Friday, August 28, 2015

Prayers For New Brides - Book Review


Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God's Armor After the Wedding Dress was an encouraging read, to say the least. I was encouraged by a fresh charge given to new brides to strengthen their marriages through prayer. Yet, this is more than just another self-help book. The author also includes study and meditation of God's Word, seeking godly counsel, and including the groom in the process.

In fact, I love how the author, Jennifer O. White, puts an emphasis on seeing one's husband as a fellow believer (if he is one) and as a fellow human being made in the image of God. Sometimes in the heat of passion and later the heat of disagreement, we forget that men are people, too. Jennifer reminds us of the ONE-ness of marriage and how we are being blended into a beautiful fulfillment of what God intends to be a picture of the union between His Son, Jesus, and His bride, the Church.

Jennifer is also faithful to remind new brides of the honor and respect due to the office their husbands hold, as the Scriptures teach us. This is a key encouragement left out of much of today's advice to new brides. Yet, without it, no marriage has a chance of maturing into what God intends for a husband and wife to be as a reflection of Christ and His bride. 

With much confession of her own failures and the hope God gave in what he taught her through one failed marriage and nearly a second one, the author is transparent yet discreet. Don't let it turn you off that Jennifer has been divorced and remarried. Through her tragedy, God taught her many things which she shares in hope that others will not have to suffer as she did. Though Is is sad she had to go through all she did as a result of her mistakes and sin, but there is hope in what she has to say to those who still have an opportunity to make things right either from the very beginning or before it's too late.

In this way, the title is a little deceiving. This book isn't just for new brides; it is for old brides, too, and good brides, bad brides, confused and broken brides, brides who are angry and bitter, even abused brides. There is a whole treasure trove of godly counsel, wisdom, and prayer and Scripture study prompts to keep any bride always seeking after God's beautiful plan for her marriage.

At the end of the book, Jennifer has included a resource list of books, a DVD series, ministry recommendations, websites, blogs, and online communities for further study and encouragement. She also lists free downloads from her own site, PrayersforNewBrides.com

Prayers for New Brides would make an excellent shower gift for a bride-to-be, but would also be good for ladies' Bible studies and private devotions. In fact, I intend to go back myself and reread it, taking the time to look up and meditate on the many Bible references she gives and concentrate more on her advice and encouragement. Even after 30 years of marital bliss, I still need to be reminded and corrected by godly counsel regarding marriage.

So, if you are already married, be sure to get your own copy of Prayers for New Brides, along with one for the new brides in your life. May the Lord bless us one and all as we seek His face in growing strong, Christian marriages for His glory and the good of our spouses and ourselves.

[Please note that, although the publisher has provided a complimentary copy of this book through Cross Focused Reviews, these review thoughts are entirely my own.]

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Beka Sale at Christianbook.com Going On Now!


I cut my teeth on A Beka curriculum while teaching kindergarten in a Christian school when Les and I were newlyweds. From that experience, I knew A Beka would be what our family used when the babies were old enough to start homeschooling.

On November 1, 1991, I sat down with our Jonathan (age 5) and Sam (just turned 4) at the kitchen table in that old rented farmhouse in Ellisville, Illinois, and opened our brand new A Beka books. I know the boys were just as excited as I was.

A Beka was our choice for both kindergarten and first grade. Their reading program is fabulous. The children loved the phonics games. And, though I had to create my own visuals because of our budget, I was still able to give our children a quality education using A Beka curriculum.

Our friends at Christianbook.com are having a 10-15%-off sale this week on select A Beka Book kits. If you've been putting off purchasing your curriculum for the fall because of the budget, please take a peek over at Christianbook.com. I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised at their other curriculum choices as well.

God bless all you homeschoolers out there as you press forward in your choice to educate your children at home. I can tell you from experience that all the trouble...all the hassle...all the headaches you will have at times is well worth it in the end.

Please note that purchases made through links in this post will also go to support this blogger. Much appreciated.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Questions Jesus Asks: Where Divinity Meets Humanity - Book Review

Questions Jesus Asks: Where Divinity Meets Humanity was the first book I've read by author Israel Wayne. I have been friends with him on Facebook for some time and have been acquainted with him and his family for many years through the home school movement. And, if there's one thing you can say about Israel, he is well read.

This is evident in how he approaches each subject in his book. After setting the stage from personal experience, he then addresses the particular question Jesus asks along with the underlying doctrine embodied in it. Next, he broadens the subject, not only with corresponding Scriptural teachings, but also drawing from his vast and eclectic knowledge of past and present key theologians and historians. He chooses to glean from these authors and ministers what is good and what they hold in common with the truth of Scripture concerning each doctrine.

However, the second thing I noticed was how well the author brings what could turn into a deep and unfathomable gulf of knowledge down to easily digestible concepts. For instance, where it is necessary to use words and doctrines with which young people or new believers may not be familiar, Israel takes the time to explain and define them so the reader doesn't get lost. Yet, the subject matter is both compelling and thought provoking, leaving plenty of room for further exploration and discussion.

All these things considered, I believe Questions Jesus Asks would be an excellent choice for Bible studies, Sunday schools, and family devotions. Also, the fact it is divided into 20 short chapters, each between 6 and 10 pages long, makes it suitable for daily devotional reading as well.

I also look forward to reading the book which precedes this one, Questions God Asks. Both are available on Amazon.com, with the Kindle version of Questions Jesus Asks: Where Divinity Meets Humanity being offered for a limited time for only $3.99! Get yours today.

[Please note, though the publisher has provided a complimentary copy of this book through Cross Focused Reviews, these review thoughts are entirely my own.]