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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Behind the Veils of Yemen" by Audra Grace Shelby

This was a fantastic book. I seriously couldn't put it down and read it all in one night. I was caught up completely in the authors story.

This book is about Audra Shelby and her family who move to Yemen as missionaries. It's about their struggles to get there, Audra's own crisis of faith when she is confronted with the faith of the Muslim women she is around. It also tells in detail the almost absolute separation between men and women in Yemen. Audra talks about attending a wedding and the bride wasn't even able to be at the ceremony.

This is such a foreign world to anything that I have ever known. This book was so well written in my opinion that at times I felt like I was there with the author in that foreign world. There were so many instances of the author's faith coming into play during this book that I was awed. It's amazing to see God carrying someone so completely and to not only see that but to see the person realize that God is carrying them is awe inspiring.

I loved this book and I would recommend it.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House publishers for free in exchange for a review. I was not required to give a positive review and all thoughts in this review are my own.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Enemies of the Heart" By Andy Stanley

I was really excited to read this book. I thought that from reading the little blurb that came with the book it would really help me. Overall this book did, although I do have a few complaints about it.

To start out with, Mr. Stanley talks about how we have to change our heart and gives an overview in the first few chapters that make up part one. He starts out in these chapters by touching on the four topics that damage your heart which are, guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy. Part two of the book goes into these four topics in depth and part three of this book is where the author talks about how to combat these four emotions and cleaning and healing your heart. The last part, four, talks about how modeling these good heart cleaning behaviors, you will set your children up for success in these very topics.

I got so much out of this book. The author takes a down to earth approach in this book. This isn't a psychological textbook, this is just a book to start you on the path to healing and letting go of the things that you are holding onto that you don't need to. Some of these things were common sense but I felt that they still needed to be said and lots of people (including myself) need to learn them.

The complaints about the book that I had were, some of the chapters seemed to drag on a little long. I felt that some of the chapters would have benefited from having things cut and being combined with other chapters. Also, I really felt that more of an emphasis should have been put on God and Jesus. God is the only one that can give us what it takes for us to change into better people and more of an emphasis on this would have been nice.

Overall though, this was a fantastic book and I recommend it to everyone. Everyone is holding on to things that should be let go and will improve their lives once they are let go.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah publishers in exchange for a review. All thoughts contained in this review are my own.

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Our Last Great Hope" by Ronnie Floyd

I have very mixed feelings about this book so please forgive me if my review seems all over the place. There's a few different things that I want to discuss.

On this surface this book is about a subject that most Christians have a problem with. The Great Commission is a very scary subject. There are a myriad of fears that pop into my head when I think about sharing my faith with people I don't know. What is they laugh at me? What if they spit at me? What if they challenge me and I freeze up? I don't know the Bible well enough to debate it. These thoughts can be overwhelming and stop me before I try to start.

I like the idea of this book. 'Let's talk about the Great Commission and see how we can reach all the people that need to be reached'. However, I feel that the book focused more on reaching large groups of people rather than individuals. I realize that it is urgent that large groups of people are reached, however, sometimes it's best to start in your own backyard with one person. Then you can reach another and the first person you reached can reach a person etc. There is no shame in a small scale outreach in the community.

Also, not everyone is called to be a missionary. I believe that God will press on a person's heart if they are to be led in that direction. I don't know what the future holds for me and my family but I have never felt that we will be leading some large missionary group either here or overseas.

I did like that fact the the author did include chapter 8, "Evaluate Everything Financially". We are told that the more we give the more we get in return. It's scary in this economy to give money away when we feel like we don't have enough. We are commanded in the Bible though to give 10% whether we are rich or poor. It's something that not every pastor will talk about and I'm glad that it was talked about in this book.

Overall, I thought this was a book with some really good talking points but feels like it missed the mark. I felt like the author was too busy talking about how important he is and how many accomplishments he has and how much he alone works for the Great Commission. It turned me off somewhat to this book. I don't really know if I would recommend it.

I got this book for free from Thomas Nelson publishers through their Booksneeze program in exchange for a review. All thoughts contained in this review are my own.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"The Hour That Matters Most" by Les and Leslie Parrott with Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna

This book was a real blessing for me. The dinner time hour is something that I struggle with all the time. I can't seem to get everyone at the table or get everyone wanting to be at the table (including myself!). It's just easier sometimes to have people get their food and settle in front of the electronic device of their choice.

This book really gave good down-to-earth advice about getting the family to the table and enjoying each other's company. It wasn't condescending either. The authors never made me feel like I was a failure for not doing things their way. Instead they made it feel like a friend was telling me that she had been where I was and this was what she did to change things around.

The chapters cover everything from resolving conflict to instilling manners to how to actually listen to your kids. At the end of every chapter there is also a recipe. The recipes are very diverse and even though I know that some of the recipes won't work with my family, a lot of them will.

I think the thing I like the most about the book though was the chapter 'Starting a Fix and Freeze Club'. This is just a wonderful idea of the authors of this book. It's the idea that a couple moms get together and make meals for a month to store in the freezer so on busy nights there is no need to go and get fast food. This is such a simple idea but I jumped on it right away. I asked two of my friends if they wanted to do it and we are in the process of figuring out logistics on how to get everything done. I'm thankful to the authors for sharing this idea. I think it will help my family out a lot.

I really recommend this book. There is some really great recipes and advice on how to connect as a family in this book.

I received this book from Tyndale publishers for free in return for my review. I was not required to give a positive review and all thoughts contained in this review are my own.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Stained Glass Hearts" by Patsy Clairmont

I love Patsy. I think that she in a phenomenal writer and just an all around great lady. I've read some of her books before and I love the quick wit that shines through her writing. With that being said, I was suprised at the tone of this book when I started reading. This book is deeper and more heartfelt than the books I've read from her in the past.

This book is drawn around a central theme of how people's hearts are like stained glass. And how God is the great redeemer. Every chapter has a theme like poetry, nature, books, music and so on. I loved the themes. It made me understand even more that God really is everywhere. The beauty of this world and human creations are really astounding.

At the end of every chapter there is a section called the Art Gallery. This is full of music, scripture, quotes, paintings and museums. I learned so much from these sections. I discovered music that I had never heard. I learned about paintings that I have never come across and might never have if not for this book.

Overall, this was a fantastic book. I think Patsy really outdid herself this time. Because of the deeper content of this book I felt like I really got to know her. Some of her struggles are struggles that I've gone through so I really felt a connection to her.

I got this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze program. I received a copy for free and was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts in this review are my own.

"The Whole Bible Story" by Dr. William H. Marty

When I had the chance to review this book I knew I wanted it. I have trouble reading the Bible sometimes and I thought that this would give me a chance to learn some things that I might have missed in reading the Bible.

I was right. This is a fantastic book. Everything in the book is laid out in a way that is easy for me to understand. There were stories that I finally 'got' even after reading them over and over in the Bible since childhood. I will be keeping this book to read again and again along with my reading of the Bible to hopefully pick up more about what I am reading.

The author, Dr. William Marty, makes sure to tell the reader in the introduction in the book that this book does leave some things out and things are not in the order they are in the Bible because it's put into chronological order. He also states that this book is not supposed to replace your Bible reading. This is merely a supplement to your regular Bible reading.

I think this would be a great place to start for a new adult Christian. This book could really be a great starting point for someone to understand the Bible. I highly recommend it!

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. I was not required to give a positive review and all thoughts contained in this review are my own.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Bad Girls of the Bible" by Liz Curtis Higgs

I must say that I loved this book. I learned so much from this book. Not only about the Bible, but also about myself and my bad girl ways.

This book is divided into ten chapters. One chapter for each woman. The women in this book are, Eve, Potiphar's Wife, Lot's Wife, The Woman at the Well, Delilah, Sapphira, Rahab, Jezebel, Michal, and The Sinful Woman. The women are divided into categories. They are Bad to the Bone, Bad for a Moment, and Bad for a Season, but not Forever. Then Eve has her own category because she's the first ever bad girl. There were also study questions at the end of each chapter that could be used for groups or individual learning.

I loved the concept of this book. Sometimes for me, it's hard to connect with the wonderful godly women that you see in Ruth, Esther, the Proverbs 31 woman and more. I have a past that's not pretty, lovely, or godly. But knowing that these bad girls have some of the same traits that I did and still do have, makes me realize that I don't have to be perfect for God to love me or use my life for His will. He will meet me where and I and lift me up to go beyond what I ever thought I could be.

I loved the authors writing style. It was engaging, funny, witty and I never got bored with this book. I really think this is a must read for all women. I think that most of us can relate in some way to these bad girls. Most of us are probably not bad to the bone, but, it's a rare woman that is never bad for a season. This will be a book that I will keep and reread when I feel low and need to remember that there are women that came before me that were also bad girls and didn't think that God could love them and saw their lives redeemed.

I received this book from Waterbrook through their Blogging for Book program. I received a copy for free and was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts contained in this review are my own.

Friday, July 29, 2011

"A Conversation With God" by Alton Gansky

I found this to be a very intriguing book. While it did answer a lot of the questions that I have had, in some ways it still left a lot of things unanswered.

This book is comprised of fifty-five questions and has answers from 'God', 'Jesus', and other people from the Bible. The questions cover everything from the end times, to abortion, to heaven and hell. I loved the way that the book was laid out and the answers that the author gave.

But there was still something lacking. Some of the answers ended just as they started going somewhere, they ended or changed direction. I was hoping that there would be a lot more 'meat' to this book than there was.

This is one of those books that has an utterly fantastic concept but just seems to fall a little bit short for me. I would recommend this book, but probably only to a newer Christian. Someone who is looking for a deeper understanding will probably be disappointed with this book.

I got a copy of this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze program. I was not paid or my review or required to give a positive review. All thoughts contained in this review are my own.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Moving on over here :)

I decided that a seperate blog for my book reviews would be beneficial. That way everything is all in one place and my other blog can be used for other things I want to do. If I can figure out how to move my old reviews over here I will do that but it's eluding me so far lol.