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ANE VOSCAMP'S THE WONDER OF CHRISTMAS INTERACTIVE ADVENT FAMILY CELEBRATION REVIEWED



















The Wonder of the Greatest Gift:
An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent
By Ann Voskamp
Published by Tyndale
ISBN# 978-1496427991
Board Book with Ornaments


ABOUT BOOK: Based on her bestseller Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp expands her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree with this beautiful keepsake that can be handed down and enjoyed for generations. Each December, families can celebrate the coming of Jesus by opening the book to see a stunning 13-inch, three-dimensional Jesse Tree pop up from the page. At its foot are 25 doors, one for each day of Advent, which hide meaningful, beautifully detailed ornaments―including the Christmas star―that are ready to be hung on the tree. Also inside is a simple devotional book with a reading for each ornament. Create precious holiday memories with The Wonder of the Greatest Gift pop-up book and recapture the sacredness of the Advent season as you celebrate the epic pageantry of the coming of the Messiah.

Includes the following:
·         13-inch 3D pop-up tree
·         Booklet with 25 family devotions
·         24 ornaments with hangers
·         Star-shaped tree-topper


ABOUT AUTHOR: Ann Voskamp is wife of one good farmer, the home-educating mama to a seven exuberant kids, and author of the four New York Times Bestsellers,  The Broken Way, The Greatest Gift, Unwrapping The Greatest Gift, and One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, a New York Times 60 week bestseller which has sold more than one million copies, the royalties of which the Voskamp family has given all away, the joy always in giving the gift back. 



Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the church today, and a partner with Compassion International as a global advocate for needy children, Ann's a regular loser of library books, usually has a sink full of soaking pots, sees empty laundry baskets rarer than a blue moon, and believes that the sky and fresh mercy over the farm is large and all is grace. Her blog, one of the Top 10 Christian blogs on the web, has become a daily well for the weary and soul-thirsty: www.aholyexperience.com


REVIEW:  I was thrilled to receive this book in the mail. When I opened it up, I screamed with joy at this unexpected surprise. This hardback book unfolds as a pop-up opens up into a lovely white Christmas tree.  There is a mini book (within the book) titled The Wonder of the Greatest Gift; that is filled with 25 devotions for your family to read as they count down the days until Christmas


There are ornaments to be put on the tree for each. The author states in the invitation, 
“…come, and unwrap His story. Come, and unwrap the wonder. Come, and find yourself wrapped in the most miraculous love you’ve ever known.”

Each day starts out with a scripture December first is from Isaiah 11:1 “Out of the Stump of David’s family will grow a shoot- yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.”

Here’s a peek at part of the first devotion “…This is a story about a family that was big like a tree, with branches that reached to the sky!”

The ornament for the first day is a cute big tree. The beauty of this book is that it can be placed anywhere. The Jesse tree booklet includes instructions and devotions is a wonderful way to start a new family tradition and help you and your family focused on keeping the main reason for the season. This is a brilliant interactive advent calendar for your family. It makes a wonderful gift too.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine https://tinyurl.com/y9lwbfrs
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TIM TEBOW'S NEW BOOK REVIEWED

Know Who You Are
Live Like It Matters
By Tim Tebow
Published by Waterbrook
ISBN#978-0735289949
196 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: The World Does Not Define You!
Nobody said your life would be easy. And the older you get, the more difficult it seems to become. Deep down you may know your value as a person isn’t defined by wearing cool name-brand clothes, scoring points for a sports team, or even by having a huge number of social media followers. And you’re right! Your identity resides in something—in fact, Someone—much greater than anything this world can offer:

The only identity worth having…is found in Jesus Christ!

American sports icon, Tim Tebow knows firsthand what it's like to face pressure head-on. In Know Who You Are. Live Like It Matters, he shares the wisdom he’s learned—not from what the world says, but from what God says in His Word.

Tim will guide you through thirty-six weeks of lessons, each based on a key Scripture, to discover who you are—by learning more about whose you are! You will also have the opportunity to write down your thoughts, feelings, and ideas on topics such as:
* Building godly character
* Maintaining great relationships
* Standing out from the crowd
* Doing things that matter in the big picture

Get ready to live bigger than ever before…with your faith and identity secured in a God who loves you beyond measure!

REVIEW: Tim Tebow starts sharing with readers about his homeschooling experience and why he wrote this book for them. His mom homeschooled him and his two brothers and two sisters. His mom did this at a time when many thought homeschooling was illegal. He goes on to share that they worked hard to graduate High School. He shares how him, and siblings got scholarships for college. Then he writes an encouraging note to parents and how to effectively use this study guide with their kids.

This is an interactive study to get kids thinking about their true identity. He starts out with a key verse and a story to explain the verse. One example, verse is Proverbs 5:21 “For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his paths. He has questions to answer after the lesson. One of the questions is “How does it make you feel to know that God’s eyes are always on you?” He recommends praying before readers answer the questions at the end of the lesson. Then leaves readers with something to think about… he talks about integrity and what it is, he says, “When no one will ever know the good or right thing you do but you do it anyway.”

This book has 36 weeks of lessons. I like how the author shares examples from his own life and others when he talks about failures and about trusting God when things didn’t go as expected, how God helped him through rejection and used him in his foundation to help kids all over the world. I like how he shares these examples and those from other famous people kids would know like Thomas Edison. He encourages kids to walk in faith, think outside of what the world tells them, be creative and explains that we were made for relationship with God and others.

I really enjoyed this book because of the transparent way Tim Tebow shares about life, the challenges he’s faced and how God has used him through the years in unexpected ways.  I highly recommend this book for everyone to read. It be can be used as a daily, weekly or monthly devotional.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the bloggingforbooks site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
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REALLY WOOLY CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS REVIEWED


Really Woolly Christmas Blessings
By Bonnie Rickner Jensen
Illustrated by Donna Chapman
Published by Thomas Nelson
40 Pages Board Book 2-5 yr old Preschool-Kindergarten

ABOUT BOOK: Enjoy the blessings of Christmas!
Christmastime is full of blessings, and the Really Woolly characters celebrate every part of the season—from time with family and friends, to sledding and decorating, to the joy of giving to others.
Cuddle up close with your little one, and enjoy the precious rhymes, meaningful Bible verses, simple prayers, and endearing illustrations that teach about the greatest Christmas gift of all—the birth of Jesus

REVIEW: The spirit of Christmas is brought out in this adorably illustrated board book filled with the Christmas story and ways we can celebrate the holiday keeping the reason for the season the main thing.

I liked the note to the parents on the ways to use this book and the fact that there are seventeen topics covered. The book has short devotions, prayers, scripture quotes that can be read daily, weekly or all in one sitting. It can fit into your families schedule.  One of the passages I liked is this bible verse “Hebrews 3:6 “We are God’s Family” The devotion, “Family time is special, Love and joy are all around...God created families, and He always gives what’s best. I’m thankful for my family and all the ways we’re blessed.” The Prayer: “Dear God, I’m happy to be in your great big family filled with love.”

This is a book that will warm your heart; help you and your family focus on the reason for the season and grow in your faith. It makes a great gift too!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLookforBloggers site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
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LISA BEVERE'S FIRST PICTURE BOOK REVIEWED


Lizzy the Lioness
By Lisa Bevere
Illustrated by Kirsteen Harris-Jones
Published by Tommy Nelson
ISBN#978-0-7180-965-8
32 Pages Ages 4-8 Preschool – 3rd grade

ABOUT BOOK: Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is ask for help! Encourage your little ones with the true meaning of bravery through the beautiful story of Lizzy the Lioness by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Bevere.

Boys and girls will love the story of Lizzy, a little lion who must learn what it truly means to be brave in the face of hard things. When she sees someone in danger, Lizzy tries her best to help, but she quickly learns that sometimes being brave means asking adults for help.

With a unique spin on the concept of bravery, Lizzy the Lioness is a timely picture book in an ever-changing world. Children will see that bravery is so much more than big muscles or loud roars but often is found in the tiniest people who have the courage to speak up when no one else will. By asking God for help and then bringing grown-ups into the picture, Lizzy shows kids that being brave doesn’t have to happen by yourself—it happens with help!

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Bevere’s first picture book will make waves with its unique and compelling message for families everywhere. Parents and children alike will enjoy the beautiful artwork as well as the story of communication and teamwork.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Lisa Bevere’s authentic, passionate, and hilarious approach weaves profound biblical truths with practical application. Her books—which include Fight Like a Girl, Lioness Arising, and Girls with Swords—are in the hands of millions worldwide. Lisa and her husband, John, are best-selling authors and the founders of Messenger International. She is a grandmother and Sicilian mother of four sons.


REVIEW: This is a beautifully illustrated hardback picture book with a great message. I like how this author defines being courageous. The author teaches kids how being brave comes in many forms. We don’t talk about this topic enough with our kids.  

Lizzy the lion cub wants to be grown up now so she can be included in what the adults do, like go hunting. Lizzy’s parents instruct her about what to do when they are away. She’s feeling sad to be left behind until she notices a little girl in trouble. Lizzy realizes she can’t help the girl by herself. It was too dangerous a situation for her to handle she needed to call for backup. Lizzy prays for the girl and then runs for help. Because Lizzy had the courage to stand up for someone else and the wisdom to get the help needed she becomes a hero in the eyes of the little girl and that of her family.

The take away is asking for help is not a weakness but its wisdom. Seeking the help of others is important. It takes courage to recognize the circumstances are bigger than yourself. She also learns that her parents are looking out for her best interest, they are guiding and protecting her as they wait for her to be big enough to participate in what adults do; like hunting.

The author has a note to parents at the end of the book and a short prayer I liked. The author has a few questions listed to help open up a dialogue with your child about this topic. One of the questions is, “Have you seen someone bigger be mean to you or to someone else?”

She goes on to talk about how asking for help is not tattling and has the child think about who they could ask for help if they found themselves in a dangerous circumstance. The scripture quoted is Psalm 28:1 “The righteous are bold as a lion.”

I highly recommend this book, the message and the fun you’ll have reading it and going on adventures with Lizzy; the illustrations bring the story to life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
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PERENNIALS by JULIE CANTRELL REVIEWED













ABOUT AUTHOR: New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, Julie Cantrell is known for writing inspirational novels that explore the hard truths women typically keep secret. While she delves into emotional issues, she does so with a compassionate and open heart, always bringing readers through to a hopeful path for peace, empathy, and healing.

Julie's debut novel, Into the Free (2012, David C Cook), earned a rare starred review by Publishers Weekly, became an international bestseller, and received two Christy Awards and the Mississippi Library Association Fiction Award. It spent three weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists (both print and e-book), made the USA TODAY Top 150, and was listed as a top read of the year by LifeWay and USA TODAY.


The sequel, When Mountains Move (2014, David C Cook), received the ACFW Carol Award for Historical Fiction, made many best read lists, and was again named a top read of the year by both USA TODAY and LifeWay Christian Stores.

Her third novel, The Feathered Bone (January, 2016, HarperCollins/TNZ), was chosen Book of the Year by the largest bookclub in the world (Pulpwood Queens) and was selected as a Top Read by Library Journal. It is currently a finalist for both a Carol and an INSPY award, and is set in Louisiana where Julie spent her childhood.





Perennials (November, 2017, HarperCollins/TNZ) is Julie's fourth novel. Another work of Southern fiction, this story is set in her current community of Oxford, Mississippi, a literary mecca for many writers and readers. The story explores themes of family relationships, the seasons of life, and the search for a place called home.

A speech-language pathologist and literacy advocate, Julie was honored to receive the 2012 Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship. She also received the 2016 Mary Elizabeth Nelson Fellowship at Rivendell Writer's Colony, which is awarded to a writer who encourages spiritual growth, healing, and care through his or her work.

Julie and her two children now live in Oxford, Mississippi where they spent six years operating Valley House Farm, a sustainable organic farmstead, before moving into a new adventure.

Learn more:
Website: www.juliecantrell.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliecantrellauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieCantrell 



PERENNIAL
By Julie Cantrell
Published by: Thomas Nelson
ISBN#978-0718037642
352 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: When two estranged sisters reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary, a family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.

Eva Sutherland—known to all as Lovey—grew up safe and secure in Oxford, Mississippi, surrounded by a rich literary history and her mother’s stunning flower gardens. But a shed fire, and the injuries it caused changed everything. Her older sister, Bitsy, blamed Lovey for the irreparable damage. Bitsy became the homecoming queen and the perfect Southern belle who could do no wrong. All the while, Lovey served as the family scapegoat, always bearing the brunt when Bitsy threw blame her way.
At eighteen, suffocating in her sister’s shadow, Lovey turned down a marriage proposal and fled to Arizona. Free from Bitsy’s vicious lies, she became a successful advertising executive and a weekend yoga instructor, carving a satisfying life for herself. But at forty-five, Lovey is feeling more alone than ever and questioning the choices that led her here.

REVIEW: This is a beautifully written, heart-felt compelling novel about shattered dreams, new beginnings, family dynamics, boundaries, hope, healing, and forgiveness. The story starts out in current time with flashbacks that enhance the story and give a deeper understanding of the characters pain. The author describes this families journey through time all leading up to the fiftieth wedding anniversary festivity. It’s a magnificent celebration filled with special moments that are remembered through flowers in a memory garden. I would have loved to go there. This story and its characters stay in my heart long after I read the last page. I highly recommend it for your book club meeting and/or a powerful and moving read. The author includes fourteen discussion questions and activities that will help enhance your book club experience.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
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THE BEAUTIFUL WORD FOR CHRISTMAS REVIEWED

The Beautiful Word for Christmas
Published by Zondervan
Illustrated NIV Bible Verses and Devotions
ISBN#9780310087564
208 pages

ABOUT BOOK: Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Luke 2:11

Read the Christmas story like never before with favorite scriptures hand-lettered and illustrated. Celebrate the wondrous birth of Christ with 31 devotionals that will point each day to the Savor.
Savor the season with The Beautiful Word for Christmas.
***
This book includes:
23 Bible passages illustrated in full color
31 timely devotions written especially for the Christmas season
Activities to bring the heart of the season home

REVIEW: Wow, this book is filled with brilliant colorful graphics and has an eloquent and unique way of presenting the Christmas story. The first part of the book has scripture verses beautifully illustrated, the letter and designs are gorgeous.

Page 54 starts The Beautiful Receiving. This is where the devotions start for the Advent season. They start out with a scripture verse. Then there's a devotion; that has heartfelt inspiring stories from ‘real’ women around Christmas time; followed by an activity and short helpful insight into how to apply what you read. Some of the topics mentioned are contentment, unworthiness, forgiveness, generosity etc. This can be read individually or with your whole family. This book is great for your family and would make a lovely gift.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the BookLookforBloggers site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine
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GAIL NORSDKOG INTERVIEW



ABOUT AUTHOR: Gail hosts “Hearts of Purpose,” a television show encouraging Christians to seek God’s will for their lives and to live out their lives with action and a passion for God and others. Many of her guests are missionaries who serve all over the world. Prior to this, Gail was the TV host of “A Message for Women.” She also cohosted with Dr. Ted Baehr – founder and president of MovieGuide.org – his TV show, where she had the pleasure of interviewing the incredible Leigh Anne Tuohy (The Blind Side), and movie stars like Kirk Cameron (Fireproof) and Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side). As co-publisher with her husband Jerry of Nordskog Publishing, Gail established the “Gail Grace Nordskog Collection” to produce inspirational and reflective prayer journals as companion pieces for selected books. Upon reading Susie Hobson’s powerful yet simple message in Loving God with All Your Heart, she knew that a prayer journal based on this message would be a perfect tool to help people grow in their love of God. Gail is always seeking new ways to communicate through print and media the precepts and truth of God’s Word in all areas of daily life. She has served on the board of an international adoption agency and as a branch director of the Ventura Office of Family Connections Christian Adoptions.

The Nordskogs live in Ventura, California, where Gail is a full-time wife and mother, spending the majority of her time raising their four school-age children who were adopted from China.

How did you meet, get to know Patricia Blanco Steele? What about her first caught your attention? Why did you want to include her story in your book?

Gail: The first time I met Trish we were at a Luis Palau Evangelistic Crusade in the San Fernando Valley. It was June, 1994, just five months after the huge 6.7 Northridge earthquake hit. That area was experiencing continuous aftershocks and I believe many people were considering the frailty of their lives. It was a four-day crusade and it was estimated that 8,200 people were in attendance on the first night alone! Very exciting!

Jerry and I had worked on the Palau team for this crusade. My job was to go to churches and speak about “friendship evangelism,” encouraging the Christians to bring their unsaved loved ones to the event.

I remember being down on the field when Trish and Jim came over to Jerry and me to say hello. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley and being very active in business and Christian ministries, Jerry seemed to know everyone—including Trish and Jim! What a beautiful couple!

What struck me more than Trish’s physical beauty was the beauty of her heart, her love for Jesus and others, and her gentle spirit.
Trish is the founder and president of Women Crowned in Glory and Safe Passage. The focus of these ministries is transforming the lives of abused women and children.
Many women and children suffer from abuse. I feel it is very important to share the work God has called Trish to. This beautiful, successful woman has been able to overcome the tragedy and pain of abuse in her own life and is now helping many others to do the same.

Nora: Thank you for talking about this event and how you met Trish. It sounds like a divine appointment.

What movie most affected you when you were young? What touched you about the movie? What made it memorable?

Gail: I am still traumatized by Bambi and Old Yeller! I also was moved to tears while watching documentaries about the starving children in Africa.
What is touching and memorable about these movies is perhaps the innocence of the victims, the cruelty of the predators, and the boldness and courage of those who choose to face danger to rescue the hurting.

Nora: I agree with you. I was traumatized by Bambi too. My children and I even more so when I brought my kids to see Lion King. In Bambi you didn’t see the mothers’ limp body but in Lion King the baby cub goes up to his trampled father trying to revive him. We walked out of the movie when that happened. Many children were crying. I wish they would have had a warning label on that movie.


What three things would you rather not live without (besides your family)?
Gail: 
1) Love/friendships
2) Memories

3) My Bible and journal

You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians—all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play?

Gail: I would look to see where the need is the greatest and fill that role.
Nora: I’m with you!

**TO READ the Rest of this INTERVIEW IN BOOK FUN MAGAZINE go to http://www.bookfun.org/ 
November magazine cover. CLICK READ NOW. 

Check out my review of Hearts of Purpose
http://psalm516.blogspot.com/2017/08/hearts-of-purpose-by-gail-nordskog.html 

Nora St. Laurent The Book Club Network Inc. http://www.bookfun.org
You can read author interviews, reviews, learn about book signings and about TBCN giveaways on the blog she created called The Book Club Network blog, http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Nora also does author interviews and reviews for Book Fun Magazine http://www.bookfunmagazine.com  
Nora has also run book clubs face to face and online with more than 100 members. She enjoys working part-time for the Public Library as a CSA.


BEARDED GOSPEL MEN DEVOTIONAL REVIEWED


Bearded Gospel Men:
The Epic Quest for Manilness and Godliness
By Jared Brock
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN# 978-0718099305
307 pages

ABOUT BOOK: 31 Days of Fun, Satire, and Deeper Meaning of the Godly Beard! Is there a connection between hairiness and holiness? Some would say a hearty “Yes!” In fact, the world is in the middle of a beard mania. Events like Movember and Decembeard are becoming global movements and manly sites are appearing all over the internet. Is this just another fad? And what does it say that so many of the most famous Christian communicators have or did have a beard?

Throughout history, Christian men have gloried in male pattern magnificence. Saint Benedict of Nursia wore a superb double forker. The benevolently-bushed Euthymius wouldn’t allow clean-shaven monks to enter his Judean Desert monastery. St. Francis of Assisi had a beard, and now there’s a Pope named after him. He’s clean-shaven, but we’re praying for him.

Of all the great Christian men who wore beards, none stands so highly as the headless martyr Sir Thomas More. On the day of his beheading, the tufted knight supposedly positioned his beard away from his soon-to-be-severed neck, saying: “My beard has not been guilty of treason, and it would be an injustice to punish it.”

But of course, Bearded Gospel Men is about far more than beards – it’s about manliness and godliness. Through this 31-day devotional, men are inspired to rise to a higher calling. The humor and facial hair is the perfect means to have a broader conversation about living a faithful life.
So, let’s study some of these famous Bearded Gospel Men!

ABOUT AUTHOR: Jared A. Brock is the author of Bearded Gospel Men, A Year of Living Prayerfully, and The Road to Dawn. Brock is the director of Over 18, Red Light Green Light, and Josiah, and has been interviewed on TODAY.com, 100 Huntley Street, and the 700 Club. Brock is happily married to his best friend, Michelle, and his writing has appeared in Esquire, Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and Writer’s Digest. Visit jaredbrock.com for free chapters and updates.

ABOUT CO-AUTHOR: Aaron Alford is originally from Ontario, Canada. He has studied improv at The Second City, hitchhiked across Ireland and Italy, and, as a missionary with Youth with a Mission in Modesto, California, helps run a street café for the homeless with his friends. He is currently studying for the priesthood and enjoys beautifying the world with whimsy, compassion, pipe smoke, and an admirable beard.

Other contributors: Chris Wignall, Michelle Brock, Eric Fusilier, Catherine Greene, Richard Saunders, James Kelly, Jonathan Rogers, Bradford Loomis, Jimmy Sustar, and Malcolm Guite.

REVIEW: Author Jared Brock teams up with Aaron Alford and a few contributors I enjoyed. In the introduction, the author states: “A Bearded Gospel Man is something more than just a well-churched dude with a beard. It’s a man who’s letting himself be changed by that gospel. A man who is striving to truly embody that gospel…he knows he can’t do life on his own. He needs the grace of God, the company of good friends, the kindship of true community, and the wisdom of the great cloud of witnesses.”…together we find our healing. In surrender, we find our strength. 1John 1:7.”

Each chapter introduces readers to a Christian man along with a peek at his faith journey. There are three questions at the end of each chapter for contemplation, and then the chapter ends with a prayer. In between each devotional is are antidotes. Some are funny (tongue and cheek) many are heartfelt. One of them is titled How to Grow a Great Beard in Five Easy Steps, another The Bearditudes…Blessed are those who strive for beardedness…” The Beards That Might Have Been and several more. Sprinkled throughout the devotional are pictures of bearded men, some of them have the craziest looking beards, others are amazing and beautiful.

Some of the men’s stories shared are Good King Wenceslas – The Merry Christmas Boxer; Daniel Nash – Spiritual Napalm, Saint Luca of Crimea – Doctor of the Church, John the Baptist – Less is More; Sir Thomas More- The Beard Hath Committed no Treason – Charles Spurgeon – Chomping Prince of Preachers, G.K. Chesterton – Saint Valentine, Joseph of Cupertino, Keith Green, Saint Augustine, Francis Schaeffer, Charles Monroe, and many more.

This devotional draws you in with bearded men’s pictures, their stories of faith and men being real with each other about life. It’s a powerful and winning combination.
  
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine
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