Blog Archives

Book Review: What Keeps You Up At Night?

We all have fears!   These fears can be paralyzing and keep us from fully living life and fulfilling the plans God wants us to fulfill. _240_360_Book.1584.cover What Keeps You Up At Night by Pete Wilson is a book for all Christians who want to know how to put fears in to the right perspective.   I found this book well written, and full of very practical advice.  The author states ” I encourage you to think of this book as a field guide to ruthlessly trusting God’s plan – even in the face of difficulty and uncertainty.”  There are 12 chapters to this book and each chapter has a summary of the main points at the end, as well as Reflective Questions for further thought or discussion.  

I found that I benefited from reading this book and would likely recommend or provide copies of this book to friends who struggle with fears, concerns, and anxieties and need to refocus on God.  The author encourages just that, to make the choice to focus not on the problems but on the One who is bigger than the problems and able to help us and provide the resources we need.  He states that ” the object is not to fear less; it’s learning to trust God more.  I found the illustrations from the Bible and modern times to be encouraging and supportive of the author’s perspective.  I found that he offered very practical applications for each Christian to use in having a more God-focused, victorious life in the midst of trials and challenges.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Book Review – Divided: When The Head and The Heart Don’t Agree

Divided: When The Head and The Heart Don’t Agree by Bill Delvaux  is a book that explores a great divide that resides in many Christians lives. _225_350_Book.1522.cover It is described as “the gulf between the human head and the human heart. It’s the split between what we say we believe in our minds and what we really believe in our hearts.  This book is divided into 3 parts.  The first section takes a view of what the divide looks like and how it manifests in our lives, with modern examples and Biblical history/examples as well.  The 2nd section explores how to tackle the Divide to “expose the lies we have swallowed.”  It emphasizes the importance of self-examination to reveal lies we think, believe and act upon in our daily lives that keep us from embracing the truths that God wants us to build our lives on.  The third section discusses how to close the Divide. This section does not provide a cookie cutter magic formula for feeling more connected to God, but rather warns that we may initially feel more disconnected from God as old ways of thinking and acting have to die.  God ultimately has to do the work of closing the Divide and the author states ” the way Jesus comes to make His home inside of us is as unique as our stories, as different as our fingerprints.”

I enjoyed reading this book because currently there are many fragmented, confusing changes going on in the personal circumstances of my life.  What a comfort to know that other God seeking Christians struggle with this inner conflict between head and heart as well.  It is helpful to think about the causes of our disconnect from God and to have the hope of God working within us to knit us closer as He desires to be connected to each of us.

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: 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

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: 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.

Ascent from Darkness – Book Review

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The book, Ascent from Darkness by Michael Leehan tells his true story of becoming a Satanist and then slowly but surely being drawn to the light of Christ.  He explains the dynamics of his childhood that created the emptiness and restlessness that made Satanism attractive to him. Most of the book is a twisting tale of how he sunk further and further into Satanism and yet Christian influences were able to weave in and out of that imprisoned existence.  At first he could not see the true power and the peace that permeated the Christian life because the power of Satanism had blinded him. God, however, had his hand on Michael and was able to strip him of his dependence on Satan’s false power.  As Micheal despaired of being salvageable and was convinced Satan would take his life as punishment for abandoning his Satanic covenant,  God showed him that there was a way out that would give him new life and a new hope.

Through my life, I’ve become knowledgeable at a basic level of Satanism, which I feel every Christian should recognize as a definite evil religion practiced by many today.  It interested me most how Michael chose to attend churches and bible study groups to prey on the weaker Christians.  I wonder how many of us would even think about, much less recognize that a Satanist was present in our sacred, and seemingly safe church settings.  The perspective Michael offers is definitely not your everyday read. I think it will keep your interest and hopefully give you reason to take spiritual warfare more seriously.

I was provided this book for free by BookSneeze.com in exchange for providing an unbiased and honest review of the content.

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