Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible

This book is illustrated by Omar Aranda and published by ZonderKids. The book is approximately 8 x 10 inches which is similar to other hardback illustrated children’s books. Comprised of 33 popular Bible stories, there are 18 stories from the Old Testament and 15 stories from the New Testament. Each story has a title, scripture verse (taken from the New International Version (NIV), vibrant illustrations, “Once Upon A Time…” paraphrased story, and a “Happily Ever After” word of wisdom and story scripture reference.

On the front cover, it states, “The Bible is not a fairy tale. Every great story happened once upon a time.” An example of a “Happily Ever After” section in the Queen Esther story states, “Esther was brave to face Haman and the king. God gave her the courage she needed to save her people. He makes all of us brave when we need to be.” In the Darkest Day story about Jesus dying on the cross it states, “Jesus gave his life to save the world. He died so that one day, you could join him in heaven. Tell him thank you for his sacrifice.” I love the colorful illustrations of this book. The stories are written simplistically for a preschool and early elementary audience. This book will definitely appeal to young children and would make a great gift!

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that ZonderKids provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Once Upon a Time Storybook Bible
By ZonderKidz

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The Shack

In light of the new movie adaptation of The Shack, I thought I would reblog my review of the book. I have no plans to watch the movie because of how strongly I feel about the bad and misleading theology the book presents. I would consider watching it if someone asked me to give my opinion of it but I highly doubt the movie would make significant enough changes from the book to change my opinion of it. If you choose to watch the movie and/or read the book, I encourage you to do so with caution and with careful consideration and comparison to scripture. Do not let the emotional story cloud your discernment.

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Here is my “review” of the book, “The Shack.” I wrote this and e-mailed it to all of my friends in August 2008 after reading “The Shack” for my church’s book club. Since the book is still making its rounds in the Christian community and since it came up in conversation in the comments section of another blog; I thought that sharing this would be relevant.

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I recently read a popular book called “The Shack” by William P. (Paul) Young. I am giving you my opinion of this book now because I can find a ton more positive reviews about this book than negative. Especially within the Christian community; most of the reviews/comments I have read give mostly praise and “how this book changed my life” perspectives. Personally, for a book that many people consider as Christian Fiction; I find this book to be mostly unbiblical and very…

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A Man Who Told Us The Truth

This book by Will Davis Jr. is an examination of the life of Jesus Christ and the claims he made. The book covers the Truth about Truth, God, Your Father, Evil, Love, Death & Heaven, Religion, Himself [Jesus Christ]). The author wrote this book as if it were a conversation with the reader; not only truths from scripture but also sharing personal experiences from his life. He attempts to answer questions about Jesus that a seeker may have. At the end of each chapter there are “Points For Pondering” which include questions for the reader to consider and answer.

It took awhile for me to get through this book… mainly because it is harder for me to read non-fiction. As with any non-fiction book that explores the truths of scripture, I try to read with caution. Overall, I found that this author did a good job of portraying who Jesus is and scripture accurately. The parts that I did not necessarily agree with were more matters of opinion than essential doctrine. There were several observations that the author mentions that I never had considered before. This is definitely a thought provoking book. I know of several people who would find this book interesting.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that the publisher provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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A Man Who Told Us the Truth
By Will Davis, Jr. / Sangre de Cristo

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Risen

This book by Angela Hunt is based on the major motion picture that is currently in theaters. The original story is by Paul Aiello and screenplay by Kevin Reynolds and Paul Aiello. Roman Tribune Clavius is responsible for squelching the zealots in Jerusalem. When the body of the recently crucified Nazarene goes missing, Pilate gives Clavius the task of investigating, tracking down the radical followers, and finding the body. Rachel is a widowed Jewish woman who makes a living baking bread. After the death of her husband, she and Clavius enter a forbidden relationship. If her secret was made known, she would surely be stoned. Clavius searches for the missing body, questions possible followers, and gathers information but the questions out way the answers. When tragedy strikes in a personal manner, Clavius questions the Roman gods that he has spent his life praying to and serving. Will Clavius find the answers that he seeks? Will Rachel be able to truly love a man who is not her husband?

I was transported into this story within the first few pages. The author did an excellent job of making me feel like I was in the midst of Clavius’ investigation and Rachel’s searching. The story is mainly told from Clavius’ perspective which is unique from most post resurrection stories. He searches for the truth based on facts and learns about faith along the way. I really liked the explanations of Isaiah’s prophesies and Jewish Passover and how they relate to the Messiah. The relationship between Clavius and Rachel was outside of marriage but I felt that it was tastefully described. As both Clavius and Rachel search for the truth about Yeshua, their relationship resolves in an unexpected way that allows Rachel to show Clavius the love of Christ. This is a historical fiction so some liberties are taken with the story line. The author explains that Clavius and Rachel are fiction characters and would not have been present during some of the scenes she portrayed them in. There are other liberties that she explains at the end of the book. I did not find these liberties to be a deterrent and I felt that the gospel was explained well with an emphasis on God’s love. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes biblical historical fiction.

It is important to note that the author states at the end of the book that although Rachel’s character was created by Paul Aiello, her character did not make the cut for the movie. I am looking forward to seeing the movie, but I am glad to have read the book first so that I know Rachel’s side of the story. I have heard really good things about the movie and based on this book, I am sure that I will not be disappointed. Due to the Roman soldier violence in the movie, Plugged In review suggests that it is not suitable for younger children. You can read their detailed movie review HERE.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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Risen, paperback
By Angela Hunt / Baker Books

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Jesus Helps Me- Free Book Giveaway!

CONGRATULATIONS TO LINDSAY M.
WINNER OF THE BOOK GIVEAWAY!

You have been notified with a message to the email address you provided. PLEASE RESPOND WITH YOUR MAILING ADDRESS WITHIN 5 DAYS AT:
hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

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This book by: Callie Grant and illustrated by: Missi Jay is a board book geared towards ages 0-5 years old. It is a part of Graham Blanchard’s Learn Absorb & Praise Collection; this book is and Learn book. This book focuses on John 12:44-77 NIV Bible verses. It is filled with vibrant colors and photos of birds. There are many “Did You Know” facts about the birds featured in the photos and the facts are tied in with the scripture and how to apply it. For example, starting with verse John 12:44 “Whoever believes in me…,”

“Baby swans are born knowing to stay close to their mother. They trust she will take care of them. Your are able to know God by staying close to Him. You start by believing in Him.”

There is a place on the first page for the child to write his/her name. On the last pages, there is a message for grownups and “What do you think?” questions for your child.

I really like the simplistic design of this book. It is thought provoking but easy enough for a young child to understand. They will be attracted to the colors and beautiful photography. It will also grow with your child from baby to toddler to child stages! I would recommend this book for anyone who wishes to start instilling the truths of God’s Word at an early age.

The publishing company, GrahamBlanchard.com, has parent and teacher resources to help inspire young children to praise and have a relationship with God. There are also several other books available and a mom blog.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that GrahamBlanchard provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF: 
JESUS HELPS ME

1. Entries will be accepted until midnight Saturday, January 9, 2016. One (1) winner will be chosen at random from the entries submitted.

2. On Sunday, January 10, 2016 the top of this post will be updated with the announcement of the winner and I will attempt to contact the winner by the email they provide.

3. Winner must e-mail me with name (first & last) and mailing address within 5 days of announcement otherwise the book will be sent to a new winner. hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: Remember this is a free giveaway at my expense, therefore, Heart Treasures Blog is not responsible for loss or damage of the giveaway item(s). Giveaway open only to residents of the United States (unless you have a US Military address such as APO, FPO, etc. -OR- I know you personally.)

Click on the link below to enter! You may enter daily by going to this link!

ENTER HERE!

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Jesus Helps Me
By Callie Grant / Carpenters Son Publishing

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Brave Girls: Better Than Perfect

This book is a 90 day devotional (actually 86 specified days) geared toward girls. Honor and Faith are two girls who “wrote” this book with the purpose of remembering that God sees the bigger picture. There are six sections in the book. Each day starts with a scripture verse and ends with a Prayer Pointer (which is a one line prayer that applies to the reading).

Section 1: Truth Detectives— Each day in this section has a Lie that girls believe and the Truth based on scripture. An example of a Lie and Truth are: “I need to have money to be happy” and the Truth is “God not only meets our needs–He’s what we need most!” There is a paragraph or two under both the lie and the truth that helps explain them.

Section 2: Bible Beauties and Beaus— Each day in this section talks about a woman or man in the Bible who God used in a great way. For example, Hagar–The One Who Was Seen & Josiah– The King Who Repented.

Section 3: Divine Design– This section talks about a variety of subjects that show how God’s designed the world around us. Examples include: the platypus, pearls, and chocolate. There is also a baking recipe and instructions for a craft in this section.

Section 4: Body Builders– Each day gives instructions for practical ways of building the reader’s faith and how the reader can encourage others.

Section 5: Character Quest– This section has thought provoking questions related character traits that brave girls will want to cultivate in their lives. For example, courage, truth telling, love, and peace.

Section 6: Mind Games–This section includes instructions to a game, cross word puzzles and an opportunity for the reader to insert her name throughout 1 Corinthians 13 (the Love chapter).

All six of these sections end with a question(s) and space to journal the answer.

I reviewed a different devotional book several months ago with the purpose of trying to find a devotional that was age appropriate for my 8 year old daughter. I thought that book was too advanced for my daughter so when the opportunity to review this book came, I was hopeful that it might be what I was looking for. It was! I am pleased to say that it is perfect for my daughter. She has already started reading it and loves it! I think a 90 day devotional is also a lot less overwhelming than the 365 day book. I think that the devotionals are simple enough for an early chapter book reader to understand but still thought provoking. This will be a good introduction to a daily devotional routine. I would say that this book is for girls who are 7-8 years old through the pre-teen ages.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Tommy Nelson provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

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Better Than Perfect: 90-Day Devotional By Thomas Nelson

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Liar, Lunatic, or LORD

As we enter the Easter season, we reflect on the greatest sacrifice ever made since the beginning of time! Jesus came to us; both God and human. He lived a sinless life, showed us by example how to love and minster to others, became our sin as he died on the cross, and conquered the grave when he was resurrected. Unfortunately, there are many who still have not experienced the life-changing gift of salvation that God has offered. Most people recognize that Jesus lived as a teacher and prophet but many deny that Jesus is God. One of my favorite authors is C. S. Lewis. In his book, Mere Christianity, he states the following:

41w67GRujWL“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him; ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic… or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

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May we remember who Jesus truly is! May we honor Him as Lord and Savior of our lives! May the Fruit of the Spirit grow and thrive in us so that the world will see Jesus in everything we say and do! Jesus is Alive!

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Observing Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday… the day that many observe the Lent season. I was not raised in a family that participated in Lent. I always thought that Lent was a Catholic ritual. In high school I asked several friends why they came to school with ash on their foreheads and they could never give me a good reason for why they “observe” Lent. They seemed to be doing it because they were told to do it or because that is what they have always done. I never actually participated in an Ash Wednesday service until 2010 when we were living in Japan. When the pastor of our church did the service, I found that I really liked the concept behind Lent.

 Got Questions?org gives this definition of Lent:

“Lent is a period of fasting and repentance traditionally observed by Catholics and some Protestant denominations in preparation for Easter. The length of the Lenten fast was established in the 4th century as 40 days. During this time, participants eat sparingly or simply give up a particular food or habit. Ash Wednesday and Lent began as a way for Catholics to remind themselves to repent of their sins in a manner similar to how people in the Old Testament repented in sackcloth, ashes, and fasting (Esther 4:1-3; Jeremiah 6:26; Daniel 9:3; Matthew 11:21).”

I have found online that there is great controversy between Christians who think it is okay or not okay to observe Lent. It is important to note that Lent or any other Christian tradition or act of faith is NOT required in order to receive God’s gift of salvation and it will not win God’s blessing or make us more holy. It is not required for salvation and it is not commanded in scripture to celebrate Christmas or Easter but we do so because it brings us joy to celebrate the birth, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. While participating in Lent or other traditions, some people may have wrong motives or they will be doing it because that is what they have always done. For me, it is a time of reflection and a time to remove something from my life that is hindering a closer relationship with God or to add something to my life that should have been doing already.

A friend linked to this graphic yesterday and I think that it gives a good representation of how I choose to observe Lent:

Lent-R1

This, of course, is something we should keep in mind all year and not just in the weeks leading up to Easter. I think that observing Lent is a humbling way to focus our thoughts and actions. We also need to keep in mind that while doing any type of fasting/abstaining/self-denial that it should be personal between you and God. While there is nothing wrong with telling others that you are observing Lent, it should not be used as a way to bring attention and glory to ourselves. Instead, we should be humble and desire to bring glory to the Father.

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18 NIV

This year, I prayed about what God would have me do (or not do) during the Lent season. The church that I attend does not do an Ash Wednesday service, so I will not have ashes on my forehead today. I found my Ashes to Fire Lent devotional book that I received from my church in 2011 and I plan read through the daily reflections. I also am starting:

668524: The Love Dare for Parents The Love Dare for Parents

By Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick / B&H Books

…a 40-day challenge to daily demonstrate love to my children. My prayer is that during this time I will purposely be focused on Christ and with His help also purposely make time to show my love to my girls. My daily prayer is for the Lord to give me patience and wisdom and help me to be slow to anger.

Do you observe Lent? Why or Why Not?

 

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