CLING| Now Available!

Good morning and blessings to all!

By now, you may well have heard the news – CLING by Kim Cash Tate is now available. This is exciting news for many reasons. Not only will you now have access to this amazing Bible study, but you will also get to take part in a Phone Tree featured reflection walk with me.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my heart’s response and my own transparent convictions about how Kim’s words and lessons affected me. In sharing with you, I will hold nothing back. It is my hope that through this exercise of openness and honesty, others seeking a “lifestyle of intimacy with God” will be encouraged to do the same. Just as Kim’s very real truths impacted me and showed me the more of wanting and knowing God, I pray that you also will be impacted and want the more of knowing God.



Phone Tree Book Review: 

CLING: Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God by Kim Cash Tate is a Bible study that will meet you where you are and take you where you want to go. The appeal of this book lies in its invitation to know God; but really, it’s more than that. With Scripture-rich points and narrative vignettes, Tate extends her hand and leads readers toward the One who knows them best. For those ready for and/or needing more, this book will do much to propel you forward, to urge you further, and to ground you deeper.

Rating: 5/5

Recommend: Yes

Audience: All

Status: Non-fiction, Bible study, Christian 

Books are available for purchase via Discovery House, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, & Christianbook.com. Get your copy today! 

Trailer: https://youtu.be/orD8wTuoz78

Phone Tree Review|Instant Happy Journal

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About the Book: “Brighten your day with this colorful journal from happiness expert Karen Salmansohn. Jam-packed with 365 “happiness prompters” including motivational quotes, scientific studies, and thought-provoking questions, this journal amps up your ability to notice (and create!) moments of joy and gratitude in your life—one day at a time.” – Amazon.com

Phone Tree Review: I was so excited when I received my review copy of Instant Happy Journal. I just knew it would be an incredible journey into self. It had inspirational quotes, journaling preps, and comments to steer the reader toward some sense of self-realization. It was an interesting resource. The book was colorful and attention-grabbing.

Rating: 2/5

Audience: All

ARC Source: Ten Speed Press/Blogging for Books

A complimentary copy of this title was made available for review in exchange for an honest critique. I was neither compensated for my review, nor was I expected to submit a glowing report. The words I have expressed are my own. 

A Phone Tree Gift-Away is scheduled for February 2016. A copy of Instant Happy Journal will be awarded to one of our followers. Stay connected to learn more details.

Update: This title was gifted to a heart that was in need on 2/12/16.

A Phone Tree Book Review|Wicked Women of the Bible

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About the Book:

“What can Jezebel, the Bible’s wickedest queen, reveal about God’s holiness and power and even about his sense of humor? What about the Woman at the Well – the one with five husbands and a live – in lover? And what of the prostitute whose tears bathe the feet of Jesus in front of people who despise her? There are also ‘wicked good’ women like Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, Abigail, Esther, Mary, and more. What do their lives tell us about God’s invincible love and his determined plan to save us? In Wicked Women of the Bible Ann Spangler tells the stories of twenty wicked and ‘wicked good’ women in greater detail. At the end of each story, Ann provides a brief section including additional historical and cultural background as well as a brief Bible study in order to enhance the book’s appeal to both individuals and groups. The stories of these women of the Bible reveal a God who is not above it all but who stoops down to meet us where we are in order to extend his love and mercy.” – Amazon.com

Phone Tree Book Review:

Wicked can be defined in many ways, based on Spangler’s revealed definitions. In her book Wicked Women of the Bible, she introduced the concept of “wicked” from two unique perspectives. She showed how, whether wicked good or wicked bad, the women of the Bible had a story to tell that was both purposed and meaningful.

Typically, I am not a huge fan of authors taking narrative liberties with Biblical content. I feel that it sometimes skews the truth of God’s word and confuses the reader. In this book, however, I felt that Spangler did an acceptable job of presenting each woman’s story. Her writing was considerate and thought-provoking. I loved her inclusion of the times, the takeaway questions, a Scriptural index, and highlights from her book Women of the Bible.

I could easily see this book being a Christian book club feature or the subject of a women’s Bible study class.

Rating: 4/5
Recommend: Yes
Audience: Christian
Status: Non-fiction, Christian
Other: Women’s Book Club, Church Library, Bible Study Recommendation

*** A Phone Tree Bible Study Group Book Club Selection***

A Phone Tree Book Review|The Healthy Mind Cookbook

The Healthy Mind Cookbook: Big-Flavor Recipes to Enhance Brain Function, Mood, Memory, and Mental Clarity by Rebecca Katz

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About the Book: “A collection of more than 120 recipes formulated to optimize brain health, boost memory, improve mood, sharpen the central nervous system, and more.

Feed your mind.

Depression, ADHD, memory loss, agitation: These may seem like inevitable byproducts of modern lives spent multitasking, not getting enough sleep, and operating on digital overload. But while much of the brain’s work still remains a mystery, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the food you eat directly affects how well your brain functions. Brain health also plays a significant role in staving off diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

In The Healthy Mind Cookbook, Rebecca Katz has harnessed the latest research on the brain to identify the foods that can improve the brain’s ability to control cognition, emotion, and physical function—all of which dictate memory and mood. She then translates the very best of brain science into the kitchen, using delicious nutrient-dense foods as a tool for promoting a healthy mind from childhood through the golden years.

With a culinary pharmacy listing the benefits of key ingredients, complete nutritional details for each dish, and flavor-packed recipes for every meal of the day, including Avocado and Citrus Salad, Sweet Potato Hash, Turkish Lamb Sliders, and Chocolate Cherry Walnut Truffles, The Healthy Mind Cookbook will help lift the fog of everyday life so you can reach your full physical and mental potential.” (from the hardcover edition)

Phone Tree Book Review: The Healthy Mind Cookbook was a 246-page book that did much to feed the mind of this particular reader. The author’s main objective, per the title, was to call attention to big-flavor recipes that enhance brain function, mood, memory, and mental clarity. The book was divided into sections ranging from soups to “sweet bites,” but it was only the first three chapters of this book that spoke more so to the science, if you will, of food. The remaining content, including, but not limited to the recipes themselves as well as the cook’s notes, combined interesting commentary and facts to make this cookbook somewhat entertaining.

Going into reading this book, I had a certain mindset and idea of what I thought I would find. And while I did find what I was looking for, it wasn’t to the degree that I had anticipated. I did find the recipes to be colorful, flavored, and textured, which kept things exciting for this foodie. The emphasis with this book, in my opinion, would be more so on recipes and anecdotes versus food science.

Rating: 4/5
Recommend: Yes
Audience: All
Status: Cooking & Food, Healthy Living
Source: Blogging for Books (Ten Speed Press)

A complimentary ARC of this book was made available for review in exchange for an honest critique. The words I have expressed are my own. I was neither compensated for my review, nor expected to submit a positive report.

Effortless Healing (A Phone Tree Health & Wellness Book Recommendation)

  
Title: Effortless Healing: 9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself

Author: Dr. Joseph Mercola

About the Book: “With the #1 natural health website in the world and always at the forefront of what’s next in alternative health, Dr. Joseph Mercola reaches tens of millions of people each year who trust him to deliver actionable advice and cutting-edge health breakthroughs. Now, his first trade book in years distills decades of his experience into 9 simple keys to maximizing health, preventing disease, and protecting ourselves from the negative fallout of modern living.

Rating: 4/5 ****

Recommend: Yes

Review: Effortless Healing was an informative resource that I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing. The content was practical, realistic and helpful in terms of living with a wellness/healing mindset. I found the presented material to be familiar in many respects, however, that did not take away from the importance or emphasis of Mercola’s message. 

I think readers will find this book to be educational, relevant and encouraging. I would definitely recommend it.

A complimentary copy of this title was made available for review by the publisher via the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest critique. The words I have expressed are my own. 

A Healthy Living Book Review|Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci

A Phone Tree Healthy Living Book Review

Title: Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals

Author: Ali Maffucci

About the Book:The definitive cookbook for using a spiralizer: the kitchen gadget that turns vegetables and fruits into imaginative, low-carb dishes.

On her wildly popular blog, Inspiralized, Ali Maffucci is revolutionizing healthy eating. Whether you’re low-carb, gluten-free, Paleo, or raw, you don’t have to give up the foods you love. Inspiralized shows you how to transform more than 20 vegetables and fruits into delicious meals that look and taste just like your favorite indulgent originals. Zucchini turns into pesto spaghetti; jicama becomes shoestring fries; sweet potatoes lay the foundation for fried rice; plantains transform into “tortillas” for huevos rancheros.

Ali’s recipes for breakfast, snacks, appetizers, sandwiches, soups, salads, casseroles, rices, pastas, and even desserts are easy to follow, hard to mess up, healthful, and completely fresh and flavorful. Best of all, she tells you how to customize them for whatever vegetables you have on hand and whatever your personal goal may be—losing weight, following a healthier lifestyle, or simply making easy meals at home.”

24543734Phone Tree Review: Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci is a super fun, super informative, and

super friendly resource book for foodies everywhere. I absolutely loved it!

What made this book so incredible, in my opinion, was the fact that it was immediately appealing in the visual sense, it provided such a vast repertoire of food choices, and it gave a treasure trove of information related to health benefits and nutritional value in regard to the specified foods.

The author did a magnificent job of keeping the content relevant and fun. Additionally, I loved her voice and her conversational tone. I felt like I wanted to go on a food adventure with her.

Rating: 5/5
Recommend: Yes
Audience: All
Status: Food, Health and Fitness, Family Fun/Meal Preparation

A complimentary copy of this title was provided by Clarkson Potter/Publishers (Random House) via the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. The words I have expressed are my own. I was not expected to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

BREATHE|A Phone Tree Bible Study Experience (Week 1)

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“The Sabbath principle is the key to freedom.”

Thoughts… (My Reflections & Considerations)

Entering into this study, I had a certain mindset. I had a plan and a timeline I wanted to refer to. But upon reading, I was immediately astonished by the fact that I did not want to rush through it for the sake of completion. I wanted to sit down and reflect, meditate, consider, study, pray on, and learn on the deepest of levels and see just how this Bible study could truly enrich my life. I wanted to absorb the full meaning behind this familiar and yet wholly foreign concept – Sabbath.

Could the Sabbath hold meaning and relevance for me and for others in this day and age?

Was the BREATHE message one that I had not been allowing in my busy, sometimes cluttered life?

Would I, and those who study alongside me, be challenged to begin thinking anew about something that was an “Old Testament” life plan?

Right from the start, I was both stunned and surprised at the amazing relevance. I lost myself and began finding myself at the place of Genesis 2:2.

What will you find as you attempt to BREATHE this week?

Words… (Scriptural References and Study Points)

– Read Genesis 1-2.
– Spend some time studying and really digging into Genesis 2:1-4.

Actions… (Life Application)

– Apply the word rest to your life. (If you don’t understand what it means, begin exploring the depths of its definition. Pray about it to God and ask Him to draw you into it from His holy perspective.)