Book/DVD Reviews

Book Reviews


Keeping Christmas:  25 Advent Reflections on A Christmas Carol

Author: Allison Pittman
Binding Type:  Hardcover
Publisher:    Baker Books
ISBN:  9781540900067
Retail Price:  $16.99
From the Publisher:
Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol is second only to the nativity story itself when it comes to public consciousness. Just as Jesus Christ changed the world on the night of his birth, so Ebenezer Scrooge changes during a single night of supernatural visitations.

In Keeping Christmas, novelist and Dickens enthusiast Allison Pittman offers 25 readings for advent, seamlessly bringing together the Word of God and the words of A Christmas Carol. This contemplative, entertaining read is the perfect companion for those dark winter nights as we eagerly anticipate the coming celebration of Christmas when, like Scrooge, we are given the gift of reflection, repentance, and life anew.

Beautifully packaged and highly designed throughout, Keeping Christmas is sure to become a treasured family tradition--much like the reading or viewing of A Christmas Carol.


The 10 Best Decisions a Single Mom Can Make:  A Biblical Guide for Navigating Family Life on Your Own

Author: Pam Farrel and PeggySue Wells
Binding Type:  Paperback
Publisher:    Baker Books
ISBN:  9781540900326
Retail Price:  $15.99
From the Publisher:
No matter how you became a single mom, you share the same challenges and fears all single moms have. You may feel stretched to the limit. You may suspect your children need more than you're able to give. How are you going to do this on your own?

With humor, Scripture, and sage advice, Pam Farrel (child of a single mother) and PeggySue Wells (single parent of 7 children) show you how to

- be decisive
- create a nurturing home
- be proactive
- date wisely
- pray for your child
- embrace your happily-ever-after
- and more

You are capable of parenting your children with courage, confidence, and clarity. This loving, practical guide shows you how.


Whole:  Finding Faith, Hope & Love in the Wake of Divorce

Author: Vicki Losson
Binding Type:  Paperback
Publisher:    Independently published (June 28, 2020)
ISBN:  9798651980123
Retail Price:  $9.00
From the Publisher:
More than 1.5 million people get divorced every year in the US alone. Of those, 74% identify as Christian. WHOLE is an invitation for you to connect with your faith in a healing way - no matter what denomination you ascribe to. WHOLE is written to accompany you on your journey, whether you're reading it alone, in a small group setting, or with a coach or counselor. You will be guided through the healing and grieving process. Then you're moved on to discover the underlying reasons your marriage ended and the beliefs that attracted you to a partner who may not have shared your values. WHOLE prepares you for healthy relationships, and safe, healthy, abiding love. You will be led to identify and work through your barriers, hurts, and blind spots. WHOLE can help you break out of generational dysfunction and create a legacy of peace and happiness for your future, and your children's future. Packed with Biblical wisdom and real-life examples, WHOLE wraps you in grace and challenges you to embrace the description as God's masterpiece. Divorce isn't the end, it can be the beginning of a wonderful new chapter in your life; a full life of Faith, Hope, & Love.


Another 20 Feet:  Through Tragedy, Adventure, and Triumph – One Man’s Quest to Understand God’s Role

Author: Aaron Hulett
Binding Type:  Paperback
Publisher:    The ArcorFit Project (April 18, 2020)
ISBN:  9780578656861
Retail Price:  $9.00
From the Publisher:
A true story of one man’s journey to understand and embrace God‘s role in his life. He does much of this on his mountain bike. The author keeps a journal for several years while riding his bike and spending time with God. Over those years, his life is filled with outdoor adventures, multiple life tragedies, and triumphs. It will ultimately lead you to truth in what matters most to the author: faith in Christ. This book is filled with little nuggets of life wisdom, truth, inspiration, resolve, and hope. It will motivate and inspire you to be more and do more in life, as well as challenge you to become closer to God.

365 Ways to Love Your Child:  Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories

Author: Julie Lavender
Binding Type:  Paperback
Publisher:    Revell
ISBN:  9780800738846
Retail Price:  $9.99
From the Publisher:
Growing up in a financially strapped, South Georgia farming family, Julie Lavender learned to appreciate small yet meaningful affirmations of love when her parents found ways to visibly demonstrate their feelings. Later, when she had her own children, Julie delighted in finding creative ways to express her love for them, as well as for the children whose lives she touched through teaching school and volunteering in the children's ministry at her church.

In 365 Ways to Love Your Child, Julie encourages moms, dads, and anyone who works with children to show kids every day with simple but meaningful gestures and activities how very much they are loved. Join Julie in expressing tangible acts of love to show your kids they are valued by their parents and, most especially, by God.

Vibrant:  Developing a Deep and Abiding Joy for all Seasons

Author: Carol McLeod
Binding Type:  Paperback
Publisher:    Whitaker House
ISBN:  9781641234955
Retail Price:  $9.00
From the Publisher:
Have you ever met someone who possessed a quiet radiance so rich, so dynamic, that you ached for more, someone whose presence is so compelling you feel refreshed by a single conversation with them? If you know someone like this, you anticipate your times together. You realize their joy is contagious, their peace is deep, and their compassion is engaging.

Such people are “vibrant.” Regardless of their socioeconomic status, their education, their marital status, or their health, these people are determined to live joyfully, seeing each obstacle as an opportunity for growth. The vibrant individual’s persona is attached to their convictions rather than their circumstances.

Author Carol Burton McLeod believes everyone can choose to be Vibrant: Developing a Deep and Abiding Joy for All Seasons—and such a life begins by emulating Jesus. His life was filled with challenges and yet people were drawn to Him. Every character trait that we are called to embrace, every action of kindness or love, and each word of compassion or tenderness is a telling reflection of Christ within us. We are called to be a vibrant show-and-tell of what God is able to accomplish through one ordinary person.

Carol explores what it means to follow Jesus in a world filled with disappointment, rejection, and discouragement. And she provides gentle encouragement and suggestions from Scripture to help us do just that.

A Teen’s Guide to Face to Face Connections in a Screen-to-Screen World

Author: Jonathan McKee & Alyssa McKee
Binding Type:  Paperback
Publisher:    Barbour
ISBN:  9781643524689
Retail Price:  $12.99
From the Publisher:
Phones can be a great tool for connecting with people outside the room, when they don't interfere with the people inside the room.

You can dare to be relationally different in a screen-to-screen culture.

But. . .honestly, I like my phone. So what should I do?  

You probably enjoy screens but don't want them hurting your relationships with the people who matter most, right?  What if you could improve your face-to-face relationships, develop deeper connections, resolve conflict, and confidently communicate with friends, parents, teachers, roommates, coworkers, potential employers...even the barista at your local coffee shop?
What if your phone truly helped you connect with the people more than disconnect with those around you?

What if you paused to think before you posted, avoiding some of the hurt and consequences that almost always lead to regret after?

What if you became a master of your own screen-time instead of letting it master you?
What if you became more screen-wise?
40 real-life realizations including. . .
* Your phone doesn't have an UNSEND button.
* Sometimes less is more.
* We all need a digital detox every once in a while.
* Sometimes the people we love the most are the people we ignored all day.
* If you find someone who doesn't look at their phone once during a meal...marry them!

Author and youth culture expert, Jonathan McKee, and his daughter Alyssa McKee, uncover forty random realizations they've discovered over the last five years.  Screens provide fun platforms to connect with faraway friends; and sometimes the people we love the most are the people we ignore all day.  Jonathan and Alyssa help young adults navigate face-to-face communication in a screen-to-screen world too!  Maybe they'll help you navigate face-to-face communication in a screen-to-screen world too!