Wednesday, May 29, 2013

These Are the Days of Elijah - A Book Review

God used Elijah to accomplish great things.  He wants to use you too!

Elijah is marked as one of the greatest prophets of the Bible.  More than a gifted seer, he spoke directly for God, and with His authority.  Elijah is the only prophet to have called down fire from heaven, and one of only two individuals in Scripture taken to heaven before tasting death.  Yet this remarkable agent of the Lord was also very human, afflicted with the very same failings and fears you have.

This book is an excellent resource and asset to your personal library.  I've always loved Elijah's story, but never quite fully grasped the powerful message until I read this book.  The words of the author, R.T. Kendall spoke right to my heart and soul.  He explains the scriptures on Elijah in a way that is easy to understand and at times made me wonder why I hadn't seen that before.

It took me quite a while to read the book because there were so many excellent thoughts and truths within it's pages that I would read a sentence/paragraph and then reread it and close my eyes and meditate on it.  So many things within the Scriptures that I had never even thought of before and for me, this book made me see Elijah in a whole new light and I believe God used this book to stir my soul in only a way that only He can do.  I highly recommend this book and believe it will help you in your walk with Him!

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Though my Heart is Torn - A Book Review

When I read the first book in The Cadence of Grace Series I instantly became a huge fan of Author Joanne Bischof's writing style.  Not only that, but I fell in love with the character's Lonnie and Gideon.  (See my review for Be Still My Soul HERE).

In Though my Heart is Torn, Lonnie and Gideon's story takes a turn that I never expected and I have to admit that I was very upset with the direction it went.  I don't say that in a negative way towards the book or the author because it is  beautifully written and captivates your interest from beginning to end.  I say it because I am so attached to the character's in this series.  I really wanted things to go well for Lonnie and Gideon (especially Lonnie)  In book one they overcame so many obstacles and Gideon had finally started growing in his faith and being the kind of man and husband that he should be and then book two comes along and the life they had built together comes crashing down when it is revealed that Gideon was already married to another woman when he married Lonnie.  The pain that all the character's go through is heart wrenching and if one message comes through loud and clear through this book is that even though you give your heart to the Lord sometimes you still pay for your mistakes that you made while in sin.  The old phrase "you reap what you sow" comes to mind.

Towards the end of the book I found myself "rooting" for Lonnie and Gideon in a different way.   I know that even though they are both hurting, their healing has begun and that they can both have happiness in their new lives apart.    I cannot wait to read the third book and see how their story turns

**This ebook was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Simply Delicious Amish Cooking - A Cookbook Review

When it comes to delicious cooking Amish have a high reputation of greatness so I was super excited to get the chance to review Simply Delicious Amish Cooking by Sherry Gore.

The recipes are from an Amish Mennonite Community  in Florida.  The book has beautiful pictures of the Amish that I absolutely loved and it also includes lots of colorful pictures of the recipes which is always helpful for me.  I like to know what a finished recipe is supposed to look like and a delicious looking photo helps me to want to create a dish just like it!

Another thing I love about the recipe's in this cookbook is that they are down to earth home cooking recipes.  I hate to flip through a cookbook, find a recipe, look at the ingredients and find that I don't have any of the ingredients because it is supplies that I would never buy.  NOT the case with these recipes!  They seem to be tailor made for me and my pantry!

The cookbook is also spiral bound which makes it perfect for laying flat on the counter while you are cooking/baking.  Throughout the book you find short little stories of what life is like for this particular community which is a really nice touch and makes the book seem more personal.

This is definitely a cookbook that I will be referring to time and time again!

***This book was provided to me by the publisher through in exchange for my honest review.

A Noble Groom - A Book Review

A Noble Groom is the first book I have read by Jody Hedlund, but I can promise you that it won't be the last.  The author made and instant fan out of me with this beautifully written "fairy tale" of a story.

If it's possible to fall in love with the character's in a story then I did just that.

Annalise is a young mother of a 2 1/2 year old daughter and is pregnant with her second child when her husband dies.  Not that there is any love lost.  Hans had never treated her well and she had already come to the realization that there are no happy marriages and that there is no such thing as fairy tales or happy endings.  Now that her husband is dead she must work extra hard to save her farm.  Her father arranges for his brother who lives in Germany to find Annalise a new groom.  She has never disobeyed her father and since marrying for love is something that she has given up on she waits...waits for her groom to arrive.

Carl is a nobleman from Germany that has come to help Annalise until the man who is to be her new husband arrives.  He is unlike any man that Annalise has ever met.  He is charming, caring, kind,  but clearly he is hiding something.  She accepts his help knowing that any day her true groom will be there, but by the time he arrives will she be able to forget this man, this nobleman that has worked his way into the dark shadows of her heart?!

This novel is so much more than a simple love story.  It is rich in historical content which I loved and the author even includes a few pages in the back of the book that tells where the real history and the fiction intertwine.  There is also some nail biting suspense that had me eager to turn each page.  The danger that unfolds through out the story will keep you from wanting to put the book down.  I actually found myself walking through the house and reading just because I didn't want to stop!  The author writes in such a descriptive way that it is as if a picture is being played out right before your eyes.

The only negative thing that I can say about the book is that I wish there would of been a glossary included in the beginning of the book that told the meaning of some of the German words that were used.  By the end of the book I had already figured them out and did not have a problem with them, but at the beginning I was quite frustrated with not knowing the meanings.

This book is definitely going on my book shelf, situated with my other favorite books that I read over and over.  It really did have a fairy tale like love and story line in my opinion and seriously, what girl doesn't dream about fairy tale endings! :):)

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

World Literature - Curriculum Review

World Literature by James P. Stobaugh is a High School Literature home school curriculum published by Master Books.   Master Books is well known in the homeschool community for their quality books and curriculum and this World Literature program perfectly fits within the reputation they are known by.

The curriculum consists of a 496 page student textbook and a 353 page teacher's manual.  The teacher's manual is not a bound book but already has the page wholes punched out and fits perfects in a binder for easy access.

The first thing I noticed about this curriculum is that it is very intense, so I would definitely make sure your student is ready for such a study.  There are about 8 additional books/texts that are not included in the study, but that are needed for the course.  If you plan on purchasing these as well it could get expensive, so I would suggest checking with your local library as well as project Gutenberg ( before hand.  The author suggests a summer reading program of these books before the school year begins that way your student will not be overwhelmed with large amounts of reading before each lesson.

It is a 34 week study that helps the student develop essay writing skills, solid worldviews, higher ACT/SAT scores and strong vocabulary.  Each weekly chapter has five daily lessons with clear objectives, concept-building exercises, warm-up questions, and guided readings.  These equip the students to think critically about philosophy and trends in culture, while articulating their worldview through writing.

Also offered is American Literature (which I have previously reviewed) and British Literature.  Along with the World Literature you have a complete Literature program for the High School levels offering a total of 3 credits.

You can find out more about this curriculum at New Leaf Publishing Group by clicking HERE.

***This curriculum was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

The Spurgeon Series - A Book Review

When I think of great men of God of days gone by one of the names that always comes to my mind is Charles Spurgeon.  I have always enjoyed his writings and was thrilled when I got the chance to review The Spurgeon Series.

The Spurgeon Series is a compilation of Charles Spurgeon's sermon's from 1855 and 1856.  It is available as an ebook which made it really nice, especially since it is over 1500 pages.  All the sermons are unabridged and include refrences.  They have been updated to modern language which make them much easier to understand.  

There is so many sermons packed  into this series that it is a little overwhelming.  The great thing about it is that you don't have to sit down and read the whole book at one time, instead you can meditate and feast on the knowledge of each sermon, and study at your own pace.  I know that this is something that I will glean from for many years to come and it is a great asset to my library!  If you are not familiar with Charles Spurgeon I encourage you to read his quotes, his devotions and of course this great series of sermons!

***This ebook was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

The Winnowing Season - A Book Review

When it comes to Amish fiction Cindy Woodsmall is probably my favorite author.   I love her detailed writing style that pulls me right into the story where I feel like I am a part of the adventure itself.

The Winnowing Season is book two of the Amish Vines and Orchards Series and this book picks up right where the first book leaves off.  I would definitely recommend reading the first book before this one.  This is NOT a good stand alone book.  It had been about six months since I read the first book in the series and I still had a hard time remembering, so even if you have read the first book already you may want to skim back over it to refresh your memory with the story line.  One helpful thing that the Author included before chapter one was a "Our Story So Far" section which I thought was a great idea, however it was not  detailed enough to catch me up to speed.

So with that being said....I really did struggle with the first few chapters.  The story line seemed all over the place and I was more confused than anything, but once I got deeper into the story I started reconnecting with the characters I fell in love with in book one of this series and by the end of the book I did not want to put it down.  Rhoda is such an interesting character and it seems that trouble follows her no matter where she goes.  The chemistry between her and Samuel is undeniable and I loved reading about Landon and Leah's budding relationship and can't wait to see where the writer takes them.

The book ends in a way that leaves you hanging and wanting more.  Here I find myself in the same position I was after reading the first book...impatiently waiting for the next book in the series.  Hopefully though the next book will start with more of a bang. :)

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.