Friday, December 30, 2011

What is real masculinity and authentic femininity?

In today's society where gender roles are being reversed we need a clear, biblical view of our roles as men and women. In his book Secure Daughters, Confident Sons, Glenn T. Stanton opens our eyes to the proper way of leading our children to be healthy men and women of God. In America, there is so much confusion about gender and what it really means to be male or female. We have, as a culture, strayed away from God's design and are now reaping the consequences. Our young adults care more about pleasing themselves than God. In this book you will discover "what gender-appropriate behavior looks like at various ages", how to help your daughter become the woman God wants her to be, and how to help you son grow into confident manhood. You will also learn how we, as parents, influence out children's behaviors as male and female role models and what God's design for each gender really is.

I loved reading this book because I have two sons who will be influenced by secular society more than I want them to. There are distinct differences in men and women and the author brings those to life. He explains how our differences draw us to each other instead of separating us further. I need to know how to raise them to be confident men who are strong in their faith and beliefs. My husband and I want our sons to become real men. Men who aren't afraid of what the world thinks of them. This book gave me a clear understanding of what God expects of me as a parent to teach my children about growing into a God-fearing adult.

We do not have any daughters at the moment, but this book teaches us to let our girls be girls. Let them feel pretty, feminine, play with dolls, and pretend to be mommies. Mr. Stanton also touches on the subject of modesty. This is something that is close to my heart because I have been convicted of this in the last few years.

There is so much information and insight that I cannot even scratch the surface of all that is covered. I can, however, recommend this book to anyone who has young children (although it's never too late) and couples thinking about starting a family. This is a good starting point on how to raise children to have authentic masculinity and femininity.

God Bless,


*I was given this book for free by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my personal review. I recieved no other compensation.*

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Love is on the way in Smitten, Vermont. Four women collaborated to write this novel about love and finding romance. Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter. The book is broken up into four parts and each part coordinates with one of the main characters in the novel. Each of the main characters is based off of one of the four authors. The parts are: Natalie: Birthday Wishes, Julia: Small Town, Big Dreams, Shelby: You've Got a Friend, and Reese: All Along.

I really enjoyed reading this book because it was like having four different books in one. None of the women are looking for love. They are all friends who want to bring more business to their small town of Smitten, Vermont. They decide to start a bed and breakfast for couples. During their journey of opening a new business they wind up falling in love with the man of their dreams.

I recommend reading this book to anyone who likes faith-based, fiction love stories. It is refreshing to have a good love story to read that isn't filthy or dirty. I give this book two thumbs up.

God Bless,


*This book was given to me to review. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own.*

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cooper and Me and the Winter Adventure

Cooper and Me and the Winter Adventure is written by Monique and Alexa Peters and illustrated by Alexa Peters and Melissa Peterson. I loved reading this cute chidren's book about two friends getting lost and finding their way back home. Believe it or not Alexa Peters is only 12 years old. Her mother Monique helps her write these wonderful books that help children develope emotional skills and well as entertaining them. There are about 4 different Cooper and Me books including this one. Please check out their webiste HERE.

My 3 year old, Bear, and I read this book and he loved it. It kept his attention and the pictures were very colorful. He kept pointing to the dogs (Cooper and Bella) and describing what was going on in the pictures. It is very well written and illustrated. The lesson in the story is to not give up when you are lost. Keep looking for home and ask for help. If help is ever asked of you, offer it freely because it is the right thing to do.

I would defintely recommend any of these books to you and your family. They would make an excellent addition to any bookshelf. I plan to collect all of them for my little ones since they enjoyed them so much. Bear kept asking after we read it a few times when we could read it again. I told him we could read it again at bedtime. When my husband got home from work, Bear took him to the book and said "Look, Daddy! It's my new favorite book!".

Here are a few more ways to connect with Cooper and Me:

*Please note that $1 of every Winter Adventure book sold will go to advance research & treatment of pancreatic cancer, via the Lustgarten Foundation (

*Also, our friends at Cooper & Me is offering an EXCLUSIVE DEAL FOR YOU:

Make any purchase of $25 or more at and get FREE SHIPPING now through December 15.
God Bless,

* “Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. 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.”*

Thursday, December 1, 2011

His Mighty Warrior by: Sheri Rose Shepherd

What a wonderful book filled with treasures for my two little boys. His Mighty Warrior by Sheri Rose Shepherd is by far one of the most amazing books I have ever read. It inspired me so much to prepare my boys for becoming mighty men for God's kingdom. "A Treasure Map from Your King" (quote from the cover of the book). A treasure is exactly what it is. This book is set up as letters from God to your young warriors. The author actually labels each chapter as "Letters from the King". Each chapter/day is about 2 pages long. So, it won't take too long and it will hold children's attention.

Each chapter/day starts out with a letter from God to your little ones. They even start with "My Son,..." and go into the letter part. I just adored this little book. It really got me excited to teach my boys about God and what His plans are for them. They are still very small, but if I start early they will know what is expected of them in God's kingdom. At the end of each letter it is signed "Love, Your King" or "Love, Your God". There are many different names for God and you will learn many of them here. There is also a Bible verse for each chapter/day that goes along with the letter from God. At the end, there is a prayer that your little guys can say to God.

The illustrations were so well done. The whole book is done in a pirate/treasure map style. I truly loved the layout of the book and only dreamed that such a book existed. Here are the names some of the "Letters From The King":
-Chosen by the King
-A Plan and a Purpose
-Respect the Rules
-Honor Others
-Take the Lead
-Love Your Family
-Obey Your Parents
-Real Treasures in Heaven

I cannot say it enough. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book. I think it would make a great gift for a family with boys. Sheri Rose Shepherd has also written a book similar to His Mighty Warrior for girls called His Little Princess. She has also written a book for parents to read about preparing your boys for one day having a wife. It is called Preparing Him for the Other Woman. I think I will be picking up copies of all of her books to add to my collection. Even though I currently do not have any daughters, I do have several nieces that would benefit greatly from this sort of book.

God Bless,


* I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions expressed here are my own.*

21-Day Dad's Challenge By: Carey Casey

In our society, we are programmed from a young age to think our parents are stupid. We see it on TV, in supermarkets, in our own homes. Father's have become totally insignificant to families. Mother's become the head of the household and children have become very unruly. In his book The 21-Day Dad's Challenge, Carey Casey gives father's the chance to make their role as head of the household and father more significant. Men will have a better relationship with their children. They will be looked up to instead of looked down upon.

Mr. Casey asked several famous and popular men to write a devotional for each day. Some of the contributors include: Tony Dungy, Randy Alcorn, Jim Daly, Dr. Gary Rosberg, and more. No matter how many children you have and what ages they are you will learn to connect with them on a Godly level. It only takes 21 days to complete this book. That's not even a month. I think our men and father's need to pick this book up and give it a try. What can it hurt? It can only better your relationship with your kids and strengthen the bond between father and child.

Each day begins with a personal story from each of the contributors about their relationship with their children or a funny event that has occured in their family. Then comes the "challenge" part. This is why it's called The 21-Day Dad's Challenge. The author asks the reader to try something new with their kids. Some of the suggestions may be fun and some may be serious. Some of them may take more thought and others are a no-brainer. After the challenge section, there is the "your plan" section. This is the part that may require some really deep thinking. Mr. Casey wants each reader to come up with personal goals as a father. At the end of each devotion, there is a paragraph about each of the contributors (depending on which one wrote that day's devotion).

One really neat aspect of this book that I have never seen before is the use of barcodes. I personally do not own a "smartphone". But my husband does and he thought this part of the book was exceptional, especially using technology to better your relationship with your little ones (or big ones). If you have a smartphone you download an app that can scan barcodes. Throughout the book there are pages with one of these barcodes on it that will give you a video to encourage and help you with that day's challenge. If you do not have a smartphone (like me) you can go to the website that is next to each barcode and it will give you the same video. I really liked this feature because a lot of dad's are on-the-go or at work and they can easily use their phones to watch a quick video to encourage them that day.

I would recommend this book to every dad wanting to have a better relationship with their kids. Who doesn't want that? This would make a great Christmas gift or stocking stuffer for and father. Father's are the foundation of the family (besides God). Without dad's, many families just aren't the same and I have seen it first-hand. Take the time to pick this up for a loved one that could benefit from reading this book and challenging themselves in the parenting department.

God Bless,


*This book was given to me by Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review. All opinions stated here are my own.*

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

{A Year With Jesus} by: R. P. Nettelhorst

{Book Review}

A Year With Jesus is a one year devotional filled with daily readings and reflections on Jesus' own words. The layout is very easy to read. It only takes about 10 minutes to read each day's devotional. It begins with verses from the bible and then Mr. Nettelhorst reflects on what was read. He makes you really think about Jesus' words and what He really meant by His teachings. Jesus only had 3 years to spread His message so every word He uttered had to count for something great.

This book is wonderful and something I will keep on my shelf for a long time. I learned a lot about the things Jesus said and some history behind some of the places He visited.

"A Year With Jesus is an unforgettable 365-day revelation of Jesus' love through his actual words, plus reflections and insights to encourage and inspire you." (Quote from the back of the book).

It will encourage you and keep you focused on our purpose here on earth. Some of the sections really hit home with me. Here is a list of some of the subjects covered in this devotional:
  • Best Friends Forever
  • What Is A Woman Worth?
  • Love's Response
  • When Hate Becomes Love
  • Unpardonable Sin
  • The Afterlife
  • What Counts
  • He Is Coming
  • Who's The Boss?
  • A Soul's Price
  • Babies
  • Satan's Home
  • How Little Is Little?
  • Poor And Happy
  • Signs And Wonders
  • House Of Prayer
Please check out this amazing book filled with Jesus' love and wonderment. It is surprising to me still that when I am going through something hard in life, God allows me to find just what I need in His word. You will find that in this book as well.

God Bless,


Sunday, November 20, 2011

And the WINNER of The Grace Effect is...




God Bless,


Thursday, November 17, 2011

One~Silent~Night Review and Giveaway!

FFH has come out with a new Christmas album just in time for the holidays! FFH is a Christian singing group that has been around for years. They have toured all around America and have many other albums for you to check out. I absolutely LOVE them. I also really love Christmas music. So, on this album I get the best of both worlds.

One Silent Night consists of some old favorites as well as some new tracks you are sure to love. Here is a list of the songs:

1. Baby It's Cold Outside
2. Jingle Bell Rock
3. One Silent Night
4. I'll Be Home For Christmas
5. The Birthday Of The King
6. O Come O Come Emmanuel
7. Winter Wonderland
8. Glorious Impossible
9. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
10. Heaven And Nature Sing

My favorites are Baby It's Cold Outside and The Birthday Of The King. I enjoyed the whole album and could listen to it all day long. When I found out I could review this CD, I was so happy I almost screamed for joy. With Christmas right around the corner, you won't want to miss listening to this CD to get you in the spirit.

Check out these other resources on FFH:


 Here's the best part of all...You can win this very CD! I am giving away a downloadable copy of One Silent Night to one lucky reader. All you have to do is:

1. Follow Jensen Family Circus
2. Follow my new blog Diary of a Book Hoarder
3. Leave a comment on Diary of a Book Hoarder saying that you are a follower of both blogs and that you want to win the CD

(Open to U.S. residents only)

Entries must be received by Tuesday, November 22 at noon.

God Bless,


*“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.”*

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Grace Effect Review and GIVEAWAY!

{The Grace Effect By: Larry Alex Taunton}

I was so happy when I was chosen to review The Grace Effect by Larry Alex Taunton. It's a powerful story of his family's journey to adopt a little girl named Sasha from the Ukraine. Larry Taunton is a historian and Christian apologist. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of Fixed Point Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the public defense of the Christian faith. He and the organization have been featured on Fox News, BBC, and the Wall Street Journal.

In The Grace Effect, Mr. Taunton gives his encounter of the adoption process in Ukraine as well as a detailed history of the country. I was astonished at some of the facts and processes of the Ukrainian government. The agencies are very corrupt in their ways and difficult to deal with. When I first received this book my immediate reaction was, Wow...this is way over my head. But, as I began to read each page and the story began to unfold, I found myself unable to put the book down. 

The author explains it in a way that helps the reader to understand why the government over there is so corrupt in their practices. As he gives some of the history, he also tell the story of adopting Sasha, a Ukrainian orphan.

Sasha's story is one that will stick with me forever. Mr. Taunton's wife, Lauri, and their three sons went on a mission trip to Ukraine a year before they adopted Sasha. They all fell in love with her immediately and decided to go home and tell Larry about her. They started the adoption process and a year later were able to go over to Ukraine to officially adopt her from there. In that particular country it is a general rule that you must stay in the country for up to 6 weeks during the adoption process. I don't know about you, but I think that is ridiculous. I don't know anyone who has the resources to miss work and pay to live in another country for that amount of time. But, if it's the rule, it's the rule. They loved Sasha so much already that they were willing to jump through fire to have her come home with them.

Along the way they were stopped by every person possible. The country is extremely poor. Not just monetarily, but spiritually as well. They are a godless people and their history will tell you so. I don't want to give away the story, so I will leave it at that. The Taunton's had a very tough time adopting little Sasha, but their story isn't uncommon in Ukrainian adoptions. The officials over there want "bribes" or "gifts" as they call them. You get your hopes up only to be let down hard. Well, obviously I think we all know how this story ended. Sasha got to come home with her new family. She has a new "Papa" and a new "Mama" as she called them to her friends at the orphanage.

I recommend this book to anyone considering adoption, who has adopted, or anyone who has a heart for adoption. I don't think I left anyone out. It is for everyone. I am so inspired to go out right now and adopt a child (if only I had the resources). I am so excited to let you know that you too can receive the gift of this wonderful book for yourself. That's right I am GIVING AWAY a copy of this book to one special reader. All you have to do is:

1. Follow my blog Jensen Family Circus
2. Follow my new blog Diary of a Book Hoarder
3. Leave a comment on Diary of a Book Hoarder saying that you would like to win a copy of the book

(Open to U.S. residents only)

Entries must be received by Sunday, November 20 at noon.

God Bless,


*“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.”*