Monday, July 31, 2017

The Treasure Principle By Randy Alcorn

Discover how the joy of giving can make your life richer, starting today.Bestselling author Randy Alcorn introduced readers to a revolution in material freedom and radical generosity with the release of the original The Treasure Principle in 2001. Now the revision to the compact, perennial bestseller includes a provocative new concluding chapter depicting God asking a believer questions about his stewardship over material resources.

Jesus spent more time talking about money and possessions than about heaven and hell combined. But too often we’ve overlooked or misunderstood his most profound teaching on this topic, from his words in Matthew 6. Jesus offers us life-changing investment advice. He actually wants us to store up treasures for ourselves—just not here on earth. Instead, he urges us to store our treasure in heaven, where they will await us, and last forever. We can’t take it with us—but we can send it on ahead!

Readers are moved from the realms of thoughtful Bible exposition into the highly personal arena of everyday life. Because when Jesus told His followers to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” He intended that they discover an astounding secret: how joyful giving brings God maximum glory and His children maximum pleasure. In The Treasure Principle, you’ll unearth a radical teaching of Jesus—a secret wrapped up in giving.

Once you discover this secret, life will never look the same. And you won’t want it to. 

Pick up your copy here...
Before starting EPM in 1990, Randy served as a pastor for fourteen years. He has a Bachelor of Theology and Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Multnomah University and an Honorary Doctorate from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He has taught on the adjunct faculties of both.

A New York Times bestselling author, Randy has written fifty books, including Courageous, Heaven, The Treasure Principle, and the Gold Medallion winner Safely Home. His books have been translated into over sixty languages and have sold over nine million copies. Randy has written for many magazines including EPM's issues-oriented magazine Eternal Perspectives. He is active daily on Facebook and Twitter, has been a guest on more than 700 radio, television and online programs including Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Revive Our Hearts, The Bible Answer Man, and The Resurgence.

Randy resides in Gresham, Oregon, with his wife, Nanci. They have two married daughters and are the proud grandparents of five grandsons. Randy enjoys hanging out with his family, biking, tennis, research, and reading.

My Thoughts...
This is a  revised reprint from back in 2001.

There is one topic that many Christians overlook and that is being a good steward of money. Alcorn has written a good study on the teachings of Jesus about money. His teaching points out that we put a certain percentage in retirement but a lot don't invest in God's kingdom. There are many values that this study teaches about wealth and possessions that are over looked in today's churches. I suggest this book and hope that everyone will get a copy to read once a year.

I gave this book 4 stars. I recommend it to all Christians.
The Mary Reader received this book from the author for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Knee High Lies By Dawn Ford

What happens when the lies you tell grow so high you can’t see the truth? To the outside world Avery Denton’s life looks happy, normal even. But it isn’t. Not even close. She believes nothing can make it worse. When her mother skips town with their banker, the small-town gossips focus on her. Jaxson Stewart, Avery’s neighbor and friend, has had a crush on her for years. She makes his heart race, which is dangerous for a boy with a heart condition. Unlike their community, he refuses to hold her mother’s actions against her. Avery’s summer heats up when Jaxson kisses her under a star lit sky. The rest of her life boils over, though, when Avery becomes the target of revenge, her alcoholic father’s anger escalates, and long-hidden family secrets come to light. Can Avery find strength in the truth? Or will she continue to struggle through knee-high lies?

Pick up your copy here...
Dawn Ford lives in a small town nestled among the Loess Hills in Western Iowa with her husband, youngest son, and a wonder beagle. Dawn’s love for stories came naturally to her as a child who was lucky enough to be able to explore the Iowa pastures and countryside in search of adventure.

Dawn adores anything steampunk, is mesmerized by shiny, pretty things, and needs at least one good, strong cup of coffee to wake her up a day.

Dawn’s novel, Kingdom Come, won the 2016 ACFW Genesis Award. Her flash fiction stories have been featured in Splickety Publishing Group’s Havok magazines.

Reach out to Dawn Ford via her website:

My Thoughts...
This is what I call a Life Lesson book. You can't help but to cheer Avery on. I loved the lessons and the author did a great job of  capturing my attention from the very first chapter. 
This a book that every teenager would love to read and one that I would be honored to share with them.
This is a 4 star book. I recommend it. Don't you all LOVE this cover.
 The Mary Reader received this book from the author for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Secrets By Jonathan Daugherty

Everyone has a secret or two areas of their life they would rather not share with the general public. But Jonathan Daugherty had a life-altering, relationship-ending secret that he wanted to keep hidden at all costs. And it did cost him. His secret snatched away contentment, peace, and the possibility of being known and loved for who he really is. That s what any addiction can do but in particular a sex addiction. When his wife finally realized who Jonathan really was and what he was really doing, their marriage seemed to be over. Jonathan shares honestly and courageously his story of pornography addiction to it and how he lost everything. But that s not the whole story. Someone else was at work while Jonathan was struggling his heavenly Father. At the lowest possible moment of his life, God stepped in and brought hope and healing. This is a story of loss and redemption that will give hope to anyone who has ever experienced the power of addiction and its life-destroying effects. Addiction doesn t have the last word in Jonathan s life or in his marriage. The God who finds the lost, heals the sick, and brings life from death has the last, victorious word.

Pick up your copy here...

Jonathan Daugherty is the founder and director of Be Broken Ministries (, and founder of Gateway to Freedom workshop for men ( Jonathan also hosts the weekly radio broadcast, Pure Sex Radio (, and is in demand nationally as a speaker on sexual purity and men’s issues. He has appeared on The Oprah Show, twice on ABC's Nightline, as well as other radio and television media, both local and national. He has authored Grace-Based Recovery, The 4 Pillars of Purity, Secrets and other works.

Jonathan lives with his wife and three children in San Antonio, Texas. More at

My Thoughts...
Daugherty has written a book that has the potential to help others with this type of addiction. I had trouble getting into the book because of the topic. To me the book is more of a testimony.  He outlines how someone can overcome the darkness of sexual addiction. I believe this must have been a hard book to write. Daugherty does have a tendency to jump from one topic to the next and then back to the first topic. However, overall he has put together a helpful story. 
I gave this book 3 stars.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Interview With Andy Lee Author of A Mary Like Me

While still in need of a Savior, they were called by God. Come find grace and courage to follow your call as you discover the Mary in yourself.
A Mary like Me unites twenty-first-century women with first-century saints by exploring the hearts of some of the most famous women of the Bible. One gave birth to the Son of God, another sat at his feet, and another was the first to proclaim his resurrection. These women shared the name Mary, which means bitter, defiant, and rebellious; and a closer look at Scripture reveals their personalities in light of their name.A Mary like Me uncovers the fear, doubt, bitterness, and faithlessness the biblical women fought, just as we do. In Jesus's presence, their weaknesses became strengths and their flaws were redeemed . . . just like ours. The reader discovers camaraderie in the imperfections of the Marys. Comparison paralyzes, but camaraderie found in our less-than-perfect hearts inspires.

Pick up your copy here...

Don’t let the name fool you. She’s a girl. She just didn’t know how to spell her new name (the girl way) twenty-five years ago when God gave her this one. Like many biblical characters, God changed Andy’s (Andrea’s) name at a critical time in her life when she chose Jesus for a second and final time. It had been a lonely year without Him. Andy plunged into the waters of baptism and came out rubbing her hands together. She was ready to move forward with her calling and her faith never again to look back or deny her Savior.

Andy grew up on the plains of Southwest Oklahoma always believing she'd marry a farmer, but her prince wore Army boots. Like Sara she followed her Abraham wherever God sent them (which they trusted came through the chain-of-command). Serving their country was a blessing to their family even through deployments, wars, and many moves to foreign lands--like Germany and Boston.

Andy taught middle school Language Arts until she took a twenty-four year maternity leave to raise three kids and one husband. She's been an assistant pastor and a care giver to the elderly. Today, Andy blogs, teaches Hermeneutics, mentors, and speaks to audiences around the country. She and her retired soldier live on the coast of North Carolina. Their last baby bird recently flew to college, so the nest is now empty, except for Hank, the kitty.

Ladies, I have been taking  A Mary Like Me Bible study with Andy for three weeks and  you all are missing out. Andy is a wonderful teacher. A Mary Like Me is a must read and study for us all!

Welcome Andy,
Give us the back story on "A Mary Like Me".
The desire to write a book lived in me for years, but I wouldn’t write one until God gave me an idea. And one day, He did. Out of the blue a thought wafted through my mind, “Write a book on the three Marys. You’ve got the material.” A few years earlier I had taught a women’s retreat using their stories. That thought was the Lord’s whisper nudging me into a new season of ministry. Our family would soon be moving to a new town, and I would no longer be working on staff at a church. The timing was perfect.
What is the most important thing you hope readers will take away from reading "A Mary Like Me"?
There are many things I hope they take away from this book, but if I have to choose, I pray they meet Jesus in a deeper place, and that stirs new dreams or forgotten ones and greater faith.
Tell us about your Dream to journey down the path of writing.
Even though I always thought it would be cool to write a book, I don’t think I took the dream seriously. It was too big a dream to allow myself to dream. But I always loved words and English class, and in high school I longed for teachers to tell me my writing was amazing. (But they didn’t.) When my parents didn’t allow me to be a religion major, I opted to be an English major in college. The closest thing to a compliment was an A+ on a paper in English Lit class with a note from the professor that she had investigated my writing for plagiarism but couldn’t find any. Later in life I enrolled in an adult- studies program for ministry that demanded many papers. I loved every assignment, and I know that program strengthened my writing. All along, God was leading me on this path to becoming an author, but I had no idea.
How does faith play on your writing?
It’s everything. Writing the book is the easy part, but publishing it demands faith. That was another journey all by itself. I began studying how long the book needed to be, and all I needed to do to get it published. A book is written to be read by others. And that takes faith. Faith that you’ve done what God has prompted you to do, and faith that you’ve written the best book you could write. Each step of this thing called writing requires faith from the words you type on the screen to the promptings of the Spirit to attend writers conferences and make appointments with publishing houses and literary agents, or decide to self-publish. It all requires hard work and a lot of faith.
If you were granted one wish what would you wish for?
My holy answer is, greater faith. But my worldly answer is for a bigger platform to share A Mary Like Me all over the world.
Do you listen to music when writing? If so, would you share your playlist with us?
I don’t listen to music when I write. I love silence and the sound of clicking keys.
What is your favorite book or books and why?
Thank you for the plural. I couldn’t give you just one. I love The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis because the books are brilliant. I love Living Prayer by Robert Benson because I love the ease in which he writes. The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey is one of my favorites because he made us question our traditional Sunday school view of Jesus, and I love all writing by John Eldredge. His words are both beautiful and challenging. I also loved The Help.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy as you trust him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13.
Tell the blog readers how they can keep up with you?
I would love for ya’ll to visit me on my website: and you can follow me on Facebook, Andy Lee (Andrea Stone) to join hundreds of others on my daily Facebook Live broadcast called the Bite of Bread. Monday through Friday we dig into a bite of scripture to feed our spirits. Come dig deep to live fully with me!


Monday, July 24, 2017

Every Mile Mattered By Nichole Nordeman CD GIVEAWAY!

My Thoughts...

Nichole has a CD full of wonderful songs. I would say they lean more toward worship. The lyrics are moving and not to mention  how lovely her voice is. The flow from song to song is great. I think about having it play in the background while reading or doing my daily tasks. My personal favorite from the CD is the Sound of Surviving. Overall this is a great inspirational collection of songs.
The Mary Reader received this CD from the Artist for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
To be entered for this CD giveaway all you have to do is FOLLOW the blog and leave a comment below. Continental U.S. residents only for this giveaway!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Here is a new and very different blog I thought that you would love!

Here is a new and very different blog I thought that you would love!
Marlayne and I have been friends since 2009 when she signed up to be an author at the Life & Faith tour where Amy Grant was the performing. She always wanted to meet Amy and I made that happen for her. Her first book The Victor, was inspired by one of Amy’s songs from 30 years ago called Fairytale so it was a dream fulfilled to meet her and give her a copy of her book.
Marlayne is a Jewish believer in Jesus and came to faith in a very unusual way. She blogs about bible prophecy, her personal struggles and of course about books she buys and reads for her own personal pleasure. Her newsletters feature favorite recipes, great music CD’s and anything else she thinks you might enjoy.
She also loves to interact with people and make new friends. If you friend her on Facebook, follow her website and/or subscribe to her newsletter and you want to chat, she’s usually free in the evenings.
Here are the links:
Website as a blog follower:  (right hand side)
Friend her on Facebook:  
She would love to hear from YOU and learn about YOU.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Gathering the Threads By Cindy Woodsmall

Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves,
Will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—
or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family? 
Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.

Pick up your copy here...

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times, CBA, ECPA, and USA Today best-selling author who has written seventeen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy has been featured on ABC Nightline and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal,and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as the one of the top three most popular authors of Amish fiction.

She's won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer's Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings' Best Books of the Year. She's been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn't realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn't allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy's house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them--afraid that if they didn't, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann's because her family didn't own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults' disapproval and the obstacles in each other's lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy's family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities--from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.

If you'd like more information or to contact her, you can go to her website: or Facebook

My Thoughts...
I have read this whole series. The Amish of Summer Grove is book three and the final one. I loved the first two book in the series and could not wait to hear more from this family. It is truly a series about family.
Skylar and Ariana story are not like any other. Amish or English which family makes you feel loved and part of the family?
One defiant and one working on sobriety. This makes for a good storyline.
You have to check out this series it's a different twist on the average Amish story.
I gave this book 4 stars. I liked this series.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.