Monday, April 24, 2017

'The NKJV Woman's Study Bible' Grow in the Word Giveaway

You're invited to receive God's truth for balance, hope, and transformation in the fully revised and redesigned The NKJV Woman's Study Bible. The new edition features a beautiful, full-color redesign and poignantly reveals the Word of God with Scripture insights and the contributions of more than eighty women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Special features designed to speak to a woman's heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman's identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

This spring, cultivate your heart's spiritual roots and enter to win the Grow in the Word Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on April 27. The winner will be announced April 28 on the Litfuse blog.

Friday, April 21, 2017

NKJV The Woman's Study Bible


The Woman's Study Bible poignantly reveals the Word of God to women, inviting them to receive God's truth for balance, hope, and transformation.

Special features designed to speak to a woman's heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman's identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

Now with a beautiful full-color redesign, the Woman's Study Bible reflects the contributions of over 80 women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Since the publication of the first edition of The Woman's Study Bible under the editorial guidance of Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley, this landmark study Bible has sold over 1.5 million copies.

Features Include:
-Beautiful full-color design throughout
-Detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women
-Thousands of extensive verse-by-verse study notes
-Over 300 in-text topical articles on relevant issues
-Insightful essays by women who are recognized experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology, and philosophy
-Book introductions and outlines
-Hundreds of full-color in-text maps, charts, timelines, and family trees
-Quotes from godly women throughout history
-Set of full-page maps of the biblical world
-Topical index

My Thoughts:

I've made it no secret that the NKJV Study Bibles are my favorites. The fact that this Woman's Study Bible is gorgeously designed with women in mind gives it a more special feel. I know it doesn't(or shouldn't) take anything fancy to get us in God's Word. His Word is sufficient. It sure does help to have a fabulous, beautiful Bible, though. I have the imitation leather covered one, and it looks simply elegant. It's two-toned brown, with flowers engraved on the darker brown. There's also the option to get a hardcover or a cloth covered one. Inside, the features are fully colored.

The writing is large. (I've also made it no secret how I detest tiny writing.) Aside from the normal features within a study Bible(footnotes, historical tie-ins, maps, authors/dates/background information on books, etc), there are also several features with women specifically in mind. There are quotes throughout from other women. At first I was a little bothered by the fact that the words of women were put right in between God's Word. These quotes seem to have been chosen to go along with the specific verses they are put beside, though, and that does have its appeal. There are also features about women of the Bible, both good and bad, well known and not so well known, like Rachel, Dinah, Gomer, and Drusilla.

In John, we get a feature on "The Samaritan Woman". We're given a bit of background, showing us 3 ways Jesus broke the social rules by talking to her in the first place, and how much more special that made His forgiveness for her. There are also features about things women commonly deal with(in one way or another) like prayer, husbands, abortion, widowhood, the loss of a child, and even birth control.

This Bible is wonderfully done! If you want a plain and simple Bible, with no extras(and sometimes I do want just that), this isn't the one for you. Otherwise, I can't imagine any woman would be disappointed in it. I'm thrilled with it. It's perfectly lovely.

*As I always say, don't ever take the extras/features as facts. The features are written by imperfect humans. God's Word is all that matters and it IS perfect, all on its own. I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated the extra study helps, though, just like I appreciate teachers and preachers guiding me through God's Word. (I don't always have to agree for a message to be beneficial).

**I was given a free copy of this Bible.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd


In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Drury Lane Theatre Royal. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

My Thoughts:

This book was such a treat! It made me want an extra cup of tea, even with all the talk of Turkish coffee.

I've read and loved all of Sandra Byrd's adult novels, but it's been her gothic romance series, Daughters of Hampshire, that I've loved more than any other. I've been greatly looking forward to reading A Lady in Disguise, and now as I leave it, I'm left greatly looking forward to reading more from her.

In this book, we meet Miss Gillian. She's middle class, and works hard as a costume designer. She loves her work, but when her father dies suddenly, she's left with more worries, along with the hope to prove his innocence, both to herself and to others. She learns quickly just how dark and untrustworthy those in control can be, even those claiming to be friends. We're also brought into the world of theater and the children that suffered as a result of it, particularly young girls that were ushered into a world they should never have had to face after their acting was finished.

There were times I felt completely hopeless for Gillian and cringed at the turn events took. There were also plenty of moments filled with love and hope, not only with the leading man, but also with friends and new acquaintances. I'll even freely admit that I cried at one special moment of honor. There was plenty to keep me rapidly turning the pages, in all ways.

The writing is fantastic, the time period is well researched, the mystery is full of drama and suspense, and as I've come to expect from Mrs. Byrd, the romance was perfectly done, meaning I didn't roll my eyes not once. While plenty of scenes were beautifully romantic, they were never taken into inappropriate territory. There are even quotes from Little Women and references to Alice in Wonderland. Really, what more is there to hope for from a book?

I enjoyed every moment I spent in the pages of A Lady in Disguise, and can easily recommend it! (The books in this series can be read in any order, since they completely stand alone from each other.)

*I was given a free copy of this book.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Would You Like to Know Collection by Tim Dowley, with Illustrations by Eira Reeves

My Thoughts:

This is a cute little set of books. It looks like something that would be used with preschool aged children that aren't used to being taught the Bible or aren't used to going to worship services. It might be great for little ones just being introduced to God's Word. While I don't have experience in the realm of foster care, I can't help but think that these would be perfect in the situations where a child is in a new Christian environment.

At the end of one of the books, the child is told to ask their family if they can go to Sunday School. I wouldn't dare give something like this to a child without their parent's approval, so I'm not completely sure what the author had in mind here. It doesn't seem likely that these books would be randomly picked up by the target age very often, and most of them wouldn't be able to read it themselves. I can see adults stepping into dangerous territory with these.

Within this set are these books:

Would You Like to Know the Bible?
Would You Like to Know the Story of Christmas?
Would You Like to Know How to Pray?
Would You Like to Know About God?
Would You Like to Know the Story of Easter?
Would You Like to Know Jesus?

If you know me at all, you'll probably already know that I would change a word/sentence here and there, or leave them off completely. The first time I looked at Would You Like to Know Jesus, I got the impression that it had a "Prayer of Salvation" in it. Since this is nowhere in the Bible, I don't tolerate the teaching of it, especially not to preschool aged children. After a bit of time had passed and I read it again, I didn't see it that way quite as much. It seemed mostly to be a simple moment of prayer for a child. Of course, you'd want to read it for yourself and make your own decision there!

Overall, I wouldn't overly recommend these to children that have been taught the Bible well. It is a good set full of basics for those that are new to the Bible, and most of them would even be nice for Bible classes, especially when visitors came.

*I was given a free copy of this collection.

Friday, January 13, 2017

These are a Few of My Favorite.....Unlucky Characters

Today, Friday the 13th, is a celebration of Warren the 13th, from Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye. He won me over completely, and I'm greatly looking forward to reading more of his adventures in Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods. My Firefly is especially fond of Warren, too, as some of you that know us better might expect.

Would you like to read a special short story about Warren and his Friday the 13th? Here ya go! There's also some activities your child can do at the end. I'm not superstitious at all, but it's all in good fun.

Today, I'm mentioning a few of my favorite "unlucky" characters, from both books and movies. (I've tried to avoid spoilers, so explanations are brief.)


Lady Edith from Downton Abbey

I have mixed emotions about Downton Abbey. I loved parts, and others not so much. I can't leave Lady Edith off a list of unlucky characters, though. She may just deserve the #1 spot!


Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery

She has a pretty unlucky past, and while her luck turns dramatically when the series starts, she still has moments of bad luck. (I'm currently in Anne of the Island, so I don't yet know how her luck plays out through the rest of the books.)


Leonora Bowman, also known as Charlotta the Fourth, from Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery

I'll include Charlotta the 4th, since she describes herself as unlucky in Anne of Avonlea. (I happen to think she's more on the lucky side, though, considering her boss, Lavender Lewis, is one of my most favorite people in the series so far.)


Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Coincidence that this series comes to Netflix today, Friday the 13th? Nah. These are 3 very unlucky children!


Jane Hayes, from Austenland by Shannon Hale

The book wasn't my favorite, but I LOVE the movie. It's up there with my most favorite ever. That said, the book does show more of her "unluckiness" when it comes to guys.


Salem, from Sabrina the Teenage Witch

As punishment, he's living life as a black cat.(He's quite the handsome cat, though, and reminds me of my sweet black cat, Bing. Some folks out there kill black cats, thinking they'll have bad luck otherwise. Don't be that person!)


Speaking of cats, this list wouldn't be complete without Eanrin, from Tales of Goldstone Wood.


Jurassic Park

In honor of my Grasshopper and his complete obsession with ALL things Jurassic Park, I include every single character from any of those movies in this list. It's pretty unlucky to spend any amount of time running for your life, attempting to not get eaten by dinosaurs. Dr. Alan Grant is especially unlucky in the third one. (My Grasshopper was Dr. Alan Grant for Halloween.) We must not forget the poor, cowardly guy that gets eaten while on the potty in the first one, and Zara in Jurassic World. My heart was even broken for a few unlucky dinosaurs.


Bucky Barnes, from Captain America

This poor guy has a long string of unlucky moments through his life.


Harry Potter

Some might consider him more on the lucky side, but he has plenty of unlucky moments.


Ron, also from the Harry Potter Series

Poor guy!



He had an unlucky past that he turns into good. Have I mentioned he's my most favorite hero? ;) He has no super powers, but uses his own strength and imagination.


And last, but not least, Warren the 13th.

He's the thirteenth Warren, for one. He also looks a little like a toad. That's unlucky!

If you'd like to read more about Warren, check out his official site, where you can also learn more about his creators.


Do you have a favorite character you would consider "unlucky"? I'd love to hear about them!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Scripture Doodle Books by April Knight


Some of the most incredible stories in the Bible are of God’s promises and faithfulness to His children.

ScriptureDoodle God’s Promises refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in this interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art. Artist April Knight includes creative lettering tips, color ideas, and completed examples to inspire readers to respond to promises in Scripture related to trust, faith, and the power of God’s Word in all circumstances.

This unique blend of Bible study and creative expression provides the opportunity to connect with God as Creator in a new, life-changing way.

My Thoughts:

I was sent a copy of both Scripture Doodle and Scripture Doodle: God's Promises. To me, they make me think of something that might be used in a ladies' class that might meet on a Thursday(or another day that isn't official "church gathering" time). It mixes teaching you how to doodle and create art with a Bible lesson. April gives you instructions on how to do things, from super basic and up. These books are mostly about the art, though it is meant to create art that keeps the focus on God. The lessons are truly like a Christian art class within a book, and I think that's awesome.

The lessons aren't super deep, but they are nice reminders. Each day gets a Bible verse, along with the mini devotional(around 3-9 sentences), and then an assignment for that day's art. Obviously, it doesn't take long to read the lesson, and most of the time is spent attempting the art assignment.

These are both beautiful books! I believe anyone that enjoys creating art, or wants to learn how to do it better will enjoy these books. I must admit that I'm a bit fascinated by them.

*I was given free copies of both books.