Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table: It’s Time to Win the Battle of Your Mind by Louie Giglio


Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table: It’s Time to Win the Battle of Your Mind by Louie Giglio
Publisher: Harper Christian Resources/ Thomas Nelson
Genre: Inspirational, Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

God has prepared a table for you. It’s set with a banquet of peace, clarity, and purpose. But Satan is constantly looking for an invitation, seeking to fill your mind with distractions, fear, worry, insecurity, anxiety, temptation, doubt…

It’s an ongoing battle. But you can learn how to protect your mind from unhealthy thoughts and experience rest and nourishment at God’s table.

The Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table study (DVD/digital video sold separately) offers biblical insight on how to:

Cancel the lies that will wreck your life and take the empowering steps to live fully alive in Christ
Restore peace and rest in your life by taking authority over your thoughts
Break free from the endless cycle of destructive thinking and recapture your emotions
Embrace the true purpose behind your journey through challenging circumstances
Sessions include:

The Table Before Us
The Tactics of the Enemy
The Battle for Our Mind
The Path to Victory
God’s Invitation Always Stands
In the Presence of Our Enemies
You can find freedom from the battles in your mind if you allow Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to lead the battle. Learn how to find encouragement, hope, and strength no matter what valleys you face.

My friend suggested I join her bible study group that was starting a new book called, Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table by Louie Giglio. She knew I was struggling with a few incorrect attitudes. Also referred to as “The battle of the mind”. I said, why not? It’d be fun to zoom once a week and discuss the book.

Let me just tell you that I need to read this book at least five more times. It’s a life changer. I have most of the book highlighted. It’s very easy to have the knowledge on how to live a life pleasing to God but it’s another thing to apply it in daily life. I’m just going to quote the book because I can’t say it any better. “You don’t have to let negative thoughts control your life. You don’t have to allow the Enemy to influence your thinking. You have the power through Jesus Christ to take control of your thoughts and emotions. Jesus invites you to a table that he has prepared for your—a table where the Enemy is not invited.”

If you are quick to anger and slow to forgiving like me, then this book is a prescription for healing and peace in your mind and heart. The most prominent message I got this time reading this book was “even though…I will”. I’m trying to consciously choose to linger in the presence of God and this book easily aides in that endeavor. It’s actually an entertaining read with a few relatable stories. It’s not a dry, biblical quoting or preachy style book. I enjoyed reading a chapter a week and discussing what we read with other friends trying to live a Godly life.

Glad You’re Here by Walker Hayes & Craig Allen Cooper


Glad You’re Here: Two Unlikely Friends Breaking Bread and Fences by Walker Hayes & Craig Allen Cooper
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Genre: Inspirational, Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

When Craig Cooper and Walker Hayes met, Walker was an alcoholic atheist reeling from the backlash of a failed music career. Through their unlikely friendship, Craig’s life demonstrated the love of Christ in a way that shattered Walker’s misconceptions of Christianity, ultimately leading him down the path to a dramatic conversion. The two are now close as brothers, choosing to be next-door neighbors and ripped out the fence between their homes as a testament to the power of the gospel to break down barriers and unite people together in Christ. Glad You’re Here helps us discover how building relationships, sacrificing for the good of others, and drawing near in times of need can lead to powerful transformation. Through story and biblical reflections, Glad You’re Here helps readers see how God works in the everyday lives of those who love him.

I bought this book as soon as it was released May 2022. I was compelled to read it because I’m a music fan of Walker Hayes and I was curious to read how he transformed from being an atheist to a believer. I was curious how Walker’s friend, Craig Cooper, assisted in Walker’s transition.

This story is told from both their perspectives. I found it interesting to read their words in print. Their relationship was similar to one I had years ago with a fellow neighbor. I wasn’t atheist but I wasn’t practicing either. Craig Cooper reminded me of my friend, Karen. I’m sad that we aren’t neighbors anymore, but we are still sisters in Christ.

I am still awestruck every time I see how God works in the everyday lives of those who love him. I definitely felt the power of God throughout this story. I was inspired to reach out to my friend Karen, and we actually read this book together.

I typically don’t read books that are trending. I have another friend who, when she found out I was reading it, asked if she could borrow it when I was done. She had heard about it from the Today Show. My friend enjoyed the read as well and has lent it to another friend. I may never get that book back and that is okay. Jesus is the at wheel and the book, Glad you are Here, is on God’s auto pilot.

If you are at all curious about having the love of Godly friends, then this book is for you. I for one am grateful for my Christian neighbors. I’m glad they are here with me.

All I Want for Christmas by Rebekah Pace, Alexis J. Pride


All I Want for Christmas by Rebekah Pace, Alexis J. Pride
Publisher: Level 4 Press, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Holiday
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

LOSING EVERYTHING MAY JUST BE THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL.

James sells toys. He’s a workaholic and he’s made a very good living, even if his wife and four children don’t appreciate it. Truth is, his marriage is falling apart and he barely recognizes his kids.

So when James’s youngest daughter, 7-year-old Reba, asks God for a Christmas miracle to “fix” her family, something most unexpected happens—unexpected and horrible. The Christmas tree catches fire and the house burns down, taking with it all of their possessions.

One bad thing leads to another as rock bottom gives way to new lows and the family is sent spiraling down a dark and unfamiliar path. Reba wonders if God decided to give her the very opposite of what she prayed for.

Finally, separated and destitute, James and the family are left with absolutely nothing—nothing but a brand-new understanding of what’s actually important in life.

Now James must rekindle his faith, learn what’s truly important to him, and find a way to win his family back. If he can pull it off, there may just be that Christmas miracle waiting for him.

I picked this book at random, and I honestly believe it was meant for me to read. I’ve grown tired of the same-old, same-old types of stories I’ve been reading, and I wanted something different. I didn’t know I needed to read All I Want for Christmas until I was halfway through. It tugged at my emotions more than any book I’ve read in quite some time. This story of a family going from highs to lows and clawing back up again through the grace of God, is a powerful read. This novel is not for the faint of heart, or anyone looking for a fast read. This is a story that a reader needs to spend some time with.

A few weeks ago, I finally watched the movie, War Room. When things started happening to the Harrison family in this book, it carried echoes of that film, but this book has its own journey and what happens to James is a lot worse than what happens to Tony Jordan in the film, War Room. I think the movie had more scripture and passionate faith and it benefited from the guidance and wisdom of Ms. Clara. James and Fran didn’t have anyone in their corner like that. And anyone who could have been, James, with his pride, arrogance and internal fears, would be, and is, blind to it. For an inspirational story, I was amazed at how Fran repeatedly looked for guidance in all the wrong places. I read the titles of those books she kept reading and I felt like calling her up to say, “Fran! Those kinds of How-To books aren’t the answer!!”. But the authors of this novel weren’t going to make it easy on their characters. Lessons had to be learned, and sometimes, the school of hard knocks is the only way.

At times, I felt the story’s pace was bogged down by the details of every little thing that happened, which occurred like heavy megalith dominoes. One bad thing led to another, and another. The seemingly perfect family has a “come to Jesus” moment that was a long time in coming. The authors also went into great depth about the tragedy that affected the whole Harrison family. In the background of my mind I thought, yeah, any parent responsible for their kids must have this horrible thought or worry that this could easily happen to them. It can happen to anyone, really. That means I understand why the authors went to such pains to give a reader a chance to really know the main characters. It’s so you’d feel deeply for them as they went through the court proceedings, the lawyers, the harsh realities that children can find themselves in through the overworked CPS system, the losses and the PTSD such things can leave behind -. it sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? But that’s the point. There has to be something more, a savior, and there is, but it’s a gentle progression because like chess pieces, everything needed to be in the right place. Things needed to happen, and Mr. & Mrs. Harrison and all four of their children needed to experience situations that helped them grow, to understand, and be ready for the miracle.

It’s a miracle that their youngest daughter, Reba, prayed for under the advice and guidance of her Oma (grandmother). She did receive acknowledgement that her prayer was heard, but I’m sure the little girl never imagined what had to happen in order for it to come to fruition. Faith was tested. James needed to have his priorities reset, Fran had to rediscover her faith in God and remember how it was when she went to church, what made her and James happy when their marriage was young, and their kids were little. The person with the most growth and change had to be James since it was his pride and refusal to communicate and treat Fran like an actual partner in their marriage that allowed things to progress as far as they did. Yeah, his work ethic didn’t produce the results he thought it would. His priorities were a little skewed. This novel is all about change, growth, deep love between husband and wife and the family they created, being open to God’s will and not being selfish and short-sighted in using the talents God gave them. And God gave the Harrison family some pretty awesome gifts. They were woefully underutilized – but that all changed when two people stepped up and offered Fran and James something important that came out of left field. Hope. That was the start of the miracle.

The upswing in their fortunes didn’t happen overnight. The authors take a reader through the whole journey. I felt the fear, the hopelessness, the worry and the feeling of being overwhelmed and lost – but then there was hope. There was optimism. With hard work, and coming together as a family, the hope became a reality. The joy and happiness, the satisfaction and the overall LOVE burst forth from the pages. Yeah, God closed a door in James’ life – hard, but the one that opened up was three times as large. Everything became clearer and the changes brought a deeper satisfaction with rewards unthinkable in the early parts of their crisis. This miracle didn’t just heal James and Fran’s marriage, it brought the family together. In the process, the kids made new friends, better friends – their blessings are too numerous to count but what made it extra wonderful were the people they met along the way, Officer Friendly, Paster Phillips, Casper, and Pastor Murphy, just to name a few.

There is so much more I could mention. This novel is definitely character based. The story is told in different points of view, mostly James and Fran’s, but there are others, so readers get an idea of the motivation behind the actions and dialogue that happen along the way. The story is well-written, and the characters are more three-dimensional than not. This is a great book for readers of Christian Fiction who enjoy seeing someone overcome seemingly insurmountable odds because faith opened their hearts to the will of God. Miracles do happen, just not the way WE think they should. All I Want for Christmas is testimony to that. I’m glad I read this novel.

Cold Case Killer Profile by Jessica R. Patch


Cold Case Killer Profile by Jessica R. Patch
Quantico Profilers, Book 2
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

The desert can hide many secrets…including murder.

Searching for the perfect morning landscape to paint leads forensic artist Brigitte Linsey straight to a dead body—and a narrow escape from the Sunrise Serial Killer still on the scene. Now she’s become unfinished business and new prey. Working with FBI special agent Duke Jericho could mean putting the murderer away for good. However, it’s just a matter of time before this diabolically clever predator turns his hunters into the hunted…

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.

I didn’t realize it was book two of three in the Quantico Profilers series until I finished it. It’s safe to say that it can be read as a standalone.

I’m not new to reading suspense/murder/mystery romances but I can say this was my first inspirational one. Surprisingly, the author made it work. Cold Case Killer Profile really was filled with “Courage, Danger and Faith”.

This is my first Jessica R. Patch book and it’s safe to say that it won’t be my last. I was engaged from the first chapter to the last. I couldn’t wait to get to the end to find out who the “Sunrise Serial Killer” was. There were many suspects in my mind. This story was filled with plot twists and unpredictable outcomes.

The heroine, Brigitte was a strong, independent character with some vulnerable moments which were justified.

The hero, Duke, was dream worthy. I loved how he protected Brigitte and was there to save the day. The chemistry between them was sweet. They were attracted to each other, but they were a little bit busy trying to stay alive. Fortunately, they had faith to keep them strong.

This book was an entertaining read. Happy Reading!

Tidings of Joy by Margaret Daley


Tidings of Joy by Margaret Daley
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Inspirational, Holiday
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

He came to Sweetwater to repay a debt. Chance Taylor didn’t expect to have feelings for his new landlady, Tanya Bolton. He could see newly widowed Tanya had worked hard to put the pieces of her world back together, caring for her wheelchair-bound daughter and taking a job at the local bank.

Chance’s arrival interrupted Tanya’s routine…and brought unexpected happiness to her life.

But the secret obligation he struggled with meant Chance could lose Tanya—and his chance for a fresh start—forever.

A man with baggage, a woman with different baggage, but a pull that’s undeniable. Oh, and it’s Christmas.

I picked this book up because of the dog on the cover. I won’t lie. I like a good black Labrador book. This one didn’t disappoint. It’s cute and sweet. I liked the characters, and I wanted them to have a happy ending. I also wanted to know if the dog got a happy ending, too. Thankfully, everyone did.

I liked the friendship between Tanya and Chance. They hit it off right away, even when they didn’t realize it. It was cute. It also showed that sometimes the best things are worth waiting for. I liked the side story of Tanya’s daughter coming out of her shell and Chance showing them both they weren’t alone.

If you’re looking for a cute holiday read, then this is the one for you.

Vesper Flights by Helen MacDonald


Vesper Flights by Helen MacDonald
Publisher: Grove Press
Genre: Inspirational, Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop

Animals don’t exist in order to teach us things, but that is what they have always done, and most of what they teach us is what we think we know about ourselves.

In Vesper Flights, Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved essays, along with new pieces on topics ranging from nostalgia for a vanishing countryside to the tribulations of farming ostriches to her own private vespers while trying to fall asleep.

Meditating on notions of captivity and freedom, immigration and flight, Helen invites us into her most intimate experiences: observing the massive migration of songbirds from the top of the Empire State Building, watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary, seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes with heart-tugging clarity about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, and the unexpected guidance and comfort we find when watching wildlife.

By one of this century’s most important and insightful nature writers, Vesper Flights is a captivating and foundational book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make sense of the world around us.

This is a book of essays. People have a tendency to think it is about falcons because MacDonald is a falconer and also has written previous books about hawks and falcons. These essays are more than an observance of nature. They are also a description of one’s walk of life. Not all of the settings are out on the edge of a cliff. Some are experiences in our humdrum days of life, and some are very ethereal.

Vesper Flights did have trouble holding my attention but in looking back, I think this is a book one has to read at the right time. Sometimes essays can seem disjunct to me, like short stories in a sense. But I don’t think this book is meant to be looked upon as I did. It’s spiritual, it’s relaxing, and it’s calm. I am a very black and white thinker, so I don’t often look for meaning or inspiration as MacDonald does. I was brought up as a sort of “buck up” person, and this is not that kind of book. It’s a soul-searching, beautifully written book of essays about nature and about life.

Island Charm by Audrey Wick


Island Charm by Audrey Wick
Publisher: White Rose Publishing/Pelican Book Group
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Review by Mistflower

An imposter in paradise

When Anna Worthington’s twin sister gets jilted by her fiancé, Anna steps in with a plan for a girls’ Key West getaway instead of a honeymoon trip. Yet when her twin has her own crisis of commitment and doesn’t board the plane, Anna finds herself on a romantic getaway that she’s forced to navigate alone.

A vacation romance with an expiration date

Gunnar Lockhart, whose specialty is island tourism, is the perfect match for helping Anna complete her vacation bucket list, but time together forges a connection more personal than either anticipate. As they make island memories, Anna has to untangle her mixed emotions. Are her feelings toward Gunnar real? Or like her sister’s wedding day, has this connection been doomed from the start?

Audrey Wick’s writing style is charming. She has a way of bringing her stories to life. This story takes place mostly in Key West which I’ve been to a few times. I can testify to the magic and lifestyle of the Keys. I live in Florida and the Keys is its own entity. While reading this story I felt like Audrey Wick captured the distinction of Key West.

I consider a romance book to be a work of art. I don’t have the skills to write a book, but I thoroughly enjoy reading them. There could not be a more appropriate or better title for this book, Island Charm. As I write this review, I’m thinking deeply and carefully about Island Charm’s subject matter. I feel it necessary to share with you the definition of charm. “Charm (noun) is the power or quality of giving delight or arousing admiration. (Verb) delight greatly”. This leads me directly to the hero.
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The above definition of charm can be applied to the hero, Gunner. He was definitely filled with charm. What do I mean? I mean that Gunner was friendly and pleasant to those that he came in contact with. He made it impossible for anyone to not like him. Gunner loved giving back to his community and working at an information booth in the Keys was one way he could do that. I would go as far to say that Gunner had a special and unique charm that set him apart from other men.

I could completely see how the heroine, Anna, was captivated by Gunner’s appealing features, mannerisms and characteristics. I for one fell for his compassionate heart. Gunner’s interaction with an elderly man name named Jack demonstrated Gunner’s desire to serve others.

The heroine is a kind soul as well. Anna’s love for her sister and family is heartwarming and inspirational.

The romance between Anna and Gunner is sweet and inspiring. Not only was I entertained but I was encouraged as well. Anna and Gunner were both going through the struggle of living through the consequences of somebody else’s choices. I think that is the reality of life for many people. I know my life has been impacted by circumstances that I have had no control over. This story gave me hope.

My interest was captured from page one, and I was engaged in the plot and romance until the last page. The story’s pace flowed smoothly and flawlessly. I found only one bone to pick, that being the fact that Gunner and Anna never exchanged phone numbers. In this day and age of texting, I found that glaringly odd, however that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.

I always appreciate a book that ends with an epilogue. After the epilogue, Island Charm surprised me with a “Devotional Moment” and a cooking recipe that was relevant to the story. I didn’t realize that White Rose Publishing/Pelican Book Group was known for writing inspirational stories. I’ll have to look into that further. The subject matter in this story all makes sense now. My Christian mother and sister would appreciate this uplifting romance story. You don’t have to be a Godly person to read and enjoy this romance but those who are, will have an additional reason to appreciate this book.

This is not my first Audrey Wick story, and it won’t be my last. I searched the internet and couldn’t find anything mentioning a next book in the series. I would greatly appreciate a book two that found a happily ever after for Anna’s sister, Brie. I would totally read that.

I definitely would encourage romance readers, including all my friends and family, to check out Island Charm, especially if they are looking for a relaxing beach read. I would absolutely pack this book in my beach or pool bag and read it again.

Happiness Is Listening to Your Dog Snore – Humorous and Inspirational Dog Quotes to Celebrate Our Canine Friends by Sandra Murphy


Happiness Is Listening to Your Dog Snore – Humorous and Inspirational Dog Quotes to Celebrate Our Canine Friends by Sandra Murphy
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational, Contemporary, Historical
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

From Afghans and Akitas to Yakutians and Yorkies, and everything in between, there’s a very special connection between dogs and their owners. Our four-legged friends put smiles on our faces, comfort us when we’re down and make us laugh with their antics. They aren’t just “man’s best friend” but a terrific companion to women, children and anyone in need of the perfect companion.

Bestselling author and editor Sandra Murphy (Peace, Love, and Crime: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of the 60s, From Hay to Eternity) has compiled a collection of quotes celebrating canines; our furry friends who bring so much joy to our lives. Some quotes will be familiar, many will be new, but all remind us how wonderful it is to have dogs in our lives.

Dogs make the world a better place.

One of the things I liked the most about this collection was the way the author separated all of the quotes out in various sections. The first portion was dedicated to humorous quotes, while later ones included themes that ranged from inspirational to what the author’s peers at Untreed Reads thought about dogs. It was nice to know what to expect from each section before I read it, and it also made it easy to flip ahead or back to a specific theme if needed.

As much as I enjoyed reading these quotes, there were times when I found them repetitive. The same themes and ideas were repeated over and over again in the various sections. It would have been nice to have a wider range of thoughts on the topic as dogs are creatures almost everyone loves. Had this been the case, I would have happily gone with a much higher rating as the concept itself was well worth checking out.

Some of my favorite sections were the ones that pondered what the world might look like through canine eyes. For example, one quote discussed whether the writer’s dog might have given them a name and, if so, what that name might be. That was exactly the sort of content I was hoping to read about! It’s fascinating to gaze into the eyes of a dog and try to figure out what they’re thinking about.

I smiled as I read Happiness Is Listening to Your Dog Snore.

Passionate for Justice by Catherine Meeks and Nibs Stroupe


Passionate for Justice: Ida B. Wells as Prophet for Our Time by Catherine Meeks and Nibs Stroupe
Publisher: Church Publishing
Genre: Historical, Non-Fiction, Contemporary, Inspirational
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Ida B. Wells was a powerful churchwoman and witness for justice and equity from 1878–1931. Born enslaved, her witness flowed through the struggles for justice in her lifetime, especially in the intersections of African Americans, women, and those who were poor. Her life is a profound witness for faith-based work of visionary power, resistance, and resilience for today’s world, when the forces of injustice stand in opposition to progress.

These are exciting and dangerous times. Boundaries that previously seemed impenetrable are now being crossed. This book is a guide for the current state of affairs in American culture, enlivened by the historical perspective of Wells’ search for justice.

The authors are an African-American woman and a child of white supremacy. Both have dedicated themselves to working, writing, and developing ministries oriented toward justice, equity, and mercy. This book can be used in all settings, but most especially in churches (pastors and other church leaders, study groups), seminaries, and universities.

Ida B Wells, an unsung hero for our times.

I hadn’t read anything about Ida B Wells and when I saw this book, I picked it up. I’m glad I did. I knew nothing about this trailblazing woman and I should’ve. She was a strong woman, a forthright person and a force to be reckoned with. She’s a hero of women’s rights, of human rights and shows how to keep going no matter what. She witnessed some of the most awful things in history, but kept her head up.

There is a thread of discussion on race relations in this book as well as the upbringings of the authors, who weren’t alive during Wells’s time. This book requires the reader to think and consider their own upbringing in light of the world issues. This isn’t an easy book to read, but it’s worth the time.

If you’re looking for a book that’s thought-provoking, then this is the one for you.

The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers


The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers
Publisher: Hachette
Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

A timeless collection of wisdom on love, friendship, respect, individuality, and honesty from the beloved PBS series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

There are few personalities who evoke such universal feelings of warmth as Fred Rogers. An enduring presence in American homes for over 30 years, his plainspoken wisdom continues to guide and comfort many. The World According to Mister Rogers distills the legacy and singular worldview of this beloved American figure. An inspiring collection of stories, anecdotes, and insights–with sections devoted to love, friendship, respect, individuality, and honesty, The World According to Mister Rogers reminds us that there is much more in life that unites us than divides us.
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Culled from Fred Rogers’ speeches, program transcripts, books, letters, and interviews, along with some of his never-before-published writings, The World According to Mister Rogers is a testament to the legacy of a man who served and continues to serve as a role model to millions.

Sometimes a book that’s uplifting is just what the neighbor ordered.

This book is by Fred Rogers, AKA Mister Rogers, and his wife, Joanne. I have to admit that because this book was published after Mr. Rogers passed. His wife helped compile his words into a cute book meant to uplift whoever reads it. It really does.

There are tidbits from how he grew up, how he learned to be kind and how he kept a positive attitude throughout his life. I liked how he reminds everyone that emotions and feelings are valid. Don’t try to stuff your feelings in, but let them out and talk about them. It might seem like platitudes, but in this period of time, it’s nice to read something that makes the heart happy. Plus, reading his words reminded me of being a kid and looking forward to watching the show.

If you’re looking for something that will make you happy and might even get you thinking, then this is the book for you.