Seasonal Changes and Other Things

I heard a rumor that in other parts of the country they are experiencing something called “Fall”. Here in Southern California, we are experiencing something called, well, Southern California. That means it is hot, sunny, and we are still expected to be excited about pumpkin everything.

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I love this photo because I frequently drink coffee, read a book and write a letter while I swing. #improbable

We have a backlog of books to tell you about-but not just yet. Today, a week before the official kickoff of holiday celebrations with calorie laden meals, calendar overload and exploding in-box sale offers, I want to encourage you in two things.

 

First, don’t abandon the most important thing you can read, the Word of God. As your routine changes, your days filled with extra activities, make sure the one thing you don’t change is time dwelling in the Bible. Wait. Maybe you have never made it a practice to read from the Bible every day-in that case, make a change, and start today. It’s a great time to start a gospel, maybe the book of Luke as we head toward Christmas. Or, a chronological plan, or the Psalms. Just make sure as you plan for meals you will cook or attend, you are partaking in the most nourishing of meals-the Word.

Secondly, consider making a book part of your gift to your loved ones this year . While I’m a huge fan of e-books, and a growing fan of audio books, for me nothing replaces the tactile experience of sitting with a book in hand. One of my great delights in our little church bookstore is watching children to come in, pull a book of the shelf and after opening it, promptly sit down right in front of the shelf to read. I grew up in a library, my daughter grew up in a bookstore, my granddaughter is growing up in one and I want every child to know the adventure of color and words and stories-especially about the God who loves them. We’ll be sharing some gift suggestions in the upcoming days to help you pick the perfect read for your friends, family and even yourself.

And, very soon, We’re going to share news of what is sure to be our book of the year! It’s coming out mid-December, we’ll be doing a giveaway for subscribers to the blog, and can I tell you, you will be buying more than one copy of this book. What’s the title? Who’s the author? No, no, not just yet! And we’re keeping it a secret from the littlest Lady of Lit because she might tell you. You’re going to be excited, I promise that. And if you’re not, well, I’ll pray for you because you should be. I jest. Sort of.

So buckle up, we’re heading into a new season!

Read well, friends.

 

 

 

 

 

Golly’s Folly by Eleazar and Rebekah Ruiz

Hi everyone, Audrey here. Lately I have been super busy with preschool, baking lessons with Mom and gymnastics practice but I have still managed to carve out time to curl up with a good book. That’s why I’m here today, to tell you about my latest read…Golly’s Folly…the prince who wanted it all, by Eleazar and Rebekah Ruiz. First of all, I love a book with good pictures and illustrator Rommel Ruiz did a wonderful job. But pictures aren’t everything and Mom always says not to judge a book by its cover, so lets talk about what’s on unknownthe inside.

Golly is the prince who wants everything…and he wants it now! As a four year old, I get that. My Mom talks about patience a lot but its hard sometimes, especially when I see something I REALLY want. Golly gets everything he wants but in the end things don’t turn out the way he thought they would be. I don’t want to give away the ending, but I will say I was on the edge of my seat! What about you, Mom? What did you think?

unknown-1Well Audrey, I loved this book as much as you did. With the holidays around the corner we are entering the season of “gimme” and “I want that!” Finding ways to explain that getting everything we want isn’t an option or the best thing for us can be tricky and often gets lost on the younger bunch. This book is a great tool to help communicate that!  Not only was it visually beautiful, it was well written and enjoyable for all of us. If we are honest sometimes we Mom and Dad’s get a little bored reading the same books over and over. Not so with this book, with its engaging rhymes and solid messages on patience, gratitude and a Fathers love for his son, I truly find no folly in Golly’s Folly.  You can order this fun book  here from Patrol Books, or  pick up a copy when Eleazar  visits Calvary Vista Sunday, October 23rd! Audrey, any closing thoughts?

Can we read this to Declan? I think he would like it.

Sure, its never too early to learn to love reading!

Yep! Its like I always say….Eat, Play, Read!

 

What Does God Really Promise? By Carolyn Larsen

Tyndale has produced another versatile book that I’m happy to recommend. What  Does God Really Promise? 101 Questions and Answers About God’s Promises, the Church and the Futures is part of Tyndale’s’ line that brought us the Gratitude Prayer and Coloring Journal. This little book has short answers supported by scripture that bring clarity to God’s promises-both what they are and who they are for. This is a quick reference for someone new to or asking questions about Christianity, and an encouragement for those who have been following God for many years.

whatdoesgodreallypromiseThe second part of the book answers often asked questions about the church and the future in a concise and balanced way. This isn’t a comprehensive tool for answering the deep questions of life, death and eternity. It can be a springboard, especially for people not familiar with the Bible or church culture, that reveals that there are answers, and they can be given in an objective manner.  As I read it, I thought it would be a great youth group discussion book, or  gift for newer followers of Jesus. It’s charming layout and colors make it something to leave out as an invitation to take a moment to be reminded of the promises and hope that we have in God.

Read well, friends!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

 

Searching the Scriptures by Charles Swindoll

Most of us have heard the saying “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This is certainly true of being nourished by the Bible, and in Searching the Scriptures: Find the Nourishment Your Soul Needs, Chuck Swindoll teaches us how to both be fed and feed others.

With sections titled Finding the Food (understanding the basic story of the Bible), Preparing the Meal (observation, interpretation, correlation and application) and Serving the Feast (presenting the truth) Swindoll gives us many useful tools. From the basics of swindollinductive study methods to recommendations for study tools like concordances, dictionaries and commentaries, this is a practical book on many levels. He not only shows you how to study, but does so by taking you through sections of scriptures using the methods he is describing. His opening chapter dealing with an overview of the Bible was gold, and my favorite part of the book.

Each chapter ends with a section titled Your Turn in the Kitchen, where we get to put into practice what we just learned about how to study while digging into a portion of scripture. A lot of the book is classic Swindoll, lots of stories and illustrations, and many challenging encouragements to apply what we are learning.  He is on point when he states, “We are foolish if we don’t make a careful study of His Word…no study, no stability. There is no shortcut to maturity. It comes slowly but surely to those who search the Scriptures.”

While helpful to someone just starting out in purposeful Bible study, it may be less so to a person who has done inductive study, unless they are a hard core Swindoll fan. I took away some good nuggets, and reading Searching the Scriptures might be the resource you’re looking for to get you nourished in the Word.

I received this book from Tyndale for the purpose of reviewing it, and my opinions are my own.

Read well, friends!

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

I hinted at something fun over on our Three Ladies of Lit Facebook page a few weeks ago, gratitude-journaland here it is-Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal!

There are so many things I loved about this book.. From the beautiful cover and whimsical illustrations to color, to the gratitude centered prayers and journal prompts, this was a delight to sit with for a few minutes each day. This adult coloring trend is a thing now, and though I lack all artistic ability in drawing, coloring has become a fun pass time for me. Women tell me often they would love to try it, but don’t have time and to that I say, phooey. You don’t have to color a Louvre-worthy  piece and it’s not a wast of time, especially if there’s scripture involved.

I loved the short prayers that direct your thoughts toward gratitude, and the corresponding scriptures. This journal has a lot of creative options, some pages are fully journal2illustrated and have room to journal, some partially colored to inspire you, or room to sketch. Different styles of illustrations make some pages more of a challenge if you like that, but are perfectly beautiful if you prefer to color simpler drawings.

So, for all the people who want to try the coloring trend and think that you don’t have time, this combination of praise, prayer and creative expression is a great place to experiment with the trend.  Great for young teens and adults, I hope this format becomes a series of coloring journals.  Gift yourself this journal,some colored pencils, and a few quiet moments coloring as you think journal3on the verse and prayer and you’ll be surprised at the refreshing it can bring  in even the busiest day.

Read well, friends! (but don’t worry about staying inside the lines!)

 

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher for my honest review.

My First Hands On Bible for Kids

Hey everyone it’s Audrey! Something my mommy has been telling me since I can remember is how important it is to read my Bible and pray every single day. I love reading my Bible. My first Bible was the Tiny Bear Bible. It was fuzzy and the pages full of colorful pictures and rhymes. My little brother and I have matching Tiny Bear Bibles, mine is pink (my favorite color) and his is blue. I love reading it to him, but the older I got the more I wanted something a little more meaty, as my mommy says.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the stories about Noah, Moses, David and Goliath but I noticed how mommy’s Bible was like eight times bigger than mine and I just knew I was missing out on some stuff! So my Gigi bought me My First Hand-On Bible. I’m loving it! Mommy and I read it every morning after breakfast and that, and my Trader Joe’s yogurt, are my favorite part of the morning. I’ll let my mom tell you more….IMG_5802

Thanks Auds. Hi everyone, I can’t say enough about this Bible for our little ones. Let me share a little of the publisher description with you…

“Each lesson focuses on a specific Bible point through a variety of activities in order to reinforce and help young children remember the stories and lessons. Using common household items, you can help your children have a “hands-on” learning experience while engaging them in 85 key stories from the Bible.

My First Hands-On Bible doesn’t just retell the Bible stories; it also includes actual Scripture from the easy-to-understand and easy-to-read Holy Bible, New Living Translation. In addition to the stories and activities, there are fun illustrations, prayers, and a special Jesus Connection feature.”

We can all agree that sounds awesome right?! It’s the perfect stepping stone for your young readers, not quiet a full sized Bible but much more than your usual 8-10 stories. As 406450moms we all want our little ones to love being in the word. We want them to be excited to see what the Lord wants to teach them each day. This Bible makes discovering those lessons and promises not only fun for your kids but also a blessing to you as you get to dig in with them through those hands on actives and engage in conversations about each lesson. Some activities you can do right then as your reading, others you can save and do during the day, like making soup together like Jacob did for Esau or counting the stars to remember God’s promise to Abraham. While Audrey’s is pink, it also comes in a blue cover. I promise this Bible won’t disappoint as you seek to grow your child’s love for the word!

Closing thoughts Audrey?

“Nope, I’m busy reading my Bible to my stuffed animals”

Alright then…from both of us…

Eat. Play. Read

& Carpe Librum!

How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit by A.W. Tozer

In addition to reading new authors, I have a short list of authors who earn a spot in my reading every year. A.W. Tozer is one of those authors. Tozer can communicate more truth in less words than just about any author I’ve ever read. I’ve always appreciated this about howtobefilledhim, and this book didn’t disappoint. Just four short chapters, this 64 page book contains transcribed messages Tozer taught, as opposed to a book he sat down to write, something he makes note of in the introduction. In terms of style, it did read differently to me than some of his more developed writing, but that isn’t a bad thing.

While going over the basics of what the Holy Spirit is (a person) and who the Holy Spirit is (not just divine, but divine God), Tozer’s intention is to put an emphasis on what we know but do little with-“Many of us have grown up on the theology that accepts the Holy Spirit as a person, and even as a divine Person, but for some reason it never did us any good.”  Empty, joyless lives that lack peace mark Christians whose lives should be altogether different according to the author.

In addition to the basic theology, Tozer is really issuing a challenge to us-as born again Christians, can we be filled with the Spirit, and do we want to be? It is a call to examine if what we say we believe is really how we live.

I love the way he starts to wrap up the final chapter, “The kinds of teaching that I have been giving has disturbed some people. I’m not going to apologize for that…That is the preliminary twinge that comes to the soul that wants to know God. So don’t be disturbed by the disturbance. “What follows is six practical ways to be filled, and walk in what Tozer calls the “part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people.” Classic Tozer, and as always, a worthy read.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review, and the opinions are my own.