Life Is ____ by Judah Smith

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This is the second of Judah Smith’s books I have read, and I was challenged and encouraged by both. Life Is ____ is a look at what God meant our lives to be like. He covers four different topics about life:

1. Life is to be loved and to love.

2. Life is to trust God in every moment.

3. Life is to be at peace with God and yourself.

4. Life is to enjoy God.

Judah has a very fresh approach on many stories of the Bible that he teaches through in his books. His writing is funny, witty, but just as much convicting and inspiring.

An excerpt I especially enjoyed:

People who put their trust in their anchor of faith are like a sailor in the middle of a storm who’s admiring his anchor while his ship is bearing down on a rocky shoal.

“Come on, crew. Gather around! What do you think of my anchor? I just painted her.”

“Captain, sir-permission to speak freely.”

“Yes, sailor.”

“We’re going to die.”

“I don’t understand.”

“There’s a storm, sir. There are rocks ahead. Could we plunge the anchor into the abyss until it hits solid ground so that we can live?”

Faith is not to be admired. Faith is not a merit badge to show off. Faith is meant to be plunged into the abyss and the darkness of life’s uncertainty until it anchors in a sure foundation and a solid Savior.

Our faith is in Jesus. It’s not in community or in each other. It’s not in programs or websites or songs. It’s not in our social status, our health, our wealth, or our cleverness. None of these things are a guarantee of security of peace.

Our faith is in a person…

Pick up this book! You will love it!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason

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When Jackie hears that her childhood crush, Ian is suspected for terrorist activities, she decides to get involved. Being an employee with Operation Refuge, and having experience in law enforcement have given her skills that come in very handy. She and Ian end up running for their lives, not knowing who to trust or where to turn.

As Ian and Jackie run, she begins to put the pieces together. A threat accidentally came to Ian’s email, and now the killer wants him dead. But how is this all taking place? Is the threat real? Is it in New York? Ian turns to his cousin Holly for help with the encrypted email, not knowing he is putting her in danger as well.

As time goes on, the email is de-crypted, and the source of the attack is very clear, and very big! With law enforcement, and Operation Refuge teams in place, the race is on! Can the killer be stopped in time? Will innocent people be hurt?

As usual for a Lynette Eason book, I couldn’t put it down. The characters were well-developed and real. The twists caught me by surprise. And the suspense kept me turning the pages.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon

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Lisa Grant has been in the big city, but she’s ready for some calm again. Moving close to home, she hopes to find some peace and normalcy. Once a big-city cop, but now a small-town police chief.

But when a skeleton is found, it’s obvious that foul play is involved, and her small-town department calls for reinforcements. Ex-Navy SEAL, Mac MacGregor arrives on the scene. Leaving the SEALs had been a hard decision, but hoping for a quieter life had been his motivation to join the detective ranks in a nearby town. The two hit it off, despite the greusome investigation.

As truth is uncovered, witnesses begin dying. Someone will stop at nothing to stay out of trouble. Lisa and Mac work around the clock to find this killer. But it seems that all that is standing between the killer and freedom could be Lisa.

This was a thrilling read that I went through pretty fast! I always enjoy Irene Hannon’s books. They keep me hooked until the last page!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Bunny’s First Spring by Sally Lloyd-Jones

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Bunny’s First Spring is a sweet little tale of a bunny who is worried. One day, everything seems dark and dead. Winter has come, and he worries things will stay as they are in winter.

When he was born, everything was new and fresh, warm and beautiful. But then the seasons change, and his mother guides him through his feelings and struggles as they wait for spring.

But spring does come, and the little bunny understands.

This is a sweet little story that would be great to help teach about hope, about the earth, about seasons, and even about rabbits. I enjoyed reading it to my children.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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The Trouble with Patience by Maggie Brendan

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Patience is alone in the old western town of Nevada City, a booming gold rush town in the territory of Montana. The man she once loved is dead. Thankfully, her late grandmother left her the Creekside Inn, a little boarding house that needs to be revived. Patience is ready for a fresh start.

As she makes strides in her business, she finds her heart drawn to Jed, the town marshall, with a shady past. Jed is drawn to Patience as well, but his past has kept him from getting too close to ladies. Can she accept what he used to be?

As crime soars, and hurts some of Patience’s friends, the past comes out. Patience finds out that Jed is the “hanging lawman,” and the truth about Patience’s true love is surprisingly close to home. Can she forgive? Or is what happened in the past true justice after all?

Sparks fly between these two main characters, and I found myself swept up in the sweet love story, as well as amused by their antics! I look forward to the next in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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The Crimson Cord: Rahab’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith

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Have I ever mentioned I love biblical fiction?! I really love it, and this one did not disappoint.

Hopefully, we have all read of Rahab. She was a harlot that hid the Israelite spies on her roof. Then she was promised by the spies that when Jericho fell, she would be saved, and all in her house, as long as the scarlet cord was hanging from her window. The imagination and research of the author really brought Rahab’s story to life.

We know from the Bible, that Rahab remained in the Israelite camp after Jericho fell. She married a man named Salmon, and gave birth to Boaz (who redeemed and married Ruth). She is also in the kingly line into which Jesus was born. I love that God used a harlot, saved by grace, to have descendants which would include His own Son.

There is very little in the Bible about Rahab, so most of this story is most likely fiction. But it never hurts to imagine… How did she end up being a harlot? Was it her own choice, or was she a slave? How did she meet her future husband? How did she come to believe in God while living in pagan Jericho?

This story is precious! It is one of grace, and hope in God. You will not be disappointed if you pick up this book… you won’t be able to put it down!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Romancing Your Better Half by Rick Johnson

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This book is all about intimacy in marriage, how to achieve it, but also keep it. It talks a lot about communication, and about the differences in how men and women communicate. It talks about how women have more emotional needs, while men have more physical needs. There is a chapter just for women, about men. And another just for men, about women.

Mr. Johnson is a very colorful author, easy to read, easy to follow. He is witty and honest in his advice. I really love how he confessed his shortcomings, and how he is trying to overcome them for the good of his marriage. It’s refreshing when authors don’t “know-it-all.”

While there was a lot of sound advice in this book, there wasn’t much that I haven’t read or heard somewhere before. It’s always good to be reminded and re-focused, but there wasn’t too much in the book that helped me at this time in my life. I would definitely recommend it though, because it’s full of truth and great practical advice! Definitely a great book!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Where Rivers Part by Kellie Coates Gilbert

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This was a book unlike others I’ve read. Most fiction books are purely romance, but this one was different. I enjoyed a glimpse into a corporate world, one I know nothing about. It was simple enough not to overwhelm me, but complicated enough to make for a great story!

Dr. Juliet Ryan finally landed a big job, one that can show her father what she is made of. They have never seen eye-to-eye, because of past mistakes. She is the director of QA, quality assurance, in charge of the lab at a bottled water company. The company is coming into one of the biggest mergers in its history, and is getting ready to go global. At the same time, a breakout of E.Coli occurs in the city. Assured she has done her job well, she never even thinks it could be from their own bottled water, until the unthinkable happens!

Juliet finds herself in the midst of a personal tragedy, all the while she is fighting for her job, her company, and her own name. She begins to suspect everyone around her as the story continues. Who is to blame?

This book was easy to read, and had a perfect amount of suspense. I did not enjoy the affair between a few of the main characters. I know these things go on, but I personally think it could have been a little more subtle, and less offensive. However, there were no graphic details.

Overall I enjoyed this book.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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At Home in Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong

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Kaitlyn can’t ever be “good.” Deserting her 6-year-old daughter last summer had definitely been the low point of her life. Thankfully, her big brother Chris was always there to pick up the pieces. Now she’s here in Last Chance, starting to get her life together. But no one seems to notice that she’s actually being responsible, and actually being a good mother. Except Steven.

Steven has had a rough past, just like Kaitlyn. The two have been warned by friends and family, not to trust each other. But being “black sheep” isn’t the only thing they have in common. They both love Olivia, Kaitlyn’s daughter, their families, and against their track records, love living in Last Chance.

This sweet love story goes into the subject of forgiving yourself after God forgives you, and moving on with your life. God can give a clean slate like no one else can.

The third in the “A Place to Call Home” series, this one is equally as sweet as the others.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Little Chick’s Bible book review

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I am always on the lookout for children’s books I can review, then give to my kids. I loved this one, and am so glad I got a copy of it.

It has a soft little cover. It’s mouth opens up, and little wings wiggle. It’s so cute. The back cover is plain yellow, and fuzzy as well. The inside pages are board pages, so they’re nice and sturdy. The artwork is adorable, and there are 8 stories, made up with cute little rhymes. The stories included are: God’s Wonderful Work (Creation), God’s Friend Noah, Baby Moses in a Boat, David Fights a Giant, God’s Greatest Gift (Jesus’ birth), The Real Neighbor (the Good Samaritan), It’s a Miracle (Feeding of the 5,000), and Jesus Opens Heaven’s Doors (Jesus’ death and resurrection). This is a very good book, perfect to take to church.

It’s a Miracle

Where Jesus went, the people came

To have him heal the sick and lame.

They stayed until the day grew late.

But who could feed a crowd so great?

A young boy gave the food he brought:

Some fish and bread, though not a lot.

Jesus blessed both fish and bread,

And all the people there were fed!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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