Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: Simply Open: A Guide To Experiencing God In The Everyday

Simply Open is written by Greg Paul, a pastor who works with an inner city ministry that provides a Sanctuary community to some of the most hurting and excluded people in the city. _225_350_Book.1455.cover He lives out each day what it means to love perhaps even those considered unlovable, and He says he has learned to love like this by being open to God.

In his book Simply Open: A Guide To Experiencing God In The Everyday. he shares how we can experience more of God by being more open in our awareness of how God is revealing himself to us daily through our 5 senses.  “No matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing, no matter how busy we get, our senses are engaged – even when we are largely unconscious of them. Scripture makes it abundantly clear, as does personal experience at some level for almost everyone. that our five  senses, along with our minds and hearts, provide a path deeper into the great mystery of God.”  He spends time in each chapter discussing a different sense as it is experienced through our eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, mind, and heart.  He provides a simple prayer to be prayed for God to open us to more awareness through each of our senses and provides beautiful illustrations and reflections about each sense and how it can connect us to a more intimate experience of God.

I enjoyed reading this book and highlighted many parts for further reflection.  This book seemed in many ways an elaboration of the meaning behind such timeless sayings as “Stop and smell the roses.”    I agree with the author that God longs to connect with us in many ways and through all of our senses.  It made me more aware of how much more open I could be in my daily life to all the simple ways God may be trying to connect to me. The mystery of God is revealed uniquely to each of us, just as we uniquely learn and experience through our senses and interpret these experiences differently.  This is definitely a book worth reading if you are at that point in your spiritual walk with God where you want to be taken to a new level of experiencing His spiritual mystery and feeling more intimately connected to Him.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

 

Book Review: Beloved Dust

I just finished reading Beloved Dust: Drawing Closer To God By Discovering The Truth About Yourself. _225_350_Book.1370.cover This book was co-written by Jamin Goggen and Kyle Strobel.   As a pastor and theology professor. these men are very involved in studying and teaching God’s word.  The book resulted from their own realizations that many Christians share a common lack of finding rest and true abiding in God.  This book is to encourage Christians, that although self-help strategies and personal resolutions may fail to draw you closer to God….Jesus will not.  By recognizing that we are dust, but not any dust….His Beloved Dust….we can embrace a different process of allowing Christ to draw us and knit us closer to God.

I give this book 5/5 stars because of the applicable truths contained.  Like so many who seek “something more” in relationship to God, I have chosen tactics of trying to draw nearer to God vs just learning to abide in God.  To see yourself as dust, your raw being, and to then recognize that no matter how broken or flawed you may be in your sin…..you are beloved, is freeing.  I learned more about what God’s idea of “rest” should be and how to truly abide and rest in HIm.  I also valued the impact this book made on my perspective about prayer.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Book Review: The Real House Of God

The Real House Of God by H. Dele Davies, MD is a very informative spiritual book that provides an in depth look at the Temple of the Old Testament and correlates it to the believer being a temple of God’s indwelling._140_245_Book.1005.cover

If you are like me, and have read through the long, very detailed passages in the Old Testament that talk about the Temple, you found the information hard to digest and the significance of all the layout and items hard to grasp.  In this book, Dr Davies, looks piece by piece at each described article and detail of the Temple and he takes the time to explain to the reader what the significance and purpose is meant to be.  He also relates corresponding scripture passages and events to further explain the spiritual importance and impact.

More importantly, he provides explanation of how the temple reflects Heaven as the dwelling place of God, and how the temple also reflects the current believer’s body as the new Temple and dwelling place of God. He provides significant applications for our spiritual understanding of grace and how to grow deeper in our relationship with God.

I enjoyed reading this book and plan to keep it as a valuable reference source that I will read again.  The author is passionate about the subject matter and passionate about providing a resource to help Christians grow in their understanding of God’s Word and His purposes for each of us.  My rating: 5/5!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers at booklookbloggers.com.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Hebrews: A Better Blend Giveaway

“The new is in the old concealed; the old is by the new revealed.” —Saint Augustinedownload (1)

Hebrews: A Better Blend became available hot off the presses on July 1.  I am very honored to be part of the launch team for the 2nd published Bible Study by author Leah Adams.  I became acquainted with Leah when I joined her for a Bible Study online which involved her first published work, From The Trash Pile to the Treasure Chest – Creating A Godly Legacy.  Leah has a heart for sharing her love for Jesus and how he has transformed her life.  She has a gift for involving the reader in an interactive, though provoking and faith building experience.

So let me highlight some of the wonderful delights I found in this Bible Study of Hebrews:

  • Sweets Galore!!! There is a coffee and sweets theme that adds some fun for enjoying on your own or as part of an intimate Bible Study group. For each chapter of the 8 week study, Leah has provided a wonderful recipe to enjoy.
  • Bite size nuggets of information and discovery.  Hebrews is not an easy book of the Bible to read or understand.  Leah breaks it down in to manageable  components that are easier to comprehend.
  • Comparison and blending of the Old and New Testaments.  Leah provides explanations of how the Old Tabernacle and Old Covenant with God’s people portrayed God’s plan for the future and pointed toward Jesus as the fulfillment of the old as he ushered in the more superior New Covenant.
  • Inspires Faith and Intimacy With God:  Leah showcases how much love God showed in sending Jesus as the perfect and final sacrifice so that ultimately intimacy with God could be restored with you and I.
  • Interactive and Reflective method of studying God’s word.  Leah has provided verses for you to explore, as well as fill in the blank and though provoking questions for you to answer and discuss.  She has included places for you to journal about your personal reflections and discoveries.
  • Application:  Not only does Leah share stories that reveal her own personal applications of the truths found in Hebrews, but she leads you down your own road of seeking God’s will for how to apply these truths so that you can build your faith and trust in God.  Her desire is for you to have a better understanding of the foundations of the life-giving relationship that Jesus has provided as the bridge to connect you to a rewarding and intimate daily walk with God.

 So, now for the Giveaway!  Leah is graciously offering a free copy of her book.
To enter: Help share the news of Leah’s publication.  Leave me a comment saying that you made a tweet about the giveaway or shared on other social media sites, and I encourage you to use the hashtags #HeBrews and #byfaithi.   I will count 1 entry for each social media site.
Another entry option is to leave a comment on my blog about What inspires your faith and intimacy with God.
IMPORTANT! When you click on the comment box, there will be another box for your email address (not made public), which I will need to contact the winner.

This giveaway will close Sunday, July 13 at 8:00 pm.  Winners will be determined by random drawing.  The winner will be announced on this same blog site no later than Monday, July 14.  Good luck and God bless!

WINNER: twiga92.

To view more about this Bible Study book, visit the info page at Warner Press
Also visit the Amazon.com page where you can order the paperback or Kindle additions.
Visit Leah at The Point Ministries.

Book Review: Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek

It’s Time for a Mom and Kid Duo Review:_225_350_Book.1106.cover
My 9 year old and I just finished reading the first book in the Faithgirlz series, called Riley Mae and the Rock Shocker Trek.  This series was written by Jill Osbourne and chronicles the adventures of a 7th grader named Riley Mae.  The book is about the ups and downs of being the new spokesperson for a line of flashy athletic girl shoes.  Riley Mae learns that the excitement and glamour also comes with a lot of commitment that takes her away from the things that she enjoys doing, and causes her friendships to be affected as well.  As a Christian, she feels the conflict of being part of a glamour world and watching the disappointments of those who struggle with not having money and nice things.  Her Christian values prevail, and she clings to the desire to care for and reach out to others.

Ansley ( age 9) shared her thoughts about the book, and she had many favorite parts. A mix of humor, adventure, and mystery were reflected in her choices.  She could relate well to Riley Mae as they both liked the outdoors, sports, etc but also girly, glitzy things to wear, such as the shoes in the shoe line Riley Mae represented.  She liked that Riley Mae was a Christian girl who was kind and considerate to others, and didn’t pick her friends based on “being popular”.

In my opinion, the author did well with capturing story aspects that would appeal to a pre-teen/young teen  market.  As a chapter book, this book often has incentive to keep reading to find out what’s going to happen next.  The entire book also ends with some things not getting closure and promise of more continued adventure in the next book of the series.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Book Review: Death By Living

Death by Living, written by N. D. Wilson, is a reflective look at life, and his perspective on how life and death intertwine and give each other meaning.download

 

In the form of stories retold, the author places memories of his childhood, his relatives, and his own children under the microscope lens and dissects how the moments captured have spiritual value.  He awakens in rich detail the telling of everyday events, happy moments and sad, the joy of new birth and childhood fun, as well as the bittersweet farewells of final days on Earth.  He emphasizes how our individual and unique life experiences deeply connect us to each other and to God.  God’s Sovereignty and grace are predominant themes, and the author wants us to realize that the richness of life is realizing that God is the one who gives meaning and purpose to every facet of its continuum.
I enjoyed reading this book when I had ample leisure time to savor the storytelling aspect. The author uses a lot of colorful, descriptive wording that many may find distracting and not easy reading.  There are many layers of reflection and spiritual significance explored, that are nice to chew on in small segments at a time.  If you are a deep thinker, and like finding spiritual nuggets in the everyday circumstances of life, then you will enjoy this author’s deeply reflective and philosophical style.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

 

Book Review: Downside Up

No one likes rejection, yet we have all experienced rejection’s unavoidable bitter sting._225_350_Book.880.cover
 In her book Downside Up, Tracey Mitchell offers a new perspective on rejection.  She suggests that rejection is a powerful tool that once conquered, can become “the greatest motivator in your life.”
Her book explores all the negative aspects of rejection and the damage that rejection can do to a wounded heart.  It exposes all the ways that unchecked rejection can fester, and warp our self-worth.  At a spiritual level she reveals how rejections taints the positive affirmations that Gods wants our identity to have.  Her encouragement: “to begin retraining your mind to think positive thoughts, to speak God’s Word, and to embrace His will for your life.”

The book details how to begin retraining your mind so that you can combat being prone to perfectionism or crippled by fear.  It teaches you how rejection can help you identify positive healthy relationships and protect yourself from abusive, manipulative relationships.  It also teaches you how to look beyond the negativity of circumstances and find positive outcomes.

I found the book interesting to read and it challenged my own interpretations of events and circumstances in my life.  It pointed me to the sovereignty of God and to trust in His ability to always be teaching me, molding me, and instructing me so that Christ might be reflected within my life.  I think all Christians struggle at times to keep their faith afloat in the midst of trials and difficulties, and rejection can be such a hard hurdle to overcome.  If you want to challenge and overcome your negative reactions to rejection, then this is a book worth reading.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Book Review: Prayer Warrior Mom

 

God has gifted us with a lofty vocation, a glorious calling, and a high honor. -Marla Alupoaicei

Prayer Warrior Mom by Marla Alupoaicei was a well written and organized book about why and how to pray for our children.  _140_245_Book.834.cover  She emphasized the importance of praying for our children’s spiritual growth and understanding, and for their protection in a world that presents many trials and dangers.The book is divided into 15 chapters that cover a specific topic.  The chapters provide scriptural references, real life stories reflecting the author’s experiences as well as others, and discussion questions at the end that could be used with a small study group.  Prayer examples are also provided to guide your thoughts and dialogue.
I found the book nice to digest one chapter at a time and thought it would be a great bible study to do with other moms.  I was renewed in my belief in intercessory prayer and how powerful and important the impact of prayer can be.  I felt that the author was passing on a legacy handed down from generations before that reflected the beauty of a God focused family.  I believe that the faith and prayers of people in my life had a lot of impact on shaping the course of my life, and I want to pass on such a privileged duty by praying for my own children.  It was reading books by Stormy Omartian that first inspired me to focus on praying for my kids and husband.  This book added a fresh perspective and will certainly be a reference I return to many times.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Book Review: Dirty God

Dirty God by Johnnie Moore is about Jesus in the trenches. As Johnnie puts it “This is a book about grace. And how grace split time in half and made a broken world a playground again for the goodness and kindness of God.”

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This book takes us into the amazing humanity and deity of God all wrapped up into the very personable and “down to earth” Jesus. The Jesus who could have come to Earth in full glory and honor, chose to make his entrance into our world as among the poor and common. He did this to show his ultimate love and compassion for all of humankind and not just the rich and famous. Unlike any other religion, this book points out that Christianity is different because instead of people clamoring for the attention of their distant gods, Christianity has a personable and available God who comes directly and personably to them. Jesus came to give us access to God as a free gift. Mr. Moore believed that if one could truly grasp the love and acceptance extended in God’s grace, their life would be radically changed and they would be able to understand how important their purpose in life could be as the extender of that grace to others.

As a fan of books about God’s grace, I have to add this one to my favorite’s collection. This is the first book I have read by Johnnie Moore, and I found his writing style pulled me in to the story as if written directly to me. In a style I could compare to Max Lucado, he has a talent for making Jesus come alive and walk off the pages of the book. I also liked learning that this author lives what he preaches and has made many travels to distant lands, seeing first hand and ministering to the suffering of this world that he writes about and wants to change. This book is a good read if you are seeking a personable relationship with Jesus and a better understanding of his amazing love for you.

Book Review: The Truth About Grace by John MacArthur

In his book, The Truth About Grace, John Mac Arthur says “grace is God presently at work in our lives.’ _225_350_Book.626.cover His book is a detailed account of how grace is God’s free gift to a fallen world that provides the only means for reconciliation with God and salvation from man’s inherent corrupt nature.  He explains how grace is fully orchestrated by God from beginning to end.  He contrasts the belief of a grace that is completely based on the saving work of Jesus on the Cross, and the false belief that human works and effort are requirements in addition to Jesus’s death for one to keep/earn/be worthy of salvation.   He does not embrace “cheap grace”, however, that would advocate a free license to sin. In sharp contrast, he insists “that ‘grace’ that does not affect one’s behavior is not the grace of God”.  He explains how that when God saves an individual, his Holy Spirit is always at work to mold and transform that person in to the likeness of Christ.  God’s Holy Spirit empowers a Christian to be Christlike and a Christian will not be able to freely immerse themselves in willful sin without conviction.  God’s grace does not fail, and it completes what it starts.

I kept this book as my Book Review book for many months, because frankly there was so much spiritual meat contained that I wanted to read it over and over again.  I read it through once, and then again slowly and methodically so that I could grasp the contents with better understanding.  Each time I have read portions of this book, I have learned something new and exciting.  This is a book full of information but it covers so many questions and explains so much about God’s grace.   I think the more you realize how unworthy of God’s grace you are, the more amazed and thankful you should become that you are a recipient.

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