Blue stained wood with crimson carnations

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Art of Book Publishing

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I had anything other than book reviews posting up here but rest assured, I have some stuff in the works for the coming weeks and months that I'm eager to share!

In the mean time, I saw this really great posting over on Bethany House Publishers blog that I wanted to quickly share because I thought it was soooo cool!

cr.From BHP's blog!
Have you ever wondered about how a book gets printed? Well I have! In this quick post from one of Bethany's own editors Amy Green (whom I've had the pleasure of corresponding with before), you will get a sneak peak in on that process!

I have to admit that that stack of covers sting there and waiting to be cut and bound is like the coolest thing ever and just gives me tingles all over! Ahhh! Books just give you the best kind of feelings don't they??

I have to admit that I can't wait for that book to hit the shelves (or to show up in my review options!) but in the mean time head over to BHP's blog and check out the full article! 

Book Review: Beside Bethesda: 31 Days Toward Deeper Healing

Chronic illness. Chronic pain. Debilitation. Paralysis.

These are hard words. Hard words that no one wants to hear. Words that sometimes we hear anyway when we want to hear words of hope instead.

This book, "Beyond Bethesda" by Joni Earekson Tada is a devotional book of hope. This slim padded volume has 31 daily entries meant to be read over the course of a month and are geared to lead the hurting towards a deep healing from the only one who can truly heal, who can truly understand, Jesus.

Each entry is about 3-4 pages long and can be read in about 5 minutes time. Coupled with prayer and meditation these bite sized pieces of daily bread are perfect for a morning reading! In preparation for this review I was reading several a morning but I really longed to be able to spend some more time and linger as I read through these entries. After a year of chaos in my life, and nearly 21 years on my own journey of chronic pain that is a day by day progression, I can tell you the passing days of pain can numb you, can make you feel that nothing will ever be different than it is now- or will perhaps be worse in the future. That is not the case. Reading Joni's words were- refreshing- and much needed. Joni begins your journey beside the titular pool of healing water- the pool of Bethesda and is a gentle but authoritative guide as she steers the troubled into calmer mental waters.

There were a number of entries that really called out to me throughout the course of the book but one of my favorites has to be Day 9 "The Day's First Battle" which is about connecting with the Lord in prayer before your feet even hit the floor. It was immensely encouraging to me that someone else deals with the same feelings that I do, that same unwillingness when in pain- or stressed, or facing a mountain of work- to even get out of bed. Joni however, reminds her reader that the victory is all Jesus' and that we are not to be defeated before the day begins! In the 'Deeper Thoughts' section following Joni pairs Psalm 142:6-7 with this entry and though I would have never thought to apply those verses to my illness, my disease, I was really struck with how fitting they felt. It reads:
Listen to my cry,for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
because of your goodness to me.
There were many other entries that I really enjoyed in this book and it would be too long to mention all of them but my other top favorites really deserve a mention! Be sure to look for: Day 8 "As a Thousand Years", Day 16 "Abiding in Christ", Day 21 " Eager Anticipation", Day 22 "The Slowness of God", Day 27 "Weaving Straw into Gold", and Day 28 "Not Why but How".

This book is truly a gem! Though I enjoyed reading it once I really anticipate that as years go by it is going to be one that I pull off my bookshelf time and again! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is, or who has, suffered with one of those hope-draining diagnosis. I would also encourage you that if you know someone that is going through this pain journey that you don't just recommend this book to them  but go the extra mile to put it in their hands. I have no doubt that they will thank you for it as they too find a deeper healing in Christ.

Rating: 5

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and opinion of the product.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Book Review: God Gave Us Angels

This summer, my niece who is now 2.8 years old began dealing with a lot of fear. Her fears range from an utter terror of thunderstorms to a strong uncomfortableness with the dark. Normal fears for a small child yes, but still a quandary for the adults as to how to comfort and instruct her in dealing with them. All summer we have been teaching her to recite scriptures, trust God, and know that we can pray to Jesus about all the things that frighten us and He will care for us, and also to know that God sends His angles to care for us as well.
But how do you explain to a small child what an angel is, looks like, and does??

Enter "God Gave Us Angels" by Lisa Twan Bergren! I was very pleased to see this book show up in my selections for my next review and immediately put in my request.

This book is really charming! The art work done by Laura J. Bryant drives the simple narrative and in soft tones illustrates a 'day in the life' of a baby polar bear and his papa as they discuss the angels that the bunnies told Little Cub about. The doctrine on angles revealed by Little Cub's questions is solid and accurate. I found that the story itself however, was a bit lacking, and could have in fact, used a bit more story. I didn't notice it at first when I first read the book but in reading it to my niece I suddenly found myself adding little descriptions, helping phrases, and many 'papa said' and 'said Little Cub's' to the story because they weren't there to help the story along and smooth the imparting of the theme information.

Though my niece is slightly younger than the recommended 3-8 years old age range she usually does really well with books for many older age ranges. In this case she struggled to keep interest in the story and while I had hoped that this book would really illustrate for her, and capture her imagination as to what angels are like and do she missed a lot of what is great information- do to not being able to keep up with the 'just the facts' style of storytelling.

In the end, I would recommend this book. It is a lovely storyline, and the pictures are beautiful and engaging. Just be aware that this might be a bit easier read for an older child. I hope that as my sweetie grows she will better grow into the story and be able to learn more about how to trust the Creator of all things- angels included!

Final rating: 4

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and opinion of the product.