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Book Review : Comparison Girl

“If you struggle with measuring up, if you’re worried about what people think, if you dread someone seeing you in a less-than-ideal situation, then you’re human. We all struggle with comparing ourselves to others in some way. That means we all need Shannon’s honest and wise words on the pages of this book. I know I did, and I’m betting you do too!”
~ Jill Savage, author of No More Perfect Moms, No More Perfect Kids, and No More Perfect Marriages

If you read my review of Control Girl, and you could relate, this is another great devotion book for you!! Comparison Girl takes a deep dive into the side of us that is constantly comparing.

With both of these books I was pleasantly surprised at how in-depth Shannon Popkin goes into digging up the root of what causes these issues in our lives. She really relies heavily on scripture to help us grow in specific areas and to help us see how these unhealthy ideas really hurt us.

The book is set up for a group study or even as a small group of friends. There are 6 main chapters with 4 sections in each chapter. It would work really well as a 6 week study! Talking about the points and ideas in the book would really help facilitate a greater amount of growth.

Shannon writes in a way that helps us realize our issues without feeling like she is judging us. I appreciate that, sometimes an author can sound like they have conquered the issue they are writing about in a way that feels judgmental, but Shannon does not come across that way, instead I feel like I am listening to a trusted friend help me work through things.

Comparison Girl is a great devotion book, and one that would really facilitate a healthier self image and a heart for others.

Note : I received a copy of Comparison Girl in exchange for an honest review.

More about Comparison Girl:

Women compare constantly—on social media, in their neighborhood, at church, even in the school drop-off lane. They glance sideways and ask themselves, “How do I measure up?” All this assessment feels like a natural way of finding a place in the world. But it pulls them into feelings of inferiority or superiority, guiding them into a trap of antagonism by the enemy.

Satan would like women to strive to measure up, constantly adding to a tally sheet that can’t ever be balanced. The way of Jesus is completely upside down from that philosophy. Instead, he says the last shall be first–and the greatest are those who empty themselves, lay down their lives, and serve each other.

Through conversations Jesus had and parables he shared, Shannon Popkin has created a seven-week Bible study to address this tendency to compare and judge ourselves and others. Each chapter is divided into lessons, allowing women on a time budget to read a Bible passage, engage in a complete train of thought related to the topic, and then make the content personal–all in one sitting. And the informal teaching tone will make women feel like they’re meeting with a trusted friend.

Suited for both individual and group study, Comparison Girl will guide women to leave their measure-up ways behind, connect with those around them, and break free from the shackles of comparison!

About Shannon Popkin:

Shannon Popkin is a writer, speaker, and Bible teacher who loves pointing others to the truth of God’s Word. She combines her gifts for humor and storytelling with her passion for Jesus. She regularly speaks at Christian women’s events and retreats, encouraging women of all ages to put their hope in God.
 
Popkin is also a regular contributor for the Revive Our Hearts True Woman and Leader Connection blogs. Her articles have been published by Family FunFocus on the Family MagazineMOMsense and others. She is the author of several books, including Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the BibleInfluence: Building a Platform That Elevates Jesus (Not Me), and Comparison Girl: Lessons from Jesus on Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up World.
 
Popkin and her husband, Ken, have been married for more than twenty years and live in West Michigan. They have three children—one in high school and two in college.
 
Connect with Shannon Popkin by visiting www.shannonpopkin.com, following her on Facebook (shanpopkin), Instagram (shannonpopkin), or Twitter (@ShannonPopkin).

Book Review : Cross Shadow

Andrew Huff has created a character : John Cross – think Jason Bourne and 007 meets Christian Pastor. We met John Cross in A Cross to Kill which you can read about HERE.

This is the second book in the Shepherd Suspense series.

Book 2 is a bit more about John and Christine (the woman he rescues in the first book), as they find themselves in a mess of trouble, again! John has to face some difficult decisions with regards to his church and his budding relationship with Christine.

I really enjoyed this book, along with the first! They are both fast paced, you kind of hit the ground running. The characters are solid and seem to wrestle with relationships and life, like the rest of us. I love how Andrew weaves in faith throughout the book, and especially how Christine is trying to grow in her young faith and apply it to her daily life. It is something so many of us work at no matter where we are in our faith journey.

NOTE : I received a copy of Cross Shadow in exchange for an honest review.

More about Cross Shadow:

All journalist Christine Lewis wants is the truth. All pastor John Cross wants is to avoid it.Former CIA agent turned evangelical pastor John Cross is busy caring for the small community of believers he ministers to in Virginia. Journalist Christine Lewis is busy with the demand for her talents from top news agencies in New York City. Neither has any time left for their relationship, which began eight months before when they paired up to prevent the detonation of a chemical bomb in the nation’s capital.But when Christine hears that her stepbrother has been arrested for murder in Texas, they team up again to discover the truth about the crime. Untangling a web of conspiracy, the couple finds themselves in the center of another dangerous situation-and in trouble far deeper than they expected.With an assassin on the loose, a trusted colleague acting as a double agent, and unreliable artificial intelligence connected to mercenaries who have Cross on their hit list, these two may not get out of the Lone Star State alive.

About Andrew Huff

Huff spent ten years in local church ministry as a youth pastor and creative arts pastor before pursuing God’s calling into creative storytelling and media production as the product director at Igniter Media, a church media company (ignitermedia.com).
 
He is a two-time finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Contest for unpublished authors (2014, 2017) and also won the best screenplay award at the 2015 48 Hour Film Festival in Richmond, VA. A Cross to Kill and Cross Shadow in the Shepherd Suspense series are his first releases.
 
Huff holds a bachelor of science in religion degree from Liberty University and a master of arts in Christian education from Dallas Theological Seminary. He resides in Plano, TX, with his beautiful wife, Jae, and their two boys.
 
Learn more Andrew Huff and the Shepherd Suspense novels at www.andrewhuffbooks.com. He can also be found on Facebook (@huffwrites)Twitter (@andrewjohnhuff) and Instagram (@andyhuff)

Book Review : Grace Looks Amazing on You

I have thoroughly enjoyed a new devotion book : Grace Looks Amazing on You by Amy Seiffert.  This is an adorable hardbound book that is a great inspirational book.  Each devotion is aimed to encourage you, to inspire you and to meet you right where you are.

Each devotion starts with a small scripture passage.  Then Amy dives into the topic of the day, followed by a short prayer and some questions that would be great for journalling.

Amy is a very down to earth writer, and it feels very transparent and real when she talks about grace.  So many of us struggle with giving ourselves grace, let along others, so Amy’s encouragement is timely and appropriate.

NOTE: I received a copy of Grace Looks Amazing on You in exchange for an honest review.

More about the book:

What if today is the perfect time to notice God’s grace in one another?
Women are so often weighed down by comparison, anxiety, and fear that the idea that grace could look amazing on them feels unbelievable. But all around us are flashes of grace, shining examples of God’s love.

Amy Seiffert says it’s the everyday moments that Jesus shines through: making time for a friend even when your to-do list is pages long; apologizing to your neighbor when you don’t want to admit you are wrong; opening the Bible when your soul feels hollow and empty.

Making the choice to accept God’s limitless love no matter what and reflecting it back to the world around you—friend, that’s when His grace looks amazing on you.

A perfect gift to affirm and encourage any woman, Grace Looks Amazing on You is a timeless Christian message packed with personal story and reflection, Scripture, and deep biblical truth. This 100-day devotional will help you change your perspective so you can confidently radiate the grace of Christ.

Book Review : Night Night Zoo

I don’t think you ever outgrown listening to someone read a book to you, at least I have not! During this crazy time in our world my family has loved listening to Andrew Peterson read some delightful books on Facebook each night!! So I know, no matter how old you are, hearing someone reading a book is charming!!

When Night Night Zoo arrived in my mail, I took advantage of my captive audience (19 year old college son, and my husband) and I shared this darling book with them. I am not sure they enjoyed it like a typical 3 or 4 year old would, but I enjoyed reading it to them!!

This is really an adorable book, with great illustrations and even a few rabbit trails to follow as you read this book over and over to your children or grandchildren!! What youngster does not delight in telling you exactly what every animal says? This is a great chance to quiz them, and maybe even stump them!! Who knows what a gazelle or giraffe say? Maybe make something up!

I really thought the pair of mice that kind of lead the reader through the book, we fun and would make a cute “I spy” element!!

This book will be making its way to a friends’ house with a 4 year old and 2 year old who will enjoy this book over and over! It would be a fun birthday present for the little one in your life, or even a great book to have for visiting children at your own house!

NOTE : I received a copy of Night Night Zoo in exchange for an honest review.

More…

Night Night, Zoo pairs the fun, rhyming text from bestselling author Amy Parker with the award-winning artwork of Virginia Allyn to help your kids wish their favorite zoo animals “Night night!” From tuckered out elephants to dozing zebras, your little wild one will love the colorful art of cute animals settling in for bedtime. The zoo theme features fun and exciting illustrations of wild animals, inviting your children to say “Night night!” to each animal and to the loving God who made them.

Night Night, Zoo is the perfect bedtime book for anyone who already loves Amy Parker’s award-winning Night Night, Farm and Night Night, Train.

Book Review : Ishmael Covenant

Reading is a way for me to stay sane and to engage in a world outside the four walls of my home. So far in 2020 I have spent time in France during WWII, Italy during WWII, watched a family reconnect after a death and more. Each book teaches me something about myself and the world around me.

Ishmael Covenant is another book that will take you across the globe from Washington DC to Turkey to Jerusalem.

From the first page I was pulled in to a story that took me into a world I know very little about, Jewish tradition centuries ago along with world tensions in Turkey and DC. With characters that are leaders in our government working along side people in Iran, Iraq and Turkey, playing a sort of tug of war with current events. Everyone wants power, and they want to ensure the power remains with their own allies.

I love books that are emotionally thrilling and this one is just that. There are a number of unsuspecting twists and turns and seeing the world from the inside of our government (even though fictitious) was interesting to say the least.

I really loved the writing style of Terry Brennan and I would honestly read anything by him again. I was so mesmerized by his characters and the story that I never wanted to put it down. I loved the spiritual death of many of the characters and how it is a central part of their day to day life.

Ismael Covenant will teach you a few things, but most of all it will surely make you think. Seeing how people attempt to thwart the will of God, and yet see God’s provision time and again.

NOTE : I received a digital copy of Ishmael Covenant in exchange for an honest review.

MORE about the book…

His marriage in tatters and his career ruined by lies, Diplomatic Security Service agent Brian Mullaney is at the end of his rope. Banished to Israel as punishment by his agency, he’s assigned to guard a US ambassador and an insignificant box. Little does he know that this new job will propel him straight into a crisis of global proportions.

Inside the box is a messianic prophecy about the fate of the world. And a dark enemy known as The Turk and the forces of evil at his command are determined to destroy the box, the prophecy, and the Middle East as we know it. When Ambassador Cleveland gets in the way, his life and his daughter’s life are threatened–and Mullaney must act fast.

Now agents of three ancient empires have launched covert operations to secure nuclear weapons, in direct defiance of the startling peace treaty Israel and its Arab neighbors have signed. And a traitor in the US State Department is leaking critical information to a foreign power. It’s up to Mullaney–still struggling with his own broken future–to protect the embassy staff, thwart the clandestine conspiracies, and unmask a traitor–before the desert is turned into a radioactive wasteland.

Fans of Joel C. Rosenberg, Steven James, and Ted Dekker will relish the deadly whirlpool of international intrigue and end-times prophecy in Ishmael Covenant–and will eagerly await the rest of this new trilogy.

Read an excerpt from Kregel by clicking here!

More about the author:


Terry Brennan is the award-winning author of The Sacred Cipher, The Brotherhood Conspiracy, and The Aleppo Code, the three books in The Jerusalem Prophecies series. His latest release, Ishmael Covenant is the first in his new series, Empires of Armageddon.


A Pulitzer Prize is one of the many awards Brennan accumulated during his 22-year newspaper career. The Pottstown (PA)Mercury won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for a two-year series published while he led the team as the newspaper’s Editor.

Starting out as a sportswriter in Philadelphia, Brennan became an editor and publisher for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York and later moved to the corporate staff of Ingersoll Publications (400 newspapers in the U.S., Ireland and England) as Executive Editor of all U.S. newspaper titles.

In 1996, Brennan transitioned into the nonprofit sector, spending 12 years as VP Operations for The Bowery Mission and six years as Chief Administrative Officer for Care for the Homeless,  both in New York City.

Terry and his wife, Andrea, now live in Danbury, CT.

More on Brennan can be found at www.terrybrennanauthor.com. He is also on Facebook (Terry Brennan) and Twitter (@terrbrennan1).