Saturday, February 21, 2015

Great Thriller!

This book by Van R. Mayhall, Jr. Captivated me as soon as I opened the book. It’s a fictional book which uses biblical stories and facts to build a compelling Judas the Apostle has been the subject of great debate within the church. Mayhall has written an excellent and fun filled thriller, with twists and turns which are unexpected.

The story focuses on Chloe LeJune who returns to Louisiana to bury her father. They had been estranged for many years, but in returning home she discovers her father was murdered and the focus is an ancient jar which some strange writings on it. She goes about discovering what was written on the jar, along with her son JE and officials from the Vatican.

This book kept me reading to the very end. I would highly recommend this book.

I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, through NetGalley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Interesting and Fun Book

I was really excited to receive the book, This is What you Just put in Your Mouth, by Patrick Di Justo.  It’s a fun book, but the title can be a little misleading, but not a downer.  This book is not just about what you put in your mouth, but it’s about many products we purchase. 

I enjoyed some of the back stories about his research and discussions with experts about what went into various products.  He discusses products ranging from cool whip, dog food, doritos, hot pockets, A-1 Sauce to diaper rash cream to bug spray to febreeze, play doh, hair coloring and more.

It was fun to read about some of the hidden products in items I purchase.  He uses the actual names of ingredients used so science folks will appreciate that.  If you read through the book, you will find products like Plaster of Paris, Turpentine and other products are in the foods we eat!  Sounds great!

Anyways, it’s a fun book which will be fun for all ages to read.

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



















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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Very Good, But a Reprint

I am a fan of John Maxwell.  I think he has so much to say which is practical as it pertains to leadership.  However, I was somewhat disappointed in this book, The Leadership Handbook: 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs.  It is mostly a reprint of a leadership book which was previously published, called Leadership Gold

That being said, this book was a very good reminder of what I need to be doing as a leader.  There is not much new that is written in this book, however, Maxwell’s gift is to take something which can be difficult and he makes it understandable and practical.  That is a gift which I appreciated in this book.  The book covers 26 different aspects of leadership.  The chapter titles are catchy and there is a Mentoring Moment at the end of each chapter. 


Overall, I would recommend this book to those who have never read leadership books from John Maxwell.  Then, I would move on to other a little weightier classics by him.

 I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers http://booklookbloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Finding Favor: The Story of Esther

In his book, Finding Favor With the King: Preparing for your Moment in His Presence, Tommy Tenney, explores the ancient story from the Old Testament book of Esther.  He retells the story about how she found favor with the king.  She took a risk of entering the king’s chambers without his asking for her.  He could have said no, and she would have been subject to be killed. 

The premise of the book is to help the readers discover God’s plan for their lives as they seek His presence.  The question at hand which is the locus of the book is this — will Esther seek the kingdom or the king?  Will she seek the king more than the palace?  What can she live with?  In the same way, the question comes before us as well, who will we choose . . . the King or the kingdom (our kingdom)?

He concludes the book by listing the "Twelve Protocols of the Palace."  These were Esther's secrets of finding favor with the King.  It’s an excellent list and one to hold onto. 

This was an encouraging book.  It was not difficult to read and was engaging as well.

Tenney reminds us that victory comes when we pay close attention to our King even when the enemy stares us in the face.  The ultimate question is who will you choose to serve and worship?

Overall, this was a very good book which I recommend.

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

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Vulnerable and Transparent!

I have read other books by Donald Miller and have found him to be authentic and a writer who is willing to be bold and challenge the reader.  In his newest book, Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy, Miller has written a very transparent book about his journey in relationships; from singlehood to marriage.

I admire his openness and willingness to uncover deep secrets which he was even able to hide from himself.  Writing this book took a great amount of courage.  He is not only open, he reveals his shortcomings, his weaknesses and his challenges at overcoming his own obstacles, namely, himself and his woundedness.

The greatest compliment I can state has already been said, he is open and vulnerable and transparent.  He writes about his many failures in relationships, his vicious cycle of failure and admits to the deep hurts he caused others.  His goal, is exactly as the title stated, dropping the act and finding true intimacy.  Fortunately for Miller, he was surrounded by many friends who cared and loved him, as they helped him on his journey to healing and wholeness.

This was a very easy to read book, it’s deep, but a quick read.  The only criticism is the fact that Miller didn’t talk about where Christ was in the midst of his struggles and understanding of himself.  He went to a treatment center to help with psychological / emotional issues, but didn’t talk about the role his faith played in the healing.  If it played a role at all.  I would have appreciated to see where and how his faith helped, didn’t help in his healing process.

Overall, this is a good book, albeit with one large shortcoming.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers http://booklookbloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Excellent Story of Bill Parcells

Bill Parcells: A Football Life by Nunyo Demasio was a great book to read.  I’ve never been a huge Bill Parcells fan, but thought this would give me some insight into his life and the life of a coach.  I was not disappointed.  This is an excellent biography which was very well researched by Demasio. 

The reader quickly realizes that football meant life to Bill Parcells.  He explains later in the book that he sacrificed his family for football, moving them every few years to move up to a new school and greater responsibility as a coach. 

One of the things I really appreciated was the inside look at scouting, contract negotiations, deciding upon football schemes, and more.  This was about the man, but it was also about many other people who have surrounded Parcells over the years. 

We learn that Parells was a driven man, an A Type personality when it came to coaching, but a man who had insecurities and made many mistakes within his family, with friends and as a coach.  He made mistakes by ruining many relationships because he could not make decisions. 

Whether you like or dislike Parcells, I believe you will gain a greater appreciation for the man and what it takes to be a success in the NFL.  I Highly Recommend “Parcells: A Football Life!”

I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my unbiased review.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Be Contagious!

In their book, Contagious Disciple Making: Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery, authors David Watson and Paul Watson have written an excellent book. 

This book is not geared for the professional only.  It is for all people who are invested in making a difference for Christ.  This book will help the Christ follower to be better equipped to help people know and become more passionate followers of Christ.  This book is not just another theoretical book, it is filled with many practical applications as well.  That makes the book worth the price.  I like the fact that the applications are not just locally grown, but come through their ministries relationships throughout the world, as well in the United States. 

The book is easy to read, the chapters are short and can easily be read as part of a group process.  There are also a number of scripture references to help the reader.

The book is broken into two parts ~

PART 1: THE MIND-SET OF A DISCIPLE-MAKER
- Disciple-Makers Embrace Lessons Taught by Failure
- Disciple-Makers Deculturalize, Not Contextualize, the Gospel
- Disciple-Makers Plant the Gospel Rather than Reproduce Their Religion
- Disciple-Makers Recognize the Limitations of Branded Christianity
- Disciple-Makers Adapt the Strategy for Making Disciples to the Structure of the Community
- Disciple-Makers Limit the Negative Influence of their Culture and Religious Experience
- Disciple-Makers Understand the Importance of Obedience
- Disciple-Makers Make Disciples, Not Converts
- Disciple-Makers Practice the Priesthood of the Believer

PART 2: PRACTICES OF A DISCIPLE-MAKER
- Think Strategically and Tactically About Disciple-Making
- Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples
- Prayer
- Engage Lost People
- Finding a Person of Peace
- Discovery Groups
- Establishing Churches
- Leadership
- Mentoring

The Watson's lead us in the first section to understand the theory, then in part two, put everything into practice.  Overall, this was an excellent book.

I received this book from Booksneeze.com in exchange for an impartial review.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Prepping for the SAT

The Perfect Score Project: One Mother's Journey to Uncover the Secrets of the SAT, by Debbie Stier was an excellent book to read at just the right time.  We have a son who will be taking the SAT in a couple of months, so this book came at a good time.  At times, it was difficult navigating through some of what Debbie was talking about.  

I’m not sure I would want to take the SAT again, it’s been too many years.  Let alone to take it 7 times.  But by the 7th time, she should have had a system down anyways.  So, I’m not sure about some of the scoring she received. 

It seems that her son who was underachieving was able to get mom to do a lot of leg work to help him do well on his test scores.  Debbie works to help the reader sift through the different way to prepare for the test.  She dove into so many different ways to prepare for the SAT, from using the prep tests to homemade flash cards to an expensive tutor.  She explained which books she used and were helpful and which not to use.

In the end, Debbie’s greatest discovery was the coming together and closer relationship within her family.  That’s crucial!  

I received this book from Bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an impartial review.

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