Archives For Thomas Nelson Book

The Vertical Self Review

Heather —  February 5, 2013
The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers

The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers

When I read about this book, through Tommy Nelson and Booksneeze, it sounded fantastic. The theme of the book seemed to be about sifting through our misguided media driven culture to find our true self in Christ.

However, when I received this book for review, I had trouble getting into it. The prose seemed too wordy, almost verbose and I found my mind wandering while reading. I was surprised as I rarely do that. So, I put the book aside for awhile. I got it out again, and read a few more chapters several months later. I thought some of the author’s examination of our media driven culture to be interesting and I agree that we, individually are more controlled by imagery in the media than we suspect, yet, I still felt the book was lacking cohesiveness to me. I figured it might be written with a really specific audience in mind and I was not that audience.

I did feel that the information given was good and reflected biblical truth, yet it just was too dry for me. I ultimately did not even finish this book and donated it to our church library.

*BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my review.


Plan B

Heather —  May 18, 2010

What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up The Way You Thought He Would?

_225_350_Book.186.coverUh-oh. I was supposed to review this already and missed my posting date…ironic as it was because my life swung a bit out of control. And, yes, I always have this happen where God doesn’t show up like I think he will.

However, I also tend to have alot of feelings…and I am too idealistic sometimes. I wish I was a bit more stoic, myself. Deep down, I truly believe that God is always working for good in my life. Even so, some days I just get so angry that my life isn’t exactly what I…well, expected. I have to be careful to not be bitter towards God. I cannot imagine how hopeless people must feel if they do not have that hope that is in Christ.

I think Pete Wilson wrote his book to address this sadness that both Christians and non-Christians can have. I appreciate his work. I feel his writing is very down to earth and coherent. I think the writing would appeal to young and old alike. I plan to try to get several copies to share.

So what exactly is in the book? I felt like Wilson was almost in the room, pastoring. He discusses the pain of Plan B’s, and takes that age old question, why do bad things happen and goes a few steps further, attempting to answer questions like:

  • God, why didn’t you stop me from making that choice that ended this way?
  • God, how can I forgive myself…and you…and understand your goodness

He reminds us that nothing is outside of God’s plan unless we choose to totally deny him. Through scripture and quotes from other Christian leaders, Wilson reminds us to always go to the great physician to rest and regroup and find our way–for “God often does His best work in our most hopeless situations.”

I like this quote from the book:

You need to know the Cross is not the starting line. It’s the very centerpiece of your story with God. It’s the place where the pain of “you will have trouble” meets the triumph of “I have defeated the world.”

The only thing I did not like in the book was one quote from Rick Warren. I just don’t trust that guy.

Be sure to checkout the book’s website

This would be a fantastic book to give to a hurting friend.

This Post is a Guest Post By Chris Schilling

_225_350_Book.118.coverCan I begin to live my life in the Zone in 40 days?  What significance does the time period of 40 days have for us men?  According to the authors, it is quite significant.  They point out numerous instances where God made major changes and transformations after a period of 40 days.  Here are a few examples:

  • It rained for 40 days and nights when God chose to cleanse the world.
  • Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days.
  • Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness
  • Jesus was seen on the earth for 40 days after his resurrection

As I read the cover and introduction, this book really struck a chord with me.  Many of the contributors and examples used in this guide come from the sports world–I am a former collegiate-level athlete.  Sports have held a big place in my life for decades.  Many of the athletes quoted and used for examples are people I have admired over the years.

The layout of this guide is similar to a workout or practice.  Each day you start from a high-level review of a topic (warm up), review relevant scriptures and real-life examples (practice) and end with a personal application step (game ready).

Each day is broken up into the following categories (I have included my own brief description for further clarification):

  • Thought of the Day
  • Coaches Corner:  Topic Background
  • The Game Plan:  Applicable Scripture Verses
  • Playmakers:  Real-Life examples
  • Time Out: Self-evaluation via 3 Specific Questions
  • Today’s Assignment:  Personal Action Item

For years I have been struggling to find the perfect time, place, etc. for my personal devotional time. I found this guide easy to use and the words of encouragement from the authors, combined with the daily lessons have been catalysts for making my relationship with God a daily priority.

Now, back to the question I asked at the beginning:  With this guide can I begin living my life in the Zone after 40 days?  If you go through it as its indeed to be used–Yes.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing a copy of Living Life In The Zone for my Review.


I am REPOSTING this as a Holiday Book Favorite for 2011. This has become a true favorite in our house!

Children will delight in this simple and elegant retelling of the Birth of Christ. My  four year old daughter loved holding her special Christmas story. She carried the book around during the holiday season and was excited to share with family and friends—as she put it—“what happened when Jesus was born”. How perfect is that? Yet again, Gwen Ellis has made the bible accessible to a small child.

With vivid illustrations the book highlights the main points of The Christmas Story; from the birth of John the Baptist, to angelic visits, to the birth of Jesus. This really is a fun book. I love the hardcover and the focus on each piece of the Christmas story–each page tells a specific part and it is not overwhelming for little children. This year, Em realized how the angels came with good news…quite often! Our family will use this book as a Christmas treasure for years to come.

An added plus was the animated DVD tucked inside. My daughter was quick to pop that in and check out the 15 minute story.

I am so sorry I did not post this before Christmas–with the medical scare Emma gave us a few things just did not get done. I noticed the book is available now on Amazon (on sale), and would make a lovely gift for children for next year..or shoot–for now, why not?

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing this book for my review.



Book Giveaway Winners!

Heather —  November 16, 2009


I just love giveaways.  Thank you to EVERYONE who participated in the drawing for the new children’s book, by Max Lucado, The Tallest of Smalls.

And, thank you so much to Thomas Nelson Publishers for making this giveaway possible!

I have used to choose three winners.

Congratulations to:

#7, Michelle @ a Life Better than I Deserve

#10, Denise

#56, Birdie S.

Winners, please send me your information. I hope you and your children enjoy the book as much as our family has!