Sunday, December 26, 2010

Two Great Children's Books

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. Our was very enjoyable and I'm glad to have had the time to spend with family and friends.

Right before Christmas, I had the opportunity to review two great children’s books from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers. The first one was actually sent to me by mistake, but I’m glad that it was. The title of the book is “God Loves Me More Than That” by Dandi Daley Mackall. I first read this children’s book on my own, to get a feel for it and see what its all about. Then, I read it to my children to get their opinion of it. We were all pretty much in agreement that the book is worth keeping.

“God Loves Me More Than That” is a thin, hardback, rhyming book with simple words, and only one sentence per page. It is filled with extraordinary, colorful illustrations that almost make you feel like you are inside the book. There is a page for many different interests, including nature, astronomy, outer space, treasures, trucks, cowboys, the circus, football, weather, kittens, and treehouses. The content is special, as it helps readers feel more connected to God as they “discover that His love is bigger, wider, higher, and deeper than anything they could imagine.” (Quote taken from the back of the book.)

When I asked my children what they liked about the book, my oldest (a 12-year old girl with autism), said she liked the words; and her favorite picture was of a sneezing kitten. My son (age 7) loved the last page with a boy in the treehouse and profoundly described how the boy was resting there, just being close to God. In his funny way of trying to be a judge (as he called it), he said the book was “spiritful.” I'm not exactly sure if that’s even a word. But, what I think he meant was that the book is spiritual in nature, and can really reach a person’s heart - no matter what their age is.


The second book is “God Gave Us So Much,” by Lisa Tawn Bergren. This is a limited edition treasury of three books in one. In the eyes of a curious little polar bear girl, these three sweetly illustrated books give answers to a little one’s questions.

Book one in the treasury is “God Gave Us the World.” It explains about the differences in animals (and people) around the world and how God made us all special in our own ways. It also tells of the importance of taking care of our world.

“God Gave Us Love” tells about the different kinds of love, and the importance of loving others the way God loves us.

“God Gave Us Heaven” gives answers to a little one’s questions with just enough information to satisfy a young mind. The book does not involve heavy theology, but could possibly encourage deeper conversation when a child is ready to know more.

If you get a chance to read these books to your children, I'm sure you would enjoy the experience.


Disclosure: Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with complimentary copies of these books for review purposes. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Christmas GIFT from Our House to Yours

When I was growing up, my family made it a point to eat together at the table on most occasions, maybe with some background music playing, but very rarely the television on. Yes, there were times when we all sat in front of the TV eating our meals while we watched a special show, but those were not the norm. The bulk of our meals were spent at the table - talking, sharing, having family devotions, and praying. My husband grew up doing similar things with his family, so we both understand the value in this type of quality family time. Likewise, we have made it a point to try and keep this tradition going with our own children.

A couple of years ago, as our youngest became more interested in watching full-length movies, we began having one of our weekend meals on TV trays while watching a wholesome movie or television show together. This has also become a special time of family togetherness that we all enjoy. However, as time has gone by, the kids began to look forward to movie night more than our meals at the table. Our youngest even eluded to the fact that our meal times were “boring” to him. Some of this, I’m sure, was just due to the fact that our kids enjoy movies and TV (and I admit they probably watch too much of it, but that’s another topic); and some of it could be because my husband and I have had a tendency to talk with each other and “catch up” about our days at home or at work, while unintentionally leaving the kids out of the conversation. So, I started brainstorming on ways to make our meal times more enjoyable for the kids again.

The idea that finally came to mind was to write questions or conversation topics on slips of paper; then, fold them up and toss them into a container. At our main meal of the day, we pull out one (or more) slips of paper and take turns answering the question. It’s a great way to get everyone at the table participating in conversation, and learning more about each other as well. Since we have been doing this, our youngest began looking forward to our meals at the table again.


As a special Christmas gift to all of YOU, I wanted to share this idea with you, but also decided to go a step further.... With my family's help, I made up a FREE download of 60 “topic cards” for you to assemble and use with your own family. All you have to do is print it out and follow the simple directions.

Please take this opportunity to download this FREE gift today! Have fun getting to know more about your family (or friends) while you spend quality time with them around the table.

Click below for the download page, and feel free to pass this along to anyone else who might have an interest.

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: What in the World is Going On?

The book "What in the World is Going On?" is a best seller by Dr. David Jeremiah. He is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and this book is a result of his teachings at that church.

I’m not a big reader of books about prophecy and the “End Times,” but this book was definitely an informative and interesting view on what is happening in the world today, and what things are still to come. The author uses everyday language to help explain certain events that have happened already, or are currently happening, and how they play a roll in our future. He also uses Scripture through-out the book to back his views.

Some people believe learning about the End Times and Christ’s return is a useless waste of time. However, a quote at the end of the book gives an explanation of why its important to learn about these things: “The signs that tell us the second coming of the Lord is drawing near should motivate us as never before to live in readiness.”

The author goes on to say that, “As we anticipate His return, we are not to foolishly set dates and leave our jobs and homes to wait for Him on some mountain. We are to remain busy doing the work set before us, living in love and serving in ministry, even when the days grow dark and the nights long.”

Remain busy... living in love.... serving in ministry.... good words to live by!


Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines.