Israel – God’s Heart

by Ron Gafni and Kathleen Barrett

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Ron Gafni is a professional aerial photographer that has taken many beautiful pictures of the landscapes in Israel. Even if you have had the opportunity to visit the Holy Land (as I have), you will enjoy seeing it from a completely different perspective.

image2(1) I really enjoyed seeing all of the breathtaking views! So, for photos, I highly recommend. Unfortunately, I found that the narrative left a little to be desired. There were definite editing issues and I failed to really get how it all went together. It seems forced – as if they were trying to get a lot more theology in than what works with a picture book.

Overall, it’s fun to look at and I definitely recommend checking it out. The link to Amazon is in the first pic.

Thanks so much for this book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Want to see a flipbook of this? Check it out!

 

Starving Hearts

by Janine Mendenhall

Debut author about a pre-Regency romance…Sounds interesting!

Miss Chetwynd is an intelligent girl in a world where that is not welcomed. She desires to discuss politics and real world problems instead of the normal gossip of the ton. Clergyman, Peter, has caught her eye and her heart.

A sweet story with lots of heart. It definitely read as a debut author and the characters weren’t entirely loveable. It was a sweet story and definitely worth taking a look at if you enjoy period books.

Thanks so much for this book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

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Face-Off with Chad Gibbs

Chad Gibbs’ newest book will be released on Tuesday. Jesus Without Borders: What Planes, Trains and Rickshaws Taught Me About Jesus is his third book and I will be offering up my review on its release date! woop!! — Link is in the pic

But for now, we play….

Wha?? You don’t even know what you’ve gotten yourself into, boi!!! This is the real deal. I don’t play games. I WIN games! You look like you’ve come ready to play… Let’s see what happens!

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The rules are simple. I ask Chad some random questions. He replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Worst food you ate while traveling?

Chad – I have to have a local’s assistance when traveling or I’ll almost always end up eating at an American fast food joint. And it’s not that I don’t enjoy trying new things, it’s just I want to make sure whatever I eat fills me up and gives me enough energy to make it to the next meal. That’s why I eat McNuggets abroad when I pretty much never eat them at home. They’re a known quantity. I know exactly what McNuggets and fries will taste like, and while they won’t be delicious, they will be edible, and get me through the day. That said, Japan’s fast food was a little different. The sausage biscuit at Burger King was basically a hamburger patty on a bun, topped with a weird looking egg and all the mayonnaise they could find. And the chicken strips at KFC still had a thick, slimey layer of skin on the chicken. After those two disasters I pretty much ate local.

Charity – huh. I am pretty sure that McNuggets are actually a very unknown substance. Quantity, yes, but substance…not so much. Also, thank you, I may never eat at KFC again.

Scariest food I ever ate while traveling would have to be a boring answer. It’s just fresh fruit in the Dominican Republic. No good sewage lines… But poop makes a great fertilizer, so… You can probably guess why I was so frightened. Plus, all the locals warned me.

— KFC won that one for ya, buddy.

Charity 0 / Chad 1

2. Have you ever jumped out of a plane? (Of course, one that is flying and with a parachute…no snarky answers!!)

Chad – I’ve never jumped out of a plane. I know we can’t really control how or when we die, but I’ve decided my obituary will not contain the phrase ‘sky diving accident’. Although I suppose a sky diver could land on me, so maybe I should go ahead and sky dive, or always stay indoors.

Charity – Hmm. I have always wanted to. But, now you have me thinking of my obituary and what it could say. Perhaps I would like to find a more entertaining phrase for mine. “She died on the pooper” could be a good one. Or maybe “She died stuffing her face”. Either one.

— At least I want to sky dive.

Charity 1 / Chad 1

3. Favorite kind of date with your wife?

Chad – We have a twenty month old, you’re going to have to remind me what dates are again. Back in our wild college days we spent consecutive Friday nights at a grocery store’s grand opening filling up on free samples. Pre-kids our go-to date was dinner, an hour wandering around a bookstore, and home with a rented movie we’d fall asleep during.

Charity – I hear ya. We always end up at Target on every date. Can’t help it. It just happens. We always need something lame and can’t wait another minute to pick up a bottle of shampoo. As if I don’t have 30 bottles in my bathroom already. Who knows which ones are empty and which ones aren’t anymore.

Our go to? Chili’s and a movie. Of course, our movie theater has those amazing lazy-boy chairs that recline with the footrests. ahhh.. It’s the life.

— Tie

4. Biggest phobia?

Chad – The dentist. I’d much rather give a public speech on a turbulent airplane than go to the dentist. I actually just went for the first time in, uh….a long time. I have to go back because I have a cavity. Maybe a skydiver will fall on me before then.

Charity – OMGosh. ha ha. I am right there with you. My husband and I waited 6 years before our latest visit. Bad. Idea. He had like 500 cavities. NOT ME THOUGH!! It just took them a few hours to scrape all the crap off my teeth as I sat there trying to think happy thoughts.

— Absolutely a tie

5. How are you bringing God the most glory in your life?

Chad – I like to think through my work. I know sometimes my writing doesn’t go as deep as some Christians want it to, but I try to write in a humous and entertaining way that might appeal to a non-Chrisitan, or a Christian that wants something a little different than a typical Christian book. My first book was about college football in the south, and I heard from lots of readers who said they typically wouldn’t have picked up a “Christian” book. I’m hoping the travel elements of the new book have the same effect.

Charity – That is pretty cool. I guess, for me, it’s being a mom and teaching my boys how to love God no matter what the situation. It’s never about me. My oldest boy is graduating from high school next year and it’s been lots of prayer and apologies to keep it real. I never want my kids to think I am above apologizing when I’m wrong. We are all human and love each other no matter what.

— God wins

6. Favorite movie or tv show?

Chad – My favorite movie is the Empire Strikes Back. Our second son is due in April, and our first son turns two in May, so I’m worried about the timing of introducing them to Star Wars. I don’t want the older boy spoiling the, “I am your father,” moment, so I may end up waiting until they are both old enough to watch it. As for TV, we watch Downton Abbey, Modern Family. I was sad to see Parks and Recreation end, and will miss Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. I stay at home with our son, so i also see a lot of Sesame Street, Peg Plus Cat, Thomas & Friends, Curious George, and The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot about That!

Charity – Wow. She’s really gotcha with that Downton Abbey, eh? Good woman there. My favorite movie is ABSOLUTELY Warrior. You know, with Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy!!?? ahhhhhhhhh. I want to go watch it now.

Yes, I can see how your older one could ruin it for the halfling. Congrats, btw!! It might be wise to wait and present it to them at once.

— Uh, Warrior wins!

Charity 2 / Chad 1

7. Sports teams?

Chad – I’m an Auburn fan. My wife and I met in school at Auburn, and we moved back here five years ago. Our house is less than a mile from Jordan-Hare Stadium. I’m also a big fan of Manchester City in the English Premier League. Both Auburn and Manchester City’s rival teams (Alabama and Manchester United) have massive fan bases, so this answer may really hurt book sales.

Charity – Oh wow. You are laying it on the line there. I have no bone to pick with you though. I don’t follow any of that. We are a Redskins fam. I also like the Braves (baseball, just in case you didn’t know). Of course, I was in college when they won their world series and was the biggest fan then. TBS showed every game. Win.

— I’ll give you that one because of the great risk you are taking.

Final:

Charity 2 / Chad 2

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Thanks so much for playing! I had a blast reading your answers!!

Now, on to the EXCITING NEWS!!!

balloonsChad has offered to giveaway THREE SIGNED COPIES of his NEW RELEASE!!!

All you have to do is click on the link and follow the instructions. I am sure you are going to love the book. As you can see, Chad has a bit o’ wit about him and his book shows it!

Just remember, only 2 of the options are mandatory. Everything else is just extra points!!! So, don’t feel overwhelmed. Just do the ones you want.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** All entries will be double checked upon completion. Any winners that falsified their entry will be disqualified.

The Story of King Jesus

by Ben Irwin

What a sweet little story. So many children’s books are just full of “fluff”. I don’t usually buy them because people seem to think kids can’t grasp concepts, I suppose. It seems that Ben Irwin thinks differently and I love this. It talks about how we should love others and displays Jesus’ example throughout. A great gift for someone you know. (Link is in the pic)

The story is well written, it has bigger concepts than most children’s books and the illustrations are wonderful. I give it 5 Stars.

Thanks, netgalley, for this great read. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Dirty Faith

by David Z. Nowell

I am not one to give a long review or spend a lot of time going over the book. I usually like to give the reader a small taste and let them know what effect it had on me. However, there is so much in this book that needs to be brought out, you may just find yourself in my longest review yet! (There will also be quite a number of quotes!)

Dirty Faith

What is “dirty faith”? How do we relate to “the least of these”? God calls us to, but how? And what does that mean? The least of these. The person sitting alone on the street asking for money? The thousands of children in foster care and state homes? The homeless? The cashier at Wal-Mart? Your waiter at dinner last night?

YES!

It has become a habit of mine to listen to God as I am at a store checking out. I ask Him if this is a person I need to be praying for. If I get a “yes”, I will ask the cashier if there is anything going on in her life I could be praying for. Maybe 2% say “no”. An overwhelming amount will tell you yes and sometimes share some really big things that they are dealing with. Sometimes it’s just a simple “my family” with tears welling in their eyes.

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So often, when we go on mission trips and even ask people how they are doing, we have this  “power and position, and you do not” attitude. “I have Jesus; you don’t. Unfortunately, I think it is precisely the perspective we often bring to our interaction with the poor, not just in spiritual matters, but in all things. The giver operates from a position of power and privilege. The recipient, by definition, is the inferior.”

David continues, “Relationship with others is integral to our relationship with God. Jesus’ indictment is that, if we are not capable of having a relationship with His brothers and sisters,  then we do not have a relationship with Him. Not a gray judgement here. It’s black and white. No relationship with my brothers and sisters in these circumstances, no relationship with me (Jesus). Determinate, not just indicator.” Dirty Faith

He also says, “I cannot begin to tell you how many times someone has said to me something along the lines of ‘It is such a wonderful work you are doing, but God just has not called me to that.’ Well, actually, yes, He has. Perhaps not to adopt, or even to foster, but He has called you to care for the orphan.”

I could continue to quote this book all day.

David Z. Nowell is the President of Hope Unlimited for Children. This is a refuge for children that are living on the streets, prostituting themselves out so they can survive (at VERY early ages), and doing whatever it takes to make it. This is a place where they can feel loved, learn about Jesus, and feel safe. Unfortunately, many children are more fearful of the unknown, so they are more comfortable living on the streets. David’s goal is to show Jesus to them. Not just for a week or two on a short term trip. He once asked a girl what she enjoyed about her mission trip and the young lady answered with the typical answer of showing them Jesus. His response was, “You were the face of God for them, and you left. You came back to your comfortable life, and those girls are still on the streets every night selling their bodies to strangers What did you really tell them about God?” dirty faith 5

He, in no way, is against short term missions, but the point of this book is that we love to write a check and not get our hands dirty. Jesus came here as an example of how to do EVERYTHING. We are to relate to others just as He did. He became a servant. Physically, not with money and well wishes. He got his hands dirty.

I hope you will take a look at Hope Unlimited. There are a few different things he is involved in that one is bound to speak to you. Check out this resource page and see where and how God is calling you.

dirty faith 4It is always scary to step out in faith, but look at everyone in the Bible that God called faithful. It was always the weak, the “least of these” and the ones that stumbled through life. The difference is, they got back up and asked God “what’s next?”.

Please pick up a copy of this book and then another one for a friend. It’s completely reasonable at $8.99.

Dirty Faith: Bringing the Love of Christ to the Least of These

 Thank you, so much, netgalley! I appreciate the book and, as always, this is my honest review. Here’s to many more!

American Sniper

by Chris Kyle w/Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice

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Click on pic to get the book ^

With all the hype around the awesome movie that just came out, I wanted to read the autobiography that Chris Kyle wrote. I’m surprised I haven’t read it yet considering my large collection of SEAL books.

Surprisingly, I have very mixed feelings about the book. Chris Kyle was a hero. He was an absolute hero and deserves every ounce of the recognition and awards he has received. And, if I may say, Jesse Ventura better watch his back… Seriously? Suing Taya, Chris’ widow? I don’t think that’s going to fly with the brotherhood.

MOVING ON… my only “beef” with this book would have to be his mixed up priorities. He felt that life was about God, Country and then Family. Claiming to be a Christian, I would think that he would feel differently about that. Beware of reading if you are not of a strong constitution. There is heavy swearing and the book is full of violence (OBVIOUSLY).

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Surprisingly enough, he made it through all four deployments in Iraq. He had come back home and was making changes. He realized that he needed to be there for his family and was working on his marriage. Sadly, he was killed while working with a young man that had PTSD. (On a side note, his trial for the murder of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield begins in just a couple of weeks)

Overall, it was an intriguing book and the movie was amazing! I allowed my teenage son to read the book because it is an autobiography and we discussed it together when he came across portions that went against what he thought was right.

Thank you to all service men and women. I am incredibly grateful and honored by your service.

308555id1i_TheJudge_FinalRated_27x40_1Sheet.inddClick on pic for the trailer ^

Kidnapped by the Taliban — by Dilip Joseph, MD

with James Lund

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Christian Medic. Taliban Kidnapping. SEAL Team VI rescue. Count me in!!

Dilip Joseph is a man that wants to serve and show others the love, mercy and peace that can be found within a relationship with God. While serving in Afghanistan, his own faith was put to the ultimate test. Being held for ransom, he strives to trust God and show his kidnappers compassion and love. Of course, we now know that he was rescued by SEAL Team VI, but not before touching the hearts of those that meant him harm.

This book was not at all what I was expecting. I was amazed at the love Dilip had for his captors and the relationships he was able to build with them. God gave him true peace through such a frightening ordeal. Christianity could change the world if we could all show Christ to those around us, no matter who they are.

I would absolutely recommend this book and, in fact, have already done so. If you would like more info on this, just click here!! You can even preview it for free here.

Thank you, BookLook Bloggers, for giving me this book for my review! Here’s to many more!!

A Robertson Family Christmas

by Miss Kay Robertson w/Travis Thrasher

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You have all heard of them. If you haven’t seen the show, Duck Dynasty, you have certainly seen their take over of Superstore shelves everywhere!! There isn’t a product that is safe from the Duck Commander logo (: From Sweet Tea flavored Chapstick to a Willie Chia Pet Beard, they’ve got it covered!

In this novella, we get an inside look at how the Robertsons like to spend their Holidays. It is a fictional story of boy, Hunter Clarke, that is struggling at home and is sent to spend the season with their family. They don’t condemn him for his bad behavior or attitude, but, instead, they love him and accept him as part of the family. They show him Christ’s unconditional love and mercy while changing Hunter’s heart forever.

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This is a fun book and well written. It is not the genre that I usually enjoy reading, but the story was entertaining and flowed well. It had a nice message and good insight on dealing with hurting teenagers. And, of course, it’s always fun to read about Christmas traditions!!

So, for all those Duck Dynasty fans in your life, here’s the link to pick up this new release!!

–Thank you, Tyndale House Publishers, for giving me a copy of this book! Here’s to many more!!

Guess what?? I am GIVING AWAY a copy of this book. Just head on OVER HERE to enter! GOOD LUCK!!!