Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends by Rachel Anne Ridge



Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends
by Rachel Anne Ridge

About the Book
Children will fall in love with Flash the Donkey as they learn the value of true friendship and what it means to be a good friend to others.

Hee-haw! A stray donkey with a penchant for inventions is taken in by a mismatched collection of barnyard friends. Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends is the heartwarming story of a not-so-ordinary donkey who needs a special place to belong. Flash is the inquisitive type who loves to invent things and solve problems, but his curiosity sometimes gets him into trouble! With the help of his new-found friends—Jed the Goat, Carson the Pig, and Ruby the Chicken—Flash manages to turn problems into adventures and learns valuable lessons along the way. Inspired by Rachel Anne Ridge’s memoir Flash, named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Summer Books of 2015, kids will fall in love with this endearing donkey as they learn to appreciate the value of true friendship.
My Thoughts
What a cute book! I haven't read the original "Flash" memoir for adults, but I thought this children's book was too cute to ignore. The illustrations are simple yet beautiful. And the story of friendship and learning to make friends is one that all readers can benefit from. I enjoyed meeting the other animals along Flash's journey and appreciated the author's ability to tell a story and teach valuable lessons without being "preachy" or "cheesy." I'm adding this one to my daughter's bookshelf so we can enjoy it for years to come. [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
While tole-painting Christmas gifts one year, Rachel Anne Ridge discovered a love for art, and inadvertently launched a new career. In 1999, she took her paint brushes and began creating murals and faux finishes in the booming Dallas Fort Worth area. When the small business started growing, her husband, Tom, joined her. Together, they have expanded it into a large-scale corporate art, graphic design, way-finding, and custom artwork company. Along the way, they raised three children, journeyed through loss, failures, and successes, and adopted astray donkey who showed up on their doorstep and never left.

Rachel began blogging as a means of sharing daily encouragement with other women. As a self-professed uni-tasker who struggles in a multi-tasking world, her desire to create a "soft place to land" for her family led to finding an online community of readers who love her gentle wisdom and self-deprecating humor. Since 2006, HomeSanctuary.com has been her blog home, and you can now find her writing at RachelAnneRidge.com.

Rachel wrote for and managed Priscilla Shirer's blog, GoingBeyond.com for two years, and contributes to other blogs on the topics of parenting, organization, faith, and creativity. She is an engaging speaker who loves to share funny, often poignant stories that touch the heart and reveal God's love in unexpected ways. 

Flash, The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me About Life, Faith, and Second Chances, is published by Tyndale Momentum. Rachel lives in Texas with her husband, Tom, and now, two donkeys.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers shows God's Character



Earth Psalms
by Francine Rivers

About the Book
Millions of readers have been transformed and inspired by Francine Rivers’ bestselling novels Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind. Now, in this weekly devotional, the beloved author invites you to join her in seeking the Creator through the marvelous natural world we live in. Francine shares observations she’s gathered over a lifetime of exploring—abroad and in her own backyard—and reflects on how they might apply to your daily life. What do the majestic redwoods, the persistent woodpecker, or a glorious sunrise reveal about our artistic and generous God? How could that change your outlook or the way you handle adversity?


Stunning photography, Scripture excerpts, applications, and prayers accompany Francine’s reflections, inspiring you to be encouraged. Be challenged. Be comforted. God’s power is immense; His attention to detail in precise; His love for you is vast and unfailing. The proof is all around you.

My Thoughts
I've been a fan of Francine Rivers' novels for years, so I was curious what a devotion book by her would be like. And I was not disappointed!

Earth Psalms is a weekly devotion that will take you through the entire year. I loved how Rivers looks to nature to show different aspects of God's character. For example, we can see God's faithfulness in the sunrise and sunset occurring every day. As I read the devotional, I noticed myself paying attention to everyday things, seeing them with new eyes, and reflecting on who God is. Inevitably, I also found myself sharing that week's devotion with a friend. The concepts were just so easy to remember and share!

I enjoyed the weekly format of this devotional because it was easy to add to my other Bible studies since many of them are only 5 days per week. I've already given this as a gift and highly recommend this to anyone looking for a place to start studying God's Word. [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers had a successful writing career in the general market for several years before becoming a born-again Christian. As her statement of faith, she wrote Redeeming Love, a retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea set during the time of the California Gold Rush. Redeeming Love is now considered by many to be a classic work of Christian fiction and it continues to be one of the industry's top-selling titles year after year.

Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes—all bestsellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the world. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for many honors, and in 1997, after winning her third RITA Award for Inspirational Fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame. In 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Francine's novels have been translated into over thirty different languages, and she enjoys bestseller status in many foreign countries.

Francine and her husband live in northern California and enjoy time spent with their grown children and grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and she desires that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.


Visit her website at www.francinerivers.com and connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FrancineRivers) and Twitter (@FrancineRivers).

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Redeemed - A New Bible Study by Angela Thomas-Pharr


Redeemed Bible Study Book
by Angela Thomas-Pharr

About the Book
The moment you accept Jesus as the Lord over your life, you are redeemed. As the redeemed, we experience a lifelong journey of being transformed into HIs image. As redeemed women, we grow in the grace of Christ, and He calls us to extend grace to others.


In this 7-session Bible study, Angela Thomas-Pharr explores the practical side of redemption, inviting us to lean upon Jesus for our real help and hope.

My Thoughts
What a wonderful Bible study! I initially chose this Bible study because of the emphasis on the lifelong journey. I often get discouraged when I don't feel I'm growing "fast enough" in my relationship with Jesus, so I thought this would be helpful. The study was a great length—7 sessions, with 6 weeks of "homework" in between. The length of time required each day varied some, which was helpful in making sure I finished each week. Sometimes there just isn't time for a really in-depth day, so it was nice to have variety. My favorite aspect of the study though was reading and praying through Psalms. I thought it was overly ambitious—the entire book of Psalms in 40 days!—but it was really meaningful. I typically chose one of the Psalms for the day to journal about and pray through. This is definitely something I will do again. The entire study is great, so I'd encourage you to pick it up this summer and go through it with a group or even just one other woman. [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Angela Thomas-Pharr is a Bible teacher, national speaker, and best-selling author of books and Bible studies that include Stronger and Brave. As a mother of four, her determination to know God on an intimate level and her dedication to studying the Bible have taught her many truths—some discovered through tears and some in times of joy. Angela has the uncanny ability to be transparent, make readers laugh, and whisper to them about their most personal fears and heartfelt dreams. Visit her at angelathomas.com.
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