Saturday, September 9, 2017

MIRACLE FROM MY LIVING ROOM: A STORY OF A LITTLE MANN BOOK REVIEW & DIVINE APPOINTMENTS


About Samuel


My name is Samuel Mann and I am 11-years-old. My Mom likes to call me “Little Mann.” That’s because I am little. Most kids my age are a lot bigger. I’m just 26 pounds. That’s the way I was born. I guess everyone is different in some way.

Like most kids, I like to laugh, giggle and have lots of fun. My favorite song is the “Happy Birthday” song. It just makes me smile. You know what else I like? Watching Elmo and home videos on my i-Pad. I’m really fast at it and surprise anyone who watches me.

But my all-time favorite thing is cereal. I could eat it all day long. Well, I almost do sometimes. I get one piece of golden O’s in a plastic bottle at a time. I figured out how to open the bottle and snag my yummy O’s in no time flat.

Well, I’m gonna go play with my books now.

High-five,

Samuel

About Evelyn


Evelyn Mann is a middle-aged, stay at home mom who lives in Tampa, FL raising her special needs son, aka the “Miracle Mann".

She met her husband online at ChristianCafe.com. A year after they were married, their son was born with a lethal form of dwarfism. Her memoir, Miracle In My Living Room: The Story Of A Little Mann, chronicles her and her husband’s journey of faith from medical diagnosis to overcoming all odds. The popular blog, MiracleMann.com, shares Evelyn’s journey as the mother of a miracle.

Her son’s miraculous story has been featured on WFLA Channel 8, Fox35 Orlando, Inspirational Radio, Catholic News Agency and Christian Television Network. Her son was also interviewed on Special Books by Special Kids which has been viewed over 2 million times.

Receiving inquiries from around the world, she offers others families hope and encouragement sharing that unthinkable circumstances are not beyond God’s reach.

MY REVIEW OF THIS READ:  I was given the opportunity by Evelyn Mann to review a copy of her memoir.  The story of her son, the fatal diagnosis, the choice to choose life and the survival of her son.   I can truthfully say that I don't do a lot of book reviews for memoirs, but I chose this book anyway.  It is a really powerful story of how today's society wants so readily to end a life and can't see how people choose a life no matter how long or short that might be.

Evelyn tells an excellent story of her and her husband Ralph's choice to choose life for their son when he was given the diagnosed with a fatal form of Dwarfism, Thanatophoric Dwarfism, and the fight to not only give him life, but to survive.  When so many wanted to give up on Samuel, Ralph and Evelyn choose not to give up and became their child's advocate even while he was still in the womb, but even after he was born too.  It always shows how God was faithful in providing the right doctors that would help them fight for Samuel's life.   Samuel just recently celebrated his 12th birthday.  I really enjoyed this read and enjoyed the story of Ralph, Evelyn and Samuel.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG ABOUT THIS BOOK:  Do I believe that some books are placed in your hands by God?  Yes, I do and I don't believe this book was placed in my hands by accident.  I truly believe that it was placed in my hands by God.  You see when Evelyn contacted me about reviewing her memoir she knew nothing about me.  I am very short for my age (I have Short Stature) and am only 4'7".  So, when a book is placed in your hands and you can relate so much to it and to the person that wrote it.  Think of the book as a Divine Appointment that you needed just then and encourage you in your life and the struggles that you have gone through in life.

God Bless,

Tia

Friday, August 18, 2017

God's Crime Scene for Kids' Mystery Investigation Kit Giveaway

God’s Crime Scene for Kids: Investigate Creation with a Real Detective (David C Cook, September 2017)
Hone your reasoning skills as you investigate evidence in the universe to determine the most reasonable cause for everything we see in creation.
In this companion to Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother’s attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective’s Academy. Along the way, they develop the skills needed to investigate the mystery and the evidence of God’s existence. The cadets learn logical-thinking skills as they examine the contents of a mysterious box and the vast universe.
In God’s Crime Scene for Kids, real-life detective J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason’s mystery, and at the same time looks at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator. Ultimately, kids will learn how to make their own case for God’s existence.


J. Warner and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, Court TV and other crime-related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of "Cold-Case Christianity: God’s Crime Scene," "Forensic Faith," and "Cold-Case Christianity for Kids." He has a master’s degree in theology and is the founder of ColdCaseChristianity.com. Susie has a master’s degree in speech pathology and co-writes (and edits) all the kids books in this series. J. Warner and Susie have four children and live in southern California.




MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW OF THIS READ:  This is another great read by the author J. Warner Wallace.   Wow, this is another story not just to get your kids to read, but activities included to get them involved in learning more about God and how the universe was made.  This would make a great backyard Bible Study for kids and also Sunday School Class.  It not only brings the kids to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but gives them the foundation that they need to defend their faith.

So, if you want a great teaching and learning tool for kids check out the book God's Crime Scene for Kids:  Investigate Creation with a real detective.  There are activity downloads for parents and kids to do together and videos too.   So, not only are the kids involved, but the parents are involved too.

Theresa Tillis (9):  I really liked the book!  It was a great book.  I liked when they found the nest. My favorite part was when the cat found the hole and they had to figure out how it got there.

Sadie (6):  It was great!  It was cool when they found the box.

Join your children in learning how to determine the most reasonable cause for everything we see in creation with a real-life detective! In God's Crime Scene for Kids, J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason's mystery. Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother's attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective's Academy. Your kids will look at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator and ultimately learn how to make their own case for God's existence.

Help your kids become detectives who investigate creation for signs of God and His creativity by entering to win the Mystery Investigation Kit!


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 31. The winner will be announced September 1 on the Litfuse blog.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith (David C. Cook, May 2017)
A cold-case detective helps you rethink and share your Christian beliefs.
J. Warner Wallace has asked this question in churches across America over the past several years, and the answer he gets is often disappointing; it’s almost always rooted in some sort of personal, subjective experience. As a community, we Christians aren’t typically prepared to make the case for why we believe Christianity is true from the objective evidence of history, philosophy or science. Worse yet, many of us don’t think we have any obligation to do so.
In J. Warner’s first two books, he made the case for God’s existence (God’s Crime Scene) and the case for Christianity (Cold-Case Christianity). In Forensic Faith, J. Warner completes the trilogy by making the case for… making the case! In Forensic Faith, J. Warner helps readers understand why it’s important to defend what they believe, and provides them with a unique template to help them become effective “Christian Case Makers.” Forensic Faith will help readers:
—understand why they, as Christians, have a duty to defend the truth
—develop a training strategy to master the evidence for Christianity
—learn how to employ the techniques of a detective to discover new insights from God’s Word
—become a better communicators by learning the skills of professional case makers
With real-life detective stories, fascinating strategies, and biblical insights, J. Warner hopes to teach readers the daily cold-case investigative disciplines they can apply in their lives as believers. Forensic Faith is an engaging, fresh look at what it means to be a Christian.



J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, Fox News, and Court TV. A former atheist, he is the author of "Cold-Case Christianity" and "God’s Crime Scene." Wallace has a master’s degree in theology and lives in California with his wife and four children.



MY THOUGHTS AND VIEWS ON THIS READ:  This is an excellent book to give you a guideline to help you defend the faith, witness to others and know why you believe what you believe.

J. Warner Wallace was in the movie God's Not Dead 2 when he had to take the witness stand to defend the faith.  He does make references to the two previous books that he wrote and it does help if you read those before reading this book.

If you want to dig deep and love CSI stuff, this book is for you and it does help put our faith in perspective as to build a case to defend the faith and God's Word.  We so need this instead of being faced with questions and have no answers.  Now we do have a guideline that we can use to tell others and actually have a case and defend it without any doubts, second guesses and shrugging our shoulders in that we don't know anything.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Deborah Raney's 'Home at Last' Facebook Party and Blog Tour


Home at Last (Abingdon, February 2017)
Why did their differences matter so much?
Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he’s stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters’ efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.
All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite–well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?
Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl’s aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee’s On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?




About the author:

Deborah Raney's novels have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers' Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken Raney have traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deb's novels-for life in the city of Wichita.

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahraney.com.



MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW OF THIS READ:  This is the fifth in the Chicory Inn Series.  Deborah draws you into the stories where you feel like you really know the family and the issues that they face.  Sometimes, we can all relate to a good story.   

In the final installment of this series, Deborah has taken a very tough issue that is so prevalent in our society today.   She has taken a look at the prejudices that still exist today.  Whether it is against a particular race or even a biracial person too.  She also addresses the issue of where a parent is absent and the grandparent(s) have to step in and raise a grandchild.

This follows the journey of Link Whitman and Shayla Michaels as they navigate a relationship that a lot of times society frowns upon and is prejudice against. Will the prejudices bring them together or will it tear them apart?  Come follow Deborah Raney in the final installment of the Chicory Inn Series and the Whitman family to see how the story ends.




Conclude Deborah Raney's Chicory Inn novels with the final book, Home at Last, a story of acceptance, trying to overcome differences, and love. Everything changes for bachelor Link Whitman one icy morning when a child runs into the street and he nearly hits her with his pickup-and then the girl's aunt Shayla enters Link's life. Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

Join Deborah on Thursday, March 23, for a live author chat party in her Facebook group with fun prizes to be won! Click the graphic below for more details and to RSVP. Hope to see you there-bring a friend or two who loves to read!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

THE DOG WHO WAS THERE BY RON MARASCO

THE DOG WHO WAS THERE BY RON MARASCO

See the story of a teacher from Galilee through a homeless, hungry, and struggling-to-survive dog’s eyes in Ron Marasco’s new book, The Dog Who Was ThereOn the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.

The Dog Who Was There (Thomas Nelson, January 2017)
No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah.
He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley’s eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we’ve never experienced before.
Barley’s story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver’s home and through the dangerous roads of Roman-occupied Judea.
On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.



{MORE ABOUT RON MARASCO}


Ron Marasco is a professor in the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His first book, “Notes to an Actor,” was named by the American Library Association an Outstanding Book of 2008. His second book, “About Grief,” has been translated into multiple languages, and he is currently completing a book on Shakespeare’s sonnets. He has acted extensively on TV—from “Lost” to “West Wing” to “Entourage” to originating the role of Mr. Casper on “Freaks and Geeks”—and appeared opposite screen legend Kirk Douglas in the movie “Illusion,” for which he also wrote the screenplay. Most recently, he has played the recurring role of Judge Grove on “Major Crimes.” He has a BA from Fordham at Lincoln Center and an MA and Ph. D. from UCLA.


MY REVIEW OF THIS READ:  WOW!  What a thought provoking and really great read.  This is a really great read especially at the Lent Season.

This is a great story for the tween/teen that is looking for a great new read by a new author and with a powerful message.   It follows the story of Jesus through the eyes of a dog named Barley from being thrown away to finding a home and only finding himself homeless again.   

Barley finds a home among the people who are the lowest of the citizens in Jerusalem.  How far would you go to just survive in a city where there are no programs, no soup kitchens and nothing for a people who are the lowest of the low of society.  People who are virtually hopeless.   Ron has done an excellent job in this Biblical Historical Fiction in showing who and why Jesus came for in this world.

So come follow Barley on his journey through the streets of Jerusalem to the path that leads to Golgotha and to the burial site of Jesus.




THE THINGS WE KNEW BY CATHERINE WEST

When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things sthe can’t?

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.

Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.


REVIEW AND THOUGHTS ON THIS READ:  I am going to start by saying Catherine West is a new to me author.  I received this read free from Thomas Nelson as part of their Fiction Guild.  I have noticed a trend in Christian Fiction where the authors take real life issues that families face and write a book about it and yes they don't always end with happily ever after just like real life.

This was an excellent read in that Catherine West has addressed so many issues and how each family member deals with them.   I like how she has really taken the characters and developed them that you feel like that you are not left hanging, but you walk away knowing them and what they are facing.  This book deals with: (1) Dementia, (2) Addictions, and (3) Repressed Memories.  

Catherine's writing style draws you into each character to the point that by the end of the book that you know each one of the family members even the neighbor Nicholas Cooper. This teaches you that each family member can grow up in the same household and each one does not have the same memories.





Thursday, November 10, 2016

Ace Collins’ ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ Giveaway

{MORE ABOUT THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR}
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Abingdon, October 2016)
Celebrate 31 days of a Christ-filled Christmas season.
For Christians worldwide, the month of December is filled with joy and wonder as we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth. There is no other time of the year that can compare to the Christmas season for both the young and young at heart.
From December to New Year’s Eve, reawaken the wonder, joy, and magic that is Christmas with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas.
With this soon-to-be-cherished holiday devotional, best-selling author Ace Collins will capture your imagination and help to make each day of December more memorable and meaningful to you, and those you love, by shining a light on the real spirit of the season.



{MORE ABOUT ACE COLLINS}

Ace Collins is the best-selling and award-winning author of more than 60 titles, including “The Stories Behind The Best-Loved Songs of Christmas,” “Darkness Before Dawn,” and “Lassie: A Dog’s Life.” Ace frequently speaks across the country and on radio and has appeared on national television shows, including “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show,” “CNN,” “Fox and Friends,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Early Show” and more. When not writing, he works as a magazine editor and graphic designer, as well as host for a charity organization radio and television broadcast. Ace and his wife, Kathy, are based in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
Find out more about Ace at http://acecollins.com.



MY REVIEW OF THIS READ:  Are you looking for a new tradition for your family?  Are you stuck in the hustle and bustle of Christmas?  Are you losing your spirit of Christmas?  If so, this book is just what you are looking for to put you and your family back on track for the true meaning of Christmas then this book is for you.   It brings back to focus on the true meaning of Christmas with the focus being on Christ with Scriptures, your favorite movies and even making homemade gift ideas for your friends and family.   

So, if you are finding yourself stuck in the same old routine of Christmas and losing sight of what it is all about then maybe you would want to check this out.   The devotional takes you through the entire month of December.   If you are looking for new traditions in your family and to change your focus this season, then check out Ace Collins' new book The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Make this upcoming Christmas holiday a Christ-filled season of joy and wonder with the help of Ace Collins' new devotional, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. From December to New Year’s Eve, reawaken the Christmas season with daily scripture and inspirational readings of stories behind popular Christmas traditions, carols and movies. Enjoy a wealth of fun activities to help make the most of the season, including heartwarming holiday recipes and homemade gift ideas. Download a free sampler of the book by clicking here.


Join Ace's Christmas festivities by entering to win the Magic of Christmas Prize Pack. Create new traditions this holiday season with your family and friends with the goodies included in the giveaway.

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One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 21. The winner will be announced November 22 on the Litfuse blog.

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