Monday, August 27, 2012

Undaunted

I was one of those young people who was blessed by the ministry of Josh McDowell.  It has been 20 years since I first read More Than a Carpenter, but I still use the Lord, Liar, Lunatic argument as a springboard for discussion with unbelievers.  Therefore, I was excited to read this new book by Josh McDowell and was amazed at his life story.

Josh McDowell did not have a stable upbringing.  He was not raised in the church nor taught morals and values from a young age.  He learned from the school of hard knocks, both figuratively and literally.  Yet, God had a hand on him and did not forsake him.  God pursued Josh McDowell in a way that only God can.  I am inspired by his life story and am convicted that if Josh can forgive those who wronged him, then I can do no less.

I am so grateful that Tyndale Momentum sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Reason

It was more than a thunderstorm that hit a small town in Michigan.  It was an act of God.  But it was not a lightening bolt but a person by the name of Kenneth who really shocked the people of this town.  This man touches the lives of many people including a pastor and his family and friends.  They are never the same after spending time with Kenneth, and they want to know him, and Him, more.

As I started reading this book, another book quickly came to mind.  More than 20 years ago, a book with a similar storyline was published, Joshua, A Parable for Today.  Both books bring Jesus to life in a modern day setting, and both books inspire readers to not only have faith in Jesus but have a personal relationship with Him.

Since the storyline was not new, I was not that impressed with this book.  There are parts of the story which are overly descriptive, and other parts which do not give enough description.  Overall, it was a slow read with just enough drama to make it enjoyable enough.

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

inSignificant

This is the most significant book I have read all year.  Since I read an average of 2 books a week, that it significant.

Chris Travis shares his story about teaching for 2 years in the toughest school in the country.  He was a successful pastor who made the decision to teach in the most dangerous school in New York.  It was an challenging experience in which he doubted himself and questioned his abilities.  Through this time, he discovered how the meaning in life is found in being insignificant.

I recently finished student teaching at a not so good school.  It was not nearly as bad as the one described in the book, but the experience affected my desire to teach in public school.  I totally understand Chris's perspective and found a renewed strength to do what God is leading me to do, even if it does not make sense.

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

Friday, August 10, 2012

Rare Earth

This book was a bit of a disappointment.  I enjoyed the action/drama plot line, and the main character reminds me of Indiana Jones as a smart hero who acts alone but uses allies to do good.

The summary of the book that is found on the back covers tells the reader that rare earth metals found in Kenya are the source of the problems.  However, this is not conveyed in the storyline until page 219.  I like suspense in a book, but the story was given away in just 2 short paragraphs on the back cover.  Even the title gives away what the story does not disclose until more than halfway through the book.  This ruined the suspense.

I also did not like the verbose descriptions the author used.  He went into too much detail throughout the book describing the settings or the mannerisms of a character.  I was getting annoyed as this overwhelming detailed bored me and prevented me from enjoying the story.

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Money Smart Family System

I was thrilled to receive this book from Thomas Nelson for review.  That is how cheap I am.  I get excited over free books.

So I thought I am frugal and keep a tight budget, but I learned so much from this book.  No matter how good you are with your money, you can always do better.  In addition to that, teaching your children how to be wise with money is an even bigger task.  I appreciate all the ideas, encouragement, strategies, and stories presented in this book.

The system the book presented is incredible.  However, the system is too detailed for my family.  If I had read this book 10 years ago, I might have implemented the Money Smart system.  Even still, there were many strategies that I will implement.  I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be better about how their family manages their money.

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

Monday, August 6, 2012

Short Straw Bride

No one wants to marry a groom because of chance, even if the groom is the man you have dreamed about since childhood.  Meridith Hayes has had a crush on Travis Archer since he rescued her from a trap when she was a child.  He was the man of her dreams, literally, and eventually, those dreams came true.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  The storyline was contrived, but the plot progressed smoothly with sufficient character development.  It has been a while since I really liked reading historical fiction.  This book was a breath of fresh air in my reading repertoire.

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

Friday, August 3, 2012

Perfect Lies

We all have ideas and thoughts that affect how we live, but sometimes these ideas and thoughts are a detriment.  This book identifies these thoughts as lies and what we can do to overcome them.

The author, Jennifer Crow, experienced severe health issues that could not be cured.  She was so severely unable to endure the pain, she quit all her responsibilities and took a 3 month sabbatical from life.  During that time, she realized that her life was negatively affected by the lies she was believing.  As she faced the lies and reprogrammed her mind, she realized that her health problems were the physical reaction of the lies she was believing.

I identify with many of the lies the author identified.  I have lived the lie that I am worthless and that I must prove myself because my worth depends on what I do.  I still live this lie, but the author has given me hope that I can overcome it.  

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