Monday, September 19, 2016

Review: 365 Pocket Morning Prayers

My daily quiet time consists almost exclusively of reading the Bible and spending time in prayer. I admit I am not big on adding other books to this routine mainly because they often focus on things about the Bible, general opinions, or self. I simply want the Word of God because in it is the power of life. I received a complimentary copy of this little book, "365 Pocket Morning Prayers" from Tyndale Publishing and was pleasantly surprised.

Each day has a simple prayer that focuses on a specific topic or issue. They may range from personal struggles to people. Included with the prayer is a short Bible passage that supports the theme of each prayer. I would never recommend this little book as a replacement for reading the Bible on a daily basis, but it can be a helpful supplement. Where the Bible is the main course for breakfast this book can be a vitamin to go with it.

You can view a sample chapter at this LINK.

Review: "Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal"

Let me start by saying I am not someone who journals or colors on a regular basis (in fact, not much at all). However, I received a copy of "Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Journal" free from Tyndale Publishing for the purpose of reviewing it. The book has thick, brightly illustrated covers and heavier stock paper to make easier the task of writing and coloring in it. Aesthetically it is very appealing.

I thumbed through the pages, reading the prayers for each day and found them to light-hearted and simple yet guiding the heart toward gratitude. It is refreshing to find something that points to the Lord and serves as a daily reminder of all He has done for us. So many of these kinds of books are more self-centered than God-centered. This one, all though light and airy, points to Him.

Personally, I would not purchase this book for myself. It is more suitable for my teenage daughters than me. It would make a good gift book, but doesn't seem to be made for the serious journaler.

Downloadable samplers and sharable coloring pages can be found at Tyndale's Inspire Creativity board on Pinterest.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Game Review: The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance

In today's world, electronic devices are a fixture in our lives. Gaming has moved from being anchored to the family tv in the den to a rectangle of plastic and glass anywhere a cell or wi-fi signal exists. The mobility of games has increased their accessibility and drained more time from already busy lives. As a dad I try to strike a balance with my kids when it comes to video games. My wife and I monitor what they play and set limits on how long they can go at it. The majority of games are mindless or mindless with violence/crudeness/crassness/etc. I was glad to receive the opportunity to play and review "The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance" from Tyndale House Publishing and Scarlet City Studios.

I'll be honest, when I first played the game I thought it was kind of clunky in that there were no instructions on how to play the game. After several minutes I was able to figure it out and endeavored to get as far as I could on my own before calling in the two sons. I knew the game was designed to teach and bring the biblical narrative to life, but I must admit I did not readily see it in the time I played the game.

Enter the boys. They are eleven and sixteen and, needless to say, have out mastered me in the realm of video games. My youngest enjoyed the challenge of figuring out the "hows" of playing the game, while his brother didn't seem to be phased by the lack of instructions. They both excelled in the game, completing the missions and advancing as far as they could during the trial period they had access to it. As a game they found it engaging, challenging and yet fun.

The best part came when they began to explain to me how the game (as far as they were able to play it) was an allegory of the biblical account of Abraham and his son Isaac. It excited them to be able to "play out" biblical truth in a video game. It excited me to know that the time spent playing the game wasn't wasted, but actually reinforced what they already knew of the bible. It seemed to help them think through the events found in the bible.

I, and my sons, recommend "The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance" for the following reasons: it is clean, challenging and fun as a game; it reinforces what my kids have already learned from reading the bible. Please watch the trailer below to find out more.

You can also check out the YouVersion reading plan by clicking this LINK and be sure to "like" the Aetherlight Facebook page by going HERE.

I received a free three day trial of this game for the purpose of review.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Book Review: God & Churchill

I received this book from Tyndale Publishing free for review purposes.

Winston Churchill is perhaps one of the most popular figures in recent world history. Countless biographies have been written about him and many other histories of WW2 hold him as a central figure. His performance as a leader of men under some of the most difficult circumstances in history has also spawned numerous books on leadership, some having explored the spiritual side of this great man. This book, "God & Churchill" by Johnathan Sandys takes the exploration of Churchill's Christianity a step further than others.

Sandys begins with a young Churchill chronicling the influence of his parents and governess. He tells of experiences he had as a young soldier, a military leader and then Prime Minister. Each story serves as a stepping stone in Churchill's life that drew him closer to God. These anecdotes reveal a man who understood from an early age his destiny as a leader during dark days of his beloved Britain. It was a challenge he embraced and felt prepared by God for.

The book is an interesting read if for no other reason than to catch a glimpse into this great man's thinking and understanding the influences that prepared him. It isn't obvious to me that Churchill was a Christian, but there is clear evidence he recognized the God of the Bible and believed Him to be the orchestrator of his life. This book helps to fill in some of the gaps of history and is recommended for those who enjoy reading about such men and times as Churchill and WW2.

You can read the first chapter HERE.