Book Reviews

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Finding God in the Dark

Sifting the Soul

Disappointment can bring about feelings of doubt.  Doubt that the Good Lord, who made us, gave us life, knew us before we were even born, and will love us for eternity does not take care of our needs.  In the Book Finding God in the Dark, by Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin, they share some of  their  experiences; feelings of abandonment, anger, grief, and hopelessness in God.  Its not just a book about despair, its the realisation, God loves us so much, he will sift us,  to bring us closer to him.  We may not always understand at the moments during lifes trials the whys,  but later we may be grateful for those difficult  moments.
   Ted,  Kluck, has written for ESPN, Sports Spectum, and Christianity Today.  Awarded  book of the year for Christianity of Today.  He is a husband and father of two adopted boys and has been in a Christian band.  This author conveys emotion well through his writings. I was in literal  tears at one point, when he described the heart ache of loosing his father and the adoption of the sister to one of his sons. He, according to this book, has gained much but also lost a lot in his life.  Sharing his retrospect on the grace God has granted  him during not just the good but also the bad areas in his life.  Mr Kluck finds that to truly find the heart of God, we need to give up idols, some that are even hidden to us.  Being sifted of his sins during the good, brought about his great relationship with the Lord.
   I found this book at times to be heart breaking and inspirational.  I also found it to be difficult to read at times, being two different writers, therefore two different forms of writing.  I loved the way he did not sugar coat his feelings of anger, sadness, and utter loss.  This book did well in relating the relationships of our idols versus the  true relationship we gain with God, when we put them out of our lives.  This is the second book I have read by this writer, and look forward to future writings in the future.   I would like to thank netgalley, the authors Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin, and also the publisher Baker Publishing Group,  for allowing me to read and review this book.  All of the opinions in this review, are  mine and have not been influenced by any other source. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Heaven Here and Now

Look around

   Heaven Here and Now is a Christian based book by David McLaughlan.  One day we who believe in Christ,  will be in heaven.   
What a glorious day that will be!  This book is not about when we get to heaven, but how to enjoy the glimpses of heaven here on earth.  Bits of the Lords graciousness, and heaven sent gifts are all around us, taking the time to see them is the trick. 
   This book was filled with a large amount of mini short stories recognizing the true spirit of the Holy Spirit alive and working in this day and now, here and now.  With as many stories as this author has included in this book, you can be certain there is one if not may you will be able to relate to.  Life is full of goodness if we stop to enjoy those moments.  Life gets in the way, but true happiness is just a glimpse away, depending on whose eyes your are looking through.  As the saying goes, this book will help you to stop and smell the roses in others and your own lives.
   I found this book to be uplifting.  I loved the fact their were such a wide variety of true examples in this book.  This is not a teach you how to change, or find new ways to live type of book.  But it is a self help book, because it helps you see what is and has been right in front of our eyes.  The one thing I found frustrating was the author, did not seem to have a straight forward outline for this book.  The organization seemed chaotic, rambling, and out of sequence to me, anyway.  But all in all, its a great feel good, change your day, change your outlook book.
   Thanks so much to Barbour Publishing Inc., the author David McLaughlan, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.  All of this review is based solely on this writers opinion. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Making Good Habits Breaking Bad Habits


   Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits is a book written by Joyce Meyer. This is a self help book, written in from a Christian perspective, for those with the desire to change problematic parts of their life.  Joyce Meyer is a  Charismatic Christian author and speaker.  I look forward to her weekly, daily TV broadcasts along with reading her books.  She also is a speaker at women conferences, radio programs, and is the leader and founder, along with her husband Dave, of Joyce Meyer Ministries.  Mrs. Meyers teaches bad habits can be a distant memory of the past.
   "Habits are learned things we do through repetition and eventually do either unconsciously or with little effort."  Joyce Meyer teaches instead of working on the bad habits in our lives it helps to work on developing good habits.  We eventually replace the bad habits with the good habits with less focus on the negative and more on the positives in our lives.  Some of issues assisted with in this learning is stopping procrastination, put God first in all we do, being decisive in decision making, becoming and staying physically and emotionally healthy, being faithful, striving for excellence in all one does, being responsible, generosity, stopping the hurrying hurdle, self pity, temperament, addiction, being confident, adding value to others and self discipline.  I don't know about you, but there is plenty in this list worth reading this book for, I need to work on!
   Joyce Meyer believes to change a habit one needs to start with one habit at a time.  True change takes 30 days of repetition for something to become a changed habit.  Begin each journey by prayer, nothing is accomplished without God's glorious help.  She believes developing a support system with others, putting up signs to remind us, and inviting the Holy Spirit is the best way to accomplish our goals.  Keep your words and thoughts positive towards what you are working on, and going to change.  Celebrate and rejoice in the good days you accomplish and shake off your mistakes and disappointments, go right back to working on your destination.    Above all never give up, we are able to accomplish all with Christ...Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
   I found this book, as with all of Joyce Meyers books,  to be a great read.  Many of the things she discusses I do need to work on in my life, and find this book to not only be helpful towards breaking my bad habits but positive encouragement to progress towards becoming the person I want to be.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who feels they are alone and cant change, who desires a change, and to those looking to become a better person.  I will be using the advice in this book to change many areas in my life and those who read it will find they will to. 
Thanks to FaithWords Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me the privilege to review this book.  I was not paid or enticed in anyway for my review.  This review is my own thoughts, without the influence of anyone or anything. 
   "Watch your thoughts for they become words, watch your words for they become actions, watch your actions for they become habits, watch your actions for they become character, watch your character for it becomes your destiny- Anonymous"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pew Sisters

WE All Have Trials

   Pew Sisters,  by Katie Schuermann, is a 12 week Bible Study.  Small Groups  and individuals both, will be enlightened by these  teachings.  Each week starts out with a Bible verse, followed by a short story, a hymn to  medicate on, a prayer to accompany that weeks teaching, before some insightful questions, ending with a summery of the story including the rationales for the questions.  Each lesson is based on a difficult situation women can deal with in their life.
   Have you suffered from someone else's sins, brought into your life, angry and unforgiving?  "Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a gift that is given to you regardless of how you feel."  Praying for guidance and emotions needed to forgive, is just one of the learned lessons in this study guide.  Pray and then "tell satin to go to hell", I love that line!  Other subjects covered are depression, grieving, anxiety, sickness, low self esteem, loss of  talent, worry, children are God's gifts, and not judging others.  There are other lessons within a lesson also that can be obtained it you spend the time to really study with this book.  You will find the answers to the questions to each chapter in the back of the book, not answered from the author but by the  authors Preacher Pastor McGuire.  Not only does each lesson relate to one's life but it also shows how to give comfort to our "Pew Sisters", our sisters in Christ, who struggle and need our shoulders to lean on.
   I found this book to be insightful, not only for my own daily needs, but to help support others who are also in need.  I liked the set up of the lessons, and enjoyed the hymns that went along with each chapter.  I can find many ways to use this material now, in my daily life for me and for others I care for.  Each subject is a quick read, with lots of knowledge to be obtained, all followed up with scriptures and where to find them in the Bible.  I would recommend this book to my other Sisters in Christ, not only for their daily lives but to support our other sisters in the body. 


Worry Wart

Worry No More

   Worry Wart is a children's book by Lisa Kildahl , is an amazing book, according to my son.   Worrying is all that Chloe, the main character, does all the time until she figures out why not to worry.   I liked the graphics of the book, they were vibrant and colorful.  The pictures all looked as if they were made out of clay.  Overall, I would recommend this book to ages 3-9 years of age.  I would recommend this book for children who struggle with worrying.  My son doesn't worry much, but he still found this book to be entertaining. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bad Girls of the Bible

Women of the Bible are Boring!

     Yep, women of the Bible, how boring a subject is that?  My thoughts, summed up totally, until I made the wonderful discovery of Liz Curtis Higgs book, Bad Girls of the Bible.  I had the pleasure of shopping at my favorite mall aka thrift store.   Excitingly, found this book, by God intervention I feet.  I would of never read it, except it was cheap and I love a good bargain. 
     Reading is a passion of mine, the expense my husband doesn't agree with.  The first place to see when shopping for me, is the book isle.  My opinion has been changed regarding women and the bible since finishing this book.  Liz Curtis Higgs was able to bring these women alive and show what how entertaining and realistic to our times as they ever were in Bible days.  If you are interested in a good romance, thriller, drama, or soap opera, ,this book is for you!
     Liz Curtis Higgs is able to bring Eve, Potiphar's Wife, Lots Wife, Delilah, Sapphira, Rehab, Jazebel,  and Michael into the here and now as was there and then.  I was so surprised to see that our sinful desires are no match,  or new for the biblical world.  The Biblical women could of made a better soap opera then our generation ever thought of making, with a sold out crowd.  I never knew how exciting the bible really could be until I picked up this book.
     I would highly recommend this book, it kept me glued from page one.   I devoured this book in a day.  I can say this was the book that lead to my quest for new enlightenment in my Christian faith.  Liz Curtis Higgs has a way of bringing you into these women's lives with humor and reality.  If you want a book to enlighten your life, keep you up late into the night reading, and make a difference, pick up this book and enjoy!