Monday, November 30, 2009

I Have Some Great Books to Recommend for the Holidays

I have some great books to recommend for the holidays; sadly, I don't have any free copies to share, but they're worth buying.

First, for the adults in your life: Treasured by Leigh McLeroy. This is a great little book which seeks to help you understand the nature of God by the "things He treasures". The author asks you to imagine opening a "treasure chest" of God. Inside the chest you find all kinds of items that give you insight into who He is and what He values. She then links each item to the Bible story where it originated and explains what each "treasured keepsake" reveals about the nature of God.

When I first read the introduction of this book, I was afraid it was going to be hokey and unoriginal. I was surprised to find it fairly insightful -- the author has a knack for looking at the most familiar Bible stories and pointing out something unique, causing you to think about something in a slightly different way than you previously did. I strongly recommend this book. Although it doesn't claim to be a devotional as that term is used, I thought it worked well as a devotional. The stories are long enough to be substantial, but short enough to get through quickly -- and they kernel of insight gave me something to think and pray about all day.

You can buy it here:

Below is the Summary from the publisher:

In Treasured, Leigh McLeroy considers tangible reminders of God’s active presence and guides readers in discovering evidence in their own lives of his attentive love.

“The idea for the book came from a cigar box filled with odds and ends of my grandfather’s life that arrived a few months after his death. Sifting through the objects in the box, I experienced him in a fresh new way. This made me wonder what treasures might be tucked away in Scripture that could frame God for me in an equally intimate, tangible way. This process also helped me uncover my own “treasures” of my walk with the Lord: objects that remind me of my history with him and his faithfulness to me,” says McLeroy.

Drawn from the pages of Scripture, the author considers twelve such treasures and personalizes their meaning for readers, such as a green olive branch that offers proof of God’s “new every morning” mercy and a scarlet cord that demonstrates his willingness to adopt “strays” of every sort.

Weaving these treasures together with scenes from her personal history, Leigh McLeroy invites readers to discover God’s heart for them and embrace their unique role in his redemptive story. Treasured offers readers a guided experience of God’s love and character and invites them to consider their own treasures that point to their part in God’s ongoing story.

Leigh McLeroy is the author of The Beautiful Ache and The Sacred Ordinary. An avid collector and recorder of everyday moments, words, and wonders, Leigh’s keen eye for God’s presence in ordinary life infuses her writing and living with a deep, insistent joy. A frequent conference and event speaker, the author makes her home in Houston, Texas, and posts often on and

For the little ones in your life, I can recommend two gems from Lisa Tawn Bergren. In God Gave Us Love, a polar bear grandfather explains to his "grandcub" the story of God's love for us and the love we are to have for others in a cute, sweet, easy to understand and non-aggressive manner. I was impressed by the sensitive way the author presented the story and the illustrations were great. It's hard to explain to kids why they should love the unlovable, but this book does it well.

You can buy it here:


In God Gave Us Love, Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, and the young polar bear begins to ask questions like why must we love others . . . even the seemingly unlovable? Why is it easier to love those we like? Where does love come from? And why does God love her so much?

Grampa Bear patiently addresses each one of Little Cub’s curiosities by explaining the different kinds of love we can share: the love between friends, the love between families, the love between moms and dads, and the love for God.

He also assured Little Cub that because of the love God has given her through his Son, there’s nothing she can do to make God love her any more or any less. Through Grampa Bear’s encouraging Little Cub to love others with a “God-sized love,” children will be inspired to love others and to be patient, gentle and kind, so that in every way, they too can demonstrate God’s love.

Again, in God Gave Us Christmas the author explains the meaning of Christmas through the cute polar bear family. The story flows very well, answering common questions without making it seem like a big deal. I love books that don't cram the Christian message down my throat -- or down kids' throats -- but introduce it gently and naturally. The illustrations are fabulous and "soft".

You can buy it here:


In God Gave Us Christmas, as Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear has something on her mind: “Who invented Christmas?” she asks. “Is God more important than Santa?”

Her questions reflect the confusion of so many children during the holiday season. And this heartwarming story takes them on a wonderful journey of discovery—right to the heart of Christmas.

Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns that God loves her and everyone— polar bear, moose, or human—so much that he gave us Jesus, the very best gift of all.

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the award-winning author of nearly thirty titles, totaling more than 1.5 million books in print. She writes in a broad range of genres, from adult fiction to devotional. God Gave Us Love follows in Lisa’s classic tradition of the best-selling God Gave Us You. She lives in Colorado, with her husband, Tim, and their children, Olivia, Emma, and Jack.

These books were provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

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