Tag Archives: books

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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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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Review: Dreams and Visions

Dreams and Visions by Tom Doyle

Non-Fiction. Published 2012.

Read: April 2013, 272 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

What would you do if Jesus appeared to you in a dream? What if He came to you in a vision and told you to follow Him? What if these visions continued for over thirty days? would you believe? Would you put your trust in him? Would you devote your life to him?

Would you if you were Muslim?

Pastor Tom Doyle has spent eleven years as a full-time missionary in the Middle East and Central Asia, spreading the word of Jesus Christ. Throughout his journey he has encountered a staggering number of Muslims who were first introduced to Jesus through a vision or dream so powerful that they eventually turned from their lifelong religion of Islam and embraced Christ as their Savior. Despite living in a culture where converting to Christianity can result in execution, these former Muslims have found hope, peace, and inspiration that comes from knowing Christ. Their stories will amaze you. Jesus is reaching out to the Muslims and they are responding. Did you know that Iran has the fastest growing church in the world?

Dreams and Visions is a remarkable collection of stories directly from the world of Islam. Doyle not only relates these stories, but also addresses the questions: Why would God use dreams to reach the Muslim world? Can dreams be trusted? What happens after these dreams or visions occur? Travel to the heart of the Middle East to meet new believers who have truly been touched by Jesus in the most miraculous way, through their nightly dreams.

Impressions:

Although it is very dense, this book delivers an interesting trip through the Middle East. You will meet many individuals who are experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus, moving them away from Islam and closer to Christianity. It describes how learning more about Islam can deepen your discipleship to Muslims and how God is working to help them receive the message of Jesus. I received Dreams and Visions through booksneeze. I recommend it to people who want to know more about the Muslim culture and are interested in discipleship. It may take you a while to get through the book but it’s well worth it.

Thoughts:

Dreams and Visions is completely fascinating. Foremost, it explains how Muslims are receiving dreams of Jesus and coming to Christianity. It explains how these dreams break down barriers and create questioning for them. The book explains Middle Eastern culture and the dangers of converting. It is a way for the author to explain how to be empathetic and disciple Muslims.

In chapter 16, Doyle explains that Judaism focuses on knowledge, Islam focuses on power, and Christianity focuses on love. People are more willing to come to Christ when they feel and see the difference that Jesus loves them. He points out that Muslims have built-in presuppositions. Understanding how the Qur’an depicts Jesus versus statements that are backed/not backed by the Bible are critical in any Christians ability to explain their faith to Muslims.

Quotes:

Minutes after she clicked Send for the last time, Fatima’s brother entered the room. He beat her cruelly, breaking bones and rupturing skin. Finally, he cut out her tongue and dragged her outside where he burned her alive. -p61

The Bibles sewn into my hijab are uncomfortable. But I get twenty Injils each trip to Jordan. -p68

I resigned myself to thinking, God just doesn’t work that way today. But I was really, really wrong. -p126

Dreams and visions break down barriers that keep Muslims from embracing Christ. -p241

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Review: The Tiger’s Child

The Tiger’s Child by Torey Hayden

Non-Fiction. Published 1995.

Read: February 2013, 264 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

When Hayden first met Sheila, she refused to speak, her only communication coming through bursts of destructive, violent behavior.  After five intense months, Hayden successfully broke through to Sheila, and successfully fought to have her placed in a regular classroom.

Hayden did not see Sheila again until she was 13. Much to Hayden’s astonishment, Sheila remembered little about their extraordinary time together. As Hayden continues to renew her relationship with the teenage Sheila, the memories slowly come back, bringing with them feelings of abandonment and hostility.

Impressions:

The Tiger’s Child is the squeal to One Child where it catches up to Sheila and Torey’s life years later. I adored One Child- you can check out my review of it hereAlthough it fills in the rest of the story for the reader, it neglects to be pleasantly delivered. This book is “more honest” as Sheila puts it.

Thoughts:

It is far too often that children are mistreated and abandoned. Sheila is no exception. You learn of further abuse she suffered and the difficulties that remain ahead of her as a teenager. Sheila begins working with Torey as an aide for a summer program with children. Torey sees Sheila more as a client than as her caretaker, which is what Sheila is longing fore. I was appalled that Torey got a letter from Sheila reaching out about suicide and did not respond. It takes a whole year more and more letters from Sheila until she visits her a children’s residential treatment facility.

It breaks your heart to see the pain Sheila endures and her strained relationship with Torey. One thing to take from this book is that Sheila felt ‘Torey/social services/the system’ should and could have done more for her. She was continually forced to remain within an unstable, abusive, and dangerous environment.

Quotes:

What I remember are the colors…as if my whole world had been in black and white. -p61

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