Tis the Season for Advent Journaling

The newest Advent devotional kit is here! Advent is my favorite time of year for Bible journaling, and this little kit is packed with an explosion of color as you explore the reason for the season. To watch my unboxing video of the Advent kit, click here. To purchase the Advent kit from Dayspring, click here, but make sure you read to the end of this post for a Black Friday coupon code!

The style of this kit is such a cute vintage handmade vibe. Plus add in some cute Christmas mugs washi tape, and you can’t help but get into the Christmas spirit. The biggest difference to the kit this month is that the 8 cards all include devotional material. I do wish that there had been more scripture references included with the kit, because the devotionals only include 4 verses. However there are so many other resources for Advent studies this time of year, so having a simpler kit is appealing to supplement other studies or for those who want a simpler study in the rush of the holidays and not feel pressured to journal every day.

I’m happy to see that the stamp set has more smaller stamps this month to give you more options for stamping cuteness onto your page. However as with past months, I just wish there was more variety. There are two stars and 4 bows, so I would have liked to see maybe a little tree or a little ornament. But the great thing about the Advent kit is that it coordinates with the entire line of Illustrated Faith Advent products on Dayspring, and there is a stand-alone Advent stamp set with more stamps that would be a great add-on to use with this kit. The die cut pieces are a mix of blank vintage style ornaments and a few ornaments with words on them. It would be so cute to use some of the icons from the stamp set to embellish the blank ornaments.

If you watched my unboxing video, you would have seen that the devotional cards are the perfect size to fit into a traveler’s notebook. I’ve decided that I wanted to work in a traveler’s notebook in December so that I would have room for writing as well as adding in other sources and studies as I work through this season. Illustrated Faith has several blank traveler’s notebooks that you can pick up here when you grab your kit. I’ve been having fun getting it set up in anticipation of December as well as using a bunch of fun pieces from my stash in addition to the Advent kit to decorate my notebook.

I can’t wait to share more of my journey through Advent journaling this year! Make sure to subscribe to my blog to receive updates on when new posts go live. Feel free to leave a comment below on how you will be journaling or studying for Advent, I’d love to hear from you!

You can pick up the Advent kit here. And don’t forget to use code FRIDAY17 to save 30% off your entire sitewide purchase on Dayspring now through Sunday, 11/26.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Dayspring sent me the Advent kit in exchange for my honest review. All pictures and opinions contained within this post are my own.

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Inspire Praise Bible [Review]

It seems like just yesterday I was writing my very first Bible review on this blog with the original Inspire Bible by Tyndale that released March 2016, and now here I am again reviewing the newest addition to the Inspire line, the Inspire Praise Bible, which releases December 5, 2017. You can preorder a copy of the Inspire Praise Bible with purple butterfly softcover from Amazon here. If you would like to see my flip-thru video of the Inspire Praise Bible, watch on my YouTube channel here

My biggest question when I heard that they were releasing an all-new Bible was will it have the same art or new art? Answer: all new art! And not only that, the Inspire Praise has new features as well. Here is the description from the publisher: “The new Inspire PRAISE Bible has even more beautiful line-art illustrations to color, with nearly 500 all-new full- and partial-page Scripture illustrations attractively displayed throughout the Bible! Bonus features of Inspire PRAISE include even thicker Bible paper; thirty-two colorful, transparent, praise-themed journaling pages to enhance your coloring and creative journaling journey through the Bible; plus, three sheets of PRAISE-themed stickers and a purple pocket in the back of the Bible for storing journaling embellishments. Leave traces of faith―and PRAISE―throughout the Bible for a treasure that will truly inspire! The lightly-ruled, two-inch-wide margins offer additional space to write notes and reflections or to draw and create. The 8.65-point font is larger than most full-size journaling Bibles, and the high-quality Bible paper makes it a great choice for creatively responding to God’s Word right on the pages of the Bible.”

NEW INSPIRE PRAISE BONUS FEATURES

  • Even thicker Bible paper
  • Warm white paper for increased readability and brighter, purer display of added color
  • 32 colorful and beautifully-designed see-through PRAISE journaling pages printed on high-quality tracing paper and placed throughout the Bible provide extra space for prayers, praises, or additional creative expression
  • 19 full-page Scripture line-art illustrations to color
  • Three 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ PRAISE-themed sticker sheets
  • One 5″ x 7″ purple pocket in the back of the Bible for storing Bible journaling embellishments

Tyndale listened to what journalers like, and this new Inspire Praise is a response to that. My favorite new feature of this Bible is the thicker pages. I was skeptical at first whether “thicker pages” would truly make any difference when it comes to using paints and wet mediums, and let me tell you that it does! Typically the pages of my original Inspire Bible get super wrinkled if I use watercolor of any kind. The wrinkles don’t bother me, per se, but they do make me hesitant to journal on the back of a page in which I used a wet medium since it’s so wrinkled. When I used watercolors for the first time in my Inspire Praise, I was shocked at how smooth the page stayed. There is still slight wrinkling, but it is a noticeable difference how much smoother the pages in the Praise remain. 

Thicker pages also means less bleed through and shadowing. The pages of the Inspire Praise Bible are still thin compared to watercolor paper or other art papers/journals, but so far I have been very pleased to see how well these pages are handling paint, watercolor pencil, stamping, and black ink pens. 

The style of the illustrations in the Inspire Praise are a bit more whimsical than the original Inspire, and I love them! I definitely think the new illustrations will appeal to younger girls wanting to get started Bible journaling, as well as women who want a bit less “formal” floral style of illustrations. 

The purple cover and endpapers are absolutely beautiful! I love the colors they chose this time. The partially-colored transparency pages sprinkled throughout are a fun new addition. Each one can be journaled on or left as-is (I may leave mine as-is because they are so pretty already), and highlights a verse of Praise. The page behind each transparency has a blank margin so as not to compete with the design on the transparency page. 

Another new feature of the Inspire Praise is the 4-page welcome message at the beginning of the Bible that invites the reader to praise God through the reading and coloring of this Bible. This would be a great place to start if you are new to Bible journaling and hesitant to get started, as there are beautiful illustrations alongside the welcome message. It would also be a good place to test out different mediums to see how they perform on the pages if you’re concerned about bleed through. 

On the back inside cover is a purple pocket containing 3 sticker sheets that you can color and add to your pages. These match the illustration style of the Inspire Praise. One of the sheets is blank tabs that you can color and/or write on and then fold over as you adhere them to the top or side of your page. The pocket can also be used to store a few smaller supplies that you might want to keep and carry along with your bible. 

I am very pleased with the new Inspire Praise Bible, and I would highly recommend it! This new Bible would make a great Christmas gift for both new and experienced bible journalers young and old. The release date has been pushed up to November 30 (originally set for release December 5), and Bibles have already started shipping! To order the Inspire Praise hardcover solid purple on Amazon, click here. To order the Inspire Praise softcover butterfly design, click here

Also, for those wondering if this comes in Large Print, the answer is not yet. Tyndale typically releases regular size versions of their bibles first and then as demand dictates, they add a large print edition. There will more than likely be a large print release sometime in mid-2018, but more specific details are unknown at this time. To order the original Inspire Bible blue hardcover in Large Print on Amazon, click here

Please note that this post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through my links at no additional cost to you. I purchased my copy of the Inspire Praise Bible. All pictures and opinions contained within this post are my own. 

Word Nerd [Review]

 As soon as I heard the devotional kit for October was called #WordNerd I knew this would be very me. I’m a total Word Nerd: I love to read and write, I have a house full of books, I have a Bachelors in English Creative Writing and Poetry, I’m a self-professed grammar nerd, I wear glasses, I’m a nerd in so many other ways, and I love Jesus and studying his word! And that is truly what this kit is about: digging deeper into the Word. To see a full unboxing video of the Word Nerd kit, click here.

Not only will I be journaling in my Bible with all the cute pieces from this kit, but I decided to make a paper bag book for the devotional and journaling cards. You can see a tutorial and flip through video of my Word Nerd paper bag book here. It was so fun to grab a bunch of my favorite pieces from my scrapbooking days and add them to this book since I didn’t have to worry about the thickness. I used half the kit and each of the stamps at least once while making my book, and I still have pieces left over to use in my Bible. That just shows you how much is truly packed into these little kits. 

 I’m so happy to see that this kit included more verse options for studying and journaling than September’s kit. I’m really excited to dig in and read God’s word this month, because after all that’s what Bible journaling is about: connecting with God’s word and writing it on our hearts! You may notice that there are no heart shaped tip ins this month. Honestly I haven’t really missed them, mainly because I didn’t really use them as much as I thought I would in the previous months. But I just thought I would mention that they are omitted this month in case anyone was wondering. 

I will say that I wish the stamp set had included at least the cute little bow and drink cup like the die cut pieces included, instead of the phrase “the word lights the way,” just because I can’t really see myself using that specific stamp over and over again. I like stamp sets to be something I grab repeatedly, even after I’ve finished the devotional. I know for sure that I will use the girl silhouette over and over again, she is super cute!

The other great thing that I liked about Word Nerd is that it makes a great sequel to Created to Create 2. In fact, I’ve been using the two kits together both in my little book and in my Bible, since I hadn’t finished Created to Create 2 yet. The colors go together perfectly, and for me, writing and creating go hand-in-hand. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up Created to Create 2, grab it here.

Overall I would say that this kit really is probably my favorite so far this year. Because I love it so much, I decided to giveaway one Word Nerd kit over on my Instagram @kountingsheepbiblejournaling, so head over there for details on how to enter (giveaway runs from 10/2/17-10/6/17)! And if you can’t wait to get started like I was, pick up the Word Nerd kit here (don’t forget to use code IFSHIPSFREE for free domestic shipping). If you end up making a paper bag book, tag me on Instagram I’d love to see it!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you purchase through my links, but there is no additional cost to you. All opinions and pictures contained in this post are my own. I purchased the giveaway Word Nerd kit on my own, so the giveaway is not affiliated with Instagram, Dayspring or Illustrated Faith. I did receive my Word Nerd kit from Dayspring in exchange for my honest review. 

Persevere Devotional Kit [Review]

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about the changes to the Illustrated Faith monthly kit, Persevere. When I received my kit in the mail, I wasn’t exactly sure where to start. I looked over each piece and read through the devotional cards. As someone who likes structure, it was a bit daunting to not have the devotional booklet anymore. Today I actually had a chance to sit down and journal using the kit, and I had my “aha” moment for how I’m going to use it. I have to say that I think this new kit is really going to appeal to my personal style of journaling and give me the freedom to pursue other studies throughout the month in addition to working through the Persevere Kit. It took me a long time to create my first page in my Bible and my journal using Persevere, but now that I’ve done one day, I’m ready to share my review, as well as some ideas for how I will be working through it. I am finding myself gaining more and more excitement about the new format of the Persevere Kit, and I hope you will join me! Click here to purchase your own kit, and continue reading more below.

First, I want to give you an idea for the content inside the kit. You can also watch my unboxing video here on my YouTube channel to see more. The things that remain the same in the kit are: a full roll of washi tape, a welcome note card from Shanna Noel, and a stamp set. The stamps are a smaller 3×4 size, but still have plenty of variety for journaling. The things that are new: die cuts that are already cut for you, heart shaped tip-ins, journaling/devotional cards, thinner stickers, and a smaller string-tie envelope.

4 cardstock devotional cards and 4 cardstock journaling cards replace the 14-day devotional booklet of the past kits. Although I like having the structure of a guided study guide, I personally struggled with sustaining momentum for all 14 days. I was also torn about what to do with the notebooks once I was finished with them, because I normally keep just one big journal, and having a bunch of little journals made me feel disorganized.

I like to use a blank journal in addition to my journaling Bible, and I don’t really like having too many different notebooks/journals/bibles to keep track of. Now with the journaling cards, I have the freedom to use whatever journal I prefer. I think this will appeal to many people who, like me, prefer a certain type of journal/notebook/binder/planner/bible. You can just add the cards to your favorite journal, rather than using a journal provided for you.
I’m really in love with the floral designs of the stamps and scattered throughout the kit, as well as the gold foil accents everywhere. The quality of the products is amazing considering it’s only $20 for the whole thing! A lower price point is definitely very appealing to me, since we live on a tight budget and the old price point was often out of reach for me to participate monthly.

I’ve grown really fond of ways to make Bible journaling a bit easier and faster since I often have to squeeze my time in during naptime or after my babies go to bed, so having lots of paper pieces already cut for me is so great. There is a generous amount of die cuts included that match the style of the kit. I especially like that there are extra verse references on some of the smaller die cuts to also encourage more journaling ideas.

Another way to make journaling a bit easier is lots of stickers! They are all so pretty that I had a hard time using a few in my first day of journaling, because I want to make them last. I like that there are more tab options and they are also bigger than the previous kit’s cardstock sticker tabs. I also like that most of these stickers are fairly small, so that means a lot more to go around.

As I mentioned above, I finally had my aha moment of how I’m going to use the Persevere kit. The great thing about it is, you can use the kit in your own unique way, and I’ve already seen some great ideas from others! My plan is to use 1 devotional card and 1 journaling card per week, so 2 journaling entries per week for a total of 8 entries in the month. I usually start to wane after about 7 or 8 days in past devotionals, so I thought this was a good plan for me. I will also be using the cards in my blank journal as a way to write out some more lengthy prayers than I would typically put in my bible as well as do some scripture writing based on the verses provided. I then will use the other embellishments and stamps to journal the verse on the card in my Bible. If the card doesn’t have a verse, then that’s where the verses on the paper pieces can come in.

I’m really excited to journal through this kit now that I’ve had time to process the change and think through how I’m going to use the pieces to fit my personal style. There’s not just one right way to use the Persevere kit, and I love that the redesign seems to have allowed for more room for creativity and individuality while still working through it together as a community. To purchase your own Persevere kit, click here. I will be doing at least one process video, so make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel here. If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I would be happy to answer them!

Please note post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission for sharing products I love to use at no additional cost to you when you purchase through the link. I was given a Persevere kit from Dayspring in exchange for my honest review. 

Thrive Devotional Journaling Bible [Review]

One of my gifts for Mother’s Day this year was the new Thrive Devotional Journaling Bible, released last September by Tyndale. After looking through this beautiful Bible, I thought it would be fun to write a review for the blog and share my initial thoughts. I’m getting close to retiring my HCSB Illustrators Bible, and the Thrive Bible will be the next one I journal in. I’m excited for the Thrive Bible because not only is it a journaling Bible, but it also contains 365 devotionals, written by Sheri Rose Shepherd. 

Here’s the description from the publisher: “The THRIVE journaling devotional Bible is for every woman who wants to know God more deeply and follow Him more closely. God’s design for His children is that they live flourishing, fulfilling, joy-filled lives in Christ. Bestselling author and beloved conference speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd has devoted over 30 years of her ministry to helping women learn how to thrive in Christ, reflect God’s glory, and gain an eternal perspective. Sheri Rose invites women to join her on a year-long journey through the Bible in the THRIVE. The daily devotionals capture the very heart of her ministry by helping women discover their identity in Christ, God’s purpose and plan for their lives, and how to flourish in a faith that is pure, genuine, and life-giving. Each day’s devotional reading contains a key Scripture, a love letter from God, a reflection from Sheri Rose, a treasure of truth, and a special prayer for the reader. Sheri Rose encourages women to leave all of their concerns and struggles at the foot of the cross so they can truly thrive as the women God created them to be. This beautiful women’s journaling devotional Bible features a natural shabby chic fabric with decorative blue stitching, a THRIVE tag stitched to the front, round corners, cream page edges, and a matching ribbon marker.”

In order to accommodate the extra content while still maintaining a portable size, it is slightly wider than most journaling Bibles. It also has the Biblical text organized as double column instead of single column. However the wider size also means wider margins for more journaling on some pages, especially the devotional pages. The margins are lightly lined to help guide notetaking and written out prayers.  

The New Living Translation is quickly becoming my favorite, and I like how geneologies are listed as a list for easier reading. The daily prayers, book introductions, “treasures of truth,” and character profiles help enhance the text while reading in between the devotionals. I especially like that the devotionals are numbered 1-365, rather than dated (Jan-Dec) so you can start and stop any time of year without feeling guilty to follow a specific date. Each devotional also gives the page number at the bottom for the next devotional, since the placement of the devotionals vary from book to book. 

The light blue and cream color scheme is visually pleasing and not too overpowering.   It has some very subtle flower details, so for those who don’t care for florals won’t find them too noticeable. The pages are thin like most Bible pages, so there is ghosting of the text and color design. However the text font is a good size and still very readable. 

The supplemental material at the front includes a letter from Sheri Rose Shepherd, as well as tips on how to use and study this Bible. A Bible reading plan is included with a convenient checklist to help mark your progress. It is dated, but this is the only section that includes dates and obviously you can ignore that and follow your own pace. Since the focus of this Bible is to guide women through a yearlong journey to Thrive through Bible reading and devotions, there aren’t maps or concordance included in the back. The purpose of this Bible is to speak to a woman’s heart through the various tasks and trials she may face. 

Overall, I highly recommend this Bible for women looking to Journal their way through a yearlong journey of Bible reading and devotions directed towards the thriving heart of a woman. I can’t wait to use this Bible and add my writing and art, as well as my heart, to the margins.

To purchase your own Thrive Devotional Bible on Amazon, click here

Want to read more Bible reviews? Visit the Bible Reviews page to see all available posts. 

Please note that this post contains Amazon affiliate links. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own. I was not asked to give a review or compensated in any way. I received this Bible as a gift, and I’m expressing my opinion for the benefit of others interested in this Bible. 

All is Bright // Ben-Hur [Review]

All is Bright by Nancy Gunthrie

Due to a mix up with shipping, I didn’t receive this in time to use for Advent last year, so I’m saving it back to use this year. This devotional coloring book includes a family devotion and coloring page for every day of December, as well as additional activities and talking points in the back. The devotions are written by Nancy Gunthrie to provide the spiritual journey through the advent season and set the stage for each illustration. 

The illustrations are detailed and thoughtful, ranging from abstract lines and swirls to hand lettered messages to pictures depicting the nativity. The pages are a nice quality great for coloring with pencils and markers. The size is big enough that several people could gather around the book to color together while still being small enough to be portable. 
I can’t wait to go through this book in December, and I would recommend it to any family looking for a fun but meaningful coloring activity. 

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Carol Wallace

As an English major in college, I loved grabbing a thick classic and sitting for hours reading. Now as a busy mom of two, it’s hard to find time to read big books like I used to. That’s why I was excited to receive a copy of this adapted version of the classic Ben-Hur story to read. I haven’t ever read the original or seen any film adaptation, so this was my first introduction to the story. 

I was confused by the subtitle “A Tale of the Christ” since the story itself centers around a young Jewish man named Judah Ben-Hur. The text follows him through his journey of betrayal by his close friend Messala, exile and revenge, and eventually an encounter with Jesus that leaves him seeking a path of forgiveness instead. Although he does interact with Jesus, I didn’t feel like this was the main focus of the story, at least in this version. 

The writing itself felt accessible to a wide range of modern audiences while still keeping some of what I assume to be the original language. While reading it, I definitely wanted to go back and read the original version to see what Lew Wallace actually wrote and if the more antiquated language would add to the richness of the plot. At times the story felt a bit flat, which is a downside of reading a condensed version of the original story. 

All in all I found this to be an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a more modern introduction to the story. 

Please note that all pictures and opinions contained in this review are my own. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale publishers through the 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.”

HCSB Notetaking Bible [Review]

Since I started Bible journaling at the beginning of this year, I’m always  looking for different translations to add to my library and study from. I was excited when I got the opportunity to receive a copy of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Notetaking Bible from B&H Publishing to review. After receiving the brown one, I purchased a second copy for myself, the red floral. I gave the brown one to my husband for Father’s Day so that we can study the Bible together and take notes, journal, pray, and draw together. I love that there were several different choices in covers so that we could have the same Bible but be able to tell them apart.

We have been excited to read from this translation, so this was a great opportunity to start. Here is a description from HCSB.org about the translation itself: “HCSB employs a translation philosophy known as Optimal Equivalence, which seeks to achieve an optimal balance of linguistic precision with contemporary clarity. In the many places throughout Scripture where a word-for-word rendering is clearly understandable, a literal translation is used. In places where a word-for-word rendering might obscure the meaning for a modern audience, a more dynamic translation is favored. This process assures that both the words and thoughts contained in the original are conveyed as accurately as possible.” 

These Bibles are beautiful and well made. Each margin is lightly lined to help guide notetaking, and even some of the blank pages are fully lined to offer more space for writing. The Bibles include the HCSB notes in the back, a concordance, and full-color maps. Each Bible lays flat when open to make it easier to study and write on a flat surface. 

I especially like that these Bibles are single column, which makes it easier to take notes right next to the verse you are studying. As far as size comparison, this Bible is bigger than my ESV double column, but smaller and lighter than my Inspire Bible. As with all journaling Bible, the pages are fairly thin and would require pens and highlighters that won’t bleed through. My favorite pens to use are Micron pens and gel highlighters, which neither of these will bleed through the page. 

Overall, I highly recommend these Bibles to anyone looking for an HCSB journaling Bible for notes or creative journaling. 

To purchase your own HCSB Notetaking Bible in the black/brown cover from Amazon, click here. To purchase this Bible with the red floral cover on Amazon, click here

Want to read more Bible reviews? Visit the Bible Reviews page to see all available posts. 

Please note that this post contains Amazon affiliate links. All pictures and opinions contained in this review are my own. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B&H publishers through the 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.”

The Prince Warriors [Book Review]

It’s been a long time since I have had time to actually sit and read, so I was excited to get the opportunity to read Priscilla Shirer’s new young adult book The Prince Warriors. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of this book and the texture of the hardcover; it’s very appealing to hold this book in my hands, and I immediately wanted to begin reading. This is the first book in a new trilogy of young adult fantasy Christain fiction, and here’s the description from the publishers: 

The Prince Warriors by Priscilla Shirer 

“As brothers, Xavier and Evan are used to battling each other. But now they’re discovering that there is a much bigger battle going on all around them. And it’s their turn to fight. Based on Ephesians 6:10–18, The Prince Warriors is the first book in Priscilla Shirer’s epic new series that brings to life the invisible struggle ensuing in the spiritual realm. Xavier, Evan, and their friends have typical lives until they enter a mysterious land called Ahoratos. There they meet their guide, Ruwach, who offers wisdom and direction as the kids’ initial adventure begins—an adventure filled with armor and danger and a very real enemy. Written by New York Times Best-Selling author Priscilla Shirer, The Prince Warriors series was created for middle-grade readers and will include the fiction trilogy as well as Unseen: The 365 Prince Warriors Devotional and the Unseen app.”

As I started reading, this book immediately grabbed my attention and made me want to keep reading. It didn’t take me very long to get through as an adult, and I would think that an interested young reader would be able to read through it pretty quickly too. The writing is very descriptive and uses a wide variety of vocabulary. Some of the harder names and words are given definitions and phonetic pronunciations within the text to help readers with unfamiliar terms. This so helpful for the fantasy names, as well as more difficult words for the younger readers. Although the publisher recommends for ages 8 and up, I think for 9 and up is more accurate, especially since one of the main characters, Evan is 9 while the rest of the characters are around 11-12 years old.

The story itself is very creative and a great allegory for the armor of God and the spiritual battle without beating you over the end with “Christian metaphors.” The action flows naturally and is enjoyable to read. Most of the characters are well-rounded, especially the boys, which I think makes it even that much more relatable for boy readers. The only character that seemed a bit on the flat side was the main female girl, Brianna. She’s a little wimpy and a little too over the top “girly,” and it would have been nice to see her as a stronger female representation as compared to the male characters. However, I’m interested to see how all of the characters will develop over the course of the trilogy. 

A few hand-drawn illustrations enhance the text throughout the book. I remember when I would read a chapter book in grade school and would come across a drawing with excitement, so I’m glad to see it included in this book. The story itself is very descriptive and paints a great picture for the imagination, but it’s always helpful to have a few illustrations. 

Overall I am pleased with this book and I look forward to eventually reading the rest of the trilogy. I would recommend this series for advanced younger readers or any middle-grader looking for an enjoyable challenge. This makes a great gift for boys especially, but I think everyone can learn something from this book. 

Please note that all pictures and opinions contained in this review are my own. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B&H publishers through the 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.”

Life Verse Creative Journal Set [Book Review]


Do you have a life verse? A verse of the Bible that speaks to your heart, one that perhaps you go back to over and over again throughout different seasons of your life? If you don’t have one or if you are unsure, this is a great place to start!

Life Verse Creative Journals by Jana Magruder and Morgan Grace Magruder is a set of two journals that helps you to creatively explore different passages of scripture through writing and drawing prompts. The first journal has pre-drawn illustrations and prompts to guide you through scripture and prayer to help discover meaningful verses to you. The second journal is filled with blank unlined pages to help you continue your writing and illustrating journey through prayer and scripture.

I was eager to receive this set and pleasantly surprised at the compact size of the journals. This set would be great for carrying along with your Bible as a tool to help you creatively explore God’s word. The illustrations inside the first journal are beautiful and great for coloring. They could even be used to trace into a journaling Bible. My favorite illustration was a stack of tea cups, but all of the drawings are inspiring; as soon as I opened this, I wanted to sit down to write and color and paint.

There is a good mix of drawings, hand-lettered verses, prompts, and blank space for writing. Each page is unique and different. One page even encouraged you to add in your own doodles amongst the ones already there on the page. Even the covers on both of these encourage coloring and more artwork. This set is definitely more than just a coloring book, though; it is an intentional creative exploration through several different beloved verses. The journaling prompts are not super in-depth, but they offer a great variety and the blank journal makes a good complement to do more in-depth study if you desire.

I can’t wait to get a chance to color and journal in these! I imagine that I will be using them soon as a creative study tool as part of my Bible journaling. I highly recommend this set as a gift or for yourself.

 

Please note that all pictures and opinions contained in this review are my own. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Lifeway/B&H Publishers 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.”

Girls Slimline NLT Bible [Book Review]

teenbible

Today I’m excited to share with you about this sweet little Bible that I received to review. The Girls Slimline NLT Bible from Tyndale has been a great Bible to carry around and use for my daily devotions. I think the reason why I love this Bible so much is because it would have been something I would have wanted as a teen girl. To be honest, I was absolutely giddy to receive it as a grown woman!

Here’s the description from the publisher: “This adorable edition of God’s Word for girls features the easy-to-understand New Living Translation text with a soft-fur, bright-neon LOVE design and silver glittery lining. The BOLD FAITH design on the back cover encourages girls to live out their faith in ways that bring God glory. This hardcover deluxe edition also features purple page edges, neon orange ribbon marker, special presentation page, 8 pages of full-color maps, and a 53-page dictionary/concordance to help locate passages on various topics. The New Living Translation text is excellent for young readers because it is so clear and they can understand what they are reading! When they can read and understand God’s Word, God can work in their hearts!”

Not only do the outer and inner covers of this Bible feature fun colors and textures, but it also encourages young girls to Be Bold in their faith. And you have to be bold to carry around a teal and pink fuzzy Bible!

The size is prefect for carrying around to church or slipping into a backpack or purse. It is not heavy at all, and the text is still very readable despite being on the smaller side. The extra material in the back includes Concordance/Dictionary, One Year Reading Plan, Great Chapters to Read and Verses to Memorize, and maps.

I really like the suggested chapters to read and verses to memorize, because it’s a great way for teens to navigate the Bible on their own. This section gives the reader the ability to look up helpful verses by topic to help see what God’s word says about what she is currently struggling with.

Another great feature of this Bible is that it lays flat. That way you can lay it on a desk or table to read without having to worry about losing your spot if you walk away. This also makes it easier to read with this Bible on your lap in church and take notes.

I’m really impressed with the Girls Slimline NLT Bible, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and functional Bible for a teen girl (or for yourself, let’s be honest). I’ll be posting later this week about how I have been personally using this Bible in my daily devotions.

 

Please note that all pictues (except the first one) and opinions contained in this review are my own. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network 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.”