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Gail Welborn
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Attended Seattle University
Lives in Sedro Woolley,WA
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Steve Hudgik, street evangelist and pastor from Oregon's Canon Beach Bible Church wrote "Happy Are The..." as part of a series that investigates "popular sections of Scripture" which he believes, are "commonly misunderstood." In this book he explores the Beatitudes from Jesus' point-of-view because so many of the described characteristics appear contradictory to human nature.

The Beatitudes characterize Christ's kingdom and are the first eight statements in Matthew that begin Christ's Sermon on the Mount which Pastor Steve believes are the "right hearts and attitudes" of men and women God intended them to have until, he writes, sin became a "roadblock to having a right heart."

God sacrificed His own Son to break that “heart roadblock,” whereby God would give new hearts and spirits as recorded in Ezekiel 36:26, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

Pastor Steve believes "heart attitudes are important" because hearts reflect thoughts, attitudes and emotions that words and actions reveal. When God reads our hearts He knows "the inner you," he writes, not the façade so often reflected to the world. He goes on to separates the Beatitudes into two groups and believes, "the first four heart attitudes lead to the actions in the second group of four."

In twelve short chapters he explores the words and meanings of the Beatitudes, such as "poor in spirit, which he believes means to be humble," an attitude that counters the human tendency for pride when sin entered the world. Or "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted," a statement he believes is more about repentance than comfort and sadness.

The book is an easy read of short, concise chapters with space for notes and also slips easily into purse, bag or briefcase for brief moments of down time. Besides a wonderful teaching tool and gift choice, Pastor Steve also uses the book in his street evangelism with non-believers.

'Happy Are The...: Discovering Joy In The Beatitudes,' MTA Quick Commentaries, Volume 1, by Steve Hudgik, 82 Pages, 978-1539550280, $5.99

Midwest Book Reviews, “Gail’s Bookshelf” January 2017
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Debut author Christine Johnson, (link: www.hearteyes.tateauthor.com/about-the-author/) wraps prayer, praise, worship and the power of God into an exciting new fantasy series that begins with "Heart Eyes" The story of a young boy named Charlie, who runs away, the beings he meets and how he learns to use the full armor of God in spiritual warfare. The small numbers of well-done black and white illustrations are for ages 9-12, however adults will enjoy the storyline as much or more than children.

The story begins with the "King of Lies" evil presence, his vile voice screaming at the demons surrounding his "obsidian-crusted throne." "Do something! Stop The Promise being fulfilled. If you don't...according to Scripture... our Kingdom" will be destroyed!

"Fire flashed" from Ecnagorra's demon eyes when he approached the king, bowed low and said he had a plan to find "who the enemy is sending the Promise through." The king screamed and called him "a fool" and Ecnagorra felt the full measure of the king's wrath when he didn't move fast enough to avoid the king's blows that drew blood from his scab-encrusted neck.

Charlie and his little sister Sarah learned about demons, angels and the spirit world in Sunday School, but they were just stories to Charlie as he gathered the "maps, money and food" to run away. He planned to join his Uncle Joe in Alaska and couldn't know his plans would be sidetracked when demons from the spiritual world engaged him in a battle for his soul. Or that he would meet Guardian, an angel who would teach Charlie to see with "heart eyes."

Christine Johnson penned "Heart Eyes" to teach youngsters the "Word of God in action" through an exciting fiction story about the Bible's spiritual world of angels, demons and the power of God wrapped in a story of good versus evil. The non-denominational story line carries a biblical world view that emphasizes prayer, praise, worship and how to be in relationship with Christ.

On a scale of one to ten, "Heart Eye's" is a ten and would make a terrific Christmas present for anyone. For an interview with the Washington author: YouTube Interview link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=L24HVoTG20Y

Book two "The Heart Garden: from Stone to Flesh" is scheduled to release in 2017

'Heart Eyes: The Journey Begins,' by Christine Johnson, Tate Publishing, 2016, 148 Pages, 978-1682708644, $11.99
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Laura Sassi uses creative license, colorful illustrations and rhyming text to tell an imaginative manger tale about Baby Jesus because Mama believes there's "...so much noise! He just can't sleep."

After "rocking, squeezing, hugging" and holding the sweet Baby tight Mary and Joseph "Dim the lantern and say "Goodnight." Soon a clucking hen approaches with soft brown feathers to mix with the itchy hay and a braying donkey brings a pillow for Baby Jesus to snuggle into while angels sing loud "Hosannas overhead."

However, "Mama's frantic. In a Tizzy. Who knew stables were so busy?" Until she finds a way for everyone to work together.

While the board book is sturdy enough for toddlers, the illustrations beautiful and the rhyming text engaging, I didn't like the overall message of the Christmas story. Mary is portrayed as frantic. She tells the angels praising Jesus to "...be quiet, please." The manger is filled with itchy hay and Baby Jesus is crying.

Even with the engaging rhyme, because of the age range, this board book may be the first Christmas story children hear and I wouldn't recommend the book.

'Goodnight, Manger,' Board book, by Laura Sassi, Illustrated by Jane Chapman, Zonderkidz, 2016, Ages 4-8, 24 Pages, 978-0310755715, $8.99


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'Christmas Love Letters from God: Bible Stories' from Glenys Nellist uses a delightful combination of rhyme and prose to tell seven interactive, lift-the-flap, Christian themed Christmas stories for youngsters age 4-8.

Stories begin with Isaiah's prophecy in "Isaiah's Good News" and end with the wise men's visit to Jesus in "Wise Men Wonder." Also included are "Mary's Song," "Joseph's Dream," "Bethlehem's Road,""Jesus Joy!" and "Shepherd's Surprise" with stories and prophecies about Jesus' birth from the Old and New Testaments.

The colorful, embellished story book cover is only the first of picturesque and life like illustrations of Mary, Joseph and Jesus with animals, angels, wise men and more. Four page stories conclude with a message from God in the voice of Jesus similar to what Sarah Young uses in her "Jesus Calling" series. The small letter envelopes fold and attach to pages at story end with space to personalize by name. Children can lift-the-flaps and read letters for themselves or if they are too young, letters can be read to them.

Stories also include "God's Perfect Promises." Scriptural promises that connect Christmas stories and prophecies with Bible verses easy to memorize such as when the journey is difficult like it was for Mary and Joseph on the road to Bethlehem God's promise from Isaiah 45: 2, "I will march out ahead of you" renews faith and trust in God. The story book ends with a larger fold-out card of sixteen blank lines titled, "My Gift to Jesus" for children’s personal letters back to God.

Scripture is from the NIrV Bible translation which is a cross between a word-for-word literal translation and a more simplified thought-for-thought Bible translation. The engaging stories teach children what Christmas is and why it's important. They are age appropriate and enable children to connect God's promises to their own struggles and disappointments. "Christmas Letters from God" is a perfect choice to begin a new family tradition with!

'Christmas Love Letters from God: Bible Stories,' by Glenys Nellist, Illustrated by Rachel Clowes, Zonderkidz, 2016, Age 4-8, 32 Pages, 978-0310748243, $16.99

Midwest Book Reviews: "Gail's Bookshelf" October 2016
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'The Second Half" from award winning author Lauraine Snelling is a warm, character driven story of family and difficult decisions that challenge cherished dreams as retirement nears. A time when the stress and anxiety of working is supposed to be replaced with doing what you want, when you want and how you want to do it. At least that's how Ken and Mona thought their retirement years would be.

Ken's successful thirty-year career as dean of students at Stone University would conclude in a few weeks and he looked forward to sleeping in, fishing with the grandkids and having time to learn more about his favorite pastime—wood working. While Mona, plagued by depression, wasn't ready to retire. Instead, Ken's retirement would give her more time for her "event planning business" and Ken might even decide to pitch in and help promote it.

For their first retirement vacation they talked about traveling to Canada and taking the ferry from Vancouver, BC to Alaska and driving the Alcan Highway back home. Another consideration was a cruise up the picturesque Hudson River. For the first time in their married lives there were no schedules and they could plan just for themselves.

However life has a way of changing the best laid plans and for Ken and Mona a phone call from their son Steig, a special forces Army officer did just that when he said, "I'm being deployed to Karachi, Pakistan. Can you keep the kids for me." Without hesitation, they said yes since Steig's wife had filed for divorce and left him to raise 9-year old Mellie and 6-year old Jake on his own,
yet, what about their own dreams?

Thus begins an inspirational story of real issues grandparents face when they take over the care and guardianship of young grandchildren like 9-year old Mellie and 6-year old Jake. Written with warmth and honesty it's a story of struggles with disappointment, fears and sometimes guilt when life doesn't go as planned. But most of all it's a story about love of family, faith and the power of prayer with a touch of suspense thrown in. Snelling is a five star read!

'The Second Half: A Novel,' by Lauraine Snelling, FaithWords, 2016, 368 Pages, 978-1455586172, $14.99

Midwest Book Reviews: "Gail's Bookshelf" October 2016
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Teaches children reasons to be thankful and how to turn a negative into a positive... attitudes sometimes lacking in our society today...

Lisa Tawn Bergren's "God Gave Us..." series introduces an adorable new wolf character named “Lil Pup” in "God Gave Us Thankful Hearts" with a story that reveals everyone has reasons to be grateful. David Hohn's colorful, full page characterizations of quirky animals, mountain rivers, streams and urban forests are similar to what surrounds the artist from his home in Oregon.

The story opens with Mama and Papa wolf raking multicolored fall leaves in to large piles in front of their mountain cabin when Mama notices Lil Pup looks sad and asks, "Why are you looking so glum?"

She learns he's sad because winter is coming, snow will soon cover the ground and he won’t see some of his favorite friends until spring when they come out of hibernation. She drops her rake, grabs his paw and they take a walk in the words where she encourages a change in attitude as she reminds Lil Pup of some reasons to be grateful.

She explains the season of winter lets the land rest and without winter we wouldn't have spring to look forward to. His sometimes rambunctious "pack buddies" who annoyingly pig-pile on him at times, keep him from getting lonely. She also tells him what she's "thankful for, such as the freedom to wander and explore...the pretty country we live in." Papa chimes in to say when they don't catch fish to still "...be thankful..." they could spend together which was even better than fishing.

This engaging children’s story delivers a simple biblical message on perspective everyone in the family can relate to about, thankfulness, negative feelings and positive attitudes.

God Gave Us Thankful Hearts, by Lisa Tawn Bergren, art by David Hohn, WaterBrook, 2016, Hardcover, 40 Pages, Ages 3-7, 978-1601428745, $10.99

Midwest Book Reviews Gail’s Bookshelf: "October 2016"
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Gerontologist Amy Hanson describes Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 as "independent, cause oriented and well-educated" in the foreword to Richard and Leona Bergstrom's new release, "Third Calling". Where the author's believe retirement is a time to consider the question, "What will I do with the rest of my life?" Will this new season mean potlucks and rocking chairs or will I find new direction, meaning and purpose in a life free of alarm clocks, schedules and work responsibilities?

The book's premise, "long life is a gift from God," offers options for using rich, diverse and unique life experiences for "the next chapter" to complete what the Bergstrom's call their "Third Calling."

They believe this calling is designed by God even though retirees often struggle with stresses of adult children, grandchildren and health issues while also caring for aging parents. The Bergstrom's, leading edge Baby Boomers themselves, founded Re-Ignite, an organization that equips Baby Boomers ages 55-70, to search for and discover new meaning and purpose in retirement. Their quest also led them to write "Third Calling."

The book defines first, second and third callings as three stages of life. The first segment includes family responsibilities and young adulthood, the second, midlife responsibilities and the third offers "a full range of opportunities in maturity." The third is like a blank canvas ready to be filled in by engaged, involved and often passionate retirees.

Part one invites readers to "step into their story...pursue their passion and awake their dreams." while part two clarifies what values are, how values determine new directions and how to "hear the One who calls."

Part three considers risks, explores new worlds and new possibilities that focus on how to live a memorable, "values-based" life. Chapters include quotes, Scriptures, tools, insights and personal examples that equip readers for their third calling and make a difference in the world.

Written from a Christian perspective and filled with practical, doable suggestions, "Third Calling" is the perfect gift for anyone nearing or in retirement as they consider what to do with the rest of their life.

'Third Calling: What are you doing the rest of your life?' by Richard & Leona Bergstrom, Church Health, 2016, 182 Pages, 978-0970555212, $14.99

Midwest Book Reviews: "Gail's Bookshelf" November 2016
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"Kissing Father Christmas" completes Robin Jones Gunn (www.robingunn.com/) heartwarming "Father Christmas" novella series that began with "Finding Father Christmas," an inspirational romance Hallmark made into a movie for Christmas in 2016.

Anna, a minor character in previous books, takes center stage when she returns to the enchanting village of Carlton Heath at the invitation of family and friends. During her last stay at Whitcombe Manor in May she celebrated her Cousin Ian's marriage to Miranda. They had all had such a good time friends and family invited her to return for Christmas.

The wedding reception still remained in sharp focus as Anna made plans to return to England over the summer. She couldn't forget Peter Elliott, an outgoing and complex man she'd met at the wedding reception. They had danced the night away that night and it remained a magical night in Anna's memory because their final dance ended with an unforgettable kiss full of promise. What would happen upon her return?

Thus begins an inspirational Christmas romance that transports readers to London, England with a story rich in family traditions, faith in God and the real meaning of Christmas. Although Anna will soon flirt with mixed signals, misleading statements and discouragement she will still secretly believe in fairy tales and magical possibilities. Set the mood for a joyous season and join Anna this Christmas and learn along with her the lessons of love because "as soon as your soul feels its worth, all you can do is receive grace and love as a gift."

Although part of a series, "Kissing Father Christmas" can be read as a stand-alone title.

"Kissing Father Christmas: A Novel, by Robin Jones Gunn, Hardcover, FaithWords, 2016, 192 Pages, 978-1455565603, $19.00

Midwest Book Reviews Gail’s Bookshelf: "October 2016"
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Ready, Set, Find, Christmas is an interactive board book for children ages 4-8. Because of the books simple portrayal of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus and visits from the shepherds and wise men the book is most suitable for toddlers through age six.

The numbered, twelve-page board book has rounded corners with sturdy, chunky page tabs for little fingers to grab. Two page spreads include a few sentences about the story, accompanying scriptures and eight pictures of items to find in the colorful illustrations featured on the opposing page.

Elegantly costumed characters and engaging animals relate the story visually on the left. While on the right, a few sentences unfold the story with scripture references that reinforce the story in addition to the items to find that make this an interactive book for children.

The well-made book is a perfect choice to introduce young children to the real Christmas story of Jesus’ birth.

'Ready, Set, Find Christmas,' Board book by Zondervan, 2016, Ages 4-8, 12 Pages, 978-0310757665, $8.99

Midwest Book Reviews Gail’s Bookshelf: "October 2016"
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Barb Boswell, Washington author and speaker, penned a memoir of fifty-one encouraging short stories in "Every Time I Turn Around God Whispers in My Ear!" The inspirational narratives take readers "on a personal journey to the heart of the Father "with stories that prompt laughter and sometimes tears. However, all readings point to Christ and inspire readers to "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

Stories of one to three pages include a brief "reality check" (questions to consider) a simple "prayer pause" and conclude with “for the record,” an additional thought or statistic at stories end.

Barb's favorite story, "Damaged Goods" (pg. 32) is about her six-year-old son Matt who said, "I'm broken" when he was "injured on a kindergarten class field trip." Matt's broken arm required a cast, but in the little boy's mind he was totally broken and now damaged goods. The story theme is repentance, forgiveness and restoration because in Barb’s words, "the broken places, the damaged parts of our lives are gone." God says in Psalm 103:12, "...as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."

The story, "Weighty Challenges" (pg. 18) concerns decisions, accountability and choices that brought Barb a "new body, a new hairdo" and the question, "What about a new attitude?" questions that plague many when life changes occur.

I especially liked the story "Dig In" (pg. 78) that highlights the importance of reading the Bible. Besides drawing strength and encouragement from God's Word every day, when we know what the Bible says about topics like marriage and homosexuality we aren't easily deceived.

Story themes are "Be still. Listen and focus" and the author’s prayer is that readers "don't listen to what the world throws at them." Instead she advises readers to listen with their “hearts” for God’s voice in Scripture, an important message for the times we live in. Take time to pause and fire up your faith as Barb continues to share what she believes God whispers in her ear.

'Every Time I Turn Around God Whispers in My Ear!' by Barb Boswell, 175 Pages, 978-0692691687, $13.99

Midwest Book Reviews: "Gail's Bookshelf" October 2016
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Sarah Young's new devotional explores God's promises of joy

Missionary and author Sarah Young, best known for her 2004 devotional "Jesus Calling" that went on to sell over 17 million copies worldwide, released a new devotional, 'Jesus Always' this October. Sarah writes in the voice of Jesus in the same way A. J. Russell did with his classic devotional "God Calling" whose writings inspire Sarah.

The attractive, gift-sized book's theme and tone "explore the promises of joy" found in Scripture. From the promise of abundant life to living a life brimful of joy "by embracing Jesus...even during the most challenging times," challenges of which Sarah is very familiar.

The devotional includes 365 one-page readings taken from Sarah's personal thoughts and reflections from what she views as the infallible, inerrant Word of God—the Bible. Using the voice of Jesus personalizes Scripture for readers in ways that other devotions do not and Jesus’ words are always italicized. Devotions conclude with chapter and verse Scripture references at the bottom of the page for additional study.

This devotional was a "marathon" task, writes Sarah due to an "international move" that caused her family to stay "in seven different homes multiple times" while she worked on the book. That also meant their family was disorganized and lived out of suitcases. However life events and difficult health issues also gave her "...more time to be thankful, to look for and find little treasures that brightened her day…to focus on Jesus and enjoy His Presence”.

For some, writing in the voice of Jesus is controversial, yet others identify more with the readings because it appears as if Jesus speaks directly to you. Sarah penned "Jesus Always" to encourage readers to spend more time with God, increase their joy in the Lord and to "strengthen their relationship with Jesus." I think she has done that and more.

'Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence,' by Sarah Young, Thomas Nelson, 2016, 400 Pages, 978-0718039509, $15.99

Midwest Book Reviews: "Gail's Bookshelf" October 2016
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Maxine Marsolini, KRVR Blog Talk Radio co-host, author and president of Oregon Christian Writer's, pens a powerful true story of "physical, emotional and verbal" abuse from the perspective of the abused in "Mother's Fury: Releasing the Trauma of Childhood Abuse".
The account illustrates the effects of child abuse and the power of a mother's anger on the abused as well as the abuser.

Maxine met cameraman Charles Rice while filming a parenting series on God's love for all of creation, especially the children He created. Her words touched a nerve in the cameraman and he shared a devastating story of physical and emotional abuse. Instead of being raised by a nurturing and loving mother as God intended, Charles had never felt a mother's love or heard her say, "I love you." Because of her cruelty and rage he only knew excruciating pain and fear that began the day his father left.

He was five-years-old when his parents divorced and the "dangerous woman who'd given birth to him" assumed control. He still remembers running into the street that final day, screaming, "Daddy. Daddy...Come back..."

The words enraged his mother and she rained blows about his "head, arms, shoulders and back." Then dragged him into the house by one arm, doubled over a five inch wide belt and screamed for him to "shut up" as she took out her fury on him.

Thus begins a compelling and "horrific parenting" story of pain, fear and hope wrapped in a son's love for his mother in spite of everything she did. Scripture references, quotes and "optional growth sections" are in regular text for both the abused and the abuser while Charles story is in italics.

Statistics reveal those who experience abuse are 1,000 times more likely to abuse, yet abusive mothers are not often talked about. Maxine wrote "Mother's Fury" to bring awareness to the issue and help "set the abused free" with questions and journaling space that follow the story theme.
Although a challenging read I couldn't put the book down until I finished it.

'Mother's Fury: Releasing the Trauma of Childhood Abuse,' by Maxine Marsolini, Elechor Media, 2016, 262 Pages, 978-1937844202, $14.99

Midwest Book Reviews: "Gail's Bookshelf" October 2016
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Story
Tagline
~~A retired freelance writer reviewing for the Lord~~
Introduction

Gail, a former news reporter, wrote a few articles for magazines and Guidepost compilation books, who today reviews for the Lord, in return for God's bountiful blessings in her life, marriage and family. Singing His praises, especially in the dark valleys of her life when God met her greatest needs!

Bragging rights
Cover issue of former Christian Reader magazine: http://www.christianity.com/11622434/?p=0
Education
  • Seattle University
    Dual major in Psycology & Alcohol & Drug Addictions, 1976
    The intriguing & compelling field of Psychology adds skills & intuitive abilities to assess, predict & understand human behavior. While it teaches how to manage & evaluate stressful environments & situations. When skills to understand the process of addiction, both with drugs & alcohol is also majored in, the end result is a formidable set of skills.
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Work
Occupation
Freelance reviewer of Christian Books & Audios
Skills
Writing, Critique, Cooking & Gardening
Employment
  • Freelance reviewer
    Christian Book & Audio Reviews, present
    Listen to and review audio's for AudioFile magazine and read & review books for Midwest Book Reviews, the Seattle and Washington Examiners and the Town Rag e-magazine. Also write a monthly book review column in print media for Christian News Northwest in OR. I am faithful to use all of social media to promote the books I review.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Sedro Woolley,WA
Previously
Seattle,WA
Gail Welborn's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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Since shuttering his email service, which was used by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Ladar Levison has been stuck in a Kafkaesque legal b

Local man makes artificial leg that helps veterans, civilians
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A local man developed new technology to help wounded warriors that could make a big difference in the lives of civilians as well. The IDEO a

‘Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story’ by Ken Tada, Joni Eareckson &...
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Saying Goodbye, Facing Loss...by by Cec Murphey & Gary Roe & Mic...
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Far too many feel lost and uncertain when confronted with terminal illness and the reality of death, perhaps because it means the loss of a

American Gun, by Chris Kyle w/William Doyle (Video)
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Besides a decorated and lethal Navy SEAL sniper credited with the longest kill shot ever recorded—1.2 miles—Chris Kyle was also a loving hus

‘American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms’ by Chris Kyle
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Praying Prayers of the Bible, by James Banks (Video)
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The Amish Canning Cookbook, by Georgia Varozza (Video)
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Eternity: a Graphic Novel, by Randy Alcorn, Illustrated by Javier Saltares
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New York Times best-selling author, Randy Alcorn released his first Bible based graphic novel in June with the largest publisher of Christia

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The Dangerous Book for Christians, by Jeff McCracken, Sr.
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God’s Little Instruction Book for the Class of 2013
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Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life &...by Steve...
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‘The King: The Bowers Files #6’ by Steven James
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