Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs

"As David once wrote, 'The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.' Amen to that!  Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna are among that mighty throng who've heard God's truth and gladly given him the glory."
-excerpt, Chapter 8, Women of Christmas
I love Christmas.  Each year it seems like I want to start celebrating earlier and earlier.  Reading Christmas literature is something I like to do to deepen the meaning of the season for me.  This year I started with The Women of Christmas by author Liz Curtis Higgs.
The Women of Christmas is a a detailed commentary of the story of Christmas as pertaining to three women, Mary, the mother of Jesus, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Ann, the prophetess who worshiped God day and night in the temple.  The book contains 8 chapters with a devotional/study guide at the back of the book for each chapter.
One of the first things I noticed about this book was the incredible amount of research the author has done.  It was amazing!  There are a lot of footnotes in this book, which I like.  I like to read a book and take away information about the Bible that I didn't know before.  In The Women of Christmas, Liz discusses things like the age of Elizabeth when she became pregnant with John the Baptist, the theory behind the possibility that Zechariah was also deaf along with being mute, and the very important encounter of Mary with the angel Gabriel. 
I really enjoyed this book.  I loved the research that was put into this.  That was the biggest thing for me.  I like it when an author does their homework.  I was a little disappointed with the book cover.  The dust jacket which serves as the cover is beautiful, but the book itself is plain and did not include the beauty you see on the dust jacket.  Also, I was a little confused about why the author chose to include information about Simeon in the book, other than to segue into her information about Anna. 
I recommend this book to anyone who would like to delve deeper into the Christmas story.  This book is a great one for study.  It would also be a great book for a Women's Bible study around Christmastime.
Many blessings to you as we make our way toward the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.,
Disclosure:  I received this book free as part of a free books for bloggers program at Waterbrook Multnomah.  I was not required to give a positive review.  The thoughts and opinions here are entirely my own. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Homeschool Mom's Bible

"Have you been weighing the pros and cons of homeschooling and trying to decide what to do this year for your children's education?  Although the idea of schooling your children at home seems like a daunting task, you can successfully teach them.  Planning schedules, purchasing curriculum and making lesson plans may sound foreign to you right now, but God will help you if you will simply pray and ask for his leading.  Not only will he send the encouragement and support you need from homeschooling families, he'll also show you where to get ideas, resources and supplies you need to complete the task."
-excerpt from August 12th, "Mission Impossible"
Homeschooling is challenging.  God has entrusted the homeschooling mom with a great job, educating her children.  As a homeschooling mom myself, I need encouragement to persevere.  The best place to look for that is in the Bible.
The NIV Homeschool Mom's Bible is a Bible that has devotionals based on God's Word and is applicable to homeschooling situations.  Each devotion is penned by veteran homeschool mom Janet Tatman, who spent 25 years homeschooling four children.  In her devotions in the Homeschool Mom's Bible, she shares lessons and wisdom gleaned from God's Word.
When I received this Bible for review, I wanted to spend some time in the daily devotionals and not just rush right through it before I wrote about it.  I enjoyed each day's devotionals and the stories Janet shared.  In my opinion, she has walked out the scripture of what it means to "train your children in the Lord."
I liked the Bible.  Janet has lots of good things to say to homeschooling moms.  It would have been nice though, for a project of this magnitude to include devotionals from other homeschooling moms. Every homeschoolers experience is different, so it would have been better to get a variety of perspectives and thoughts.  The Bible and what God has to say about life does not change, but His plans might look differently for you than it would for me.
The Bible does also need a concordance.  That is kind of a must for me when I use my Bible.  I do however use this Bible as my regular reading Bible now.
I would recommend this Homeschool Mom's Bible to any mom who would like more wisdom from God's Word in her journey as a homeschool mom.  The devotions within will help deepen your convictions about what you feel is a calling in your life, to homeschool your children.
Many blessings to you on your journey,

*Disclosure Statement:  I received this Bible free from Booksneeze as part of a free books for bloggers program.  I was not required to give a favorable review.  The thoughts and opinions here are entirely my own.