with the big ideas of the Bible in less time and with less effort than other reading plans. In one year, you can master the core of the Bible—focusing on topics from God’s will to worry, happiness to holiness, and leadership to love. These fifty-two core passages are lenses through which you can read the rest of the Bible with clarity and confidence.

Category

Religious/Christian/Non-fiction

Genre

Christian Living/Bible Study

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


Core 52 was written with  the intention to build the reader’s Bible IQ in a year. Equipped with a brilliant plan that is easy to follow and implement, a reader could gain much insight into the Word of God to a level of confidence and comfortably share, teach or easily converse with Christians and Non-christians alike with any measure of interest, on any level of understanding, in an easy-going non-offensive manner that only invites better and more positive curiousity.

Tailored somewhat like a devotional, it’s weekly mapped out plan supplies way more, and so is designed to run deeper, with the objective to not only grow your relationship with Jesus, but to improve knowledge and understanding of Scripture. Moore believes, and rightly so, that more than ever before the world can be reached through people who have the confidence and a firm handle on God’s Word, and are willing to let God use them in their circle of influence outside the Church. Moore wrote Core 52 to take any willing reader on a journey that will lead them from curiousity to confidence, by putting together 52 of the most powerful passages of Scripture, which reveal the core of God’s Word.

This is a book that has arrived just in time—a time when culture is greatly depleted of Truth and how to share it.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’ to Waterbrook Multnomah for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

 

About the Author


Mark E. Moore is an acclaimed author and teaching pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona. He previously spent two decades as a New Testament professor at Ozark Christian College. Whether by helping people make sense of Christianity or teaching students to understand the Bible, Mark’s life passion is to make Jesus famous. Mark and his wife, Barbara, reside in Phoenix, Arizona.

Author Scoop ~ Interview With Jess Lederman

Jess Lederman is the author of over forty books on financial marketing and recently debuted his first fiction book, Hearts Set Free (read the TBAP review here), a Historical General Fiction that is sure to delight and intrigue any lover of excellent Christian Fiction. Jess took the time to answer some questions about his personal life, his walk with Christ, and offered some advice to new fiction writers in this TBAP interview. Take a look!


Miranda ~ Hello Jess! Glad to have you visit TBAP today. Please tell us a bit about yourself that we don’t already know.

Jess: The Secret Life of Jess Lederman. I’ve been writing stories and poems ever since I was ten years old, when my older sister read me a passage from John Dos Passos that set my imagination on fire. A few years later, I also developed a passion for music, and ended up majoring in music history and theory at Columbia University. These days, when I’m not chasing after my young sons or writing, I’m probably playing Chopin, Beethoven, or Brahms for my wife, Ling, at the piano. I’ve always got lots of strong ideas about the background music I’d like to hear if any of my novels are made into movies!
And speaking of my sons: when Ling and I were married, doctors told us that it would be medically impossible for us to have children—don’t even think about paying them for IVF or any other procedure, nothing could ever work. Well, I imagine some angel overheard that and suggested this just might be a good opportunity to show how for God, nothing is impossible! So about ten months after getting that report from the doctors, little David Elginbrod Lederman was born. He’s now almost four, and I brought home Daniel, almost thirteen, from an orphanage in China a couple of years ago. How good is the Lord!
Finally, while I admit that Ling does most of the cooking at our home, I do make a mean matzo brei from time to time. That’s an old Eastern European Jewish traditional breakfast, a recipe I learned from my father. If you’re not familiar with it, think cardboard with eggs, onions, and cheese—but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

Miranda ~ How did you come to make Jesus your personal Lord and Savior?

Jess: I spent the first fifty years of my life as an arrogant atheist—not unlike the character of Tim Faber in Hearts Set Free. Then one day, my late first wife, Teri, heard an interview on the radio with Francis Collins, who had just published a book called The Language of God. He’s an eminent scientist who was instrumental in decoding the human genome, and his book is about both that experience and his own journey from atheism to becoming a devout disciple of Christ.
It’s a wonderful book, and in it Collins quotes extensively from C.S. Lewis, whose writings were important in his own conversion. Teri and I were so impressed with those quotes that we bought and eagerly read many of Lewis’ books. C.S. Lewis in turn pointed us to the man whom he called the greatest influence in his life (next to Christ!), the 19th-century Scottish writer and minister, George MacDonald. Well, if Lewis was the mind that pointed us to Christ, MacDonald revealed the glorious, loving Father-heart of God.
Lewis and MacDonald were the midwives of our rebirth from above. I have a hard time talking about that period of time without shedding many tears of thanks to the Lord, who relentlessly pursues us, who will never rest until every soul has come to Him. I can’t say that I’m yet a slave of Christ, but I’ll tell you this, Miranda, to be like Paul, the Lord’s utterly obedient slave, is my highest and grandest ambition.

Miranda ~ At what point in your walk with Jesus did you realize that He was more than a Savior and that you were friends?

Jess: One of the beautiful things about coming to Christ with George MacDonald as my guide was that, from the hour I first believed, I never thought of Him in any other way (and that’s one of the reasons I run a website, worksofmacdonald.com, devoted to works about or inspired by MacDonald, who has helped so many to come to the Lord!). I realized that I was one of the sinners with whom Jesus eagerly sat down to eat and drink, that He offered the loving friendship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to me just as He did to Zacchaeus. And, you know, most of the time, Jesus sat down at table with many, not just with one; His is a friendship that ought to draw us into closer friendship with our neighbors, with fellow believers and with those who are not yet part of the Body of Christ.

Miranda ~ You clearly have much knowledge of Scripture (especially the Psalms!); when did this start to happen for you, and, what season of your life first made you hungry for God’s Word?

Jess: My love of God’s Word has grown steadily since I came to Christ thirteen years ago. At first, there was much in Scripture that puzzled, frustrated, or even depressed me! I’m not alone in this, and the way people sometimes struggle with understanding the Bible is an important theme in Hearts Set Free. While the beautiful story set forth in the Gospels attracted me from the start, at first many of Paul’s letters left me cold—or worse. Then a wonderfully wise pastor in Alaska suggested that I paraphrase every verse in Paul’s major epistles, beginning with Ephesians. I balked, came up with all sorts of excuses, and tried to stall, but when I finally buckled down and obeyed, it was a life-changing experience!

We often have a tendency to read Scripture too quickly, thinking we “get it,” but when I had to restate every verse in my own words, I slowed WAY down. I found myself meditating on each line, researching the meaning of words, comparing Reformed and Anglican and Orthodox commentaries, and it was utterly amazing. Before long, Paul was my all-time hero!

There’s just no substitute for immersing oneself in Scripture. God freely gives us His amazing grace, but He doesn’t always make things easy for us! His Word will endlessly reveal layers of meaning if we are willing to do the work. I strongly encourage readers to look beyond the writings of contemporary theologians from their own denomination, and benefit from the wisdom of Christians from multiple parts of His Kingdom throughout the centuries. Personally, I’m looking forward to delving deeper into the writings of the early Church Fathers.

Miranda ~ You’re not afraid to admit fierce trials and battles are present in the lives of God’s children—whether in their walk or in purpose. When did you embrace this truth in your personal walk, and what has led you to be particular about presenting this in your fiction writing?

Jess: The trials we go through can test our faith; they can break us, or shape and prepare us for tougher battles yet to come. But any pat answers as to “why” we’re going through them can enrage us! I think often we’re too quick to want to explain away mysteries. I’m not one who says that every affliction is sent from God as part of His plan; nothing evil is of God. The rape and torture of children is not part of His plan. The nature of His sovereignty is not that He is controlling everything that happens, but that He will, in the end, wipe the tears from every eye, that He has, despite all appearances to the contrary, defeated evil and death, and that our current sufferings will not be worth comparing to the future glory that awaits.

This is far more than abstract theology for me. My first wife was in perfect health, at the peak of her life with her new-found faith in God, when she was diagnosed with ALS and given two years to live. Such is the reality of living in a cosmos ruined by the Fall, in a world under the sway of the Prince of This World. She knew that if He wished, God could heal her in a moment, “incurable disease” or no. But her faith never wavered, and the memory of that serves to strengthen me.
By bearing up under the worst that Satan can do, we are picking up our Cross and following Him. What better way to honor God, what more worthy theme for a novelist to explore in his writing?

Miranda ~ Your profession, which is closer to business and finance, has led you to publish much books on financial marketing. What then drew you in this season to write fiction?

Jess: During my business career, I published over forty anthologies on the global markets. I left the world of finance five years after coming to Christ. While I’ve written fiction and poetry since the age of ten, leaving the business world has enabled me to focus on writing Christian-themed fiction (and publishing books by other Christian authors as well). A few years ago, however, I decided to round up fifty high-level bankers and brokers, get them all to work for free as part of a project for charity, and publish a three-volume set of books for financial professionals which I’m thrilled to say has raised over $150k for several great causes. I wrote one chapter myself, at the end of which I included a section entitled “The REAL Secrets of Success.” As you can guess, that consisted of quotes from Scripture!

Miranda ~ What would you say is your greatest desire that readers of your fiction book, Hearts Set Free, walk away with?

Jess: While I hope that readers enjoy a good story and come to love the heroes in Hearts Set Free, I do have an even higher hope. There are several episodes where the characters are discussing difficult passages in Scripture. They do this not out of any sort of academic interest in theology, but out of an urgent desire to love the Lord their God with all their heart and strength and soul and mind! My highest hope is that readers will be invigorated by this searching, and have yet greater fervor to devote themselves to the study of His Word.

Miranda ~ What word of advice would you offer to someone looking to break into fiction writing but with a career at the opposite end of the spectrum?

Jess: The most important word of advice to aspiring writers: Write. Even when I was still in the thick of a very hectic career, I made time to write. Next, recognize it’s a long, often lonely, road, upon which you’ll encounter endless rejection. I quit the business world in my mid-thirties to devote myself to writing for five years but was too young and too addicted to the instant-gratification of business to bear up under the weight of rejection. That right there is the snare to be aware of—you’re undoubtedly far more successful in your day job than in your writing, at least for a long time. Finally, start to network in the writing world, even while you’re still doing something else! Take a few days off and attend a Christian Writer’s Conference, for example—there’s no better way to interact with other writers, agents, and publishers.

THIS or THAT

Coffee or Tea? Coffee

Gym or Outdoors? Outdoors

Sneakers or Boots? Sneakers

Running or Walking? Walking

Cereal or Fruits? Huh? Cereal or Fruit is an Either-Or????? Well, if you mean for breakfast, okay, I guess Cereal!

Music or Books? Music or Books?????? Why not just ask me to choose between Persons of the Holy Trinity, while you’re at it????? 🤔😀

About Jess Lederman


Jess Lederman, founder of the website, The Works of George MacDonald, is well known worldwide to fans of the Scottish novelist and minister whom C.S. Lewis referred to as his “master.” While Hearts Set Free is his first work of fiction, he has published over forty books on the global financial markets and is currently at work on a Christian-themed novel set in Las Vegas in 1955. When he’s not writing, Jess is apt to be playing Chopin nocturnes on the piano. He lives with his wife and two young sons in a small town in the Pacific Northwest.

Book Review ~ Ripple Effects By Pam Tebow

About The Book


Within the heart of every woman is the desire to be influential.

Join Pam Tebow to uncover the God-inspired difference only you can make.

Heisman Trophy–winning athlete Tim Tebow credits his mom with being the key to his success―but Pam never expected her family’s name to be known around the world. For most of her life, she served quietly and faithfully as a wife and a mom. But unexpectedly, at least to Pam, her consistent, everyday choices to follow God created ripples of influence throughout her family, her community, and her world.

Join Pam in Ripple Effects as she shares what she’s learned on the journey and

  • Reveals how she taught her kids to develop strong character and faith so that their lives would positively influence others
  • Gives an inside look at how she survived her own most challenging life seasons, ones that ultimately made her influence stronger
  • Explores the unique and powerful influence you can have on those around you, no matter where you are planted in life―using gifts you never knew you had

Don’t settle for less than what you were created for! Be encouraged to maximize your God-given opportunities for influence―and watch how far the ripples will spread.

Category

Religious/Christian/Inspirational/Non-fiction

Genre

Motivational/Women/Influence

Rating

5 Stars

Review


In a humble, honest and authentic voice, Pam Tebow gently but surely persuades that the influence of women for positive change is possible in every sphere, season, and station of life—if any woman would dare to believe that God has ordained her for a good purpose and embrace the opportunities that come with it. Using multiple true life events and instances, she relays how this belief has manifested true in her life, in the lives of those she loves, and far beyond. The humility, courage, and authenticity with which Pam Tebow speaks is breathtaking and refreshing, making it possible to not only relate with her message, but to also see why her heart, wisdom and kindness have impacted so many who’ve heard her speak or have had any form of contact with her. This kindness includes Pam Tebow wanting every girl/woman to know that they are loved, accepted and created by their Heavenly Father for good works here on earth, and that they have the power of influence to cause ripple effects that could echo far beyond what they could possibly imagine.

This is a book of hope that ignites faith to live in love on purpose—because in doing so, many many good things are possible!

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. A ‘Thank you’ to Tyndale Publishing for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About The Author


Pam Tebow travels and speaks across the country, encouraging audiences to use the incredible influence God has given them to eternally impact their world.

Pam graduated with honors from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. She and her husband, Bob, lived for a number of years as missionaries in the Philippines and continue to serve there through the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association. Bob and Pam run an orphanage in the Philippines, which has been home to scores of children since 1991. They also support orphanages and a safe house they built for rescued girls in a semiclosed country.

When their youngest son, Tim, won the Heisman Trophy, Pam was featured in national media for her decision to choose life for Tim against her doctor’s advice. Their story has been highlighted on Good Morning America, on ESPN, and in a 2010 Super Bowl commercial celebrating family and life.

Pam has won national awards for her ministry work, including the Commission for Women’s Inspiring Woman of the Year (2013) and the national Pro-Life Recognition Award (2017).

Pam and Bob live in Florida; they have five grown children and eight grandchildren.

 

Book Review ~ A Silken Thread By Kim Vogel Sawyer

About The Book


For readers who love a heartwarming romance and a rich historical setting comes a tale of a young woman with a heavy burden, the International Cotton Exposition, and the pursuit of true love.

Eighteen-year-old Laurel Millard, youngest of seven children, is expected to stay home and “take care of Mama” by her older siblings, but Laurel has dreams of starting her own family. Operating a silk loom at the Atlanta Exposition will give her the chance to capture the heart of a man wealthy enough to take care of Laurel and any children she might bear, as well as her mother.

Langdon Rochester’s parents have given him an ultimatum: settle down with a wife or lose his family inheritance. At the Exposition, Langdon meets Laurel. Marrying her would satisfy his parents’s command, she would look lovely on his arm for social events, and in her besotted state, he believes she would overlook him continuing pursuing rowdy adventures with his unmarried buddies. Langdon decides to woo Laurel. Willie Sharp is not well-off and must take on an extra job at the Atlanta Exposition as a security guard. When mischief-makers cause trouble in the Women’s Building, Willie is put in charge of keeping the building secure. He enjoys visiting with Laurel, who seems like the little sister he never had, but his feelings for Laurel change to something much deeper. Can Willie convince Laurel that he can give her better life–even with so little to offer?

Category

Christian/Fiction/New Adult

Genre

Historical Romance

Rating

4 Stars

Review


A Silken Thread weaves a tale of love that stands the test of injustice, prejudice, racism, classicism and selfishness in the midst of family and community through God’s prevailing love. Sawyer doesn’t hold back in portraying the reality of the hurt and damage that could come from these, and in her classic gentle tone, highlights the beauty of bravery and courage that speaks in the seemingly small words and actions, but from such small gestures emerge enormous positive consequential outcomes.

The theme—that righteousness and justice best thrive when God’s love is in full display—shines throughout the story, through every silken thread used to spin it, and ultimately also, in the love story that emerges.

Another fine and brave book by Kim Vogel Sawyer!

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’ to Waterbrook Multnomah for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About The Author


Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed Best-selling author with more than one million books in print in several languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades, including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives with her retired military husband, Don, in central Kansas, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope and redemption. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.

Book Review ~ Cross Of A Different Kind By Anthony Maranise

About The Book


CANCER: with often abrupt and unwelcome entry into human lives as well as profound multi-dimensional impact, such an illness is, for many, considered to be a ruthless thief, intent on stealing not only joy, but life itself. Of course, even as cancer attempts to steal life and captivate those under its hold, lest we forget that as powerful an adversary as it may seem, it is no contestant against the power of the One who “has come to set the captives free” (Luke 4:18) and who is Life itself (John 14:6) and its Source.

Cross of a Different Kind: Cancer & Christian Spirituality draws upon the richness of Christian spiritual theology with the aim of rejuvenating hope within and imparting eternal Truth to all persons who have been “touched” by cancer in any of its wicked forms. Divided into three parts addressing those who have lost loved ones to cancer; those currently confronting their diagnoses; and survivors, this book serves as both a “spiritual field-guide” as well as an informative, yet practical helpmate to ensure all facing such adversities that they are never alone in their journey.

Category

Religious/Christian/Non-fiction

Genre

Spirituality/Personal Growth/Cbristianity/Health

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


Maranise speaks with a gentle and authentic voice on the matters of the heart and soul that arise from the event of cancer—whether as a survivor, the survived, or a caretaker. His distinct empathy offers a guide and comfort in the style of a gentle conversation, which helps sooth the fearful and broken-hearted in their season of pain and sorrow, with a view to lead them into deeper hope, faith, love, joy and peace. He beautifully ties the experience of cancer—as painful as it is—to life and what it means to truly and fully live on earth and with purpose. Through the perspective that Maranise provides, the hope that no pain is wasted or goes unnoticed by God, is a gem promised and one to behold.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. A ‘thank you’ to JKS Communications for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About The Author


Anthony Maranise is an instructor of Religious Studies at The University of Memphis, a certified life-coach, chaplain, and is the author of 4 other books and numerous academic pieces. Primarily a theological scholar with expertise in the intersections between sports and spirituality, Anthony received his Masters from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN. At the time of this book’s publication, he is also a 20+ year cancer survivor, treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and remains active in advocacy for advancing cancer research as well as in facilitating spiritual direction for persons affected by cancer.

Movie Review ~ Run The Race By Reserve Entertainment

Category

Religious/Christian/Inspirational

Genre

Drama/Sports

Blu Ray/DVD Release Date

May 21, 2019.

Rating

4 Stars

Review


Run The Race is a story that takes you on a journey of two brothers with opposite beliefs and opinions about life, but with a brotherly love and bond that trancends their differences.

Being thrown curve ball after  curve ball, together the two brothers weather the storms of life, leaning on each other for strength, until a storm comes along that shows one brother is able to stand firm because of his beliefs, and the other is eventually brought face to face with the abounding grace of God, and drawn even closer to Him by his brother’s life testimony; a final test of faith thrusts him into a realm where his faith in the all-loving God is cemented—a God Whose ultimate plan is better than that of both brothers—and dreams are fulfilled in a magnitude that spins an inspiring tale of the love and faithfulness of God, even with past sorrowful events not fully understood. Healing comes and extends to those closest to the brothers, and the story ends with a theme of “hope that never disappoints” —not because the future promises no pain, but because the future is in God’s faithful hands. A theme of faith fully embedded in tested trust, and a theme of love that forgives because it covers a multitude of sins.