Christian, memoir

The Audacious Molly Bruno


Author: Marie Armenia
Publisher: FaithWords
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-1-5460-3320-2
Pages: 272
Price: $14.99

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Molly Bruno lived her faith in action, and was a powerful prayer warrior. In this memoir, her daughter, Marie Armenia, shares some of Molly’s life lessons, as well as stories about her life.

Some of the life lessons Molly conveyed to Marie include how to be a good daughter, wife, and mother. She shared her joy of evangelization and how every encounter could lead to an opportunity to witness. Prayer was very important to Molly, and she modeled it in everything she did. Molly lived a joyful life, full of love for her Savior, and she wanted everyone around her to share in that joy.

Molly is the inspiration for the character of Miss Clara in the film “War Room.” After meeting with the directors, she prayed that the film would reach many people in sharing the good news about Jesus. The Audacious Molly Bruno is an uplifting and inspiring look at the life of a strong woman of faith. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian

Fish Sandwiches


Author: Troy Schmidt
Publisher: NavPress
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-1-63146-841-4
Pages: 196
Price: $15.99

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The feeding of the five thousand and the feeding of the four thousand are two miracles of Jesus that we hear about often. Beginning with just a few small loaves of bread and a couple of fish, Jesus was able to multiple a meager meal to feed all those men, not including women and children. But what do the stories mean to us today?

Unpacking the scriptures, Troy Schmidt demonstrates some of God’s promises: knowledge of our needs, provision, spiritual health, community, fulfillment, blessing, eternity, as well as others. While some folks find themselves in need of actual food sustenance, most of us are looking for more. We need “every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut 8:3)

Along with personal anecdotes and stories, Schmidt provides Biblical sustenance in a fun and easy to read manner. I highly recommend Fish Sandwiches to all who want to go deeper into God’s word.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, finance

Beyond Blessed


Author: Robert Morris
Publisher: FaithWords
Genre: Christian / Finance
ISBN: 978-1-5460-1009-8
Pages: 272
Price: $22.00

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If you’d like to be more generous with your church or favorite charitable organizations, but find that you’re struggling to pay your bills, you may be wondering why God won’t bless your efforts. In Beyond Blessed, Robert Morris explains why it’s important to first get control of our own finances before we can help others.

Using biblical references and his own and others’ stories, Morris shows us exactly what we need to do to clean up our finances. Budgets have their place, and strategies are given in how to utilize them. But sometimes we’ll see miraculous intervention, once God sees our hearts are in the right place. We need to show Him that we are good stewards before He will bless us with more.

Beyond Blessed is not a boring and dry personal finance book. Instead, the reader will be excited to put these ideas into practice in his or her own life. While blessings of abundance are never promised, the peace of mind in conquering financial stress will be well worth the effort.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, Christian

The World of the Bible


Author: Jill Rubalcaba
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Bible history
ISBN: 978-1-4263-2881-7
Pages: 128
Price: $14.99

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Connecting Bible history to real world places and times can make the word of God come alive for readers. In The World of the Bible, National Geographic Kids shows us when these Bible stories took place and what the world may have looked like at the time.

Spanning the time periods of both the Old Testament and the New Testament, this book looks at early history, the Exodus, the judges, prophets, and the kings, as well as some of the places Jesus would have visited as he traveled around Judah and Samaria. Artifacts from excavations, photos of ruins, and artwork depicting the various scenes help readers to picture the events more clearly.

Although it isn’t truly possible to revisit the past, The World of the Bible makes it easier for kids to see these stories in a more realistic setting. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian

40 Days of Doubt


Author: Eric Huffman
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-1-5018-6913-6
Pages: 176
Price: $14.99

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If you’ve ever had doubts about your faith, you’ve probably looked for answers. In 40 Days of Doubt, Eric Huffman tackles some of the issues Christians grapple with, in an attempt to reassure the reader of God’s constant presence in their lives.

In a series of eight weeks of topics, Huffman covers doubts about: God, Jesus, the Bible, the human condition, faith and science, quality of life, sex and relationships, and religion. He addresses the concepts of miracles, the Old Testament God, happiness, and pain, as well as many other issues we struggle with today. Each entry is about four pages long, and would easily fit into a daily Lenten reading plan.

For the most part, Huffman’s ideas are ecumenical in nature, but I felt it was unnecessarily harsh to bash the current (not 4th Century, as the author states) Catholic belief in Mary’s perpetual virginity. But overall, this book is a nice summary of answers to doubts people might have about Christianity.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, Christian

Dinosaur Devotions


Author: Michelle Medlock Adams
Illustrator: Denise Turu
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
Genre: Children / Dinosaurs / Christian / Devotions
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0902-6
Pages: 160
Price: $14.99

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It’s so much more fun learning about the Bible when you can do it with dinosaurs. Not only will kids learn solid Christian teaching – they’ll also acquire some impressive knowledge of 75 different prehistoric beasts.

Each of these two-page devotional entries shares a Bible quote, details some interesting facts about one particular dinosaur, and relates the dinosaur’s qualities to Christian behavior. Then a “dig deeper” question is asked, followed by a prompt for Jurassic journaling.

Did you know the Baryonyx dinosaur most likely ate a diet of fish? Dinosaur Devotions shares this information with kids before explaining the words of Jesus sending his disciples out to be fishers of men. Then it asks them to dig even deeper, and come up with a list of people they would like to invite to church – and do it!

Dinosaur Devotions is perfect for middle-grade kids who love dinosaurs and are open to hearing about Christian living in a fresh and interesting way.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, inspiration, self improvement

You Are Enough


Author: Mandy Hale
Publisher: FaithWords
Genre: Christian / Inspiration
ISBN: 978-1-5460-1234-4
Pages: 176
Price: $20.00

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Mandy Hale has become popular through her twitter account and blog. Known as The Single Woman, she shares her experiences with dating and relationships. But one relationship in particular, along with its painful ending, haunts her more than she realizes.

Carrying the wounds from this experience into her current reality, she suffers an emotional breakdown that she’s unable to deal with on her own. It will take professional help for her to fully recover and face what happened. And when she is finally able to speak with him again, she has a newfound sense of dignity that helps her realize he is not the man she believed him to be. She has gained the knowledge that she really is enough.

You Are Enough is Mandy’s reminder to all of us, that we don’t need to listen to the messages we hear from the world around us. God loves us just as we are, and we don’t need to be better-prettier-smarter to earn his love. We are enough, just as we are. And isn’t that just the message we need to hear?

Reviewer: Alice Berger