The Wayfinding Bible, New Living Translation (NLT)

I don’t think I have EVER been more excited to get a Bible in the mail.  When I saw the opportunity to request a copy for review, I knew that I absolutely HAD to do it.  That was, by far, the best decision I have made in a long time.  What an amazing Bible, that honestly makes reading it seem like such an adventure!  Having grown up with more than one Bible, and knowing lots of the Bible stories inside out, I was excited that this Bible had three separate “routes” to choose from: the flyover route (with about 50 readings, covering “the most important events in the Bible”), the direct route (with about 200 readings, helping you to “develop a better understanding of how God’s story develops”), and the scenic route (with about 400 readings, that give you a path to “explore new territory, discovering the depth and richness of God’s Word like never before”).  It’s got fun colors on the cover, amazing pictures (in full color, not just black and white!), and there is a very easy to understand guide running across the top of most pages, leading you on the journey – whichever route you choose.  For people who have read those mystery books, that let you choose what happens, then if you choose the first option you turn to a certain page, and if you choose the second option you turn to another page – that’s what this made me think of.  It truly was a complete adventure, and made the Bible come to life in ways that I had never seen it do that before.  As a person who spends (and has spent) a good amount of time in Bible study, that’s pretty significant.  I’ve done individual Bible studies that made individual stories come alive, but I have never seen the entire Bible come alive in the way that this Bible did it.

As you read, you see different “stops” with observation points and exploration points.  For example, in II Chronicles 31, it talks about Assyria invading Judah, gives some information about King Hezekiah, and then goes on to observe that everyone was “terrified of the Assyrians”, but still “trusted their king and their God”.  It explores the fact that God “displayed his strength and sovereignty through a miracle that shamed the mightiest and most feared king in the world”, and then went on to quote from Luke 18:27 “What is impossible for people is possible for God”.

As a person who values color in life, I tend to find it hard to read the Bible for very long with it all being in black and seeming like a never-ending book filled with black (which I really do not think is a very friendly color at all).  I know that sounds a little bit strange, but it might help you to understand why the color in this version was so great for me.  Orange, green, and blue were the colors for the different “journeys” and there were even pictures of the locations being talked about (such as the Sea of Galilee) and those were in color too!  For people who do better with color, you will really appreciate how much color is in this Bible.  It definitely makes it more fun!

I appreciate that this version used the New Living Translation, because most of my study is done in the NIV or ESV, so this gives me the ability to study the same stories, but in slightly different wording.  Sometimes that can make a world of difference in being able to grasp ideas or concepts – just having a few different words.

It would be a great gift for new/young Christians, but it’s also a fantastic Bible for those of us who have spent our entire lives studying the Bible and need a way to look at it through new eyes.  I highly, HIGHLY recommend it!  You can get it in softcover, hardcover, leather cover, or for your kindle.  There is definitely an option to fit everyone!

For a video with previews of all the fantastic stuff in this Bible:

There is also a website for this Bible, with great study resources that are definitely worth checking out!

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


Little Book of Great Dates by Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley

This little book was filled with some truly fantastic ideas.  I’ve been married for seven years (hooray!), and while I know my husband and I love each other, we rarely go out on dates with each other now that we have two young children at home.  I appreciated the introduction, and how it talked about the need to make “date time” important.  Even when you have kids.  Our idea of “date night” is both staying in same room “together” after our oldest is in bed, and before the baby falls asleep.  Honestly. Fortunately for us, quite a few of these date ideas aren’t things that would require paying a babysitter for – they’re things we could easily do at home.  I like that!

It started with “A New Year’s Date”, and a great idea, but it did make me feel like the book may be hard for some to start at any other time than the start of a year.  I mean, I can’t be the only one who likes to do things in order… can I?  The book was clearly meant to be done in order, as some of the dates built off what was done in previous dates (for example, date 11 says “during the previous date, you developed a list…”).  This would be a great gift – ideal as a Christmas present, so they could start using it on January 1st.

Completely not related to the content, but the “innards” of my book were put in upside down and backwards.  Literally.  I had to flip the book to the back cover in order to read it.  I wonder why that was?

Overall, I thought it was a great book, and one that I am anxious to start using!

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, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

Every Waking Moment by Chris Fabry

Treha Langsam is a young woman with a very special gift.  She has a job in an assisted living facility, and is “a whisperer of sorts”, bringing people from dementia back to their lives – even if it’s only temporarily, she has a way of talking and listening, and helping people to “come back”.  When a documentary team comes to the facility to film a resident there, they see that she has a pretty incredible story, and want to film it.  That starts them down a path to find out about her story, and that involves her family – which is a very complicated story to figure out.  I honestly had a hard time following along with the book, the various different stories being told, and how the bits that were shared related to the other bits that had already been mentioned.  Even reading the end, I just didn’t get it… I felt like there was a lot left unsaid, and that was hard for me.  I appreciated the ability Treha had to connect to people, and thought there was a lot that could be learned from the way she would sit and just listen and wait, without expecting something from the people she was with.  But I still felt like the story was hard to follow overall.  It seemed like the kind of story that would make more sense as part of a series, where you could see what happened “next”.

For more information about this book, please visit:


I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, and was asked to provide an honest review.  The thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim

On the front cover of the book, it says that this is “a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter”. I’ve never read that classic, but I do have a general idea what it was about, and it intrigued me to think about those themes in terms of an Old Order Mennonite community.  It’s not that I have any reason to believe that their lives are any different than ours, but I think of them as being much more private about what’s happening.  Maybe that’s what made this such a great read – things weren’t made clear from the start (unlike the way things are with the press for us in real life!), and you really had to follow along with the story for awhile to be able to recognize what had happened.

Once I got started reading, it was impossible for me to put this book down.  I felt drawn in from the start, and like these were real people that I knew, and not just characters in a book.  Each one had their own story with their own challenges – some were predictable, and some were a complete shock to find out about at the end.  I liked the play on the names Rachel and Leah, the sisters who got caught in quite a tangled web in the Bible.  It wasn’t any less thrilling to read about the sisters in this book!

I appreciated that this book showed every side of the story (stories), and ultimately, proved what the power of redemption can do.  It’s a truly great book, and definitely makes me excited about reading more from this author!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review – the thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

I’m no Angel by Kylie Bisutti

I was completely intrigued by the idea of this book – the real life story of someone who became a Victoria’s Secret model, then gave it all up because she felt that was what God was leading her to do.  When I started the book, I had no idea what the story would be like, had never heard of the author, and thought that it was going to be hard to relate to someone who had been a model (not being the model type, personally), but I appreciated the way you could really “hear” the authors voice in her writing.  It felt like she was telling you the story, not like you were reading it, and it held my attention the whole way through!

The story isn’t just one about modeling, the modeling industry, or the pressures faced by models – it’s a story about love, about learning who we are, and about how to stand up for the things we believe in and against the things we don’t.  I admire the way the author shared, telling us the truth, even when you know it had to be hard to share some parts of that story with the whole world.  She showed herself to be very real, very easy to relate to, and clearly the kind of role model that we should all aspire to be.

At the end of the book, she included a really great 30-Day True Beauty Makeover, with devotions for each day, scriptures to read and think about, and questions to ponder.  This book would make a great study with a small group, especially one with teens or young women.  It’s important for all of us to understand that true beauty isn’t about what’s on the outside – but what’s on the inside instead.  That’s a lesson that the author had to learn the hard way, and I got the impression that she really wanted to save others from going through her experiences in order to learn the same lesson.

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

Link to a Video:’mNoAngel_MainTrailer.flv

All in Good Time by Maureen Lang – Book Review

Within the first few pages, this book had me completely hooked and I couldn’t put it down until I finished it!

All in Good Time is a story that centers around two people – Dessa Caldwell, who wants to open a house to serve women looking to get out of prostitution, and Henry Hawkins, who owns the largest bank in town and who makes an investment in her new business through his uncle, who works at the bank with him. Both Henry and Tessa have secrets from their past that threaten to impact their lives now, and both want to keep those secrets hidden. While I did have a feeling about what would happen in the end, I was still somewhat surprised by how it all worked out. There were many things that could be learned through this story – about faith to follow through on the plans God has for us, about what really makes a friendship, about learning to trust the people who come into our lives, and many more. The author made the characters come alive in a way that made it easy to relate to them, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books in the future!

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions expressed here are completely my own.