soul friends by dr. leslie parrot

“Whether you are surrounded by trusted soul friends, or you are lonely and longing for deep-spirited friends, this book is designed for every woman who wants to grow in faith and friendship.”

This was an incredible book to read, ponder, and try to apply to my life.  It’s written by an author I have a lot of respect for – Dr. Leslie Parrot, a marriage and family counselor who has written many other books on her own, as well as books with her husband, Dr. Les Parrot.

I expected this to be a fun, light read, but it really was a lot deeper than that.  The book is set up to help us see our “spiritual journey in terms of four major landmarks: Quest, Calling, Crisis, and Communion”.  Each of those areas were ones she came to after study, and she gave a lot of background on how she got there.  Some of it was borderline new age, talking about the Celts and their terms for things like “soul friends”.

I appreciated that the book was divided based on those four landmarks, but I also appreciated how she talked about how many of our experiences will have parts that are in more than one category.  Each chapter (including the preface, which she called the “invitation”) ends with a section called “soul souvenirs”, a couple of questions to help you dig deeper into what you just read.  With how much depth is in this book, the theologians quoted, the books that it references (and makes you want to dig out to read for yourself!), and the numerous Scriptures quoted, I think it would make an incredible book to read through with a book club or a small group.  I loved reading it on my own, but I do think I’d get a lot more from it if I was able to work through it with a friend.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.  I was in no way required to write anything positive – all thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

Soul Friends Cover

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Note-Taker’s Bible – KJV (King James Version)

I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to review this Bible, because I’m the kind of person who takes a whole lot of notes in her margins (and above the lines too), so a Bible that’s specifically set up for people to take notes in it?  What a brilliant idea!  That said, I was honestly really disappointed by it.  I just didn’t feel like the space provided was really “enough” space.  There’s room on the outside edge of each page, but no extra space between lines or on the top or bottom, or even the inside edge of the pages… and I really had hoped for all of the above!  Maybe I write in my Bible more than most people would, but I didn’t think this Bible had enough available space for someone who really wants to take notes in it.  It’s sad, because in all other ways, it was a wonderful Bible!  It would be perfect for someone who writes references to other verses or a couple words, but sadly, just doesn’t have the available room if you write much.

I received a free copy of this Bible from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.  I was in no way required to write anything specific – all thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

 

KJV Note Takers Bible Cover

Little Chick’s Bible by P. J. Lyons and Melanie Mitchell

This Bible is, hands down, of the coolest Bibles I have EVER seen.  If you read my blog regularly, you know I have two little guys.  While I’ve seen Bibles that are appropriate for my preschooler, I haven’t seen a Bible like this, that is perfect for my 19-month old.  He absolutely loves it, carries it around, plays with the chick’s wings and beak, talks to it, and jabbers as he “reads” the stories inside.  There aren’t many Bible stories (only eight altogether), so it’s not a long book at all, but it’s perfect for young children, and wonderful for us to use with our two little guys.  The older ones likes to try to read to the younger one, and they sit together with it and get so excited about reading their Bibles with each other.  As a mommy, I really do love that!  Each story is told in rhyme, and for those who might be concerned that they might not be very “accurate”, they’re all very true to the original stories.

This Bible would make a wonderful gift, and will quickly become a favorite for anyone who receives it.  I highly recommend it!

I received a free copy of this Bible from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.  I was in no way required to write anything positive – all thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

Little Chicks Bible Cover

 

I Can Learn the Bible by Holly Hawkins Shivers

This little book is one of the absolute coolest things I have ever seen.  As a parent of two young kiddos (our oldest is four, and our youngest is almost 18 months), I chose to review this book because I thought it might be something I could use with our little guys.  I am absolutely thrilled to say that it is.  To start with, the book has a hard cover (much more durable for little hands to be grabbing), and it has a super fun graphic on the cover (major kudos to the person who did the cover design!).  But more than being fun on the outside, this book is tons of fun on the inside too.  Each week has a relatively simple verse on a really fun graphic, then there are three pages with info you can study that week, related to the verse you’re working on memorizing.  That information is broken down into little nuggets, so it’s easy to sit down and read one section if you don’t want to do all of it at the same time, but the way things are described is perfect for little ones.  If you’ve read many “kids” books, especially if it’s based on an “adult” book, you will know what I’m talking about.  It can be very hard at times for the ideas/concepts/stories to translate into something that kids will grab onto and be able to appreciate on their own level.  This author did an incredible job making the book easy, understandable, exciting to read, and FUN!

I can’t wait to get started on this book with my kiddos.  I really do want to make the Bible a regular and consistent part of their lives, not just in Sunday School or preschool or Vacation Bible School (VBS), but at home and on a daily basis too.  I’m so excited to have this book as a resource, and think it’s a wonderful way to make the Bible come alive for children.  Long before they’re able to sit and read the Bible for hours, this book will help to make the verses come alive in a way that makes sense to them.  What a gift that is, on so many levels!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.  I was in no way required to write anything positive – all thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

I Can Learn the Bible Cover

A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings

As a war nurse, Abigail Stuart met a lot of soldiers (from both sides of the lines) who needed assistance, but even though she took care of everyone, she did have her favorites.  Romeo (the name they called one soldier by) was one of them.  The books starts out with Romeo telling her that she was going to write a good-bye letter for him to his sweetheart, and then she was going to marry him.  Of course she tells him that he must be “hallucinating” and he wasn’t going to marry her, but he gives her some great reasons that she should – both to help him and his family, and to help herself.  After some consideration (and once she finds out that his real name is Jeremiah), Abigail decides to go ahead and marry him.  They were married just before he died, and she left soon thereafter to make a trip to see his mother and sister, without letting the hospital staff tell them that their son and brother had gotten married before he passed, intending to check in on them and see if all was well before she revealed that piece of information.  Wouldn’t you know that it wasn’t quick and easy… but once she tells them, she has to share with Jeremiah’s former fiance, she puts up with all sorts of mean-ness, and after months of living in that, she finds out that Jeremiah isn’t actually dead!  The man she married was his best friend Alan, who saw him go down, and clearly wanted to help provide for his family by sending her there… but because he didn’t actually fall in that battle, he returned home, and it sent her entire world into a tail-spin.  Not to mention what it did to his mother, sister, and the fiance who had already mourned his death and started up a new relationship!

This author has a great way of telling stories, and really makes them believable.  As a book reviewer, you really hope that books have something “unique” about them though, and this one really did.  I think it was expected that Abigail would wind up with Jeremiah (the real one, of course), but the way they got there (and the challenges they faced along the way!) – those all made for a great story.  Of course the skunk at the end added some fun too!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.  I was in no way required to write anything positive – all thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

A Most Inconvenient Marriage Cover

A Match of Wits by Jen Turano

When I first started writing book reviews, I had never heard of Jen Turano, but now that I’ve read a couple of her books, I’m seriously hooked!  She has such an amazing way with words, and a really delightful way of storytelling in general.  This book was no exception!

The book opens up with Agatha Watson, a reporter with the New York Tribune, finding a pig in her hotel room.  Seriously.  If that wasn’t enough to grab your attention from the very start, then I’m not sure what would be!  The pig (who is extremely opposed to being called a pig, and has to be referred to by name – Matilda) becomes a very important part of the story, as Agatha has to save her from inevitable doom if she stays in the hotel, and chooses to take her along on her adventures after leaving.  Agatha’s desire to save Matilda says a lot about her character though, and not just that she IS a character (although that’s partially true), but that she really does want to save the people/animals in her life that are facing injustice.  That carries through to everything she does – and is a huge reason why she’s travelling with a bodyguard.  Agatha has written stories that have angered a whole lot of people, because she’s shared things that many people prefer not be shared… and she is trying hard to right the wrongs that have been done by others.  Along the way, she meets up with an old friend, Zayne Beckett, and decides that he needs to be helped.  She drives her bodyguard crazy, finds out that her companion is also a bodyguard, and a whole lot more… the book is filled with surprises, and is a whole lot of fun to read.  While in many ways the ending was “predictable”, the way they got to that point definitely wasn’t.  This book was definitely worth reading, and had me laughing out loud at points – I will be keeping it to read again!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.  I was in no way required to write anything positive – all thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

 

A Match of Wits Cover

NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women – Compact

This Bible is absolutely gorgeous!  With an Italian duo-tone sea glass/Carribean blue embossed cover, beautiful pale blue ribbon to mark the page you’re on, lots of blue ink on the pages, devotions on blue backgrounds, and lots of “delicate” details, this Bible is a welcome change from all the women’s Bibles that have pink covers and brown details.  It’s an NIV (New International Version) Bible, but also includes 366 devotions in it from many of the Proverbs 31 authors.  Each devotion takes up one page, and they are placed in the area where their main Scripture is located.  As someone who receives the daily devotions via email from Proverbs 31, I really thought these devotions were good.  They were long enough to have things that made you think, but not “too” long to read on a daily basis.  They also weren’t things I recognized having read before – huge bonus!

There are sections at the back with short biographies about each author who has work included, an index of devotions by author (in case you have a favorite author, or just want to see the other devotions by any of these authors), and a general topical index.  Each of these are really great information if you’re interested in finding out more.

The only thing about this Bible that could be seen as a “negative” is that with it being the compact version, the font is pretty small.  It’s the perfect size to put in your purse or into a backpack, and as I mentioned before, it’s really gorgeous, so it would be great to carry around!  I have long carried a Bible in my purse, but it’s bigger than this one and doesn’t have any devotions included in it.  I think it might just be time to change my Bibles around!

For more information (including the ability to view some of the pages for yourself!), please check out this site: http://www.zondervan.com/niv-real-life-devotional-bible-for-women-compact.

I received a free copy of this Bible from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.  I was in no way required to write anything positive – all thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

 

Bible Cover