REVIEW: Good, or God by John Bevere

 “Good or God?: Why Good Without God Isn’t Enough by John Bevere

John Bevere doesn’t mince words. In “Good, or God?“, he shares the hard truth that what we consider to be “good” is often vastly different from what God would say is “good”.

John touches on topics such as God’s best for us, the devil’s strategies, focus, the lordship of Jesus, obedience, desires, our defaults, holiness, and so much more.

Some of John’s theology I disagree with (eg. it seems he believes you can still end up in hell due to your actions, even if you’ve already accepted God’s gift of salvation). However, overall, this book had a lot of excellent points, and very important reminders. I definitely recommend it.


Paid Book Reviews and Blogging: Choices

I read a really interesting article, the other day, about the debate over whether or not blogger-reviewers should be paid for the book reviews they provide. Apparently, there’s quite the divide on this topic!

PaidBookReviews + Blogging | A Daily Rhythm

As my blog is now my business as well, I obviously am primed to think about ways to make money doing what I do (that’s not my sole purpose, obviously, but it certainly accounts for part of things, nowadays). And of course, I have been an independent book reviewer since 2005, so the thought has crossed my mind, occasionally, over the years: “Wouldn’t it be great to be paid to do this?” Yes, I’m “paid” in free books, right now — and I’m certainly not complaining about that! I’ve loved it, as –without this opportunity– I wouldn’t have had access to near the same amount of books! Our family funds have never been more than “barely scraping by”, so the book budget has been next to non-existent.

However, I think there comes a point where it starts to weigh on you that you’re doing all of this “work” for free. Some of the points in the article and its comments were that, even though companies don’t think twice, in other industries, about paying the people they get to do their marketing and promotion for them, for some reason, in the book reviewing world, there’s this expectation that it should be done for free (and, if bloggers “dare” to charge for their services, publishers will just go elsewhere, and other bloggers will look down on you for “selling out”).

Mind you, all of that said, I’m not considering doing reviews for money. Not at the moment, anyway. I just wanted to bring this discussion to light, as it has brought me to a conclusion I think I’d already been working my way toward … giving up reviewing (at least for a while).

reading | A Daily RhythmSince starting to work for myself three years ago, I’ve not had the same amount of time to read as I used to (back when I started reviewing, I was a stay-at-home-mom, with no job). Case in point, my total read in 2012 was 80 books … my total books read this year? Only 14. I know, right? 😦

More often than not, any more, I find myself either overwhelmed because I requested more books than I realistically had time to read, OR I just feel resentful of the review books I’ve asked for as they’re keeping me from reading my other (non-review) books, or library books that catch my attention.

Side note: This is why you saw a bunch of “spotlight” posts, the other day… I wanted to “clear my plate”, so-to-speak of all of the review books I’m behind on by –at the very least– spotlighting them, and giving you guys a heads-up about them. My hope is to start the new year fresh. And, like I said, I’m not sure I’m going to do any reviewing in 2016. If I do, it’ll be very, very sporadic … maybe 2-3 for the whole year (if I can discipline myself enough to not request any! LOL)

My true desire is to start reading from my own stash of books, and finally get around to some that I’ve purchased, recently, and not had time for. AND, in getting to those books, I would really like to do a new feature called “Read & Respond“, where I’ll talk about my thoughts on the books I’m currently reading, and look to start discussions about those topics. I’ve got some great books lined up, too! I can’t wait to share them!

books-from-Chapters | A Daily Rhythm

<– {these are just a few … I’ve got another big pile waiting for me!}

I also need to do more writing on my blog in 2016. Thus far, it’s been mainly my memes. And while those are fun — and I know you guys love them (don’t worry — the majority are staying!)– I have other things I’d like to share with you here, as well… things like how-to’s on blogging and writing and small business, and –like I mentioned– I want to do a regular “read & respond” type of thing. Lots of plans in the works!

Speaking of plans and of writing, I also hope to have my email newsletter up in the new year! I know it’s been a long time in coming… I’m sorry. But I’m getting there, finally. My new mailing list is up (yay!), and the next step will be to get that newsletter out. Well, I’m hoping to get my branding stuff settled first, and then I’ll get the newsletter out … hence why it’s not starting right away. Once it does go out, though, you can expect a once-a-month letter from me (if you’re signed up for my list), and it will include exclusive content that you won’t find here on the blog, plus contests and other goodies. So, if you haven’t signed up for the list yet (you’ll have to sign up, again, as it won’t be coming through the plain WordPress follower feed), I encourage you to do so. Right now, what you’ll get when you sign up is just my feed of the posts I publish here. The bonus, though, is that you can choose what you see! 😉

So, that’s what’s going on ’round here, at this time… I know some of you have had some trouble with my new layout, and I do apologize… but I hope the screenshot I shared will clear things up. Personally, I’m liking the cleaner, more simplistic feel of this template than what came with the old one. So I hope you’ll bear with me through the changes.

Thanks so much for being loyal readers! I pray you’ll all have a safe & blessed Christmas season in the coming weeks.

“What Keeps You Up At Night?” by Pete Wilson: A REVIEW

What Keeps You Up at Night?: How to Find Peace While Chasing Your Dreams *
by Pete Wilson

I absolutely love Pete’s writing style. It’s fun, engaging, but wise, too (part of this is probably because I’ve gotten to know Pete’s character from following him on Facebook! LOL).

This book talks about chasing after your God-given dreams – relentlessly – as well as about trusting God to provide guidance, and learning when to let go.

I definitely needed to read this book, right now.

“Waiting On God” by Wayne Stiles: A Review

Waiting on God: What to Do When God Does Nothing* by Wayne Stiles

This book is best for anyone who has been waiting on God for something, and anyone who has started to wonder if God is still going to act or if He has forgotten all about them and their situation.

Wayne’s writing style is down-to-earth enough that it doesn’t require a lot of brain power to read this one. Yet, I did find him to be a tad bit “preachy”. Not overly so, though.

Wayne takes the reader through the biblical story of Joseph (the dreamer whose brothers sold him into Egyptian slavery). Through Joseph’s story, we see that God is always in control, despite how things might appear. And we see that God has a plan and a purpose for every single thing that happens in our lives. God can even use our mistakes and turn them into our greatest moments. But we need to learn to trust God, and lean into His timing!

Overall, I did find a lot of great take aways from this book. But the somewhat somber and “preachy” bits were annoying. There is a lot of description of things in this book that didn’t feel necessary — though, perhaps I’m just not the author’s intended audience.

I would recommend this book to those who are tired and weary in having to wait on God. It CAN renew your sense of hope and your faith in God’s timing.

Thank you to Baker Books for providing me a complimentary copy of this book for review.

Slow Reading? A Novel Concept

Since 2002, it was my goal to read 52 books per year (or – preferably – more!). It started as a Yahoo!  book group called “Book-a-Week“… an early version of the yearly reading challenge. And as the years passed and my hunger for reading grew, my yearly totals climbed to the point where I was consistently reading approximately 75 books per year. During that time, it was normal for me to read 4-6 books per month… sometimes as many as 9 or 10 books per month! The key was, though, that I was only working very part-time (maybe 10-20 hours per month ), and my kids were already past the “littles” stage where they needed constant attention. So, reading was all I really did.


Around 2011, this all started to change. I ended up working full-time, which left me too exhausted to pick up a book after work. As such, my number of books read in a year plummeted. Two years later, I started my first business, and almost all of my time went toward business endeavors — meaning my numbers continued to drop.

Now into August 2015, I’m still self-employed, and I have read a grand total of nine (9) books, so far, this year! SINGLE digits!

totalbooksread-MizB-ADRPart of me has decided that I no longer care about the numbers, though. This year’s goal was merely to enjoy the books I do manage to read, so –by that standard– I’m doing well!

Don’t get me wrong: Enjoyment in my reading has always been a priority! It was never just about how many books I could read in a year. I’ve still managed to discover some amazing authors and books over the past 13 years, too.

Several weeks ago, while reading an advanced reader copy of Emily P. Freeman’s newest book, “Simply Tuesday“*, I came across something that jumped out at me, and made me stop to think — and it’s still on my mind! Emily wrote:

| For the past several months, I’ve been reading… (p.120) |

It seems silly, but this was such a novel concept for me… that you could actually be reading the same book for MONTHS! I don’t know that I’ve ever  devoted that much time to a single book!

But, what if..?

What if I chose to be intentionally s-l-o-w with my reading? To take my time and savor one book?

After years of reading challenges and a focus on numbers, I’m really liking the idea of slow reading. In fact, before I even read this quote from Emily, I’d started buying “chunkier” books (500-600+ pages), perhaps subconsciously hoping to spend more time with the books I choose to read. I guess time will tell whether or not “slow reading” is something I can get into.

I’m curious to know if others do this — if they spend more than a month with one book. Do you? If so, do you do so purposefully? Or, do other things in life dictate the pace of your reading?

If you aren’t a slow reader (yet), would you consider trying it? Why, or why not? What benefits do you think could be found in taking more time with a book?

REVIEW: “Simply Tuesday” by Emily P. Freeman

 Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World by Emily P. Freeman*

Emily has long been one of my favorite bloggers and authors. Her books resonate with me, deeply. A lot of times, while reading her stuff, I think, “I could have written that… it’s soooo me!” LOL

With Simply Tuesday, Emily has written another highly-relatable & engaging book. I love her friends-over-coffee style, and yet how she always challenges you to think deeper.

This book is about small-moment living, and how the kingdom of God can be found in our ordinary Tuesdays. It’s about creating/finding benches of community, and about embracing — not despising — the small beginnings. [this is my local bench, pictured below!…]


I loved that Emily talked about accepting smallness, and not needing to grow big. And the reminders that (1) we don’t get to control the outcomes, and (2) we can plant the seeds, but we can’t make them grow.

I know I’m going to need to re-read this book, at some point, as there was just sooooo much good stuff tucked inside. Highly recommended.

Check out the book’s website at for a cool, free video series! … also check out Emily’s blog …and search the hashtag #itssimplytuesday on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — lots of good to be had!


Note: I’m on the launch team for “Simply Tuesday“, and was sent a complimentary advanced reader copy of the book for review as part of that. 😉

What Purging My “Stuff” Has Taught Me (Part 1)

As you know, I had been reading Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing“. I finished reading it last Sunday, and started to put it into practice on Tuesday.

The book suggests you follow a specific order in your decluttering: Clothes, then books, then paperwork, etc. And, since I had already purged my clothes, recently (before reading the book), I started with my book collection: All 1500+ books!

Purging My Stuff: Lessons (A Daily Rhythm)

My house is tiny, so a lot of my books have been in my bedroom (7 shelves), and the rest have been in Rubbermaid totes out in my garage. I decided to try and go through every book in my room, first — you’re supposed to pull everything from one category out, and put it in a pile on the floor (you can create sub-categories, but I didn’t). Here’s what my pile looked like:


(…and that’s not even ALL of my books!)

My shelves were full, and double-stacked (books behind books). Here are the “before” pictures (and yes, I had a LOT of junk!)…



And, after three days of cleaning — both books, and paperwork — I am happy to say I have discarded about 15 boxes of books, and 4 bags of paperwork and junk! Check it out!


This shelf (above) got emptied, and then given to my son.


…which made room for my new “standing” desk! I finally have a work-from-home “office” space! 😀


These are some of the books I kept (above).


And, these are the rest of them! 😀

Isn’t that cool? I can already feel the difference in my room… it has been a weight lifted, emotionally. I never knew that it was there, before reading this book. Yet, when I read that I should get rid of everything that doesn’t spark joy, I knew –intuitively– that this was going to be a life-changer for me (the book’s title is definitely fitting!). And sure enough, I most definitely feel better … and I’m not even done! I’ve only just started to declutter!

In the beginning of her book, Marie talks about how this needs to be a mindset shift … if you don’t take on a new mindset, you also aren’t going to have things stick, once you make these changes. So I’ve been praying for a resolve to be ruthless in my decluttering and purging… Books are particularly hard for me to let go of, usually — and yet… this time has been different. I’ve stopped lying to myself, I guess. I used to say that I was keeping them all because I want to someday have my own in-home library room. And that’s still true. However, I know (now) that my tastes will change before I get to that point, so there’s really no point in me holding onto these books. The guilt and emotional “clutter” they have been giving me was getting to be too much. I knew I’d never read most of them anyway — I had too many to ever get to them all in my lifetime. Blasphemous as that sounds, it’s the truth.

I still love books. But now, the difference is that, when I look at my shelves, I no longer feel so much of a burden over all the unread books. Now I can say that I could reasonably read everything that’s left… and, what I see, when I look at them, just brings me joy — truly!

One of the things I really love is that they’re no longer double-stacked — well, mostly. 😉 There aren’t many that are “hiding” behind other books… so I can see them! And, with the shelves not being so full, there’s space… which also adds to the “light” feeling in the room.

Add to that the fact that I got rid of some of the “height” in the room (removing a 5-shelf bookcase, taking down two shelves that were on top of other shelves), and it really is a drastic change! And that is exactly what Marie says you’re going for — a drastic enough change that you have something “click” in your emotions and your brain, which will help you to never revert to your clutter-keeping ways again (here’s hoping!)

So yeah… So far, I’ve learned that I like the simpler style. And, I’ve learned that I need to be more honest with myself about what I can reasonably –what I SHOULD reasonably– have on hand. I’ve also learned that I take a LOT of notes! LOL.

notebooks taking over my small shelf!

notebooks taking over my small shelf!

I went through each notebook, and cut the notes out of the spiral bindings… then put each book’s notes into their own sheet protector, and gathered them all into binders. Now, instead of a huge pile of notebooks (that pretty much took up its own full shelf unit!), I have just 4 binders. And those take up a lot less room. 😉

Will I stop taking notes? Probably not. 😉

Another added benefit of all of this cleaning is that I’ve probably lost a few pounds! LOL. I’ve been soooo tired and sore from all of this work! Yet, it’s a good feeling… I’ve slept more soundly, this week, than I have in a long time.

Here’s to a changed lifestyle!

Friday Finds (August 8)

It’s time for FRIDAY FINDS again!

What great books did you hear about / find this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

((see the end of this post for the Mr.Linky))

My FRIDAY FINDS this week:
(roll your mouse over the linked titles of the books in order to read the description from Amazon)

 * “Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe” by Jennie Shortridge

 (found through the blog)


 * “For Writers Only” by Sophy Burnham

 (found this via someone’s Sunday Salon post ~ thank you, whoever you are!)


 * “Murder on the Eiffel Tower” by Claude Izner

 (one of this month’s early “Early Reviewers” offerings)


 * “Sticklers, Sideburns, and Bikinis” by Graeme Donald

 (another “Early Reviewers” offering)



* “The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop” by Lewis Buzbee

 (found this via someone’sTeaser Tuesdayspost… and it looks fantastic!)


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