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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bible Bands Katreina Eden *ARC Review*

Today I'm reviewing Katreina Eden's book, BIBLE BANDS :)!

*I received an arc from Cedar Fort Publishing as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest and fair review*

I've read a few crafty books here and there--mostly for sewing or crochet--but in general, I'm more an artsy rather than a crafty person (See that stunning display of artistic license? Crafty generally means cunning...but not today :D.)...

Which raises the question: why was I even remotely interested in reviewing this book? 

When I was in West Virginia, the girls in my Backyard Bible Club group for the week all had 'bands' around their wrists, fingers, and necks. I'd never seen them before, and they looked really cool, so I asked about them, discovering that the girls thought they were super easy to make--and let me tell you, I had my doubts because, again, artsy not crafty.  

But after reading this book, I get what they meant. They do  seem easy to make. So if you're like me, fear not: thanks to Katreina Eden's step-by-step presentation of the how-to of crafting Bible bands, even we can make a bracelet or two. 

Oftentimes, craft books will zoom over a beginner's head because 1) there aren't step-by-step pictures that actually make sense, and/or 2) the author (sometimes) mistakenly assumes readers understand what he/she's saying! Eden's approach isn't like this. After a general description/how-to of the design with suggestions for use, she dives into a series of clear-cut diagrams to offer step-by-step help. Sometimes she'll include a nifty extra, like how to make teardrop earrings, or offer a tip on technique.  

Eden makes learning how to make Bible bands easy.*

My favorite part: each bracelet/project (because really, once you know how to make a bracelet, you can make a necklace or ring by lengthening or shortening...and if you don't, Eden explains it in one of her tips) comes complete with a Bible passage. What a wonderful way to have fun and learn more about Who God IS and what He's done...and remember it day by day as you wear the band(s)!

I love that these bands offer a creative way to share the Gospel as well as personal testimonies. They're reminiscent of the Salvation bracelets--the ones with the colored beads--except these offer a greater range of expression. Also, there's a Bible charms pack you can order to go along with the bands, and it's legit--totally worth a separate purchase.

And, in case you were wondering, the bands are gender friendly. No little (or big) man wants to wear a bracelet (or necklace) that makes them feel girly! 

So, in summary, Bible bands are: fashionable, inventive, easy, and inexpensive. It'd be a lot of fun to do with a youth/children's group, in spurts (over a few weeks), as a fundraiser doubling as an outreach event, with your children...

Some 'critiques':

If I remember correctly, one of the girls in WV didn't use a loom, and not using one is referenced in the book; however, the book never strays from using the loom. I figure it's because trying to demonstrate that would be a nightmare...and possibly also because the loom makes things easier. Still, I would've liked to know why the 'loomless' style wasn't displayed.

Maybe they're saving this for the print version, or I just missed it, but I didn't recall the Bible being cited in any of the passage references, or before the book. I probably just missed it. And it really isn't a huge deal, but it was a little odd, considering that I've never seen it NOT cited. (Btw, I'm pretty sure it was KJV.)  

My biggest issue with Bible Bands was--ironically--the thing I enjoyed most about the book: the mini Bible lessons. Overall, I thought they were alright; they fit with their bands, and they were succinct. But sometimes, they just struck me as a in slight ways that made me wonder what exactly was being said (and if I agreed with it).

For example, the One with God section ("...God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy [Spirit] are one in purpose and that we must become one with them--one in heart and soul" [52]). Personally, I thought it was sketchy doctrinally speaking. It almost sounded like Jehovah's Witnesses would've said it, because it's like saying we can achieve unity with God. (Among other issues.) Maybe that wasn't the author's intention, but that's how it came off to me. The thing is, we do want to be aligned  with God, to have hearts after His heart.

See what I mean? It's weird... 

Another example: Baptism of Water and the Holy Spirit. The text states, "When we are baptised, we are cleansed of our sins" [6].  Baptism via water=remission of sins? Water baptism is an outward sign of inward belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It's just a symbol; baptism doesn't actually cleanse sins. Even being baptized by the Holy Spirit does not equal remission of sins (though He testifies to us that the remission, granted by the blood of Jesus, is true). And the thing is, I think the author gets this. I dunno, I thought it was worded kind of strangely. 

This kind of thing happens in a few other places, too. Nothing too egregious; just...a little odd.

Of course, that shouldn't matter too much to you; any material I receive I adjust accordingly for the group I'm with anyway, so you can rephrase as you desire. I would want to walk through the descriptions with an older child if I was giving the book as a gift, though, because I felt passages like the above were somewhat confusing (and potentially misleading). 

*I didn't go out and buy the materials necessary to try out the designs to see if they worked (I signed up to review a book, not make its products :-)...but the explanations were clear-cut with lots of pictures. 

Final Verdict: 

| Amazon |

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