His Kingdom Come {Book Review}

edited by Jim Stier, Richlyn Poor, and Lisa Orvis
Jesus’ final words to his disciples ring down through the ages: preach the gospel to every individual and disciple every nation. Preach the gospel? Got it, but what does it mean to disciple the nations? Do I preach or teach? To individuals or groups of people? What exactly does Jesus want me to do?

Come explore these questions through Scripture, history, and the ideas and experiences of those who are actively engaged in discipling nations. You’ll discover that God’s kingdom comes in and through many ministries, vocations, and locations – from university campuses to developing regions, in kitchens and boardrooms, through government, journalism, and the arts. All followers of Christ are needed to bring God’s grace and truth to individuals, cultures and nations today and to do the works God prepared in advance for us to do.

Jesus’ words are for each of us, wherever we are and whatever God has gifted us to do. What does it look like for you and for the body of Christ worldwide? How can we respond passionately and creatively to the call of God to see every person and every nation transformed?
My Thoughts:
I need to be honest and let you know that I am not done reading His Kingdom Come, but my family will be traveling soon and I did not want to wait until the summer to let you know about this gem! I have skimmed much of the content, looked for ideas that I needed, and read slowly from the beginning. Slowly, because some of the ideas are new to me and so profoundly beautiful that I need the time to slow down to take it in. I especially have loved the first two chapters which are all marked up with underlines and notes in the margin.  It is worth getting the book for just those chapters!
I think anyone with a heart for missions should obtain this book. His Kingdom Come is split into five parts including: “What the Bible Says”, “History of Discipling Nations”, “Philosophy of Ministry”, and “Strategy”. Each of these sections is broken into chapter by different authors which brings an interesting change of flow between the writings.
My plan is to keep at this book in a studious manner. I have even considered teaching some of the content for it to really sink in. 
This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Beat This Cookbook by Ann Hodgman {Book Review}


Do you think you have the absolute best recipe for apple pie? Maybe your neighbor claims to make the best meatloaf around. Did your Italian grandmother serve the best spaghetti sauce this side of the Atlantic? Well, unless you or that neighbor or your grandmother is Ann Hodgman, you’re wrong!

The book that the editor in chief of Vanity Fair called “the funniest, most engaging book about food I’ve ever come across” has now been revised and updated: more than half the recipes are completely new, and many of the originals have been “oomphed up” to make them even more shamelessly delicious.

Beat This! Cookbook contains more than a hundred all-time favorites, from Burnt Sugar Ice Cream and White Chocolate Raspberry Pie to Chili-Cheese Casserole and Onion Rings. Each one is guaranteed to make people take a bite, stagger with joy, and beg you for the recipe.

via Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

My Thoughts:

Can a cookbook be funny?  Yes! Yes, it can!

It can also be entertaining and inspiring all at the same time. Hodgman has managed to cram between the pages of Beat This! Cookbook, a plethora of amazing recipes with her wit and humor running alongside. This is not a boring cookbook nor one that will only be pulled out only during the dinner hour. This is your friend or at least reads like you are chatting with your friend. One who is spouting off about the lastest recipe and then tells you percsisly how to make it and what she does so it comes out just right or what to use if you don’t happen to have that particular item on hand.

I learned a few things from Hodgman. For example, that the famous “Neiman Marcus” cookie story was fabricated, she mentions Snopes.com and then shares the recipe. They are amazing cookies and now I can make them again! The “Mashed Potatoes” recipe is worth reading too, as you probably have never made them this way nor even thought to do so. In fact, that is the genious here. There are many recipes that you probably already make with her tweeks to create better versions or at least a little different. 

While enjoying the humor of this cookbook, you may want to note that the recipes are listed in alphabetical order with a list of dishes by category on pages 13-17. There is also a section for leftovers.

I like Beat This! Cookbook. Adding a little wit to cooking is a good thing!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is my opinion and I wasn’t required to write a positive review. 

The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles by Carol Barnier {Book Review}


Many of the books on learning styles devote 98% of their text to identifying learning styles, then spend the remaining 2% telling you how to apply this knowledge. They are long on diagnosis and short on prescription. Carol Barnier knows from her own experience and from interactions with educators all across the country that while people are certainly interested in the “why”, they are in urgent need of the “how”, or the big “what now?” They need perfectly clear and practical information that can be applied tomorrow.

In The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles, parents and teachers will find an emphasis on “what to do about it”. This book

  • supplies hundreds of activities keyed to learning styles for easy access and application
  • covers practical strategies for success in spelling, writing, math, history, geography, science, and more
  • inspires parents and teachers to act with confidence on the conviction of God’s potential in each child

via YWAM store

My Thoughts:

I could not wait to read Barnier’s book, The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles.  What a wealth of information for the weary homeschool mom who just need that one great idea. 

Within the first section of The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles (pages 11 -41), Barnier sets out to suggest that all children do not learn the same and that new activities can be introduced to find what works for an individual child. In a few chapters, she gives a short, encouraging exhortation to the homeschool mom whose child may not be grasping a certain subject or two. She also explains how to make the best use of the book.

Section two (page 43 -191) is full of ideas or “keys” as the author calls them. You will find chapters containing activities for spelling, writing, reading, math, history, geography, science, and reviewing. Each idea is clearly explained with a symbol showing the learning style it best matches. You are encouraged not to let this be your only guide as each child is different. Some ideas even challenge the parent to consider a new perspective like “Shared Spelling” on page 81-83. The reader will find bonus material including a unit study on for history, ditties & mnemonics, educational resources, and websites.

After reading the first section, I personally turned right to the chapter on math. The beauty of this resource is that it does not demand a cover to cover reading, but instead can serve as an idea manual to use when you can’t find what will spur learning. Certainly, you can read it straight, underlining and highlighting ideas that you would like to try, that is up to each teacher.

Any mom who wants to help her child find easy, creative ways to learn would appreciate this helpful volume. It really will help answer the “what now” question.

*This book was given to be in exchange for my honest review. The links within this post are not affiliate links.

You Can Do Tea by Sandy Lynam Clough {Book Review}

You Can Do Tea

by Sandy Lynam Clough


Sandy Clough, artist of If Teacups Could Talk (more than 300,000 copies sold), believes that anyone can “do tea.” All you need are the basics. In this charming tea primer, she presents no-fuss recipes and ideas to create gatherings that delight guests and hosts alike. New paintings from Sandy showcase tea cups for every taste, while cozy scenes encourage readers to embrace the surprising simplicity of tea.

Sprinkled throughout are tips on making teatimes beautiful and welcoming:

  • Ways to develop and implement a themed tea that suits any occasion.
  • The only recipes you’ll ever need to host a delightful tea.
  • Teatime manners and etiquette made simple.

As warm and comforting as a fresh batch of scones…this lovely gathering of ideas and invitations is for longtime tea lovers as well as those who are just discovering the pleasures, treasures, and benefits of the worlds’ favorite beverage.

Via Harvest House Publishers

My Thoughts:

You Can Do Tea  by Sandy Lynam Clough is a lovely gift book for your favorite tea lover. Clough wrote and illustrated this simple invitation to tea etiquette. The reader will learn about themes, menus, and how to hostess plus you will find some delicious recipes, including my favorite cucumber sandwiches (page 25). 

My little girl loves drinking tea. So, I look forward to some upcoming afternoons where we will read this treasure learning about tea together. I can even imagine us planning a tea for a few of our friends afterwards. There is a section towards the back, “Tea for Little Ladies” for ideas specifically for girls. I know that my little sweetie will enjoy the subject, but the amazing art throughout will also be a delight to her.

You Can Do Tea can be used as decoration, a coffee table book, or a gift for friend along with some fabulous tea. 

What is your favorite tea?

Don’t Call It a Comeback Book Review {Edited by Kevin DeYoung}

The Old Faith for a New day
edited by Kevin DeYoung


Recent cultural interest in evangelicalism has led to considerable confusion about what the term actually means. Many young Christians are tempted to discard the label altogether. But evangelicalism is not merely a political movement in decline or a sociological phenomenon on the rise, as it has sometimes been portrayed. It is, in fact, a helpful theological profile that manifests itself in beliefs, ethics, and church life.

DeYoung and other key twenty- and thirty-something evangelical Christian leaders present Don’t Call It a Comeback: The Same Evangelical Faith for a New Day to assert the stability, relevance, and necessity of Christian orthodoxy today. This book introduces young, new, and under-discipled Christians to the most essential and basic issues of faith in general and of evangelicalism in particular.

Kevin DeYoung and contributors like Russell Moore, Tullian Tchividjian, Darrin Patrick, Justin Taylor, Thabiti Anyabwile, and Tim Challies examine what evangelical Christianity is and does within the broad categories of history, theology, and practice. They demonstrate that evangelicalism is still biblically and historically rooted and remains the same framework for faith that we need today

Via Crossway


Go out and buy this book. It’s a must read!

Don’t Call It a Comeback edited by Kevin DeYoung displays chapters on fundamental Christian topics from a host of young leaders. Inside the pages, you will find insights into the history, theology, and practice of our faith. Some of my favorite chapters included, “The Secret to Reaching the Next Generation” by Kevin DeYoung; “Worship: It’s a Big Deal” by Tullian Tchividijian;  and “The Local Church: Not Always Amazing, but Love By Jesus” by Thabiti Anyabwile. 

This is a book to read with a highlighter. A book you will want to discuss with other serious readers. It might even be a book you will wrestle with depending where you stand on some of the issues presented. I think it is highly worth your time.

Here is a peek inside via a few of my favorite, underlined portions:

“It is the church that God has called and commissioned to take the name of Jesus to all lands.” (page 139)

“God is not like you or me. He’s unimaginably better. He’s mightier, fiercer, more loving, more majestic. He is holy, holy, holy.” (page 56)

“Social justice, though valuable as an expression of Christian love, should especially as a churchwide endeavor, serve the goal of gospel proclamation. We care for people because we love them as creatures made in God’s image and lament their suffering.” (page 158)

Have you read Don’t Call it a Comeback?  If you do, let me know.

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Love Food & Live Well by Chantel Hobbs {Book Review}


Go ahead. Get passionate about the food you eat!

Don’t fall for the lie that to lose weight you have to endure bland, uninspiring meals—and go hungry most of the time. Starting today you can love delicious food and lose weight at the same time! The secret is knowing when to have carrot cake and when it’s time for just a carrot.

Make food your ally by following Chantel Hobbs’s 80/20 rule. A full 20 percent of the time, splurge on the foods you love and incorporate them into celebrations and social occasions. The remaining 80 percent of the time, choose food that delivers maximum health and fuel for your body.

Using personal inventories, food plans, and new exercises for strength training and aerobic fitness, you will enjoy getting fit and trim. Love Food and Live Well guarantees that you can love what you’re eating while you lose weight.

via Waterbrook Multnomah

My Thoughts:

You cannot help but be motivated by a woman who has been there herself and now, having lost weight, is sharing her story and ideas. If you are like me and need the periodic pep talk to remember what healthy eating looks like and why you need to do it, you will find it here.

Chantel Hobbs encourages us to make changes and shares about the kinds of foods that will benefit our bodies. She even reminds us that we need God for real, lasting change, “surrendering to the living God your life, your own strength, and your ability to change is a daily occurrence. You have to lay down your desire whenever they get in the way of what God wants to do in your life.” (page 57)

Much of what you find between the pages of Love Food & Live Well, you have seen before. This is basically a reminder about calories, carbs, protein, fat, and other basic diet information with her personal push and challenge.  She spells out the 80:20 Rule to help you make the most of your eating and then leaves you with ideas and recipes. There is also a section on exercise with tips for scheduling, actual exercises with photos, and more.

Hobbs writing is easy and fun, plus it is encouraging to learn from a woman who has lost two hundred pounds and kept it off.  If you need a little inspiration, you will want to read Love Food & Live Well.

Are you encouraged by reading books about healthy eating, diet, and exercise?

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.