No Place to Hide – Book Review

When I was 17 years old I talked my parents into signing the waiver that would allow me to join the Air Force. I wanted to work in the medical field. The Air Force allowed me the opportunity to train at Wilford Hall Medical Center before issuing orders to my first duty assignment, the Air Force Academy. After a brief time on the ambulatory surgery unit I was reassigned to the Emergency Department. Where I spent my remaining 3 years as an EMT/Emergency Room technician. A few months prior to the end of my enlistment I volunteer for a deployment to Saudi Arabia. An entire hospital team, 60 people, traveled to the “sandbox” in support of Operation Southern Watch. We arrived in time to transition the field hospital (tents) into a more hardened facility. This new facility consisted of double wide trailers linked together with x-ray and operating room connexes attached by canvas walkways. Our days held a comfortable routine and most of our patients suffered only sports related injuries. Operation Desert Fox kicked off shortly after our arrival and brought with it a few days of helmets and chem gear but the fear was short lived. I am grateful to have deployed at a relative time of peace.

I chose to read this book because the publisher’s synopsis mentioned military medics and C-130‘s. Reading Dr. Warren’s book brought back fond memories of the amazing men and women that I served with. I received a copy of this book from in exchange for my honest review.Image



Amanda’s Review:

No Place to Hide is really a book about two wars – one a military conflict and the other a combat surgeons battle for control. The first war magnifies the physical sacrifice and emotional wounds that service men and women are willing to endure for our freedoms. No Place to Hide details the cost of war while honoring human compassion. This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster through intimate accounts of lives saved and lives lost. The second war takes place within Dr. Warren as his sense of control over his life and marriage slips away. He battles feelings of insecurity, a failing marriage, and the horrors of war that threaten to shake his faith. From cover to cover Dr. W. Lee Warren’s book honors our troops and glorifies God.


A word of caution:


At first I wanted my husband to read the book because he had “been there, done that” but then two thoughts came to mind. First, graphic descriptions of injuries and medical procedures would probably make him squeamish. There is a reason he is a pilot and not a doctor. Secondly, Jay would admit to having been irritable after his deployments, but after four tours to the military base portrayed in the book he came home relatively unscathed. Most of his stories are about things that he and his crew did to break the monotony of their deployment. I would hate to remind him of the darker side of war. As a military spouse I enjoyed the insight into his world, but I would caution that it may not be for everyone.Image







A Review of Clean on the Inside: A Family Devotional For Holy Week


As the social media coordinator for the ministry, I spend a lot of time perusing Facebook, twitter, and Pinterest. Pinterest is where I originally found Clean on the Inside written by Erika Dawson. A click on a pinned post led me to her blog and from her blog I clicked over to her Facebook page. That is where I made contact with Erika and was able to acquire a copy of the devotional to review for you.


Clean on the Inside is a resource that adults (not just parents) can use to lead children through the final week of Jesus’ life. The lessons begin with Palm Sunday and conclude with Resurrection Sunday. Each devotion begins with scriptures that pertain to the days lesson with additional references if you would like to go deeper. My son, who is 8 years old, read the larger portions of scripture while my 5 year old daughter would read the smaller portions. Then I would read the accompanying devotional – pausing to ask questions or add insights. The daily devotionals are written in a conversational manner that is on their level. [I add this because before I had children I didn’t find it easy to talk with them. Anyone can share these truths.] In the “talk about it” section there are pointed questions that get the children talking about what they have learned and how to apply it. Each lesson concludes with a meaningful activity and/or craft that helps drive home the message.


My goal in doing any family devotional is to lead my children into a deeper understanding of our Creator God and His Word. I want them to be challenged to see things from a heavenly perspective, to glean wisdom from the lives of biblical characters, and to reflect on what Jesus would be asking of them. Clean on the Inside met these goals by explaining God’s purpose in sending his Son and by addressing:

  • How Christ was the fulfillment of many prophecies (Day 1)
  • The cultural importance of the Temple and Passover celebration to the Jews (Day 2)
  • How our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit (Day 2)
  • That God sees the motives behind our actions (Day 3 & 4)
  • How we can abide in Christ (Day 3)
  • Through Jesus, God provides salvation for the world (Day 4)
  • How Jesus was a Servant Leader and how we should serve others (Day 4)
  • The weight of sin (Day 5)
  • That we need to trust God even when we don’t understand his plan (Day 6)
  • Christ willingly gave his life, it wasn’t taken from Him (Day 6)
  • Christ’s victory over sin and death (Day 7)

The devotional is customizable to your family. In the preface the author writes “This is not meant to be a strict format to follow but a tool to help you reflect and respond to Jesus this week.” While my children enjoyed the study a few of the crafts were too simple for my eight year old boy so we skipped them. In my estimation the crafts are for preschool to early elementary aged children. My only other critique would be that the primary scripture reading for Good Friday was 86 verses long. In hindsight, I should have used a children’s bible (like the Jesus Calling Storybook Bible pages 211-219). Overall, this week long study was engaging, insightful, and advantageous in preparing our hearts for Easter.

About the Author:

Erika Dawson is wife and mother of three. Before becoming a mom, she was an elementary school teacher. Erika earned a BA degree from Moody Bible Institute and a Master of Arts in teaching. This past fall she began working part time co-coordination for her church’s children’s ministry.

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Book Review – Through the Bible Devotions by Mark Littleton

You cannot walk into a store this time of year without being taunted by those pastel packages of miniature candy. I immediately go into a candy stupor, just like when I was a little girl. Still to this day, I cannot fathom why my mom would load up our Easter baskets with giant chocolate bunnies and jelly beans and then spend the rest of the day trying to keep us from bouncing off the walls. Not only do we refrain from inundating our children with candy but we also make a concerted effort to dispense with the bunny. If you are looking for a Christ-centered non-candy Easter basket addition then I would like to recommend “Through the Bible Devotions” by Mark Littleton.



What caught my eye in Lifeway was the orange circle on the front cover that reads “From Genesis to Revelation in 365 Days.” My children are young (5 & 8 years old) and up until that point we had jumped around in the bible reading favorite bible stories, stories about heroes, or following reading plans that corresponded with the holidays. I wanted to be deliberate about reading through the entire bible with our children.

This devotion is written for pre-teens.



PROS: We have been using this devotional for going on 10 weeks. The weeks are marked but they are not dated so it makes a good gift no matter what time of year it is (it’s not necessarily a New Year devotional). Every day there is a theme, in the example above the theme is True Loyalty, which is supported by the main reading for the day. To truly cover the entire bible you will have to read the optional reading as well. I find that the devotions are age appropriate, applicable to social situations that our kids may face, and spark good conversation with the children. There is a one sentence prayers at the bottom of each lesson that we expand on as part of our bedtime prayers. In our reading we have covered the topics of: prayer, obedience to parents and God, misusing God’s name, idols, dealing with criticism, fear, forgiveness, loyalty and more.

CONS (for younger children): Because I am using this with my kindergartner we omitted the word “idiot” from the week 9 devotional. On another day Week 7: Wednesday [Speaking about rebellious children] “Sometimes young people start doing far worse things than coming home late or telling a little lie. Sometimes they get into drugs, drinking, sex, and many other things…,” I skipped the second sentence. Despite our families need for these small adjustments I award this book 4.5 stars.


About the Author: Mark Littleton



Mark Littleton is a graduate of Colgate University and Dallas Theological Seminary, and is a former youth pastor and pastor. He is the author of more than 2000 articles in such magazines as Discipleship Journal, Reader’s Digest, Christianity Today, Focus on the Family, Preaching, Group, and many others. He has had more than 98 books published, several of them bestsellers, including the NIRV Kids’ Devotional, the Edge Devotional Bible for Kids, the Sports Heroes Series, and the “Up” series for teens. He has been nominated three times and been in the final round for the Gold Medallion Award of the ECPA. He has won Campus Life Magazine’s “Book of the Year” Award twice.