[Review] Young Women Love God Greatly Bible, New English Translation, published by Thomas Nelson

Publisher and Publication Date: Thomas Nelson Bibles, a registered trademark of HarperCollins Publishing. April 19, 2022.
Genre: Bible.
Pages: 2240.
Format: Hardcover.
Source: I received a complimentary hardcover copy of the Bible from Bible Gateway and Thomas Nelson Bibles. I am not required to write a positive review. I am a member of the BG2 or Bible Gateway Blogger Grid. #BibleGatewayPartner.
Audience: Primary target audience: young women who read the Bible.
Rating: Excellent.

Links:

Thomas Nelson Bibles

Goodreads

Faith Gateway Store

Bible Gateway (a post on this Bible)

Amazon

Christian Book (includes an excerpt from the Bible)

Included in the Bible is the SOAP Method of studying Scripture:

The SOAP method is a proven and effective way to engage with the Bible through:

  • Scripture: Read a passage and write out 1-2 key verses.
  • Observation: Write down what stands out to you in your passage.
  • Application: Write out how you should respond to your passage.
  • Prayer: Pray in response to what you’ve explored during your time in God’s Word.

With 50 reading plans covering every book of the Bible, the Young Women Love God Greatly Bible helps young women put the SOAP method into practice every day.

To read information about the New English Translation or NET. This write-up is from Bible Gateway and Jonathan Petersen.

The Bible is 9.5 print size. Comfort print.

About Comfort Print®:
HarperCollins Christian Publishing teamed with 2K/Denmark, the world’s foremost Bible typeface foundry, to create exclusive Comfort Print® Bible fonts. Comfort Print Bibles are easy to read at any size because the typeface was designed to be both efficient and readable. Believing that the beauty of the message should be reflected in the physical form of the book, the publishers say choosing the right typeface is one significant element in creating beautiful Bibles. To learn more about Comfort Print® fonts, visit www.ComfortPrintBibles.com.

About Thomas Nelson:
Thomas Nelson (@ThomasNelson) is a world leading publisher and provider of Christian content and has been providing readers with quality inspirational product for more than 200 years. As part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the publishing group provides multiple formats of award-winning Bibles, books, gift books, cookbooks, curriculum and digital content, with distribution of its products in more than 100 countries. Thomas Nelson, is headquartered in Nashville, TN. For additional information visit www.thomasnelson.com.

Designed to help young women grow:

The Young Women Love God Greatly Bible is designed to help young women grow in their faith and navigate life through the truth of God’s Word. To help them…

  • know the love Jesus Christ displays in the cross and grow in a deeper relationship with him.
  • find wisdom on every page of Scripture as they read, pray, and study.
  • be encouraged as they learn from heroes of the faith.

Features to help young women find encouragement:

  • Personal testimonies from women around the world.
  • Mentor letters to guide them through life’s challenges and questions.
  • Profiles of biblical and historical women.
  • Topical reading plans exploring important aspects of the Christian life, including:
    • Fear and Anxiety: Learning to Overcome with God’s Truth.
    • Truth over Lies.
    • Friendship.
    • Growing through Prayer.
    • Promises of God.

Additional Features:

  • 10 Topical Reading Plans around life’s issues, such as fear and anxiety, truth and lies, and friendship.
  • 10 Infographics about themes in Scripture.
  • 25 Heroes of the Bible features profile women who followed God at different times and circumstances.
  • 25 Heroes of the Past articles that highlight women throughout the history of the church who made differences for God’s Kingdom.
  • 100 Devotions for encouragement and teaching deep insights about God’s Word.
  • 66 Personal Testimonies shared by women from around the world. This includes a country profile of each woman.
  • Reflection Questions, Challenges, and Journaling Space in the wide margins next to the Scripture text.
  • 10 Maps that paint a visual picture of the biblical geography in the Old and New Testaments.
  • 10 Detailed Timelines that display historical events of Israel, the life of Jesus, and the early church.
  • God’s Heart for The Nations Verses.
  • A personal letter to the reader titled: “Know These Truths.”
  • A memory verse for each book of the OT and NT books. This information is located in one spot (in the back section of the Bible)-not in the individual Bible book pages.
  • Contributors and Sources pages.

My Thoughts about the Young Women Love God Greatly NET Bible:

My first thought is this is an easy-to-read Bible! The print size is helped by it being in bold black letters.

Additional reasons why I love this Bible:

1. There is plenty of room on the Bible pages to take notes, write Bible verses, or any other type of writing.

2. The pages are easy to turn, and they do not stick together. The pages actually have a matte finish which helps them to turn easy.

3. The Bible is aesthetically pleasing. It has a lovely teal or blue-green color scheme running through it. Two satin ribbon markers are in light blue and sage green.

4. Challenge and Reflect questions (located in the shaded background teal color on the Bible pages) that are brief, but they help me think deep about the truths in the Bible.

5. I love the scroll written Bible verses in teal color that enhance the first page of each of the Bible books.

6. Each of the Bible books, whether the OT or NT, have the Bible book written in that language. For example, the book of Luke will have the Greek name for Luke. The book of Amos will have the Hebrew name for Amos. This is included on the Title page for each Bible book. This is such an interesting detail that makes this Bible unique.

7. I believe this is an excellent Bible for a new Christian or a seasoned Christian. This Bible is excellent for a woman of any age, not just a younger woman.

8. Throughout the Bible I have the feeling that it is a personal and intimate Bible and yet a community minded Bible.

9. I am enjoying reading this translation. I have compared it alongside other versions. For example: ESV, CSB, and NIV. The NET-New English Translation is one of my favorites. I’ve enjoyed reading the history of the translation process.

10. This is the first New English Translation Bible I’ve had the pleasure of reading and reviewing. I’d had a dream and prayer of being able to hold one in my hands and read it. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Bible Gateway.

To read additional info about the NET: Bible Gateway.

And NET Bible.

Thank you to Bible Gateway for my complimentary hardcover copy. I am a member of the BG2 or Bible Gateway Blogger Grid. #BibleGatewayPartner.

[Review] Violet’s Vow, Botanical Seasons Novella Two by Jenny Knipfer

Publisher and Publication Date: Published by the Jenny Knipfer. May 6, 2022.
Genre: Christian fiction. Romance. Light mystery.
Pages: 214.
Format: E-book.
Source: I received a complimentary e-book copy from Jenny Knipfer and BookFunnel. I am not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of Christian fiction romance with a little mystery included.
Rating: Excellent.

Violet’s Vow is book two in a series titled, Botanical Seasons.

Link @ Amazon. The Kindle price is $2.99.
Link @ Barnes and Noble.

Author Info:

Jenny lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken, and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling.

Spending many years as a librarian in a local public library, Jenny recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability. Her education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions.

All of Jenny’s books have earned five-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite, a book review and award contest company. She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Wisconsin Writers Association, Christian Indie Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.

Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set.

She deems a cup of tea and a good book an essential part of every day. When not writing, Jenny can be found reading, tending to her many houseplants, or piecing quilt blocks at her sewing machine.

Her new historical fiction, four-part series entitled, Sheltering Trees, is set in the area Jenny grew up in, where she currently lives, and places along Minnesota’s Northern Shore, where she loves to visit. She is currently writing a four-part novella series entitled: Botanical Seasons and working a series of retold fairy tales.

Keep current with Jenny by visiting her website at https://jennyknipfer.com/
Ways to connect with Jenny via social media, newsletter, and various book sites can be found on her website or visit the following links.

Facebook group, Journeying with Jenny:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/402738713921985/

Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/jennyknipfer.writer/

Instagram:

https://instagram.com/jennyknipferbrave/

Pinterest:

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/JennyKnipfer/

YouTube:

https://youtube.com/channel/UCyDrVgOHyi7pb1GZ_CS_nNg

Newsletter:

https://mailchi.mp/742af683508f/join-my-author-team-as-a-subscriber

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19133392.Jenny_Knipfer

BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jenny-knipfer

Website:

Praise:

“Author Jenny Knipfer made the 1890s come alive; the characters all seem real and the plot so believable. It is a must-read for all romantics, Victorian-era historical fiction lovers, and anyone who just enjoys a good book!” five-star review, by Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite.

“Knipfer has created intriguing plots in previous books and this one is no exception. Readers are sure to enjoy this sweet historical tale filled with mystery, interesting twists and mercy.” Dawn Kinzer, inspirational author of The Daughters of Riverton series.

Summary:

A springtime novella of a secret love and a passionate vow.

In the late 1890s, intuitive flower shop owner Violet Brooks opens up her heart and business to the Moore family but yet has vowed to get justice for her deceased husband, Roger, whom she believed had died as a result of bucking the Moore lumber company. 

Handsome lumberbaron Devon Moore frequents Violet’s shop with his niece, Holly, who’s preparing for her upcoming wedding. Running the shop herself after her husband’s death a year prior exhausts Violet, so she hires Holly, surprising herself by hoping to have more chances for her path to cross with Devon’s.

In the meantime, a secret admirer leaves Violet messages in the language of flowers. Her heart blossoms to the sentiments within.

She’s torn between her growing attraction for Devon and her admirer, or are they one in the same?

Journalist Frankie Dermot, an old classmate and flame of Violet’s, comes back to town. Violet enlists his help in her search for the truth about Roger’s death. But when they uncover who’s really responsible for her husband’s passing one year prior, Violet is shocked.

Will Violet shut herself off from newfound love, or will she allow her past vow to her deceased husband to dictate her future and keep her from the man who wins her heart?

Readers of Christian historical fiction and Christian historical romance with a twist of mystery will find their hearts set aflutter by Violet’s tale of discovering romance and be inspired by her path to grace.

Excerpt #1:

CHAPTER ONE

May 1891

Fluffing out the head of the peach-colored carnation in her hand, an envy built in Violet for the simplicity of the clove-scented flower. But although the fragrance held sweetness, carnations were said to have sprung up from Mary’s tears along the path Jesus trod as He carried His cross. And thus, it was a divine flower, birthed in passion. 

Though far removed from what the Lord suffered, Violet knew a bit about spent passion and wondered if her hopes and dreams would end up buried with Roger. She brought the ruffled carnation petals to her nose, closing her eyes and breathing deeply. The spicy scent reminded her of the aftershave he had worn. 

Dear Rodger—her best friend, confidant, and husband. She conjured his rugged yet handsome face in her mind: wide-set, brown eyes, a heavy brow, and deep lines around his mouth, from too many days in the sun. How she missed him still. Though his passing had been over a year ago, in some ways, it seemed like yesterday. They had been such good companions, interested in the same things, but Violet hadn’t really considered them to be a love match. Theirs had been more a union of like minds, and oddly enough, their relationship had satisfied them both. 

The bell tinkled on the shop door, and Violet stood to attention, rolling her eyes open to see who had entered her domain—Fragrant Sentiments. She and Roger had worked so hard to establish the flower shop, providing most of the cut flowers from their three greenhouses and multiple gardens. It had been full-time work just growing the flowers, let alone selling them, until they had hired Webster, a young man unafraid of hard work and eager to learn more about gardening. The three of them had made a happy team. However, they were three no longer, and the workload, at times, overwhelmed her. Whether she could keep the business afloat without Roger remained to be seen. 

Violet keenly missed Roger’s presence in the shop. Oddly enough for a man, he’d had an eye for design and arrangements of a grander scale, while it was the everyday bouquets that spoke to Violet. Her heart lay in the little treasures to brighten the home. She held to the philosophy that flowers should be an everyday part of a household, as much as tea or coffee were. Her Aunt Dahlia had often said that flowers were the morning drink of the soul, and Violet agreed.

Violet positioned the carnation next to some lilacs in a white, porcelain urn which held a half-arranged bouquet of flowers, destined for the funeral of a young woman. Finally focusing on her clientele, Violet’s gaze brushed over the tailored cut of the man’s light gray suit and the fine, couture lines of the light blue, silk dress the young woman wore. A loose pompadour style encapsulated her dark hair, and her dark brown eyes glistened like dewy centers of a rudbeckia. 

The woman smiled, easy and sincere, showing straight teeth. “A good morning to you, ma’am. My, it smells so lovely in here.”

She turned her head left and right, taking in the shop displays and buckets of flowers.

Violet offered a slight curve of her lips in return. “Thank you.”

A tinge of envy nudged at Violet. She had lost that sense of identifying an overpowering, welcoming fragrance upon entering the flower shop some time ago, and she missed it. Her nose had gotten used to so many flowers in one space.

The young woman loosened the blue, velvet pouch dangling from her wrist and pulled out a calling card. “I’m Miss Holly Moore, and this is my uncle, Mr. Devon Moore.”

She flipped her wrist in the man’s direction. He smiled, sincere as well but with a hint of something else altogether. Sadness perhaps. Upon that intuition, Violet instinctively glimpsed his spirit as a purple hyacinth, holding regret and sorrow. She had a way about her, for matching flowers to people.

Inclining his head ever so slightly, he said, “Ma’am,” in an airy but not unmasculine voice. 

Reaching out to take the card, Violet said, “Why, good day. I’m Mrs. Violet Brooks. How may I be of service to you?”

Excerpt #2:

Violet stood along with her customers and said, as she walked them to the door, “I’m sure I’ll be seeing you again soon. Thank you so much for stopping in and for your business. I look forward to creating something special for your wedding, Miss Moore.”

Extending her hand, Violet shook Miss Moore’s. 

Miss Moore flashed another winning smile Violet’s way. “It is I who should thank you for your expertise. I will inform you as soon as I can about my availability. Good day.”

With a spring in her step, she walked out of the shop door, which Mr. Moore held open.

Still leaning against the door, he caught Violet’s gaze. “Forgive my saying so, but you seem the semblance of your namesake.”

He cleared his throat and dropped his gaze a second, as if repenting of speaking.

Violet did see herself as reserved and holding a quiet beauty, of a kind, which the botanical violet was said to be known for. Roger had always said so.

She took Mr. Moore’s words as a compliment—though Violet would rather have been perceived as something more exotic than the modest and humble violet—and replied simply, “Why, thank you.”

He lifted his forget-me-not eyes again and tipped his head toward her. “Not at all.” A reserved smile arched his lips. “Good day, Mrs. Brooks.”

He turned and left, closing the door softly behind him, leaving a whiff of clove and bergamot behind him.

Through the glass panes of the front window, Violet watched niece and uncle amble away from the shop, arm in arm. Not one to form attachments easily, a slight sadness picked at Violet.

It would be nice to have the cheery company of Miss Moore in the shop, she decided, and she began to hope Miss Moore’s fiancé would agree to their employment scheme.

Expelling a large breath, Violet turned and walked back to her worktable to finish the arrangement she’d been making before the Moores had walked into Fragrant Sentiments, undeniably brightening her day. She whistled as she nestled carnations next to voluptuous branches of lilacs and pictured Mr. Moore’s forget-me-not eyes. 

Excerpt #3:

CHAPTER TWO

Just a little more… Violet stretched out her arm and groaned. She gripped the top of the ladder with one hand and worked at hanging a paper banner on a nail with her other, but she hadn’t positioned the ladder close enough. 

“Oh, bother!” she growled out, as her foot slipped on the rung she stood on and the banner fluttered from her grasp.

“Here. Let me,” a deep voice said, startling her.

Concentrating so hard, Violet hadn’t heard anyone come into Fragrant Sentiments. She looked down from the five extra feet she stood at and spied Mr. Moore fishing for the looped string of the banner among the leaves of a Ficus tree.

He pulled it out. “Ah, ha!”

A warm smile lit up his face. A twinkle in his eye danced when he tipped his gaze up at Violet. Violet wobbled, as if she might slip again, but she gripped the ladder firmly with both hands.

“Thanks so much, but I think I need to move the ladder over a bit. My arm is too short,” she told him before she backed down the ladder with care.

When she set her feet on the floor, she extended her hand for the end of the banner.

However, Mr. Moore held it fast. “No, no. You must allow me.” And before Violet could protest, Mr. Moore shifted the ladder over and climbed up it, like a man half his age. He hung the end of the banner on the nail without incident. “There.”

He sounded satisfied and came back down. 

But instead of being grateful, annoyance simmered in her heart. Violet hadn’t asked for his help, and she certainly didn’t need it.

“Thanks,” she squeaked out. 

He looked up at the banner. “A big sale, huh?” 

In stenciled letters, Violet had spelled out, “All flowers here 30% off,” on the pennant-shaped flaps of the banner.

“I’m trying to get through some product before it expires.” 

He looked back at her, concern lowering his eyebrows. “Don’t you have a cooler?” 

“I do, but it’s just a small, insulated room that I keep blocks of ice in. The temperature of the space is difficult to control.” 

“I see.” Mr. Moore smiled again, and Violet repented of her less than kind thoughts about him. “I was in Chicago not long ago and stopped at a flower shop that boasted an electric cooler.”

Again, irritation rubbed at Violet, like an itchy collar. “I could never afford such a thing. It must be terribly expensive.”

In truth, she and Roger had discussed investing in an electric air cooler to keep the flowers fresh, but in the end, they had both determined it to be too costly and too much of a risk. 

“Yes. I suppose they must be.” Mr. Moore’s warm tone wavered, likely due to the starchy way Violet had responded to the mention of the cooler. He looked down at the tips of his shiny, brown shoes. “I don’t mean to take up your time, Mrs. Brooks, but I told Holly I would get this to you.”

With eyes full of unasked questions, he focused on Violet momentarily before pulling a small, handwritten notecard out of the inner pocket of his casual, taupe suit jacket. He held it out to her. 

Taking the note from him, their fingers brushed, and Violet pulled back too quickly, sending the note to the floor. “Oh, dear. Nothing wants to stay within my clasp this morning.”

Violet’s hand fluttered to the hollow of her neck. He must think I’m a clumsy lout.

Mr. Moore stooped down and retrieved the note from the floor.

“I can’t imagine why,” he told her, placing it in her open palm with a light touch. 

Violet’s fingers folded around the thick, linen, cream-colored cardstock, a distinctive warmth kissing her wispy hairline at the back of her neck at his veiled compliment. “Thank you. Do give my regards to your niece.” 

He stood still, watching her for a few seconds, then continued. “Should I wait while you open it? In case you’d like to send a response?”

“Oh, certainly.”

What is the matter with me? I need a second cup of tea.

Violet fumbled with the seal and opened the note, reading through it quickly, trying not to squirm under Mr. Moore’s intent observation of her. 

The note relayed that Miss Moore would be available to work immediately up to the week of her wedding and could start again the week following, if such was agreeable to Violet. Tucking the note back in the envelope, Violet wondered just who was hiring whom. Miss Moore seemed to have arranged things and assumed Violet would hire her, with few to no questions asked. Violet hadn’t imagined finding anyone so swiftly, but she knew she needed help, and who better than sweet Miss Moore? 

Clearing her throat, Violet said, “You may tell Miss Moore that I’ll expect her first thing Monday morning. Eight O’clock sharp. We’ll discuss other details at that time.”

Mr. Moore smiled, and Violet noticed how his eyes crinkled at the corners. The creases made him look even more distinguished.

“Holly will be so pleased,” he replied. “She deserves to be happy.”

“Don’t we all?”

The question slipped out, a whispered thought, before Violet could take it back. Why did she so often speak without thinking first? It dismayed Violet. It was a habit she had not grown out of.

Mr. Moore tipped his head back and laughed. “Well, we’d all like to think so, wouldn’t we?” Then he turned serious. “Now, I must go, but I’ll leave my card with you.”

With his middle and pointer finger, he plucked a business card out of the breast pocket of his jacket, as gracefully as a card shark, and arched his arm to give it to Violet.

She took it and forced herself to smile. “Thank you.”

Mr. Moore tipped his hat. “I feel quite certain we’ll be seeing more of each other, Mrs. Brooks.”

He left before Violet could decide whether she agreed with him or not.

She threw up her hands in mild frustration and went to organize the flowers in buckets under the sale sign, but try as she might, Violet could not clear her mind of thoughts about Mr. Devon Moore. 

My Thoughts:

Life is so serious at this time. It feels good to read a light romance with a light mystery. Light is my definition of a story that I don’t need to figure out or think too hard about the characters, plot, and overall storyline. I can sit back and enjoy reading.

The first reason why I love Violet’s Vow is the character, Violet. She is kind, polite, hardworking, and compassionate. She is a lady. She is also a person who thinks. She ponders things. She is not impulsive. She does not immediately follow the desires of her heart, but instead she takes the time to try and make the right decision. She is a keen observer of people. She watches their mannerisms and behavior. She pays attention to their language. I love it that she is a businesswoman during an era when not many women owned business or even worked outside the home. I love her age. She is not a young woman but in middle age. She has an independent spirit. I love it that she is wise and discerning. She is not a perfect character because at a point in the story she has missed certain things about a person in her life.

You may laugh at this point but kissing scenes in a story is important to me. Not all authors are able to write a kissing scene in such a way that is pleasant and tender. It is often a hard kiss, or it is like two kids who are just learning to kiss. It does not come across on page as being authentic and real. The kissing scene in this story has sweet passion and tenderness.

There is a little life lesson in the story that can easily be missed. To an extent, anytime a person is attracted to another, and they fall in love, there is vulnerability. They are taking a chance in love. They are taking a chance that this relationship will work out and bring joy. It does not matter the age of the people. There is a hunger for closeness and love, yet there is a fear of what if this does not work out. I believe with older people; they bring to the relationship all the past history of other relationships. Young love is well, young love, with less baggage. Violet is a character who is real. Believable. I love this.

The conflicts in the story are internal.

It is a character driven story.

Themes: love, grief, compassion, dreams, hope, charity, trust, romance, and circle of life.

Bible Reading Update for May 2022

BSF, also known as Bible Study Fellowship, ended for the year. The in-depth study was on the Gospel of Matthew. I was a CL-Children’s Leader. I taught the young ones, ages 5 to 9. I have stepped out of leadership in BSF. I am involved in a few other things. One of the new things is something I am now in “training” for. I will talk more about this later. When BSF starts again in September, I will be a member only. The study is new: People of the Promise, Kingdom Divided.

In the month of May I read:

Ruth chapters 1 to 4. Read in the ESV.
1 Samuel chapters 1 to 31. ESV.
Daniel chapters 1 to 12. ESV.
Hosea chapters 1 to 14. ESV.
Joel chapters 1 to 3. ESV.
Amos chapters 1 to 9. ESV.
Obadiah chapters 1 to 16. ESV.
Jonah chapters 1 to 3. ESV.
Micah chapters 1 to 7. ESV.
Nahum chapters 1 to 3. ESV.
Habakkuk chapters 1 to 3. ESV.
Zephaniah chapters 1 to 3. ESV.
Haggai chapters 1 to 2. ESV.
Zechariah chapters 1 to 14. ESV.
Malachi chapters 1 to 4. Read in the ESV.
Ephesians chapters 1 to 6. Read in the ESV Women’s Study Bible.
James chapters 1 to 5. Read in the CSB.

In the month of May, I continued to read from the following devotional books:
Our Daily BreadTake My Heart, Oh God: Riches from the Greatest Christian Women Writers of All TimeDaily LightFighting Words: 100 Days of Speaking Truth into the Darkness by Ellie HolcombTruth for Life: 365 Daily Devotions by Alistair Begg.

I have finished reading Fighting Words. I have shelved Take My Heart, Oh God. I have shelved Daily Light.

I finished up the month reading Truth for Life, Our Daily Bread (magazine), In Touch (magazine), and Prayers of Rest by Asheritah Ciuciu.

For the memory verse challenge, I am learning Ephesians 3:14-19 in the ESV.

Are you reading your Bible?

Bible verses are linked to Bible Gateway.

[Review] Fighting Words: 100 Days of Speaking Truth into the Darkness by Ellie Holcomb

Publisher and Publication Date: B&H Publishing. October 15, 2021.
Genre: Nonfiction. Devotional.
Pages: 248.
Format: Hardcover.
Source: Self-purchase.
Audience: Readers of devotionals. Mainly for a female audience.
Rating: Excellent.

Link @ Amazon.

Link @ Barnes and Noble.

Link @ Christian Book. Best price today @ $13.49.

To read more information about the book, visit B&H Publishing.

About the Author:

Ellie Holcomb began her musical career touring with her husband in the Americana band Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. In 2014, she began weaving scripture into songs, including “The Broken Beautiful,” “Red Sea Road,” and “Canyon.” In 2018 she began creating a new generation of little fans with her children’s books Who Sang The First Song? and Don’t Forget to Remember, each with companion children’s music. Ellie, her husband, Drew, and their three children live and make music in Nashville.
Author information is from the B&H Publishing website. Thank you.

Summary and My Thoughts:

Fighting Words is a 100-day devotional book.

The Bible translations used in the book are Christian Standard Bible, The Message, English Standard Bible, New Living Translation, New King James Version, and the New American Standard Bible.

Each devotional covers 2 to 3 pages.

There are several Scripture pages written in scroll handwriting that reminds me of some of the ESV Bibles that have a page set apart as an elegantly designed Scripture page.

Each devotional ends with several questions for reflection and a short prayer.

The book begins with an “Acknowledgements” section followed by an “Introduction” and a “How to use This Devotional.”

No index.

A short note section.

The devotionals cover a wide range of themes: hearing bad news, times of suffering, memorizing Scripture, a broken heart, strongholds, worry, anxiety, reconciliation, trust in God, wandering away from Him, restless days and nights, and lies of the enemy.

I bought this book last November as a Christmas present. I began reading it in early January. I used it as a daily devotional.

The first thing I notice about the book is the elegant beauty of the front and back cover. A navy blue and gold color scheme. The back cover of the book is the verse: Psalm 119:105. “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, A light on my path.”

There is a sleeve (covering a portion of the book) that explains what is usually on the back flap of the book, a summary.

Several times the devotional spoke to me on a problem I was having that day. I love how the Holy Spirit, through His Word and through other Christians, meet me exactly where I am to minister to me.

I have a stack of devotionals that I’ve read over the decades. Fighting Words is now one of my favorites!

Scripture reference from Bible Gateway.

[Review] The Saints Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter, updated and abridged by Tim Cooper

Publisher and Publication Date: Crossway. May 17, 2022.
Genre: Spiritual growth.
Pages: 192.
Format: E-book.
Source: I received a complimentary e-book from Crossway. I am not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers who enjoy Puritan writings.
Rating: Very good. 4 to 5 stars.

Tim Cooper who updated the book for modern readers. This is the link to read information at Crossway about him.

To read more information about the book from the publisher: Crossway.

Link @ Amazon.

Link @ Christian Book.

Link @ Barnes and Noble.

About the Author:

Richard Baxter (1615-1691) was an influential pastor, a leading English Puritan, a compelling communicator, and a prolific author. He wrote around 140 books on a wide range of subjects. He is best known for his two classic texts, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest (1650) and The Reformed Pastor (1656).

Summary:

A Hopeful Puritan Perspective on Suffering and Death.

In the throes of a long illness and confronting the possibility of death, 17th-century theologian Richard Baxter found comfort in the reality of heaven that awaits believers of Christ. During his recovery, Baxter wrote about the afterlife in what would become his best-selling book.

The Saints’ Everlasting Rest meditates on what Scripture reveals about heaven, helping believers live an abundant, God-honoring life in anticipation of eternal rest. Baxter encourages readers not to become distracted or discouraged by the temporal as he refocuses their minds on the eternal. Confronting difficult topics including sin, suffering, and fear of death, he also emphasizes God’s sufficient grace and how the promise of heaven enriches life on earth.

  • Foreword by Joni Eareckson Tada: Inspiring message from the founder and CEO of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center.
  • Great for Personal and Group Study: Each chapter ends with questions for reflection, tackling issues including death, abundant joy, security in Christ, and patience through affliction.
  • Modernized Version of a Puritan Classic: Abridged and edited, with a detailed summary of Baxter’s life and work, along with short introductions to each chapter.
  • Biblical Support for Dealing with Grief or Illness: Explains suffering and death from a Christ-centered perspective, with practical tips for living a heavenly life.

My Thoughts:

Tim Cooper explains the original book written by Baxter in 1650, held 853 pages and 35,000 words. Cooper has edited and omitted some from the original work. He omitted the heavy use of semi-colons and colons. He omitted repeating words and teachings throughout the book. The original book at 853 pages has been narrowed down to 192 pages.

The history behind the writing of the book is fascinating and important. Baxter wrote the book in the years following his serving as a chaplain during the Civil Wars (1640s). He was an eyewitness to war and its brutality. Both before and after the war, he was a minister at Kidderminster. He was an author with a total of 140 published books. He suffered from ill health in his life. He served a sentence in prison is 1685 because of his political and religious beliefs.

Baxter’s subject and theme of The Saint’s Everlasting Rest is a Christian’s hope and focus is on heaven.

Several reasons why I love this book:

1. I love the organization of it. An outline of the entire book is located in the back. This shows all the points, lists, and general themes in the whole of the book. I am a notetaker and love to stay organized by what the author is teaching. To have an outline in a book is a bonus.

2. This is an uplifting, encouraging, hopeful, joyful book. There is a feeling of expectancy and assurance.

3. At the end of each chapter there are four questions for reflection. Each question has multiple questions included in them.

4. Baxter’s writing style is honest and straightforward, but he is also tender and gentle. So, he writes with conviction. His writing is approachable. He has a perfect balance.

5. I love the Bible verses used as reference. For example, 1 Corinthians 6:20. Revelation 21:27. Acts 3:20.

6. One of my favorite chapters is Chapter 6. In this chapter he is bold enough to state, why we are “unwilling to die.” And this quoted verse made me laugh out loud because is it both brash and honest.
“Our reluctance to depart clearly shows that we have been careless loiterers, that we have spent too much time to little purpose, and that we have neglected a great many warnings.”
I’m a guilty loiterer.

Other favorite quotes:

On focusing our thoughts on heaven. “…bathe your soul in heaven’s delights,” Chapter 7.

“Lastly, consider that there is nothing else that is worth setting our hearts on. If God does not have our hearts, who or what will have them?” Chapter 7.

This book could make an excellent daily devotional. It would need to be organized as such. However, I believe this is a solid use for pulling some of Baxter’s writings (especially this one) and edit it for use as a devotional.

Scripture links are to Bible Gateway.