I wasn't sure what to think at first because of the fighting aspect, but I quickly became absorbed as I got to know and understand the main characterI wasn't sure what to think at first because of the fighting aspect, but I quickly became absorbed as I got to know and understand the main character better. While I am tired of reading books in a series, I am interested in knowing what happens next to McCutcheon and his family. Great book and a quick read!...more
I received the DVD and Discovery Guide from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my honest opinion.
I love Bible studies because they help guide me throuI received the DVD and Discovery Guide from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my honest opinion.
I love Bible studies because they help guide me through God's word and even give me a glimpse at my own thinking and understanding about what I've read and how I've interpreted it. However, many of the studies just gloss over the context of the passages and I feel like I'm missing a little bit because I've applied the information to the current world and not the historical world.
That the World May Know series of studies help us experience the Bible in historical context. It shows us where the pertinent places (now archaeological sites) of the Bible are located and illustrates how the people during the Biblical times lived and thought within their cultures. This helps me picture everything as it took place because the context gives me a better understanding of how everything relates in the Bible instead of just looking at them as a bunch of separate stories.
DVD: When you open the package, a Leader's Guide is tucked into the cover. It gives the the group leader a basic overview of how to conduct each hour long session with a small group. (Times are suggestive and other options are given depending upon how the study is to be used.) The basic session outline is as follows: 1. Opening Thoughts/The Very Words of God/Think About It 2. DVD Teaching (roughly 30 minute segments) 3. DVD Discussion 4. Small Group Bible Discovery and Discussion 5. Faith Lesson 6. Closing The DVD segments themselves are pretty neat. Ray Vander Laan takes a group of people to the historical sites and gives an illustrative teaching about how the site was used during Biblical times. He also gives a brief study on the theme for that particular session: 1. Abraham and Sarah and Three Strangers 2. Israel at Sinai: The First Great Commission 3. Jesus Renews the Mission: Seeking the Lost 4. The Lost Son: Ina Far Country 5. The Seeking Father: The Lost Son Returns At the end of each, there is a take-away for how we can apply the teaching to our own lives.
The videos are beautifully put together and realistically show how people lived and interacted within their society's cultural norms because they were filmed on location in the Middle East. As someone who really loves looking at the historical aspects of the Bible and where they fit into our culture's interpretation of history, I thought each video was a great way to actually visualize history as it happened.
Discovery (Study) Guide Book: I was a little intimidated when I first opened the study guide book to use with the DVD because it was exactly that--a book. I'm used to having a lot of "white space" on the pages of the typical Bible studies I do and this one does not have much. However, as I started to go through the study, I found that I wanted to take notes in my own journal because there is a wealth of information included for each session. (That, and I write huge so my notes and responses would not fit within the Discovery Guide.)
Within the Discovery (Study) Guide there is an Introduction as to the how the study is laid out and clarification as to what is meant by certain names used throughout. Each Group session is outlined as follows: 1. Background information on the theme or topic for the week 2. Opening Thoughts: The Very Words of God (Bible verses relating to the topic/theme) 3. Think About It (Brief points and questions about what will be taught in DVD) 4. DVD Notes (Brief Outline of topics for the session with a little bit of room for notes) 5. DVD Discussion (Question/s to answer in regards to the DVDs) 5a. Fact File (Archaeological information and facts about the time period and place) 5b. For Greater Understanding (Information about the Biblical people/s in study) 6. Small Group Bible Discovery and Discussion (Points and questions to be used as discussion that relate to the Bible verses brought up in the study) 6a. Point to Ponder (Points related to theme or topic) 6b. Did You Know? (Relevant points that help put everything into both Biblical and Modern context) 7. Faith Lesson (Ways to use what was learned with questions to extend thinking and application) 8. Closing (Memory Verse and closing remarks) 9. Five Daily In-Depth Personal Study Sessions (contains questions, facts, points to ponder, memory verses, and reflections for each day)
Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed at all of the information that was included in the personal study sessions. My experience has been 15-30 minute chunks of time for studies, but if you want to really learn and grapple with this text you will need a minimum of an hour for all of the session each day. (Although, I am a slow learner because it takes time for me to process and digest information, so if you pick things up quickly, then you may not need that much time.)
Overall, I was really impressed with the depth of information provided and the passion with which Ray Vander Laan teaches. I am interested in going through the other studies in this series (this is #13) because I think it will give me an even more comprehensive understanding of the Bible and its teachings.
If you want a meatier Bible study to either do on your own or with a group (which I recommend), this is the best series to use! ...more
The Promise of Palm Grove (book #1) and The Proposal at Siesta Key (book #2) introduce us to the small village of Pinecraft, located in Sarasota, Flo The Promise of Palm Grove (book #1) and The Proposal at Siesta Key (book #2) introduce us to the small village of Pinecraft, located in Sarasota, Florida. (Yes, it's a real place and I absolutely love visiting there!)
Frankie is such a crazy, silly, and frustrating dog and this time was no different. He decided to escape from Emma's back yard and steal a pizza from the Hilty family as they stayed at the Orange Blossom Inn. When Emma, finally caught up to Frankie and realized what he'd done, she offered to buy them another pizza.
From that moment on, Emma and Jay (the father of the Hilty clan), began a friendship that had several of the Amish folks staring their way. (After all, both were widowers and Emma's relatives thought she should remain in mourning for her husband even though he passed away several years ago.)
Despite the stares and the comments, Emma and Jay continue with their friendship and help one another with their daily struggles, as they start to realize their attraction for one another.
Is it too late to learn to love again? Will their families be able to join as one? And who is getting married at the Orange Blossom Inn? You'll have to read the book to find out!
The Amish Brides of Pinecraft series has been one of my favorites because it combines the simplicity of Amish life in Florida, and adds a touch of romance and whimsy.
I think I've always idealized the Amish because from the outside there seems to be an order for everything and a peacefulness about their lives. However, after reading this third installment of the series, I've begun to realize that the Amish have struggles and strife in their own lives as well--it's just not plastered on the front of every tabloid or Facebook posting as we do in the English culture. The more I read about the Amish, the more I have grown to love their ways, or at least the ways of the characters in these books. :) I can't wait for book #4, A Christmas Bride in Pinecraft!
I did receive this book for free from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my honest opinion and a review....more
Great beginning to a wonderful series that takes place in Pinecraft (Sarasota), Florida. I enjoyed reading about the small Amish/Mennonite community oGreat beginning to a wonderful series that takes place in Pinecraft (Sarasota), Florida. I enjoyed reading about the small Amish/Mennonite community of Pinecraft.
Having been there several times, I could picture almost everything perfectly, which helped me to connect to the characters even more. I enjoyed the blossoming romance and can't wait to read more about the people that live in the village or come to visit. ...more
I absolutely adore Debra Clopton's writing style. It's like she crawls inside my inner-most parts and seeks out what secret desires I have hiding in mI absolutely adore Debra Clopton's writing style. It's like she crawls inside my inner-most parts and seeks out what secret desires I have hiding in my heart and uses those emotions in writing her characters. The realistic emotions and reactions of those characters make me feel like I'm right beside them as they journey through their lives, which makes me root for them even more. I don't think I've read another author who has made me feel this large of an emotional connection in awhile. (Of course, it could just be that I really, really am enamored with cowboys and small towns, so I live vicariously through the characters, but that's a story for my therapist. LOL!)
It seems that the Monahan brothers and their small town of Wishing Springs are still a destination spot for female tourists trying to find themselves a "real" cowboy due to Maggie Hope's TV interview. (Counting on a Cowboy is book #2 in the Four of Hearts Ranch series. Book #1 is Betting on Hope.) Book #2 focuses on Bo and Abby, a new resident of Wishing Springs who is trying to escape her painful past.
Forgiveness is a huge factor, and being able to forgive yourself for past mistakes is a major theme throughout this story. Bo and Abby get off on the wrong foot and the hits keep coming as even more complications arise in their lives. The crazy residents of Wishing Springs will have you laughing and crying as they try to "help" the two realize their feelings for each other.
Heartfelt, realistic, and a good, clean romance is what is offered in Ms. Clopton's second book of her Four of Hearts Ranch series. If you enjoy reading about cowboys and romance, then this is the book for you!
Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!
I do need to let you know that I received this book for free from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my honest opinion of the book....more
I absolutely LOVED this story! (And not just because it takes place in Florida, either.)
Vanessa and Logan's story gripped me from the beginning. AfteI absolutely LOVED this story! (And not just because it takes place in Florida, either.)
Vanessa and Logan's story gripped me from the beginning. After all, being divorced myself, I can only imagine what it would be like to accidentally run across my ex-husband and then have to work with him to help others. But, Vanessa and Logan did just that and we, as readers, get a glimpse of what they were like as passionate and semi-reckless teenagers.
If you're interested in romance and maybe even learn a few things about how God works all things for good, pick up this book--you won't be disappointed!
As a side note, I must mention that this book was provided for me by LitFuse Publicity Group as part of a blog tour, but this has in no way influenced my thoughts about the book....more
Are cops really the ones robbing local merchants and drug-dealers? Boxer and Conklin are on the case. Little did they know that there was more than m Are cops really the ones robbing local merchants and drug-dealers? Boxer and Conklin are on the case. Little did they know that there was more than meets the eye and are soon in a desperate rush to solve this case. A dead juvenile inmate and a drug kingpin are also thrown into the mix which has everyone on the force scrambling to solve these cases before more death occurs. More action-packed and gorier than ever, "14th Deadly Sin" will have you turning pages so fast you'll get wrapped up in the story and finish it too quickly. (Now if only book #15 would magically appear.)...more
"Can't Buy Me Love" is a great start to the Destination Weddings series. The story was cute and made for a quick read. Bellamy and Reid seem perfect f"Can't Buy Me Love" is a great start to the Destination Weddings series. The story was cute and made for a quick read. Bellamy and Reid seem perfect for each other until Bellamy overspends their budget. Then, they both learn lessons in forgiveness, honesty, and how the past can weigh you down if you do not deal with it.
I must admit, I'm rather jealous of the characters in the story--especially since it seemed as though money were no object. (Wouldn't THAT be a treat!) However, the events in the book were relative to the characters and their stations in life, so I only have myself to blame for my jealousy. :)
Talk about some scary stuff--between Cindy chasing after Mackie Morales to get her exclusive, Yuki and Brady trying to survive the terrorists on theirTalk about some scary stuff--between Cindy chasing after Mackie Morales to get her exclusive, Yuki and Brady trying to survive the terrorists on their cruise, and Lindsay chasing after the belly bomber, I don't think I'm ever going to leave my house again. This installment of the Women's Murder Club is quite eventful and doesn't disappoint....more
I actually liked this book better than #11. I think it's because the stories were more realistic with a side of humanity to them. There were complicatI actually liked this book better than #11. I think it's because the stories were more realistic with a side of humanity to them. There were complications with Lindsay's birth, a "crazy" professor who thinks his dreams are coming true, and a psychopathic killer who is trying to keep the police force on the "hook"even from behind bars. Oh, and did I mention a missing dead body? These intertwining story lines kept me hooked from the beginning to the end. I'm glad I have the next book to read because this one left off on a cliff-hanger....more
Pretty good with the story lines crossing. Liked the quirky writer--you'll have to read it to find out who I'm talking about. Loved the revenge by thePretty good with the story lines crossing. Liked the quirky writer--you'll have to read it to find out who I'm talking about. Loved the revenge by the girls at the end of the book. ;)...more
If you've kept up with my blog and social media posts within the last year or so, you will know that I have a soft spot for the Pinecraft area of Sar If you've kept up with my blog and social media posts within the last year or so, you will know that I have a soft spot for the Pinecraft area of Sarasota. When I learned that book #2 in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series was coming out, I knew I had to read more about this lovely area and people, even if the characters were fictionalized.
Michael Knoxx is touring the country with his family to discuss how God used a horrible situation in his life (losing a leg from a fall in a ravine) for the good. After having a sister who was brutally murdered, Penny Troyer has since lived a very sheltered life, until she decides she can't stand it any more. Both are living out the Amish proverb "Growing old is easy--the hard part is growing up," by deciding to change their lives in an amazing way with God's help. The actual proposal Michael had for Penny was to embrace each hour/day and to cherish each moment as they move forward in their lives.
I think we can all apply this proposal to our lives. I know that I tend to wish for the work day to end or the weekend to come, so I can go home and relax rather than enjoy the little moments of peace throughout the day. I need to learn to enjoy each of the little moments as they come rather than wishing my life away.
I enjoyed the strong friendship that developed between Michael and Penny from their basic day-to-day interactions. Their raw emotions being shared and honestly painful stories brought both of the characters closer as trust began to form in their bond. I also liked how each character began to notice the little details about one another as they forged their friendship and it began to blossom into a mutual attraction. This gives me hope that I may find someone with whom I can be completely honest with and share my innermost concerns and feelings.
While The Proposal of Siesta Key dealt with some heavy topics, all were treated with dignity and respect and were not over-dramatized. Michael's mission and Penny's new found freedom were the main parts of the story, as was their friendship. All in all it was a light-hearted read that made me want to visit Pinecraft again, just so that I might have the chance to run into a few of the "characters."
If you enjoy Amish romance, or even if you want to explore life in a new order village, this series is for you!
Let me know what you think and Happy Reading!
This book was send to me via the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review of the book....more