Tuesday, September 19, 2017

People Working Together!!

In the book, All Saints: The Surprising True Story of How Refugees from Burma Brought Life to a Dying Church, by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle was a moving story about transformation and a willingness for people to adapt.

Reverend Spurlock was the pastor at All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, Georgia, and was close to closing their doors.  While this was occurring, over 70 refugees from Karen in Burma arrived in Smyrna.  It was an unexpected and miraculous marriage as the Burmese refugees began to farm the land which brought in revenue to the church and the church began to care for and help the Burmese people assimilate into the American culture.

Spurlock and Windle write with great detail the journey of both the American folks in Smyrna and the Burmese refugees.  It was not always easy, and there were difficult decisions which had to be made, yet, they were and a church began to thrive with people who were as different on the surface as night and day.

There is now a major motion picture about this, but I have not seen the movie, but have heard it is a very good movie and follows the book as well.  This was a well written book which was easy to read and follow.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Wonderful Idea

The 5 Minute Bible: 100 Stories and Songs is a fantastic idea!  The colors and the pictures are great.  There are stories which are well known and some which are lesser known.  I like that!

I think it is great to associate stories and songs. What better way to rock your child to sleep, or sit and snuggle on the couch, than to share a Bible story and sing a song.

The book / Bible is for young children.  The parents also have the opportunity to ad-lib a little and expound on the stories.  I had one concern with the book . . . and that is the fact, not all of the songs are well known.

As a parent, I would have to make up a tune or do my research in advance to learn the tunes.  It would have been great if the songs were included with the lyrics and notes together.  Without the musical notes, some songs could not be sung unless the parents looked up the songs on the Internet.  Otherwise, this is an excellent resource for young children.

I received this book from booklookbloggers in exchange for an honest opinion.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Becoming Whole

In his book, WHOLE:Restoring What Is Broken in Me, You, and the Entire World, Steve Wiens has written a very engaging and passionate book about restoration through the ministry of Jesus Christ.  This was a profound book, that was easy to read, yet, with a great deal of deep meaning on each page.

Steve has a gift and ability to write in a manner which draws the reader into the life of the story.  It's not a long book, it didn't need to be, as it's only about 160 pages in length.

As the author is vulnerable, he asks the reader to do the same so that they may take what he is offering, which is life restoration through Christ . . . and become a new creation in Him.

I recommend this book.

I received this book from Tyndale Press in exchange for an honest review.

Become an Excellent Negotiator

I was looking forward to reading this book by Peter Stark, The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need: 101 Ways to Win Every Time in Any Situation.  Now that's an intriguing title.  And the book did not fall short in my expectations. 

What's really great about this book is that it applies to all people.  At various times and in various ways we all have to negotiate for something in our lives.  It may be at school, on the job, at home, buying a car or a house, etc.  It happens to all of us and this book offers so many examples regarding various situations you may find yourself in, that it's a great book and excellent resource to have.

It's easy reading, yet intriguing.  One of the excellent reminders for me is that while I am negotiating for one thing, my counterpart is negotiating for something else, and I may not realize what is behind their negotiations. 

The writing style of Stark and Flaherty is very conversational, which draws the reader into the book.  Overall, it's an excellent book and I would recommend it as a great resource.

I received this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for an honest review.

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A Great Communication Reminder

I was not sure what to expect in the book, Before You Hit Send: Preventing Headache and Heartache, by Emerson Eggerichs, author of "Love and Respect."  I was pleasantly surprised at the content and the suggestions he gives so that we will not have to deal with the headaches and heartaches after we hit send, but also in our everyday speaking.

As one who speaks publicly, I have been guilty of not thinking before speaking and have had to deal with the heartache and headaches.  He reminds the reader that "every day we have the potential of both verbal and written blunders."  it happens all of the time and he gives some thoughts and ideas on how to control these mistakes and sins.

he reminds the reader before you that before you communicate with someone, ask yourself 4 questions . . . and these are the only  4 chapters of the book ~
  1. Is It True?
  2. Is It Kind?
  3. Is It Necessary?
  4. Is It Clear?
Each chapter starts out with a scriptural meditation and he gives many practical examples of mistakes and ways to exemplify what the chapter is about.

Even when we are speaking to a friend, at a counter returning something and are frustrated, how can these 4 questions guide us?  This can be a powerful life altering book for someone who struggles with creating too many headaches and heartaches.  This is an easy to read book of about 250 pages.

I received this book from booklookbloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Would you EAT with SINNERS!

I was intrigued by the title and premise of this book, Eats with Sinners: Loving Like Jesus, by Arron Chambers.  On the back cover Arron really states what he wants to achieve in this book . . . “Jesus regularly ate with sinners — people in need of God, just like you and me.  Why?  Because Jesus longed to eat with them in heaven.”  That’s a great and crucial statement!  As you read the book, you will note how often Jesus involved Himself in the life of sinners.  It almost seemed like He would rather hang out with sinners than with the religious folks, who did need Jesus, as well.

He explains we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.  Arron’s call to the reader is to regularly hang out with sinners and actually eat with them and demonstrate the love of God to these folks who don’t know Jesus.

As Arron moves through the book, each chapter discusses strategies, but more than that, he opens the readers eyes to various character traits and fruits of the Spirit to pass on to others.  For example, chapter titles are Integrity, Accessibility, Grace, Mercy, Faith, Tolerance, and many more.  The chapters average about 15 pages and are easy to read.

He makes the approach taken by Jesus to seem rather easy and uncomplicated.  Which it really is, but we mess it up.  Jesus sought out lost people, people who were on the fringes and He engaged them.  Notwithstanding the fact that many of these people also sought out Jesus, because they knew He was very approachable.

He explained church programs are well intentioned but they don’t usually help people come to know Jesus.  We can have the greatest buildings and more, but what will change the world will be Christians demonstrating Christ to those who don’t Know Christ.

Overall, this was a very good book.  There is a great deal to take in and possibly put into practice.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an open and honest review.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Science of Doing

I was looking forward to reading the book, The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day, by James Kaklios.  I thought it would be fun to learn more about how the everyday things we use . . . work.  I quickly learned that I wasn't educated enough in physics to understand a number of his terms.  It appeared that he was assuming people had a decent knowledge of physics.  Sadly, I don't, which is really why I wanted to read the book, to better understand, but I felt like I missed the first class!

With that being said, there were a number of points I did like about the book.  He separates the book into chapters about our daily lives, for example . . .
Chapter 1 - You Begin your day
Chapter 2 - You drive into the city
Chapter 3 - You go to the doctor
Chapter 4 - You go to the airport
Chapter 5 - You take a flight
Chapter 6 - You give a business presentation
Chapter 7 - You go to a hotel

He explains different actions and events which would occur during doctors visits or trips to the airport, etc.  Some of his explanations were really good and understandable, I wish that was the case with the entire book.  It would have been easier to understand and more enjoyable.

I received a copy of the book from blogging for books, in exchange for an honest review.

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Need a Comeback?

The Comeback by Louie Giglio was an excellent book.  This book is a reminder that we call make mistakes, we all miss opportunities and we all sin.  But that does not need to leave us behind when it comes to our dreams and God's plans for us.

If you doubt you could ever do anything useful for God, this book is for you.  If you need a fresh start after you find your dreams crashed, this book is for you.  Giglio tells Bible story after Bible story about people who messed up, yet were greatly used by God.
His stories are real and authentic and pull the reader into the life of the story.  He is able to apply the stories to our lives so that they make sense in many situations we find ourselves in.

Ultimately, Giglio points the reader back to Jesus as Lord and Savior, stating if you seek Him, you will find Him.  God has a perfect plan and purpose unique to each of us. And that plan is for good not bad.

If you are seeking God and in need of a comeback, this is an excellent book.

I received this book from booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Good News in 4 Words!

I was really intrigued when I saw the title to this book.  WOW! The Good News in Four Words.  I was not sure what to expect.  But I was very pleasantly surprised.  This is a wonderful book for children.  And in fact, I really love the four word description of the Good News . . . 

WOW! 

UH-OH!

YES!

AHH!

 I really liked the layout of the book.  The pictures were crisp and colorful, the writing was fresh as she told the story of the Bible using these four words to get her point across!

She quickly moved from creation to sin and concluded with the resurrection.

This is definitely a book that young children will want to read over and over again, as they listen and discover new things on each page.


I highly recommend this book!

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Press in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Finding your Vision

I am very familiar with Craig Groeschel and his ministry at Lifechurch.tv and have benefitted from some of his writings and their style of doing ministry.  However, I had not read Chazown: Discover and Pursue God's Purpose for Your Life.  This is a newly revised edition for 2017, as the first edition came out in 2010.

Chazown is the Hebrew word for vision.  It's what leads and directs our lives.   Groeschel reminds the reader that when they are seeking to discover their Chazown, God has already given us 4 gifts which help keep us moving forward.  They are focus, endurance, peace, and a passion.

As you discover your spiritual gifts, core values and experiences, you begin to discover your personal vision.

When you are not sure what you are called to do in your life, this book may be of help to guide along on your journey.  This could be a next step which will give you some objective ideas about who you can be in God’s kingdom.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest opinion.


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Excellent for Discipleship!

I had heard of Peter Scazzero's Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, but for some reason never thought about reading it.  When I saw the book was available for review in an updated, revised version, I thought this was the time.  I really appreciate the opportunity to read this book.  It is an extremely easy to read and insightful book.  I think I looked at it as another self help book, however, I believe it is far more than that.

Scazzero tells the story about his life as a pastor, how he attempted to lead the church through his own power and energy, to which he found this was not working.  He gave little to no thought about his emotional life and how this was destroying his relationships.  Once he took a closer look at himself, his life changed.  

Early in the book, in the 2nd chapter, Scazzero lists the 10 symptoms of emotionally unhealthy spirituality and uses that as a diagnostic tool. 

In many respects this is a book on discipleship.  The goal in discipleship is to help the person grow to become the person Christ has called them to be.  If we are not spiritual life is not emotionally healthy, then we will not grow as we should.  

In order to help the reader identify with his points of unhealthy spirituality, Scazzero looks at other historical and biblical figures to help the reader better see where their own shortcomings are and what they need to do to address this issue.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book.  I am considering using this as a classroom book for a study within the church.

I received this book from booklookbloggers in exchange for an honest review.