Tag Archives: Jesus

Guest Post with Lee Ann Mancini Author of God’s Easter Miracles

Many children eagerly anticipate waking up on Easter morning to see a basket full of colorful Easter eggs, shiny wrapped candy, chocolate bunnies, Peeps, jellybeans, and perhaps even a toy. As a young child, I remember excitedly waking up to find a basket like this waiting for me every Easter morning. Although I knew Jesus had something to do with this holiday, I did not fully understand the significance of His death and resurrection.

Some parents do not teach their children about the Easter Bunny; others celebrate the Easter holiday alongside the long-standing tradition of the Easter Bunny. How can we find a balance between the two and ensure our children appreciate the true meaning of Easter? We should explain the importance of Easter to them as believers in Jesus. Tell them Easter is a celebration of Jesus and not the bunny in the basket. Children have a great capacity to learn new things at an early age. Take comfort in knowing that their ability to learn is far greater than any limitations we as parents face in our ability to explain complex concepts.

We can help our children understand the real meaning of Easter without forcing them to give up their fun childhood fantasies. After all, we don’t give up our Christmas trees at Christmas. With that in mind, here are some fun activities for the Easter season that can help you explain Jesus’ death and resurrection to your young children:

  • Teach your children the jellybean prayer.
  • Bake resurrection cookies.
  • Make resurrection rolls.
  • Dye resurrection eggs.
  • Have an Easter egg hunt. Leave a few plastic eggs empty as an opportunity to remind your children about the empty tomb.
  • Put chocolate crosses in your children’s Easter basket. Many candy manufacturers sell religious themed Easter candy.
  • A very fun activity is Egglo’s Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt, which helps children “see the light of Jesus.” It includes a storybook and DVD.

My newest book release, “God’s Easter Miracles,” is a unique Easter story that will help your children learn the true meaning of Easter while teaching them to have love and compassion for others!



Lee Ann Mancini’s desire is for children to begin to know and love Jesus from an early age. This passion led her to seek out books for her own children that portrayed an active relationship with Jesus in a relatable way. She knew communicating God’s truth through captivating words and compelling illustrations is a crucial part of establishing that foundation.

An adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary, Mancini holds a master’s degree in Christian studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School as well as Knox Theological Seminary. She holds a board position with the Florida Authors and Publishers Association and the Alexandrian Forum and maintains memberships with organizations such as the Christian Small Publishers Association and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Mancini is an active member in her local community, visiting schools to share the Adventures of the Sea Kids series with children, as well as speaking to women’s groups about the redemptive power of the Gospel represented through the types of brides of the church. Learn more about Mancini and the Adventures of the Sea Kids at glmpublishing.net.



Review of Angels in the Bible Storybook by Allia Zobel Nolan

Many people are fascinated with the divine messengers, we more commonly know aseBook Review Gal Book Review of Angels in the Bible Storybook by Allia Zobel Nolan angels.  Angels are represented throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. They functioned as mediators, delivering a variety of messages from God to humans. Angels in the Bible Storybook discusses the many reasons God sent his angels to Earth and the many forms and even voices they used to do it.

This book is absolutely beautiful. The illustrations are colorful and detailed. The stories are separated by Testament and are compelling, thorough and should appeal to children of varying ages. Angels in the Bible Storybook would make an excellent Vacation Bible School book or Sunday school lesson planner. I could see this book being used for entire course or Vacation Bible theme.

This is a sturdy and well-made book that should last for a long time, even with everyday use. Reading a story every night at bedtime would be a delightful way to end the day. Older children should have no problem reading the stories themselves. This book would also make an excellent gift. I highly recommend Angels in the Bible Storybook!

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review of I Will Follow Jesus Bible Storybook by Judah and Chelsea Smith

There are plenty of children’s Bible storybooks available, but I’ve found that many of themeBook Review Gal Book Review of I Will Follow Jesus Bible Storybook by Judah and Chelsea Smith have a tendency to speak down to children. Oversimplifying the Bible and the story of Jesus in particular, can easily be chosen when teaching children. The “I Will Follow Jesus Bible Storybook” doesn’t do this.

Even when discussing the true reason Jesus was born – to die for our sins – the authors don’t sugarcoat it. Yes, dying is a difficult subject to broach with any child, but the authors do not attempt to skirt around the issue and I found it an important and honest approach.

Clearly many of the passages call for further discussion between parents and children. But this is what’s so wonderful about well-written children’s books – they should provide the opportunity for an open dialogue with our children. And this book certainly does that.

There are scripture verses and prayers scattered throughout the book as well. These make a lovely accompaniment to the stories of Jesus’ life. The illustrations are simple, yet beautifully colorful and eye-catching. The book is sturdy and should last for many years to come even when used daily.

This book would make an excellent gift for even the smallest child. I would certainly be happy to give this to my grandchildren. I highly recommend “I Will Follow Jesus Bible Storybook”!

5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. *this book is scheduled for release Feb. 9, 2016.

Review of Midnight Jesus by Jamie Blaine

eBook Review Gal Book Review of Midnight Jesus by Jamie BlaineJamie Blaine is a psychotherapist and crisis interventionist. He’s also a Christian and follower of Jesus Christ. Combine these backgrounds and you have the makings of an interesting book.

Midnight Jesus is a work of creative non-fiction – meaning that Mr. Blaine has written about some of his experiences working with some of the most downtrodden and broken people he’s met while working in a variety of capacities and he still manages to do so in an engaging, entertaining and meaningful manner. His clever, humorous and touching style comes across even in the most heartbreaking of stories. Although many of the stories are deep and sometimes painful, they’re made lighter by the author’s writing, so it was easy to breeze through this book in a day.

Midnight Jesus reminds us that we are all imperfect beings with much to learn. Yet, as imperfect as we are, Jesus loves us, and with open arms, he invites us all to follow him. I have a sense that I share the author’s sentiment regarding the way many “religious” organizations seem to forget that ministering to the whole person, and not just the “good” parts, is what’s most important. It’s easy to be warm and welcoming to individuals who enter our lives with little emotional baggage. The real test for any follower of Jesus is whether or not we’re willing to welcome, encourage and love everyone – even those who are at times the most difficult to love.


5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review of Parables by John MacArthur

eBook Review Gal Book Review of Parables by John MacarthurJohn MacArthur is a pastor, teacher and author, with over four decades of ministry experience. In “Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told”, Mr. MacArthur studies the parables of Jesus to explain and further highlight God’s messages.

This book is by no means a breezy read.  Clearly, a great deal of research has gone into detailing each of the parables included in the Bible. Some readers might find the book somewhat dry, as this book comes across as a study aid for ministers and other religious leaders. There’s an abundance of information for readers to absorb and taking notes as you go is probably in order.

I found “Parables” interesting, yet somewhat tedious. I will most likely go back and reread the book at a later date when I have more time to thoroughly grasp each concept a little better.

4 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review of The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

How many of us live with guilt and shame over things we’ve done in the past? We mayThe Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning worry that God is disappointed in us. How much of religion concentrates more on shame, blame and penance, rather than stressing what the “good news” truly is? That God loves us. All of us, just as we are. That’s what’s at the heart of The Ragamuffin Gospel.

I originally chose this book because of the title. “Ragamuffin” happens to have been one of my favorite words to use with my kids when they were young. As in, “take off that shirt, you look like a ragamuffin.” Maybe I thought something they were wearing wasn’t suitable for going out in public, but did it alter them in my eyes? Of course not. And so it is with God. Regardless of what we’ve done – since we are all sinners – we’re still children of God and he still loves us. He chooses to bless us, rather than punish us. That’s God’s grace at work.

Brennan Manning’s writing is intelligent, persuasive and at times humorous. When he used the example of eating a ballpark hot dog on Friday to discuss Catholic guilt and sin I had to laugh out loud. I was raised Catholic and the hot dog story is hilariously familiar.

I began this book already convinced of what Mr. Manning stresses to us about God’s grace and love. I wanted to say, “You’re preaching to the choir here, buddy.” So it was a pleasant and encouraging book to read. The author uses plenty of scripture to make his point, which I won’t defend or examine in my review. I’ll leave that to the debaters who love to dispute all things spiritual – whether for or against. However, I’d suggest grabbing a copy of this book to find out for yourself. There’s a reason why this book is in its twenty-fifth year of publication. There is great comfort in knowing that God’s grace and love is ever present and generously given to everyone.


5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton

eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review of 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol by Bob Welch

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens has always been one of my favorite stories of all 52 Lessons from A Christmas Carol by Bob Welchtime. Who wouldn’t like to be comforted by the notion that anyone can change at any point in their life? Even a grumpy curmudgeon like Ebenezer Scrooge is capable of seeing the error of his ways and of making a miraculous transition with the assistance of four sage and caring spirits.

Bob Welch has taken the basis of A Christmas Carol to insightfully list 52 inspirational lessons readers can learn from this charming classic. There’s something for everyone in the pages of this book. Regardless of what you might be struggling with in your life at any given moment, I’m certain just about anyone will find value in Mr. Welch’s “lessons”.

52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol is most definitely a faith-based book. The author refers to Biblical scripture throughout, when laying out his lessons. Therefore, I would consider this book a Christian devotional, suitable for anyone looking to get closer to God, and to live a happier and more Christian-based life. It would make for wonderful church group literature, to be used by adults and children. Families should appreciate reading this together during the Christmas season or at anytime throughout the year. Highly recommended!


5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton
eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.