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Book Review: Love Letters from God by Glenys Nellist

Posted by Julie on May 13, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

In this heart-warming picture book designed for girls, author Glenys Nellist tells the inspiring stories of incredible women in the Bible. With beautiful illustrations by Rachel Clowes and sweet lift-the-flap envelopes, each story delivers a special message for children to open as they read their own personal love letters from God. Full of warmth and love, this picture book will fill girls’ hearts with the wonder of the Lord. The stories of Eve, Miriam, Esther, Mary, and many more will delight children and remind them of the bond they can share with God, just like the women of the Bible.

This is a colorful book for girls ages 4-8 that features Bible stories that will help them learn about the Bible, important women who are part of “His-Story,” and draw closer to God. The stories are more for the elementary age, but it makes for a good nighttime routine where a parent could read to the girl.

The illustrations are colorful and feminine, very attractive for a little girl. What sets  the book apart is each story has an envelope flap that the girl can open. It is a letter that can be addressed to the reader, and it is an encouragement from God. Just reading it for myself was a special experience. I could see where a little girl would see her name (if you filled it in ahead of time) and be excited to see what God has to say to her.

I think this is a great book for any girl’s library. If they are the younger side, they will appreciate being read to and looking at the pictures. For the older girls, the stories they can read themselves and the letters from God make this is a book they won’t forget.

I definitely recommend LOVE LETTERS FROM GOD.

Purchase HERE

I received this book from the publisher and the review is my own honest opinion.

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Book Review: Undaunted Student Edition by Christine Caine

Posted by Julie on September 25, 2013 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I’m late to the party. I’ve heard of Christine Caine, saw some quotes attributed to her on Facebook, but had not read any of her books or knew her story.

Then I read Undaunted: Daring to Do What God Calls You to Do, Student Edition.

Christine shares her story about identity, loss, confusion, and rejection. She weaves together her story with feelings and circumstances teens can relate to. Not making a team. Not trusting people. Afraid. Wanting to do something amazing, but only hearing all the reasons why it will never work.

And like a beautiful song, she builds to a crescendo, hammering  theme of undaunted. Despite fears. Despite the past. Despite the discouragement—we’ve been called for more, and God will equip.

The book shares her passion to help people trapped in the s*x slave industry, and despite all the odds, she cofounded The A21 campaign. I wondered at first if teens would gloss over such a thing, as important as it is, because teens can be self absorbed. Then I remembered the youth from my church. They sacrificed a week in the summer to minister at The Dream Center. My teens was so inspired he plans to go next year. My generation was self absorbed. The teens today get it. They are the world changers, and Undaunted will give them ample inspiration.

Undaunted is a book I highly recommend. If an adult can’t get their hands on the regular edition, don’t be afraid to read the student edition. I was just as inspired.9780310743101

Description:

Undaunted: Student Edition, Christine Caine uses her dramatic life story to show teens how God rescued her from a life where she was unnamed, unwanted, and unqualified. She tells how she overcame abuse, abandonment, fears, and other challenges to go on a mission of adventure, fueled by faith and filled with love and courage. Her personal stories inspire teens to hear their name called, just as Christine heard her own—“You are beloved. You are the hope. You are chosen”—to go into a dark and troubled world, knowing each of us possess all it takes to bring hope, create change, and live completely for Christ. Part inspirational tale, part manifesto to stir readers to lives of adventure, Undaunted: Student Edition shows the way with spiritual wisdom and insight.

To purchase, click here.

I received an ARC from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Rock Solid Faith Study Bible for Teens

Posted by Julie on September 20, 2013 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini |

Julie’s note: Before we dig into the latest book review, I wanted to invite you to join me Saturdays for a new meme. Blog a confession that you’re learning from that doesn’t embarrass others. The goal is to encourage your readers that they aren’t alone. Link up to my post here at juliearduini.com on Saturdays. Invite others. Let’s help each other out and make positive connections!

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Zondervan Synopsis:

Many teens today feel uncertain about their world and are wondering about their future during this time of economic upheaval and spiritual confusion. Combine this with normal adolescent struggles, and today’s teens are trying to find solid ground. Rock Solid Faith Study Bible for Teens provides a firm foundation with features that show God is unchanging. Teens will be reassured that they too can be unshaken and have hope for what the future holds.

Zondervan recently contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing some of their materials. My first choice was the Rock Solid Faith Study Bible for Teens.

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The Bible boasts several features. 

Rock Solid TRUTHS-Examines Christian beliefs and explorations of other religions

Rock Solid PRINCIPLES-Applies the Bible to daily choices and challenges

Rock Solid PROMISES-Calls out God’s promises, and what aren’t.

Rock Solid PLANS-Explores God’s plans for the reader.

Unshaken PEOPLE-Provides Biblical examples to overcome.

Unshaken GOD: Points out God’s never-changing attributes

Reading plans

Color maps

Book introductions

I have a teen, so I was interested in seeing first hand what this Bible looked like and how did it line up against what it promised. It does feature all those things. However, I was disappointed in the layout and visuals. The Bible as in God’s Word should never change. However, I believe with teens we have to market to their interests without watering down truth.

I had trouble  finding the features. The pages are a thin white, and the Rock Solid Features aren’t highlighted very brightly. A little darker column, but not much darker. There’s some good questions at the end for teens to think about, but not as hard hitting as I hoped.

In this wired world there’s a lot available to appeal to teens. I wanted to see the Bible’s features connect to an app or something teens use often to encourage them to study further. The Bible itself is hardcover and heavy. Teens these days won’t lug a Bible around. If with the purchase teens could get the same version for their phone, I think teens would use it. The hardcover alone needs a bit more splash. Not in material, but in presentation.

Lastly, $30 is a bit steep for a teen Bible, especially one with a vanilla-esque appearance. Again, for that price, I would have liked to have seen extras that teens could access with their phones. Have color and an easier layout with the Bible.

This Bible offers a lot and I really want teens to fall in love with His Word. I love the premise of the Rock Solid Faith Study Bible, but it falls a little short in delivery.

To purchase the Rock Solid Faith Study Bible for Teens, click here.

I received this product from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck

Posted by Julie on May 15, 2013 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I love to lead the John and Stasi Eldredge study Captivating for women. One of the trademarks created in girls is to long to hear they are lovely. To swoon over a romance while twirling their skirts. And every time I teach it, the ladies sigh with me as we remember our favorite books and movies that display these things.

Once Upon a Prince is a swoon worthy book. I’m forty-something and I still love a royal story where common girl falls for a prince. Rachel Hauck makes this classic story fresh and sweet with Susanna Truitt, a by-the-book woman who had her entire life planned out until the man who was supposed to be her fiance breaks up with her. As she tends to her broken heart, she runs into a nice guy named Nate. What she doesn’t know is Nate is really Prince Nathaniel.

Prince Nathaniel is in America on holiday with a full agenda others have put on him. His family and country need him, and there are expectations. Problem is, he can’t get Susanna off his mind.

once-upon-a-prince-PW-star-200x308That’s all you get from me, but this felt like an adult Princess Diaries of sorts. Sweet moments where Susanna has no clue who she’s befriending. Prince Nathaniel her rescuer, never creating drama or fanfare, but just wanting to be a help. Supporting characters who give readers smiles and laugh out loud moments, as well as minor characters who make you want to scream in frustration.

From the back cover:

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess—just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

It’s the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God’s will or their own?

“This is classic romance at it’s very best.”
Debbie Macomber, NY Times #1 Bestselling Author

It’s funny because when it comes to writing and reading, I’m a romance junkie. Yet for movies, I tend to live action movies. Once Upon a Prince swept me up and left me with a contented sigh, I could see it as a movie. I replayed parts of the book  in my mind, picturing what the characters would look like, or what actors would best represent these lovely, charming people I was rooting for.

I also loved the cover. The model on the front just exudes joy and draws you in.

Take the plunge and dive into Once Upon a Prince. It’s a royally romantic read.

To purchase, click here.

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Amazon Vine Book Review: True Images Bible for Teen Girls

Posted by Julie on September 7, 2012 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Life Lessons |

In an age where teens are using Bible apps for their reading, I was curious to see a “real” Bible available for review. The Amazon Vine program offered the True Images Bible for Teen Girls.

This is a hardcover Bible in NIV, New International Version. The Bible is geared for girls age13-16 and does contain issues that are mature in nature that teens face. I think this is an important Bible, and I think the issues are important to incorporate. But parents, consider going through this Bible with your daughters.

NIV True Images, the only NIV Bible designed specifically for teen girls ages 13 — 16, is for real teenage girls with real lives. Packed with edgy graphics, personal notes, cool quizzes, challenging insights, and open discussion about the realities of life, this Bible is designed to help you build a closer relationship with God. NIV True Images is as sincere about your walk with God as you are, helping you discover his will for all areas of your life, including relating to your family, dealing with friends, work, sports, guys and so much more. Whether you are reading the reality-based ‘In Focus’ stories about real teenage issues, drawing encouragement from ‘Love Notes From God,’ or letting ‘Truth or Dare’ challenge you in practical ways, what you will value most is discovering how deeply God is involved in your life: laughing when you laugh; grieving over your tears; listening when no one else seems to care; smiling because you delight him; and loving you through thick and thin.

The Bible features complete NIV text, 120 “In Focus” articles that show other girls’ lives to see how the Bible applies to your life, over 500 “Truth or Dare” notes challenging you to discover the truth about God, life, and faith, 52 “Mirror Images” profiles of women in the Bible, over 100 “Love Notes from God,” over 300 “Genuine” notes on authentic true inner beauty, 24 full-color pages with quizzes, advice, insights, and introductions to all 66 books.

Image by Amazon

I’m obviously out of age demographic so my one complaint about the font being a little small is probably one that won’t bother the girls. I applaud the In Focus section that shares a real situation teens deal with, and practical advice. Sometimes teen want to hear the truth, but not necessarily from a parent. In Focus gives Biblical wisdom to topics girls might be afraid to ask.

The Genuine section is well-done, too. The world won’ talk about inner beauty, and this is something teen girls desperately need to receive. I think the Mirror Images help girls see women worth paying attention to and modeling because they were Godly women.

The activity pages are colorful and fun, but not superficial. Again, the content threads together Biblical truth and wisdom.

Like I said, I’m surprised to see a hardcover Bible for teens in a time where most use phone apps, but this is a great Bible. If a teen needs one for school, or wants something tangible for their personal study time, the True Images Bible for Teen Girls is one I would purchase for a teen girl.

To purchase, click here.

Amazon sent me this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book and DVD Review: Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave

Posted by Julie on February 7, 2011 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, surrender |

Today I review Lysa TerKeurst’s NYT bestseller, Made to Crave. If you’re regretting all you ate at the Superbowl party and feeling empty even with so much food, this post is a must read. If you like this site (it’s brand new after a server move!)I invite you to look around at other features and follow/subscribe if you choose. I’m so glad you are here today! By the way, tonight is Lysa’s Made to Crave.org webcast at 8pm EST. I’m loving these, and I know you will too.

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