Sunday, September 21, 2014

Book Review: Moses Leads the People (An I Can Read! book)

I just love the I Can Read! book series for beginning readers and I'm happy to find that they have a series of Bible stories from ZonderKidz. 

This book, Moses Leads the People, is based on the Adventure Bible and is rated at "Level 2: Reading with Help".  Level 2 books are meant for children who are beginning to be confident readers, but who still need a little help with unfamiliar words.  Books like Amelia Bedelia and Frog and Toad are Friends also fit in this category.

There are 28 pages of text with large print, 2-4 sentences on each page, and plenty of colorful pictures.  The editors try to be sensitive to difficult subject matter (death of the firstborn shown as mother sitting on an empty bed with face in hands) while staying true to Scripture. 

Because this is meant for children beginning to read longer sentences, they're probably in 1st or 2nd grade and have heard the story of Moses, the 10 plagues, and the Exodus before. However, adults might want to be on hand to answer any questions.

There are a few words kids will need help with: plagues, Pharoah,  Israelites, Egypt.  But there's plenty of repetition so that kids can practice their reading skills.

I love the fill-in-the-blank bookplate inside the front cover that says "Hooray, ________________ can read this book!" What a terrific confidence builder for a young reader. 

This is a  great starting point for kids learning how to read Scripture on their own.

Moses Leads the People  (Adventure Bible)
Zonderkidz/I Can Read! book

I received a review copy of this book from Book Look Bloggers (Thomas Nelson) in return for an honest review.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Book Review: The Spirit-Filled Life by Charles F. Stanley

Once in awhile a book comes along---just at the right time--with a message that I need to hear. This is one of those books.

In The Spirit-Filled Life: Discovering the Joy of Surrendering to the Holy Spirit, Charles Stanley examines contemporary ideas about Christian living (the "Adequate Christian Life") and challenges us to go deeper into a relationship with the Holy Spirit to find peace and joy.

Chapters address who the Spirit is...and isn't.  Stanley discusses the difference between gifts of the Spirit and fruits of the Spirit (everyone has gifts; not everyone bears fruit).  He reminds us of the importance of reading and memorizing principles from Scripture (the sword of the Spirit).  He counsels us in how to recognize the ways that the Spirit speaks to us: Scripture, wisdom, conscience, and peace.

There's so much that I loved about this book, that it's difficult to fit it into a review.  What I liked best was the practicality and the way Stanley's writing ministered to me, particularly in the area of discernment and allowing the Spirit to guide me:
  • Instead of memorizing Scripture promises, learn Scripture principles: truths that can help me take thoughts captive and deal with temptation
  • How to prepare my heart to be neutral while waiting on the Spirit (instead of doing something and asking the Spirit to bless it)
  • Discerning the leading of the Spirit through looking for the markers of peace, wisdom, and Scripture, and allowing the Spirit to use my conscience.
I filled this book with post-it notes. Time to go back with a highlighter, pen and paper.  One read through was not enough.

Highly recommended.

The Spirit-Filled Life: Discover the Joy of Surrendering to the Holy Spirit
by Charles F. Stanley
Thomas Nelson, 2014

I received a review copy of this book from Book Look Bloggers (Thomas Nelson) in return for an honest review.