A review of Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs (Zondervan, 2014)

What Bravery Can Mean {Book Review – Let’s All Be Brave by Annie Downs}

“If we are each as unique as the Bible says we are, then our calls to courage are equally unique…If I can embrace them and step into them as they come, I can change the world. So can you. We each just have to be brave in our own ways.” – p. 41, Let’s All Be Brave

And with that quote from Annie Downs in her newest book, Let’s All Be Brave: Living Life with Everything You Have (Zondervan, 2014), I can’t tell you exactly what bravery means for you. Because bravery might mean something different for you than it does her or him or me. That’s part of what’s awesome about our lives. A review of Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs (Zondervan, 2014)

In this book, Annie uses personal experiences and biblical stories to offer this memoir-style encouragement on being brave in this life God gifted to you. She also utilizes repetition of truths in an encouraging and conversational tone. Just like we need to brush our teeth everyday, sometimes we need to hear about bravery and being loved and loving others every day.

Throughout this book, Annie speaks on what bravery is, why bravery needs community, why we (as God’s children) should be brave, and what bravery can do.

With chapters with such oppositional titles like “Say Yes” and “Say No” or “Hold On” and “Let Go,” you might think the author aims to confuse. But Annie is able to explain how bravery is both. Sometimes we need to hold on; sometimes we need to let go. If your brave looks like staying home and serving, that’s still brave. If your brave looks like traveling overseas, that’s still brave.

Annie writes with obvious passion and is “all in” to whatever she’s writes a book on. Her conversational tone and utter honesty proves that investment in sensory-filled sentences like this one on dreams on page 88: “It sounds like work and it feels like vulnerability and it smells of getting in over my head.”

What I love about how Annie writes is how she explains that she is not a perfect example, and that’s even more encouraging. She doesn’t know it all, she hasn’t always made perfect choices, and she’s still trying to figure some things out – and that’s perfect to read about. And inspiring.

I enjoyed the whole book, but the last four chapters really bumped up the awesomeness of this book. And, just like your own journey of mistakes and growth, we needed to read all the stories and thoughts she shares in the first chapters to have those last four chapters be even more beautiful.

Annie’s other books were written primarily for teens, but Let’s All Be Brave is inspiring for any age and worth your reading time.

“The truth is that courage doesn’t have an expiration date.” – p. 155, Let’s All Be Brave

What’s brave to you? How has God led you to be brave on your journey?

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Signing Time and Amazon Associates. If you click on a Signing Time link or Amazon and then make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This does not affect your final cost at all. Thank you for supporting this blog and my family!

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Psalm 5:11 NIrV verse 5x7 printable {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Joy {Free Printable Verse for Your Family}

Joy is one of those amazing gifts that is available all the time, in any circumstance.

It can be tough to remember that when you’re drowning in to-do lists, mourning a loss, struggling with change, or more.

But joy is available through God and because of His love and because we turn to Him.

As with most truths, memorizing helps store it in my heart to pull up at the time I might need it most.

I created a simple printable (or desktop image) of the one of joy verses we’ve studied in our fellowship. This printable is in the NIrV translation so your kids can memorize with you.

Psalm 5:11 NIrV verse 5x7 printable {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Click here to download this image for free. (If you need a smaller size, you can adjust the printing settings before you print.)

This image file is not to be hosted or sold elsewhere. Please share a link to this blog post rather than the PDF file itself. Thank you.

How does your family help each other remember joy?

*For more resources and inspiration for teaching your family about faith, check out the monthly Let The Children Come feature on Do Not Depart.

NIV Essentials Bible cover (Zondervan, 2013)

A New NIV Study Bible {Book Review – NIV Essentials Study Bible}

With commentaries, concordances, devotions, and more, we have numerous resources available to study deeper into God’s Word.

But, sometimes it’s helpful to have one main resource to use while reading. If you’re looking for a tool that combines the definitions found within a typical study Bible with information found in a concordance, a Bible dictionary, and a devotional, take a look at the new NIV Essentials Study Bible (Zondervan, 2013).

A Comprehensive Bible Study Tool

This Study Bible has nine main kinds of tools (taken from 6 others popular Bibles) incorporated through its pages:

  • Each book begins with a “spotlight” page that identifies key concepts, information about the book itself, key verses, key teachings, key terms (and defintions), key people, a timeline, and map of the surround area. An amazing introduction!
  • The Dig Deep, Look Closer sections offer historical information on one of five aspects of the time and culture: people, history, archeology, artifacts, and reliability. These sections greatly appeal to readers ready to learn more about the historical influences behind biblical customs and events.
  • The Guided Tour sections describe biblical events in more detail, highlighting that event’s overall importance in the Bible and faith. Each section then ends with a “life question” to reflect upon. NIV Essentials Bible cover (Zondervan, 2013)
  • The Insight lenses also provide more detail on a person or event and include reflective “life questions.”
  • Each book also includes many of the study notes the original NIV Study Bible has at the bottom of the page. In this Bible, these study notes are considered the unpack lens.
  • Various verses are highlighted in small sidebars to draw attention to a particular truth or interesting fact about a verse.
  • The People in Focus sections offer more information on various people within the Bible, plus a “life question” to apply what that person learned (or didn’t learn) to your own life. (I particularly love the insights to the disciples Thomas and John on pages 1350 and 1351.)
  • The Q&A sections address factual topics (“when are rest and sleep okay?”) as well as reflective questions (“does God expect me to forgive someone who keeps hurting me?”). I love the Q&A on the Christian church in John 14.
  • The Reflect and Respond sections provide the devotional part of this Bible. Each R&R has a 2-3 paragraph devotion related to the Scripture you just read, a few sentences to think about, a few thoughts on how to apply what you’ve read to your life, and a “next level” question to spur you into action.

The language in this Bible reads like magazine articles, devotions, and educational resources, depending on the section, but all are in an understandable and insightful tone. The reflection questions included in many “lenses” apply to men or women, young or older.

You’ll find numerous other study tools throughout this Bible and in the back, including a timeline and map of the Passion Week, a “harmony of the gospels” chart, reading plans, a subject index, concordance, and much more.

As with any study Bible, the editors of this Bible recommend always reading the Scripture first, then diving into the additional resources, as they expand on the verses you just read.

With so many resources, this Bible may overwhelm a very new believer or “deeper study” student. However, even for those new students, this Bible will become an extremely useful tool. For any Bible reader, this comprehensive tool provides many useful insights in interesting and applicable ways.

What tools do you look for within a Study Bible?

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Signing Time and Amazon Associates. If you click on a Signing Time link or Amazon and then make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This does not affect your final cost at all. Thank you for supporting this blog and my family!

Shop Signing Time

 

This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

 

7 books to take on hospital visits

A Picture Book List for Hospital Trips

Have your kids ever been to the hospital for an overnight stay (or longer)?

With one child with special needs, we’re familiar with hospital stays. One thing that helps? Good books! 7 books to take on hospital visits

Come visit The Library Adventure today for a list of 7 books to take on hospital visits. Some of these books help prep for the visit, and some are just fun and encouraging. Please share your own favorites in the comments at The Library Adventure!

Resources for Purity in Today's World

A Tough Subject in Today’s World

Purity is a tough subject in today’s world.

Some think it’s “outdated.” Some consider it to only mean physical purity. Others may value purity but don’t feel they can “regain” it after choices they may regret.

This month at Do Not Depart, we’ve been discussing the topic of purity in today’s culture.

Before you read my post there today, I suggest read the following two articles:

  • This article at A Deeper Story discusses purity’s relevance in today’s world and how purity extends beyond the physical. I love many articles at A Deeper Story because they are written for many kinds of people, and they certainly don’t shy away from tough subjects.
  • This post from Lisa is one of the most non-judgmental and welcoming posts I’ve read on the topic of purity. We have dirt and chipped pieces, but God still loves us. “Grace, dished out even on chipped china, is an irresistible meal.”

After you’ve read those, head over to Do Not Depart today for my post with over 10 resources for purity in today’s world. This list includes books, websites, review sites, and articles to encourage you both as an adult and in guiding your family. Resources for Purity in Today's World

Let me know about your favorite resources in the comments at Do Not Depart.