Quick Tips for Busy Families: Jay Payleitner

Great ideas! Quick Tips for Busy Families: Sneaky Strategies for Raising Great Kids is full of helpful suggestions to navigate busy family life. Payleitner offers a variety of fun, serious, and sanity saving tips to help your family succeed with both routine and daunting challenges. I enjoyed the honest and humorous tone of his book. I especially appreciated Payleitner’s focus on intentionally building strong relationships with your children regardless of age and family situation. He shares ideas that are easily adaptable for different ages of children. I found this book a helpful, well organized resource that is formatted nicely for quick reference. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Quick Tips for Busy Families by Jay Payleitner for my candid review.

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Live Fearless: Adult Coloring Book by Margaret Feinberg

This is the first adult coloring book that I have owned and I was skeptical I would enjoy trying to force myself to relax and spend time coloring. When I skimmed through the book, the beautiful layout and thoughtfully chosen verses of scripture touched me. As I colored and reflected on the scripture verse that correlated to the picture I worked on coloring, I found myself relaxing and feeling a quiet peace.

I love how the scriptures verses are taken from various Biblical translations. The different translations add variety and a depth of understanding to familiar scriptures and fresh perspectives to consider. Feinberg has chosen powerful scriptures verses to help us understand that God is always ready and anxious to calm our fears and to help us feel peace in our lives.

Live Fearless is a beautiful book to help us have a beautiful experience while we contemplate God’s words. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Live Fearless by Margaret Feinberg for my candid review.

Letters to My Daughters by Barbara Rainey

I was touched by the insight author Barbara Rainey shared in Letters to My Daughters: The Art of Being a Wife. While frequently marriage books give lists of specific ways to make changes, Rainey focuses on the big picture and where we want to go in our marriages. Rainey thoughtfully shares her life experiences to explain to younger women the principles that lead couples into happier marriages. I appreciated the humble tone of her book as she shared what worked for her, but then encouraged us to turn to God to work through the details of our unique marriages.

Following through on her analogy that being a wife is an art, Rainey skillfully introduces us to all the different art forms that marriage encompasses. While not all of her experiences may be relevant to all readers, much of her thoughtful insights can augment our marriages when carefully considered and adapted to our unique needs. I love the sense of hope that Rainey deftly conveys in each chapter and her repeated witness that God does care about the success of each of our marriages.

I highly recommend Letters to My Daughters to women who want to make their marriages flourish. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Letters to My Daughters by Barbara Rainey for my candid review.

An Insider’s Guide to Praying for the World by Brian C. Stiller

An Insider’s Guide to Praying for the World was an intriguing book to read. Not only did I learn much about the religious atmosphere in many countries around the world, I feel better informed about the tenuous plight of Christians in those countries.

In a thoughtful, well organized book, author Brian C. Stiller introduces us to approximately 50 countries where Christians reside and bear witness of Christ, regardless of formidable obstacles. Each chapter covers a difference country. A brief, visual chapter introduction give a concise geographical and political summary, followed by a country dispatch that explains how the current cultural and political atmospheres affect Christians in that country.

Especially poignant throughout the book are the stories that Brian shares from his travels about how Christians are making a difference as they share their faith in very harsh and often unfavorable circumstances. In the final part of each chapter, Brian suggests how we as Christians can pray for Christians who live and testify in difficult circumstances.

Despite reading about the problematic situations of many Christians around the world, I found this book offers hope to all Christians, hope that despite awe-inspiring challenges, the message of Jesus Christ is spreading throughout the world, and our prayers can help.  Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of An Insider’s Guide to Praying for the World by Brian C. Stiller for my candid review.

Forgiven by Terri Roberts

In Forgiven, Terri Roberts shares her touching account of what God can do with profound tragedy if people turn to Him. As mother of the perpetrator of the Amish school shooting that happened in October 2006, Terri shares with us her loss, the details surrounding the tragedy, and a remarkable story of people seeking forgiveness and healing instead of anger and revenge.

With great courage, Terri opens her heart to us to show how the loss of her son in the wake of this tragedy has gradually transformed her and brought her close to her Amish neighbors who suffered so much in the aftermath of the Nickel Mines Amish school shooting.

As I read about this event of which I surprisingly remember so little, I was moved by Terri’s willingness to explore her own weaknesses in light of what happened and how she humbly turned to God to help her find healing and hope.

I cried when Terri shared how her Amish neighbors in the hours and days following the tragedy reached out to her and her family to offer help. I loved how Terri shared scriptures that gave her hope and encouragement during dark hours and days. I admired her willingness to share her story with others despite her hurt and fear because she knew that God wanted to use her to help others understand the healing power of forgiveness.

Forgiven is a well-written, poignant, and powerful narrative of how God works in the lives of ordinary people to bring hope, healing, and forgiveness in a world that would be so dark and tragic without it. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Forgiven by Terri Roberts for my candid review.