Sunday, October 22, 2017

Music for the Soul

We want to share with you some of our favorite songs we listen to throughout the week. These are songs that we listen to when we are happy, sad, traveling, cleaning the house or on the way to work. In our house music is just as important to us as reading. Music can touch the depths of your spirit and move you in a way that other things can not.

God of Wonders – Third Day
Your Love O Lord – Third Day
Set A Fire – Will Reagan and United Pursuit
Empty Me – Jeremy Camp
Walk By Faith – Jeremy Camp
You Are Welcome - Will Reagan and United Pursuit
Dancing Generation – Matt Redman
10,000 Reasons - Matt Redman
You Never Let Go – Matt Redman
Blessed Be Your Name – Matt Redman
Gold – Britt Nicole
I’ve Always Loved You – Third Day
It’s a Beautiful Day – Jamie Grace
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
East to West – Casting Crowns
When I am having a really rough day and I'm down, I listen to Mandisa’s Out of the Dark album. It is a good album that will lift you up. I always feel so much better after listening to it!

 Share with me some of your favorite songs that you listen to over and over. Or songs that have a special meaning to you. Do you have songs from the past that take you back to  a happy place?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

God Gave Us A Family By Lisa Bergren

Little Pup’s wolf family is on their way to a special reunion—with lots of cousins, games, roasting marshmallows, and fun! As the young wolf thinks about different kinds of families, it’s the perfect opportunity for Mama and Papa to teach their inquisitive child about the families that God brings together. Some families are big and others are small, some are led by grandparents or just one parent, and some families include adopted little ones– yet each family is truly special. 
Even the members of Little Pup’s pack make up an important role in his family, although they sometimes pester him. Papa gently reminds his son…
“We need to love the family God gave us.”
A heartwarming and colorful addition to the best-selling God Gave Us series, this tale will delight young hearts and help them understand how families of all types reflect God’s unconditional love.

Pick up your copy here...

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling author of nearly fifty books, including God Gave Us You and the beloved God Gave Us children’s series. Her creativity and love of writing spans many genres, from children’s books and devotionals to adult fiction. She and her husband, Tim, reside in Colorado with their three big kids.

David Hohn is an award-winning illustrator whose art has graced many popular children’s books, including God Gave Us Christmas. He graduated with honors from the Maryland Institute College of Art and has an MFA in Illustration from the University of Hartford. David lives in Portland, Oregon with his family. 

My Thoughts...

Are you a fan of Max Lucados Children's books?  If you said YES, Then you are going to like this one.
It's very easy to understand and short enough for the little ones to sit though it. 
Great message and the illustrations are done very well.
I might add that instead of toys under the tree this year, books like this one will have a lasting positive  effect on kids.
This was a very cute read. 
Love the family God gave you. Great message.
I gave this book 5 stars.
 The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Cottage Kitchen By Marte Forsberg

Share in a gorgeous, thoughtful life in the charming English countryside with The Cottage Kitchen, a cookbook of recipes and stories by Norwegian-born photographer and tastemaker Marie Forsberg.

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MARTE MARIE FORSBERG is a professional food and lifestyle photographer, as well as the creator of the blog My Cottage Kitchen. Her work has been featured in magazines and newspapers around the world, and she regularly runs cooking and photography workshops. Marie lives in a charming cottage in the English countryside with her English pointer, Mr. Whiskey.

My Thoughts...

The photos in this cookbook are exquisite. I fell in love with each page, I how I long to take of to the English contryside now after seeing all these pictures. 
I the food would be great. I found some of the ingredients were not easy to find. 
I did love how each section was broke down in seasons Like Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn.
I have a very long list of  recipes I want to try this winter.
This is laid out very nice and easy to find. Hundreds of great thing to try out. Some very different things I like that. 
I gave this cookbook 4 stars. I would make a wonderful gift.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Plain Leaving By Leslie Gould

Gould Offers a New Amish Series in Idyllic Lancaster CountyAt age twenty, Jessica Bachman left her two beloved sisters and her Amish community after clashing with the new bishop about her role in the family and the future of their farm. She tried to convince Silas Kemp, who'd been courting her for two years, to join her, but when he said no, she fled anyway. 

Three years later, she returns home for the first time since leaving Lancaster to attend her father's funeral. Her arrival back revives all sorts of emotions--yearnings and sorrows alike. Jessica knows things will never return to how they were. But in seeing Silas again, she can't help but wonder what might have been.

Struggling to decide where her next step should take her, she learns the story of a Revolutionary War-era ancestor that echoes her own choices. Will Jessica leave her family and community forever, or is there peace and healing and love yet to come.

Pick up your copy here...

Leslie Gould is the best-selling and award-winning author of twenty-five novels. She loves traveling, research, Shakespeare's plays, and church history. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon and are the parents of four children.

My Thoughts...

This was not your typical Amish fiction book. Well let me say it like this, it was not the same ole story written. This is a fresh story.
Gould has taken it to a whole new level.
An Amish book talking about fracking, on Amish land, you are going to love this book. Wait until you hear the whole story.
I loved Jessica and Amos the most oh and Aunt Suz. 
This was my eye opening Amish book of the year. It has shown me that Amish can be written with new eyes and their are still fresh stories to be read.
So if you have given up on reading Amish books because they are all the same thing rewritten. You have to read A Plain Leaving you will be pleasantly surprised and you will be left wanting more.
I gave this book 5 stars and I HIGHLY recommend this book.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Woman Overwhelmed By Haylay DiMarco

"A Woman Overwhelmed" is a phrase with which many women can relate. But what would happen if we could see the insanity in our pace and embrace our overwhelming God?
There is a reason they say that a woman’s work is never done— because it isn’t! As women, we often are overwhelmed by the demands and circumstances of life, resulting in stress, fear, worry, impatience, fatigue, frustration, and even depression. The truth is that we were created to be overwhelmed . . . not by life but by God! When we learn to be overwhelmed by God, the fruit in our lives goes from rotten to fragrant—filling our days with peace, hope, love, and joy.
In A Woman Overwhelmed, best-selling author Hayley DiMarco shares biblical insights and personal stories to offer a glimpse at the comedy of an overwhelmed life while encouraging us to discover the depths and heights of God’s love and power.
Be empowered to find freedom in becoming overwhelmed with who God is—by learning to focus on what we know about God so that we can hold onto faith even when it seems that all is lost. For it is when an overwhelmed woman gives up the mission of me and exchanges it for the mission of God that being overwhelmed becomes a good thing.
Choose to bask in the abundance of the Father instead of the abundance of life as his unfathomable depths can surely replace our fathomable messes.
Hayley DiMarco, author of the A Woman Overwhelmed Bible study and trade book, is the best-selling author of more than forty books, including multiple books in the God Girl line, The Fruitful Wife, Obsessed, Die Young, and Own It. As the founder of Hungry Planet, a company intensely focused on feeding the world's appetite for truth, Hayley speaks regularly for women’s groups and events, including groups such as Women of Faith, dotMOM, Precept National Women’s Convention, and MOPS International. She and her pastor husband, Michael, live outside Nashville with their daughter and four dogs. Visit her online at
My Thoughts...
Ladies, if you read this book and you don't relate to it, well you are wonder women.  It seems that we are all busy or stressed out. So mush going on running all over the place. We are just overwhelmed.
This is a refreshing read and a valuable read. Very well written. Very easy read not a lot of mumble jumble. Good solid advice. Let's all get overwhelmed by God. If that's what you want then this is a book for you.
I gave this book 4 stars. I hope that you will pick up a copy.
 The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Total Christmas Makeover By Melissa Spoelstra

In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it’s important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ’s birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.
Christmas is far more than a celebration of an event from long ago or a modern holiday centered around shopping. Mindfully take time to listen to how God continues to speak through the Christmas story as the Gospel narratives centered around the birth of Jesus provide encouragement and revelation concerning the love of God and his wisdom for us today.
In Total Christmas Makeover, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God’s grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season. 
Hi all! My name is Melissa Spoelstra. First and foremost I am a Christ-follower. I am madly in love with Jesus and addicted to the study of His Word. I am passionate about knowing Christ and inspiring other women to seek Him by opening our ears to listen to His Spirit, reading His Word curiously, asking questions, exercising good hermeneutics, and clinging tightly to God through the storms of life.

Talking about this stuff is much easier than actually living it out in everyday life. As wife to my awesome church planter husband Sean, and mother to four great kids, Zach(20), Abby(17), Sara(17), and Rachel(14), I am working out my faith on a daily basis. Between sports practices, doctor’s appointments, church stuff, and the minutia of everyday life, I need God’s Word to draw me back to the things of first importance. I hope this blog encourages you to do the same.

Other stuff about me. I have a degree in Bible Theology from Moody Bible Institute. I’ve had articles published in ParentLife, Women’s Spectrum and Just Between Us women’s magazines. I've written 4 women's Bible studies (Jeremiah, Joseph, First Corinthians, and Numbers) as well as Total Family Makeover (2016) and Total Christmas Makeover (2017). I’m following God through every door He opens and pray that all glory in these endeavors is His alone.
My Thoughts...

 Do you want to truly celebrate Christmas with your Savoir? This is your book.
This would be a great book for a small group, it has Questions for reflection at the end of the 31 devotions. Or it could just be part of your Bible reading each day with something to help keep your mind on the reason for the season. Jesus.
I think this would make a great gift.
I gave this devotional 4 stars. 
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Forest, A Flood, and an Unlikely Star By J.A. Myhre

Just thirteen-years-old, Kusiima has no time for school, sports, or hanging out with the other boys in his African village. With no father or mother to take care of him, he works long hours to support his grandmother and sickly baby sister. Then one day, Kusiima s life suddenly changes when he travels into a nearby protected forest. In the forest, Kusiima is presented with many choices, all with uncertain outcomes. Should he go along with illegal logging? Help to save an endangered baby gorilla? Follow a donkey to who knows where? With each choice, Kusiima has to make yet another decision about what is right in front of him. As he does, he meets a mysterious doctor who holds the key to his past and his future. In the end, Kusiima is faced with the hardest choice of all. Can he forgive a great wrong and heal a broken relationship? Readers of all ages won t want to put down this exciting book that addresses current realities like AIDS, malnutrition, and environmental destruction, all set in a richly detailed African adventure story. Following along as Kusiima makes his decisions, readers will find themselves considering their own choices and growing in empathy for others. This action-packed tale of a boy, his sister, and an orphaned gorilla is also a clear call to give up bitterness and forgive deep hurts, restoring broken lives and relationships. A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star is the third book in the Rwendigo Tale Series and follows Book One, A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest, and Book Two, A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue.

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J. A. Myhre, MD, serves as a doctor with Serge in East Africa where she has worked for over two decades. She is passionate about health care for the poor, training local doctors and nurses, promoting childhood nutrition and development, and being the hands of Jesus in the hardest places. She is married to her best friend and colleague Scott, and together they have raised four children for whom The Rwendigo Tales were written as Christmas presents.

My Thoughts...
This is story is set in the jungles of Uganda.  It's a young adult adventure, spy type story. A story of hope. I would say it's a read that most young adults would enjoy. It was different but it was worth the read. 
The  black and white illustrations were very different.
I gave this book 4 stars.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.