Make Up Your Mind [Book Review]

When I read the same book twice in a month, I know its a book to treasure! Make Up Your Mind by Denise Pass and Michelle Nietert is worth reading. This helpful book unlocks the places where we feel stuck in our thinking. And by helping us unlock our thoughts, these mindset authors help us unlock places in life where we need a transformation.

(Image: Unsplash)

Make Up Your Mind Book Review 

An unexpected bonus the Make Up Your Mind  book is a great resources for families! I enjoy the Counseling Corner tips for helping children unlock their developing minds. Based upon real counseling sessions, the authors explore methods with proven results. This would be valuable for modern day parents who are teaching their children to overcome fear, loneliness, or disappointment. 

As an empty nester Mom, I found the mindset keys super helpful too! When my daughters call or text from college, I now listen and focus on the mindset (rather than the emotions). As I learned from reading Make Up Your Mind by Denise Pass and Michelle Nietert any emotion can be taken captive and transformed.

The authors provide spiritual and counseling tools to help their readers identity and conquer unhealthy mindsets. 

Because I am a Bible Coach, I believe this book will be super helpful for my community. Make Up Your Mind by Denise Pass and Michelle Nietert is a book I will recommend over and over again. Each chapter includes keys to unlock places where we feel spiritually and emotionally stuck. 

Affrming Thoughts From the Make Up Your Mind (Mindset Book)

  • Even though I am scared, I know God is for me.
  • Even though I think no one will want to talk to me, I am trusting God to help me make friends.
  • Even though I want to quit, I know God will not fail me.
    Even though I don’t think I can do it, I am trying anyway and counting on God to fill in the gaps.
  • Even though I don’t want to, I am trusting God to change my heart.

Find the book Make Up Your Mind at your favorite local or online store. This would be excellent reading for a book club group. 

Far From Home by Mabel Ninan 

Recently, author Mabel Ninan contacted me about her new book Far From Home. Mabel Ninan was born and raised in India and an immigrant in America shortly after marriage, Her topic sparked immediate interest. And I did not hesitate to “say yes” to her request. Once the manuscript arrived by electronic file, I poured a delicious latte and devoured the book.

(Image source: MABEL NINAN )

Mabel is the story behind many women in my community near Silicon Valley, California. She takes off the veil of mystery and shares her experience. Quiet, soft spoken, and respectful of her new surroundings, Mabel feels unnoticeable. She experiences insignificance and frustration with her new surroundings.

Yet in her native land, Mable is powerful, well-respected, connected, and highly educated. Because of her husband’s job transfer, she leaves her value and identity in her native society. Then she seeks purpose in a foreign country.

Uprooted into the busyness of America, her story explores immigration as a “trailing spouse.” Her initial isolation and her struggle to regain importance are deeply internal. She struggles to connect. Even at the local coffee shop, where she is awakened by the rudeness of barista on duty.

Looking for her identity in a new culture, Mabel opens her Bible to discover a true identity in Christ. Powerful skeins (loosely coiled threads or yarn)  are woven into her testimony.

This is a must-read for merging of cultures into the Christian faith. How can we invite REVIVAL if we are not accepting the citizenship of ALL God’s people?

Mabel’s story invites me to examine my Mother-in-Law, an immigrant from the United Kingdom. In World War 2, she worked as a British decoder, New York runway model, and national security.

And my Great-Grandfather, an immigrant from Ireland who worked in the coal mines and later died of lung cancer.

Mabel’s story also reminds me of my neighbors next door, immigrants from Mexico and joyfully living as an uprooted family. Or my former boss, an app developer from the Ukraine who shares his Christian faith with a generous heart. Even my husband’s Silicon Valley IT department, where they celebrate all cultures and religions with weekly meal gatherings.

Instead of looking through the mini-blinds, shuttered windows, or over the rim of a Venti Latte… it’s time we take off American ambivalence and love our NEW neighbors.

Mable reached out to her Christian community with intentional vulnerability. She experienced the love and identity of Christ through Bible study groups, church attendance, and spiritual growth- Far From Home.

Far from Home: Discovering Your Identity as Foreigners on Earth by Mabel Ninan 

ENDORSEMENT FOR MABELS BOOK: Beautifully transparent, Mabel Ninan shares her personal insight from a unique experience of immigration. Yet the revelation of her modern history, is also a reflection of Biblical history when God moves. Inside the stories of uprooted people, we discover the heart of God. This book is a beautiful reminder of our citizenship in His kingdom.  – Christine Abraham, Founder & Executive Director Bible Café™ Ministries LLC


Explore the intersection between culture, identity, and faith in this new release from an earthly immigrant who gained a spiritual perspective.
What is my purpose? Why do I exist? A sense of self and belonging are two questions many of us struggle to answer.
And what if you are a foreigner in another land?
How does one adjust to a new culture? Discover their place in a new society?

For Mabel Ninan, born and raised in India and an immigrant in America shortly after marriage, the search for those answers sent her on a journey that led to an unexpected and exciting discovery.

God revealed she was not only an earthly immigrant but also a spiritual one, created with a unique calling to impact His kingdom. Mabel’s renewed perspective imbued her with joy and hope, urging her to share the message with others.

Drawing from her personal experiences and by examining the lives of biblical heroes, Mabel sheds light on what it means to live as a citizen of Heaven on earth. Far from Home will inspire you to:

  • Embrace your identity as a foreigner on earth.
  • Make your home with God.
  • Find community and common purpose with fellow sojourners.

Mabel’s story and book release:
Publisher: Iron Stream (July 12, 2022)

Disclosure: I received an Advanced Manuscript of this book as a member of the Endorsement Team. 

Book Review Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby

This book review for Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby is helpful if you are looking for the Bible study book. According to Writer’s Digest, “A book review is not a summary. It’s not a report. It’s a conversation.”

(image: Unsplash)

Here at the Bible Cafe™ we like conversations about books, coffee, and Bibles. Especially about Experiencing God.

Because we model integrity for our Online Womens Bible Study Groups, we follow a specific model for our book reviews. Our 5-Point Method in writing a book review for Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby follows this proven method.

Step #1: Read the book cover to cover.

Here the Bible Cafe™ we have facilitated the Experiencing God Bible Study many times. Its a “fan favorite” and life-changing experience. As leaders, we read cover to cover. Then we gather with Online Womens Bible Study Groups and discuss the weekly lessons.

Step #2: Identify the writing style and Bible Translation.

Our book review for Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby identifies three authors. In addition to the main author Henry, this book is co-authored by his son Richard Blackaby and editor Claude King. The writing is cohesive and without editorial error.

The theology may vary slightly from your local church teaching. And so if your religious denomination is conservative, middle, or charismatic- you will view the book from your denominational lens. If you feel uncertainty about a lesson in the member book, the best advice is to ask your local church leader “Where do we stand on that?”

Many readers will be happy with the common language usage. This classic Bible study does not require theological dictionaries to understand, Phew, that’s good news! The authors are not using elevated speech or writing above the reader’s ability to understand. Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby is written for the everyday reader and easy to read.

In our edition of the book review for Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby (published in 1990, updated in 2007) the publisher is using the New International Version (NIV) Bible translation. Recently, some Publishers have been changing Bible translations. And so, the best recommendation is for to look at the inside copyright page on your book. Lifeway Christian Resources is a Southern Baptist Publisher for Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby.

Step #3- Are there other versions of this book?

Yes. And this can be super confusing. We receive many emails about the book Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby because it’s available in different formats. There’s the “Member Book” sometimes called the “workbook” or “study guide.” This is used as a learning resource for online and local Bible study. In the table of contents you will see the material is organized into 12-units (called units).

Browse Experiencing God by Blackaby on any book website and you will see the confusion. This is one of the reasons why we wrote a book review for you. Because other versions of the book are different from the Experiencing God by Blackaby Bible Study.

Here’s what we found:

Experiencing God by Blackaby- Leader Guide

Experiencing God by Blackaby- Devotional Book

Experiencing God by Blackaby- Chapter Book

We also found teen version, Spanish version, and other publications under the Experiencing God by Blackaby branding. If you follow our instructions for the INSIDE COVER and TABLE OF CONTENTS, then you will now if you have the correct book for the Experiencing God by Blackaby Online Bible Study.

Step #4- Does the book help me grow closer to God?

Experiencing God by Blackaby is popular because many people have grown closer to God after completing the study. It’s a classic, life-changing Bible study experience. While new believers and Beginner Bible Study students will benefit greatly, those who are advanced Bible students will appreciate it as well.

Step #5- If I were sitting at a cafe, with a family member or friend would I recommend this book?

I have recommended Experiencing God by Blackaby to many of my family members and friends. But, and this is important, I encourage them to get the MEMBER BOOK first. Then I make sure they are connected with a church or online Bible study group. Because Experiencing God by Blackaby is a long study, reading the SAME BOOK 5-days a week for 3-months, accountability is crucial to completing the study.

Longer classic Bible studies have been replaced with shorter studies today. Let’s face it…we want QUICK answers and FAST applications!

But my friends, I assure you, some of these classic studies such as Experiencing God by Blackaby are worth the investment of time. You will not forget the experience. You will gather wonderful insight about God, the “7 Realities,” knowing God, and doing the will of God. Can I hear a loud AMEN?

Push aside the resistance for in & out Bible study. Go deeper and Experience God- daily!

Life Devotional by Lisa Harper Book Review

Life Devotional by Lisa Harper. From the outside pink cover to the inside contents, a devotional with memorable experiences for her readers.

Lisa Harper’s Daily Life Devotional stands out. On a crowded shelf of devotional books, the pink cover demands attention. Pink devotional with gold lettering. Officially her book is called Life: An Obsessively Grateful, Undone by Jesus, Genuinely Happy, and Not Faking it Through the Hard Stuff Kind of 100-Day Devotional. So if you cannot remember the long title, just look for a pink book called LIFE!

(image: Christine Abraham)

Lisa takes on her pink cover critics. For instance, at page one, devotional day one. She writes, “I didn’t have anything to do with the design! Pink book, you may find yourself wondering…”

In other words, Lisa Harper introduces her readers to laughter. Day one.

You’re getting a book based on the foundation of happiness, laughter and joy! Pick it up. Even if you’re not a fan of pink.

About Lisa Harper’s Life Devotional

Something you’ll learn about Lisa Harper’s Life Devotional is the easy-to-read format. And you quickly see the devotions are written for busy people. The author delivers her inspirational message in classic Lisa Harper style. Her fans will love the radiance of Lisa’s heart!

Paragraphs in this devotional book are longer than similar devotionals Also, this book has a highly noticeable word count. Fill up on those words!

Read a daily devotional from Life: An Obsessively Grateful, Undone by Jesus, Genuinely Happy, and Not Faking it Through the Hard Stuff Kind of 100-Day Devotional. Pick it up and find real-life stories from Lisa Harper.

Woven into the book are definitions of real words and Lisa words, such as “peetastrophe.” She has mastered the craft of playing with words. Lisa Harper’s devotional book will educate, inspire, and entertain readers.

At the end of each daily devotional, Lisa Harper has lovingly attached three daily questions. Write your answers into the daily devotional book or use a journal.

If you struggle with conversations starters, use the LIFE by Lisa Harper devotional questions. You can call a friend each day for 100 days, and never run out of conversations. For example:

“On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being burn the candle at both ends and total couch potato being a 10, where would you place yourself? (In Bible study groups, we call this an icebreaker question).

Do the math.

With 100 daily devotions and three daily questions, Lisa Harper has gifted her readers 300 questions in her beautiful pink book! Use this for daily journaling, conversation starters, or daily prayer prompts.

Each of the 100 daily devotionals begins with a Bible verse. CSB is the primary translation used. YLT, NCV, NET, NLT, MSG, NIV, NKJV and KJV are also used. By using 10 different Bible translations, this author is presenting a wider view for her devotional readers. She quotes classic theologians such as Spurgeon, Henri Nouwen, and C.S. Lewis. Modern theologians mentioned in her devotional book include Edward T. Welch and Timothy Keller.


New Morning Mercies [Book Review]

New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp is a devotional book that does not collect dust on your bookshelf. It’s a “pick-up-and-read” daily book with a power-packed message each day, for 365 days. I am amazed how spot-on these messages are. They’re not long to read but the words linger throughout the day. This devotional is similar to Oswald Chambers “My Utmost For His Highest” with convincing words- for both a new Christian and a mature Christian.

(image: Bigstock)

This book is different with the absence of the actual Scripture verse, perhaps intentionally, so the reader is not struggling with Bible translations. Instead of writing out the verse, the reader will use a Bible alongside the devotional and look up references.
I found it helpful to use an electronic Bible for this purpose. I’ve enjoyed New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp so much, it’s one of my Favorite Devotional Books. Now I have a Kindle version so I can carry the devotional when I travel, a PDF version from my book review, and a hardcover to give as a gift. Yes- I do enjoy this book! 

365 Gospel-Centered Devotions for the Whole Year

Mornings can be tough. Sometimes, a hearty breakfast and strong cup of coffee just aren’t enough. Offering more than a rush of caffeine, best-selling author Paul David Tripp wants to energize you with the most potent encouragement imaginable: the gospel. Forget “behavior modification” or feel-good aphorisms. Tripp knows that what we really need is an encounter with the living God. Then we’ll be prepared to trust in God’s goodness, rely on his grace, and live for his glory each and every day.

Favorite Devotional Quotes From New Morning Mercies

“I must always remember the grace I am given and extend that grace to the people in my life.” Paul David Tripp

“In every situation, location, and relationship in our lives there is a war for control of our hearts.” Paul David Tripp

“The grand delusion of every act of sin is that we can be disloyal to God and everything will work out in the end.” Paul David Tripp

For more information and resources, visit


As a NetGalley Reviewer, I received an advanced copy of this book for review. Since my review, I have purchased several copies of the devotional as gifts for family and friends. 

Waiting For God by Xochitl Dixon

There are seasons in life when God calls us to synchronize our walk with His pace. We can’t rush the process or hide from this, as we learn to inhale and exhale with each step. This remarkable testimony is shared through each devotion by Ms. Dixon. Beautiful written from the real life experience of trusting God through chronic illness. -Christine Abraham, Executive Director Women’s Bible Cafe™

(image: Christine Abraham)

I’m reading this devotional again (and again) because it’s simply beautiful!

Each day begins with a cup of coffee and a devotional from  “Waiting For God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace” by Xochitl Dixon. Just as I crave the coffee to start my day, I also crave the words in this wonderful book. I truly believe its written for this generation and the next.

When I open the devotional I’m greeted each morning with the presence of the Holy Spirit. The devotional story of the day sets a framework as I read through the inhale and exhale portions of the devotion. In Christian theology the Holy Spirit is sometimes referenced with a wind metaphor- a living and breathing Person inside us. Imagine waking up and saying “Good Morning Holy Spirit” as you read these 31 devotions.

After inhaling through a focused Scripture verse, as I reader I exhale through a beautifully written prayer from author Xochitl Dixon. Each sentence is a movement on it’s own- like a well-versed worship song. When read together as a prayer piece, the impact is powerful and lasts throughout my entire day.

There’s room in the book for journaling each day. I ponder the three question Ms. Dixon asks for each daily devotion and write my prayerful response into the pages of my book. The next month is an opportunity to repeat all 31 devotions again and write new responses based on where God leads me. In some ways, I’m making my own family history book- right there on the pages of my devotional.

If I were a rich woman (or as my husband and I often say ‘when our ship comes in’) I’d buy everyone I know a copy of this beautiful book! My hope is for the publisher to create a leather-bound version for future publication. It’s a book I’d like to see on every plate as friends and family feed on the Living Word of God.

Disclosure: I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book as a member of the Launch Team.