Saturday, August 31, 2019

Something Needs To Change By David Platt

Something Needs To Change
by David Platt
Publisher: Multnomah
ISBN: 9780735291416

I requested to review this book because my husband is a big fan of David Platt. I haven't read any books of his, so I figured I'd give this a go. Thanks to Multnomah for sending me a review copy.


While leading a team on a week-long trek of the Himalayas, bestselling author and pastor David Platt was stunned by the human needs he encountered, an experience so dramatic that it "changed the trajectory of my life." Meeting a man who'd lost his eye from a simple infection and seeing the faces of girls stolen from their families and trafficked in the cities, along with other unforgettable encounters, opened his eyes to the people behind the statistics and compelled him to wrestle with his assumptions about faith. In Something Needs to Change, Platt invites readers to come along on both the adventure of the trek, as well as the adventure of seeking answers to tough questions like, "Where is God in the middle of suffering?" "What makes my religion any better than someone else's religion?" and "What do I believe about eternal suffering?" Platt has crafted an irresistible message about what it means to give your life for the gospel--to finally stop talking about faith and truly start living it.

My Review:

So it's funny how God works sometimes. I asked to review Something Needs to Change because of my husband. Turns out, this hit me where it counts. Can I be honest with you? I'm not a big fan of non-fiction. Heck, I'm not even a little fan of non-fiction.

This book though, I read it and soaked it all in!

I wasn't sure I was going to care for it at the start, but I was so thankful David Platt had the forethought to journal his journey. I'm also not one to highlight or dog-ear pages of a book. Probably a good thing this was an ARC (advanced readers copy).

"The question is no longer 'Whom do I need to love?' Instead, the question is now 'Who is the one who is loving?'"

Something Needs to Change has made me think of our mission trips to Peru. How I've gone down there and done good things, but did I see the needs? The spiritual needs. I think to a degree I did. Like Platt, I wondered why God allowed me to be born here in USA where there is an abundance of everything and not in a jungle sleeping on a dirt ground. Those trips have been "easy". I've liked them because they haven't taken me out of my comfort zone. And that's where this book hits me.

"There is a kind of love for God and for others that simply can't be manufactured by religious learning."

Are we , as Christians, willing to be uncomfortable for Christ? For the lost? When we go back down hopefully next year, will I be willing to say, "ok, let's do a jungle trip!"? Am I willing to see the need that those who are unreached and go? My fervent hope is that I would say, "Yes!"

"We want to make the most of this life now (we even market Christianity as the key to our best life now). But it sure seems as though Jesus's message sounds more like our best lives later. And forever."

The end of Something Needs to Change reminds me of what it's like as we prepare to come home from Lima, Peru. Fred and I joke about moving down there and Stalin and Paige encourage us to do it! I worry that when I get back I'll be lulled into a sense of complacency. Comfortable in my house with our 2 cars, enough food to feed one of the villages David's been to, and with enough clothing to give multiple pieces to each person - that's my fear.

If God calls, will I be willing to live in a remote jungle in Peru? Will I be willing to live even in Lima? What about my desire to be a hands-on grandma? My hope to move back to Minnesota where friends and family are? I'm not saying God isn't calling me to those things, I just wonder if I'll be able to hear him above the noise in my own head.

Ok, so this was more than a review. Clearly you can see that this book has caused me to be very reflective of my own life. I hope I don't stop just because I've finished the book. Go. Get. This. Book! If anything, it'll give you a new perspective. I know it's done that for me.

About the Author:

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C., and he is the founder and president of Radical Inc., a global ministry that serves churches in accomplishing the mission of Christ. David previously served as the president of the International Mission Board, and he has authored several books, including RadicalRadical TogetherFollow Me, and Counter Culture. Along with his wife and kids, he lives in the Washington D.C. metro area.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Dear Grandchild, This Is Me

Dear Grandchild, This Is Me
Publisher: WaterBrook
ISBN: 9780525652830

I was so excited to see Dear Grandchild, This Is Me available for review thanks to WaterBrook. My step-daughter made me a grandma for the first time 15 yrs ago and again 9 yrs ago. So I'm a grandma twice over and I'm waiting somewhat impatiently for my oldest daughter to tell me one day that she and her husband are going to have a baby!


Preserving a family legacy can feel like a daunting task, but this new keepsake journal makes it easy for grandparents to capture memories, wisdom, and stories in one beautiful package.

Being a grandparent is an incredibly rewarding experience. Dear Grandchild, This Is Me--designed for any grandmother or grandfather to complete--will allow grandparents to collect these priceless memories in one heartfelt keepsake. 

Special Features:
  *  Built-in envelopes to stash special, private letters for specific occasions in your grandchild's future.
  *  A sheet of adhesive photo corners to adhere photographs and special memories throughout. 
  *  Off-the-record questions to prompt fun stories.
  *  A family tree to track your ancestry.
  *  Space to share your favorite recipes, or those passed through the generations. 
  *  A world map to showcase your travels.

Within these pages you'll find a place to answer questions that speak to a grandchild of any age from the simple questions about favorite things to deeper questions about childhood memories, identity, and faith. This book will be a tangible way to keep a loved one close at all times.

My Review:

What an absolutely delightful book! I've always had a fascination with family history and passing on what we can to our children and grandchildren. We won't be here forever so leaving them a piece of ourselves (other than what we pour into them through relationships) through a book like this is a wonderful gift!

Since I'm early on with grand parenting, I don't know how many grandkids I'll have so having enough to give to each grandchild will be an important aspect of having Dear Grandchild, This Is Me. We don't want any grandchild to be left out. hahahaha

I really love the prompts throughout the book. There are questions that I never would've thought of so clearly someone took the time to put thought into what to ask for us to share. I mean, I never would've thought about sharing how I felt about major events in history - some I experienced and some I didn't. Actually, this would be a great book for my parents to fill out for their great-grandchildren they'll one day have.

There's also a page in each section where you can write a letter to your grandchild. Times where they're entering a new stage of life or buying their first home. What a sweet legacy to leave each of them!

I also like how the colors throughout the book follow the colors of the leaves changing on a tree. The sections go from green to brown like the path of our lives. I'll have to put some thought into the pictures I want to share with each of my grandkids. I think they'll be different in each book so that there is a menagerie for them to see in each one.

Dear Grandchild, This Is Me would make a perfect gift either for someone who is becoming a new grandparent or for Grandparents Day in September.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

September Bookstagram

I thought I'd go out on a limb and try and daily book challenge on Instagram using my bookstagram account. If you want to participate, we would love to have you. Do you have suggestions as to what we should do on a particular day? Be sure to comment on the imagine on my Instagram account. I'm open to ideas.

Be sure to save the image and share it on your account using the #InspiredBookChallenge hashtag. We look forward to seeing you participate!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

King's Shadow By Angela Hunt

King's Shadow
by Angela Hunt
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764233364

As a long time fan of Angela Hunt's, I was excited to find out the final book in her The Silent Years series was coming out. I jumped at the chance to review King's Shadow thanks to Bethany House.


Their Lives Couldn't Be More Different,
but Their Goal Is the Same:
Survive King Herod's Rule.
Two women occupy a place in Herod's court. The first, Salome, is the king's only sister, a resentful woman who has been told she's from an inferior race, a people whom God will never accept or approve of.

The second woman, Zara, is a lowly handmaid who serves Salome, but where Salome spies conspiracies and treachery, Zara sees hurting people in need of understanding and compassion.

Powerful and powerless, Idumean and Jew, selfish and selfless--both women struggle to reach their goals and survive each day within Herod the Great's tumultuous court, where no one is trustworthy and no one is safe.

My Review:

I don't know if there's an author who can write in any genre like Angela Hunt can. The Silent Years series has been an awesome one and I'm sad to see it finish with this last book.

Can I be completely honest about something? I saw this book come up for review and just requested it without even reading what it was about. Do you have an author who you don't care what they write, you're going to read it no matter what? Yea, that's me with Angela Hunt. So when the book came. I glanced at the back of the book to get a glimpse of the story, and then dove in. I didn't realize this story was about THE Herod. Know when I realized? When I got to the end of the book. Can we all just take a moment to facepalm? Honestly!

I have to say, I appreciate the research that goes into creating stories like these. Biblical fiction is becoming one of my favorite genres! After reading this fictionalized story of Herod's reign, I have to tell you, I would never have any desire to be in a position of authority. What he went through, what his wives and children went through, as well as his extended family was just awful! I can't even imagine anyone in that time desiring power to sit on a throne.

Anyhow, we meet Salome and in turn meet her new handmaiden, Zara. Believe it or not, I started out on Salome's side. I could understand how she wanted to protect her family, especially her brother, the king. Unfortunately, that desire to protect put many in danger. Then there's also, Zara, who I had hoped we would've seen her transformation a bit more detailed, but we got to see her heart for serving her mistress.

It was very interesting watching Salome transform as a character. Starting from when she is the king's young sister up to when she's an elderly grandmother, we watch her develop and mature. Not always in a positive way, but who of us has a straight and narrow path?

Zara spends her life serving Salome. It's clear she loves Salome and Salome learns to trust her. Because Zara isn't a slave, but a servant, she's allowed more freedom than most. This allows her leave the palace and spend time with those who live and share her faith. I would've liked to have watched Zara's faith develop more. We have glimpses of it, but I wish as a reader we would've see her have that "light bulb" moment. That's just my perspective from my view of the story. Others might be completely satisfied by how her faith life unfolded.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and am sad to see the series come to an end. I felt like I was on a constant roller coaster of emotions because of all the intensity the Herodians carried. Let's just say I'm glad I wasn't part of his court or family! lol The way it ushers in the beginning of Jesus' time is fluid and gripping! Imagine being a king and knowing there are people who believe there's a king coming who will be greater than the one ruling!

I'm looking forward to reading her next set of stories about women in the New Testament.

About the Author:

The author of more than 100 published books and with more than 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty.Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in Biblical Studies in Theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Standing Together By Carlos R. Evans And Rosemarie Evans With Cecil Murphey & Giveaway

Standing Together
by Carlos R. Evans and Rosemarie Evans with Cecil Murphey
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 9780825444975

I don't know about you, but I'm one of those people who gets emotional around people who have and are currently serving in our military. When I learned about the opportunity to receive Standing Together for review from Read with Audra, I knew it would be intense, but so worthwhile!


A true story of hope and courage in the face of astonishing challenges

During his fourth deployment, US Marine Corps Sergeant Carlos Evans stepped on an IED--and the loss of both legs and his left hand was just the beginning of the struggle for his life.

For the next two years, he and his wife, Rosemarie, went through the rehabilitation process together. As a nurse and mother of two young children, Rosemarie was used to caring for people, but the task of taking care of her triple-amputee husband brought new challenges every day. In addition to his limb loss, Carlos faced PTSD and developed an addiction to painkillers. He was sure Rosemarie's life would be better without him--and that it might have been better if he hadn't survived at all.

But unlike the majority of marriages put under similar strain, Carlos and Rosemarie stayed together. With the help of family, friends, and--most importantly--a strong faith, they've built a solid marriage and discovered a ministry they never expected. By the hand of God, their story, which began in devastation, has turned into one that draws in and lifts up more people than either of them would ever have dreamed.

Not only will disabled veterans and their loved ones find help here, Carlos and Rosemarie's captivating journey also speaks to those who long for stronger marriages, care for loved ones with disabilities, or are facing a new normal in their own lives, small or large. It is a powerful resource for leaning on God in the midst of life's great difficulties--and for finding ways that, through faith, profound loss can bring incredible blessing.

My Review:

Starting with the first page of Standing Together, you know Carlos & Rosemarie are about to take us along on the wild ride of his injuries and their family's road to recovery. To me, the book read like either an interview (think 60 Minutes) or a diary. They are so open with everything they went through  from start to where they are today.

In my head I generically understood how difficult it must be for families to go through the devastation of surviving trauma while serving. Obviously, I had no real clue and I knew that, but reading how difficult it was for both Carlos, Rosemarie, and their kids put it in a new light. The ups and downs throughout the recovery was overwhelming and to see how God sustained them and was their strength is incredible.

Honestly I wasn't surprised by all of the ups and downs both of them had. Also, to see the way so many things actually came together to help and bless them was amazing. Reading their story made me want to find a way to help out those families and open my home up so that when these families are going through the recovery and rehabilitation time they can all stay together as a family instead of kids being one place, the soldier being in recovery, and their spouse trying to find a bed to sleep in. I don't think most of us realize how long the rehabilitation can be.

After reading Carlos' side of the story, I can understand why so many become depressed to the point of taking their own lives. His raw emotions make it clear how important it is for them to have family, friends, and a team who will walk through this time with them. Also, for Rosemarie's side, I can see how some spouses find this time unbearable and find a way out. To see God move and work in their hearts & minds was incredibly encouraging. As hard as it is, it can be done.

It was clear throughout the entire story how so many people played a part in the recovery of Carlos and the sustaining of their family. From the people who came alongside them at the hospitals to the people who found an apartment for them, to the organization that helped with their dream home, and then those who encouraged Carlos to become a speaker, there were an incredible amount of people who wanted to help! Honestly, I was blown away.

As hard as it was to read everything Carlos & Rosemarie went through, it was an incredible example of how God can use the circumstances in our lives. No one understands that more than this family! They are truly an inspiration!

About the Authors:
Sgt. (Ret.) Carlos R. Evans is a minister with the Assemblies of God USA, a Wounded Warrior spokesman, and a motivational speaker. Born in Puerto Rico, Carlos was an avid athlete through his high school and college years.  At university, he studied Theology and was very active in his church. When the tragic events of September 11th occurred, he felt compelled to join the family legacy of service in the US Marine Corps, and originally planned to join as a Chaplain.
Carlos served three tours of duty in Iraq and was assigned to Afghanistan for his fourth deployment. In May 2010, he was the squad leader on foot patrol when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. The blast took both of his legs and his left hand. Medically discharged after his rehab at Walter Reed, Carlos served in the Marine Corps for eight years.
Rosemarie Evans, also a native of Puerto Rico, is an experienced nurse. She is now a full-time caregiver and student working toward a master’s degree in marriage and family from Liberty University. Carlos and Rosemarie live in Orlando, Florida with their two daughters.
Learn more about Carlos and Rosemarie Evans at as well as on Facebook (CR Evans)Instagram (@crevans923) and Twitter (@crevans923).
You have the opportunity to win Standing Together through 8/20/19!
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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.