Christian

The Unknown God


Author: Mathew P. John
Publisher: David C. Cook
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-0-8307-8074-7
Pages: 208
Price: $17.99

The Mosaic Course
Buy it at Amazon

God created humanity, and it’s no surprise to find that He’s active in all religions – not just Christianity. In The Unknown God, author Mathew P. John shares his perspective on these world religions and how they all point to Jesus as Messiah.

Having grown up in India, John has a unique perspective of witnessing several religious practices in his home country. He looks at Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian beliefs in an attempt to show how Jesus appears in each, and how God is still using those religions to bring his people to Christ.

God sent a Gentile group of Wise Men in search of his beloved Son on the eve of his birth. These men had no Jewish upbringing, yet they knew that a Savior was to be born, as they set off to follow the star. The Unknown God provides a wonderful explanation as to how He’s still reaching the people who don’t yet know Him.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, fitness, health

Find Your Weigh (with Bible study)


Author: Shellie Bowdoin
Publisher: Source Publishing
Genre: Weight loss / Christian
ISBN: 978-971-503-442-5 / 978-9715034456
Pages: 251 / 111
Price: $13.99 / $12.99

Author’s website
Buy the book at Amazon
Buy the Bible study guide at Amazon

Would you like to be free of your weight issues? Do you believe that God can help you succeed? If so, Shellie Bowdoin has given us some pointers on how to let Him, as she encourages us to let go of the diet mentality, once and for all.

We all know diets don’t usually work. We go on a diet, lose the weight we want to lose, and then go off the diet, only to regain the weight. So instead of going on yet another new diet, Shellie gives us some new principles to follow – goals that redefine our process as healthy weight management. She also encourages us to journal what we’re feeling, and even provides special blank pages and some weekly reflection questions, along with her own journal as a model. The Bible study guide is accompanied by free Youtube videos, and throughout the study, Shellie shares Bible wisdom to encourage us in our efforts.

Losing weight can be a struggle, but God wants to help us in our efforts. Find Your Weigh provides encouragement and resources in making the changes we know we need to make.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian

Brother John


Author: August Turak
Illustrator: Glenn Harrington
Publisher: Clovercrost Publishing
Genre: Christian living
ISBN: 978-1-945507-94-6
Pages: 48
Price: $19.99

Authors’ website
Buy it at Amazon

When answering the question, “What is the Purpose of Life?” in an essay for the Templeton Prize, August Turak shared an encounter with a Trappist monk named Brother John. His essay won the contest and went on to be published in two anthologies. Readers reached out to him over the years, telling how the story had inspired them. But as it grew harder to find, Turak realized it was time to publish it as a book of its own.

Brother John is a simple, humble man who manages much of Mepkin Abbey, a 3000+ acre property run by the Trappist monks. There is no task he considers beneath him, and he’s always there to lend a hand for anyone who needs it. As Turak spends time at Mepkin, he encounters Brother John holding an umbrella one rainy Christmas Eve, waiting to walk with anyone who had forgotten his own. Struck by the way that Brother John lives his life, Turak examines his own, questioning if he has the ability to be so selfless in his giving.

Brother John offers a gentle reminder that Jesus asks a lot of us, and many of us aren’t willing to take the risk to give more of ourselves to others. What is the purpose of life? No answers are given, other than to look things square in the face and do the work we know we must do.

Turak receives a wonderful message from his spiritual director: You would not seek Me if you had not already found Me, and you would not have found Me if I had not first found you. May we all find Him in our own lives.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, Christian

Night Night Devotions


Author: Amy Parker
Illustrator: Virginia Allyn
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Children / Christian
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0890-6
Pages: 208
Price: $16.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Bedtime is a great time to ponder the goodness of God. Night Night Devotions is a collection of 90 devotions for children to meditate upon as they fall asleep.

Devotions are broken into two sections – Old Testament and New Testament. The table of contents provides the topic along with the Bible verse, so kids can choose the appropriate devotion to fit their day. Each devotion is two pages long, and includes a Bible verse, the devotion itself, and a four line rhyming prayer. Then the devotion closes with “Night Night, God” along with a message for kids that builds on the devotional topic.

Like all of Amy Parker’s Night Night books, Night Night Devotions shares positive messages about God and his love for children. This book would be a wonderful additional to every child’s bedtime routine.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls


Publisher:  Zondervan
Genre:  Bible
ISBN: 978-0-310-76355-0
Pages: 1472
Price: $34.99

Free coloring pages
Buy it at Amazon

This beautiful NIV Bible is pink hardcover with a leather-like feel, and the book lays flat when open for ease of coloring. The pages are thick enough to hold up to colored pencil or crayon coloring, but not thick enough for markers. There are hundreds of coloring pages scattered throughout, and they are simplistic in style, suitable for younger girls. Other pages have blank lined sections for note-taking.

I colored four images in colored pencil, pictured above, and had fun doing them. They weren’t overwhelming in detail, and took less than a half hour each to color. For more artistic girls, I recommend the Complete Guide to Bible Journaling to add even more personalization to this Bible. Girls will really enjoy making this Bible their own through color.

Please be sure to enter the giveaway going on from December 2-16. I received a copy of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls from Zondervan (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) for this review. This post is sponsored by Zondervan.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian

A Generous Life


Author: David Green
Publisher: Zondervan
Genre: Christian / Stewardship
ISBN: 978-0-310-45257-7
Pages: 176
Price: $18.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

David Green began Hobby Lobby in a garage in 1972, and he never dreamed it would end up as successful as it is. But along the way, he realized that he needed to make some important decisions about the company. How could Hobby Lobby best leave its legacy in the world, while also helping to support his family?

A Generous Life shares some of Green’s thoughts on managing a successful business while also living in a way that glorifies God and benefits other people. These ten steps to living a life money can’t buy include recognizing that everything is God’s, putting people before profits, and developing a vision for generosity, as well as many others.

Hobby Lobby is a multi-billion dollar enterprise, and Green had to make decisions that the majority of people will never face. Readers may struggle to relate to some of the issues that arose for him, but overall, they will get the message that it’s possible to be more generous no matter what their circumstances.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian

The Cross Before Me


Authors: Rankin Wilbourne and Brian Gregor
Publisher: David C. Cook
Genre: Christianity
ISBN: 978-0-7814-1333-6
Pages: 288
Price: $22.99

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

For many today, living a good Christian life means having everything they want and need. They reason that God will reward them for their good behavior. But is that what Jesus actually taught? Didn’t he ask his followers to take up their cross and follow Him?

We seem to be hard-wired to follow our bliss. But do we even know what that might be? Is it possible to give up everything in the name of Jesus, only to find out we didn’t even need anything but Him? Rankin Wilbourne and Brian Gregor have shared a compelling argument that we will be happier once we give up the notion of having it all, and instead, try to imitate Jesus on his journey to the the cross.

The Cross Before Me is not an easy read, as it invites us to look closely at how we live our lives and attempt to reform our thinking from within. One read was not nearly enough for me to absorb the depth of these concepts. I highly recommend it to all those who are seeking true peace and happiness.

Reviewer: Alice Berger