Think Again by Jared Mellinger

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Evaluating yourself—being mindful of who you are and what you are doing—is necessary and can lead to positive change.

But what about the dark side of introspection? Do you ever feel weighed down and exhausted by your own self-analysis? Perhaps you made a mistake, said a careless word, or even messed up big time. Your self-examination spirals into a full-blown cross-examination. You keep revisiting what happened. Your mind circles around the event, fruitlessly trying to somehow make the outcome different so you don’t feel the embarrassment, shame, and regret.

The modern self-esteem movement has left us empty and self-focused. We exhaust our healthy introspection and pervert it into constant self-evaluation, wrong views of ourselves, self-accusation, and false guilt. Introspection was never meant to bear such weight.

Think Again offers real relief from the burden of introspection that so many of us carry each day. Pastor Jared Mellinger, who tends to overdose on self-analysis himself, shows us how the hope of the gospel can rescue us from the bad fruit of unsound introspection. Mellinger’s short, story-filled chapters help readers identify and turn away from unhealthy introspection.

There is an outward-focused God who delights to rescue an inward-focused people and lead them into a better way to live. When we truly understand it, we’ll see that the gospel actually sets us free from thinking about ourselves too much. We can seek after and pray for the peace and joy—the sanity—that comes from thinking about ourselves less often. Think Again includes practical instructions for self-examination, fighting false guilt, breaking free from hyper-introspection, and more. Ultimately, Think Again demonstrates that the solution to thinking too much about ourselves is to look to Christ, and it gives readers the tools to begin to turn from the mirror.

Learn more, purchase a copy, and read a sample here.


My Thoughts

I am a fairly introverted person so, of course, introspection is something I do quite a bit.  I said something to someone.  Then the questioning and overthinking begins – Did I say the right thing?  Could I have worded it better?  What actually really *did* I say? What did they think of me?  I bet they were thinking ____.  Any other introspects around here?  Do you not totally get that??  It can be super frustrating because the mind is always wondering, questioning.  I really appreciate this book’s focus on our focus… To shift it off of ourselves and onto the One who deserves our full focus and glory.  I personally know the times in my life when I have felt the most freedom and fulfillment are the times when I was focused on helping and serving other.

Our society is so big on everything is about me, myself, and I.  We tell ourselves that we don’t take enough time for ourselves.  We don’t put ourselves first.  We don’t love ourselves enough.  While I think of course all of those things have their place (taking time out to refresh ourselves, making sure we have our basic needs met, and not practicing self-hatred), I think, as Christians, we would be a WHOLE lot more happier, more joyful, and more content when we get the focus off of me, me, me, and onto Him, the One who knows us better than we know ourselves!

I really am enjoying this book!!  If you have moment of too much introspection or you know someone who does, I’d recommend buying this book or checking it out of a library.  Your peace of mind – and your heart – will thank you.

*I was given a copy for free through Litfuse.  I was not required to give a positive review and the opinions and views expressed are my own.

NKJV Woman’s Study Bible Review and Giveaway

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Today, I have a review of the new NKJV Woman’s Study Bible for you, so keep reading to hear my thoughts.  Also be sure to enter the giveaway to win this Bible plus some fun other prizes that goes along with the giveaway.

You’re invited to receive God’s truth for balance, hope, and transformation in the fully revised and redesigned The NKJV Woman’s Study Bible. The new edition features a beautiful, full-color redesign and poignantly reveals the Word of God with Scripture insights and the contributions of more than eighty women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Special features designed to speak to a woman’s heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman’s identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

This spring, cultivate your heart’s spiritual roots and enter to win the Grow in the Word Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on April 27. The winner will be announced April 28 on the Litfuse blog.

 

The Woman’s Study Bible poignantly reveals the Word of God to women, inviting them to receive God’s truth for balance, hope, and transformation.  Special features designed to speak to a woman’s heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman’s identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

Now with a beautiful full-color redesign, The Woman’s Study Bible reflects the contributions of over 80 women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Since the publication of the first edition of The Woman’s Study Bible under the editorial guidance of Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley, this landmark study Bible has sold over 1.5 million copies.

Features Include:

-Beautiful full-color design throughout

-Detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women

-Thousands of extensive verse-by-verse study notes

-Over 300 in-text topical articles on relevant issues

-Insightful essays by women who are recognized experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology, and philosophy

-Book introductions and outlines

-Hundreds of full-color in-text maps, charts, timelines, and family trees

-Quotes from godly women throughout history

-Set of full-page maps of the biblical world

-Topical index

-Concordance

My Review

First off, it’s obviously the first thing you notice – just how BEAUTIFUL and PRETTY this Bible is?!!?  ROSE colored gilded pages?!?!  Yeah, that got me for sure!It really is a gorgeous design – I love the cloth over board version (they have it in other covers as well) with the flowers and pink colors. Something else you notice immediately upon opening up this Bible is that it is full color – not just color inserts or just a hint of color here or there, but on every page, and it just all flows and aesthetically is very pleasing.

In our evening church services we’ve been focusing on Esther lately, so I decided to focus a bit on Esther for this review.  Each book has beautiful (do you sense a word I keep using, haha) book introductions.

There are also Character Profiles scattered throughout and articles on relevant issues

Overall, this is a BEAUTIFUL Bible for any woman… and with Mother’s Day approaching, graduations coming up, this would be the perfect gift for that woman or girl in your life.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway above!

*I was given a copy for free through Litfuse.  I was not required to give a positive review and the opinions and views expressed are my own.

Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray Amish Fiction Review

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Her Secret (Avon Inspire, March 2017)

A suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she’ll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he’s misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy a good mystery, and I also enjoy Amish fiction.  This book, having both of those elements, was a really great read.  I thought Shelley did a great job of there being a mystery and tension while still allowing the peaceful Amish way of life to seep through – it was a really good blending, in my opinion.  It was a little short – I would have preferred there be a bit more character development, but it definitely makes me want to read more of her books!  If you enjoy Christian mystery and Amish fiction, I think there’s a great chance you’ll love it too!

Learn more/purchase a copy

*I was given a copy for free through Litfuse.  I was not required to give a positive review and the opinions and views expressed are my own.

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green review

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The Mark of the King (Bethany House, January 2017)

Sweeping historical fiction set at the edge of the continent

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2iKM4uj

My Thoughts:

Wow, I really enjoyed this book!  Not enjoy in an easy-going summer flippant read at the beach sort of thing, but a truly great piece of writing – that grabs your soul and mind and heart and doesn’t let go!  Easy summer reading may have its place (it’s not my first preference, though).  This had a bit of everything, from moments of heartbreak, shear terror, moments of joy, of excitement.  One minute I was rooting for a character because I believed redemption could occur, and the next minute I wasn’t sure just what to hope for. I would cry for how people were treated, then cry some more because of loss or even the illusion of things lost.  To be able to send a reader on such an emotionally turbulent ride – to me – is a sign of a great writer.  As you’ve probably gathered from my past book reviews, I love history, and historical fiction when mixed with a powerful Christian message is probably my favorite literary genre/subcategory.  I really didn’t remember much from my school days about the early colonization of Louisiana in the 1700s (if I learned much about it, I had forgotten), and so the historical element was so intriguing to me, as well as their interactions with the Indians.

No, this is not a book to read as easy fill-in-some-time kind of read, but it will draw you in and not let go.  It will cause you to have all kinds of emotions.  It will cause you to stay up late to finish reading it.  If that’s your idea of a good read, then I highly recommend you get busy reading!  🙂

See what other people are saying: http://litfusegroup.com/author/jgreen

*I was given a copy for free through Litfuse.  I was not required to give a positive review and the opinions and views expressed are my own.

Cold-Case Christianity for Kids

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Some unexpected blog hiccups, but I’m back!  Felt like way too long, and I’m sorry!  Today, I have a way overdue review of a book for children called Cold-Case Christianity for Kids by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace.

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Between the ages of 8 and 12, kids often start to wonder if Christianity is true.

In Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, detective J. Warner Wallace draws readers into the thrill of high-stakes investigation by showing them how to think rather than telling them what to think. In this children’s companion to the bestselling Cold-Case Christianity, detective Wallace gets kids excited about testing witnesses, examining the evidence, and investigating the case for Christianity. Includes author illustrations and links to a website where kids can download activities, fill in case notes, and earn a certificate of merit.

Detective Wallace gets kids excited about testing witnesses, examining the evidence, and investigating the case for Christianity.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2dZcyq2

About the authors:

J. Warner and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, Court TV and other crime-related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of Cold-Case Christianity God’s Crime Scene and Forensic Faith. He has a master’s degree in theology and is the founder of ColdCaseChristianity.com. Susie has a master’s degree in speech pathology and co-writes (and edits) all the kids books in this series. J. Warner and Susie have four children and live in southern California.

My Thoughts

I am planning on giving this to my 10-year-old nephew – I know he will love it because he likes solving mysteries and “who-dun-it” type stuff.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I had never read any of Mr. Wallace’s previous books – seeing him on God’s Not Dead 2 was my first exposure, so when I realized it was the topic of defending our faith but written for the child perspective, I was keen to review.

The wording is at just the right level – not at all too far above the target age group, but never below or dumbing anything down either.  There are illustrations throughout, as well as little blurbs on the sides with things like “CSI”, “Dip Deep”, and “Detective Definitions” – short “assignments” that reinforce or further expound on the topic of each chapter.  I especially though the tie-in of the Internet resources was great, since kids are so wired it’s just natural for them.  There are downloadable fill-in sheets for each chapter as well as a downloadable certificate of promotion (which is also in the book, but your child or loved one may want a bigger version), which makes it all feel more “official”.  It is a relatively short read – just right, though, for the age group.  Can’t think of anything negative to say about this book that reads/feels like an adventure/fiction book, but teaches invaluable reasoning, investigative, and Biblical principles.

*This book was provided complimentary from Litfuse Publicity.  All my reviews are honest and true to my thoughts.

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I’ve been working on a total redo of a room – can’t wait to share some pictures!  I’m really happy with how it has changed and how it looks!  Also have some recent foodie finds I want to share! And how can it be nearly Thanksgiving!?!