Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Monday, August 31, 2015

Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul

Jennie Allen is a passionate leader following God's call on her life to catalyze this generation to live what they believe.  She is the author of Restless and the Bible studies Stuck and Chase, and is the founder and visionary of IF:Gathering. Jennie is married to her best friend, Zac, and they have been blessed with four children.

You can connect with Jennie in these ways:
1.  http://www.jennieallen.com/
2.  Facebook
3.  Instagram
4.  Pinterest
5.  Twitter



Safe
Comfortable
Happy

Words we all love.  Feelings we all want.  Even crave.
We may love God but being that He's invisible, we chase things that make us feel better faster.  But if God is real, and we are going to live with Him forever, shouldn't He be everything?

Caught up in a happy life filled with daily obligations and empty pursuits, Jennie Allen and her husband Zac prayed a courageous prayer of abandonment that took them on the adventure God had written for them.

"God, we will do anything.  ANYTHING."

Anything is a prayer of surrender that will spark something.  A prayer that will move us to stop chasing what makes us feel good and instead begin to live a life that matters.  Because of her surrender God has continued to unleash His Spirit on Jennie's family and in her ministry.

In this newly revised edition, she shares what's happened since the initial release and includes a Bible study experience for personal reflection or group discussion to help you discover your own anything.  It's time to trade your safe and comfortable life for one that is surrendered, reckless, courageous.  

Because if we truly know a God worth giving anything for, everything changes.



My Thoughts:
I had the honor of reviewing Jennie Allen's study Chase sometime back and knew then that Jennie had a gift of relaying God's truths from His Word.  When the opportunity came to review her book/bible study Anything, I knew it would be good...I just didn't understand how timely and good it would be for my life in the season I find myself.  With three children ages 17, 6 and 9, a husband, a very hard move/relocation and a full-time work from home job, I find myself in a season has been a challenge to my faith.

I always thought I would easily be able to pray a prayer of surrender until I read Anything.  In her book, Jennie tenderly and boldly challenges her readers with God's word and truth.  Mixed with her and her husband's story and biblical teaching on surrender, Jennie speaks to the issue of discontentment and the need to evaluate our personal relationship with the God of the universe Who loves us and can be trusted with our anything.

I especially found the section on "living anything" to be particularly helpful.  After all, it is very easy to voice a prayer and another thing all together to put feet and actions to those prayers:
"If we pray anything, we will all, like Christ, be called to give up this life and things we love.  We will be called to risk for His glory.  Christ never intended those who walked with him to feel comfortable and safe. This was meant to be a risk-it-all pursuit.  The glory of God will be made great on this earth, but what a privilege to be part of His plan to restore it."
If you are planning for a Spring Bible study with your small group or thinking of having some friends over to your home for a Bible study, I can't recommend Anything enough. This revised edition includes an 8-week Bible study that helps you see the concept of praying anything in Scripture.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review and for giving my honest opinions.

Blessings,
Jennifer

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wild in the Hollow

Amber C. Haines is a soulful writer and a blogger at TheRunamuck.com.  She is curator with her husband Seth of Mother Letters and in a contributor with many acclained writers and bloggers at DaySpring's (in)Courgage.  She lives in Arkansas, has four wild sons, and finds community among the broken.

You can connect with Amber at her website found at www.amberchaines.com.








Amber Haines is a woman hunted by God.  Like Eve in the Garden, she craved the fruit that she thought would lead her to freedom.  But the whispers of temptation led her instead down a path of isolation, dissatisfaction, and life-altering choices.  In her most broken moment, Amber met God waiting for her in the fallout, freely offering her grace and life.

This is the story of the God who makes Himself known in broken places.







My Thoughts:
"Are we not all needy?  If we want to see gospel happen in our churches, we must see from a thousand miles above the little building, which is to say, we need to see the small.  We need to see the things thrown to the side.  Who is on the floor, without a place?"
If I were to sum up Amber's book in one word it would be perspective.  She is transparent in sharing her journey.  Lyrical in places and very raw in others, Amber Haines offers readers a genuineness that the body of Christ, the church, sometimes lacks sorely. Both convicting and encouraging, Wild In The Hollow, is a book to be savored and heeded for the glory of God.
"Instead of leaving the church, we show up and go underground.  We are undercover practitioners of discernment, those who sniff out pain.  We worship Him everywhere, carry Him with us, aware of our community's desires, their wants for hope.  We are not distracted by the surface things, the buying and selling, the committee meetings. Those are not our business.  Our business is to seek out those who are poor in spirit, the lonely, and the ones dying of shame.  Our business is to love our enemies and to forgive those who persecute us.  Our business is to model how all desires are summed up in Christ."
Read this book and you will receive a good return for your time doing so.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for this review.

Blessings,
Jennifer

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Through Waters Deep

About the author:
Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every LetterOn Distant Shores, In Perfect Time, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2014,On Distant Shores was a finalist for the Golden Scroll Awards from both AWSA and the Christian Authors Network. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.

Find Sarah online: 
websiteFacebookTwitter



About the book: 
Through Waters Deep
 (Revell, August 2015)

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war.

Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges---and dangers---await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

Purchase a copy: 
http://bit.ly/1DkJmlO

Here's a fun video portraying the production/design of the cover:

You can see what others are saying about the book HERE.

My Thoughts:
Sundin's Through Waters Deep was just plain fun to read!  I absolutely loved Jim and Mary.  Sundin wrote with the perfect balance of a budding romance, intrigue and mystery.  She captures the WWII era with good characterization and dialogue as well as description of the times and places affected during the war.  Sundin has started off her new Waves Of Freedom series with a real winner.  I can't wait to see what comes next!

Through Waters Deep

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Among The Fair Magnolias

About the book: 
Among the Fair Magnolias
 (Thomas Nelson, July 2015)

In the most turbulent decade of our nation's history, four Southern women---destinies forged by birth, hearts steeled by war---face near impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home. So when new owner, Aidan Bedford, a Boston attorney and former Union soldier, seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But the clock is ticking. Can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front. This time, one of the heart.

An Outlaw's Heart by Shelley Gray
When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he's determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother's homestead, he discovers she's very ill, and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.

A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily has a secret: She's in love with one of the freedmen on her family's plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.

Purchase a copy: 
http://bit.ly/1Igkc7H

About the authors:
Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including A Lasting Impressionand The Inheritance. Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award. A native of west Tennessee. websiteTwitter,Facebook 

Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels. website,TwitterFacebook

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), The Protector, recently made the New York Times best seller list.websiteTwitterFacebook

Elizabeth Musser, a native of Atlanta, Georgia now living in France, is a novelist who writes what she calls 'entertainment with a soul.' For over 25 years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in mission work with International Teams. website,TwitterFacebook

To see what others are saying about the book, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
Among The Fair Magnolias is a collection of four Southern love stories written by four of the most gifted authors in the Historical Fiction genre.  Each with their own unique flair...Love, Gray, Musser and Alexander...capture the era and Southern culture with expert story telling skill and description.  The characters in each novella are genuine and their stories are easy to get lost in.  Each author inserts her own style while delivering a delightful read full of romance, intrigue of the era and faith.  If you are looking for the perfect Summer's end read, this book will satisfy.

*I was given a complimentary copy of the book by the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.

Among the Fair Magnolias

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Bride At Last


About the author:
Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps and A Bride in Store, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She's a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly.

Find Melissa online: websiteFacebook







About the book: 
A Bride at Last
 (Bethany House, July 2015)

Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she'd been deceived about her intended groom, she's now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she'll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony-until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy's father.

Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony's wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

Purchase a copy: 
http://bit.ly/1M44A97

To see what others are saying about the book, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
Jagears has written a delightful read in A Bride At Last.  The characters are well developed and intriguing.  Jagears keeps readers turning pages with a perfect blend of tender romance and a little mystery infused with gospel grace.  The transformation of Kate and Silas and their relationship is captivating.  While parts of the story reach a predictable end, the journey Jagears takes readers on to get there involves nothing short of genius writing.  You will enjoy A Bride At Last.  

Bride at Last Melissa Jagears

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

To Capture Her Heart and Giveaway

Rebecca DeMarino is the author of A Place in His Heart, book one of The Southold Chronicles, a series inspired by her ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton.  She inherited her love of baking and gardening from her mother; a love of horses, reading, and writing from her dad; and the wanderlust gene from both parents.  Rebecca lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Tom.

You can connect with Rebecca and learn more about her writing gift at her website found at www.rebeccademarino.com.








In an uncertain time, she faces a choice that will change her life forever.

It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montaukett tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, killing the groom and kidnapping her.  Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is bound by her captors and left to die - until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren.

Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of the Hortons, English friends of her people.  Torn between
her affection for Dirk and her longtime friendship with Ben Horton, heather Flower must make a difficult choice - stay true to her friend or follow her heart.


My Thoughts:
Rebecca DeMarino has become a favorite author of mine.  Her impeccable research combined with a masterful gift of story shines through in her latest book To Capture Her Heart.
DeMarino captures the time period and history and seamlessly weaves those elements into a tender love story.  Her characters are well developed and have a genuine feel to them.  She has drawn me to a genre in which I would not normally invest time.
The writing in To Capture Her Heart is descriptive and DeMarino effectively transports her readers to another time and place in history.  Once you begin the first page, it is hard to stop until you have turned the last.


I love Heather in this story and DeMarino draws out her emotion and tension beautifully.  As a reader it is easy to feel what the characters are feeling.
You'll be blessed by this series.  The books can be read as stand-alones, but you will want to read all of them!

*I was given a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.









Don't miss this giveaway!

https://gleam.io/TbXzj/to-capture-her-heart-book-launch" rel="nofollow">To Capture Her Heart Book Launch

Happy Reading Ya'll,
Jennifer

Monday, July 20, 2015

Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter In A Godless Culture / Giveaway!

About the author:
Dr. Larry Osborne has served as a senior pastor and teaching pastor at North Coast Church---one of the ten most influential churches in the country---since 1980. Dr. Osborne is the author of numerous books, includingAccidental Pharisees. He and his wife live in Oceanside, California. They have three grown children.


Find Larry online: websiteFacebookTwitter

About the book: 
Thriving in Babylon
 (David C. Cook, April 2015)

Meet a man forced to live in a fast changing and godless society. He faced fears about the future, concern for his safety, and the discouragement of world that seemed to be falling apart at warp speed.

Sound familiar? His name was Daniel, and with the power of hope, humility, and wisdom, he not only thrived, he changed an empire while he was at it. Though he lived thousands of years ago, he has a much to teach us today.

Even in Babylon, God is in control.

In Thriving in Babylon, Larry Osborne explores the "adult" story of Daniel to help us not only survive - but actually thrive in an increasingly godless culture. Here Pastor Osborne looks at:

-Why panic and despair are never from God
-What true optimism looks like
-How humility disarms even our greatest of enemies
-Why respect causes even those who will have nothing to do with God to listen
-How wisdom can snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat
For those who know Jesus and understand the full implications of the cross, the resurrection, and the promises of Jesus, everything changes---not only in us, but also in our world.

Purchase a copy: 
http://bit.ly/1Maejf4

To see what others are saying about the book, you can visit HERE.

My Thoughts:
Thriving In Babylon is a timely message for the times in which we live.  Osborne uses the Biblical story of Daniel as the foundation of the thoughts he shares in the book.  
"We live in a world gone haywire.  Our moral fabric seems to be decaying at breakneck speed.  Things that were once shamefully hidden are now publicly celebrated.  The previously unimaginable has become common place.  In a few short decades our culture's response to Bible-believing Christians has gone from grudging respect, to a patronizing pat on the head, to a marginalizing indifference, to outright hostility. Yet Daniel steps into our confusion and fear with a book that contains the life-changing rebukes, correction, and training i righteousness we so desperately need. He offers us a model for not only surviving but actually thriving in the midst of a godless environment."
Osborne spends the nearly 200 pages of his book helping readers understand Daniel as a man of hope, humility and wisdom and how his example can help believing Christ followers have courage, credibility and perspective in the most troubling of times.

Osborne has lots of good and biblically sound things to share in his book.  I appreciated how his thoughts on almost every page were directly linked to Scripture in the footnotes so readers have the chance to go to God's Word themselves to see that Osborne's thoughts are lining up with Scripture.

The only real criticism I have is Osborne's writing style.  Much of what he shares is given in a very sarcastic tone, which for me was off putting enough to give the book 4 stars rather than 5.  I just felt his sarcasm at times took away from the serious nature of the very important points he was attempting to get across. If this type thing doesn't bother you, you will be greatly encouraged and equipped by reading Thriving In Babylon.

*I was given a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of giving this review.  all opinions are my own.

Leave a comment stating how you are personally attempt to stay "sane" in such chaotic times and you will be entered in a chance to win a copy of Thriving in Babylon.

Blessings,
Jennifer