Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible For Kids

_240_360_Book.1806.cover

The NIV Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible For Kids is geared towards children ages 8-12 according to promotional information from the publisher. It pretty well hits the mark. It has the complete NIV text, with some additional subject matter added, but it is not overdone, which keeps the hardcover a more kids’ friendly size.

The front matter includes a presentation page, making it suitable for giving as a gift. It includes a chart of the books of the Bible, with color coded categories of law, history, poetry, major prophets, minor prophets, Gospels, church history, letters, and prophecy.

A table of contents is included, along with one page introductions to each book of the Bible. A number of Old and New Testament verses are highlighted for emphasis. These verses are suggested for memorization, and often cite examples of prayers and God’s responses.

Inserts mixed in consist of the Ten Commandments for Kids, Lord’s Prayer, and “Prayer Is.” This last one has a picture of a hand, with each finger representing five characteristics of things to include in prayer. (People closest to you, leaders, those in authority, the sick and weak, yourself.) Another chart illustrates the “ABC’s of Being a Christian. (Admit, Believe, Confess)

Back matter has reading plans, a topical index, a table of weights and measures, and several blank pages for prayer journaling.

This Bible is not for little kids. It is more appropriate for those in grades 3-8 in my view. The explanations of the fundamentals of the faith are well done, and age appropriate. This Bible suggests God’s answers to prayer include “yes,” “no,” and “wait.” This boils it down to the most basic way to explain it that I have yet seen. It is a great way to share with young kids about how prayer works, and what to expect.

The Bible focuses on dreams and prayers, not featuring illustrations or maps. The main focus is on the text of the Bible itself. The reviewed hardcover edition has a list price of $29.99.

This Bible gets four of five stars for its solid approach to providing the Word to kids.

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.”

Four Color Glossy Pictures Included

image

This small devotional book by Seattle Pastor Judah Smith is chalked full of positive testimonials from a variety of people who came to know Jesus. The stories they tell run the gamut from business owners to prisoners; from responsible parents to drug addicts, from old to young. By providing stories from such a wide range of sources, Smith hammers on the message that not only is Jesus for everyone, in all circumstances, He is for you too.

Smith makes sure to include lots of four color glossy photos, with scripture quotes and devotional messages sprinkled in. This small book is a quick read, with a little coffee table ambiance emanating from it.

The book is best suited for those that are open for a spiritual message of positive reinforcement through His grace. The small physical dimensions (5.9 x 0.7 x 7 inches) and liberal inclusion of photos make for fast consumption.

While a book with this many photos is not something I typically read, it may be appealing to young adults, as well as those who do not read books on a regular basis. This is also a time in our culture when coloring books for grown-ups are making bestseller lists, so this is not necessarily a negative attribute.

Jesus Is For You” gets three stars out of five.

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.”

NIV, Understand the Faith Study Bible

NIV Understanding Faith_240_360_Book.1774.cover

As the title suggests, this is another study Bible in the NIV translation. This new offering comes with content from Christianity Today. Its got an above average concordance in the back, and the commentary throughout is peppered with content designed to foster a deeper understanding of basic Christian beliefs.

This Bible is hardcover, and of decent quality that should provide years of use when properly cared for. It has both a traditional table of contents for the Old and New Testaments, as well as an alphabetical listing of all books of the Bible.

Each book has a short introduction (one page or less) that summarizes key information about history, characters, and theological themes. You won’t find detailed notes about each and every verse like some larger and heavier study Bibles. However, commentary boxes pop up with “Doctrine 101.”

The doctrine commentary is basic, with a deliberate attempt to keep it accepted by many denominations within the evangelical community. Other study material includes “Living Parables” that describe historically famous examples of individuals living a life with an impact on the faith and church history.

Additional commentary provides cultural connections, often with contemporary examples to show how one can apply their faith in a modern context.

Due to the lack of verse by verse notes, this seems more like a devotional Bible than a true study Bible. It is not made in a compact size, but is large and easy to read (even without large print font).

The study material is worth a solid three stars, with an extra star for keeping it broad enough that it is acceptable for many different denominational doctrines to use. Thus, it gets four stars total.

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.”

 

4th Year Daily Sun News Lists 2,100 Subscribers

For the fourth year in a row, Sunnyside’s newspaper, the Daily Sun News, has listed exactly 2,100 subscribers in its bid to be the official legal newspaper for the City of Sunnyside.

The U.S. Census 2014 estimate of Sunnyside’s population is 16,140. An estimated 1.8% growth from 2010.

Subscribers reported for the year 2015:

DSN 12.14.15
Excerpt from Sunnyside City Council Agenda, December 14, 2015,  (Official Newspaper Item 2D)

Subscribers reported for the year 2014:

DSN 12.8.14
Excerpt from Sunnyside City Council Agenda, December 8, 2014, (Official Newspaper Item 2E)

Subscribers reported for the year 2013:

DSN 12.9.13
Excerpt from Sunnyside City Council Agenda, December 9, 2013, (Official Newspaper Item 2D)

Subscribers reported for the year 2012:

DSN 12.10.12
Excerpt from Sunnyside City Council Agenda, December 10, 2012, (Official Newspaper Item 2E)

 

 

 

#struggles

#struggles

#struggles is a book on Christian discipleship in a world where technology and social media are getting more attention than ever before. Did you look at your phone the first thing this morning? Was it the last thing you looked at before going to sleep? Have you ever posted on social media and felt the urge to check it a minute later to count the number of “likes?” This book is written for you.

Groeschel knows a thing or two about technology and social media. He is the pastor of LifeChurch.tv, the second largest mega church in the U.S. The church produces the YouVersion Bible app that has been downloaded over 199 million times. He knows technology, uses it well, but provides some counsel on keeping it in check so we don’t lose focus on what’s most important.

Sometimes our culture celebrates overuse…

Writing this review, I hear a commercial on the radio for a real estate agent where the announcer says doctors had to take her phone away during a stint in the hospital because she refused to stop working. The thrust of the message is that she works so hard you should call her to help with your real estate needs. Is this an example of being on the phone too much?

When was the last time you were more than an arm’s reach from a screen? How long did it last before you had anxiety and wanted to check it?

The author admits to having #struggles himself, and gives examples from his own life and others he is acquainted with to make his points. If the end result is bringing more attention to Jesus in a God honoring way, Groeschel will support it. However, if it is a distraction from Him, or worse, he offers guidance to help.

With average users posting 75-80% of their social media content about themselves, it is easy to see how Jesus and other people can be left out of the equation. For Christians, focusing this much attention on oneself is a serious problem.

This book is a very practical guide from an author who is tune with his target audience. For its relevance and timeliness, it receives five stars.

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.”

Review: Prayers That Changed History By Tricia Goyer

_240_360_Book.1716.cover

Prayers That Changed History by Tricia Goyer

25 historical individuals and a nation’s people spanning a date range of 155 A.D. to World War II in 1945 make up the profiles in this book. Most of the names are familiar to those with a traditional education. For those currently in the educational system, many will be new. All did amazing things. Very few with public school instruction will know that these people would not have accomplished the historical things they did without prayer.

This book is geared to a younger audience, and is chalked full of history. Prayer is the common thread that each chapter focuses on. Those in fifth to twelfth grades will most appreciate this book published by Zonderkidz. The men and women profiled by the author each led examples of a faithful Christian life, with examples of prayer to draw lessons from. Tricia Goyer also quotes from scripture in each chapter, making comparisons with Biblical characters as well.

For those interested in historical figures, this is a good primer. It is also good for personal study or small group devotions. Each chapter can be studied as a self-contained lesson. The examples are basic enough that all Christians can benefit from the book, without fear of doctrinal or theological issues spoiling the fun.

With almost all of the figures written about being deceased, some readers may have a hard time connecting with the subject matter. However, for anyone who appreciates history, the stories will resonate. Due to the wide span of history, this book is best suited for middle and high school students. While elementary students can also benefit, one will need to be prepared to give them historical context to fully appreciate it.

This book is recommended with four stars out of five.

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.”

2015 Voter’s Guide Isn’t What It Used To Be

Map of Washington highlighting Yakima County
Map of Washington highlighting Yakima County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ballots are in the mail for the General Election 2015. Being the political nerd I am, it was not necessary for me to do additional research when casting my ballot. However, a social media contact in another city asked if I was familiar with a candidate for their school board. The candidate in question did not submit a statement for the Voter’s Guide.

After making a quip about how a serious candidate will utilize every tool to get their message out, I was surprised to learn it is the incumbent school board member for that district.

This got me curious enough to pull up candidates on my ballot in Sunnyside. One incumbent candidate for City Council did not submit a photo or statement.

One Sunnyside School District Director did not submit a photo or statement either. Another only submitted a photo, without a statement. (None of my local school board members are opposed on the ballot, but still!)

Having been on the ballot before, I find this surprising. Submitting a photo and statement to the Yakima County Auditor does not cost the candidate any money, and might just help them with issues of concern. It is true that some voters know enough to make a decision without this resource, but candidates seeking to connect with their community should not skip this step in running for office.

Many Some A few people still look to the Voter’s Guide to help them decide how to vote.

As long as the County Auditor continues to publish the Voter’s Guide, all candidates should take a few minutes to submit information for it. If they don’t, voters should ask why they are even running in the first place; or why the County Auditor is tasked with publishing it.

To see the Voter’s Guide, go to the Yakima County Auditor’s website here: Voter’s Guide, November 3, 2015 General Election