The Bible Explorer's Guide Book Review

by Sally Matheny

Teh Bbile Explorer's Guide
by Nancy I. Sanders
Have you ever seen a manger created from stone instead of wood? Do you know what the Euphrates River looks like today? Have you ever thought about what the apostle Paul’s dungeon cell looked like?

My answer was no to all of these questions. But thanks to author, Nancy I. Sanders and Zonderkidz, my answers have changed.

The Bible Explorer’s Guide- 1,000 Amazing Facts and Photos contains 80 pages of just that.

The author has culled intriguing facts about places, objects, people and cultures mentioned in the Bible. Presented with a Christian worldview, the information sparks a desire to go back to the Bible and read more.

The visuals in this reference book are just as appealing as the text. The maps and illustrations are great but the photos are my favorite. Artifacts from various times and places mentioned in the Bible capture the attention of all ages, even though this book is slated as juvenile nonfiction.

If you’re like me and have never been to the Holy Lands, this book may be the next best thing. I have never seen a manger carved out of stone or the beautiful aquamarine shades of the Euphrates River. To observe a photo of the prison where Paul suffered before his death adds depth to my understanding.  

Not only are scripture references given throughout the book but it also includes in the back of the book a simple timeline, a Who’s Who in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.

I highly recommend this book. The hardcover copy retails for $14.99 but I saw it at Christianbook.com for $10.49. It's well worth the price. I’m using mine to enhance our Bible studies at home and in my Sunday School classroom at church. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


How Should We Prepare Our Children for War?

by Sally Matheny 

How Should We Prepare Our Children for War?
Regardless of where we stand on the issue of the military draft, it is the law that our sons, and possibly soon, even our daughters, register with the Selective Service when they turn eighteen years old.

Very few want, or expect, a military draft to occur. But what if…

What if the time comes when we are informed our children will definitely serve in the military? Some of us would have years to prepare, some would have only days.

My son is a young teen. One day he will have to register with the Selective Service. It’s something I prefer not to think about. And yet, if I knew for a fact he would be called up in a few years, how would I prepare him for war?


The Winner of the Children's Book: I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug!

I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug!
The winner was randomly selected from all of the blog's email subscribers. And the winner is:


Woo Hoo! Congratulations "Crazy Mama." I'll notify you via your email address but I don't know your real name. "Crazy Mama" applies to many of us--I know it does to me! So, I'll need you to private message me and let me know your  real name.

Also, tell me where you'd like to have the book delivered and I'll send it out next week. You're going to love this book.

A big thanks to ALL of the rest of you who subscribe to the blog. I hope you continue to find encouragement and community here. 

And thank you for sharing that encouragement with others through your social media. You are a blessing to others and definitely to me.

If you didn't win, hang in there. We have a giveaway at least once a month.

Have a joyful day,



I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug: Book Review & Giveaway!

by Sally Matheny

(I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug)
In honor of International Children’s Book Day (April 2), I’m giving away a wonderful, hardcover book, I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug by Caroline B. Cooney.

Cooney has already authored ninety books and sold over fifteen million copies but this is her first picture book. I hope it isn’t her last, because I absolutely love this book.

Zonderkidz released the book in December 2016. The target audience for I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is ages 4-8 but younger children will enjoy it also. Even the older children will grin if you pair your hugs with a few of these catchy phrases.

        I’m going to give you a horse hug.
        A grab the mane,
        Race through rain,
        Yes oh yes, of course! hug.

        I’m going to give you a bear hug.
        A gasp for air,
        All you dare,
        Anything that’s fair hug.

Eight, imaginative animal hugs unfold for a little boy whose mother is preparing him for bed. The rhyming is superb as the little boy plays, bathes, and snuggles before finally being tucked into bed with a

        Way beyond compare hug.

The illustrations in the book are exquisitely done by Tim Warnes. He’s illustrated many children’s books, including I’ll Love You to the Moon and Back, Warning! This Book May Contain Rabbits, and Jesus Loves Me!

As a side note, I thought it exceptional that he shared his faith on a secular publishing site, Simon & Schuster. When asked about illustrating one of their books he said,

“My Christian faith is central to my life, so I jumped at the challenge to illustrate Jesus Loves Me! –what a great way to use the gift God gave me!”

Don’t you love it when people share about their Christian faith in public? 
Perhaps that’s a little extra nugget you can share with your child as you hold him close and read I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!

I have a hardcover copy of this delightful book to give away to one of you. Everyone whose name is on my email list will be entered into the drawing.

If you’re not on it, and you’d like to receive encouragement for Christian living and news about my latest giveaways, then simply fill in your email address in the “Follow by Email” box provided on your right. 

Usually, you’ll only receive a blog update once a week, never more than two. In other words, I won’t flood your email box with stuff from me, or anyone else. I never share email addresses.

So, if your name is on my email list, you’ll be entered into the drawing! I’ll announce the winner on Saturday, April 8 and I’ll ship it (at my expense) the following week.

Now, who needs a bear hug? J

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in return for an honest 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