Sunday, April 28, 2013

For Women Only (Revised and Updated)

Even though I read this book when it first came out almost 10 years ago, this latest edition is worth reading as well as rereading.

I have learned that marriage is not easy.  This book is a reminder that marriage takes work.  We women have the opportunity to understand our men better.  Many conflicts and disagreements stem from our differences.  Once we understand these differences, conflicts and disagreements can be resolved or even avoided.

I appreciate the honesty from the author, Shaunti Feldhahn, and from the men she surveyed.  The truth hurts sometimes.  However like a open wound, it needs to be cleaned out properly before healing can occur.  This book is the cleaning that leads to healing.

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

7 Men

Sometimes biographies are dry and dull, but not this one.  Eric Metaxas has a gift for making stories of great men come alive.  We have a lot to learn from these men as the truths they lived by are still relevant today.

The 7 men profiled in this book are all great men.  I am sure there are more great men, and women, who could have arguably been included.  However, these 7 men made great contributions to society because of their faith.  They were compelled to do great things.  However, they refused to lie, deceive, manipulate, or lower their standards.  These men modeled true greatness.

My personal favorites were the profiles of Eric Liddell and Jackie Robinson.  Even still, all 7 men are inspiring.  I hope this is the first of many books by Eric Metaxas where he profiles many great men and women.

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

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Humble Orthodoxy

Joshua Harris holds nothing back as he reminds us that being a Christian is more than just knowing about Christ.  Being a Christian is about living like Christ.  For many of us this is nothing new but something we all need to remember.  It is too easy to live like a Pharisee with a list of rules.  It is much harder to live like Jesus who was about love and forgiveness.

The one statement really spoke to me was from page 37: "Don't measure yourself by what you know.  Measure yourself by your practice of what you know."  I will be honest and say that I am guilty of knowing a lot but not doing a lot.  I pray I can be more like Christ.

As previous reviewers have noted, this is a small book.  To me this book is more like a sermon.  It can be read in one sitting, but it can also be reread easily.


I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  Read Chapter 1 here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Take a Chance on Me

If you need a good book to read, this is the one.  It is a story of redemption and forgiveness, hope and healing.

Ivy Madison spent her childhood in limbo first with a drug addict mom and then in foster care.  She just wants to settled down in a place where she belongs.  She hopes Deep Haven is that place.  What she finds is that there are those in Deep Haven who have lived there their entire life but still struggle to belong.  Ivy meets Darek Christiansen who struggles to forgive not just those who harmed him but to forgive himself.  Ivy and Darek fall in love, but first must overcome their own issues before they can face life together.

SPOILER ALERT:  Even though I knew there would be a fire in the story, given Darek's background, it was still surprising that Darek did not quickly join the hotshots.  I thought he would return to doing what he loved.  Instead he realizes that he used hotshotting to used to escape his life.  So that part of the story was unexpected.


Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.  Check out Author Q&A, Chapter 1, and video trailer.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

God Distorted

No matter how wonderful, or not so wonderful, your earthly father was, your Heavenly Father is perfect and loves you perfectly.  This is the message of this book.

With hope and healing, John Bishop shares his journey to understand who God truly is.  He is honest about his struggle especially about forgiveness.  I appreciate his words that forgiveness "is not a one-time thing but a whole way of life."  This is true for all of us because life is not without its hurts.

I was blessed with a good father, but I know I am in the minority.  I read this book realizing just how lucky I was.  However, no man is perfect, and this book opened my eyes to how I had some distorted views of God.

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

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Icecutter's Daughter

It has been a long time since I read a good book such as this one.  It was not amazing; however, it was a nice leisurely read.  The book had romance, a dash of suspense, and a nice helping of family.  It was just what I needed!

Merrill is a strong woman who has been taking care of her father and older brothers after the death of her mother.  She is quite capable and is not looking to find a husband especially after living with so many men for so long.  Of course, when she least expects it, a new man comes into to town and she falls in love.  The twist is that she does not realize she is falling in love.  He loves her, too, but there are some complications that are getting in the way.  Only after much drama and suspense are they able to admit their love for each other.

I probably gave the book away, but with all historical romance, the reader knows that the man and woman at the center of the story will fall in love and live happily ever after.  Even though I knew it was going to happen, it was fun to find out how it would happen.  That is why I enjoyed reading this book.

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

Friday, April 5, 2013

Firsthand

Being a Christian is more than just doing good things and saying the right thing.  Yet, all too often, we boil down our faith to just a to-do list.  The Shook brothers challenge us to throw out the lists and make a relationship with God our focus.

Ryan and Josh Shook may be young but they are wise in their words.  Even though I am a few years, okay many years older, than the Shook's, I could relate to a lot of what they were saying.  No matter how old you are, we all need to make sure our focus is on a relationship with God not a list of rules and regulations.

I am grateful that Ryan and Josh were open and honest about their journey of faith.  They went from good church boys to men with deep faith in God.  It was not an easy journey but one that was necessary and inspiring.

Waterbrook Multnomah provide me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When Jesus Wept

I have previously read novels by the Thoene's and have enjoyed their work.  However, this latest book was not to my liking.

In the genre of Biblical fiction, I understand that the novel will add more to the Biblical story.  Providing additional dialogue and action is necessary to character development and to develop a story line.  Yet, I do not agree with some of the threads of this story.  One that really bothered me was that Mary, the sister of Lazarus, is Mary Magdalene.  There are many people named Mary who are part of the gospel story, but I am not sure that Mary Magdalene is the same as Mary, sister of Lazarus.

Another thing that bothered me about this book was the character of Martha.  I have often identified with her character in the Bible as I, too, am a servant who works hard and sometimes forget to just sit and listen to what God is telling me.  In this book, her character is never developed.  She is just the dutiful sister of Lazarus who continues to serve and do the hard work necessary to maintain a household.  For as much attention is given to Mary, Martha continues to be overlooked.

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