Friday, November 18, 2011

Double Book Review - "Heaven is for Real" - Todd Burpo and "Heaven is for Real for Kids" (Sprituality/Afterlife)

I received this ebook from for free in exchange for an honest review.

Little Colton Burpo became very sick when he was a very small child. There were several misdiagnosis that caused a bad situation to become even worse. The parents were brought to their knees in prayer as they asked others to pray for their little boy as well. In the end, Colton survived after a life-saving surgery. However, he came very close to death. After this ordeal, little by little he began to reveal to his parents things he had "seen" while he was so sick. These things included what appeared to be a trip to Heaven. His parents could have just brushed it off as a wonderful dream, but some of the things he told them were things that he could not have known about such as meeting a sister than he had never been told he had (his mom had a miscarriage before he was born).

I had read this once before. A person had lent it to me when we first found out my oldest had her brainstem tumor (which is stable at this time). It did give me comfort in that time of uncertainty. I am a believer, and I believe Heaven exists (Even if I am still not sure he really saw all he said he saw and that some of his memory is not really something he saw but things he heard in Bible school). It also gave me comfort that he saw the little girl his mom miscarried. I have had 2 miscarriages and I do believe our babies are in Heaven (or an intermittent paradise) waiting for us and I do look forward to meeting them someday.

I took away a couple of stars due to really liking the book, but not LOVING it like I do other books. It would not be fair for me to give a book I like the same amount of stars as a book I LOVE. Another reason is because sometimes I thought the book rambled a bit. There was a lot of information we did not need to tell this story (like the entire chapter on the bad things that happened to the dad..he did not have to go into such detail, in my opinion). Also because I am still not sure where I stand on how realistic this is. I believe he saw something..I just do not know what or why it would be given out in bits and pieces. I wonder if some of the responses came from him being unintentionally coaxed into saying something or if he overheard conversations he was not intended to hear (I know I did this as a child).

All in all though, it is a good read and will make you think. I would suggest for people to read it and form their own opinions.

Book 2 - "Heaven is for Real for Kids"

This is a companion book to the very successful book, "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo. This book tells the same story the original book did, only in Colton's own words this time. It is told at a level that a child could understand. I would say children could really appreciate the book from ages 5-8 or so. I think the subject matter would be a little much for anyone under the age of 5 (unless it is a very mature for their age child).

I think my oldest, who is 7, will enjoy reading the book with me and then having a discussion about it. Before we do though, I am going to examine my own feelings, and that of my husband a little deeper. I think all parents should do that before they let their child read this book or read it to them. It is very thought provoking and I am sure it will raise questions from an inquisitive child, questions that do not have an easy answer.

As a former oncological/hospice nurse, I do believe people see things as they are dying. Some people seemed so at peace and even spoke of beautiful things. Others said hello to someone that the family said was long dead. Others just seemed to go to sleep. Others..well I honestly do not want to know what they were seeing...I'll leave it at that. I just still do not know though..was it the meds? Was it something else? It is something to think about.

Feel free to comment below. I am interested in what people think about this book.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Review - "Just In Case You Ever Wonder" - Max Lucado (Children's Faith)

I was given an e copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.

Max Lucado spins a lovely poem like book where a parent is telling his or her child how much the child is, always has been, and always will be loved not only by parents, but also by God as well. The book speaks of the parents always being there for the child and how someday they are promised a wonderful place called Heaven, where they will not only be together forever, but be in the presence of God as well.

I have 3 children. This book sums up so well how much I love them and what I want them to know about that. I never want to leave them wondering if their parents or God care. I want them to always know that no matter what, we are on their side..even if we are angry because they did something wrong..that does not mean the love went away.

I would recommend this book to anyone with small children. It is wonderful!

Book Review - "Thank You, God, for Blessing Me" - Max Lucado (Children's Prayer Book)

Mandatory Disclaimer - I received the ebook version of this book from in exchange for an honest review.

This is a very cute little prayer book for children. Hermie the caterpillar is thanking God for all the good things in his life. The prayer is short, sweet, and to the point.

I liked this little book, as did my almost 3 year old. She smiled at the pastel colored pictures and seem to love what it said. (She has apraxia, so she is unable to "tell" me with words what she thought). She asked me to read it again (by pointing at it and then at herself). I think this is now a favorite! As always, Max Lucado does a wonderful job.


You have seen some of my review posts of books. As I mentioned, I get these books for free. If you would like to do the same just go sign up here

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Book Review - "Lonestar Angel" - Collen Coble (Christian Fiction)

Mandatory Disclaimer - I received this book free from in exchange for my review. I promise that my review is honest.

Eden and Clay Larson married 6 years ago after a whirlwind romance that left Eden pregnant. Six weeks after their baby was born, she was kidnapped and held for ransom. In the attempt to pay the kidnappers and get the baby back and accident occurred which left the couple with the impression their baby had died. Clay through himself back into his dangerous work as a photojournalist with the Air Force Special Ops division. Eden filed for divorce and ran away. Five years later Clay got a picture of five little girls and a note that said his daughter was alive and was one of these little girls. He went to find Eden and tell her not only had he found out their little girl was still alive and in the foster care system in Texas, but that they were still married because he had never signed the divorce papers. Eden leaves with him for Texas and they begin their adventure in not only finding their little girl, but also much out about themselves and their walks with God.

I loved this book. It only took me a day to read (and I have 3 kids). I read it whenever I had a moment because I wanted to know what was going to happen to the Larson family and who it was that was torturing them and why. Usually I figure out books like this pretty early on. However, this one was less predictable than most and kept me guessing longer due to a lot of twists and turns and information being given just at the right time.

I liked how the book just jumped into the story at the present time and revealed the characters' past through their own reflections rather than the author saying five years ago blah blah blah. I did care for the characters and wanted the best for them. I loved the theme of "God will help you through it". The book did not try to paint the unrealistic picture of bad things won't happen because God will not let them happen if you trust in Him..but rather the things will happen, but if you trust God He will help you through it. I think that is a much more realistic message than to say He won't let anything happen that you can't handle.

I would recommend this book to friends who like Christian fiction - especially if they enjoy the "whodoneit?" mystery type books. I would also love to see this book made into a Hallmark movie!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Review - Lioness Arising

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this honest review.

I was excited when I first knew I was to receive this book. I thought the concept was great...becoming like a lioness and leading your children in the walk of faith. I must admit though, I had a hard time getting through the book. It may be more my preferred style of writing just did not mesh with that of the writer or maybe it is just because I tend to read books like this and her call to be "a change the world type" more tiresome than inspiring this time. I tend to steer clear of overuse of metaphors and to me she took the lioness thing a little far.

I also felt at times that she would paraphrase Scripture in ways that tended to accentuate her point, when that might not be exactly what the scripture meant at all. I realize she was using something called "The Message Book". I am not familiar with that translation and if what she said in the book is indicative of it, I am not comfortable with its use.

I am sorry to say that I could not recommend this title to a friend. In fact, due to my not liking it, I am not posting a link to Amazon. If you are still interested, the name of the book is "Lioness Arising" by Lisa Bevere. You can look it up at any bookstore.

Book Review - Voices of The Faithful Book 2 - Kim P. Davis and Beth Moore

As I have mentioned in "About Me" time to time I will write reviews of books that I receive for free in exchange for a review. This is one of those books. I received this book from BookSneeze. If you enjoy reading and reviewing books, I would apply to be a reviewer!

The book consists of small daily devotionals. Each is based on a story of a missionary and his/her/their journey. Each lets the reader know a lesson the missionary learned while on the field. They are heartfelt, thought-provoking, and honest reads. I have enjoyed them immensely.

One of my favorites is the devotion for October 29th. It is based on Mark 4:40.

And He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" (New American Standard Bible (©1995))

The writer speaks of a time when her family's living situation suddenly became uncertain and how she was praying to God for them not to lose their current home. Then a peace came over her and she realized she needed to put her faith in the Lord and His ability to take care of her family. The new living situation was better for her family than the first. She speaks of how it was a lesson in trusting God even through storms.

This devotion really spoke to me at the time I read it. Two of my children inherited a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis from me. I have never had any major problems with it, but they do. Our lives have now become a series of doctors, therapists, and frequent MRIs. I could make the choice to be angry and bitter even. I do not think many people would "blame" me for that. However, my faith (held strong by verses like this one) allows me to put this in His hands and not hold to bad feelings, but let my faith calm me so I can do what needs to be done to help them and not get lost in my anger.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The past week or so..

Wow have things been busy.

Last week I went on a field trip with my 2nd grader, her class, and the 3rd-5th grades. They went about an hour away for an awesome history lesson. They went to Ft Loudon and the Sequoyah Birthplace. They learned all about Native Americans and their interactions with the European settlers both before and after the Revolution. My younger two children were also able to go with us. I loved it and so did the kids. The guy at Ft Loudoun was even dressed up as a British solider. Below are links to the websites for both places. You can read all about them. I would suggest visiting them if you are ever in the East Tennessee area (for the full experience make sure it is one of the days where they are dressing up and telling the stories). They gave really good information, even the adults learned something! I am not posting pictures because other people's children are in the pictures and I do not feel comfortable putting them on the internet without permission.

Fort Loudoun

Fort Loudoun Garrison Weekend (not what we saw, but would be interesting to check out!)

Sequoyah Birthplace

I am also one of the room moms for her class. We had the Halloween Party on Halloween. The kids had a lot of fun. I was impressed with how much parental involvement there was! The kids hunted for gummy worms in whipped cream, made scrapbook pages, and did Halloween word searches and hidden picture searches. They also had finger foods. It was an awesome time!

We got some news on Caroline as well. Her oncologist called and said they would be setting up an MRI appointment for mid-Dec to take another look at her optic tumors. She is actually bringing me in that day to talk to me about them! I love that! She is not going to make me stress and wait. What an awesome doctor!

We also had the first meeting today to aid in her transferring from EI to the school system. I have a bunch of paperwork in and now her slew of doctors and therapists has to get their paperwork in and they will set up a series of appointments (probably in Jan) to further evaluate her. Until I had to list them all I had never really thought about how many people the child sees. She has a regular pediatrician, an orthopedist, a neurologist, an oncologist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, and an early development specialist (specialized pre school teacher). That is so much for a little girl to go through! Still she is a happy little thing. One of the questions on the paperwork was how do I discipline her and how does it work...well that was hard to answer. I do not know what discipline works, because I have never had to punish her. She does not misbehave. Her temper fits are rare (and very very minor) and usually there is a real reason for her having one. Even then they are nothing like 2-3 year old fits usually are. I suppose that could be a problem in some ways..not sure. I prefer to believe that in that respect she is just a very good kid!

This weekend things will get busy as well. We are heading to St Jude for Savannah's 3 month MRI of her brain tumor. Please pray that things stay stable and there is no growth or increase in brightness and that no new lesions are found.

Well, now that I have written a book...that is all for now. Will write more soon! Take Care, readers. I will leave you with the picture I found on the contains one of my favorite Bible verses ever.. Jeremiah 29:11



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