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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Fearless… by Eric Blehm {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I just finished reading the book Fearless by Eric Blehm and am completely blown away by how much this book captured my attention and has remained in my thoughts.  When I received this book to review, I honestly wasn’t sure that I’d be interested enough to really enjoy it; that thought was fleeting as soon as I started the first chapter.

fearless

Fearless follows the life of Adam Brown, a Navy SEAL operator who served on Team SIX — the same team that was later sent to take out Osama bin Laden.  Rather that focusing heavily on military tactics and language, this book focuses on the man himself who overcame struggles with drug addictions in order to turn his life around and become an American hero.  This book was not written just for military members or military spouses; it is accessible and relatable to all.

In high school, Adam Brown stood up for the underdogs and asked the wallflowers to dance.  He admired his older brother, loved his twin sister, and showed amazing respect for his parents; he never broke his promises to them, even at the expense of jokes from his friends.  His drug addiction after high school changed all of that, though, and greatly affected these relationships as well as the direction his life was heading.  He couldn’t hold a job, would go missing for days, stole from friends and family, and later ended up in jail on 11 felony charges.  After his release from a Christian drug rehab, he met a girl named Kelley who became the support that he needed to combat this addiction and return to being an honorable man.

My favorite part of reading this book was that I knew what Adam Brown would become — I knew that Adam Brown would be successful in life and would eventually end up being ranked in the top 1% of Navy SEALs.  Even as I read through some of his darkest years and wondered how he could possibility get out of this trap, I knew that it would all work out so that he would marry, become a father, and serve our country.  I was in awe of how the military was able to give this man a second chance, and even more amazed that Kelley, his wife, had the necessary faith in God, in her decision to marry Adam, and in Adam himself to be the support he needed.

This is easily one of my absolute favorite books.  I loved the emotions I felt as Adam graduated with honors from his military courses, worked with other Navy SEALs to accomplish unthinkable missions, counseled and taught his children, lost use of his dominant eye and dominant hand, saved women and children in firefights, praised and taught others about God, and loved his wife.  I would (and already have!) highly recommend this book.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Candle Bible for Kids, Toddler Edition by Juliet David, Illustrated by Jo Parry {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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9781859859391Candle Bible for Kids, Toddler Edition by Juliet David, Illustrated by Jo Parry

Reading from the scriptures every night as a family is a priority in our household, but try to get a 2-year old to sit through anything more than a verse of fancy vocabulary, and you start to wonder what the point is of trying at all.  I completely understand the appeal of simplified and illustrated bible stories for children, and this toddler edition Candle Bible is terrific.

To begin with, this book is very kid-friendly in size and material.  It is roughly 5″ by 7″ in size, with a hard but padded cover.  The pages are glossy and easy to turn with rounded corners.

It contains 36 well-known stories from the Bible.  I think the publishers selected a good collection of common bible stories that children will be able to remember and understand.  The wording is simplified, but interesting, with just the right amount of words per page to keep a toddler’s attention.

I found the artwork delightful!  Every page was colorful, friendly, and void of busy distractions.  I almost looked forward to the next story just to see how the illustrator depicted the next bible story hero or heroine.  I especially loved the sweet and kind faces of Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus as we read our son the Christmas story.

It took us several days to read through it, but after a few stories, it became a favorite and “Rocket” would go find it off the shelf and bring it over for family scripture time.  At 160 pages, I think it is the perfect length and size to enjoy with your child for many nights as a bedtime favorite.  I’m looking forward to enjoying this again and again with my son, and to sharing this toddler bible with all of our toddlers to come!

You can find more information about this book HERE.

I received a free copy of this book from Kregel Publications to write this review.

Still Lolo {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Several years ago, I remember hearing about a reporter who would go into various towns and cities across America to find normal, ordinary people to highlight in a documentary.  He would literally open the phone book from that area and would randomly select a name whose life story would become the focus of that documentary, and then he’d move to another town or city and do it all over again.  The part of this endeavor that was most touching to me was that every person had something interesting to share — each life was inspiring and held captivating stories.

Along those same lines, I am a self-proclaimed blog junkie and love reading about friends (near and far) and their lives, and also I just finished reading a whole bunch of biographies of famous Americans (P.T. Barnum, Benjamin Franklin, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Kennedy family, etc.) over this past month.  The thing that I’ve come to learn is that seemingly ordinary people are amazing and that famous and influential people are ordinary.  I love this idea.

These two thoughts ran through my head the entire time I read Still Lolo by Lauren Scruggs and the Scruggs Family.  A young fashion journalist who was well-traveled and had just launched an online magazine, Lauren Scruggs suddenly found her life heading in a new direction after a horrible accident with a spinning airplane propeller left her with many injuries to her brain, face, eye, shoulder, and left hand.  Her strength to endure this trial came from her faith in God and devotion to sustaining hope through her trials.

However, the part of the story that was more captivating to me was that of her parents divorce and remarriage seven years later, the bond between her and her twin sister, Lauren’s experiences in New York City as an intern at Michael Kors and on the set of Gossip Girl, and her struggle to decide on a major leading to a fulfilling career.  In short, the seemingly ordinary (yet extraordinary) parts.

I enjoyed reading this book and was able to finish it in one day.  I found that the references to her family’s faith and to God were not overwhelming but were prevalent throughout their experiences, and I thoroughly enjoyed that different members of the family told the story from their perspectives.  This would make an excellent gift or stocking stuffer for this holiday season!

You can read the first chapter here: http://mediacenter.tyndale.com/downloads/press_kits/StillLoloCh1.pdf

**Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.

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