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My Favorite Reviewed Reads of 2015

Posted by Julie on January 2, 2016 in About Me, Book Review, Julie Arduini |

For the past few years I’ve shared my favorite reads from the previous years. Most of my reading from 2015 were books I reviewed, and there were some standouts.

Fiction Honorable Mention:

A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck

The Wishing Season by Denise Hunter

Every Bride Needs a Groom by Janice Thompson

When Kings Clash by J.E. Lowder

 

Non Fiction Honorable Mention:

Apologetics Bible Study for Students

Grin with Grace by Kathy Carlton Willis

 

Product Honorable Mention (CD, Movie, other)

Exhale by Plumb

Let it Be Jesus by Christy Nockels

Passport 2 Purity

 

And now, my top picks.

 

Favorite Reviewed Product of 2015:

Finding Noah

 

Favorite Non Fiction Reviewed Read of 2015:

Kelly Tough by Erin Kelly

Kelly Tough was not only my favorite non fiction reviewed read of 2015, but my favorite overall read of the year.

Kelly Tough was not only my favorite non fiction reviewed read of 2015, but my favorite overall read of the year.

 

Favorite Fiction Reviewed Read of 2015:

Burning Justice by Helena Smrcek

 

Please check out the links to find out how to purchase these. You won’t be disappointed!

 

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Album Review: The Unmaking by Nichole Nordeman

Posted by Julie on September 3, 2015 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

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About the new album The Unmaking:

“Before things in our lives can be resurrected and given new life, certain things must die.  Before beauty blooms in spring, roots must do the hard work under the hard frozen soil of winter.  Before you renovate and re-build, you tear down the parts of the structure that are weak or damaged or dangerous.  Before we make, we must unmake.”  Nichole Nordeman

Has it really been a decade since Nichole Nordeman has released an album? True story. Although she wrote 17 songs for “The Story,” The Unmaking is her first solo work since 2005.

And what a refreshing listen it is. Although there are only six tracks, I told a friend that the album is a perfect accompaniment to devotional time. No matter how fast the song, each lyric is a reminder of who God is. I was completely uplifted by each song.

“The Unmaking” is probably my favorite song. I could relate to the words and it was catchy. To me it was a testament to what God can do when we surrender. “Not to Us” features Plumb, so that was a pleasant surprise. “Name” is again another reminder who God is. It’s an inspiring song without sounding like all the other songs about God out there. “Love You More” is a power song for exactly what I told my friend, devotional time. It’s filled with His truth and holiness. Simply beautiful. “Something Out of Me” is another one that I can’t help it, it’s perfect for devotional time. The last song, “Slow Down,” is a mama’s heart for her children. When I reviewed this, it was the first day of pre school and kindergarten for my friends, and my oldest’s first day of senior year. “Slow Down” definitely tugged at my heart.

I wished the album had contained a couple more songs but—the quality is so top-notch and it’s so good to hear from her, I just hit re-play. I hope you do, too.

To purchase The Unmaking by Nichole Nordeman, click here.

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Music Review: Exhale by Plumb

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Music Description:

About PLUMB:

Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, better-known by her stage name Plumb, is a songwriter, recording artist, performer and author. Plumb has sold more than 500,000 albums and over two million singles worldwide, co-penned songs for numerous other artists, including Michelle Branch, Mandisa, Mandy Moore, Jaci Velasquez, and Natalie Grant, and had music placed in many films and television shows.Originally signed as a Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) recording artist in 1997, Plumb is now known as well as or better in alternative rock, electronic dance music, and for the use of her music in film and television than she is in the CCM market.

About the album:

EXHALE, the seventh studio album from acclaimed multi-genre singer, songwriter and author PLUMB, expresses a new focus and vision. After the runaway success of NEED YOU NOW (the album, title track and book), which coincided with her own moving story of brokenness and ultimately healing, Exhale brims with worshipful songs of gratitude and hope.

The defining concept of EXHALE was born from a sermon at Plumb’s home church, wherein her pastor Pete Wilson expressed the notion that the Church doesn’t exist for itself. Rather, believers come to church to breathe in grace and truth, be changed, and then go out and “exhale” that hope into their surrounding community.

“That idea of exhaling hope hit me right away and I couldn’t get to the Notes section on my phone fast enough. I started writing the chorus of Exhale right then and there,” explains Plumb. “I have been made new by the ultimate hope, and I want to share and exhale that hope in everyway I can.”

Plumb’s music has been a major part of my Pandora shuffle this year. Once I heard her testimony I resonated with her. Not that I’ve had the exact issues she’s surrendered, but that’s the rub. I can identify with her act of surrender.

. Whether it’s a declaration like “Lord I’m Ready Now” or a song of Thanksgiving like Champion, it all feels like surrender. The words don’t sound trite.

I only received the CD a couple days ago and worried I wouldn’t have enough time to review. No problem. It has been my mainstay while driving. My comfort while in quiet time.

Whether in a mountain or a valley each song is going to be an anthem of sorts to encourage and guide you, if you let God use Exhale.

I hope you do.

To purchase Exhale, click here for iTunes.

Click here for Amazon.

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I received Exhale in exchange for an honest review.

 

 



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