Dave Bruskas’ advice for Sons | A wonderful parent’s guide by Tynedale House

If you read this post an hour ago when it posted, you may have noticed that it was incomplete.

We had a few technical difficulties but I think I’ve got them all sorted out now.


Today I am reviewing “Dear Son” by David Bruskas. 

I mostly requested this book because I am a single mother and I need all the help I can get with my young son – who is 11 at the moment.

And my advice to you, is to

Whether you ARE a father, or you plan to become a father some day… Whether you are a single mother or a man who is new to Faith and in need of help along the way… If you are a man who has not been the father you need to be or the son who needs to heal the relationship with their own father.

This is the book for you!

This is the book for ALL fathers, sons, young men about to become fathers or single mothers who don’t know how to teach their sons what they’re missing from the father who should be there.


Dave Bruskas GETS IT. So many people today say that things have changed – and while that is certainly true – God has not changed and he never will. And, while our world is confusing and troubled – the relationship between father and son is just as vital as it always has been.

Now, I am not a man or a young boy but I had a distressing relationship with my father for years and when I finally began to realize that I needed to treat him the way the Bible told me to, we began to relate in a way that we never have. I can only imagine the drastic changes we would see in this country if all young men began to do this as well.

One thing Dave Bruskas seems to understand better than most pastors I know is that God truly is a Father to the Fatherless – even those who have a father who is physically there but doesn’t really know how to BE a father. Most of us don’t think about those children. We focus on the children who don’t have a father physically present in their lives. Those are the kids who miss out – right?

Not the ones who understand that God is their Father!

There are parts of this book that are a bit brutal and I applaud that. Too many people tiptoe around the truth because they’re concerned they might possibly offend someone. And, while I am not a fan of the harsh ways some people try to evangelize (bloody pictures of Christ on the side of a bus or truck or a depiction of what we think Hell might be like on a billboard), I do believe that people need to hear and see the truth. And sometimes that truth needs to be brutal.

The words may be harsh in places but the format of the book is not – quite the opposite actually. Dave writes a series of letters to the son he never got to see grow up. It’s heartbreaking but it gives a unique perspective that so many of us – with perfectly healthy young sons – take for granted.

I am truly blessed to have found this book and I am anxious to pass it on to my son. Most of the information in it is helpful to me right now but one day soon, he will need to read it too.




Here is what Tynedale House Publishers has to say about “Dear Son”:

Today’s culture doesn’t encourage men to grow up.

Everyone from pastors to op-ed columnists have described a crisis of masculinity, fostered by a media culture that uniformly make men the butts of jokes.

Men are much more likely to give up on life than women. One indicator of this is the large gender difference in suicide rates—men are four times more likely than women to drop out of life. This points to a profound lack of effective mentoring of men, especially in the church.

Dave Bruskas seeks to fill in this gap with this book. Two decades ago, Dave lost his only infant son to a congenital heart defect. That devastating loss fueled his desire to provide effective mentoring to young men.

Dear Son contains the guidance and insights Dave would have given his son if he had lived through the milestones of growing up: from first dates to first jobs, from weddings to births, from friendships to funerals.

Dear Son contains heartfelt wisdom for life’s journey, especially for guys—and for those who want to strengthen them.



You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.



MARS HILL CHURCH   RESURGANCE – A Ministry of Mars Hill Church


I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the Tynedale Blog Network.




I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

A MUST READ for every parent – whether you have girls or not | “Raising a Princess” by John Croyle

Raising A Princess by John CroyleFair warning: This book may make those of you with tender hearts – cry… hard.

Not all of us are called to be an advocate for children but all of us who follow Christ should do everything they can to stand up for and help any child who is not being treated the way they should – even if all we can do about that treatment is pray!

No. It’s not enough to just be a good parent to your own children, although that is one good way to show others how children should be treated.

It’s also very important to raise up our children the way we want them to raise up their own.

If more parents were properly informed of how to be the parent that God calls us to be, there would be a lot less children in need of wonderful organizations like the Big Oak Ranch.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to EVERY parent! Having said that, it really doesn’t matter if you have children yet or not and it doesn’t matter if you have children but only boys…

Boys need the principles in this book just as much as girls. They also need to know to look for a young woman with all of these principles to marry one day. And they need to know how to incorporate these principles in their own children one day.

I feel it would be beneficial reading for parents who might not have had the best childhood themselves.

After reading this book with tears running down my cheeks, I realized that I was just as much in need of these principles as my daughter. I have spent so much of my life thinking very little of myself – because I listened, far too much, to the people in the world. Unfortunately the world is, far too often, full of people who do everything they can to drag you down.

And I didn’t have a clue that I needed to be praiseworthy, righteous, stable… I never knew how important it was to have a servant’s heart or Christ-like character. Nobody taught me – and it wasn’t really my mother’s fault either because nobody taught her either. And my dad is another story that I won’t go into here…

But since I became a mother, I have finally begun to follow God’s leading in my heart and in my life and with that has come a greater understanding of what being a mother means according to his word.

And I feel that this book will be a tremendous help in that endeavor. As it would be for any other parent who is trying to raise a Proverbs 31 woman!




What B&H has to say about Raising a Princess:

The Bible’s frequently referenced chapter of Proverbs 31 defines godly womanhood.

In Raising a Princess, greatly respected child advocate John Croyle asks, “How do you equip a daughter to become the kind of woman who is described in Proverbs 31?” After all, a woman like that doesn’t appear out of nowhere. Somebody taught her to rise before dawn to provide for her household. Somebody gave her the moral compass to reach out her hand to the needy. Somebody taught her the business principles that made it possible for her to consider a field and buy it. Perhaps most importantly, somebody gave her a sufficiently strong sense of self that made it possible for her to go out and make a huge impact on the world around her.

Raising a Princess begins with the end in mind. The end is the Proverbs 31 woman; Croyle keeps her squarely in view as he looks at what parenting techniques help the reader to raise a princess who will someday be a queen. Based on Croyle’s life and experience parenting more than 1,800 abused and neglected children at Big Oak Ranch, alongside his two biological children, the book is organized around eight virtues a parent can build in his or her princess:

P: Praiseworthiness
R: Righteousness
I: Initiative
N: Nurturing
C: Character
E: Empowered
S: Servant-Hearted
S: Stability


For more about the book, click HERE for the book page at B&H

Click HERE for ChristianBooks   HERE for GoodReads

For more information about BIG OAK RANCH, click HERE






While I did receive this book free in exchange for an honest review from B & H Publishing,
I plan to purchase as many of John Croyle’s other books as I can find because…
100% of the author’s proceeds from his books goes to the children at BIG OAK RANCH!


Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.


Goldtown Adventures Book 1 | “Badge of Honor” by Susan K. Marlow | AND A BONUS! Don’t miss it!

20140410-084121.jpgBadge of Honor is book 1 of Susan K. Marlow‘s series Goldtown Adventures.

I tried to find book 2 – Tunnel of Gold but have been unsuccessful so far. So I will be reviewing Book 1 and then books 3 & 4 for Kregel Publishing.

This is an excellent series for young children. It’s a good length for their short attention spans and I believe the story will catch their interest and not let go.

Reading about a young boy, intent on striking it rich will appeal to children of any age – especially boys.

And it’s so nice to find a good series that’s aimed at young boys. There are plenty of series written with young girls in mind but a clean, decent series that will attract the interest of young boys is hard to come by.

And… even though Jem gets himself into trouble a lot, there is a strong message of what is right weaved into the story line so the book presents both perspectives well.

Here is a bit more about the book from Kregel Publishing:

Twelve-year-old Jeremiah “Jem” Coulter knows that Goldtown, California, has seen the last of the gold rush. But the flecks of gold he and an old prospector, “Strike,” find in their played-out claim on Cripple Creek spur Jem’s hope of striking it rich. In the meantime, he and his sister, Ellie, sell frog legs and firewood to bring in extra cash.

When Jem’s father accepts a job as sheriff of lawless Goldtown, Jem is suddenly saddled with an additional responsibility–to run their broken-down ranch. He faces a hard path as he tries to be a man and make his father proud, but then Cripple Creek mysteriously dries up and Strike suddenly disappears. Jem is determined to find out why. Can anything be worse than being a sheriff’s kid? Will outlaws use his father’s badge for target practice? Is that silver star just a target . . . or truly a badge of honor?

Readers ages 8 to 14 fell in love with Susan Marlow’s Circle C Adventures. Now the same adventurous spirit and historical lure are back in a brand new series featuring a new cast of characters and exciting escapades. As educational as it is entertaining, the Goldtown Adventures series is one the whole family will enjoy.

And speaking of Kregel, they are offering a special promotion for the length of their blog tour for books 3 & 4 of this series. Don’t miss it!

During the blog tour week Kregel is offering River of Peril and Canyon of Danger to readers for free on the first day and $1.99 for the rest of the tour.

Canyon of Peril links:
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

River of Peril links:
Barnes & Noble
Google Play


For more about book 1 – Badge of Honor…

You can click HERE to read more on Kregel’s website or to buy the book.

Click HERE to see the book on ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

And click HERE for Susan K. Marlow’s website.

There is also a website dedicated to this series HERE!





“Heaven – What’s it like? How do we get there?” by Stephen Elkins

18232504I have to say this first… even though the book is really good, in my opinion – I don’t like that the top of the book says

“Created by” Stephen Elkins.

So many people just toss around the words “created by:” like it’s common but no one stops to think that we are incapable of creating anything. ONLY GOD can create something from nothing.

Anything that we come up with or build comes from things that God created or talents that he blessed us with.

But that’s just a personal pet-peeve of mine. Don’t let it stop you from reading the book.

So, onto my opinion about the book:

Like many people, I have children who are not at all sure about God and Heaven and how being Saved really works.

I feel this book is a valuable resource for anyone whose children are in that camp.

It’s difficult for some of us adults to remember just how big and scary the whole idea is. We think of God and Heaven and we think about how wonderful it sounds but to a child – I can see how it could be scary instead of wonderful.

This book does a great job showing kids that Heaven is nothing to be frightened of.

And it doesn’t stop there. The first section of the book talks about Heaven and what it’s like. Then there is a section that talks about how we get there. Then it talks about how we can live like Jesus did.

Now we all know that living like Jesus alone is not what gets us to Heaven – It’s believing in him and accepting him into your heart that does it. After that of course, you will want to live like Jesus so you can show his love to everyone around you and I think this book gets that point across beautifully.

So I say, buy it! Read it with your kids! Share it with your neighbors and their children!

Share God’s love all around!

4 Stars


And here is a bit more about the book from Tynedale publishing:

“Heaven is exciting! Heaven is big! Heaven is safe! Heaven is forever!” Heaven: What’s It Like? How Do We Get There? is the first in a brand new children’s series titled First Steps. This series explains the foundations of the Christian faith in sensitive and simple child-friendly terms. In this first book kids will understand, through 60 rhyming stories and colorful illustrations, what heaven is all about. Children will be inspired and uplifted by the hope and promise of Heaven and their heavenly Father. This is a comforting book for children who have lost grandparents or other loved ones. In addition to learning about heaven, children will be inspired to live their earthly lives in a way that is glorifying and honoring to God.

And you can click HERE to visit the book page on Tynedale’s website

HERE for ChristianBook.com HERE for GoodReads

And click HERE to learn more about the author and his ministry!





Disclaimer: I received the book free from the Tynedale Blogger program
in exchange for an honest review.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“Balanced” – Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom | by Tricia Goyer – an Invaluable resource!


Working at home while raising kids and juggling a career and family responsibilities is no easy feat. Author and homeschooling mom Tricia Goyer shares her tips for finding balance among all your many hats as a mom.

I follow Tricia Goyer on Facebook and twitter and her blog and I LOVE her books!

And I must admit that I too wonder how she does all that she does – or I did, until I read this book.

“Balanced” is a wonderful way of finding out the answer to all those questions. Tricia shares with other work-at-home moms how she handles all the hats she has to wear.

I’m not going to spoil it for you but I will say this – At one point in the book, Tricia makes a point of saying:

“Disclaimer. This book may not be for you if: You are looking for a simple how-to manual with only schedules, outlines, and agendas. You don’t think your spiritual life impacts your work and home life. You think the whole balance issue depends on you and not on your dependence on God.

In this book, there is as much inner work I’m going to talk about as there are ideas, helps, and tips for balancing. Because as someone who’s been working at home nearly all of my twenty-four years as a parent, I’ve discovered three main things:

  1. What I do isn’t as important as who I am.
  2. What God can do in my life and what He’s capable of doing can be two very different things—I don’t want to limit Him.
  3. My outward goals are only reachable if I submit my inward soul to God.

If this sounds like a book you need, good. If not, I understand! We moms only have so much time. You need to spend your time, energy, and hard-earned money on a book that will meet your expectations.

Know that I’m praying God will speak to your heart through my story. I hope you’ll discover good advice to help you follow the dreams God has placed in your heart and be the wife and mom you’ve always wanted to be.” – Direct quote from Tricia Goyer (Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom)

I really respect her for that. It takes a lot of courage and faith to present women with a reason they should not buy your book – and then to tell them you’re OK with it. Ironically, that makes me want to buy the book even more!

Tricia and I have a lot of different ideas on how a person should carry out their faith but they stem from the same ideals. And each Christian really does need to understand that they have a very different journey. Your walk with God is a very personal thing and what God calls one to do – he may not call another to. The point is this – I can see Tricia’s faith in every word. She may go about her faith and her witness differently than me but she definitely puts it all out there for the world to see!

As a homeschooling mom, I am encouraged by Tricia’s story and it definitely tells me I am doing something RIGHT! As a single mom, I am excited to see that Tricia gives so much of her time to help out other mothers – single and married alike. As a struggling writer, I am inspired by Tricia’s journey through writing and publishing and there is a lot of information in this book that benefits me greatly. Tricia talks about homeschool, faith, writing, family life and social media – and how to weave each one into your life without de-railing everything else.

And through it all is woven – a tale of faith so heartwarming, it renews my love for God all over again!

I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who is a struggling writer, a work-at-home mom, a home-schooler, new to Christian faith, or someone who is just interested in Tricia Goyer’s life! It’s a great read – no matter your reasoning!


Click HERE to find out more about the blog tour and for other extras from Litfuse.

Click HERE to see the GoodReads book page.

Click HERE for Amazon.com, where you can purchase the eBook for Kindle!

Click HERE to visit Tricia’s website.

And when you’re done with all that, pop in to the Balanced Challenge

Click the following link to RSVP for the Balanced Facebook Party on March 10th – to chat with Tricia, win goodies and learn more about the Balanced Challenge!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity book review program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Happy Reading



Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 22: Take a deep breath!

Only three days until Christmas now.

IMG_2106Kick back and fix yourself a nice cup of cocoa!


Throughout this season, we’ve all dealt with crazy traffic, rude drivers, angry shoppers and crazy weather.

Now the time is running out and we are all running around like crazy people.

Who else is feeling the pressure? Who else feels a little crazy?

This is why I say you should take a deep breath and fix yourself a nice cup of cocoa. Snuggle up with your kids and turn on a great Christmas movie and enjoy some time with your family.

Read a Christmas story as you put the kids to bed and enjoy some time with a good book.

Then you can get back to your Christmas shopping and wrapping.

GOD Bless you! And

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 14: Take a deep breath.


By now you’re hip-deep in shopping, wrapping, baking and juggling lists a mile long – of things you still have to do before the big day!

So I have one piece of advice for you.


Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing and take a deep breath.

Look around you and inventory the wonderful bits. Watch your children as they enjoy your wonderful baking or as they add one last toy to their Christmas list.

Take in the beauty of the decorations that adorn your home. Have a seat on the couch for even five minutes and look at your tree, the stockings, the lights.

Remember what is important this time of year – family, love.

Christmas is about love. Christmas is a celebration of God’s love. He sent us the ultimate gift and he did it ONLY out of love.

So take a minute to hug your children, your husband and tell them how much you love them. And remember that they are the ones that this holiday season is for!

11 Days til ChristmasMERRY CHRISTMAS!

God loves you!

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

25 Posts of Christmas Day 13: Christmas Cookies

Today’s post is a sugar-filled free-for-all of Cookie Goodness!

Hope you enjoy the yummy pictures and the delicious recipes! And I hope you grab your kids and go get baking!

I meant to do 12 for the 12 days of Christmas but I went over by a few. I’m sure you won’t mind…

EVERY PICTURE is linked to the recipe!

Sugar Cookies with Ornamental Frosting
Sugar Cookies with Ornamental Frosting
Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
Cinnamon Crinkles
Cinnamon Crinkles
Chocolate Snowball Cookies
Chocolate Snowball Cookies
Christmas Cookies
Christmas Cookies

To be 100% honest, I’m not certain the picture above is for the recipe on the page – I think it’s just a pretty picture they found. But don’t miss the page, there are a bunch of GREAT recipes shared!

Peanut Butter Rudolph Reindeer Cookies
Peanut Butter Rudolph Reindeer Cookies
Chocolate Mint Wafer Cookies
Chocolate Mint Wafer Cookies
Wreath Cookies
Wreath Cookies
Silver Bells
Silver Bells
Sugar Thumbprints
Sugar Thumbprint Cookies
Minty Christmas Cookies
Minty Christmas Cookies
Snowflake Shortbread COokies
Snowflake Shortbread Cookies
Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
Chocolate-Glazed Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
Chocolate-Glazed Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

BE CAREFUL – the site for the recipe below is not entirely family-friendly.

Be careful. This site is not completely family-friendly.
Peppermint Twist Kisses

And of course, we can’t have a Cookie-overload post without a recipe for Peppermint Bark!

Peppermint Bark
Peppermint Bark


And while you’re baking and sampling, consider your neighbors, your postman(woman), your landlord, your teachers (if your kids are in public school).

Send cookies to your loved ones! It’s great for two things!

– Your time and your care and your love goes into them as you bake. The people you share them with will appreciate that.

– You won’t gain an extra 20 pounds because you’re eating tons of cookies! LOL!

12 Days til Christmas

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

(UPDATED) Bake Through the Bible by Susie Bentley & Bekah Moore

(UPDATED) I feel it only fair to tell you that I have now attempted some of these recipes with my children and there are a couple of concerns I have:

First: the cookie recipes appear to be the pretty much the same cookie each time with only changes to make them roll-able or shape-able and my kids did not enjoy the taste of them, which shocks me because HELLO they’re cookies.

Second: the other recipes are not what I would call kid-friendly recipes. I thought the kids would jump at the little pizzas and the bread play but that was not our experience. They didn’t even want to make half of them, and the ones they did make, they wouldn’t eat.

So good for activity maybe and maybe good for relaying the Bible stories but not really foods that kids will eat.


I received this book FREE in exchange for an honest review from Cross-Focused Reviews. I cannot honestly say whether or not I would have spent what the sticker price for this book is since my family is on a very tight budget and it seems a bit high.


This book has 20 Bible stories that go along with a fun recipe for the kids to try out. Personally I can say that my children enjoy the simple, engaging style, they are told in.

It’s designed to take your child through the main storyline of the Bible. I feel there are a lot of important stories that could have been added but I’m guessing it’s not easy to match up recipes with all of these stories.

But then, maybe they’ll come out with another one sometime. Make it a whole series…

Along with the stories there are questions to discuss while you’re cooking and even a recap to use while you’re eating what you’ve cooked.

“Cooking activities include: – Sparkly promise cookies to remember God’s wonderful promises to Abraham – Happy crepe faces in response to God’s promise to send His Rescuer and Forever-King – Spiral tuna wraps for a picnic that links with Jesus’ miracle of feeding thousands – An empty bread tomb with Easter dips to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection… You don’t have to be a good cook—just ready to have some fun as you Bake through the Bible!” – Cross Focused Reviews

We have not completed all of these recipes yet. We are adding this book to our homeschool and going through them slowly, doing one a week. I am going to post about that experience HERE on my Cooking Adventures With Kids blog!

It’s a great opportunity to learn
AND have yummy treats too!

I have read through the book though and I can tell you this. The stories are engaging and simple. The recipes look like a lot of fun! And the kids are excited to get started! That alone tells me this is a GREAT book for kids!

I would recommend this book to parents, especially those of you who may be having some difficulty getting them to understand the BIG bible stories. The interactive nature gives children a whole new understanding of how the stories relate to them personally.

And Now some information from the
Cross Focused Reviews website…

About the Authors: Susie grew up near Birmingham, UK. Having studied in Durham, in the north-east of England, she now lives in Oxford and is part of Magdalen Road Church. Susie has a background in secondary-school English teaching and worked full-time in that context for five years. She is married to Pete and they have a son called Joshua.

Bekah was born and brought up in South Yorkshire. She studied French and Russian in Durham. She then taught French before teaching teenagers with multiple learning difficulties in a Special School. Bekah is married to Nick and currently lives in Oxford with their two-year-old son Simeon. They are part of St Ebbe’s Church.

Book Information:

  • Publisher: The Good Book Company (2013)
  • ISBN: 9781909559004
  • Page Count: 64

Blog Tour Details:

  • Tour Dates: October 7-13, 2013
  • Available Formats: Paperback (Continental US Only)

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below. I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

God Bless You!