Hey, It's Jade!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Under the Cover of Light, a book review

Under the Cover of Light: The Extraordinary Story of USAF COL Thomas "Jerry" Curtis's 7 1/2-Year Captivity in North Vietnam by Carole Engle Avriett is a riveting true story of courage, determination and faith.  When his helicopter was shot down over North Vietnam, Curtis endured it all - torture, both physical and psychological, extreme temperatures, solitary confinement, and things the average person could not even imagine.  And yet, he wasn't broken thanks for his, and fellow soldiers', continuing faith and hope. The men found ingenious ways to communicate with one another despite being separated and they were able to encourage each other with memorized scriptures, stories and jokes.

While I don't normally read war stories, as it's just not my true interest... I was so intrigued by this man's story.  It is amazing what a human can endure when their hope lies beyond this earth. Curtis shares so many amazing stories of how these men clung to life and faith and overcame the wretched conditions and treatment.  I am truly amazed at their system of communicating through walls, and that they were able to continue teaching this approach to new inmates as they arrived. They encouraged each other, warned each other and were able to keep their wits simply knowing they were not truly alone.  Brave, strong, faithful men survived this horrible situation year after year ( 7 1/2 for Curtis!) and were able to come home eventually.  It is truly remarkable!

I was given a free copy of this book from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bible Sleuth: New Testament, a book review

Bible Sleuth: New Testament, illustrated by Jose Perez Montero, is a seek and find book (a la Where's Waldo?) filled with interesting stories from Bible-times, including the birth of Jesus, the Wedding at Cana, The Beatitudes, meeting Zacchaeus and so many more. Each two-page spread is filled with wonderful hand-drawn characters either involved in the story or going about their business in the scene.  You also meet "Mike," a little boy in yellow overalls, who takes you through the stories.  Believe it or not, for us, he was the most difficult to find despite his clothing being completely different than everyone else's.

I have 7-year-old avid fan of seek and find books, and he quickly sat down and got to work.  Some of the pages were more difficult than others, but he always enjoys a challenge.  Even my 35-year-old brother-in-law sat with it for a while and spent some brain power on finding that "Mike kid."  While the drawings are seemingly sketched a bit rough, I believe this helps to make it more interesting, and there is a lot of detail involved in each scene.  You obviously don't want the characters to be too easy to find!  This book is great for kids 5-12, who enjoy a good hunt along with some Bible knowledge.

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lord, Have Mercy, a book review

Lord, Have Mercy: Help and hope for moms on their last nerve, written by Ellen Miller is a 90-Day devotional broken into 5 topical sections: Renew My Spirit, On My Soul, Get Me Out of this Mess, Help Me Be Good and As I Raise These Kids.  Each of these sections offers daily readings spanning just two or three-pages (perfect for moms of littles and/or working moms), plus Scripture Readings and a thoughtful prayer from the author over the reader.  The pages of this book offer insight and encouragement from Ellen's own experiences as a busy, working mom of two now-grown children. 

What I enjoyed about the book is that it was designed in such a way that I truly could read it quickly, get the "meat" of her topic, attach it to a scripture focus (not just a nice sentiment) and continue with my day feeling better about my job as mom.  She doesn't overly story-tell, if you know what I mean... she gets to the point, and I'm all for that in a daily reader! Her experiences and anecdotes are relatable to most moms, be it stay-at-home, working, single, divorced, remarried, having littles or grandchildren - she covers it all. I would recommend this to pretty much any mom who is able to scrape just a few minutes out of her day to spend being encouraged and reassured that she can make it through this season of motherhood, one day at a time.

Read the first chapter of this book here.
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Waking Up Slowly, a book review

Waking Up Slowly: Spiritual lessons from my dog, my kids, critters, and other unexpected places, written by Dave Burchett, is a down-to-earth, extremely relatable look at the amazing things surrounding us that point us to God.  The trouble is, for most of us, we are took busy, too distracted and too self-involved to even notice these things exist, let alone are trying to tell us something.  Dave challenges us (and himself) to disconnect from our ever-constant digital devices and look around, spend some time soaking in, and waking up to, those glimpses of God's pure love and grace. In his delightful story-telling, Dave offers us anecdotes from his own experiences and challenges, ranging from working in a mostly secular career field to the trials and joys of being a grandpa. By the way, fellow Texans and baseball enthusiasts... Dave Burchett is the television coverage director for the Texas Rangers!

What I really enjoyed about this book was the way Dave feels like a friend, not someone lecturing or pointing the finger.  He cheerfully admits that unplugging is hard for him, too (and that technology is necessary, so you can't just give it up completely).  He offers scripture, biblical advice, real-life application and encouragement in each chapter, revolving around a variety of topics.

This book helped motivate me to log off of Facebook, put down the phone and step away from my computer more often in order to be more present with my kids.  They are always vying for my attention, not just against each other, but also against my devices.  They deserve my full and undivided attention, and not to have to compete with a piece technology.  I see them growing before my eyes, developing and maturing into amazing people... I'd hate to miss that because of a glowing screen.  Thanks for the gentle reminder, Dave!

I received a free copy of this title from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.