Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Friday, February 16, 2018

Trade Your Cares for Calm Book Review


Trade Your Cares for Calm
By: Max Lucado

I loved this little book! The size, the design, the words.... it did not disappoint!

If you’re trembling on a tightrope of fear and worry, get ready for the best trade ever: your cares for God’s calm.

What if faith, not fear, could be your default reaction to circumstances? Imagine being able to walk away from worry, conquer the need to control, get rid of guilt, and end if-only thinking.

That’s God’s offer. He wants to exchange your burdens for an abundance of mercy, gratitude, and trust. To replace striving and stress with a faith-filled life in which you’ll see God’s goodness, feel calm in chaos, and find peace through prayer.

Author Max Lucado understands what it’s like to feel overwhelmed by anxiety. Through unforgettable stories and biblical wisdom, he offers powerful tools and scripture to help you manage your fears and worries and give our cares and anxiety to God.

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through a book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Zen Camera Book Review

Zen Camera
By: David Ulrich

Now, that we all have a camera in our pocket and are taking photographs and sharing them all over social media, this book helps you to become more fully in the present moment and to be able to find your own authentic vision by creating your own masterpiece

Zen Camera teaches mindful attention through the medium of photography and cultivates a personal development and awareness for its readers to look at their own photographs in a totally different way.

This book reminds us that with even just an cell phone camera in hand, we can capture the stunning world around us. The photographs are exquisite, and the stories are inspiring. This book makes you want to get outside and start  immediately. 

 Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through a book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Hello Mornings Book Review and Psalm 143:8



Hello Mornings is an inspiring book that is based upon a really simple 3-minute, 3-step routine that helps you begin your day by focusing on God first – then establishing your plans for the day – then doing something healthy. While Kat offers specific steps to get you started, she also provides workbook style guidance – with space for journaling.

I love how the verse Psalm 143:8 was the center for this book and for a morning routine. I have come to love this verse over the last few weeks.

I really appreciated how Kat Lee focuses on the "why" of developing a morning routine, which is to serve the Lord better through focusing on Him first thing, making a plan to be effective for Him that day, and developing healthy habits so we have enough energy to serve the Lord well. 

 All that said, I'm a little bummed about this book. While I love the idea of a 3 minute morning, the book contradicts itself by at the same time wanting you to add in much more than 3 minutes. In the end, I'm not sure if the book is really about a three minute morning or not. 

To comply with regulations by the FTC, the publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Talking About God Book Review

Honestly, I'm confused with this book. I've heard such good things about this book.... how it shows you to step into faith conversations with honesty, transparency, and integrity. And while I agree with the book, it was hard for me to stay focused and just didn't do anything for me.

I do believe that people do want to really talk about God, and we need to remember that we are not selling something, but rather inviting people into a relationship with their Creator and that is not a process to rush or take lightly. 

Yes, the eternal destiny of our family and friends should be important to us, but we have to relax and let God do the work.

For me personally, the book didn't do anything to help me with talking about God to others or show me truths I already didn't know. I was disappointed.

To comply with regulations by the FTC, the publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

30 Days To Peace Journal Review



The 30 Days To Peace A One-Month Creative Journal is a little book that features writing and drawing prompts, along with peace related quotes throughout the book.

This journal is a way for you to unwind and find peace amidst our busy lives and is perfect for this time of year when the hustle and bustle of the holidays have you stressed to the max.

Even though the book is small, there is plenty of space to express yourself. If you are not into drawing, you can create a collage or include photographs.

The only down side is that the pages are thin and if you color with markers (I use fine point ones), the marker bleeds through to the next page, which ruins what you have written. Also, I am not a fan of the colors on the cover.

To comply with regulations by the FTC, the publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Capital Gaines Book Review


I love watching 'Fixer Upper' and just about any show on HGTV! 

TV personality Chip Gaines' Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff gives us a transparent look into his life - Gaines shares his successes and his failures. He's incredibly honest about his shortcomings... 

In this book, he shares many successes and failures he has in starting many businesses, growing relationships with those he works with, life as a husband, and father. He is a man of faith and hard work ethics.

To comply with regulations by the FTC, the publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

He Holds My Hand Book Review


He Holds My Hand: Experiencing God's Presence... 
By: Carol Kent

To be honest, I was rather dissapointed in this devotional book.
This is not a traditional book of devotions. Ms. Kent has used the format of writing as if she is God speaking to the reader. That was a turn off for me.

In the Introduction, the author shares her deeply personal story and how her family's life drastically changed, however, she never goes on to include what her thought process was during that difficult situation, as the synopsis leads you to believe! 

This book contains 365 daily devotions. Each daily devotional includes the title, quote, devotional text, and scripture verse. 

The one and only thing that I did like about the book was the following quote:
"My goal is not to provide all the answers to your tough questions, but to remind you that God holds your hand--in every situation. At His right hand there are eternal pleasure (Psalm 16:11), even in the middle of your darkest experience."
 *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Tyndale, book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Know Who You Are Book Review


 Know Who You Are, Live Like It Matters
by Tim Tebow

This is a great book for homeschool students age 11 - 14. Tim will guide you through thirty-six weeks of lessons, each based on a key Scripture, to discover who you are. You will also have the opportunity to write down your thoughts, feelings, and ideas on topics such as: building godly character, maintaining great relationships, standing out from the crowd, and doing things that matter in the big picture.

Throughout the book, there is one subtle theme: You can make a difference, even though you're a teenager. 

I really like how Tim is able to talk to teenagers in a way that speaks to them with authority and wisdom, without treating them like children. He can speak their language and still be an authority figure. 

Get ready to live bigger than ever before…with your faith and identity secured in a God who loves you beyond measure!

I received this book in exchange of an honest review.

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Well-Crafted Home Book Review

A Well-Crafted Home: Inspiration and 60 Projects for Personalizing Your Space

 By: Janet Crowther 

Being a crafter (and a somewhat of a good one) I am very disappointed in this book. 
There is nothing classy in this book that I would want to have in my home. I like my home to look like Joanna Gaines decorated it, not put together by odds and ends a teen could make.

Sorry, but there are better ideas available on Pinterest. Don't waste your money on this book.

I received this book in exchange of an honest review.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why I Didn't Rebel - Book Review

Why I Didn't Rebel
By Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach

I have followed Sheila Wray Gregoire's blog To Love Honor and Vacuum for years now, so when I found out her daughter Rebecca was writing a book, I knew I wanted to read it.

 I love this book. I think the most important thing you can do as a parent is to communicate and teach your kids respect, and right from wrong, when they are young. I feel that the ideas in this book are how we are trying to raise our kids. My oldest daughter, Faith, is 16 yrs old, and although she has made a few mistakes, she is a great kid and I'm really proud to be her mom. She also read the book, so I thought I'd include her take on it too:
"The methods that Rebecca describes in her book as having been raised by are roughly the same as those of my own childhood (minus the hot-tub... for that, I'm a bit jealous). I feel that my parents are doing a great job raising my siblings and I, and I'm very grateful for the close relationship I share with them. I think one of the biggest things that parents need to understand is that we're not always going to make the right choices. We need a solid foundation to lean on when we do make mistakes. To trust that we have people who can help us grow from them and have a safe place to express our thoughts and feelings is what we're really after, and I think Rebecca did a really great job explaining that."
I received this book free from the publisher for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

St Louis Missouri and the Gateway Arch


The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot (63 stories) monument in St. Louis Missouri. 
The Gateway Arch weighs 43,226 tons and the foundations are about 60 feet deep.Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch (catenary means it is the shape a free-hanging chain takes when held at both ends), it is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missouri's tallest accessible building. Built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, and officially dedicated to "the American people," it is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and has become an internationally recognized symbol of St. Louis, as well as a popular tourist destination.

The Arch was designed by architect Eero Saarinen in 1947; construction began on February 12, 1963, and was completed on October 28, 1965, for $13 million. Thanks to hundreds of workers, the Arch was completed within budget and without the loss of one life. The monument opened to the public on June 10, 1967. It is located at the site of St. Louis' founding on the west bank of the Mississippi River.


Located under the arch is The Museum of Westward Expansion


This is the door to the trams.... the trams go up every 5 - 10 minutes depending on if one or both are running. They are pretty small - only 5 people can be in each tram.


Inside of the tram...


Tram selfie...


We made it to the top!


Looking East to Illinois


Looking West to St. Louis


On a clear day, the view at the top can extend up to thirty miles in either direction. However, St. Louis can be a very hazy city, which reduces visibility at the top. On cool, damp mornings, a dense fog can create zero visibility at the top.




The hubby looking at the view from the observation deck.. The windows are 7" x 27", with 16 windows on each side of the observation deck. They are small because over 500 tons of pressure was used to pry the north and south legs of the Arch apart for the last four-foot piece to be placed at the top. A larger window would not withstand that pressure.




Looking down at the Old Courthouse


Hubby and I standing under the Gateway Arch

The Arch is designed to sway as much as 18 inches, and can withstand an earthquake, however under normal conditions the Arch does not sway. It takes a 50-mile an hour wind to move the top 1.5 inches each side of the center.


Stephen and Faith down by the river...

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We explored the Old Courthouse, a historical landmark where Dred and Harriet Scott sued for freedom from slavery and Virginia Minor fought for women’s right to vote. There are many exhibits describing how St. Louis served as a hub for early settlers moving west.



Stephen and Faith on the Old Courthouse steps


Looking East from the Old Courthouse steps towards the Arch.


Inside the beautiful Old Courthouse.





Old original stone floors in the Old Courthouse.


 I loved this picture with the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse in the background.... we enjoyed a fun morning visiting St. Louis and The Gateway Arch!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

College of the Ozarks, Missouri Trip

"The vision of College of the Ozarks is to develop citizens of Christ-like character who are well-educated, hard-working, and patriotic."



College of the Ozarks is a Christian liberal-arts college, with its campus at Point Lookout near Branson, Missouri. It is 40 miles south of Springfield on a 1,000-acre campus, overlooking Lake Taneycomo. The college has an enrollment of 1,450, over 30 academic majors, and degrees in Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science.

The College charges no tuition for full-time students, due to its student work program and donations. The program requires students to work 15 hours a week at an on-campus work station and two 40-hour work weeks during breaks. A summer work program is available to cover room and board costs. The college refers to itself as "Hard Work U.", and places emphasis in "character" education.

Faith at the Administration Building
We enjoyed a tour of the college campus, visiting the class buildings, walking by Lake Honor, learning about the work program, visiting dorms, and enjoyed the beauty and coolness of the Church after being outside in the heat! After our tour, we spent the rest of the day and the next morning looking at all the college has to offer.

Some of the places we visited were:


 The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks is the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility. It has fifteen beautifully decorated suites. You can enjoy a casual lunch or an intimate dinner for two in Dobyns Dining Room offering something for every taste. We visited the College Creamery and enjoyed student-made ice cream made with the College of the Ozark’s fresh dairy cream. Under the expanse of 95,000 square feet, one can find everything from intimate, elegantly-appointed meeting rooms to state-of-the-art conference facilities, all four-star accommodations and exquisite fine dining.

Fruitcake & Jelly Kitchen has produced its famous fruitcakes on campus since 1934, and today student workers, along with supervisors, bake more than 25,000 cakes a year. We were welcomed in the kitchen where a variety of jellies and the College's delicious apple butter are also made and sold. And we got to taste samples of their fruitcake!


Edwards Mill, is powered by a twelve-foot water wheel turned by runoff water from nearby Lake Honor. Student workers grind whole-grain meal and flour, available for purchase inside the building. We also visited with students who were hard at work upstairs in the weaving studio, where students design and produce rugs, shawls, place mats and other items on traditional looms, and students hand-weave baskets.




Williams Memorial Chapel is an outstanding example of neo-Gothic architecture. The structure,  measures 150 feet long and 80 feet wide, with an 80-foot-high vaulted ceiling and impressive stained glass windows. Attached to the chapel is the Hyer Bell Tower. The church was beautiful inside and out!




Lyons Memorial Library provides resources that support the curriculum, activities, and mission of the College of the Ozarks at both the collegiate level and at the School of the Ozarks Laboratory School



Point Lookout offers panoramic views of the Ozark hills, Branson 76 highway, and the beautiful Lake Taneycomo. Located just a short walk from the Willams Memorial Chapel and Ralph Foster Museum, this is a tranquil and breathtaking must-see during your College of the Ozarks visit.





The Ralph Foster Museum is dedicated to the history of the Ozarks region. The museum houses thousands of artifacts representing archeology, history, firearms, antiques, numismatics, natural history, fine arts, geology and mineralogy. One of the more famous exhibits is the original vehicle used in the television series "The Beverly Hillbillies." The Ralph Foster Museum houses one of the largest collections of firearms in the US.


Gittinger Music Center serves as a learning and practice facility for The College Handbell Choir, Chorale, Screaming Bobcats Pep Band, and Chapel Choir. The Edith Gittinger Music Center offers students some of the finest music facilities in the state. It houses acoustically-engineered practice rooms, audio/visually equipped class rooms, a piano lab, electronic music studio, and dedicated choral and instrumental rehearsal rooms.


The Gaetz Tractor Museum features a variety of antique tractors and farm equipment. Noteworthy items include a gray Wallis from 1918 and a reaper produced in 1910. It also has on display a two headed calf that was born at the college dairy.

The W. Alton Jones Dairy is run by College Of The Ozark students. The milk is used at the Keeter Center and they also use the milk in their homemade ice cream - which is very tasty! You can watch the students milk the dairy cows everyday.



The Hoge Greenhouses, are home to the Clint McDade orchid collection. Mr. McDade, one of the School's first students, donated the nucleus of the collection, which today numbers more than 7,000 plants. Individual orchids and other houseplants are for sale at the greenhouse. They also grow all the flowers used in the beautiful landscaping throughout the College Campus.

Places that we didn't have time to visit this trip:

The Lest We Forget 9/11 Memorial features a World Trade Center column which stands as a memorial to the 2,996 lives lost on September 11, 2001. Known as "St. Michael's 37" (in honor of 37 Port Authority officers killed), the column and flanges resemble the body and wings of an angel. It now stands as a memorial to those whose lives were lost in New York City, the Pentagon, and the fields of Pennsylvania.

Patriots Park sits near the entrance of campus and contains The Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial which honors the 1,410 servicemen and women from Missouri who gave their lives during the Vietnam War. Built and designed by students, this memorial serves as Missouri’s official Vietnam memorial. The black granite walls are divided – reflecting the division of America. The statue in the middle represents the servicemen and women who stood in the gap and did what their nation asked of them. The red, flower-filled ‘V’ stands for valor and represents the blood that was shed during the war. The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial, which honors Gold Star Families (those who have lost immediate family members killed in their service to the country), preserves the memory of the fallen, and stands as a stark reminder that freedom is not free.

The College of the Ozarks Bookstore offers College of the Ozarks and Hard Work U. logo items that can be purchased to show your support for College of the Ozarks.


Memorial Field house and Keeter Gymnasium is a 3,500 seat arena.The field house has three basketball courts, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, weight room, racquetball courts, dance studio, volleyball, badminton and table tennis facilities. In 2009 a 21,888-square-foot fitness center was added.

The college also has it's own Fire Department,  Post Office, College Press, Stained Glass Window Business, Nursing Clinic, Plaster Business Building, Science and Agriculture Centers a Farmers Market (seasonal) and more!

We were so impressed. Everyone on campus was friendly, polite and helpful. The grounds were gorgeous and immaculate. The area is maintained by the students under the supervision of the staff. if you are ever in the area, take some time and explore this beautiful campus... you will also be supporting the students who work and study there.



Arial View of the College of the Ozarks Campus

The Best of 2016

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