Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Machine by Bill Myers

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

B&H Kids (September 1, 2013)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bill Myers is an accomplished writer and film director whose work has won more than sixty national and international awards including the C. S. Lewis Honor Award. Among his best-selling
releases for kids are The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle and The Forbidden Door. He has sold more than eight million books and videos and lives with two cats, two kids, one dog, and one
wife near Hollywood, California.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

For ages 10 to 14, Truth Seekers is a fast-paced, thoughtful, and funny new series using a 21st century approach to sharing ancient Bible truths.

In book one, The Machine, twin siblings Jake and Jennifer have just lost their mother and are not thrilled about moving to Israel to stay with their seldom seen archaeologist dad. They don't yet understand how "all things work together for good to those who love God." But they will when a machine their father invented points them to the Truth.


Product Details:
List Price: $10.99
Age Range: 10 - 14 years
Series: Truth Seekers
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: B&H Kids (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433690802
ISBN-13: 978-1433690808


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

It was like a dream, but not really. I mean it was a dream but there were parts that seemed so real—besides the parts where Mom had actually died in real life. Does that make sense? I get those every once in a while, dreams that are more real than real, ever since I was a kid.



Anyway, in the dream Mom was driving our SUV up the steep, winding road to our home in Malibu Canyon.



Jake and I were in the back, sitting in our clearly designated seating areas . . .



Jake in his WARNING: Biological Hazard Zone, complete with empty Cheetos bags, crumpled McDonald wrappers (which had last seen action months ago), his wadded up T-shirt and crusty socks (which had last seen a washer longer than that), and don’t even get me started on the last time he shampooed his hair.



I, on the other hand, sat in the WELCOME: This is How Normal People Live Zone, complete with breathable air and a place to sit without catching some deadly disease. (Jake accuses me of being a Neat Freak. Maybe, but it’s better than being a toxic waste site.)



And where was our dear father in all of this? To be honest, he seldom shows up in my dreams—just like he seldom shows up in our real lives. Oh, he says he loves us and all, but what’s the saying? Actions are louder than words. Anyway, I’ll get to him a little later.



It was the same dream I’d had a hundred times before . . .



I was busy doing homework when I glanced up to see a monster truck coming around the corner in our lane.



“Mom!” I shouted. “Look out!”



“What’s that?” She reached over to turn down the radio—one of her silly Country-Western songs about some girl breaking some guy’s heart.



“Up ahead! Look out!”



But she didn’t look out. And, just like all the other times, I saw the truck heading towards us, blasting its horn. I’m guessing his brakes had failed by the way he was scraping along the mountainside to slow himself. A good idea, except the mountainside was on our side!



Mom had nowhere to go. She swerved to the outer lane then tried to turn back, but she’d run out of road. We crashed through the guardrail and sailed out over the can- yon floor, which was a good two hundred feet below. There was no sound. I could see Mom screaming but heard only silence—except for that Country-Western singer going on about his broken heart.



I spun to Jake but he didn’t even glance up. He was too busy playing his stupid computer game. Then, just when the singer reached the line, Why you stompin’ on my achin’ heart with your high heel boots, we hit the water with a huge splash.



And this is where things get interesting . . .

In the real world, on the day Mom died, there was no water at the bottom of the canyon. It was September and the stream had dried up. And while we’re doing a reality check, Jake and I weren’t even in the car that day. Jake had been at the beach being Mr. Cool with a bunch of girls, and I was at home doing my algebra. (I know I’m only seventh grade, but besides being a neat freak, I’m kind of a workaholic.)



But in the dream there was plenty of water and the SUV kept sinking deeper and deeper with all three of us inside. Well, actually four, if you count the Country- Western singer who was now sitting in the front passenger seat, strumming his guitar!



Water poured in and quickly rose. Mom tried opening her door, but it wouldn’t budge. She hit it with her shoulder over and over again, but the pressure of the water outside was too much. It began swirling around our waists and rising to our chests.



“Jenny,” Mom shouted, “roll down your window!” “It’ll flood us worse!” I yelled.



“It’s the only way. Roll down your window and swim out!”



“But—”



“Hurry!”



I threw a look to Jake who had conveniently disappeared. (Even in my dreams, he’s a slacker.)

“Hurry!”



I rolled down the window. More water roared in, pounding against my chest and face. I had to turn my head just to breathe. Then I grabbed the sides of the open window with my hands, turned my head away for another quick breath, and pulled myself out into the water.



I kicked and swam until I grabbed the SUV and pulled myself over to Mom’s door. By now the car was completely filled. Our faces were inches apart, separated only by her window. I yanked at the door handle. It didn’t budge. I tried again. Nothing. My lungs started aching for air, but I kept pulling and tugging as Mom kept pushing and banging.



Still, nothing.



My heart pounded in my ears. My lungs felt like they were on fire. The outside edges of my vision started going white. Mom pounded on the glass. I joined in and hit the window with my fists. When that didn’t work, I tucked in my feet, raised my legs and kicked it. Still nothing. My lungs were screaming for air. My vision grew whiter. I had to get a breath. I pointed to the surface and shouted, “I’ll be back!”



She nodded and I pushed off, my lungs ready to explode. Sparkly lights danced through my head. I was losing consciousness, I was going to pass out, I was—



Then I broke through the surface, coughing and gasping. Cool air soothed my lungs as I gulped in two, three, maybe four breaths. I forced my head to clear, then took one more breath and ducked back down into the water.



It was dark and murky but I could follow the bubbles. The SUV had settled to the bottom of the river. When I reached the roof, I pulled myself over to Mom’s side. She wasn’t moving.



“MOM!”



I yanked at the door. I slammed it. I kicked it. I had to get her out. The door gave, ever so slightly. I pulled harder. It moved some more, then it opened with a groaning CREAK.



I grabbed Mom’s arm and pulled, but she was stuck. I spotted her seat belt and reached down to unbuckle it. My lungs were crying out for air again as I pulled her from the car. But we’d barely started before we were jerked to a stop. I turned and saw that something like a shadow had grabbed her other arm. At first I thought it was the Country-Western singer. I pulled but it held her tight. It was like a tug of war game, me on one arm, the shadow man on the other. And the harder I pulled—this was even weirder—but the harder I pulled, the more he started turning into this shadowy creature that kept growing bigger and bigger with huge, bat-like wings.



This is a dream, I kept telling myself, this is only a dream!



But my lungs were on fire. My vision was going all white again. This time I would not leave. I’d stay here and die with her if I had to, but I would not leave.



The pounding in my ears grew louder, filling my head . . . along with the song. That’s right, the singer or shadow or whatever it was, had begun singing again. Maybe it had never stopped:



I’ll never let you go . . . you will always be mine . . . always be mine . . . always be mine.



Well, Mr. Shadow could guess again. Dream or no dream, he could not have her.



Always be mine . . . always be mine . . .



My vision was totally white now. My mind shutting down. I could no longer feel my hands or my legs. I knew I was dying, but I would not let go. I loved her too much, I would never let go. The shadow thing may have won, but—



And then I heard a shout. “Augh!”



It sounded like Jake. But that was impossible. What would Jake be doing down here? I heard him again, even louder.



“AUGH!”

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Review: NIV College Bible


I was excited to get the chance to review the NIV College Devotional Bible. I'm leaving for college this month and taking this with me!

Its features include:
222 school-year devotions with daily insights on and applications to relevant topics
Devotions use a unique storytelling approach to connect God's Word with your real-life questions, struggles, and decisions as a student
Subject index for looking up topics of interest
Etc.

In the back, there are different reading plans including: One Year Through The Bible, 60-Day Overview Of The Bible, 30 Days For Beginning Your Walk With Christ, 30 Days With Jesus, 20 Not-So-Famous Bible Stories, 30 Days With Paul, 30 Days Of Promises, 30 Days Of Leadership, 30 Days Of Knowing God, and 30 Stories Of Great Faith.

I personally miss the 1984 NIV version because I memorized lots of verses from it and the new version doesn't sound the same. But I still plan to take this College Bible with me because of its interesting devotionals that I can read throughout the school year.

Obviously, I'm not reviewing the Bible itself, I'm simply reviewing the version/extra features. I give the NIV College Devotional Bible four stars.

~I received a copy of this Bible for free through Booksneeze/Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, September 6, 2013

College!


In less than 3 weeks, I will be living on this campus as a freshman. I was actually accepted to go to Oregon State University back in October 2012 but I didn't get around to posting about it :). I am really looking forward to studying Digital Communication Arts (with a production specialty)!


I am very excited. After two gap years, I am ready to hit the books full-time! The library on campus (part of it is shown in the picture above) has 2 million books!


I was able to tour OSU in January of this year (when the pictures were taken) and then I attended START orientation in June so I've been on campus twice so far. It was fun to get to look around and learn more about different buildings.


Go Beavs!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Book Review: Whispers from the Shadows by Roseanna M. White

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2013)

***Special thanks to Ginger Chen for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Roseanna M. White is the author of several novels, as well as the senior reviewer at the Christian Review of Books, which she and her husband founded, and the senior editor at WhiteFire Publishing.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

When Gwyneth Fairchild flees London to save her life, she ends up under the care of Thaddeus Lane in Baltimore. Though their hearts turn to each other, Gwyn and Thad are on opposite sides of the War of 1812. What is God’s plan for them when the war is over?


Product Details:
List Price: $13.99
Series: Culper Ring Series (Book 2)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736951016
ISBN-13: 978-0736951012

My Review:
Whispers from the Shadows by Roseanna M. White is a sweet love story. I like how each character has his or her own distinct personality. I like being inspired all over again by the spirit and patriotism of the American people. There were a couple twists in the story that totally took me by surprise! Whispers from the Shadows is a wonderful sequel to Ring of Secrets.

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

London, England

April 1814

The servants hefting her trunks onto the carriage might as well have been loading her coffin. Gwyneth Fairchild pulled her pelisse close and gazed across Hanover Square with a sick feeling in her stomach. Surely she would awaken from this nightmare and walk down to the breakfast room to find Papa smiling at her. He would speak and say something that actually made sense.

Not like yesterday.

She shut her eyes against the image of all that was familiar, all that she might never see again. What if the Scribe went down? Was attacked by a renegade French ship or those dreadful American pirates? What if, assuming she made it to Annapolis, they killed her the moment she stepped ashore?

Annapolis. Had Papa not looked so sorrowful, so determined when he said that word yesterday, she would have thought he had gone mad.

His hand settled on her shoulder now, warm and large. Those hands had steadied her all her life. Capable, that was what General Isaac Fairchild had always been. Capable and steady and so very noble. All that was worthy of love and respect. So surely she could trust him now when logic and reason said she couldn’t.

“I know it makes little sense to you, dear heart.” He touched her chin, a silent bid for her to look at him. She found his eyes gleaming with moisture he would never shed. Not when anyone could see him, though she had heard his heartrending sobs when Mama died last fall. “I wish there were another way, but there is not.”

Another way for what? He hadn’t said, wouldn’t say. Gwyneth drew in a tremulous breath and tried to stand tall and proud, the way Mama had taught her, the way Papa himself had instilled. To convey with her posture that she was the great-granddaughter of a duke, the granddaughter of two earls, the daughter of a general.

A daughter sent into exile for no apparent reason. Separated from all those she loved, the only people left in the world who mattered. “Papa—”

“I know.” He leaned in and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I do. But I cannot entrust you to anyone but the Lanes.”

A light mist descended, heavier than fog but too tame to be called rain. At this moment, a thunderstorm would have better matched her confusion. “Please tell me what is happening. Why must you entrust me to anyone? And if you must, why not Aunt Poole or Aunt Gates?”

His jaw moved for a moment but no words came. Nay, he simply looked past her, his eyes searching for something unseen. Then he sighed. “The Lanes will welcome you and take care of you, Gwyn. I will follow as quickly as I can. A month at the outside. No more.”

Exactly what he said yesterday too. He would give no explanation as to why he was sending her to a nation with whom they were at war, across the Atlantic to a family she had met only once, when she was but a tot.

“Papa, your words hint at danger, but what could threaten me here more than the sea and its pirates? The French, the Americans?”

“The French ought to pose no threat now that we’ve subdued them.” He reached inside his coat of blazing red and pulled out an envelope. “In all likelihood your ship will reach harbor safely, but if by chance you do encounter American privateers, offer them this.”

She frowned as she took the envelope. It was too thin to contain anything but a single sheet of paper. “What—”

“Trust me. ’Twill suffice.” Chatter from the house grew louder, and Papa looked away again, to the nearing housekeeper and gardener. “There are the Wesleys. Time to go.”

A million arguments sprang to her tongue. She didn’t want to leave. Not her home, not him, not all she held dear. Not her first Season, the one that had been put off because of Mama’s illness last year. Not her friends.

And what about Sir Arthur? She hadn’t even spoken to him to tell him she was leaving, hadn’t dared send a note. “Papa, Sir Arthur…”

“It isn’t to be, Gwyn, not now. Perhaps when this has passed, when it is safe for you to return.”

Tears burned, begging to be set loose, but she clenched her teeth and blinked. How had it come to this? Promise had finally shone its light again. Shopping with Aunt Gates had made it feel as though Mama were with her still. Making the rounds with her friends had finally distracted her from the loss. Getting vouchers for Almack’s, and then Sir Arthur’s court—she had, at long last, looked forward to the future.

“Please don’t cry, dear heart.” Papa thumbed away a wily tear that escaped her blockade and kissed her forehead again. “Up with you, now. You must be at the docks soon.”

Instead, she surged forward and wrapped her arms around him. “I don’t want to leave you, Papa. I can’t. Don’t make me go. Or come with me.”

He held her close. “Would that I could. Would that I didn’t have to bid goodbye, yet again, to the one who matters most.” He gave her another squeeze, another kiss, and then he set her back. His eyes were rimmed with red. “I love you, Gwyneth. Go with God.”

He let her go and pivoted on his heel, all but charging back into the house. She almost wished she could resent him, but how could she, seeing his struggle? Whatever his reasons, they must be valid.

And whatever his reasons, they must be dire. A shiver coursed up her spine and made the mist seem colder. Isaac Fairchild was a respected general, a man loved by all. A man of considerable sway in London and beyond. If there were something frightening enough that he must send her away, was planning on leaving himself—

And for America, no less. Would he be going there to take command of troops? Possibly. Though why would he be secretive about it? But then, there was much about Papa’s work he could not discuss. Secrets, always secrets.

“All’s secure, Miss Fairchild,” the driver called down from the bench.

She slipped the envelope into her reticule and took a step toward the Wesleys. They, at least, would provide familiar faces for the journey. They would be an anchor on the foreign seas.

Quick hoofbeats snagged her attention. “Miss Fairchild!”

Her eyes went wide when she saw the dashing figure astride the horse. Sir Arthur reined to a halt beside the carriage and leaped down, fervor ablaze in his eyes.

“Miss Fairchild.” He gripped her hands as he searched her face with his gaze. He had the loveliest brown eyes, so warm and beckoning, the perfect fit to his straight nose and sculpted mouth. “Is it true, then? Broffield just told me that Miss Gregory said you were leaving Town.”

“I…” He was holding her hands. Sir Arthur Hart, Knight of the Order of Saint Patrick, presumed heir to a viscountcy, the most sought-after bachelor in England, grasped her fingers as if he never intended to let go. The mass of confusion inside twisted. “Yes, it is true. My father…”

He eased closer, his gaze so compelling she feared she might drown in it. “Something to do with military business, then? You will return soon?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think Papa knows.”

“Dear Miss Fairchild. Gwyneth.” His fingers tightened around hers, much like the band around her chest. Never before had he spoken her given name. Hearing it in his rich tenor, spoken with such affection, made her fear her tears would overcome her after all. “Why must you go with him? Can you not stay here with your aunt?”

Her attempt at swallowing got stuck in her throat. “I am all Papa has now since my mother passed away, and he is loath to be separated.” True, so true. Why, then, was he sending her an ocean away to a hostile land?

“But surely there is a way to convince him. What if…” He paused and then swallowed before using their joined hands to pull her closer. “What if you were betrothed?”

Her heart quickened inside her, beating a desperate tattoo against her ribs. Would that change anything? Could it? “I…don’t know.”

“Gwyneth.” Oh, he made her name into music. The breeze toyed with his honey-colored hair under the brim of his hat, making her itch to touch the curls. “My darling, I have such a love and admiration for you. If you would feel inclined toward accepting my hand, I will speak with your father this very moment.”

At first all she could think was He proposed! Then she drew in a quick breath and nodded with too much enthusiasm. “Of course I am inclined if he agrees. Only…” She drew away when he moved closer still, recalling Papa’s discomposure mere minutes before. “Let me speak with him first, as he was out of countenance.”

“Certainly. Yes. Anything.” He laughed and raised her hands to kiss her knuckles. As if surprised she had said yes. “I will take a turn through your garden to try to calm myself.”

“Perfect.” If only she could be sure Papa would agree. If only she could be sure that, if not, Sir Arthur would wait for her. She pulled away, but he snagged her hand again.

“Gwyneth. Darling.” He smiled, so bright and handsome it made her doubt trouble could exist. “I will make you very happy.”

A smile stole onto her lips. It melted away again in a moment, but he had turned toward the garden by then.

Mrs. Wesley snagged her attention with a shooing motion toward the door. “You had better hurry, love. If the general does not change his mind, we must hasten on our way.”

Gwyneth flew through the mist up the steps to the door and back into the house. For a moment she paused to breathe in home, but she hadn’t time to savor it. If her mission went well, she needn’t say goodbye to it at all.

Please, Lord. Please let him relent.

She sped down the hallway and around the corner toward Papa’s study. He always ended up there, either busy at work or staring at the picture of Mama she’d painted for him. A professional portrait hung in the drawing room, but he said she had done the better job. Praise which always made her heart expand.

The study door was before her by the time she realized voices spilled out. Two of them—though when had anyone else arrived? Surely no servant would dare speak over Papa like this.

“Isaac, listen to yourself!”

Gwyneth froze a step from the door. It was open a crack, letting her look in, though only the corner of the desk was visible, and just behind it, where Papa stood. But she recognized Uncle Gates’s voice.

“‘Isaac’ now, is it?” Papa’s laugh sounded dry. “Odd how you only remember our familial ties when we disagree. Otherwise it is always my rank to which you appeal.”

A loud bang made Gwyneth jump. Uncle’s fist connecting with wood, perhaps? “Blast it, Fairchild, it’s your rank you are abusing!”

“No! ’Tis my rank I honor. Someone, Gates, must do what is right. Someone must stand for justice rather than—”

“Hang all that noble rot.” A nasty curse spilled from Uncle Gates’s lips as glass shattered. Gwyneth recoiled, staring in horror at the sliver of room. What keepsake had he destroyed? The vase Mama had chosen two years ago? The small porcelain figure Gwyneth had given Papa for his birthday when she was fifteen? Something precious, for only the most special pieces gained a place of honor on Papa’s shelves.

And why? Why would Mama’s own brother do such a thing?

He sent something else toppling. “You are undermining years of careful work! The Home Office—”

“The Home Office, you say?” Papa leaned forward onto his desk, a look of deathly calm upon his face. “Nay. The Home Office has decent men in it yet. A few, at least, though you are not one of them. This evil must be stopped, Gates. You must be stopped.”

There came a shuffling sound, one Gwyneth couldn’t comprehend but which made Papa snap upright. Made him lift his hands, palms out, and make a placating motion. “Gates—”

“I am through reasoning with you, Fairchild. Tell me where they are. Now.”

One of Papa’s hands lowered toward his desk drawer, but another shuffle made him pause. “I am only—”

“You think me so great a fool? I already removed that, dear brother.” More curses exploded from Uncle Gates. Closer now, as though he were rounding the desk, just out of her view. “Tell me where they are!”

Papa’s sharp inhalation was clearly audible. “Gone.”

“Gone? Gone? What do you mean, gone?”

“Just that. Out of my hands and on their way to those who can put a stop to this before you destroy two nations in the name of avarice.”

A cry tore through the room, guttural and animalistic. Light flashed on something metallic as her uncle charged into view, the gleaming length held before him. Still, she had no idea what he wielded until she saw the silver stained red.

She pressed her hands to her mouth to hold back the scream, hold back the horror, but it didn’t help. Uncle still hissed words of hatred. Papa still staggered back, away from the blade. Then he crumpled and fell.

Gates followed him down, muttering, “You couldn’t have, not yet. You must have it.” His hands shoved into Papa’s jacket and searched.

Papa, fight back! But he didn’t. He gasped, seemed to struggle for a moment, and then went lax. No. No, no, no, no, no!

Did she bleed too? She must. She couldn’t move, couldn’t make a sound, couldn’t be. Not anymore.

When Papa’s head lolled to the side, he blinked and his gaze focused on her. There was life yet in those familiar depths, but it flickered. Sputtered. “Gwyneth.”

She didn’t hear it. She just saw the movement of his lips. But her uncle, tossing Papa’s case of calling cards into the wall, snarled. “Now you worry about your darling daughter? Oh, have no fear, Fairchild. Dear Uncle Gates will take care of our precious girl.”

Bile burned her throat.

Papa blinked again as he tried to pull in a breath that choked him. Again his gaze sharpened, caught hers. This time when his lips moved, he made no sound whatsoever. Run!

Then it was gone, all the light in his eyes. Extinguished like a flame left before an open window.

And she ran. She turned on silent slippers and fled back around the corner and down the hall. Out the doors and straight into the waiting carriage.

“Gwyneth? Miss Fairchild?”

All she noted of the voice was that it wasn’t Uncle Gates’s. Nothing
else mattered. Seeing that the Wesleys were already seated, their eyes now wide, Gwyneth pulled the door shut herself. “Go!”

An eternal second later, the driver’s “Yah!” reached her ears, and the carriage jolted forward.

When she closed her eyes, all she could see was darkness yawning before her.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Movie Review: Planes

 
Planes was a really fun movie to watch! It's about a crop dusting plane named Dusty who wants to race in an around-the-world flying competition. It is set "above the world of Cars". In my opinion, it blew both Cars and Cars 2 out of the water. I loved the humor in Planes. The characters were interesting. The score fit well. And it was cute to see Disney's representation of different countries around the world.  

The short scenes with fighter jets and an aircraft carrier were really cool. I want a military themed Disney movie. Who's with me on that :)?

Planes was an all-around enjoyable underdog story. I recommend it!

To check out trailers, clips, and more, go to http://disney.com/FlewTuben

You can also...

“Like” Disney’s PLANES on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyPlanes
 
"Follow" Disney’s PLANES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures
 
Visit the website: www.disney.com/Planes
 
Special thanks to Allied-THA for the chance to attend an advance screening of Planes for free in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Book Review: What's Your Mark? by Jeremy Cowart

 

What's Your Mark? by Jeremy Cowart and Annie F. Downs (she's the one who did the interviews) is a neat little book with pictures and short stories about different real-life people and how they are making their mark on the world. I had not heard of most of them but I was very familiar with Katie Davis and the amazing work God has been doing through her in Uganda. "What mark am I leaving on the world?" is a question I think everyone should ask themselves. God has given us one life to live...how are we living it? What's Your Mark? is a nice little read but I don't think the author(s) needed to include the Gospel of Mark. We can read the Gospel of Mark in our Bibles. I would have preferred ideas for readers to implement in their own lives, websites to check out, etc. Still, I think this book would make a great graduation gift.

~I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson/Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review: 7 Steps To Knowing, Doing and Experiencing The Will of God For Teens

7 Steps To Knowing, Doing and Experiencing The Will of God For Teens by Tom, Mike, and Daniel Blackaby is based on the Experiencing God teachings. They're trying to help teens experience a personal loving relationship with God, know His will, and do His will.

The 7 Steps are:
1. God Is Always at Work around You
2. God Pursues a Love Relationship with You
3. God Invites You to Become Involved with Him In His Work
4. God Speaks by the Holy Spirit
5. God's Invitation Leads to a Crisis of Belief
6. Adjustments
7. You Come to Know God by Experience as You Obey Him, and He Accomplishes His Work through You

The personal stories by Tom, Mike, and Dan were interesting. Sprinkled throughout the book are several one page stories about different people such as George Mueller and The Great Blondin which are used to illustrate a lesson. At the end of each chapter, there are a few questions with space for you to write down your answers. Examples include "Is there something you are passionate about that God may want to use for His purposes?" and "Have you bought into the lie of TV love? What things in your life need to change if you desire to exchange that love for real love?" Overall, it's a nice book that will make you think and hopefully want to experience God more!


~I received a free copy of this book from Shelton Interactive in exchange for my honest review.