Category Archives: Baker Publishing Group

$10 Great Dates – Larson & Arp

$10 Great Dates is published by Bethany House.

$10 Great Dates is published by Bethany House.

About the Larsons
About the Arps
About the Book

Summary: From the writers of 10 Great Dates comes the book $10 Great Dates. It’s all well and good to do date night, but what if you have limited funds? The Larsons and Arps show you that you CAN have fun dates for $10 or less!

Review: There are 52 great dates included in $10 Great Dates. That’s easily one for every week of the year! The dates are divided by sections: Adventure Dates, Out-on-the-Town Dates, At Home Dates, Great Outdoors Dates, Marriage Pick-Me-Up Dates, Romantic Dates, Seasonal Special Dates, and Unique and Unusual Dates. They even include a section with inexpensive childcare options, just in case finding childcare is one reason that you don’t want to have date night.

Every date is broke down into basic parts. There’s the overview of the date, some preparation suggestions, ideas for things to do during your date, some conversation starters, and what your big objective is. One of the dates suggested is a date where you are “out of towners” and you go downtown together and be “tourists”. Another type of date is one where you go out just to get dessert. Or, you can stay in and have a game night at home (this is one of our personal favorites!), go out and go hiking (also a favorite!), do volunteer work together, make an at-home spa, check out the local farmer’s market, and even estate sale-ing.

This is perfect if you’re struggling to do date night with your spouse at all or if you want to make a habit of it but don’t have many ideas. The nice thing is, you don’t have to follow everything to a tee, these are just suggestions that you can take and run with them. Highly recommended for coupes who don’t regularly get a date night, those who’ve been struggling and want to reconnect, or for couples who are in a “date night rut”. Dates don’t have to be big and fancy! Get out there and treat your spouse to a fun night out (or in, depending on your $10 date choice).

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own, no other compensation was received.

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Face to Face with Jesus – Samaa Habib & Bodie Thoene

Face to Face with Jesus is published by Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Face to Face with Jesus is published by Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Book
About the Author (Samaa)
About the Author (Bodie)

Summary: Born into a Muslim family in the Middle East, Samaa grew up following Islam. Unsatisfied by following the faith of her family, Samaa came to know Christ after her experiences in tae kwon do and in church (that she secretly attended). When a bomb explodes next to her head during a church bombing, Samaa is killed and meets Jesus in Heaven. Her testimony and fire for God have shown Christ’s love not only to her family but to others around the world.

Review: I’m always skeptical about accounts of people who have “gone to heaven” because really, it’s not something to be trifled with. You know? It’s a serious thing! For me, there were a few specifics that gave the account more credibility (listed from the book in order of appearance):

  • She grew up a devout Muslim. For a devout Muslim to make such a dramatic life changing decision is, in itself, a miracle. Only God can change a heart that dramatically!
  • The fact that she faced persecution, even within her own family, and still she didn’t turn back.
  • Her account of Heaven and Jesus matches up with what we know of them both from Scripture.
  • The fact that her experience brought more of her family to Christ, and that she didn’t immediately share her experience with the world.

Did I agree with all her theology and uses of Scripture? No, and that’s ok because we really shouldn’t agree 100% with anyone but God. But I give her credit and don’t doubt her story because I didn’t live her story so who am I to say God didn’t move in her life the way she says He did. I especially like what she says on pg. 181 about people asking her what she saw in Heaven. She says, “People have asked if I saw the New Jerusalem and the twenty-four elders…or family members, angels, clouds of witnesses… It was all there, but my eyes were fixed on Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” Really, that’s how it should be in Heaven because it is all about Jesus. Not about the streets of gold or who from the earth is in Heaven. Jesus.

Her story is well told, and it’s not just about going to Heaven, it’s about her whole life. Had she not given us all the details (less her country of origin, for obvious reasons) we wouldn’t be able to make an accurate assessment about her experience as a whole. I, for one, am appreciative of her sharing her story. And I pray that she continues to live her life for God. We won’t know for sure until we get to Heaven if her story is true, but if you’re willing to read her account with your Bible close by, it’s worth a read!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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I Need Some Help Here! – Kathi Lipp

I Need Some Help Here! is published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I Need Some Help Here! is published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Book
About the Author

Summary: Kathi Lipp understands the worries of parents, especially the worries of moms. She’s “been there, done that”, and wants to come alongside parents and remind them that they are not alone. Kathi brings humor into the mix to help parents understand that they don’t have to do it all because God is there to help them, and their children.

Review: First off, can I just say that the title with improper capitalization gave this mom the “must-fix-its”? LOL! On to the review…

Loved how Kathi brought personal experience into the mix. Not just her experience, but the experience of her friends (with their permission, of course). The book has 12 chapters that cover everything from feeling like you’re an awful parent to your child being left out. Each chapter has personal stories, some practical steps to take, and prayers for both your child and yourself. For each chapter there’s also some Biblical application to be had, whether it’s a story that touches on the topic at hand or something that has impacted the author during that trial in her family life. Ultimately, Kathi Lipp wants to remind parents that God is really the one in control and that things need to be given to Him in prayer.

This book came at the perfect time for me. It was really what I needed to get that little jump back in my step. I hope it does the same for you! At the very least, I hope that it lets you know you’re not alone and you can totally do this whole parenting thing.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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The Manual to Manhood – Jonathan Catherman

The Manual to Manhood is published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The Manual to Manhood is published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Book
About the Author

Summary: Boys are men in the making. Learn how to do a bunch of important “guy stuff” in The Manual to Manhood. From household maintenance to relationship maintenance, Jonathan Catherman presents important life skills in step-by-step fashion.

Review: I really want to say that this is a “cute” book, but what boy wants to read a “cute” book? I’m not a male, obviously, but I’m married to one and a parent to another. Thankfully my husband has most of the things written in the book under his belt, but our son still has to learn them (he’s 7, he’s got time!). If daddy happens to be gone, or he’s too embarrassed to ask about something, our son can open up The Manual to Manhood and find good answers.

What do I like about this book? Well, first off I like that everything is approached in a step-by-step manner. It really breaks it down and makes it easier for some of the more difficult tasks, like tying a tie. I also really appreciate that teaching boys how to grow into men is something that the author is passionate about. It means he’s going to give them accurate and worthwhile information.

Definitely a must-have book for sons! It would even be something fun for fathers and sons to go through together, if both are willing parties!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Revell in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own, no other compensation was received.

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You’re Going to Be Okay – Holley Gerth

You're Going to Be Okay is published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

You’re Going to Be Okay is published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Book
Read an Excerpt
Author’s Website

 

Summary: Have you ever felt like you’re just treading water? Or maybe you’ve had an unpleasant twist come your way in life. Whatever it is, You’re Going to Be Okay! In her newest book, author and life coach Holley Gerth has an encouraging message that every woman needs to remember. God is there with you, in the midst of your struggle, and He’s just waiting for you to give it (whatever it is) over to Him.

Review: Reading You’re Going to Be Okay is exactly what I needed to read during this season of my life. I want to start my review with a heartfelt “THANK YOU!” to Holley Gerth. Thank you for writing like a friend sitting across from the coffee table. It’s like having a friend giving you a pep talk, except you don’t usually hold your friend in your hands. That might be a little weird, LOL!

Ok, serious review material now! A while back I read Holley’s other book You’re Already Amazing and I was immediately drawn in by her writing style. It’s honest and open and she really doesn’t make you feel bad if you’re feeling down. What she does do is help you dig deeper to learn more about how you work and then figure out how to implement the changes you need to make. Unlike a lot of other “self-help” books though, she makes it a point to remind readers that it’s not really SELF help so much, it’s more GOD’S help. Everything comes back around to God and how He wants you to know the truth about who you are.

One of my favorite parts of Holley’s book is that there are interactive journal-y type questions in the back (and I’m going to guess that eventually it will be up on her website too) that go along with each chapter. I never fill in the pages in the book itself simply because I want to be able to go through at a later date and re-read and answer things. That’s why I’m hoping she gets the file up on her website soon, it’s easy to download and then just print it out and fill it in as you read. Probably my favorite quote, or partial quote, was on page 132. It’s the latter part of a sentence but it really spoke to me for a variety of reasons. She says, “…in God’s eyes, size doesn’t equal significance.” *sigh*

Now for my usual nitpick, pronouns used in place of “God” aren’t capitalized. Big deal? Depends on who you talk to. Does it take away from the overall message? I don’t think so. That aside, I have already been recommending this book to ladies in some of my groups on FB. Buy it and read it. Even if you’re not going through anything right now, you will eventually. Or if you know someone who needs that encouragement, get it for them. But I highly recommend it and think it’d make a great women’s study.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Everyday Confetti – Karen Ehman & Glynnis Whitwer

Everyday Confetti is published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Book
Download an Excerpt
Where to Buy
Book Website
Karen Ehman’s Website
Glynnis Whitwer’s Website
Publisher Website

Summary: Everyone has a birthday. Some people like to celebrate those little “unknown” holidays like Best Friends Day or Book Lover’s Day. Others like to do it big for the Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas. Whatever your holiday pleasure, Everyday Confetti has you covered! Karen and Glynnis (from Proverbs 31 Ministries) have compiled a book of activities, recipes, and (inexpensive) decorating ideas for a good number of holidays/celebrations throughout the year. Grab a copy of Everday Confetti and get planning!

Review: I love celebrating things. Birthdays, Christmas, random days “just because”, you name it! My only problem is planning. I’m awful at coming up with fun things to do or yummy foods to make. Thankfully I’ve found Everday Confetti! Not only is it a cool book, it smells good, LOL! (I am notorious for smelling books, I confess.)

I think one of my favorite parts of the book is how the authors tied in God to a lot of holidays where people tend not to think of Him. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, even Passover (because there are a lot of Christians who don’t celebrate it, even though it’s actually a big deal!). There are a lot of things I’m planning to incorporate into our homeschool as well. Backwards Day, some of the Presidents’ Day ideas, Tell a Story Day, Books Lovers Day… I could go on, but I don’t want to tell you EVERYTHING they included!

The recipes are easy to follow, the decorating suggestions are great, and the book is very well organized. Part I is the Everyday Celebrations like birthdays and spiritual milestones. Part II is for Holidays through the Year and it’s divided into seasons (for the most part). Unfortunately there isn’t an index for easy recipe finding or recipes by holiday, which I think would be a great addition. Other than that I really didn’t see anything I didn’t like about Everday Confetti. I even read off some of the suggestions/recipes to my husband and he thought they sounded good too. When Mr. “I Don’t Like Celebrating Holidays” says things sound like fun or he’d like to do them, you know it’s a good deal!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Everyday Confetti for free from Revell in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received. This post contains no affiliate links.

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10 Great Dates – Larson & Arp

Published by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Published by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

About the Book
About the Authors: Larson & Arp
Associated Websites: The Arp’s – http://www.marriagealive.com/index.cfm
10 Great Dates – http://www.10greatdates.org/

Summary: 10 Great Dates is a way for you and your spouse to connect spiritually. The authors have designed this to be both a fun experience and a devotional time all wrapped into one. Each date has already been planned and outlined, all you have to do is make the time and find a place to do it! Connect with your spouse on a deeper level in 10 Great Dates.

Review: I read through the book in a day, after homeschooling the kids. I know it’s not designed to be read in a day but when you’re reading for the sole purpose of writing a review… What did I come away with? That I’m reading it again and implementing it in our lives. We’ve been looking for something to do together Bible study wise and 10 Great Dates looks to be a good place to start. We already have our own personal devotional time but as a couple we’re a bit lacking. 10 Great Dates is designed to help you dig deeper as a couple. Not only in Bible study, but in each other.

Each chapter/date focuses on a different aspect of marriage and spirituality. I know for a fact that once we do this together, the biggest impact will be number 6 which focuses on prayer. I’m great at reading my Bible, he’s pretty good with talking to God, but that’s individually. We know it’s important to do together but neither of us are very comfortable with it. There were a lot of really good ideas within the chapter that I think will be very helpful.

Things I liked about the book:

  • there are “pre-date” exercises in the back of the book (in duplicate, which is nice) to kind of help you both organize your thoughts
  • the authors share their own stories but bring it all back to God
  • the basics of each date are outlined, you just have to pick the specific location and time
  • the after date devotionals are a really good way to keep your focus during the time between dates

Things I didn’t like: I know this sounds about normal but there really wasn’t anything I was majorly disappointed about. Because there are technically 4 authors it’s sometimes a little confusing when they’re telling their personal stories. But they do a pretty good job of making parenthetical note of who the story is about.

Overall, I’m pleased with 10 Great Dates and I’m really looking forward to sharing it with my husband! I’d say that any married couple could benefit from working through it, but it’s probably most beneficial to newlyweds or those who don’t have regular “alone” time together.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received.

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It Is Finished – David Wilkerson

it is finished

Author: David Wilkerson

Publisher: Chosen Books

Summary: What’s the big deal with the whole “Old Covenant” and “New Covenant” thing? David Wilkerson presents the difference and importance of both in his book It Is Finished: Finding Lasting Victory Over Sin. If you have a sin you just can’t seem to get rid of, if you feel lost, if you feel like you’re failing trying to do it own your own, David Wilkerson reminds you that God has given you what you need to be free.

Review: I had never heard of David Wilkerson until my husband asked me about him because he’d heard about him from co-worker. That was back in 2011. From then until now I’ve not really thought much about him because everything my husband showed me seemed, to me, to be more prophetic. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being prophetic, it just didn’t really feel like it applied much to me. Then I read It Is Finished. . .

I grew up learning about Old Covenant and New Covenant stuff, and it’s always made sense to me, at least on a basic level. My husband and I have talked about it before but I could never explain how I understood it to work, but David Wilkerson makes it clear. I’m not even going to try and explain it because I don’t want to mess it up. I am going to tell you that if you’ve ever wondered how it works or what it means or even if there really was an “Old Covenant”, read It Is Finished. Not only will you come to a better understanding of the covenants, you will learn how fully living under the New Covenant will make you free.

What I love about David Wilkerson is that he doesn’t sugar coat things. He is not about “feel good” messages, he’s about bringing the truth of God’s Word to the people. In a world that seems to thrive on sugar coating, it’s really nice to hear the truth without all the fluff.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Baker Publishing Group/Bethany House/Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. All thoughts are my own.

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