Friday, June 24, 2016

Tullus: Adventures of a Christian boy in Roman times by Joe Newton, with illustrations by Bob Magnusen

My Thoughts:

I have to admit that though I love comic books, I try not to read too many of them, nor keep too many of them in our home. (They deaden the brain, right? **eye roll**) ;) Seriously, though, most of them just aren't worth keeping around. Thrillingly, THIS one is one I am more than happy to keep in our home, and will make an excellent supplement to our Ancient Rome study next time around. Best yet, it has old fashioned Christian values that are greatly lacking these days, especially in comic books.

Tullus is a Christian in ancient Rome. The story revolves around him and his friend, Nereus. Tullus was featured in "Sunday Pix" from 1949-1976, published by David C. Cook. It was created and written by Joseph(Joe) Hughes Newton, with illustrations done by his wife, Barbara. This issue is illustrated by Bob Magnusen, and is edited by Rick Norwood. I love that there's information about the comic in the front and back, so you'll get a bit of the history surrounding it. This particular issue is a reprint of the comic from the 1952 edition of Sunday Pix.

The book is put together through what used to be weekly installments, all in full color. Each page gets a week's comic, with a "to be continued" at the end. It is a year's worth of installments, and it does end with a "to be continued" on the final page. Reading along, I was able to read through the year's worth of comics quickly, but I couldn't help feeling a little nostalgic as I did so. I could just picture a young person excitedly reading each week's new addition, and then impatiently waiting another week for the next installment. The story continues on and on, though, so I also wondered how annoying it would be to get a story so slowly. I really do imagine this comic created special memories for many!

Tullus definitely has an old fashioned feel to it, and some parts of it are corny. I say the same thing about almost every classic I've read, though, even if I adored it. It seems to come with the territory of older books, especially with comic books. Helena, the female lead, made me roll my eyes a bit at her love story, but I loved the bravery and trust in God that was shown by the Christian characters. It was refreshing to read, and I want more of things like this for my boys. I greatly enjoyed making my way through the book, and I hope there will be another installment.

It appears that right now, you can only order the kindle version at Amazon. You CAN order a paper copy for $4.99, plus $3 shipping at I do love my kindle, but I really do recommend the paper copy in this case. If you're ordering for Sunday school classes, or from a Christian bookstore, you can get a discount of 40% for 10 or more copies, and 50% for orders of 100 or more. (Free shipping on discounted orders!) Go to to buy copies and to see what other classic comics are available.

I loved it, and I'm thrilled to add it to our bookshelves!

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Make Your Children World Explorers


Give your family summer vacation a makeover this year and turn it into a "staycation." Have your kids forget their summer boredom, turn off their screens, and instead circle the globe with Focus on the Family's "World Explorers" summer adventure kit!

Throughout the next two months, travel our colorful, diverse world, visiting 27 different countries on six continents. Part of the fun will be figuring out where the next stop is, using five clues that reveal interesting facts about the next country. Once you've determined where you're going, use the games, activities and faith lessons to give your kids a glimpse into that country's unique culture.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Adventures in Odyssey Summer Challenge 2016

This summer, you can join Adventures in Odyssey’s Clubhouse Magazine and help children in the Middle East go to school and learn English. It’s Adventures in Odyssey's Clubhouse Magazine Exercise to Educate summer challenge!

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The Problem

Nearly 7,000 miles away from the United States, there's a war going on in the country of Syria. Many families have been forced from their homes. Parents have had to leave their jobs, and children have had to leave behind toys and friends.

Many of these families now live in refugee camps in nearby countries. They have tents instead of houses. Clean water is hard to come by. This war has put 2.6 million children out of school – some for more than four years already.

The Solution

Our friends at Focus on the Family Middle East know many families who don't have the money to buy a school uniform and pay for their children to go to school. They also know people who would love to teach children English in local churches.

You may not have a lot of money to help, but you probably have time, energy and excitement. Here's what you can do:

1. Go to to

2. Print a sponsor sheet and exercise to earn points. You can do it for a week or the whole summer – just remember, the more you exercise, the more points you'll earn!

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4. Beginning in July, tell us how you did and receive a digital bundle from your friends at Adventures in Odyssey and Focus on the Family. The deadline to submit your information is August 31, 2016.

For participating and submitting your information, you will get a free Adventures in Odyssey episode from Album 51. You will also get 101 Surefire Ways to Strengthen Your Child's Faith – eBook and the audio book of Imagination Station #1, “Voyage with the Vikings.”

Make the most of your summer—exercise for your health and help other kids in need while you do!

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Visual Theology by Tim Challies and Josh Byers

My Thoughts:

Overall, I hate to say that I was disappointed in this book.

As far as the written content, which is most of the book, it's written by Tim Challies. I think most people out there have heard of him, and received some wisdom from him. I have myself. That said, I'm not "Reformed", as he makes himself well known as. I am a Christian, plain and simple, and I am a member of the church that Jesus Christ established in the New Testament. We disagree on many things, particularly in the area of Salvation and baptism. Would I give this book to a new Christian or someone contemplating becoming a Christian? Absolutely NOT! I couldn't do that in good conscience.

For myself, there are good reminders in here, and I'm perfectly fine reading books in which I don't agree with everything within it. I do it a great deal, and I've received immense amounts of wisdom from others that call themselves "reformed". It's recommending those books to others that starts getting harder. This book almost comes off like a beginner's guide to Christianity. It summarizes a great deal of topics within the world of Christianity. Since I disagree on the way Salvation is said to be obtained in this case, of course I can't recommend it to others. *IF* I agreed with the author, it'd be a decent book to give to a new Christian. I don't, though.

The part of the book that I was most curious about was the visual part. I guess I was expecting more in that department, though. Men and women are different in the visual realm, and I do feel like more men, in general, will like the visual aspect of this book, in comparison to women. I'd prefer beautiful pictures, and enjoy a wide variety of them. Within this book there are graphics, not illustrations or what I'd consider pictures, that I don't even connect with what they are trying to portray. They are simple, yet bright, but they didn't grab me at all. Also, there wasn't near as much in the visual department as I was expecting. It's mostly words in this book, which I find greatly disappointing considering the title!

In the end, I do regret getting this book *as one to review*. I was expecting it to be more about the visuals than it was, and had I known it was more of an "introduction to Christianity" type book, with mostly words, I would have passed. This isn't a book I can recommend, in good conscience, and I was disappointed in the graphics. My issues won't be issues for most, though, so take what you want from that. ;)

*I was provided a review copy, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Listen by Rene Gutteridge


Nothing ever happens in the small town of Marlo . . . until the residents begin seeing their private conversations posted online for everyone to read. Then it’s neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, as paranoia and violence escalate. The police scramble to identify the person responsible for the posts and pull the plug on the Website before it destroys the town. But what responsibility do the people of the town have for the words they say when they think no one is listening? Life and death are in the power of the tongue.

My Thoughts:

For a little while, I'd given up on Christian Fiction. It seemed that all the books I was reading was just ridiculous, to be honest. I was setting aside more than I was finishing, and my eyes were tired of rolling. ;) After reading Sandra Byrd's Bride of a Distant Ilse and remembering that there ARE awesome Christian Fiction authors out there, and disliking the content I was having to deal with in most secular fiction, I started a reading list of Christian books that have been proclaimed "well written" by trusted bloggers. I'd rather support Christian writers anyway! I had to add Gutteridge's name from my own experience. I remembered how much I have enjoyed her books, and how different they tend to be. Listen had been sitting unread on my kindle, so I quickly changed that.

As I expected, Listen is a book that will make you think. It gives you a lesson in the world of gossip and judgement without resorting to a sermon. I read lots of non-fiction books, but I always appreciate a more entertaining fictional book giving me the same lesson! On top of that, there's a mystery throughout, and I quickly made my way through the pages to see if my guess was right. (It was, by the way, even if I have to admit that I also had a close runner-up that I highly suspected, too, and I swapped between the two a bit.) Even if you figure out the main mystery, there's still plenty more happening to keep you guessing until the end.

My only complaint about the book is the fact that a piece of evidence that suddenly comes into play at just the right moment was a little too convenient for my tastes. It should have been found much sooner, in my opinion. (But then the story wouldn't have kept going!)

Still, I really loved this book! There are some things I would have liked to have ended up different, and one person that I'm left worried about at the end, but it's an entertaining, yet thought provoking read.

Misery Loves Company is one I've read in the past that was great, too!

*I feel the need to edit this in, based on my opening. There are better written books out there, so I don't want to mislead anyone in that area! This is an older book, and there are little things written here and there that could have been better. Some things I found a bit confusing, like what time period this is supposed to be in, which I even had a discussion with my husband about. Some things are never completely revealed, and you're left reading between the lines. There are some things that most people would call "ridiculous", just like I mention in my opening. The form of it in this book was right up my alley, though, so I really enjoyed it! Most of it didn't bother me, but my reading tastes are a bit different. In general, though, I found this to be a great book to read when most Christian fiction is getting on your nerves. ;)