Friday, December 30, 2011

The Resignation of Eve

As I began reading the book, I got angry. I disagreed with the premise to the book. However, as I continued to read, I was challenged. The author asked the reader to ponder how you got to your beliefs about the role of women in the church instead of trying to defend these beliefs. So I continued to read and was challenged.

I'm not sure I understand the argument that women are not allowed to lead in church. In a Barna survey quoted on page 136, 81% of women agree that their church provides women with the same degree of leadership opportunities that Jesus would give them. So the majority women believe that the church does reflect the teachings of Jesus in regard to the roles women play in the church.

Another theme that Henderson repeats throughout the book is that pastors are threatened by women with the gift of leadership and often prevent women from using that gift in a leadership role. I wonder how many of these pastors would be threatened by men in the church trying to exert their gift of leadership in a way that challenges the pastor's authority. A pastor, as the shepherd to a flock, has to be protective and careful with anyone who wants to challenge authority.

The premise is flawed that "women today are not given access to day to as much influence as they're capable of in the church" (p. xx). Women are given access to every level within the church. So I am left to wonder, are women really leaving the church in large numbers as the book purports?

Tyndale House has provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Color of Rain

This is more than just a story about how 2 families became one. This is a book about loving and losing and loving again. It is about not about just surviving a tragedy but learning how to thrive.

Two people, two families, experienced tragedy like no one should have to experience. Both families lost a parent to cancer and were forced to move on with life with an emptiness that would never be filled. As these two families connected, they learn to move on and to accept their new lives as they embrace their shared sorrows and shared joys. Their story is sad yet happy, tragic yet inspiring. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has experience any kind of tragedy in their lives.

The one take away from this book is the description of the different kinds of people who try to help these families. Gina describes 4 type of people who help:

1. Nikes - Those who don't offer help, they just do it. They do without asking and seem to know what lines not to cross.
2. Thingtimes - Those who offer to help anytime and anywhere but really are not sure what to do.
3. Snailer - Those who seen encouragement via mail or email building up with words of affirmation.
4. Mirror People - Those who when looking at you only see themselves and seem to turn all conversations back to themselves.

Having had friends and family members experience tragedy, this description helps me to help those I love.

Zondervan has provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Miracles are for Real

With proof and truth, James L. Garlow and Keith Wall establish that miracles are for real. Some may doubt or refuse to believe, but miracles do exist today. The many stories presented in the book are inspiring and amazing.

Stories of modern day miracles are sprinkled throughout the book as the authors define what is truly a miracle and then prove that miracles do exist today. I have never doubted that miracles occur today, but this book gave me more reason to seek God and be willing to pray for miracles in my own life.

This book is a great complement to Heaven is for Real.

Bethany House has provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Why Men Hate Going to Church

I was not planning on reading this book for good reason....I am a woman. I did not think I would get much out of this book, but I was wrong. That's right, I admit that I was wrong.

My husband is the one who wanted to read this book, and he says that he can relate to what the book said. So I got it for him, but when I read it, I was amazed. It is not a surprise that the modern day church is suffering because it does not meet the needs of men. I so appreciate the insight as to why men do not like going to church. As I read I realized that so much of it I see weekly in my local church. I now understand why the modern church is just not meeting the needs of men.

I was starting to lose hope as I was reading until I reached Part 3, "Calling the Church Back to Men." There is hope, and there are simple ideas and easy to employ strategies to meet the needs of men in the church. It does not require a big budget and radical changes. Instead, there are simple, easy, and inexpensive ways to make church more inviting to men.

I am so glad that I read this book and know that everyone (male and female) who reads this book will be encouraged to be a part of the kingdom of God.



Thomas Nelson has provided me a free copy of this ebook in exchange for this review which I freely give. I wish I had a print copy of this book because there are so many people I know who would like to read this book. I guess they will just have to buy their own copy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bittersweet Surreneder

This book was an easy and enjoyable read; however, I was tempted to indulge in some good chocolate while reading the first few chapters. Like the protagonist, I could stand to lose a few pounds but would have a hard time giving up chocolate to do it.

The story was simple and the cast of characters likable. All the characters were flawed and were forced to deal with their issues at some point in the story. The biggest issue was being honest with each other. After a while, it felt like an episdoe of Three's Company, where one person knew something about the other person but would not tell the other person only to complicate matters. Toward the end of the book, I was frustrated waiting for the characters to start revealing these truths. They finally did, but it seemed like the author wrote an extra 50 pages to draw out the story needlessly.



I did like the nod to Smitten, Vermont, the town and title of a recent book Diann Hunt co-wrote with Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, and Denise Hunter. Spring Creek, the setting for this book, is then next town over from Smitten.

Thomas Nelson has provided me a free copy of this ebook in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Angel in My Room



This was more of a short story than a book. It was a quick read about one woman's experience after losing a baby. Her story is compelling and moving, but I would not say it was well written.

Lillie's faith deepens as she overcomes the loss of her baby. Her life is transformed and her belief in God is strengthened. So much is summarized in this story that I am left to wonder, How did that happen? Lillie learns to accept God's forgiveness, but how? She discovers that she needs to meditate on God's Word, but how? Lillie moves on with her life, but again, how? Too much is left unsaid.

Another thing that bothered me about the book was the mention of the angel in her room. This is the title of the book, but it is only mentioned in a small part of her book. She writes that her baby in the form of an angel appeared to her in her hospital room. There is no mention of the possible side-effects to the heavy dose of painkillers she was on or the unbiblical description of a baby with wings. Angels are described as heavenly beings, not as babies with wings. That cherubic depiction is man made. This makes me question the authenticity of the angel Lillie saw.

This is a simple story about one woman's experience. I would recommend Heaven is for Real for a better depiction of angels and heaven.


Thomas Nelson has provided me a free copy of this WestBow publication in exchange for this review which I freely give.

Smitten



Growing up in New England, I can envision a town like Smitten, Vermont, with its small town charm and outdoor adventures. I can also relate the struggles and dilemmas of the heroines, Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese.

It was neat how the book was written in 4 parts by 4 different authors. Each author wrote about one of the heroines and their corresponding love story where each one finds true love in this small town of Smitten. Thsse stories are intertwined throughout the book and are written in chronological order.

I was not impressed with the repeatative story pattern. Every story followed the same pattern where a woman falls in love with a man who was already a friend and then they realize that they are in love. The redundancy prevented me from being truly smitten with this book. Otherwise, it was a light and easy read.


Thomas Nelson has provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Longing

I cannot say that I am disappointed because this book is what I expected. More of the same without any real progression of the storyline or of the character development of Bailey, Brandon, or Cody. Nothing really happens in this book. There is no conflict or climax, It felt more like an intermission between the first 2 books in this series, and the final installment which will be published in 4 months.

Bailey is once again living a charmed life as a Broadway actress with a Hollywood heart-throb as her boyfriend. This is the same storyline as Learning and the story continues with Bailey having to get over her relationship with Cody to move on with her life.

I have been reading this series from the beginning, and I am not talking about Leaving, but about the very beginning with Redemption the very first book in this series. Longing is the 21st book in this series and could not be read as a stand alone.

The book is easy to read and well written, just more of the same story as previous books without any real change.


Zondervan has provided me a free copy of this book for my review which I freely give.