Devotions from the Beach

This is a very pretty devotional book. It is full of wonderful color pictures from areas near beaches and related images from a variety of locations. There are 100 devotions which draw inspiration from the images, and a verse of Scripture. This is one volume from a series of devotionals published by Thomas Nelson. Each volume focuses on a different location, and the devotions are all in the same vein.

Aside from the differences in pictures, these volumes are pretty similar. The type of devotions are consistent, and while they are not offensive or unsound, they are pretty light as far as they go. A brief scripture, a nice picture and a devotional thought tying the two other components together. For the water lover or devotional collector, this would be a nice gift. If you want to give a devotional as a gift, this series would offer you nice options if you are not looking for Scriptural depth as these are only one page each.

I received a copy of this book for free from BookLook Bloggers for review purposes. The review did not have to be positive.

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NIV Starting Place Study Bible

Study Bibles have a great advantage over other types of Bibles in that they have a broad base of information available to the reader rather than a narrow or specialized focus. A devotional Bible frequently does not give a lot of cultural context or historical data. A reference Bible does not have a lot of study material typically, it has a system of interconnecting verses throughout the Bible. A study Bible on the other hand can contain any number of features, depending on the goal of the publisher.

The Starting Place Study Bible is an amalgamation of five other study Bibles and the Essential Bible Companion. The five different study Bibles included are the Quest, Foundation, Archaeological, Student and Rock Solid Faith study Bibles. The benefit of this combination is a broad platform of information is interwoven into the NIV text of the Bible. One of my favorite features is the “Context Notes” feature. These are insets throughout the Bible. They are presented in a folder format presentation. The types of folders are People, Lands & Rulers, Culture & History, Archaeology, Ancient Texts & Artifacts and Reliability. The type of information included with the note is designated by which folder tab is highlighted.

There are study notes throughout the Bible as well, and tables spread through the text of things such as the Messianic Psalms and a Harmony of the Gospels. There are maps through the Bible, reading plans, subject index, etc. A wide variety of material is included. While the study aides do not go as far in depth as the individual study Bibles they are drawn from, they do a fantastic job of drawing the most useful information from the individual works and combining to make this study aid heavy study Bible.

I received a free copy of this from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review. The review did not have to be positive. All thoughts are my own.

Maxwell Study Bible, Hardcover

It is always interesting when multiple versions of a Bible are released. As I do not have the previous versions, I cannot speak as to what the differences might be, thus my review will be of the content of this version alone. That being said, there are quite a few extra helps included in this version. Biographical profiles of leadership, book introductions, and notes on mentoring and influence are all included within the NIV text found in this Bible.

John Maxwell is a widely know author and speaker on the topic of leadership. Throughout this Bible, the writing of Maxwell are interwoven with the text, highlighting examples and principles of leadership through utilization of the Biblical text. Additionally, there are summaries of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and the 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader and the applicable Scripture pertaining to these laws and qualities. Lastly there are several articles on being a leader included in the end-materials of this bible.

As one can see, there are many features included in this Bible. However, for all of its additional material, there are some basic items missing. There are no maps contained within the Bible, nor is there any kind of concordance or dictionary. Pretty basic stuff in even the most inexpensive Bibles, and these items could have been added without much effort. There are a few textual footnotes included with the Bible text, but no real cross-referencing. Lastly, there are no study notes of any type of Biblical information beyond those highlighting the leadership materials included.

All in all, if you are looking for a specialized Bible for a leader in your life, this would be a good option. If you are looking for a good, all-purpose study Bible, this is not the one you want. It is pretty one-dimensional in it intent and purpose, becoming a Biblically sound leader. Knowing that is the purpose, I believe it hits that mark very well. I also believe this is a highly specialized Bible with that singular purpose in mind and is not applicable for much study beyond that focus.

I received a copy of this Bible for free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review. The review did not have to be positive. All thoughts are my own.

Maxwell Leadership Bible 3rd Edition

It is always interesting when multiple versions of a Bible are released. As I do not have the previous versions, I cannot speak as to what the differences might be, thus my review will be of the content of this version alone. That being said, there are quite a few extra helps included in this version. Biographical profiles of leadership, book introductions, and notes on mentoring and influence are all included within the NIV text found in this Bible.

John Maxwell is a widely know author and speaker on the topic of leadership. Throughout this Bible, the writing of Maxwell are interwoven with the text, highlighting examples and principles of leadership through utilization of the Biblical text. Additionally, there are summaries of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and the 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader and the applicable Scripture pertaining to these laws and qualities. Lastly there are several articles on being a leader included in the end-materials of this bible.

As one can see, there are many features included in this Bible. However, for all of its additional material, there are some basic items missing. There are no maps contained within the Bible, nor is there any kind of concordance or dictionary. Pretty basic stuff in even the most inexpensive Bibles, and these items could have been added without much effort. There are a few textual footnotes included with the Bible text, but no real cross-referencing. Lastly, there are no study notes of any type of Biblical information beyond those highlighting the leadership materials included.

All in all, if you are looking for a specialized Bible for a leader in your life, this would be a good option. If you are looking for a good, all-purpose study Bible, this is not the one you want. It is pretty one-dimensional in it intent and purpose, becoming a Biblically sound leader. Knowing that is the purpose, I believe it hits that mark very well. I also believe this is a highly specialized Bible with that singular purpose in mind and is not applicable for much study beyond that focus.

I received a copy of this Bible for free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review. The review did not have to be positive. All thoughts are my own.

Stop and Go Devotional

This devotional is intended as a weekly devotional for families. It is a colorful, playful layout with fun illustrations and activities. Each of the weekly devotionals has a full-color illustration with Scriptures passages listed. The facing page is a “Stop and Read” devotional based on the Scriptures given. The next page in each section is a “Think and Talk” page which helps reflect on the passage of Scripture. The last page of each week is an activities page titled “Green Means Go!” page.

All in all, this is a really delightful devotional. It is brightly colored and the activities and thought provoking questions are all kid friendly. I think this would be a great devotional for a young family to begin sharing the Word of God with the children.

I received a copy of this for free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review. The review did not have to be positive. All thoughts are my own.

Jesus Calling Cloth Bound Floral

Over the past few years this devotional has been released in a variety of bindings and formats. It has also elicited both praise and criticism. The praise for it’s insight, the criticism because the author includes her thoughts of how God would speaks. The criticism seems to be that people feel she is putting words into God’s mouth. Personally, I don’t buy into the criticism. This is a devotional, which is meant to cause the reader to reflect upon God’s word, not replace it. All she has done is write in a fashion that a quote from Scripture fits contextually into the thoughts Young is trying to use for inspiration and drawing the reader into a deeper awe of God’s goodness and mercy. The quote is italicized in this version, as it is in other versions.

There is little here which separates this version from other versions. If you have read/own other versions, there is probably not a huge rush to purchase this one. It is beautiful in its layout, and there are some additional verses included on some of the devotions, but not anything which changes the focus of previous editions, simply a supplement to earlier printings.

All in all, if you are looking for a beautiful edition for yourself or a gift, this is a great option. If you have a previous edition, this would be a different look more than anything else. Personally, as a male, I would prefer the imitation leather bindings or hardback, but that is strictly personal opinion. If you have someone who loves flowers, male or female, this might be just what you are looking for.

I received a copy of this from BookLook Bloggers for free, in exchange for an honest review. The review did not have to be positive, and the thoughts expressed herein are my own.

NKJV Wiersbe Study Bible – Hardcover

Warren Wiersbe has been a highly respected bible teacher and preacher for many, many years. His approach to teaching has been highly beneficial as it is not only a life application for today, nor is it a simple historical analysis of a passage. It is a blending of what the Scripture is about from a historical and contextual setting, and then he draws parallels to today’s culture and an ability to see that the Bible is relevant to today as well as it was thousands of years ago when it was written.

This Bible is a synopsis of his rather prolific writing. It includes book introductions, book overviews, and a “be transformed” segment for how the book can bring about Biblical transformation in out lives today. Copious cross-reference notations are made, and then the real strength of this version is the study notes taken from Dr. Wiersbe’s larger body of writings. While I may not agree with everything Dr. Wiersbe states, I highly respect his breadth and depth to the study of Scripture. If I come to a different conclusion to the interpretation to a difficult passage, I do not discount his thoughts, I dig deeper into other authors and scholars and see what a larger body of believers glean from the passage. Personally, I believe there is greater understanding when the largest body of scholarly works possible can be studied and Dr. Wiersbe is one whom I frequently consult because of his steadfast respect for God’s Word.

This Bible is beautifully lain out with a huge concordance, full-color maps, two ribbon markers, and the above mentioned features. When I saw this Bible was being released, I anticipated it with great enthusiasm. I was not disappointed. I highly recommend this Bible. To my knowledge, it is being released in the NKJV translation only. It may come out in other translations at a later time, but I can only find various bindings of the NKJV at this time. This review is for the hardcover binding. If you do not like a flexible binding and prefer a hardcover for durability, this would make a great option.

I received a copy of this for free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review. The review did not have to be positive, and the thoughts expressed are solely my own.