Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Dream So Big

Reading this book was like taking a journey with the Peifer family.  The path was long with many unexpected twists and turns, but the views were stunning and well worth the trip.

The journey begins when Steve and Nancy Peifer found out in the middle of the pregnancy of their third child that he would not live very long, or even live outside of the womb.  The news was devastating.  They choose not to terminate the pregnancy.  Instead they choose to birth their third child and live as long as they could together.  Little Stephen died after 8 days.  As a way to deal with their pain, the Peifers moved their family to Africa as missionaries.  It was there that they saw beauty from their ashes.

The reason this book feels like a journey is that Steve writes in such an honest voice.  He shares the ups and downs and everything in between of being a missionary.  I felt like I was with the family when they lost a son, moved to Africa, served the poor, and adopted twins.  Thankfully the journey is not over as the Peifers continue to bring hope to a nation starving for hope.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Stress Test

In summary, Dr. Matt Newman is a in the midst of changing jobs but is kidnapped, almost murdered, and faces unemployment and possible jail time.  If that is not enough to stress someone out, I don't know what is!

I enjoyed the suspense and the mystery of this story.  It was a page-turner!  Even until the last few pages, I did not know how the mystery would be solved.  However, I was not thrilled with the ending because it came from out of nowhere.  I won't give it away, but I will say that I did not see that coming.  The ending did not make sense to me.  It was not that I did not see it coming but that the author did not provide any details or storyline that would point to this direction.  So as much as I enjoyed reading this book, I was not satisfied with how it ended.

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

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Full Armor of God

This book is a study of Ephesians with the focus on the armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-20.  It would make for a good 7 week study.

The struggle between good and evil, angels of light and angels of darkness is not new.  However, we would be wise to not forget about this struggle.  We will all struggle.  Some days the fight is harder than others.  On other days, we are in training before a battle, but we will have to fight.  This book gives us the training we need to fight those battles.  We cannot fight without being prepared, and this book gives all believers the preparation they need.

I enjoyed this book as a reminder of the struggle between good and evil.  It is not the best book I have read on this subject, but it is clear and concise, and basic enough for all believers to be encouraged.

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

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Love No Matter What

This book could have been titled, "What to Expect During the Teenage Years." Teens are going to rebel and try to determine for themselves what is truth in their lives.  We hope, as Christian parents, that they will accept Christ, but this does not always happen even with the best of parents.  The question is what do we do?  What happens when our children do not accept the truth we have lived?  Do we disown our own flesh and blood?  I hope not.  Yet, how to we love and accept the prodigal child?

Brenda Garrison offers hope to those who struggle with these questions.  You are not alone, and you are not to blame.  She herself lived through the challenging teenage years, and still works to maintain a healthy relationship with her daughter even when her daughter makes decisions she does not agree with.  The unique part of this book is that her daughter shares her own thoughts on these issues.  It is a unique perspective.

Some of the concepts are so revolutionary that I am having a hard time agreeing with everything in this book.  However, I certainly agree that my parenting needs to change as my children change.  What works for toddlers does not work for teenagers.  I have to adapt to the stages in life as much as they do, and it is never easy growing up!

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

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Matter of Trust

It was a good thing that I had free time this weekend to read this book.  I did not want to put it down!

In this latest mystery by Lis Weihl, a new cast of characters is introduced.  This is not the same characters from the Triple Threat, but it is the same genre of mystery and suspense.

The lead character, Mia Quinn, is an everywoman.  She is a single mom after the recent death of her husband.  She is trying to make her way in a profession that requires more time and energy than she can provide.  As she is confiding her worries to her closest friend, Colleen, over the phone, Mia hears a gunshot and never hears her friend speak or breath again.  It is up to Mia to figure out who the killer is and to figure out how to balance family and career without hurting anyone else in the process.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope that there are more Mia Quinn books to follow.

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

Thursday, March 14, 2013

One Nation, Under Attack

I do not usually read books about politics and economics, but I try to keep my options open when given a book to review.  This book is not necessarily eye-opening; however, it does give many statistics and provide many details about the true status of the economy.

I had recently scratched my head at the current upward trend of the Dow Jones.  If that is going up, why is the economy going down?  This book sheds light on the dichotomy of what the media and federal government portrays in contrast to what is actually going on.

As I read the book, I was inundated with data and numbers that made my head hurt.  By the time I was ready to just shut down and live off the grid, the author provides the reader with advice on how to live in this Economic Armageddon.  His advice is sound and easy to apply.  No matter what you think, it is always a good idea to be prepared.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Firefly Island

By the end of the book, I was really enjoying this story.  Mallory Hale leaves her independent life in D.C. to become a wife and mother in rural Texas.  She learns a great many things in this life transition and is better for it.

My problem with this book was the first 150 pages.  The backstory was too much; it took too long to get to the real story; and I almost put the book down because I was losing interest.  Since I had to finish the book in order to write this review, I pressed on.

Towards the end of the book, I felt like the story was rushed just to finish it.  With all the belabored descriptions of the first half of the book, I was dumbfounded the end came so quickly.  The book would have been better if it had started with chapter 10 and a few more chapters were added at the end to finish the story line.  There were a few things left unfinished which makes me wonder if there will be a sequel.

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

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Upside-Down Prayers for Parents

At first glance, the prayers in this devotional seem harsh.  Pray that my children will get caught doing wrong.  Pray that they will fail.  Pray that they will be confronted by shortcomings.  However, when I  dig deeper, I see the wisdom of these prayers.  By getting caught doing wrong, my children will be able to experience the power of confession.  By failing, my children will learn what matters and what does not matter.  By recognizing their own shortcomings, my children will recognize the need for a Savior.  Each of these prayers brings a deeper understand of God and His love for us.

This book encourages parents to pray for their children and to be honest about what we really want for them.  An easy life without experiencing any kind of pain or sacrifice will not mature children in their faith.  To be honest, I need to pray these prayers for myself as much as I do for my children.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  Read the first chapter here