Fit for Prayer (review)

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Fit for Prayer (Fit for Faith)Fit for Prayer by Kimberley Payne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Fit for Prayer—Learn How to Fit Prayer and Physical Activity Into Your Daily Routine, author and lifestyle coach Kimberley Payne promises to help us “… gain insight into how to incorporate prayer and fitness into your daily routine”- Fit for Prayer, p. 5.

The book is divided into three sections. Chapters 1-3 talk about exercising our bodies. Chapters 4-6 deal with prayer. Chapters 7-8 are a self-test and action stops to take to incorporate exercise and prayer into daily life.

Though in Chapters 1-3 Payne doesn’t describe specific exercises in detail, the fourteen exercise strategies she lists (in Chapter 2) would benefit a person following any exercise program. Her example of an exercise goal plan (Chapter 3) is clear and the blank goal page along with five exercise-related questions would help anyone get started exercising regularly.

In the how-to-pray section (Chapters 4-6) Payne follows the chapter that defines prayer and its benefits (Chapter 4) with a chapter on what prayer consists of using P.A.T.H. as an acronym (praise, admit, thank, and help – Chapter 5). The last chapter in the section (6) describes how to set prayer goals.

The final section of the book, a multi-page True and False self-test (Chapter 7), is followed by “Action Plan,” (Chapter 8). That plan contains ordinary prayer strategies (like “Keep a prayer journal of answered prayers”) and strategies that combine prayer with exercise (like “Pray while walking” – p. 33).

Though short (only 36 pages of content) in Fit for Prayer Payne manages to deliver a practical and inspirational manual designed to motivate readers to cultivate physical and spiritual health simultaneously.

This is another book that would be useful for women’s groups and individuals. I expect I will be consulting my copy again in the soon-upon-us resolution making time of the year.

I received Fit for Prayer as a gift from the author for the purpose of writing a review. Visit Kimberley Payne’s website to check out other lifestyle materials she has authored and is offering as books, e-courses, and free programs.

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Flex Your Spirit (review)

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Flex Your Spirit (Fit for Faith)Flex Your Spirit by Kimberley Payne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Flex Your Spirit—Discover a New Way to Express Yourself with God Through Journal Writing and Stretching, author and lifestyle coach Kimberley Payne promises to “…unite physical and spiritual health to help you lose weight and develop a deeper relationship with God” – Flex Your Spirit, p. 5.

She explains how this can happen in three sections of the book. Chapters 1-3 deal with physical stretching. Chapter 1 (“Stretch Your Body”) answers the question what are stretching exercises, lists their benefits, and explains how they differ from warm-ups. Chapter 2 (“Stretching Strategies that Work”) describes how to get the most out of stretch exercises (though it doesn’t give details on specific exercises). Chapter 3 (“Stretching Goal Planning”) lists five questions to ask ourselves as we set exercise goals.

In the second section (Chapters 4-6) Payne talks about spiritual journaling, something she suggests will benefit us spiritually in the same way physical stretches help our body. In Chapter 4 (“Stretch Your Spirit”) she describes what journaling is and how it equates to stretches. Chapter 5 (“Journal Writing Strategies that Work”) and Chapter 6 (“Journal Writing Goal Planning”) list journaling tips and suggest journaling goals.

The third section (Chapter 7-8) is a review of all that we’ve learned (Ch. 7 – “Test Your Knowledge”) and (Ch. 8) an “Action Plan” of how to actually fit regular stretches and journaling into our lifestyle.

This book is short—only 24 pages of content. But in that small amount of space Payne manages to say plenty. Her writing is always easy to understand. With efficient simplicity she dispenses information, encouragement, and inspiration. The examples and worksheets she includes show us how to move forward with the “Flex Your Spirit” program.

This little booklet would be an excellent manual for women’s groups, whose goal it is to develop more than just a toned body. It would also be a great addition to any personal library, and a fine companion to that list of New Year’s Resolutions we re-construct yearly.

I received Flex Your Spirit as a gift from the author for the purpose of writing a review. Visit Kimberley Payne’s website to see other lifestyle materials Kimberley has authored and is offering as books, e-courses, and free programs.

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Adam’s Animals (review)

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Adam's Animals - fun facts about God's CreationAdam’s Animals – fun facts about God’s Creation by Kimberley Payne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kimberley Payne has packed a lot into her 90-page children’s activity book Adam’s Animals.

The book begins with a simple explanation—this is a book about animals we’ll find in the Bible—and an invitation to get acquainted with them, as Adam did when he named them.

To help give kids categories for these many creatures, Payne includes the simplest of animal classifications, naming five families of invertebrates and four of invertebrates. She has also devised a symbol for each to help kids recognize them. For example, the symbol for “Birds” is a bird emerging from an egg, for “Mammals” a milk-filled baby bottle.

Thirty-nine two-page animal entries follow. A typical entry contains, on the first page:
– The verse in the Bible where the animal is mentioned.
– A brief explanation of what the verse means or its historical or regional setting.
– A “Did you know?” section with six facts about the animal.

The entry’s second page displays:
– An additional Bible reference where the animal is mentioned again, if there is one.
– A picture to color.
– A word search puzzle.
These latter two would need to be printed if the book was a digital file.

The animals are presented alphabetically. Sometimes several animals from the same family appear in one entry (e.g. Lion, Cheetah and Leopard). Other entries are titled with the names of the animal in both sexes and when young and mature (e.g. Lamb, Ewe, Ram, Sheep).

Puzzle solutions end the book.

What a fun way to study animals! Though not a thorough or complete animal study, it would be a great supplement to an animal unit in a Christian school, home school or even Sunday School setting.

Janis Cox’s line drawing coloring pages are a great invitation to break out the crayons and get to work. The word search puzzles are sure to keep a kid busy for a few minutes at least, as they search for words that nail down the animal facts and trivia mentioned earlier in the entry.

Even parents and teachers are bound to come away from Adam’s Animals knowing more about our fascinating creature neighbors. I discovered, for example:

“Crickets hear through their front legs” p. 54.
“Owls have three eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping, and one for keeping eyes clean” – p. 58.
“Slugs have green blood” – p. 74.

I received Adam’s Animals as a gift from the author for the purpose of writing a review.

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Trees of the Book by Kimberley Payne, Illustrated by Esther Haug (review)

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About the book

Trees of the bookTrees of the Book is a colorful storybook / workbook designed to introduce seven- to nine-year-olds to trees of the Bible and more. Folksy title and heading font, as well as Esther Haug’s pencil crayon, water color wash illustrations give the book a look that says, “Welcome kids, this is for you.”

Within the book author Kimberley Payne explores seven common Bible trees, devoting a two-page spread to each. Features include a Bible story retold in first person by the tree, questions about the story, facts about the tree, an activity (like word search, maze, crossword puzzle), and more places one can read about that tree in the Bible. The book ends with a glossary explaining  unusual words, a list of Bible people and who they are, eleven more project suggestions, and solutions to the activities.

Payne’s clear, simple writing style is perfect for early elementary students. The book is detailed and long enough to provide real value, yet not so long it would drag on as a unit. The additional project suggestions take the study past science into ecology,  art, language arts, and studies of Bible characters. I love how the conclusion to the book reminds readers of another very special tree:

“And how can we forget the tree that was used to make the cross that Jesus was  crucified on? “Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others —one on each side and Jesus in the middle” (John 19:17)”Trees of the Book p. 20.

Trees of the Book would be a great resource for parents home-schooling their kids, teachers in Christian schools wishing to inject Bible knowledge into their study of plants and trees, or leaders and counselors in club or camp settings. Children could also use it independently.

Payne is hoping to publish more books in the Science and Faith Matters series in the months ahead.

I received Trees of the Book as a gift from the author for the purpose of writing a review.

About the author:

Kimberley PayneKimberley Payne is a motivational speaker and author. Kimberley has volunteered as a teacher in many children’s programs at her church, as a teacher’s aide for students’ reading in the classroom, and within the library at her children’s school. She works as an Elementary School Secretary for the Catholic School Board. She combines her teaching experience and her love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science and faith.  www.kimberleypayne.com

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Devotional with fit tips (review)

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Women of Strength - a devotional to improve spiritual andWomen of Strength – a devotional to improve spiritual and by Kimberly Payne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kimberley Payne takes us through the year in her devotional e-book Women of Strength. No, that’s not through the year as in 365 devotions, but through it in twenty-four, six each in sections devoted to the seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

Each devotion is further divided into several parts. In the first, Payne talks frankly about some aspect of her life, relating her everyday experience to her spiritual journey and encouraging us to do the same.

The next section, “Exercise Your Funny Bone,” contains cute chucklers like: “The Best Vitamin for a Christian: B1” – (Kindle Location 108).

In “You Asked” she answers a common fitness or exercise question.

“Faith Lift” is a prayer.

In “Reflection” Payne talks about how she’s putting her exercise and diet resolves into practice in everyday while life—taking into account the season.

“Top Tip” is a cautionary tip for readers. For example, the tip for the first devotional is to check with your doctor before making significant changes in your physical activity level.

“Bible Truth” is a Bible verse to read and/or memorize.

“Challenge” contains a diet or exercise challenge, e.g. “Drink one less caffeine beverage per day” (KL 125).

And in the final part, “Praise Move,” Payne describes a physical exercise readers can try, along with advice on what to avoid when doing it.

I found this a great little devotional for several reasons. For one, Payne’s writing style is warm, friendly and easy to understand. She often tells on herself, reassuring us that we’re not the only ones that fall off the diet and exercise wagon.

The seasonal aspect of the book gives us an opportunity to see Payne in action throughout the year. Especially in the “Reflection” part, we see how she deals with seasonal challenges like exercising outside in winter, the changing schedule of summer holidays when the whole family is underfoot, and incorporating exercise into days when her children need her attention.

I really like her emphasis on living life in balance, which includes balance in exercise—she encourages a combination of flexibility, strength, and aerobic exercises—balance in eating, balancing the needs of family with personal needs, and balance in not allowing secular demands choke out spiritual life.

I found the “You Asked” sections informative. And though all the “Funny Bone” jokes were amusing, several were really quite hilarious.

This book would be great for personal use. I can also see it being a good resource for a woman’s Bible study group in the way it brings up a variety of topics for discussion, deals with seasonal challenges, encourages healthy living, and has a built-in activity (exercise) component.

You’ll make fit ladies out of us all yet, Kim!

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