How to Pack by Hitha Palepu

61eTMRsepUL._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip, written by Hitha Palepu and published by Clarkson Potter Publishers, is a handy little book detailing how to pack for any trip and any occasion.

The author breaks packing for travel into 3 parts: clothing, accessories, and beauty. She details in each section how to select the pieces that are going to be the most useful for the type of trip the reader is embarking on, and how to pack all pieces efficiently into the most versatile of luggage, the carry-on. She also includes sample packing lists for different types of trips, such as a business trip and a wedding weekend getaway.

I found the main idea presented by the author interesting, to think in terms of “power pieces” instead of complete outfits, thereby minimizing the number of (potentially unnecessary) items brought along.  I can see how choosing coordinating pieces to be worn multiple times in different ways would making packing to travel more efficient and certainly less stressful.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who travels frequently.

This book was provided to me at no cost from Clarkson Potter Publishers via blogging for books in exchange for my honest review.

Philippians for You and Study Guide by Steven J. Lawson

51bgRZLg0cL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_Philippians is one of the most popular books of the Bible to study in personal devotions and in small groups, due to it being one of Paul’s shorter yet practical epistles.   Many a book has been written on how to study Philippians, yet some are very cumbersome while other are too watered down to to be much help.  Philippians for You by Steven J. Lawson has theological depth while remaining understandable to all.  Philippians for You is the newest volume in the God’s Word for You series published by the Good Book Company Publishers.  This company is synonymous with theological richness yet accessible to even the newest of believers yet remaining relevant to the seasoned saint.

In Philippians for YouLawson beings with the typical introductory matters, yet in an attempt to remain relevant to most readers he disposes of most of the scholarly technical matters.  While this may be problematic for some the most important matters are given attention, specifically matters that are directly applicable to the average church goer.  After the short introduction the format of Philippians for You follows the standard series format dividing each chapter into two parts, each written with thier own main points and application as well as questions for refection.  With this format the reader is able to do a detailed exegetical study of Philippians without getting lost in scholarly discussions on grammar and syntax.

When looking for specific issues in relation to the text of scripture, two sections of note are Philippians 1:21-26 and 3:1-3.   In Philippians 1:21-26 Lawson delves practically into Paul’s teaching on living and dying for Chris while giving great application on how to live that dichotomy out in our current culture.  Furthermore in Philippians 3:1-3, Lawson teaches how the hope that can be found in living in said dichotomy assures Christians of the joy that can be found when abiding in Christ.  In each of these sections Lawson keeps the focus on God, demonstrating who He is and what He has done so that we may know Him and make Him known.

This commentary may not be intended for the scholar yet it gives commentary and application that is useful to the pastor or Bible teacher, while remaining accessible to the laymen in the pew, looking for a devotional commentary.  I encourage anyone who is planing to complete a thorough yet relevant study of the epistle to the Philippians to obtain a copy of Philippians for Youit is truly a step above the rest.

81pqMRCAKtLWhile this commentary is primarily intended for personal use, the Good Book Company Publishers has produced a companion piece for Philippians for You called Philippians: Shining with Great Joy which aids in using Philippians for You in small group Bible studies.  Philippians: Shining with Great Joy, also written by Steven J, Lawson, is a wonderful addition to this study which makes both of these works phenomenal resources for a study on the epistle to the Philippians.

This book was provided to me free of charge from The Good Book Company Publishers in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.


Philippians for You

© 2017 by Steven J. Lawson

Publisher: The Good Book Company

Page Count: 224 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-1784981150


Philippians: Shining with Great Joy

© 2017 by Steven J. Lawson

Publisher: The Good Book Company

Page Count: 80 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-1784981181

Learning to Love the Psalms by W. Robert Godfrey

9781567697438-frontcoverDo you ever read the Psalms, yet freely confess that you do not know much about what you are reading?  Or do you avoid reading the Psalms because you think they do not have much theological depth.  Learning to Love the Psalms by W. Robert Godfrey is a recently released book by Reformation Trust Publishing is a must read book.

I implore you to not be put off by the title, Learning to Love the Psalms, is not a commentary at least not in the traditional sense.  While it has it commentary sections and depth of study into select psalms, this works primary focus is an overview of the Psalms as a whole, which this work a great introduction on the book of psalms for devotional reading or beginning preparation for a Sunday School class.

With this in mind Godfrey goes to great lengths to give wonderful practical application from the select psalms in the study as well as a in depth look at the structure of the book of Psalms as a whole.  Furthermore this book is easy to read without dumbing the information down, remaining steadfast in the exposition of the truth of God’s Word so that the glory of God may be proclaimed to every corner of the world.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Reformation Trust Publishers in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Learning to Love the Psalms

© 2017 by W. Robert Godfrey

Publisher: Reformation Trust

Page Count: 263 Pages

ISBN-13: 9781567697438

God Made All Of Me by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb

God-made-me_frontcover PKGod made us, all of us, every freckle, hair, and body part.  God not only made every part of us but He made us for a purpose to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  The book God Made All Of Me seeks to demonstrate this concept to young children, in relation to protecting their bodies from unwanted touching and sexual exposure.

Sadly we live in a world which sexual predators live around every corner, sometimes even in our own extended families.  Protecting our bodes from other is an important lesson we must all learn, even little ones.  Yet this topic, as previously stated, can be extremely difficult due to the complexity of the subject or the sheer awkwardness of the topic.  In any case God Made All of Me by Justin and Lidney Holcomb and published by New Growth Press seeks to aid parents, guardians, and child care professionals in teaching children about their body and what they must do to protect it from those who seek to exploit them.

God Made All of Me accomplishes its goal.  As a minister to children and families I am always on the lookout for books which aid parents/guardians in ways raise their children in the nature and admonition of the church.  God Made All of  Me is aimed at children and uses words and illustrations that even the youngest child can understand, to help prevent sexual abuse, and if sexual abuse occurs how to go about reporting it properly.

This might be THE most practical resource I have ever read for children and parents.  I wholeheartedly endorse this book to ever parent/guardian who wants to protect their child from sexual abuse and train them hope to handle unwanted sexual situations.

This book was provided to me free of charge from New Growth Press in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

God Made All Of Me

© 2015 by Justin and Lidney Holcomb

Publisher: New Growth Press

Page Count: 32 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-1942572305

God Bless Our Baby by Hannah Hall

518020ozkbl-_sy495_bo1204203200_God Bless our Baby, written Hannah Hall by illustrated by Steve Whitlow, and published by Thomas Nelson, is an adorable story aimed at introducing young children to the idea of having a new sibling.

This book was perfect for our house, as it arrived shortly before we welcomed our second child. The book talked about how mommy was having a baby, and how a big sibling could be helpful with the new baby by doing such things as singing to them, helping with bath time, and keeping noise levels low during new baby’s naptime.

Each page of this book is illustrated with animal families. The art style is adorable and geared perfectly toward the toddler audience it is intended for.

Overall, this book was very cute and I would recommend it to anyone expecting a new addition to their family.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Thomas Nelson Publishers via BookLookers in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

UltraThin Reference Christian Standard Bible

*Important Note: This is not a review of the Christian Standard translation of scripture from the original languages, rather this is a review of the product UltraThin Reference Christian Standard Bible*

71jawufkmwlIf you are in the market for a Bible, in this age, you can have the pick of the litter, hundreds of translations, with different packaging and extras for every type of person.  Yet with so many options how do you go about choosing a Bible.  Some prefer a heavy and think Bible with loads of notes and commentary, some prefer just the text with no extras.  In either case the new UltraThin Reference Christian Standard Bible published by Broadman & Holman Publishers is a perfect blend of the two.  The new UltraThin Reference Christian Standard Bible is what it claims to be a minimalist in every sense of the word, a very slim Bible which can easily be held in one hand or stored in a small purse.  Yet it’s small stature does not necessitate small text size.  Do not let the 10.5pt. font fool you, it is a very readable size without being too cumbersome.  The double column feature is also an added bonus.   In addition to the text of scripture itself, the extra features included help make this a true reference Bible and not a study Bible.  In the end the UltraThin Reference Christian Standard Bible keeps the traditions of Broadman & Holman Publishers of excellence alive and well.

This book was provided to me free of charge from Reformation Trust Publishers in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Title: UltraThin Reference Christian Standard Bible

© 2017

Publisher: Broadman & Holman Publisher

Page Count: 1328 Pages

ISBN-13: 9781586407933

Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi by Anthony R. Petterson

41ZL6RYLfcL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi is an Old Testament commentary, written by Anthony R. Petterson published by IVP Academic.  This commentary is the newest edition of the Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series with editors David W. Baker and Gordon J. Wenham, a series which is synonymous with superior exegesis and excellent application, this volume continues this legacy.  This volume is one of the most articulate and practical modern commentaries on these difficult to interpret prophetic books of the Bible.  While Petterson is no stranger to Biblical commentaries this is his first foray into this relatively new commentary series.

Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi has four main sections the typical general introduction, and then followed by three insightful exegetical commentaries on the last three minor prophets.  With regard to the general introduction it is the typical study into the introductory matters of the final three prophetic books of the Bible as a whole.  This is a serious scholarly work which dives into contextual as well as the as the different mythological approaches to study these books.  More specific introductions are found alongside the commentary of each book.

In reference to the commentary sections on the text of these prophetic books themselves, Petterson takes great care in carefully showing the original context of passage while applying it directly to the modern day reader.  He also uses his own translation of the Hebrew text, which demonstrates his depth of knowledge of the text itself.

With regard of recommending Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi to others I would whole heartily recommend this commentary to students of scripture, with one caveat.  By this I mean I recommend this work to Pastors, Bible Teachers, Bible College Students, and to some extent Laymen, there is enough scholarly weight to this work to understand a particular issue in the text while giving aid to pastors in preaching the text.  The caveat is to the laymen that is looking for a devotional commentary, this is not a devotional type of commentary and it would be hard to use it as such.  In the end there are many commentaries about Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi available at this moment but Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi  of the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series is a step above the rest.

This book was provided to me free of charge from IVP  in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.


Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi: Apollos Old Testament Commentary

© 2015 by James R. Edwards

Publisher: IVP Academic

Page Count: 448 Pages

ISBN: 978-0830825240