Posts filed under ‘Reviews’

Review and HUGE sale on history curriculum: Dave Raymond’s Modernity DVD set

I recently had the chance to review Dave Raymond’s Modernity, the newest history series available from Compass Classroom. This series is available on DVD, via Streaming, or by download. Modernity usually retails for $120, but through August 9 you can purchase it for 50% off – just $60! You can find info on the sale on Compass Classroom’s website here.

About this history series (from the creators):

In this exciting addition to his history series, Dave Raymond turns his attention to the period of Modernity and the maturity of Western civilization (covering world history from 1500 – present). Under Dave’s instruction, students will learn how to apply and refine a Christian worldview to major developments in philosophy, science, and government; personalities such as Newton, Bach, Napoleon, and Austen; and movements including the Enlightenment, Darwinism, Nationalism, and Victorianism.

Modernity is a one-year class that consists of:

  • 27 lessons (5 videos per lesson, 47 total hours)
  • 4 projects
  • Student Reader, 400p (PDF, EPUB and MOBI)
  • Teacher’s Guide with Scope & Sequence (PDF, ePub and mobi)
  • Weekly Exams
  • Year-long Portfolio

You can find a complete breakdown of hours spent per area to qualify for high school credit on the website.

Dave Raymond lives in rural Middle Tennessee with his wife and 6 children where he has taught the humanities for the past 12 years. He teaches the disciplines of history, literature, composition, and Latin through Quiller Tutorials and Foundations Christian Academy.

Contents:
  • Formats: DVD, Download, Streaming
  • Lessons: 27 (47 hours of material)
  • Additional Materials: Student Reader, Teacher’s Guide (PDF, EPUB, MOBI)
  • Credit: 1 HS
  • Age: 14+
  • Teacher: Dave Raymond

My Verdict:

My husband is a history guy, and I knew he would love going through this series with me. He is teaching a class for 7th & 8th graders as part of our homeschool co-op this year, and there are a number of areas that he will be able to incorporate into his lectures. We homeschool our rising 3rd & 5th graders, and look forward to using this series as part of their curriculum in the future. It is targeted at students ages 14 & up, but I think it would also be good for really advanced 7th/8th graders. Dave Raymond is a really engaging teacher, and the combination of his lecture style with the visual elements that the DVD/streaming mode allows makes Modernity way more interesting than any history class I remember sitting through. It’s such a great way for parents to provide a modern history education for their high school student while possibly re-learning many things themselves. Also, much of history, especially modern history, is often taught from an anti-Christian worldview. It’s nice to be able to approach these events from a specifically Christian perspective.

The lessons included are:

Part I

  1. Orientation
  2. The Great Stage: Introduction to the West
  3. Ideas Have Consequences: The Enlightenment
  4. The Sacred and the Secular: Empires, Missions, Pirates, and Rulers
  5. Royal Science: The Scientific Revolution
  6. The Creators: Pascal, Vermeer, Johnson, Bach
  7. The Devil Has No Stories: The French Revolution,
  8. I Am the Revolution: Napoleon
  9. Deus Ex Machina: The Industrial Revolution
  10. The Antiquary and the Muses: Scott, Austen, and the Romantic Poets
  11. No Vision Too Large: Wilberforce and Chalmers
  12. Culture=State: Nationalism
  13. Eminent Culture: Victorianism

Part II

  1. The West and the Rest: Victorian Missions
  2. The New Priesthood: Scientism and Darwinism
  3. The Square Inch War: Kuyper and Wilson
  4. The Pity of War: World War I
  5. Domesticity Versus Tyranny: Versailles, Dictators, and America’s Roaring Twenties
  6. Modern Art and the Death of Culture: Art and Architecture
  7. I’ll Take My Stand: The Thirties
  8. The Lost Generation: Literary Converts
  9. The Wrath of Man: World War II
  10. The Cross and Perseverance: World War II, Bonhoeffer, and Churchill
  11. Personal Peace and Affluence: The Fifties
  12. The Great Divorce: The Sixties
  13. The West Like the Rest: The Seventies and the End of Modernity
  14. The Triumph of the West: The Fall of Communism and Postmodernity

Here’s the trailer:

If you’d like to check out Modernity it is currently on sale for $60 for the regular DVD – half off the regular price of $120!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this DVD free from the publisher for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This site is a Compass Classroom affiliate, and purchases made through links (including linked covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

Add comment August 2, 2017

Review: Is Genesis History?

I recently had the chance to watch the documentary Is Genesis History?, available from Compass Cinema. This movie was released on Blu-ray and DVD on April 27, 2017.

About this documentary (from the creators):

Is Genesis History? is a comprehensive documentary featuring over a dozen scientists and scholars looking at the world and explaining how it intersects with the history recorded in Genesis. From rock layers to fossils to lions to stars, this fascinating film will challenge and change the way you see the world. Is Genesis History? shines new light on our origins, providing a positive argument for Biblical Creation and the Flood. Dr. Del Tackett, creator of The Truth Project, serves as your guide—hiking through canyons, climbing up mountains, and diving below the sea—in an exploration of two competing views … one compelling truth.

Contents:

Feature Documentary – 101 min

Bonus Features:

  • Q&A with Del Tackett & Scientists – 13min
  • The Ice Age & Climate Change: Larry Vardiman, PhD – 15min
  • Engineering the Universe: Stuart Burgess, PhD – 18min
  • The Church and Creation – Douglas Kelly, PhD – 12min
  • Meet the Scientists, Del Tackett, Production Company – 15min

Language: English with subtitles available in both Spanish and English

My Verdict:

I watched this documentary with my husband, who is a minister and who is teaching a class on creation science next year, as well as my daughters, ages 7 & 9. My husband’s impression was that it does a good job in rightly pacing the focus on presuppositions, so getting across the point that it’s not necessarily the data the points towards evolution or old earth frameworks, but the presuppositions one comes to the evidence with. So, for example, an evolutionist would look at the Grand Canyon and assume it was formed by a little bit of water over a long period of time, instead of a catastrophic amount of water over a short amount of time. The evidence seems to point to the latter, but if you are committed to an old earth paradigm, then you must interpret the data in a way that aligns with that view. My husband mentioned the documentary does a good job of hitting the high points of many of the creationist books of the last 20 years, like “The Case for a Creator”, by Lee Strobel, “Darwin on Trial”, by Phillip Johnson, “Total Truth”, by Nancy Pearcy, “Darwin’s Black Box”, by Michael Behe, and “The Privileged Planet”, by Guillermo Gonzalez. Each of those books focuses on a specific field, and in “Is Genesis History?” Del Tackett brings together interviews from people from many various fields, like geology, astronomy, biology, zoology, archaeology, etc. From a practical standpoint, the video format makes this information a lot more accessible; few people have time to sit down and read book after book on creationism, but anyone can find time to watch this engaging documentary. Plus, it’s wonderful to see the gorgeous visuals of actual places that show evidence, instead of just reading about it. Also, the DVD is formatted in chapters, and that lends itself to classroom use, because you can watch a 7-10 minute vignette on a certain topic and have a great discussion without having to watch the entire content.

I think this documentary would be good for middle school-aged students and up. My 7 and 9-year-olds did not last through a single viewing of the entire movie, and had a lot of questions about word definitions, but when we tried it again in segments, it worked a lot better. The information presented led to some really interesting family conversations! We all enjoyed the DVD, and would recommend it highly!

Here’s the trailer:

If you’d like to check out Is Genesis History? it is currently on sale for $19.95 for the regular DVD & $29.95 for the Blu-ray version right now, plus it ships free! Is Genesis History? is also now on Netflix, and you can watch it here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this DVD free from the publisher for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This site is a Compass Classroom affiliate, and purchases made through links (including linked covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

Add comment June 3, 2017

Fall music round-up: fun albums your kids (and you!) will enjoy, plus a giveaway!

My kids and I have been listening to some fantastic music this season. Here’s a Fall music round-up of our favorite releases for kids (and adults!) to enjoy:

(Giveaway update: the winner is #51, Dawn S. Thanks to all who entered!)

We really enjoy the genre of music known as “Kindie,” which is indie rock for kids. One great kindie album that we currently love is Smiles Ahead: Cool Music for Cool Families. This CD compiles music from great Kindie bands such as Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could, The Okee Dokee Brothers, The Pop-Ups, and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. The new label producing this CD, Mighty Mo Productions, was born out of love and is rooted in the heart – the heart of music, the heart of family, and the heart of America. Mighty Mo looks for “genuine, passionate, independent artists who create quality music for families to enjoy together.” This CD is a great introduction to some of the popular Kindie artists, and would be a perfect first album. Listen to all the songs, and decide who you’d like to hear more from! Smiles Ahead will be available at various retail and digital outlets on October 16 ($9.99 CD, $8.99 digital).

Ralph’s World Rocks and Reads features songs from many of Ralph’s popular picture books, including Ralph’s World Rocks!, Me And My Animal Friends, and Sawdust and Spangles. The CD includes a picture book called “Do The Math” which introduces children to Larry Line and his friends who come in all shapes. Ralph creates books and music in order to “help in the process of unlocking the magical world of stories and reading.” You can purchase Ralph’s World Rocks and Reads as well as Ralph’s other music and books here.

Hot Peas ‘N Butter‘s seventh album, Put Our Heads Together features the song “Amistad” with Dan Zanes. This NYC-based band celebrates friendship and cooperation in song. In my family we love CDs that offer bilingual songs – what better way to introduce new languages into your home that through fun music? This CD was released yesterday (Sept. 25) and is available here. You can listen to a sample of the music here.

 

Sprout Channel host Tim Kubart‘s Home is out now, with guest spots by Laurie Berkner, Matt Puckett (Mother Falcon), and Carly Ciarrocchi (check out the debut of “Breakfast Club” music video via Zooglobble).  Tim performs a Rumpus Room show on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s Kids Place Live this weekend! Tim tours nationally with his band (the Space Cadets) and plays songs about familiar and iconic childhood experiences with indie flair. Songwriters Tim Kubart and Matt Puckett weave their own childhood memories through textured pop tunes that bridge the gap between innocence and wisdom in a way for listeners of all ages to appreciate and understand. You can purchase Home here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Fall music round-up and have found some new CDs to play for your kids (or when you’re alone in the car…I won’t tell!)

Would you like to win the above albums? One lucky winner will receive a copy of each of the four above albums to enjoy with your family this Fall!

Required Entry:

To enter to win, just leave a comment below letting me who would enjoy listening to these CDs: you? your kids? your classroom?

That’s it!

Additional Optional Entries:

You can do each of the following things for an additional entry in the giveaway. You can only do each of these once, for a possible total of 7 entries.

Please leave a separate comment for each method of entry. If you only leave one comment then you only have one entry, as each comment is numbered and I randomly choose a number. Make sense?

This giveaway ends at midnight EST on Tuesday, September 29. I will choose a winner on Wednesday, September 30 using random.org and will contact him or her via email.

Thanks to the above artists for providing me with a copy of their CDs for review and an additional copy to give away. All opinions in this review are solely my own. Links in posts may be referral links that help support this site. Read my disclosure policy here.

68 comments September 26, 2015

Movie night review and DVD deal – Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb

One of the things I really enjoy doing with my daughters is our weekly Friday night movie night. Sometimes we watch a movie that I know they’ll enjoy, even though I might find it a little, well…tedious. Sometimes, though, we find a movie that every member of my family truly enjoys! One of these “super successful” movies, for us, was Night at the Museum, which we watched a few years ago. (It’s on sale right now for $4 at Amazon, and worth every penny!!) It led to an interest in a number of historical characters, like Teddy Roosevelt and Sacajawea, and an specific desire on the part of both of my girls to visit the Museum of Natural History in NYC – something that we hope to really accomplish one of these days!

We also enjoyed Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (also on sale for $4 right now!), and the girls received both movies as stocking stuffers this past Christmas. We also took them to see Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb in the theater when it first came out. So, when the opportunity presented itself to participate in a blogger movie night to review Night at the Museum 3, I jumped at the chance!

image

I received a copy of the DVD, along with some popcorn (essential) and a “Flat Dexter” puppet which my daughters loved. Here they are with Flat Dexter:

movienight3

Night at the Museum (which I’ll refer to at NATM from now on) takes place in New York and NATM2 takes place in Washington, D.C. The third installment takes our characters to the British Museum. My daughters have really loved seeing footage of these three cities, and they’ve asked about specific monuments and sites pictured in each. For NATM3 we talked about Big Ben, and the Tower Bridge, and the London Eye. I’ve been lucky enough to visit all three of these cities, and the girls asked about my experiences.

movienight2

NATM3 also has scenes that take place in Egypt (wish I could say I’d visited there too!) and my girls really enjoyed those. One of the things I love about the NATM movies is how they expose kids to history and mythology while weaving everything in to an engaging story. These movies are just so much fun to watch! The basic plot in this third installment is that the magical tablet that brings all of the historical characters to life is starting to erode. Larry, the night guard at the museum, fears it may lose its magic completely. He travels to London to seek out the original Pharaoh who owned the tablet to ask how to reverse the damage. Along the way, he brings to life the exhibits at the British Museum, and, of course, hijinks ensue. movienight1

My kids and I highly recommend Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb. Depending on your family, you may want to have a talk with your kids about the little bits or “rude” humor as well as the fact that some characters and places shown are real, while others are fictional. That can get a little confusing for some kids. If your family would like to order Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the tomb, you can go here and enter coupon code VPMOVIENIGHT through 4/6. You’ll be able to get the DVD (and Digital HD code) for just $14.99 + free shipping (regularly priced at $29.99). And, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can purchase the movie here for $12.99.

Thanks to Vocalpoint for allowing me to participate in the VP Movie Night! I received a copy of this movie for promotional purposes, but all opinions are my own.

Add comment April 3, 2015

Review: “Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist” by Karen Prior

I recently had the chance to read Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist, by Karen Prior. This nonfiction book was released on October 28, 2014 by Thomas Nelson.

About this book (from the back cover):

With a foreword by Eric Metaxas, best-selling author of Bonhoeffer and Amazing Grace.

The enthralling biography of the woman writer who helped end the slave trade, changed Britain’s upper classes, and taught a nation how to read.

The history-changing reforms of Hannah More affected every level of 18th-Century British society through her keen intellect, literary achievements, collaborative spirit, strong Christian principles, and colorful personality. A woman without connections or status, More took the world of British letters by storm when she arrived in London from Bristol, becoming a best-selling author and acclaimed playwright and quickly befriending the author Samuel Johnson, the politician Horace Walpole, and the actor David Garrick. Yet she was also a leader in the Evangelical movement, using her cultural position and her pen to support the growth of education for the poor, the reform of morals and manners, and the abolition of Britain’s slave trade.

Fierce Convictions weaves together world and personal history into a stirring story of life that intersected with Wesley and Whitefield’s Great Awakening, the rise and influence of Evangelicalism, and convulsive effects of the French Revolution. A woman of exceptional intellectual gifts and literary talent, Hannah More was above all a person whose faith compelled her both to engage her culture and to transform it.

My Verdict:

This book first came to my attention when I read the fantastic review and author interview on The Gospel Coalition. Having just finished Eric Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I was also interested to see how highly he endorsed Fierce Convictions in the foreword he has written for this book. I had a feeling I would enjoy this book, and I was right. Hannah More is one of those interesting people who went from extreme fame in her time, and just after, to basic oblivion in modern times. I am so glad that Prior’s biography brings her back into the spotlight. More, one of five sisters, had a broken engagement early in her life, and that event, while devastating at the time, made it possible for her to have the freedom to teach, write, and publish, and eventually have a huge impact on the abolition of slavery in England. It is a fantastic example of God taking a disappointment and turning it into the opportunity for greatness. While other reformers such as William Wilberforce worked to abolish slavery through political channels, More shows the effect a passionate individual can have simply by working to change popular opinion through available media and social outlets. Highly recommended.

If you’d like to check out Fierce Convictions, it is currently on sale for $14.44 for the Kindle version. If you prefer a physical copy the paperback version is currently on sale for $16.19. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Add comment November 25, 2014

Review and Kindle sale: Surprise at Yorktown, by Marianne Hering (Imagination Station book #15)

I recently had the chance to read Surprise at Yorktown, by Marianne Hering (Imagination Station book #15). This fiction book will be published on October 18, by Tyndale House.

About this book (from the back cover):

Travel two centuries back in time to the final battle of the American Revolution at Yorktown, Virginia. Cousins Patrick and Beth sneak through trenches and race across battlefields to warn General George Washington about a dangerous spy. The spy is stealing his secret plans and giving them to the British. Cannons roar and the ground shakes as the struggle reaches a climax. Washington’s ragtag soldiers are up against the most powerful army in the world. Will Patrick and Beth witness the American Revolution come to an end? Or will they be caught in a dangerous trap they can’t escape?

Final Verdict:

My family was recently introduced to the Imagination Station series, and we’re big fans now! My daughters are 5 and 7, and since this series is recommended for ages 6 – 9 we’re right in the target demographic. We’ve been fans of the Magic Treehouse series for a while, and this series is much like that one, with two children traveling through time to complete quests and learn about history. This series presents everything through the lens of a Christian worldview, and we appreciate that. This isn’t a book adults are going to sit down and read without a 6-9-year-old involved, rather, the sentence structure is just right for kids to read alone. In my family I alternate reading pages with my 7-year-old. Surprise at Yorktown is the third book in a three-book grouping about the American Revolution. I would recommend reading book #13, The Redcoats Are Coming, and book #14, Captured on the High Seas, before this book, so you won’t be lost. This book does tie up the Revolutionary story arc, and the next book will be about Pompeii, so no cliffhangers here.
In addition, Imagination Station Book 1, Voyage with the Vikings, is fantastic (and often free for Kindle) so you may want to begin with that book so you’re familiar with the characters and the concept of the Imagination Station. Highly recommended for 6-9-year-olds!

If you’d like to check out Captured on the High Seas it is currently on sale for $3.82 for the Kindle version. (Regularly $4.99.) If you prefer a paperback copy, it’s currently on sale for $4.49. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

The featured product for this review was provided to me at no cost by Tyndale House. All opinions expressed are my own. If you’d like to sign up to receive review copies from Tyndale House, visit the Tyndale Blog Network site.

1 comment October 14, 2014

Book review: The Legend of St. Nicholas, by Dandi Mackall

I recently had the chance to read The Legend of St. Nicholas, by Dandi Mackall. This fiction book was released on September 23, 2014 by Zondervan.

About this book (from the back cover):

In The Legend of St. Nicholas, the new artwork, created by Marley and Me illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, captivates audiences and tells the story of a young man named Nicholas, who was moved by the plight of the poor and needy. Nicholas spent his life secretly helping the poor all over the world, giving gifts on Christmas Eve to remind people of the greatest Gift of all, Jesus Christ. This gentle Christmas book introduces the original St. Nicholas and offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves. The final pages in the book include fun Father Christmas traditions in other lands.

My Verdict:

I was at a MOPS meeting one morning where we were talking about Christmas traditions we have. One of my family’s favorite things is reading our HUGE collection of Christmas books. A few years ago year we started working in the idea of St. Nicholas, the 4th Century saint who is the basis for our American idea of Santa Claus. This book was one of the ones we used, and I was excited to get to review this updated version (which is the same as the older version, as far as I can see). The whole idea of Santa can be a touchy one for modern parents: how to best approach it, whether to do it at all and if so when to stop…all those issues. For parents who want to share the idea of the real St. Nicholas, who embodied the giving spirit of Christmas – and, warning, revealing truth about the whole thing to your kids – this book will help you with the whole “Santa thing” this year! If you’re not ready to bring up the whole subject, then you’d be better off waiting until later to read this to your kids, because they WILL ask questions after you read this book. For us, this book was absolutely perfect.

If you’re interested, here’s a list of other books my family reads about St. Nicholas/Santa Claus.

If you’d like to check out The Legend of St. Nicholas it is currently on sale for $11.35 for the Kindle “Read and Hear” version right now (regularly $15.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the hardcover version is currently on sale for $11.95. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Add comment October 6, 2014

Book review and Kindle sale: the NIV Once-A-Day Bible for Leaders

I recently had the chance to read the NIV Once-A-Day Bible for Leaders. This book was released on November 12, 2012 by Zondervan.

About this book (from the back cover):

With this NIV Once-A-Day Bible for Leaders you can read through the Bible in a year, or at your own pace.
Now you can practice the spiritual discipline of daily Bible reading with a special focus on leadership.  Plus, you can read at your own pace. Want a reading plan that will take you through the Bible in a year? You got it–with check boxes and all. Don’t want the guilt of falling behind?  You won’t—each daily reading is not dated but numbered, allowing you the flexibility you need as you strive to engage God’s Word every day.
The NIV Once-A-Day Bible for Leaders organizes the clear, accessible New International Version Bible into 365 daily readings. Each day’s reading includes a portion of Scripture from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and a Psalm or a Proverb. And to help you develop your leadership skills with a biblical focus, each daily reading includes a leadership insight from both past and present outstanding leaders. Featured leaders include Bill Hybels , Wayne Cordeiro, Erwin McManus, Charles Stanley, Max Lucado, Ann Voskamp, Chuck Swindoll, and many more.

My Verdict:

First, let me say that by reviewing this particular once-a-day Bible I am not claiming to be a leader myself. I just really like once-a-day Bibles and was in the market for a new one. If you’ve never used a once-a-day Bible, it’s basically the Bible broken into 365 pieces so that you can tackle the whole thing in a year. This particular version has a selection from a book in the Old Testament and the New Testament each day, along with a selection from either Psalms or Proverbs. Unlike ones I’ve used in the past, this Bible does not use dates to organize its passages, but instead simply numbers them 1-365 so you don’t feel “off” if you start it in the middle of the year. Each day also includes a short passage on the topic of “leadership” from great thinkers in the church, which were actually my least favorite aspect of this Bible. When quoting from church leaders of old, I think this Bible got it right, and some of the passages from more modern people like David Platt and Ann Voskamp were also great, but there were a couple of selections from people whose theology is a little…let’s say, less-than-accurate. I was really uncomfortable with their inclusion. Other than that, this Bible is a good one, and I’m going to enjoy using it over the coming year.

If you’d like to check out the NIV Once-A-Day Bible for Leaders it is currently on sale for $10.99 for the Kindle version right now (Regularly $19.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the hardcover version is currently on sale for $14.94. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Add comment October 4, 2014

Book review: Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages, by Darlene Schacht

I recently had the chance to read Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages, by Darlene Schacht. This nonfiction book was released on September 16, 2014 by Thomas Nelson.

About this book (from the back cover):

Messy Beautiful Love delivers an incredible testimony of grace that offers hope for today’s marriages and a spark for rekindling love.

Love gets messy.

Financial problems, sickness, aging parents, a chronically unhappy spouse . . . trials will inevitably come that threaten your marriage. No matter how long you’ve been married or how strong your relationship is, sooner or later you are going to have a mess to clean up.

Messy Beautiful Love is about cleaning up messes God’s way, exchanging your ideas for His, and being prepared for both the best and the worst that marriage has to offer.

When you surrender your relationship to God, then and only then will you experience the blessing of marriage as He intended. This is the blessing of obedience.

Messy Beautiful Love is an invitation to that obedience. The cynical world says marriages don’t last, but God knows better. Tune out the world and tune in to Him. When you do that, a beautiful marriage is not only possible, it’s inevitable.

My Verdict:

I read a lot of nonfiction Christian books, and some of them seem a little light on content. That’s not the case with this book. I requested it, thinking it might be a lighthearted book on marriage advice, but Schacht does not pull punches. She starts the book by telling her own tale of how she almost ruined her own marriage, and how her husband showed her sacrificial grace that helped them rebuild. Then she offers both advice on how to avoid messy situations, and guidance on what to do when you’ve already reached a bad place in a marriage. She focuses on Biblical truths, and makes it clear that Hollywood’s idea of marriage is not what the Bible teaches. Marriages are about love, yes, but more importantly they’re about Christ-like sacrifice. I think this is a great book both for married couples (whether currently struggling or not) as well as singles who intend to be married. Reading this book early in a relationship will help lots of couples decide how they want their marriages to look, and I know of two such young couples in my church that I’ll be passing this book along to. Highly recommended.

If you’d like to check out Messy Beautiful Love it is currently on sale for $9.60 for the Kindle version right now. (Regularly $15.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the paperback version is currently on sale for $10.11. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Add comment September 25, 2014

DVD Review: Geronimo Stilton – Going Down to Chinatown

We recently had the chance to watch the new Geronimo Stilton DVD called Going Down to Chinatown & Other Adventures. My 7-year-old is a HUGE fan of the Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton books, so I’m allowing her to write her first DVD review! First, here’s what the DVD is about, from the official description:

GERONIMO STILTON: GOING DOWN TO CHINATOWN, an all-new DVD from Entertainment One, features over 90 minutes of madcap entertainment across four action-packed, laugh-filled episodes from the animated series.  Episodes starring Geronimo and pals — including his younger sister Thea, cousin Trap, favorite nephew Benjamin and sometimes Aunt Sweetfur — also include “Tea Story,” which finds Geronimo’s latest manuscript, ‘The History of Tea’, in the paws of the wrong mouse; “Hypno Tick Tock” in which the intrepid, hard-working author and editor of “The Daily Rodent” suddenly finds himself allergic to the word “work”; and, “Clean Sweep”, in which New Mouse City is beset by a curious series of robberies in the most popular shopping district in town. Exciting capers, hilarious hijinks and far-flung antics abound in this Dove approved DVD perfect for the entire family!”

And here’s my 7-year-old daughter’s verdict:

I liked this movie because it was adventurous. I thought it had good characters. My favorite character was Thea Stilton. I also liked the music. I liked how the story went because it was a good lesson about how to write a travel journal. It gave me the idea to write a travel  journal. I would tell other kids they should watch this movie.”

So, highly recommended!

Here’s the DVD’s trailer:

Thanks to Entertainment One for providing us with a copy of Geronimo Stilton – Going Down to Chinatown to review. All opinions in this review are solely my own and my daughter’s.

 

 

Add comment September 25, 2014

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