Answering the Questions People Ask in my Search Bar

I noticed a few weeks ago that there’s been an increase of people using my search box like it’s a search engine…

  1. “How many children did Captain Roland Jones and Elizabeth Clouston have?” I think they had three? There’s a census online somewhere, but I suck at reading cursive.
  2. “Is the Netflix Original Dragon Prince a book?”: There is a book called Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn, but the show is not based off it.
  3. “Read online the Trouble with Flirting”: Buy it digitally and support the author’s hard work. If you see pirated books online, report them to the author and publisher. You heathen.
  4. “Free download of Discipleship Essentials by Ogden”: Again. Buy the book and support the author.
  5. “Do the dhampirs need to drink blood in Mead’s books?”: No.
  6. “Rachel Morgan Faerie War spoilers/The Faerie War what happened to Vi and Ryn?”: Read the books!
  7. Easter is Coming book review: I requested this book from B&H Bloggers, but they’re out of print… They’re reprinting, so I hope to have a copy soon!
  8. Koutetsujou No Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress) review: I used to have a review up for this anime, but accidentally deleted it, and didn’t realize until I deleted a ton of posts when I used to use my blog to talk about personal stuff, current events, etc. It’s basically Attack on Titan, but with zombies and trains. It was okay. I might re-watch in English and type up a new review since people search my blog every month for this.
  9. Three fictional characters that describe me: I’ve been told I’m similar to Tina from Bob’s Burgers, Pam from Archer, and Amber from Parks and Rec… Weird combination.
  10. What’s Tithenmamiwen?: It’s elvish for my name. lol

Korean Drama | Romance is a Bonus Book

TitleRomance is a Bonus Book
Genres: Friendship, Business, Comedy, Romance
Release Date: January 26, 2019 – March 17, 2019
Total Episodes: 16 | ~1 hour runtime
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis: Kang Dan-i was a popular copywriter before she quit work to raise her daughter. Now in her mid-thirties, Dan-i is a divorced single mother struggling to find a job.

Cha Eun-Ho is Dan-i’s childhood friend, author, and youngest chief editor at Gyeoro Publishing Company. He becomes more involved in Dan-i’s life after she lies about her education background and starts working at the publishing company as a contract worker.

I thought the first episode was kind of boring and stopped watching halfway. I’m really happy I decided to watch the rest of the episode the next day, because I ended up really loving it! So, if you’ve tried watching this, things do pick up. It just finished airing yesterday, so it’s the perfect time to binge.

From the very beginning of the show, you know Eun-Ho is in love with Dan-i, and she’s completely oblivious to it (seriously, how?!). The actress playing Dan-i is 10 years older than the guy playing Eun-Ho. It didn’t seem weird to me, but it seems to bother a lot of people.

The romance between Eun-ho and Dan-i is slow burn. I thought they had better platonic chemistry than romantic chemistry. Their kissing and cuddling scenes felt a little more awkward than the other Asian dramas I’ve seen (y’all know what I’m talking about with the non-puckered lip kiss lol).

The entire show doesn’t focus on Eun-Ho and Dan-i. There are a lot of characters working at the publishing company and multiple subplots. All the side characters are great! I found their stories interesting and more exciting than the main plot at times.

There’s one thing that really bothered me about the show. I thought it was weird how Dan-i’s daughter was conveniently out of the country going to school, so she’s never around. I think she was in like two episodes when Dan-i was calling or FaceTiming her? I would have liked to have seen some scenes with Eun-Ho and Dan-i’s daughter.

Overall, it was a well-rounded show, and there weren’t any loose ends that I can think of off the top of my head. I’m very satisfied with the ending! If you like slow burn romantic comedies, check this out.

Top Ten Tuesday | Books On My Spring TBR

Hey guys! Sorry I’m not consistent with Top Ten Tuesdays. Sometimes I can’t think of anything for the theme, or I’m too lazy and uninspired to do anything… Which is quite often these days.

As you can see from the books I’ve been reviewing, I’m still focusing on reading for my personal growth and edification, so most of these are religious… There are a few middle grade fantasy books though! I’m really hoping to get back in the groove of reading Middle Grade and YA. I sure do miss it.

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1) If God Is For Us: The Everlasting Truth of Our Great Salvation
by Trillia J. Newbell

I know this doesn’t really count as a book by some standards… It’s a 6 week Bible study over Romans 8. Moody Publishers and the author will be hosting an online Bible study that starts April 1.

Have you joined? If not, sign up here!

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2) Foundations of the Christian Faith: A Comprehensive & Readable Theology (Revised and Expanded)
by James Montgomery Boice

I started this massive tome a couple of weeks ago. I’m already halfway through it. I’ve been taking SO many notes. I also really love how this edition has a study guide in the back.

If all goes according to plan, I should have this finished by the first week of April!

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3) Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament
by Mark Vroegop

This is a book about lamenting (obviously), with some personal stories thrown in here and there. I’m only four chapters in, and it’s pretty good so far.

TW: Stillbirth and miscarriages.

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4) Echoes of Exodus: Tracing a Biblical Motif
by Bryan D. Estelle

I’ve been searching for some books on the Old Testament so I requested this for review (Crossway does have a book that was released shortly after called Echoes of Exodus: Tracing Themes of Redemption Through Scripture by Alastair Roberts). I’m really looking forward to reading and reviewing this book… Maybe in the future, I will compare/contrast it with the other book?

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5) The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ
by Fleming Rutledge

I’ve heard so many great things about this book from Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Reformed, and regular ol’ Protestants, so of course I have to check it out. I requested it from the publisher on a whim and was over the moon when I checked my mail and saw my request was approved!

I flipped through the book and there are so many footnote sources. I’m soooo excited.

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6) None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God
by Matthew Barrett

One of the main reasons I requested this book is because Matthew Barrett teaches at a seminary school I’m considering in the distant future… I also want to start hoarding systematic theologies.

(I want to do women’s ministry and apologetics, but at the same time, I don’t know if I can handle the stress of seminary.)

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7 – 10) Books 2 – 5 of the Five Kingdoms series
by Brandon Mull

I read Sky Raiders, the first book in the Five Kingdoms series back in December. While I remember a majority of the book (Mull’s worlds are always unique and memorable), it was an ~okay~ start to the series. I certainly didn’t love it as much as Fablehaven, but I do plan on continuing with the series and seeing where things go!

Considering the mini-slump I’m in with YA and Middle Grade, I’m being pretty ambitious.

Bible Review | The NIV Artisan Collection Bible

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Excuse my 50-year-old kitchen counters, and terrible lighting. 

The NIV Artisan Collection Bible by Zondervan is so pretty! There are four cover styles in this collected designed by Edna Marie Esparra, founder of Everlasting Words Designs. I’m reviewing the pink floral edition with Psalm 46:5 quoted in metallic script. The other designs include navy succulents, teal music notes, and pink daisies with butterflies for girls.

What’s really unique about this Bible is the hidden art when the pages are fanned! It’s such a cool feature! The pages are gold gilded with a hint of the floral design if you’re at the right angle.

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The other features include:  Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface (9.9pt), words of Jesus in red, not one but TWO ribbon markers, wide lined margins for notes and artwork, and a few lined pages in the back for notes.

While the pages do appear a bit on the thin side, they do feel sturdy and turn easily. They’re also not white, but more like… Almond? Using flash shows the color better than my awful kitchen lighting.

Overall, I’m very impressed with this Bible. If you’re looking for a super girly journaling Bible in a translation that’s easy to understand, this is the one for you! I hope my friend’s mom likes it! 😀

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Convergence by Ginny Yytrup

Synopsis: Psychology professor Dr. Denilyn Rossi contends that the past is either a shadow that haunts us or a force that propels us. The choice is ours, she tells her students. What she doesn’t tell them is that her own past is a shadow she can’t seem to shake. Fear has immobilized her and is taking a costly toll.

Adelia Sanchez, however, has embraced Dr. Rossi’s teaching. She is ready to confront fear and render it powerless—using the trauma of her past to propel her to entrap the man who stalked and brutally attacked her.

As Denilyn’s past and Adelia’s present converge at the Kaweah River, a dangerous man bent on destruction threatens them both. Will he uncover the secret Deni and Adelia have fought so hard to protect?

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I thought the plot was super choppy, and the multiple points of view with flashbacks were done poorly. There is literally half a page that describe getting and opening a package. I read the section out loud to my family, and they thought it was ridiculous, too. lol

“I stopped, picked up the package, and saw that it was addressed to me. I carried it into my office and set it on my desk as I unplugged my phone. Just as I was about to turn on the volume, the phone vibrated in my hand. […] With some time to spare, I saw down at the desk, reached into the top drawer for my  letter opener, and then picked up the package. It was wrapped in brown shipping paper and hand addressed. I didn’t recognize the handwriting when I glanced at the box. I slipped the opener under the packing tape, slit it, and pulled the wrap off the box. I crumpled the paper and tossed it into the trash can beneath my desk. Then I lifted the lid and found another, much smaller box inside, this one wrapped in gold foil gift paper.
Before opening the gift I rifled through the packing material in the box to make sure I hadn’t missed a card…”

If you’ve been following my reviews or blog for a while, you know how I feel about lengthy descriptions. There are way too many descriptions. I was annoyed with the descriptions and Adelia’s boring chapters… I had to stop reading half way in… Which sucks because I joined the launch team and received a free copy from the publisher.

Just because I don’t like the book doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it. Read it and see if you like it! Let me know if it’s worth suffering through all the descriptions.

Devotedly by Valerie Elliot Shepard

Devotedly is the personal letters and love story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. This ~300 page book is six chapters, one for each year from 1948 to 1953. There are photos and hand written letters scattered throughout. Between Jim and Elisabeth’s letters is some commentary from their only daughter Valerie. I will say, the typed out letters were written in a small font that I didn’t much care for.

In a nutshell… This is a beautiful story about two sinful people deeply devoted to God, and their friendship that grew into love.

It’s difficult reviewing non-fiction, and I always feel uncomfortable reading people’s letters and diaries. Like, this is an intimate part of people’s lives… I feel like it’s not for my eyes!

After reading this, I was beginning to wonder, would the Elliot’s approve of their daughter publishing their letters for the world to see? Their letters are personal and very intimate a times. But at the same time, I’m glad they were published. Their devotion to God before their devotion to each other is really inspiring.

* I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

What I’ve Been Watching

I have a pile of books I need to read for publishers and review programs… but I’m procrastinating.

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I couldn’t decide what Asian drama I wanted to watch next. I knew I wanted some cute romance because I’m in a mood (when am I not… lol). When I turned on Netflix, Romance is a Bonus Book was featured, so I watched the trailer and decided to give it a shot. The first episode was super boring. I stopped watching about half way… But, then the next day, I decided to try it again, and now I love it!

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After I watched Ghost in January, Hymn of Death was recommended. I watched the super vague trailer and wasn’t interested, but after watching Romance is a Bonus Book, I realized Lee Jong-suk was the lead, so I started watching it (hehe)… And then Netflix removed the last three episodes. What the heck, Netflix?!

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I binged the second season of The Dragon Prince in one sitting. This show is so awesome, I don’t understand why there isn’t more hype!

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My mom and I watched You last weekend. We both liked the first two and the last two episodes. The rest of the show was kind of boring. This would have been better as a mini series.

And last week, I watched Tiding Up with Marie Kondo because I needed background noise… I now need to clean everything.

Children’s Picture Book | The Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

The Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible is a Zonderkidz (Zondervan’s children’s branch) storybook created by Joanna Rivard and Tim Penner. All scripture quotations in this are from the New Living Translation (NLT). The NLT is my personal favorite whenever it comes to children.

This book is chronological, for the most part, and it is more paraphrased than word for word stories. The first half has creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Saul, David, Solomon, Daniel, and Jonah. The second half has Jesus’ birth, John the Baptist, Jesus’ ministry, some parables, the crucifixion (which is briefly mentioned), resurrection, Pentecost, and Paul.

The illustrations are adorable (after I realized the eyes do in fact have tiny black pupils and aren’t just scary white circles), and some are really funny (like Joseph wearing black and white striped clothing when he was a prisoner). I’m really sad Esther and Ruth weren’t featured, along with Job and some of the OT prophets! I also would have loved to see Lazarus, and some of the events in the epistles.

I’m a little annoyed sin wasn’t mentioned, and the part about the Nile turning into blood said, “First, God made the water in the river impossible to drink and all the fish in it died.” It was just little things here and there that weren’t 100% accurate. So this was more like Tiny (Partial) Truths.

Regardless, this is a cute book and it’s great for children of all ages.

Bible Review | Wiersbe Study Bible

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

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From the Publisher: Now you can experience Dr. Warren Wiersbe’s lifetime of powerful Bible teaching in one place. Whether through his bestselling “BE Series” commentaries or his popular “Back to the Bible” radio ministry, Dr. Wiersbe has guided millions into a life-transforming encounter with God’s Word. Now, in this single volume, you have access to Dr. Wiersbe’s trustworthy, accessible explanations of the Bible’s truths and promises, through his comprehensive system of study and application notes. Make the most of your time reading, studying, and reflecting on Scripture with The Wiersbe Study Bible.

I’m reviewing the black imitation leather edition. This study Bible also comes in hardcover, genuine brown leather, and a beautiful imitation burgundy leather with a floral pattern. The black Bible has silver gilded pages (that are so shiny and reflective you can probably take a mirror selfie in), blue stitching and two ribbons (one black, and one blue).

This Bible has two columns for both the Bible text and study notes. The size of the font is 10.5, and the letters of Jesus are in red. This Bible lays flat when opened, and the paper quality is really great.

This Bible contains thousands of verse-by-verse notes by Dr. Wiersbe, hundreds of Catalyst notes that dive deeper into biblical themes, “Be Transformed” sections in each book, and full color maps. Each book begins with an introduction on historical background, themes, and practical lessons.

What a blessing it is to have this Bible with Dr. Wiersbe’s notes! Plus, the concordance in this Bible is MASSIVE. It’s such an excellent resource for laymen and preachers.

Discipleship Essentials by Greg Ogden

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

An all new revised and expanded edition of Discipleship Essentials: A Guide to Building Your Life in Christ by Greg Ogden was published last month. This contains over 25 studies that were designed for groups of three, but can be done as an individual, one-on-one, or in small groups. This is a great tool for new and old believers alike.

When I first read there were 25 studies, I thought this would be a gargantuan book, but it’s less than 300 pages. This book is broken up into four parts: Growing up in Christ, Understanding the Message of Christ, Becoming Like Christ, and Serving Christ. Each chapter covers Core Truth (a topic each chapter is built around), a memory verse, and inductive Bible study, and a contemporary reading section with questions. I like how most of the reading sections had a book recommendation for further reading on that topic.

Each Core Truth includes a question and an answer. For example, chapter one says:

“What is discipling?

Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip and challenge one another in love to grow towards maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to make disciples who make disciples.”

Afterwards, there are some questions asking to identify key words or phrases in the question and answer, and to state their meaning in your own words. Then you’re asked to write down any questions or issues you have.

Next, you have a memory verse and study guide. To get the full context of your memory verse, you’re asked to read a chapter or section, then you write the memory verse down, and answer some questions.

The next section is an inductive Bible study where you read some verses or a chapter. I found that it was easier to answer the questions after reading the reading section… which is 3-5 pages long, and includes even more questions! Overall, each chapter has ~20 question that will definitely provide a long and deep group discussion.

The space for writing your answers is about an inch or so. Because I write fairly large, I used a notebook. The paper is thick enough to use a pen instead of a pencil, if you like living dangerously.

An example of some of the questions are:
“What does Paul mean when he writes that ‘the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children?'”
“How does God satisfy his justice and mercy?”
“What does it mean that the righteousness of God ‘has been made known’ apart from the law?”

At the end of the book is an appendix on building a discipleship ministry and a leader’s guide. If you’ve never heard of this book and you’re looking for something to do with your church, small group, or even a family devotional, check this out! It’s really fantastic.