Review: No Cape Required

no capeNo Cape Required by Kristen Parrish

Non-Fiction. Published 2013.

Read: April 2014, 229 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

As children, we dream of throwing on a cape and changing the world. Then we grow up, we learn to see the flaws in our movie stars and athletes, and we accept that true heroism is not possible in the real world.  You continue to dream, though. Isn’t that why you still love watching heroes on the big screen? It’s more than just wish fulfillment. You resonate with Superman’s justice and Dorothy’s courage because you have those same qualities within yourself.

In these pages, Kristen Parrish looks at the qualities of fifty-two heroes, and then shows how you can acquire every one of those qualities. No gamma rays or radioactive spider bites are needed. You can unleash your inner hero through prayer and practical action. While others watch and dream on the sidelines, you can step out in faith, learning from heroic examples and praying for God’s help to make you who you were meant to be.

Impressions:

This 52 day devotional is easy to read and clarifies ways each day to take action to improve your own heroic traits. I received No Cape Required through booklookbloggers. What would make someone want to pick this book up? It’s a light read that over time would develop important personal qualities such as kindness, determination, growth, honor, and thankfulness. Parrish’s book is a neat way to incorporate all kinds of “heroes” in history (Woody, Dorothy, Zorro, Wonder Woman, Robin Hood, among others).

Thoughts:

No Cape Required can benefit to develop character traits. I can see it being useful as a teaching tool or as personal development and has useful “to dos” to merge the learning into real life. Each chapter also includes a daily prayer. I enjoyed the chapter ‘Hope in Others’ where Parrish uses Belle as the heroine. “Like Belle, you have the power to turn darkness to light, In fact, it only takes the  same words Belle used, ‘I love you’. Loving someone breed hope not only in your heart but in the other persons heart as well.”

This book is a chance to easily connect again to the passions of being a Christian and growing in positive ways.

Quotes:

Remember that you’re not alone if you’re on  a quest for something hat is difficult; you have a power that works in you from God Himself. -p179

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Review: Let Hope In

Let Hope In by Pete Wilson

Non-Fiction. Published 2013.

Read: December 2013, 219 pages

★★★★★

Book Blurb:

It can disarm guilt, shatter shame, and put your past in its place. All you have to do is make the choice to let it in. It won’t be easy. It won’t be quick. But it is possible and we serve a God who promises over and over again that anything is possible. Pete Wilson presents a new look at the power of healing through hope, revealing 4 unique choices that have the potential to change your life forever. With Wilson’s telltale cadence and candor, Let Hope In explores accounts of seemingly hopeless moments in the Bible illustrating God’s ultimate plan for healing by letting hope fill the dark places of your past. Discover how pain that is not transformed becomes transferred. Embrace the freedom of being okay with not being okay. Learn that a life of trusting is far more magnificent than a life of pleasing. Because hurt people hurt people, but free people have the power to free people. So make today the day that you get unstuck. The day you fill your past with the light of hope, the day you say good-bye to regret and shame. The day you choose to change your future and embrace who God created you to be, simply by making the choice to let hope in.

Impressions:

I LOVE this book. I don’t mean that lightly, I have proof! Generally, I will dogear several pages in every book I read for the worthy quotes, funny stories, and best qualities of the book… My just read copy of Let Hope In has about 33% of the pages dogeared! Did I tell you I love this book? The concepts in this book are things I get to use daily, now backed with good insight and lovely scripture. This book delivers a wonderful read that is best used when applied. I took my time to complete this book to try and retain its’ knowledge. I received Let Hope In through booksneeze. I want to quote every page for you, but it’s better you get your own copy I suppose. I highly recommend it to all of those who have ever hurt (that’s you, and you).

Thoughts:

Let Hope In is a book for everyone who needs to walk closer to God, to learn to really trust God, and let go of the past. The last chapter of the book talks about Jesus the vine and God the gardener. Are there things in your life you will let God prune so you can become more fruitful?

‘Loving Deeply’ is one of the chapters that ends with the idea of a Reverse Economy. Love is meant to heal. If you want to receive, you give. If you want to lead, you follow. If you want to live for certain things, you have to be willing to die for them. There is “healing, peace, and life” when we can extend God’s love for us to those around you.

Let Hope In is a chance to transform, forgive, and rebuild. There is strength in letting go.

Quotes:

God’s main purpose for you is not what you do. It’s who you become. -p125

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Review: Why Did I Lose My Job If God Loves Me?

Why Did I Lose My Job If God Loves Me? by Rick Pritikin

Non-Fiction. Published 2013.

Read: October 2013, 208 pages

★★☆☆☆

Book Blurb:

Help and Hope when you need it most. If you are one of the millions of Americans in the midst of career transition, chances are that you’re discouraged by the difficulty of finding work. Rick J. Pritikin, a former business executive and founder of Christian Fellowship and Placement Ministries, understands firsthand the feelings of hopelessness and despair that typically accompany the loss of a job. Writing from personal experience, Rick has authored 31 daily biblically-based meditations that address the unique challenges faced by anyone who is unemployed. Practical, intimate, and always inspirational, each daily reading will help you find rich personal growth and intimacy with God during this time in which God is preparing you for your next career opportunity. As you spend 31 days reading through Why Did I Lose My Job If God Loves Me? you will rediscover that you can depend on God no matter what the future looks like on the surface.

Impressions:

Why Did I Lose My Job was easy to engage in and connected to the author’s personal story. It provided support and scripture references. This book was provided to me by Booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.

Thoughts:

Sometimes we feel God isn’t on our side when bad things happen. Career transition can be positive if you are able to take this time to grow in spirit, courage, and grow in all areas in your life through hardships. We all experience the evils of this world and God never leaves our side.

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Card: Sweetest Graduation

Card Making:

What a precious addition to my handmade card group. This card was made for Kenzie’s 8th grade graduation. She is as beautiful as the precious moments doll and has such a bright future ahead of her. The added personal quote is one of my favorites.  The card is six by six and over the top adorable. Congratulations!

How it turned out:

 

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Review: Undaunted

undauntedUndaunted by Christine Caine

Non-Fiction. Published 2013.

Read: July 2013, 201 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

Part inspirational tale, part manifesto to stir you and your small group to lives of adventure, Undaunted shows the way to redemption that is found when faith becomes action. Using her own dramatic life story, Caine shows how God rescued her from a life where she was unnamed, unwanted, and unqualified. She tells how she overcame abuse, abandonment, fears, and other challenges to go on a mission of adventure, fueled by faith and filled with love and courage. As Christine tells of how she realized the significance of her own life and choices, she will inspire you and your small group to grasp lives that bring hope and create change for Christ.

Impressions:

Undaunted was impressive because of Caine’s story and her generosity to give back through A21. A21 Campaign which strives to  prevent trafficking through awareness and education, protect those who have been trafficked by building shelters and transition homes, and prosecute traffickers and strengthen the legal response to human trafficking. No one can do everything but someone can do something. You can make donations and get involved through this site. This book was provided to me by Booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.

Thoughts:

Undaunted is broken into four sections: God Knows My Name, God Knows My Pain, God Knows My Fear, & God Knows My Destiny. The book provides examples and compelling testimonials to help overcome the challenges, but also to grow from those experiences and be equipped and empowered to help others. Christine tells you about her abuse, finding out she is adopted as an adult, and her mission for the future. She is driven to help others because of the heartache she has experienced and her devotion to God. This book is inspiring and insightful. She wants to help others pursue their passions of aiding others and live for God.

Quotes:

Hurting people hurt other people in turn.  -p76

Joy and happiness are not the same thing. Happiness is based on circumstances. Joy is based on God. -p95

Whoever saves one life saves the entire world. -p158

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Review: Bound Together

boundBound Together by Chris Brauns

Non-Fiction. Published 2013.

Read: May 2013, 208 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

We are not just isolated individuals. Instead, our lives are woven together with others. We have solidarity with other people—the choices one person makes affects the lives of others, for good and for bad. Because much of the pain we endure in life is in the context of relationships, this truth often strikes us as unfair. Why should a child suffer because of the choices of his parents? And on a grander scale, why do we all suffer the curse of Adam’s sin? Why should anyone be judged for someone else’s sin? In Bound Together, Chris Brauns unpacks the truth that we are bound to one another and to the whole of creation. He calls this, ‘the principle of the rope.’ Grasping this foundational principle sheds new light on marriage, the dynamics of family relationships, and the reason why everyone lives with the consequences of the sins that others commit. Brauns shows how the principle of the rope is both bad news and good news, revealing a depth to the message of the gospel that many of us have never seen before.

Impressions:

Bound Together lacked personality and doesn’t quite keep your attention. It provides information on the topic and biblical principles. This book was provided to me by Booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.

Thoughts:

I’ll share with you parts I did enjoy of Bound Together. It explains how we are tied together with others in good and bad. Page 25: ‘Today a couple of kids in my class got in trouble. So none of us got to go out for recess.’ Page 60: Why does God allow Evil? ‘We live in a world that is fallen and corrupt because of the sin of one man. Great evil exists in this world because we are evil.’ Page 80: But we cannot blame our choices and actions on the sins of others. Page 87: We can use the principle of the rope to bring others closer to God by demonstrating Christ-like behaviors. Thankfully the power of God is greater than the weight of our sins.

If good and evil were in a tug of war with you.. where would you be?

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Review: Like Dandelion Dust

Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury

Fiction. Published 2006.

Read: March 2013, 368 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

When Joey Campbell’s biological father is released from prison, four-year-old Joey faces a life no one could’ve planned. His father wants custody, and a judge’s quick decision deals a devastating blow to the Campbell family. Joey must be returned to his biological parents. In a haze of grief and disbelief, the Campbells watch their adopted son pick a dandelion and blow the feathery seeds into the wind.

And in the days following the ruling, Jack Campbell conceives a desperate and dangerous thought. What if they can devise a way out? What if they take Joey and just disappear? Both families will learn that sometimes the greatest love is in letting go- Like Dandelion Dust.

Impressions:

The topic was intriguing but delivered only a moderate and lacking presentation. Like Dandelion Dust felt like it was hastily created  with no personal meaning or emotional toiling from the author. This book is mildly recommended if you enjoy the author already.

Thoughts:

Like Dandelion Dust is a ‘Christian/Religious’ section fiction novel. Karen Kingsbury has written many novels that are in series and although I have not read any other books by the author, it appeared her writing was not passionate or meaningful. It felt like she was trying to sell a book versus telling a good story.

Joey is taken away from his adopted family when his biological father reports he did not give away his rights. His adopted family plots to disappear with Joey after he starts visiting his biological parents. His biological father is abusive and the Campbells fear for Joey. In the end, the families learn about letting go (well someone learns this lesson twice).

I did enjoy Beth’s unrelenting faith and young Joey’s new relationship with God. He comes to know God through his confusing family arrangement and has someone who is always with him and keeping him safe. The book was made into a movie in 2010.

Quotes:

“That’s ’cause God made it happen.” He grinned. “I asked Him.” -p358

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