Tag Archives: christian

Review: Keep It Shut

_240_360_Book_1459_coverKeep It Shut by Karen Ehman

Non-Fiction. Published 2015.

Read: February 2015, 228 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman explores how to better control your tongue, knowing what to say and how to say it, and realizing when it is best to say nothing at all.

This book explores what the Bible says about the many ways we are to use our words and the times when we are to remain silent.  Even though we know that Scripture has much to say about how we are—and are not—to use our words, this is still an immense issue, causing heartache and strain not only in family relationships, but also in friendships, work, and church settings.

Karen Ehman is the communications coordinator for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a writer for their online daily devotions. Her numerous books include A Life That Says Welcome and Let. It. Go. She is a favorite presenter at women’s events and a frequent guest on national television and radio programs. Karen is also a contributor to Focus on the Family’s online magazine, Thriving Family. She lives with her family in central Michigan.

Impressions:

Words CAN be used in wonderful ways, but sometimes we need to be reminded of that! Choosing our words wisely can create the relationships and atmosphere we all desire. Keep It Shut offers a helpful tips and biblical knowledge to help Christians learn styles of speech that we often forget are tearing others down. Words do matter.

Thoughts:

While certainly this book would be quite a lot to cover, I want to focus on two specific parts I’d like to share- Chapter 4: Zip It and Pray and Chapter 6: Behind The Screen. Ehman notes that prayer must be an important component when considering censorship with others. Allowing ourselves to pray before we react can greatly influence our ability to show compassion and discernment. The author suggests several things to become a prayer warior: A) Pray Your To Do List, B) Be Intentional- make time for prayer, C) Read and Write, D) Make a Recording and Memorize, E) Identify and Apply the Bible’s Nonnegotiables. These things will make us more readily able to react and speak in ways that save us from disaster.

In Chapter 6, Ehman focuses on controlling your digital tone- something very important to remember while online. Here are some Rules for the Cyberspace Playground that will get you “talking”: A) Pray Before You Post, B) Imagine the Recipient Sitting Next to You, C) Remember that When You’re Online, You’re Also on Stage, D) Ask Yourself If You’ve Earned the Right to Address the Subject at Hand- are you slinging an uninformed opinion, E) Ask Yourself If You Have a Close Enough Relationship with the Person to Warrant Offering Your Opinion, F) When You Do Speak, Let Your Speech Be Laced with Grace.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my review from Book Look Bloggers.

Quotes:

Talking to God helps me know how to talk to others. -p61

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Review: It Will Be Okay

_240_360_Book_1440_coverIt Will Be Okay by Lysa TerKeurst

Fiction. Published 2014.

Read: December 2014

★★★★★

Book Blurb:

In the end, it will be okay because God is always with us. Whether we like it or not, growing up brings change. For many children, this conjures fears that are sometimes real and sometimes imagined. How can kids learn that even when they face new and unfamiliar situations, they don’t have to be afraid?

Little Seed and Little Fox are facing changes and brand new circumstances—and they don’t like it one bit! Through this unlikely friendship, children will discover that no matter how new or fearful their circumstances, God is always with them. The whimsical art by Natalia Moore will put a smile on kids’ faces and put their minds at ease. Just as Little Seed and Little Fox learn to trust that the Farmer is good and kind, children will also learn to trust God.

Impressions & Thoughts:

It Will Be Okay delivers reassurance and cuteness. This book will impact you like never before. If you were questioning on whether or not to purchase it, the answer is yes. It follows the story of a duo whom carry some fears and uncertainty, but they see the kindness of the Farmer and begin to reassure each other it will be okay. It is all too often we can’t see the beauty that is to come in the midst of strife and this book helps to teach reassurance and trust in God.

I received this book free for my review at Booklookbloggers.com !

Quotes:

And the Farmer was watching over them even when they didn’t know it.

 

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Review: From This Day Forward

_240_360_Book_1389_coverFrom This Day Forward by Craig and Amy Groeschel

Non-Fiction. Published 2014.

Read: December 2014, 171 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

The choices you make each and every day determine not only your relationship with God but also the quality of your marriage. The decisions you make today will determine the marriage you will have tomorrow.

In From This Day Forward, you will discover five commitments that will absolutely fail-proof your marriage:

  1. Seek God.
  2. Fight fair.
  3. Have fun.
  4. Stay pure, and
  5. Never give up.

If you and your spouse will earnestly commit to do all five of these things, you’ll discover a richer, deeper, more authentic relationship and a more rewarding, more passionate love life.

Don’t be a statistic. Don’t be average. Let’s get you the marriage you’ve always wanted. Starting right now—from this day forward.

Impressions & Thoughts:

This book is delivered to you by a committed couple. Although it is primarily written by Pastor Craig, this book includes Amy’s Angle on each chapter presented giving you insight from man and wife. Their book provides couples with practical and manageable advise to follow to lead a more fulfilling marriage.

From This Day Forward is determined to help your marriage. This book began as a series of sermons Craig presented at LifeChurch.tv. Sometimes we have a tendency to hold on to the past bringing it in to the present. Anyone out there guilty of that? But the past is the past and you can’t change it Craig reminds us. God can and will change your future if you allow. God has what it takes and what you need in your marriage. Will you seek The One with your two?

Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor at LifeChurch.tv. Craig, his wife, and their six children live in Oklahoma where LifeChurch.tv began in 1996. He speaks frequently at conferences and has written several books.

I received this book free for my review at Booklookbloggers.com !

Quotes:

What could have destroyed you, God can use to make you stronger, closer, and give you an unbreakable bond. -p171

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Review: The Jesus Code

The Jesus Code by O.S. Hawkins

Non-Fiction. Published 2014.

Read: September 2014, 275 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

Jesus gets attention not with exclamation marks, but with question marks. Jesus was always asking questions. Whether with a small group or large crowd, Jesus opened hearts and minds by asking questions that grasped attention and made one think. In The Jesus Code, author O. S. Hawkins poses fifty-two thought-provoking questions found throughout the Bible that believers should be able to answer as they grow in their faith and share their faith with others. Each question features a devotional thought to help readers find answers and promote further reflection.

Impressions:

This 52 question devotional provides a way to learn more about your faith and God’s will for your life. I received The Jesus Code through booklookbloggers. All royalties go toward Mission:Dignity. Mission:Dignity is an organization that supports retired pastors and their spouses living near the poverty level. If you are interested in studying more about Jesus this book can be helpful along that path.

Thoughts:

The Jesus Code is interactive with the reader. Chapter 6 asks a tough question many are asking today “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” Many around us are suffering. We, at times, are suffering. “When discouragement comes, it has a dastardly way of diverting our focus from God and His blessings to the circumstances and situations around us.” The book explains that God does not leave us, this too shall pass. The devotional leads to greater understanding and ability to feel confident as you share your faith with others. Hawkins’ book can be a great way to open up a discussion with others or make a great gift for a loved one.

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Review: Plain Faith

 

Plain Faith by Irene & Ora Eash

Non-Fiction. Published 2014.

Read: June 2014, 208 pages

★★★☆☆

Book Blurb:

This is the true story of Ora Jay and Irene Eash, Amish farmers from northwest Montana whose lives changed in an instant when a semi-truck struck the family buggy, killing their two young daughters. After the accident, the couple turned to their Amish community for comfort, but they remained haunted by the thought that they might not see their girls again in heaven. Eventually Ora Jay and Irene learned that grace, not works, was enough to ensure their place in eternity. But with that knowledge came the realization that they could no longer live in an Amish community that didn’t share this precious belief. This is the story of their journey to the hope that is heaven, a hope stronger than the loss of children, family, and a way of life.

Impressions & Thoughts:

I received Plain Faith through booklook. The Eashes share their personal stories and journeys about how they became Christians despite the setbacks and criticisms they endured. The story depicts their Amish lifestyle centering around rules and traditions. The family was concerned about doing enough good works to meet their children in heaven. After such a major loss they stopped identifying with being Amish and sough English ways and were able to gain comfort in their new faith. The book is helpful in understanding parts of the Amish culture and lifestyle.

Quotes:

God planned it all just so; they were too sweet to stay. -p50

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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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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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