This is the Day by Tim Tebow (with A. J. Gregory)

My Review

I have been interested in and have followed Tim Tebow’s career since he first became known. I was saddened, as a football fan, when he left football. The vitriol he often calmly and professionally endured saddened me.

Tebow also has a resplendent program for the intellectually disabled, A Night to Shine. I have two family members who work with physically and intellectually disabled adults. Seeing how the men and women reacted to Tebow’s event brought tears to my eyes, but they were happy tears.

When an opportunity became available for me to review This Is The Day by Tim Tebow, I jumped at the chance. I am so glad I did.

Through experiences in sports and personal life, Tebow tells of his belief that “This is the Day.” He says, “Imagine when hearing the sound of the morning alarm, instead of groaning or slapping the snooze button, you awaken-mind, heart, and soul-to possibility…Imagine being fueled by a whisper: ’This is the day.’”

Tebow opens up about many of his life experiences growing up and as an adult. He relates stories of seemingly insignificant events, yet they have great significance, not only in his life but in the lives of those he (and others around him) have touched. He talks to readers as if we are sitting with him enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. Granted, he has the money to do some things we, the average readers, cannot. However, that shouldn’t stop us from doing, being and experiencing all we can within God’s plans for us.

“This is the day to say yes to your dreams.”

I received this book from WaterBrook. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

The New York Times best-selling sports star and media icon motivates readers to stop postponing dreams and start making them happen now because–this is the day.

Beyond Tim Tebow’s exploits as a Heisman-winning football player, he is widely known and respected for his exemplary character and personal excellence, which have made him a role model for millions. When Tim interacts with the public, he often encounters people who feel “stuck”–unable to take action on matters ranging from daily life to pursuing lifelong dreams. In response, Tim often identifies a crippling fear or lack of courage, to which he advises: “now is the time to take some risks, to quiet the voices of defeat, to step forward and make a mark, because this is the day.” In this inspiring, motivational book, readers will receive the advice and encouragement to daily move from “pause” to “play” in finding deeper meaning and success. Tim illustrates the book’s themes with stories from his personal life that will delight all readers, including an update on his dream pursuit of a baseball career.

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The Struggle is Real-Spotlight- Now on tour with CelebrateLit

About the Book

Title: The Struggle is Real

Author: Nicole Unice

Genre: Non-fiction, Christian life, Spiritual Growth

Release date: August 21, 2018

“It just shouldn’t be this hard!”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a day where everything that could go wrong does go wrong—you lock your keys in the car while it’s running, lose control with your kids, make a mistake at the office that results in hours more work. And just when you think not one more thing could possibly happen . . . well, fill in the blank.

The struggle is real, friends. It may not be major stuff. Lives are not on the line here. But it makes us feel awful . . . and then we feel guilty for stressing when other people have “real” problems that are so much more serious.

Yet the fact remains: We live in a world that often feels harder than we think it should be. And so it can be easy to believe the stories we tell ourselves—that we’re doing it wrong, that we’ll be stuck in this place forever, that God doesn’t love us. We struggle to practice gratitude, to make godly choices, and to live our daily lives with confidence and contentment. So what can we do?

Join popular Bible teacher and counselor Nicole Unice to discover why the struggle is real . . . and what to do about it. Nicole offers practical tools to help you navigate the daily ups and downs, and ways to rewrite your struggle into a new, God-centered life story. The Struggle Is Real is an invitation to take the hard, hurtful, and confusing moments and turn them into opportunities to grow in wisdom, strength, and joy.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Nicole Unice is a Bible teacher, author, and passionate communicator who delights in bringing God’s Word to life in a personal and relevant way. Her training as a counselor informs her work, as she emphasizes the importance of facing our own reality and embracing the transforming power of God’s grace.

Her heart belongs to Hope Church in Richmond, Virginia, where she serves as ministry director, leading discipleship and Praxis, a full-time ministry residency program for young leaders. In addition, Nicole co-hosts Hope Cast, a podcast on spiritual formation, leadership, and relationships.

Nicole’s invitations to speak have taken her across the world, and her books come to life through her popular video curriculum series found on RightNow Media. Her first book, She’s Got Issues, released in May 2012 and speaks to a fundamental question of faith: Is being a Christian supposed to change me? Also available is a companion curriculum, She’s Got Issues DVD Group Experience, a six-session journey that includes interviews, questions, and teaching expanding on the book. Her subsequent titles—Brave Enough and The Struggle Is Real—help people distill the complicated stuff of life into a simple and clear path to Jesus.

Nicole holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She loves creating a space for ministry and spiritual formation in the everyday rhythms of life with three children, two pups, one husband, and a whole community of twentysomethings who regularly raid her fridge.

Nicole is known for making friends in all corners of the world, especially via social media. Connect with her on Instagram, YouTube, or at nicoleuncie.com —and hopefully face-to-face at one of her upcoming events.

Guest Post from Nicole Unice

There’s a question we throw around that I bet means a whole lot more than we would expect. How many times a week—or a day!–are you asked:

How are you?”

I don’t know about you, but the answer I hear and give the most is something like …. ”fine”, or —“busy but good!”? It’s kind of the socially acceptable answer, right?

A friend asked me this question just this week as I walked into work. I was multitasking as usual while knee-deep into a cell phone conversation about yet another problem. I didn’t answer her, because if I did—if I really stopped and answered—I might have started crying, right there on the spot. My lips formed the word “fine” when in reality, I was anything but—at least not in that moment. And life doesn’t always stop long enough to give a real answer….

But isn’t “fine” the socially accepted answer because it works….or does it?

The reality is, we are all struggling, to different degrees and complexity levels, each and every day. The Struggle IS Real, and when you add up both the little and big daily struggles, it’s easy to understand why this hashtag social media rockstar exists—over 3 million deep at #thestruggleisreal.

But if we dig a little deeper into this common complaint, we might discover a much more sinister root—and real help toward freedom and wisdom in Christ.

In my newest book, The Struggle is Real, that’s what I’ve done. I address issues like:

  • Life is much harder than I thought it would be, and I feel bad saying it.
  • There are some things about myself that I can’t change…it’s just how I am, and it frustrates me.
  • I really don’t know if God is interested in my life, and even if He is, I don’t know how to hear from Him.

(and if you are wondering how real your struggle is, I’ve included a Good Life Inventory on p. 14!)

I wrote this book because I know how real the struggle truly is—and I want us to discover the true source of the answer to these age-old problems. My hope is to take my readers through a journey into this gap between our “just fine” lives and the truly good lives we are seeking and are hungry for. To offer hope that we can live the best life we can, this side of heaven.

Yep, the struggle is definitely real. But the struggle can also start the story. It can motivate us to rewrite our lives into a new story. The struggles can lead us to a new source of hope and freedom, and somehow, even the worst of life can become a place of strength and growth. The struggle is real. And the struggle can be good.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, August 25

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 25

Bibliophile Reviews, August 26

Reading Is My SuperPower, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 28

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 29

Girls in White Dresses, August 29

Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, August 29

Carpe Diem, August 30

Multifarious, August 31

Janices book reviews, September 1

Inklings and Notions, September 2

Book by Book, September 3

Mary Hake, September 3

proud to be an autism mom, September 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 4

Margaret Kazmierczak, September 5

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 6

Godly Book Reviews, September 7

Bigreadersite, September 7

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Nicole is giving away a grand prize of a “The Struggle is Real” T-Shirt!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/d19c/the-struggle-is-real-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday Memories

A Profound, Uplifting Book!

Our Southern Breeze by Daphene Jones
with Andrea Taylor, Ph.D.

My Review

This book made a profound impact on me because my childhood and a small portion of my adult life were so similar to the story.

I urge anyone battling, or who has battled, with childhood abuse and deep depression while wondering where God is through it all to read this book!

I decided to reprint this review when I saw Same Kind of Different As Me had been made into a movie. I haven’t read Same Kind of Different As Me. However, if the book and/or film is even half of what Our Southern Breeze is, it will be great.

Our Southern Breeze is an amazing story of heartaches, failures, sickness, deaths and triumphs.

The first quarter (approximately) of the book deals with the early childhood of Daphene and her twin, Deborah, along with their older sister, Gretchen. The last three-quarters of the book chronicle her life and how she came to feel “her” southern breeze. Deborah’s story of hope will resonate with everyone.

Daphene and her twin, Deborah, experienced heartbreaking abuse at the hands of their father while growing up. Even though Daphene treads delicately and lightly through the abuse she and her twin suffered throughout their childhood, she still paints a harrowingly chilling and horrendous picture. Their older sister, Gretchen, was the “princess,” while the twins suffered from their father’s demons. Because of this, and secrets they couldn’t even admit to themselves, they were all three estranged as adults.

Deborah invited Daphene to a Christian conference held in 1990 that became a life changer for both sisters. While there they were approached by a person who told them they would soon encounter their summer breeze from God. The story then unfolds with God’s goodness and kindness over each twin’s life.

As you follow their inspirational journey, you sometimes forget it is a real story, as you are so drawn into Daphene and Deborah’s lives. Albeit the paths for each sister were very dissimilar, you can see God’s hand over their entire journey.

You will be uplifted, brought to tears, to your knees and left in awe of God’s mighty power.  Any reader can be stirred and moved by Daphene’s account of her and her twin’s lives. However, some images, in the beginning, may be distressful for abuse victims.

Same Kind of Different As Me is a book which chronicles parts of Deborah’s life. Because I was deeply touched on many, many levels by Our Southern Breeze, I’m looking forward to reading it, too.  Our Southern Breeze is a story that won’t soon leave your heart. Give yourself plenty of time to read and digest this book. (You’ll need a box of tissues, too!)

This book was provided for me Free by BookCrash in exchange for an unbiased opinion.

Publisher’s Review

In Our Southern Breeze, Daphene Jones tells the story about her life as the twin sister of Deborah Hall of “Same Kind of Different as Me”. She knew Deborah like no one else could. And the story she tells is like no other story. At the Anaheim Vineyard conference in 1990, God promised to send a southern breeze over Deborah and Daphene. Neither of them could have imagined what that would look like or how many other people would eventually be touched by the promised breeze. This is their story of overcoming even the darkest times of life through redemption, forgiveness, and second chances.

As she shares her heart through this story, her prayer is that God will heal the deep hurts that many are carrying. What she kept hearing as she worked on this book is that God is a God of Second Chances.

Revised post from 

A God of All Seasons by TH Meyer and Amy Breitmann

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: A God of All Seasons

Author: TH Meyer & Amy Breitmann

Release date: August 28, 2017

Genre: Non-fiction

What if your spiritual life landed in the grip of a wintered soul? How does one’s faith survive?

Discover the beauty and challenge of spiritual seasons as Tammy & Amy remember parts of their stories in order to draw out your own. Learn to perceive God’s companionship even when you don’t sense His nearness. And unearth, not only a God who created the seasons, but one who also walks with you through them.”

Book Trailer Video: https://youtu.be/fWupS5gTRoc

My Review

A God of All Seasons reminds us that God is with us in every season of our life. Autumn, just as autumn leaves let go, is the time of letting go, perhaps even painfully.  Winter is the time of darkness, as the authors say, “Winter can be unpleasant, but it can also be refining.” Spring is the time of awakening, hope and promise. Summer is the time of rest and leisure.

The book, divided into the four seasons, begins each chapter with a Bible verse and ends with questions for personal reflection.

I like how the authors, Amy Breitmann and Tammy “T. H.” Meyers, alternate their stories in each chapter. They share the Biblical lessons they have learned in their lives, along with their conflicts and tough spells, thus making the book come alive for us the readers.

The format of A God of All Seasons lends itself to being ideal for a daily devotional and/or a Bible Study.

I received this book from Celebrate Lit and the authors. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

About the Authors

After living in Asia and Europe, T.H. Meyer’s family planted roots on their Texas farm in 2008 where they live among fields of Rye and Bermuda. Tammy is a writer and creative strategist who also moonlights as a social media specialist. She’s the mother to three children and author of, A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness, Explore Boldness, Encourage Faith and Social Media Strategies: Discovering Powerful Tools of the Trade without Losing Your Soul for Christian entrepreneurs maneuvering the daunting and soul-sucking world of online marketing.

Join Tammy on her website: The Art of Fear Not: An Adventurous Life of Faith http://www.tammy-h-meyer.com/.

Or stay in touch with her at:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hendricksmeyer/pins/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tammy.h.meyer/ for personal photos and thoughts from home.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tammy.hendricksmeyer

Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/tammy_h_meyer/lists & find out what’s on her Twitter “Lists.”

Amy’s (Amy Breitmann) bio: Amy weaves together ministry and writing alongside her husband and two children in Augusta, GA. She is a writer, speaker, and founder of “The Lydia Project,” a national ministry for women facing cancer and is a storyteller for ViBella Jewelry, an international company that employs artisans in Haiti and Mexico. Her published works include pieces in Chicken Soup of the Soul, Mosaic: Sojourners of Faith, and Guideposts Magazine.

Blog Stops

August 10: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

August 11: A Baker’s Perspective

August 12: Just Jo’Anne

August 13: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 13: Splashes of Joy

August 13: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans

August 14: A Reader’s Brain

August 15: autism mom

August 16: Captive Dreams Window

August 16: autismchristianmom

August 17: Karen Sue Hadley

August 18: Moments Dipped in Ink

August 19: Bigreadersite

August 20: Eat,Read,Teach,Blog

August 21: Margaret Kazmierczak

August 22: Breaking Ordinary

August 23: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

August 23: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, T.H. Meyer is giving away a  Kindle Fire, a $50 Amazon gift card and a $25 Amazon gift card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd4e

21 Days of Grace: Stories that Celebrate God’s Unconditional Love (A Fiction Lover’s Devotional)

21 days banner

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

21 days book

Click to purchase

Book: 21 Days of Grace

Author: Compiled by Kathy Ide

Genre: Devotional

Release Date: March 24, 2015

Love fiction? Looking for a devotional? Check out 21 DAYS OF GRACE, book one in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series (published by BroadStreet Publishing Group). Fictional stories followed by brief life applications written by best-selling Christian novelists and debut authors, including Angela Hunt, Cindy Woodsmall, and Deborah Raney. Great for individual or group study.

My Review

21 Days of Grace: Stories that Celebrate God’s Unconditional Love (A Fiction Lover’s Devotional), compiled by Kathy Ide, is a one of a kind devotional featuring 21 days of short fiction devotional stories written by several different authors. At the end of each story is a practical life application.

I savored each story as I read them. No two stories or life applications were the same which helped to create a greater impact when studying the book. I especially like the opportunity to delve deeper into the book by using it along with the free study guide (available here).

Each story can easily be read with your morning coffee, afternoon tea or while relaxing in your favorite chair in the evening. The stories will leave you thinking, and many will apply to your own life situation, causing you to contemplate them long after you have set the book down.

If like me, you love fiction and want a devotional that is more than two or three minutes long, then you are sure to like and enjoy reading this surprising new devotional.

I received this book free through the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Kathy Ide

Kathy Ide is the author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors and the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. She’s a full-time freelance editor and writing mentor, working with Christian authors of all genres at all levels. She teaches at writers’ conferences across the country and is the director of the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. She’s a co-owner of the Christian Editor Network LLC and founder of the four divisions that comprise the CEN: Christian Editor Connection, The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, PENCON, and The PEN Institute. To find out more about Kathy, visit www.KathyIde.com

Guest Post from Kathy Ide

I’ve always loved Christian fiction, and I’ve seen the power of fiction to touch hearts and change lives, both firsthand and hearing about the experiences of others. But you know, in my quiet times with the Lord, reading a chapter from a novel just doesn’t seem quite appropriate. So a devotional with short fiction stories seemed like a great solution. And you can take these purse-sized devotionals wherever you go, to read when you have a few minutes of down time. It’s a great way to get “inspiration on the go.” And they make fantastic gifts for friends and loved ones.

Blog Stops

March 23: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 23: A Reader’s Brain

March 24: ASC Book Reviews

March 24: autism mom

March 24: It’s Storytime with Van Daniker

March 25: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

March 25: Inklings and notions

March 26: Blossoms and Blessings

March 26: The Power of Words

March 27: Lighthouse Academy

     March 27:   http://becauseisaidsomyadventuresinparenting.blogspot.com/

March 28: Moments Dipped in Ink

March 28: A Greater Yes

March 28: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 29: Captive Dreams Window

March 29: Donna’s BookShelf

March 29: Southern Chelle

March 30: Pause for Tales

March 30: The Scribbler

March 31: Carpe Diem

March 31: Faithful Acres Body Soul Spirit

April 1: A Baker’s Perspective

April 1: Splashesofjoy

April 2: Christian Bookaholic

April 2: Karen Sue Hadley

April 3: Ashley’s Bookshelf

April 3: Lane Hill House

April 4: Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet

April 4: History, Mystery and Faith

April 5: God is Love

April 5: Reader’s Cozy Corner

April 5: Simple Harvest Reads

Giveaway

21 day giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away:

1st – 4th place winners: A set of all four devotionals in the series.
5th & 6th place winners: An autographed copy of 21 Days of Grace with a novel written by one of the contributing authors!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b2cd

Zip It: The Keep It Shut 40-Day Challenge by Karen Ehman

Zip It

Publisher’s Summary

Zip It empowers readers to put into action the advice and commands of Scripture concerning the tongue. The New York Times bestselling book Keep It Shut covered many topics, including anger, truth-telling, people-pleasing, our digital tongues online, and gossip. Because there are more than 3,500 verses in the Bible that relate to our words and our silence, Keep It Shut only scratched the surface of these issues. Karen Ehman now takes a deeper look and offers practical how-to’s that will inspire you to use your words to build, to bless, to encourage, and to praise.

Each of the forty interactive entries includes a Scripture verse focus for the day, a story or teaching point, and reflection questions with space for readers to write their answers and thoughts. Each entry ends with both a challenge that will help you carry out the directive in the verse and a prayer prompt. Rather than a traditional devotional, the entries in Zip It build upon each other, equipping you with new habits in how to, or not to, use words.

My Review

Zip It is a forty-day devotional on how to tame the tongue. Each day’s chapter ends with a wrap-up that includes Today’s Takeaways, Lesson for the Lips, Challenge and Prayer. In addition, there are spaces to write your contemplations and answers.

The book is easy to follow and understand in its approach and style. The author uses cute, but apt analogies and rewording to create a word that succinctly describes her message. For example, she uses wordrobe as a way to describe the words in our thought closet that we commonly use.

As I read the book, I was convicted in several instances. A lot of times we don’t stop to think of the true meaning of a word or Scripture verse. If we did, we wouldn’t react the way we do. Zip It does an impressive job of getting to the meat of the matter and explaining the fallacies inherent in not understanding the truth.

Zip It is Karen Ehman’s follow up to Keep It Shut. However, I don’t feel it’s necessary to read it first. In fact, I cannot imagine what gems and truths may be found within the first book since the second was so appositely written.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Of Moose and Men: Lost and Found in Alaska

Of Moose and Men

About the Book

Torry Martin—a comedian, actor, and hippie—fled from California to the wilderness of Alaska, searching for answers to life’s big questions. He found what he was looking for…and a lot more!

A moose got its head stuck in Torry’s window. A reindeer was trapped in his kitchen. A bear almost prevented him from reaching his airplane. He once woke up frozen to his cabin floor.

Like the Israelites of old, Torry experienced plenty of miracles and mishaps in the wilderness. And like them, he came face-to-face with God and was changed forever.

Each of these true stories of Torry’s hilarious blunders and misfortunes contains a nugget of truth, but one theme prevails: If God can reclaim and repurpose Torry Martin’s life, He can do the same for you and those you love.

My Review

I laughed until I cried and I cried.

Of Men and Moose is a collection of stories about Torry Martin and his friend Robert Browning and their exploits in the “Frozen Frontier” of Alaska. Torry left his life as an actor in LA, and along with Robert, set out on a quest for adventure in Alaska.  Boy, did they find it! Many times Robert was the voice of reason and rescued Torry, but lest you think all the mishaps were Torry’s, rest assured Robert had his fair share.

Torry’s ability to take a somewhat unusual story (at least for those of us who have never lived in or visited Alaska) and turn it into a hilarious account is a true gift. However, he doesn’t stop there; each of his stories ends with a Biblical application and perspicacity.

I can’t remember the last time I read a book that was so funny, yet so full of wisdom and spiritual insight, one that so aptly shows the need for humor and humility in our lives.

Of Moose and Men is a delightful book, sure to be enjoyed by both men and women (perhaps a Father’s Day gift).

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday’s Mention

Sand in My Sandwich: And Other Motherhood Messes I’m Learning to Love by Sarah Parshall Perry is the true raw, unadulterated view of the life of a mother of three children, two with special needs.

Sarah Perry is a previous neat freak, attorney and now mother of three. She chronicles her “escapades” and those of her children, in a very real and laugh out loud way. Even if you don’t have special needs children, all mothers can relate to Sarah’s life.

Sarah’s reality, even without her children, is a challenge. She struggles with depression and was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, but her sense of humor helps to see her through. In addition, her abiding faith shores her up in her darkest days. She says, “The hardest stuff is the quickest way to God.”

As you read Sand in My Sandwich, you are given glimpses into Sarah’s life, from her days a single woman to her current days as a wife and mother.

Sand in My Sandwich isn’t a how-to manual but a how-I-did-it chronicle. Sarah is an encouragement to every mom, helping us realize that some things we may have thought were unique to us, in our worst moments, are actually experienced by all moms.

Once you start reading, you are not going to want to put Sand in My Sandwich: And Other Motherhood Messes I’m Learning to Love down.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sand in my sandwich