Wednesday, March 13

NIV Artisan Collection Bible



This Bible is stunning! The cover says, "God is within her. She will not fall." It's mass printed, but has a hand painted look and is designed by artist Edna Marie Esparra. The sides of the Bible are gold. The inside pages are typical of a Bible pages except it has wide margins with lines to make it easy for journaling and notetaking (no illustrations interspersed like the illustrated Bibles). The cover is smooth and shiny, with heavy cardboard (not bend-y like imitation leather Bible covers). Over time, I could see the edges of the covers getting bent or splitting over time, but that just means I should probably sew myself some kind of Bible cover or small tote to carry it in to protect those edges. It's a really, really minor issue for me with an otherwise lovely Bible that I'll be excited to use!

This Bible is part of the Artisan Collection by Zondervan. There are four different covers (all different colors and different hand painted designs on each). I haven't seen those Bibles, but I'm assuming they are just as stunning as the pink floral cover. The navy succulent cover is my second favorite of the collection.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own.

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Thursday, February 7

Jesus Calling


Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Oh my. This devotional is absolutely lovely. Stunning.

I've been a fan of the Jesus Calling and Jesus Always devotionals for years. I have the Jesus Always, but for some reason, have never owned the Jesus Calling one (except for a flip calendar version that's a bit hard to read and I can't carry with me like normal devotionals). This version is large print, and that means it's slightly larger than a typical devotional in size. However, I kind of like that it's a bit bigger. I feel like I'm reading a book. Also, I'm all kinds of over the moon over how gorgeous it is.

As far as the content of the devotional: it's powerful. Each day's reading is written from Jesus' perspective. As if He's talking to the reader directly. So many days have left me in tears because they touched my heart deeply. Definitely a great addition to my morning routine.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own.

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Monday, February 4

The God of New Beginnings


The God of New Beginnings by Rob Cowles and Matt Roberts

In this book, the authors work to convey just how much God seeks to give new beginnings no matter how impossible, how broken, devastated or crazy an individual's life is. They use dramatic stories from some of The Genesis Project - a network of believers who have the goal to plant churches in dark places and with people who don't "do" church. Some drug addicts, convicts, gang members. Their point is that our God is a God who renews and brings hope to even the most hopeless lives.

Obviously, the premise of the book is extremely powerful. I didn't know what to expect from this book and these authors. No matter what season of life you're in, everyone needs to be reminded of how our God redeems. I found this book good. The stories and writings were well done. Not overly dramatic, but realistic to drive home the fact that no one is perfect and God's love is everything. And His grace is everything and always needed daily for believers of all ages.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own.

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Friday, February 1

The Bright Life


The Bright Life by Jen Wise

This has such an attractive book cover. It was one reason I wanted to get a copy of this book to read. The tagline "40 invitations to reclaim your energy for the full life" was quite appealing on its own.

Jen Wise writes about holistic faith in bringing grace and renewal - the kind of faith that reaches into every facet of life. She writes in a way that weaves her personal story with Scripture to communicate how Jesus invited us to take small steps that lead to a more peaceful place, with energy and full of grace.

I love the concept of this book. There's a lot of good in it. However, maybe because I've read a lot of Christian living books lately, I found myself getting distracted while reading this book. Her writing style was easy to read and clearly communicated the concepts. While it was enjoyable, I found it a little hard to connect with on a personal level because she was in a different life stage than what I'm currently resting in. I think this will be a good book to revisit in a couple months when I've detoxed from Christian living books and can give it fresh eyes! After all, I've heard GREAT things about it.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own.

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Monday, January 7

Praying God's Will for Your Life



This book comes from the author of the well-known book, The Power of a Praying Wife. I haven't read it, but it's been on my "to read" list for years. Now that I type that, I don't know why I've never made it a point to read something that I've been wanting to read for years.

This new book - Praying God's Will for Your Life - is a book about a way of life and a heart attitude. Omartian focuses on a way of life that encompasses three important components: an intimate relationship with God, a solid foundation in God's truth and a commitment to obedience.

The book is structured like a traditional book and then includes pages for journaling at the end of the book. Because the pages are like a regular book and not thicker like journal pages, the ink will bleed through the pages and I don't know if I'd really want to use it for journaling unless with a ballpoint pen. Each chapter concludes with a prayer and "tools of truth" (Bible verses to reinforce the truth in that chapter).

This book could be a helpful resource for people who are unsure of how to pray for God's will in their life. Perhaps more for a new believer or a teen/college aged student. She walks through different elements of faith in a very clear, concise way that's easy to follow and keeps the reader invested. It might not be the best choice for a mature believer craving more depth. Overall though, I believe it's a good resource.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own.

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Thursday, December 20

A Morning and Evening Prayer Book


A Morning and Evening Prayer Book by Jeanie and David Gushee

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this prayer book. I've never owned a prayer book or anything similar before. The book arrived in the mail yesterday and after flipping through the pages, I think I'm going to lean on this prayer book.

This is a collection of morning and evening prayers. Each day has different readings drawn from the treasury of Christian prayer throughout the ages. The prayers come from Protestant, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox sources and from all continents and centuries. The book itself is the size of a regular book (not a devotional) and has a nice, hard cover.

One of the reasons I like this prayer book is because I have such a deep fascination with Christian history and how the saints and Christians leaders were honest in grappling with their faith. It didn't seem like there was a facade, but instead genuine emotion and struggle as they worked through what God and the Bible mean. It's comforting to read that those great men and women in the faith dealt with similar issues that I have/am working through. All that to say, I love the history and wisdom in the collection of prayers in this prayer book!!

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own.

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Friday, December 14

Jesus Always: A Deluxe Edition



Jesus Always: A Deluxe Edition by Sarah Young

I'm a big fan of both Sarah Young's devotionals - Jesus Calling and then Jesus Always. This deluxe edition is the same size as the regular Jesus Always, including the same look on the pages inside. The "deluxe" part is the cover - it's nice! The cover is heavy and flexible, textured to feel good. It's not leather or imitation leather, but a wonderful gift idea because of how lovely it is (or manly, if you're looking for a man's gift idea) and how encouraging, uplifting and challenging the daily readings are! There's a reason both the Jesus Calling and Jesus Always devotionals are best sellers.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own.

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