A Review of Ordering Your Private World

It was easy to make the selection of Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald to take on as a review book. The title itself got my attention as something that would easily benefit me. While it did provide information on organizing and time management, it all started with an explanation of why your private world is so important.

Your private world is the foundation that everything is built on. We spend lots of time focusing on the outside world, the one that everyone sees and in some ways, judges us on. But if you don’t have your private world in order, the rest isn’t going to be worth much in the long run. MacDonald’s explanations are solid and practical. They make it easy to understand just why getting the private world in order is so critical no not just what you do but who you are.

I love the word pictures that MacDonald creates. My favorite being the idea of an unordered private world being like a sinkhole. You can build all kinds of things on top of it, but there’s a chance that one day, that emptiness is going to catch up with you and put everything that you’ve worked so hard on at risk. That’s a pretty vivid explanation for the importance of looking internally.

Some of the book is focused on a certain type of person, the driven individual that forfeits lots of other things in order to obtain what they want. I have to admit, I skimmed a lot of this as I didn’t feel like it pertained to me. While everyone has some of those characteristics, I didn’t feel like that was me. Otherwise, much of what he said was applicable.

This book is ideal for just about anyone. Who wouldn’t benefit from the reminder that you’re private world and private time needs to have a focus. Putting prayer, devotions, and even silence into practice can have amazing effects on how things go both inside and outside of a person. The study guide helps narrow down the focus for those that may not have the time to digest the book in one or two settings.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

A Review of The Awakening of HK Derryberry

At first glance, The Awakening of HK Derryberry seems like another story you’ve read before with maybe a couple of variations. But in reality, the book reads with such honesty and insight into the special relationship between these two people that it’s hard to walk away from the book without your perspective slightly moved.

The book details the relationship between HK Derryberry, a boy with an unbelievable ability to remember everything and a man that made the seemingly random choice to turn into a different fast food restaurant to enjoy a cup of coffee. From there, tons of information comes out about HK, his past, his disabilities, but more importantly, his outlook on life.

One of my favorite features of the book is the fact that there are moments when mistakes are made. They aren’t covered up. This isn’t show to be a perfect relationship where everything happens the way it should. Bradford is candid, making it even more interesting to read. Within one chapter I’d find myself with a huge smile only to experience tears as the section came to an end.

I’m not quite sure how to explain this next feature that endeared the book to me, but I’ll try. It doesn’t sound like it’s written by someone that is a professional author. Instead, Bradford’s voice and explanations come through loud and clear. Sometimes sentences are choppy or an event is explained in a very stiff way. Instead of being put off by this, for me, it made the store all the more real.

I don’t know that this is a book I would have picked up had I walked by it in the bookstore. But after reading it, it would certainly be one that I would recommend to others. There’s a lot to learn about relationships and endurance, setbacks and successes. Read it and see if it doesn’t make you take a closer look at your life and the things that you may unknowingly pass by each and every day.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

A Review of the Kids’ Visual Study Bible (NIV)

Getting kids to read the Bible isn’t an easy task. In reality, it isn’t something that grown ups are great either. But today, there are lots of ways to make the information provided in the Bible more accessible to kids. Without losing sight of the message and the main points, the Kids’ Visual Study Bible brings together great pictures, great information, and great explanations to enhance what readers will get out of the Bible.

The main text is the New International Version of the Bible, one of the easiest to understand and enjoy. But the Kids’ Visual Study Bible takes things one step further by extending the information on each and every page. Sometimes a picture will add to the prose while other times a list of events will help to put the chapter into perspective. This is a great way for readers from a wide range of ages to take advantage of the learning opportunity that the Bible provides.

Once kids are old enough to read through the chapters and verses of the Bible with at least some understanding, they are ready for this book. The notes on the sides of the pages are easy to understand and can help some of the more difficult concepts, including things like parables, make sense. To be honest, as an adult, I liked reading through the pages and then taking in the different points that were presented in the margins. Even the explanation of prophecies that took place in the Old Testament with links to how they were fulfilled in the New Testament were helpful and insightful.

It’s not easy to find a kids’ Bible. Trust me; I’ve looked. This is one that I believe will last a child for several years. It’s still possible to search by book, chapter and verse, but there is more than just the text available to the reader that wants to learn and understand the Bible.

I received a copy of this Bible in exchange for my honest review.

Review of Hello Stars by Alena Pitts With Wynter Pitts

Hello Stars offers a unique tale about Lena, a fifth grader with an amazing opportunity to spend the summer working on a movie with one of her favorite singers. While it sounds like a perfect way to spend the summer, Lena learns a lot about herself and her relationship with God. No matter what the situation, there’s a lot of opportunity to gain a better understanding about life and what it takes to be able to pursue something you’re interested in.

From the very first sentence, Lena’s voice comes shining through. It’s written from her perspective and you can almost imagine getting a glimpse into the mind of an almost sixth grader, complete with exciting moments and disappointments. The different events that are mentioned demonstrate the highs and lows of things that take place in life and I appreciate that there were struggles that didn’t always work out perfectly in the end. It offered a sense of reality that some books often overlook. Lena learned actual lessons, some of them because of mistakes and others because of circumstances.

It was a quick read for me but I was surprised that my ten year old daughter didn’t finish the book. She’s a fast reader but just couldn’t seem to get into it. When asked, she struggled to relate to the main character a little bit. I’m guessing that’s just personal preference as she’s more into fantasy books. I plan to pass the book onto one of her friends as I think that the author really does provide a great character for this age group to enjoy and appreciate. The idea that a series of books will follow is great. As a parent, I love when the kids find a book series they can’t get enough of.

This book was provided to me by Handlebar: Direction for Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

My Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition

My Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition

My Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition offers a great way for young girls to read the Bible and leave behind notes or thoughts in the margin. Written in the New International Version, the text is easier to understand that some of the other translations and the Bible is ideal for reading alone or even following along in a church or devotional setting.

My daughter, age 9, has used the Bible since the beginning of the month. She mentioned that normal Bibles often have covers that come across too “serious” or “boring,” But this cover made the book look interesting and something that a young girl would actually like to read. The ribbon bookmark and the band that keeps the Bible closed adds to the detailing that she liked.

The Journal Edition is completely appropriate for a girl, however, by simply modifying the front cover, it could work just as well for a boy. While there is room on the sides of the Bible text for journaling, the space is probably more applicable to an older girl - maybe middle school or high school. Even older elementary school aged girls often write a little larger, making it possible to make small notes but not really write an entire journal entry. My daughter also enjoyed the subheadings throughout the text, making it easier for her to find the exact passage that she was looking for.

Overall, My Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition would make a great gift for any young girl looking for a way to read the Bible and make notes along the way. It is something that looks appealing and, I think, makes the Bible a little more approachable for a younger generation.

This book was provided to me by Handlebar Publishing in exchange for my honest review.