Wednesday, November 5, 2014

David Nicholson (Christmas Book) Review

Christmas Book Review
David Nicholson, a retired teacher and short-term missionary, has taken a tale that was written more than 75 years ago and given it new life—If He Had Not Come. This is a short story, covering just 14 pages of this 40-page hardcover book. Written originally by Nan Weeks, David heard it in his adult Sunday School class and read it over and over again to his family at Christmastime. 

Though If He Had Not Come is written so that children as young as 6 can fully understand it and be fascinated by the concept, older children and adults will be captivated by the proposition—what would life be like for us all if Jesus had never come to earth? This idea is reminiscent of George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life, except George wishes he had never been born. In this book, we are given a glimpse, albeit a small one, into what life would be like if Jesus had not come to earth as a baby, if God had not made the way of salvation through his Son Jesus Christ.

The premise set forth in this book is a very interesting and thought-provoking one, but I would have loved it if it were longer. I understand that David was taking Nan Weeks' story and reintroducing it, but so much more could be added to it. I also found it odd that all throughout the town there were signs that said, "If He Had Not Come." My kids and I just kept thinking, "If He had not come, there wouldn't be signs that said, 'If He Had Not Come.'" There also wouldn't be a gate standing where the Children's Home once stood. It would have never been there in the first place. I suppose if it is just a dream, anything can happen. It just seemed a little inconsistent to me and my kids.

The illustrations are done well. They provide a rustic touch to this reintroduction of a 75-year-old story.

Probably the best thing about this book, in my opinion, is what is found after the story has ended. David Nicholson provides interactive topics for families and Sunday School teachers. These six topics encourage discussion about Scripture, our thoughts and feelings, and the way things are today compared to when the book was originally written.

There is a page called "Going Deeper." This was written by Josh Mulvihill, a pastor in Minnesota. He delves into Scripture to help us find out why Jesus did come to earth and what it would mean for us if He had not come. Lastly, the Gospel message is presented, in the ABC format—Admit you are a sinner separated from a perfect God, Believe in your heart that Jesus is Savior, and Confess with your mouth and receive God's gift of salvation. There is also a prayer of salvation on the bottom of the page.

If He Had Not Come is a full-color, 8.5 x 11 book. It retails for $18.95 for the hardcover edition and also sells as an e-Book for $3.99.

Christmas Book Review

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo Review: Fast Track Bible Pack

Our family is not new to Wizzy Gizmo, having reviewed one of their audio dramas in the past. This is a company with a heart for teaching children God's Word. The folks at Wizzy Gizmo have created many amazing Christian education resources. This time, we received the Fast Track Bible Pack. Selling for just $14.99, these New Testament flash cards are a wonderful way to supplement Bible time with your family.

Each card summarizes one book of the New Testament. It details the number of chapters included, who wrote it, and when it was written. On the back, it provides the theme, a brief outline, key chapters, key verses, key passages, key doctrines, and key people. These cards are an invaluable resource.

I have often found myself wishing that I had information about the books of the Bible in one easy place so that I might relay that information to my kids. Wizzy Gizmo has provided that place. For kids and parents who are looking to memorize Scripture, the key passages are perfect.

The book summaries on the front of the cards are extremely easy to understand and are written on a personal level, sometimes asking questions of the reader. A key verse is provided as well.

I like these cards because they are a very heavyweight card stock. So, they should last a long time. They are also extremely colorful but not too busy as to distract the reader. The website provides suggestions for using these cards with various age ranges, from 2 through adult. Yes, even adults can learn a great deal from these cards. They're convenient enough to put in my Bible or another book so that I can take the one I'm working on with me. When I've got a little downtime, I can slip it out and read it over. The more often I or my kids read them, the better we remember the information.

The cards are biblically sound. I did not come across anything that would speak contrary to what the Bible says.

Some of the other products available include: "Who Created Everything?" audio drama and book (Genesis chapter one) and In His Image book (Genesis chapter two).

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*I received this product free of charge in order to provide an honest review.*