Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wayfinding Bible New Living Translation

I am so excited to review this new Bible.  The easiest way to explain how it is new and different is with the publishers description.....The Wayfinding Bible NLT
 a trailer can be found here...
What if you had a trusted friend to guide you through God’s Word every day? Whether you want a fast overview of the grand story of the Bible or a deeper exploration of the riches of Scripture, The Wayfinding Bible is that guide.

With an innovative, full-color visual guide at the top of each reading, The Wayfinding Bible provides you with three paths through God’s Word: the Fly-Over Route, the Direct Route, and the Scenic Route. Following the Fly-Over Route, you’ll cover the most important events in the Bible in just 40 readings, giving you a fresh overview of how these events tell the story of God’s redemption. Following the Direct Route’s 200 readings, you’ll develop a better understanding of how God’s story develops through history. Following the Scenic Route, you’ll explore new territory while discovering a richness and depth in God’s Word that you’ve not seen before. All without the discouragement of getting bogged down in any single book.

Whether you are encountering the Bible for the first time or simply looking for a new journey through Scripture, you will always know where you are and where you’re going in God’s Word. Just choose your route, and prepare yourself for life-changing experiences with God.

Special features:

  • Getting Your Bearings: These 8 two-page articles occur at major turning points of Scripture and help the reader stay on track
  • Side Trips: Explore a known concept in greater depth or read about a topic for the first time
  • Scenic Overlooks: Stunning visuals including maps, photos, infographics, and charts that aid in understanding the Bible text
The Wayfinding Bible uses the clear and understandable New Living Translation text.

So here's what I think...

  • This would be a great Bible for boys, the flight concept, could easily transfer to a map or pilots uniform with a sticker or badge for milestones.  (Boys in grades 3 or 4 are the hardest age to reach in curriculum, and oh the appeal of the flight, the itinerary, and the images throughout the 40-200 stops!) 
  • The reading teacher in me thinks this is an awesome tool for teaching or modeling how to read and understand the Bible.  The built in tools help provide all the key reading strategies for comprehension (connections, imagery, summarizing, clarifying, questions, evaluations, and prediction/inference)
  • The paths and options are a refreshing way to get an overview of the Bible, and it lets you pick your commitment.  (I tried the flyover and didn't succeed as I wanted to read all the special touches and other passages marked on a page.)
  • The sense of accomplishment and connections could be very empowering to a new Bible reader, and a veteran Bible reader, the New Living Translation is solid yet refreshing perspective. 
  • The Bible is filled with scenic overlooks (signified by binoculars) images and maps for major places, connections of this portion of scripture to other portions read, connections to Christ, to history, and info-graphics to help the reader easily connect the Bible to itself, and help gain perspective. 
  • Each reading has a special introduction, an observation and an exploration to help the reader think through this part of God's Big Story, and these simple inserts could make it easier for a  novice to grasp the points without a lot of commentaries, concordances, or tools. 
  •  I believe that a Bible scholar could enjoy reading through these commentaries and determining if they would prefer a different connection, add a new theological term, or concept, or leave it as the creators of the Bible wrote it.  But it's unique, and it in my book it inspires thinking on many levels.  
  • I believe this Bible has features that could help keep you on track in a group Bible study, but still provide a good overview and some critical thinking for lively discussions.  I especially like the infographics and charts. 
  • It is not a Bible that teaches doctrinal terms, theological concepts, it's merely a tool to explore the text of the Bible, get an overview of the Bible, and see topics across the Bible (like Angels, Easter Readings, forgiveness, ...)  
I will continue to test this Wayfinding Bible and see how my thoughts change, expand or grow, but the bottom line is, I find it a very useful tool that I want to continue to have on my nightstand with easy access.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode...book review

The purpose of this blog is to focus on whispering the Word is to help our kids become those who crave time in the Word.  But that can only happen if their time is well managed, and good habits start early, to be natural.  So they must be modeled! That's why I appreciated a new book by blogger Crystal Paine, known as MoneySavingMom.  I have followed her blog for several years now and have not only been encouraged by her coupons but unexpectedly by the glimpses of her own life and habits shared.  She has written about her lifestyle, carefully crafted over a few years, a few kids, and a determination to thrive through the busyness of life.  It takes discipline, knowing your purpose, having perspective, and hope.

Here's a few quotes...

It's my hope that all parents, children's workers, and those who serve kids in any way, would value the Word of God, make it a goal to read daily, pray meaningfully, memorize scripture, and talk about the value and life changing events in their lives because of the active, living Word of God.  If you struggle with discipline, establishing routines, and you need help finding hope with the structure of your life, then this book is for you!! It is NOT a Bible study, and I am not even sure scripture is integrated in the book, but it is a woman who keeps a quiet time in her goals, and her relationship with God is a priority, and she walks you through how she stopped surviving and found she could thrive in her daily life as a wife, mother, woman of God, and as a blogger.  (She makes enough money on her blog now, that she uses it to support others, she still lives a frugal life, even though her income is beyond their needs! So she's in the trenches with normal Moms who struggle to do it all.

Here are some more quotes/photos-- for many of you these will speak to your visual learning style more than my words can!


This one might be my favorite:

 I would add, that if you trust in the Lord, He can help you do this as well!

Here's what I shared at amazon as a review:
I have followed Crystal's blog for several years now, so I was intrigued by her new book. Would it be more helpful than her short informational pieces? Would it just be the same stuff I can get without a book? I was pleasantly surprised that while her book matches up with her blog (she posts weekly goals & progress, freezer meal weekly reports/recipes, organizational tips, and ways to save money). Her book really explains the HOW she lives and how you could follow her example and live life on purpose, with perspective, and hope. She is a christian and her book occasionally refers to her faith, but it is not a main theme and scripture is not really interspersed throughout her quotes and concepts, she bases her purpose, goals, and plans with her faith in mind but it's not overtly christian.) The book is just what it's title says it is, it's 9 simple strategies to move out of survival mode. It is an easy read. It has real life examples from her life and her readers, and it is written in a way, you can implement her ideas, and change your life. Having researched skills and helped many college students with time management, life organization and planning, I can say that this book is well researched, and founded on common and very helpful strategies. It's not just a homemaker sharing what works for her, it works for many. But her books is more approachable and direct than many other self help books. I enjoyed it and I am sure will use it again. I was given a book as part of her launch team, but all ideas and opinions are my own, I was not required to do a favorable review.

Two last thoughts from her book...to give you the flavor...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

99 Stories from the Bible

This book is a lovely picture story book Bible.  The print is large, but not too much on a page. The illustrations are soft, warm colors, rounded figures, and kid oriented.  The people have big noses, and Adam has a beard, which disturbed my 4 year old, but not all the men had beards, and I think it bothered her because her other story bible makes Adam look different.

The stories are short, and they count 99 stories, but take some Biblical accounts as multiple stories. So creation is actually several stories.  An adult could read the whole book in part of an afternoon.  The selection of stories seemed broad and along a line of creation to the cross, ending with Jesus return to heaven and His promise to return for His disciples.  I wished it had gone on into a few more new testament stories like the church, Paul, etc. But very few picture story Bibles do, I imagine it's because these are not as easily summarized.  There were some very unique but accurate elements in some of the stories. Adam and Eve leaving the garden is entitled "Flashing Swords" and I double checked Genesis to see how my translations words that part.   I liked that level of detail on occasion, and it would be fun to compare to a real Bible's detail.

I enjoyed this Bible storybook and believe it would be a great tool in a preschool class, with young children, or even new readers.  My four year old enjoyed it.  It seemed to keep the vocabulary simple enough for a typical first/second grade reader.   My only con was how it addressed sin.  It never used this term.  In the ark story, it mentioned that Noah was good but most people were "arguing, and cheating, and fighting."  In Adam and Eve, it says "Adam and Eve had not done as God had told them.  So he sent them out of the beautiful garden. Forever."  They are sad and sorry on the next page.  So it leaves the explanation and teaching to the parent or teacher who is reading it aloud or checking in, to address the concept of sin directly.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Drake's Flag, a GA Henty radio drama


Review Week is fun isn't it? today's review is extra fun because I know one of the consulting producers! (and so do my children!) He attended Emmaus and taught piano lessons.  Now he's working on producing radio drama!  How cool is that? 

In order to adequately review this radio drama, I had to enlist the two best critics I know- my boys, who are almost 8 and almost 12 years old, and are huge fans of podcasts and radio drama.  So if you have Adventures in Odyssey Fans or You've Got the Time kidz podcasts fans, you know what I mean.

The first sign that these are a hit, was my oldest kept getting the cd case for his room, so he could re-listen to them!  His review is that they are exciting and entertaining.  The story had lots of action, helped him love history, and had good truths.  It really encouraged him to think about kindness.  He enjoyed listening to them. 

On their website- they make some claims about why a parent should like these CD's. My son when I asked him about them- agreed to all of them! Things like develop moral character, instill a love of history, teaching self reliance, are just great audio teaching.... His big question was, are there more? 

We listened to them as well, and I can see how my son enjoys them. The sound affects are amazing and the story is good.