I bought this book on clearance a long time ago, but didn’t think too much of it because I didn’t watch Fixer Upper. I didn’t watch it for the first time until the summer of 2019, when it came to be my favorite HGTV show (which is saying a lot, because I am a pretty big Property Brothers fan). Not only did I love their designs, but I loved seeing a Christian couple with a family portrayed in this type of a show. Several months and many reruns later, I finally remembered their book that I’ve never read and was excited to finally dive in. I found that this book made me enjoy the show and respect Chip and Joanna even more. Although they largely shifted their focus the Magnolia Network, I am grateful for the example of faith, hard work, and love that this couple has been able to share with the world. I think you will too ~ Bethel
In their first book, The Magnolia Story, Chip and Joanna Gaines share the story of how they fell in love, got married and started a family, and started the businesses together that led to the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper. Using contrasting fonts, they share in their own words how they found themselves staring in a popular TV show when they don’t even own a TV. The story of where they were by 2016 is both fascinating to the fans of their show and entertaining for those they may not know much about this couple. Chip’s wit and humor is on full display, which is funnier against Joanna’s more straightforward nature. But all the while, even though the ups and downs of raising a family and starting and even ending businesses, their faith and trust in the Lord is evident throughout their story and will inspire those that read it. If you enjoy autobiographies, home renovations, and stories of God’s hand at work, this book is definitely worth reading. Get your copy today!
This book was an inspiring read. While I am not usually fond of devotionals and I struggle with getting through books about prayer, this book stands out from other books I’ve read in both of these categories. Aside from the crisis our world was facing when I first read it in spring of 2020, it was also a time I needed it in my personal life. It was also enjoyable to do this as part of a prayer experience led by the author Mark Batterson on social media, which meant that he published a video every day for 40 days, which was a great supplement to the material of the book. If you want to learn more about prayer or enjoyed Mark’s book The Circle Maker, this book is a must-read ~ Bethel
In Mark Batterson’s book, Draw the Circle, he expounds the principles he shared in The Circle Maker and turns them into a devotional prayer challenge over 40 days. Although he does challenge his readers to day consistently, this book doesn’t give specific challenges each day but instead allows the book to act as an inspiration to help you create your own pray strategies. Paired with personal testimony as well as stories from readers of his other books, Mark inspires his readers to think about prayer outside of the box and to allow our pursuit of God through prayer to give us the endurance to pray and wait “as long as it takes.” There is a lot of great truth and inspiring testimony packed into these 40 days. If you need to revitalize your prayer life or you are facing difficult circumstances that you want God to guide you through, this book would be a great tool to help you through whatever season you are currently facing. Get your copy today!
I was quite excited when I saw that Nancy had released a Christmas devotional. I knew it was one I wanted to read. In the end, I was not disappointed. This focus on different aspects of the season of Advent was a unique one that any Christian would benefit from reading. I hope you will consider reading it this holiday season ~ Bethel
Songs are an important part of the celebration of Christmas, especially in western culture. These songs are about everything from the traditions we love to the stories embedded into the holiday, especially the ones surrounding the birth of Jesus. Since so many of these songs are so beloved, we can forget that the original Christmas story has a few songs in it as well. In fact, there are a total of six songs in the first two chapters of Luke, all of which can reveal quite a bit about not just Christmas, but also about ourselves.
In her devotional The First Songs of Christmas, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth walks through the six songs of Christmas over 31 days, covering the whole month of December. Diving into one or two verses per day, this book takes a deeper look at what these songs, spread out across the greater story of Advent, can teach us about how to live in the joy and expectation of what Christmas means every day of the year. Each chapter concludes with a short prayer, a few additional Scripture readings, and a simple way to respond to the daily message. This devotional is a powerful and fresh perspective on the story of Advent as it is based on unique Scriptural reflections. Whether you are learning about Christmas for the first time or you know the story like the back of your hand, everyone will be able to learn something new from this book. Get your copy today!
* I received a copy from the publisher for the purpose of this review
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Although I have enjoyed and been inspired by all of the books released by Kristen and Bethany, I believe that this book is by far their best yet. In certain respects, I feel like this book was both written for me and could have been written by me with my life stories inserted into it. I don’t know if I have ever experienced that while reading any book written by other authors. The challenge of trusting God with the twists and turns of your story is a message that will resonate with every reader that chooses to take its message to heart. Being a part of the launch team and helping plan the launch of the book has just been the icing on the cake. This is a book I cannot recommend enough ~ Bethel
Change. Disappointment. Rejection. Worry. All of us have experienced these detours from the narratives we had planned for our lives. No matter how well we plan things out or how good our intentions may be, life is bound to throw us some curveballs. Knowing how to navigate these changes is hard and often painful, especially when we are dealing with major life changes. We want to believe that God is good, but it can be hard to understand His plan or feel His presence when we feel the rug ripped out from under us again and again. It makes us ask the question: How can I learn to fully trust God when life doesn’t go the way I expected?
In their book Not Part of the Plan, authors Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal dive deep into helping their readers navigate the twists and turns of their story while trusting God fully. Kristen and Bethany open up in a way they never have before about their stories not going according to plan. Through Bethany’s years of unfulfilling longings for marriage and Kristen’s years of struggling with infertility, they discovered that even when life doesn’t go according to plan, God is good, ever-present, and can bring us hope and peace amid heartache and disappointment. Pairing their stories with Scriptural and practical truth, this book is designed to help young women to work through past and present detours in their stories. Each chapter includes prayers, reflection questions, and challenges to help them dive deeper. This book is honest and real in a time in history when everyone has faced challenges due to changes from a worldwide pandemic. This is a book that every young woman needs to read. Get your copy today!
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review
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Check out my reviews of Kristen and Bethany's other books:
Sex, Purity, and the Longings of A Girl's Heart
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I liked the sound of this book from the first time I read about it. Priscilla Shirer is an incredibly talented author, speaker, and actress. So when she had the opportunity to combine these talents, you know it’s going to be great. So when I discovered that she was writing a teen girl book based on the film Overcomer, I knew I wanted to read it. I am so glad I found the time to read this short but impactful book that really should be on the reading list of any Christian teen girl or young woman ~ Bethel
All of us wonder how much of a difference we make will make on the world. Many of us have hopes and dreams to make the world a better place, but deeper down inside, we feel inadequate, insignificant, and incapable of making an impact in a noisy world. Even Christians struggle with believing that they can never make a difference because they don’t even understand who they were made to be. This seems especially true for teen girls. Many of them are so confused, they don’t even enough where to start looking for answers.
In her book, Radiant, Priscilla Shirer helps teen girls and young women walk understand their identity in Christ so their lives can be shaped by the truth of God’s word, not the ever-changing opinions of our culture. Inspired by her role in the Kendrick Brothers movie Overcomer, this book is designed to inspire girls like the film’s protagonist Hannah Scott, a teen girl who struggles with her identity until she finds Jesus. Sharing stories from her teen years and beyond in a way that is entertaining and relevant, Priscilla offers to help young women discern the views they have of themselves that are founded on the lies of their culture and find the truth of their value, purpose, and identity as it is laid out in His Word. It when they learn how to embrace this version of their identity that their lives will be a radiant light for Christ as they actively serve Him within their generation. Using understandable language and a simple format, the message of this book is incredibly relevant and needed for young women in our world today. I would recommend this book to teen girls 12 and older, and any young woman that wants to learn more about how to be radiant for Christ.
Singles Friendly Rating. Although written with a younger audience in mind, this book does an incredible job of highlighting how they can serve God in their generation in whatever season God has them in. It was very encouraging to me as a single gal and would be one of the recommended readings for a single young woman
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Lion's Eyes Reviews is a blog dedicated to reviews of Christian books, most of which are non-fiction, but may also occasionally review movies and musicals. It will also feature the work Bethel does to help launch and promote the works of Christian authors.
The name is derived from one of Bethel's favorite books, Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko. Through these reviews, Bethel hope to give Christians the tools they need to look at the world "through the eyes of a lion" so they can find the courage to "run toward the roar".
To find the detailed archives of these reviews, you can check them out here:
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Bethel Grove is a Christian author, book reviewer, and book launcher. A graduate of Ozark Christian College, she is trained in biblical hermeneutics (how to interpret Scripture) and practical ministry. She has written seven self-published titles, published dozens of Christian book reviews, and been involved in over a dozen Christian book launches, both as a team member and a leader. She enjoys reading, writing, singing, and mentoring younger women. She hopes to someday be a vocational youth minister.
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