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The Measure of Success: Uncovering the Biblical Perspective on Women, Work, and the Home
The Measure of Success: Uncovering the Biblical Perspective on Women, Work, and the Home
by Carolyn McCulley
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.47
46 used & new from $8.29

4.0 out of 5 stars History, conversation starters, and a balanced look at 21st women's choices, April 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Whether you think of evangelical Christianity as a stifling culture for women or that every mother should stay home and homeschool her kids, this book is a valuable read. The book starts off with a solidly researched (and supported) history of the role of women in the Christian faith and then moves into more specifically practical discussions about the lives of women in our own times. The last section of the book has separate chapters that recognize how life cycle changes will also alter the challenges Christian women will deal with.

A strong point of this book is that the authors do not lay out specific thou shalts for all women, as they recognize that there will be different paths for every woman, even (especially) those who seek to live there lives as Christians.

Probably the only thing that I would have liked to have seen would be a little more discussion of the problem that we all confront: both women and men in business and all of society have failed to provide opportunities for women who step out of the working world for a few years while at home with their kids. The "mommy track" issue is one that continues to lead to very difficult choices for many women, and I would have liked a little more advocacy for helping provide opportunities to women who may be unable to effectively "restart" careers after a time out of the workforce. This would be a great topic for a follow up book for these two very able writers. For now, be sure to read this and be ready to discuss it with everyone you know.


Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Creme, 5 Ounce
Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Creme, 5 Ounce
Price: $7.99
12 used & new from $6.80

4.0 out of 5 stars Works well, though a little slow to work into the skin, April 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This was tried on a toddler with very delicate skin. Though he did not currently have an eczema outbreak, the creme was very soothing and softened his dry, dry skin well. It took a few more seconds of rubbing the creme into his skin than some products, but there was no greasy residue feel as soon as it was absorbed. The lack of any strong aroma was a positive, and this is something we will plan on using when he has signs of significant skin problems.


An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964
An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964
by Todd S. Purdum
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.23
49 used & new from $14.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Good coverage of a critical part of our history, April 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While we all "know" the story of the US civil rights battles in the middle of the 20th century, Todd Purdum has provided some excellent background into the many players that were involved in getting the key legislation enacted. He provides a balanced account, with recognition given to many who are not always remembered as key to the passage. Well footnoted, this account is generally readable and provides valuable insight into how our government once was able to come together to do the right thing--even if, for some, we might not think they were acting for the best of reasons. Not only a good snapshot of a time in our recent history, one can hope that this would be an encouragement for our current leaders to come together to work for the good of all in the key issues facing us in the 21st century.


BCW Current Comic Book Backing Boards - (5 Pack) Comics, Comic Books Archival Storage Collecting Supplies
BCW Current Comic Book Backing Boards - (5 Pack) Comics, Comic Books Archival Storage Collecting Supplies
Offered by Columbia Sports, Inc
Price: $27.00
7 used & new from $27.00

5.0 out of 5 stars This size works fine for most fabrics, April 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Like so many other users of this product, I am a quilter rather than a comic book collector. I had purchased the 8 1/;2 X 11 size at first, but this slightly smaller size is less expensive and works just fine for most fabrics in my collection. The five pack here is an economical way to get enough boards for a large stash and allows me to more easily see the materials I have available for my next planned design. Sturdy and reusable, this is worth a bit of investment if you have a lot of fabric you want to be able to access easily.


The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty
The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty
by Nina Munk
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.53
91 used & new from $11.80

4.0 out of 5 stars At least he tried..., April 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I don't think I would like Jeffrey Sachs in person, but the very driven-ness and abrasiveness that makes him seem unlikable may be just what it took to try the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) , work that ultimately failed to meet its objective to "end poverty in our time."

Why should MVP be considered a failure? Few, if any, of the stated goals were met, even with repeated time line extensions. Any improvements in the communities were probably not so different from neighboring areas without similar infusions of resources, and there appeared to be a continuing dependence of the villagers, especially the men, on outside donations of money, fertilizer, etc. More and more, Sachs and others involved at high levels of the project, seemed to fall into the "rural development tourism" trap, failing to really see the people and their real needs in the areas that they were ostensibly serving.

In the end, I could not help but have some grudging admiration for Sachs' initial efforts on behalf of the MVP. He definitely had a heart for helping people out of abject poverty. The problem was that his own arrogance and certainty of the rightness of his ideals kept him from working effectively with others in the huge, and seemingly impossible, task of lifting billions of people out of dire poverty. His failure to take into account some of the certainties of this world--drought, floods, poor or nonexistent governance--ended up in failure of the project itself.

Nina Munk has provided a solid account of the project's trajectory, from hopeful fundraising through some clear upgrades in the lives of many villagers for a time, to the end stages when money was running out and external as well as internal trauma resulted in kind of a two steps forward, three steps back result for most of the communities MVP was trying to serve. Though the project is not done (in 2013, an infusion of cash from the Islamic Development Bank was received), it is still unclear that the 2015 goal will be met for even the initial villages, let alone the massive expansion Sachs envisioned. Perhaps this book can be seen as an interim report for a work still in progress, and we will be able to see a more hopeful sequel in years to come. Perhaps the saddest thing here is that Sachs has turned his attention to many other areas rather than staying the course even when major problems have arisen in his project. To me, that is the most unlikable part of Jeffrey Sachs.

This is a valuable read for anyone interested in efforts to end global poverty--or at least alleviate it for as many as possible. Munk has written a balanced account that needs to be widely considered.


OXO Good Grips Garlic Press
OXO Good Grips Garlic Press
Price: $15.99
5 used & new from $8.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Solidly made, easy to clean, March 31, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a well-made garlic press with a large "hopper" for holding several cloves of garlic at one time. Because this is an implement I use almost every day, I appreciate the comfortable grip and the easy self-cleaning design. I have given it only four instead of five stars because it seems to be just a little less able to completely crush the cloves than the smaller, lighter Zyliss press I've used for years. Unlike that older one, this usually leaves a thin piece of unminced garlic in the base of the hopper. NOt a major problem but a little annoying. Overall, though, this one gets my vote for a useful tool when you are going to be doing a lot of garlic pressing.


When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over
When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over
by Addie Zierman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.33
60 used & new from $5.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So much judging of the judgmental, March 31, 2014
I am going to guess that this review will generate a lot of "not helpful" votes. In the end, reading Ms. Zierman's account left me both sad and frustrated.

Basically, her story is that she grew up in an extreme end of what is sometimes called evangelical culture but that more verged on fundamentalism--and yes, there are differences. Unsurprisingly, the legalistic lifestyle she was surrounded by caused her to throw off much--most?--of her faith and dive full bore into some of the very things she had been warned about. This overreaction ended up almost costing her her marriage and appears to still impact her relationships with anyone who might not share her own beliefs.

Zierman uses both first and third person perspectives in telling her story, and this is sometimes effective and sometimes disconcerting, but in the end it does seem to point out how her strict upbringing ended up fragmenting her views on life. Somewhere in the process of getting free of all the judgmentalism she felt herself surrounded by, she seems to have absorbed a pretty healthy dose of these attitudes herself. Now, however, it seems like Zierman is searching for ways to be offended by those still holding to traditionally conservative faith.

Granted, she does have some sense of what she is doing. "The house church is full of nice young couples and nice young singles, but their politeness has a sort of empty quality to it, a hollowness that echoes in their words. And once I decide I don't fit, nothing I do seems to reverse that self-fulfilling prophecy. Once I'm aware of their faults, I can see nothing else, and I hang on to slights--real or imagined--with a firm grip." (p 145)

The sad part is that, even with this awareness that she may be holding on to even imaginary slights, the author continues to make one judgmental comment after another about people of faith. It would appear that she never met an evangelical Christian who cared one whit about the poor, about the environment, about welcoming the stranger into their home; it seems only Zierman and her friends are the ones who have these enlightened views.

There are few, if any, of us whose parents were perfect, whose childhoods were handled completely "right,' but it is sad to see someone so bitter about their experiences that they close their minds to "good" people who just might be a little different than they. When the person making these judgments is trying to make the case that the people they are judging are too judgmental....well, that is just too unreasonably tangled to recommend reading their story.


Taylor 5863 Splash 'n Drop Impact and Water Resistant Timer/Clock
Taylor 5863 Splash 'n Drop Impact and Water Resistant Timer/Clock
Price: $19.99
5 used & new from $16.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice addition to the kitchen or office, BUT be prepared, March 31, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While the "splash 'n drop" aspect of this timer seems especially appropriate for the kitchen and all those cookery dangers, this is also a nice little gadget for the office. With all the attention being paid to the dangers of sitting too long, having this set up to gently remind us every 15 or 20 minutes (or whatever time you set) to get up and stretch or move around is a nice thing to have. This would also be a great help if you have some basic fitness equipment (you know, the ones without any fancy timers on them) so you can know when you have finished your half hour on the stationary bike or jumping rope or whatever.

The timer is easy to set and the volume is adjustable, a nice feature if you will be using this at varying distances. I have not really used the clock, since I already have plenty of those in every room of the house. However, it has been keeping good time since I initially set it.

The timer comes with a small fold up base for propping it on an angle, as pictured here, but it also has four small magnets on the back in case you want to keep it on the refrigerator or range hood in the kitchen or a metal bookcase in the office. Overall, a good addition at a reasonable price.

However, one thing you MUST know, and it doesn't show up here in the review or on the instruction sheet: The battery cover is attached by four teeny, tiny screws. To open the case and insert the batteries, you had better have a small set of screwdrivers (the kind that you can sometimes get at a techy conference or at a tech supply store) to get this up and running. It seems as though there should either be clear instructions that such a tool is needed or (much better in my opinion), one of these little items should just be packaged in with the instructions, much as many furniture kits come with allen wrenches for assembly purposes.

While the omission of this information on the tool may seem petty, I have reduced the rating by one star, because I would have hated to open this and find out I couldn't use it without going out shopping for a screwdriver!


Bad Dads of the Bible: 8 Mistakes  Every Good Dad  Can Avoid
Bad Dads of the Bible: 8 Mistakes Every Good Dad Can Avoid
by Roland C. Warren
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.49
56 used & new from $7.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile premise but not well executed, March 31, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One of the astonishing things about the Bible is its open acknowledgment about the weaknesses of even its greatest "heroes," and the way that God uses even the frailest of men to accomplish his will.

Roland Warren has used the accounts of eight of these men to show both how they failed in parenting and to provide examples of a better way to deal with similar situations.

The premise is good, and there is value in pondering these examples, but the book is significantly weakened by the generally uninspiring writing and, worse, the unwarranted speculations that are added in about feelings, motives, etc. It is in theses surmises that the book sometimes seems to go off the track, from looking directly at the biblical principles that could be learned by just reading and pondering on the texts themselves to what often turns into mere counseling suggestions.

While there is a lot of good intention here, this is not a very satisfying read, and I can't really recommend it.


Pictionary Frame Game
Pictionary Frame Game
Price: $12.37
11 used & new from $12.37

2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't convince anyone to get into the game, March 31, 2014
This review is from: Pictionary Frame Game (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
How can you review a book you haven't read? That's my usual response when I read comments declaring why the reviewer didn't really make it through the entire book because of some major concerns.

Well, now I am reviewing something that I haven't fully tested.

The Pictionary Frame Game is a pretty unfortunate attempt to "update" an old classic game, but it fails on so many levels that we haven't ever been able to get a game going following the new instructions.

Problems start out with the drawing frame itself. As has already been pointed out, the lack of a game box is in itself awkward (still have this sitting on a shelf while trying to figure out how to store it), but this could be overlooked if the format of a stand up frame for drawing the game pictures worked.

It doesn't.

If you lay the frame on the table and draw on it for stability, it works, but then that takes away the advantage of everyone being able to see the picture as it is drawn. However, for most normally adept adults and children, trying to hold the frame steady while drawing on it in an upright position ends up making the drawings even more incoherent than they might normally be. Add to that the small size of the frame, especially for those of us who have grown used to playing Pictionary on whiteboards or even flipchart paper (yes, some of us have been known to go so far, especially when there are large groups playing), and you will begin to get the picture (pun intended) of the problems with this screen.

Now move on to one of the "new" kinds of cards--Action. Quite frankly, our crew tested a couple of these and realized that they could get better effects by laying down the marker and screen and just acting out the clues. Anyone every hear of "Charades?"

Then there is the Mirror, Mirror category. Now the person who knows what is the clue will take his or her finger and "draw" on one side of the screen, while a teammate takes the marker and traces those finger movements, all the while that the rest of the team is trying to figure out what is being drawn. When we tried a test drive of this, there were very large problems, chief of which was trying to have two people do this while the rest of the group has enough visibility to even try to guess what is being drawn. And all this in 30 seconds or less.

Ah yes, another problem. Thirty seconds to draw a picture? Really? Unless the group decides to let the draw-er spend an extended amount of time thinking of where they will start with the idea, this is sadly insufficient for almost any of the clues, especially (again) given the difficulty in drawing on an upright frame and having such a small screen that the entire team can't really see the drawing well at once.

Oh, and the marker is not "dry-erase;" it is "wet erase" (says so right in the instructions!), so you need to have a wet (not just lightly moist either) paper towel or cloth handy for wiping the screen between each use. Better have a dry cloth too, unless you want to wait out the air drying time by singing songs or otherwise occupying your time.

So why did I give this two stars? I guess I just couldn't go all the way to one star when we really never got to a full-blown game. And we will be pulling some of the cards and mixing them in with our classic Pictionary game; in fact, trying this out reminded us of how long it had been since we'd played the original. Yes, some of those clues are now a little dated, but we just go past those if they are a problem for any of the younger players. The screen (with real dry erase markers) is something that a few of the kids are having fun with, creating their own ideas of fun, so all is not lost...and we are still trying to come up with our own made up game that can use a 30 second timer, since the quality of that piece seems pretty good.

Overall, avoid this but, if you have it given to you as a gift, try to get creative in how you use all the parts!


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