Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fresh Brewed Life by Nicole Johnson

“And his love pouring over the grounds of our lives wakes us up to a more flavorful, meaningful, rewarding life than we ever could have imagined.”
(excerpt from Chapter 1, Fresh Brewed Life)

This is not a book you can read quickly.  It is meant to be read slowly and on purpose, which is what I did and what I didn’t do.  It took me a while to finish this book.  I began reading it about six months or so ago.  It traveled with me through many transitions.  I would pick it up become very interested, and then have to ponder the contents, so it got put back down again. 

Fantastic book.  Life changing.  Author Nicole Johnson entitled her book Fresh Brewed Life, and that is the goal of the book.  To help you recognize that your life can be full and fresh. To assist you in a transformation from something that might not seem as lovely, to something beautiful, fresh, and full of body.
You will look at yourself inside and out while reading this book.  Literally.  If you don’t want to examine who you are, don’t pick it up.  I know I may sound a little dramatic, but I am serious.  I think that is why I put it down so many times.  It is hard to make changes sometimes.  But when you have the courage to do so, you can be better on the other side.

So what is in the book?  Well, the author shares a lot about her own experiences, which enables her to share with us, better how to have this Fresh Brewed Life.  The fresh brewed part is an analogy reference to coffee, of which you will learn more when you read.  A few different areas you get to examine are your beauty, your anger, your sexuality, and your friendships.  There are lots of great opportunities for journaling also.  One question in the chapter 2 is “What keeps you from living your life?  The author also gives you the reader assignments of “Fresh Brewed Adventures.”  One such assignment is in the chapter about friendships-

Plan an extravagant, expensive, special day with a close friend.  Think of as many fun things as possible to squeeze into one day.  Give your friend a copy of the expensive day you planned; then do something inexpensive and spontaneous together.

I really enjoyed this book. I will admit it was a little painful at times.  It forced me to take a closer look at myself.  It wasn’t about sin.  It was about areas that needed change, or needed to be loved, or just needed to come out into the light, and get some attention.  I will revisit the book and spend some more time with a journal this time around.  I don’t think anybody can read it just once.

I recommend it to any woman who feels like she wants a braver, bolder, fuller life.  If you often ask yourself, “Is this all there is?”, then maybe you are missing something that Fresh Brewed Life can help you discover. 

Many blessings to you as you discover how “Fresh” and beautiful your life in Christ can be!

To learn more about the author you can visit her at Nicole's Fresh Brewed Life.

Disclaimer-I received this book from Booksneeze as part of a free books for bloggers program.  I was not required to give a favorable review.  The thoughts and opinions in this review are entirely my own.

Monday, April 23, 2012

God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren

"God gave us love so we could see goodness in others, even when they make us grumpy."
"I know, I know," Little Cub said with a sigh.

When I read a children’s book to review, I usually read it many times.  It helps to get a clear understanding of what the author is trying to communicate and I always see something new I might have missed in reading the time before.  I did the same with this book, God Gave Us Love, by Lisa Tawn Bergren, but this time I decided to include one of my children in my review process.  You may be thinking, “Well, duh!” Me too!

Immediately as I began reading it to my child, he was amazed that I was talking about the otters at the beginning of the story.  He didn’t sit all the way through the story.  He is little, but he did listen for a few moments to hear about the amazing power of love.

God Gave Us Love is another book in a series of God Gave Us books by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  The sweet little book covers many different facets of love, such as love between family, love between friends, and the love that came from God when He sent His son JESUS to us.

I like these books in this series more and more all the time.  I love that they communicate something wonderful about God to my children.  The truths about God are wonderfully woven in a sweet setting in the arctic between the sweet polar bear Little Cub and her family.  I received this book in board book form which makes it even better for little ones to carefully turn the pages. 

The illustrations by Laura J. Bryant are beautiful.  They bring the story of Little Cub to life as she learns from her grandfather about love and how it demonstrates forgiveness and kindness to those it reaches.

I recommend this book to any parent of small children who want to share the concept of God’s love.  Mrs. Bergren does a wonderful job of weaving an often complex subject into this story and teaching it in a way an inquisitive child can understand.  This would be an especially nice book to buy for a grandparent to share with their grandchild.

Many blessings to you as you read with your child and learn how God Gave Us Love.

To learn more about the author, please visit her at

*Disclaimer-I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah as part of a free books for bloggers program.  I was not required to give a favorable review.  All the opinions and thoughts here are my own.