Archive | August 2014

Stop struggling to spend time with God….pursue and intimate relationship with Him

I am so blessed to have been able to read Shellie Rushing Tomlinson’s book, “Heart Wide Open, Trading Mundane Faith For An Exuberant Life With Jesus”. Shellie easily accomplishes her mission of showing the reader how to stop struggling to spend time with God, and instead pursue an intimate relationship with Him based simply on His unconditional love for us. A key thought throughout the book is a reminder to the reader to rest in the knowledge that we can only love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). It is impressive how seamlessly Shellie intertwines relevant Scriptures throughout the book. This gives her words credence and truth for the reader. It is always good to be reminded of how the Bible reveals a God who summons us to come to Him only on the basis of faith in His promises, not on our ability to be good. Shellie tells us that she had always been a committed Church attender, but realized she was missing real desire for God. As I read through the pages of this book, I also came to realize how easy it is to drift away from a deep love for God and his Word.

Shellie helps you, step by step, open up your heart to God’s amazing love for us and shows you how you can fire up your love for Him. It has certainly given me the encouragement I need to seek out a deeper love for God and His Word.

There are prayers at the end of every chapter and a Bible Study and Discussion Guide at the back of the book for you to use on your own or with a group.

If you want to love God deeper and more intimately than you ever dreamed possible, you owe it to yourself to give this book a read.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books, in return for my honest review.



I received a copy of the new “NIV Essentials Study Bible,” and immediately was drawn to the multiple study aids available in this Bible. I think this study Bible is a good resource for the study of scripture. I am already a fan of the NIV translation because of the ease in reading it compared to the KJV. To me, the NIV is much easier to understand than some other translations I have seen. The multitude of study aids offered in this “NIV Essentials Study Bible” make daily scripture study much smoother and more informative. 

While I didn’t read every study note and comment, those which I did read had some in depth information that I considered very insightful. The “NIV Essentials Study Bible” is jam packed with tons of interesting information that most definitely can help to expand your knowledge and understanding of the Bible text, the Middle eastern culture of biblical times, and archaeological discoveries proving the accuracy of the Bible.

It did seem as though some of the commentaries tried to scientifically explain how God performed certain miracles which can only be speculation (since none of the modern day writers of these commentaries were present for any of these miracles) yet were stated as facts. It’s not necessary for us to know exactly how God does a miracle. We just trust, have faith that He has and He continues to perform miracles every day. Being a hardcover and larger than the typical Bible, I found it slightly heavy and inconvenient to carry. Though to use it at your study desk, I feel it’s the perfect size. The font is easily readable. All notes and commentaries are in relevant locations, rather than commenting on a passage that was possibly 100 pages prior to this entry.

Overall, I think this “NIV Essentials Study Bible” is a great resource for students of scripture that seek to gain a deeper understanding of God’s word. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. It can be bought at Amazon, as well as Christian Book Distributors,

** Many thanks to the publisher and BookLook Blogger for providing a free copy of this Bible in exchange for an honest review, which has been provided by a guest reviewer **