Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Inconvenient Truth About This Book

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Athough entertaining, I would hardly call this a Christian book. The references to God and faith are few and far between, with the main character, Charlotte Beck, having the most shallow faith of all. Charlotte spends most of the book denying the need for God and believing that a person's lot in life comes from hard work. At the climax of the book, she does admit a feeble need for God, but then the remainder of the book is spent focused on the consumation of their marriage, which at times was more detailed than I felt was appropriate.

The witing was also rather extreme. Charlotte's character was over the top wild and opinionated. Alex's character, which bounced between smart businessman and dreamy, entitled stargazer, left a lot to be desired.. But the most confusing part was the storyline of Charlotte's mother, who 'disappeared' when Charlotte was young. The scene in the book where this storyline pinacles was full of holes. Even worse, the author does not fill in all the gaps, leaving the reader wondering what it was all about.

Overall, I would not recommend this book unless extremely bored and needing something to do.

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

An amazing story of love

Redeeming Love by Fancine Rivers

I am a huge fan of Francine Rivers, Redeeming Love being my favorite of her works. Set during the California gold rush, it is the story of a godly man, Michael Hosea, who is called by God to rescue a prostitute, Angel, and marry her. Although he does not understand why God is calling him to do this, he follows the call. As the story evolves, the power of following God's will becomes evident.

Ms. Rivers based this book on the bible book/story of Hosea and his wife Gomer. Rivers succesfully brings a biblical story into a more contemporary setting. The characters are well developed and the storyline is very well written. Reading the book, I experienced an array of emotions and felt myself pulled closer to God as his truths were revealed to me.

Some of the points I love about this book are that God loves all of us, no matter who or where we are. God is the great healer, nothing and no one is to damaged for him. Listening to God WILL lead to great reward. I also love that God shows us that he can use us to do great things as long as we listen to what he wants us to do.

I did NOT received a free copy of this book. I just loved it so much that I had to write a review.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Don't let the title fool you

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory

The theme of this book intrigued me. What would it be like to have dinner with Jesus? What would you talk about? What could you say to the man who knows everything about you? This book had the opportunity to really make the reader think outside the box. Unfortunately, the author failed. Jesus and the main character, Nick, have an ongoing debate on the same old arguments for Christianity we have all heard before. This book also seemed to be chocked full of cliches. Of course, Jesus knows all the right answers, and of course Jesus is able to share just enough about Nick to make him believe he really is the Christ. There were a few points that left me thinking, but reading through the drivel to get to that point was tough. I would only recommend this book to those who are new to Christianity and haven't been exposed to the Christian faith. Maybe they would gain something from it.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I am required to mention that Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. This in no way influenced my review.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What are you waiting for? by Dannah Gresh

In What Are You Waiting For? Dannah follws the trail of one provacative, ancient word through the Bible to discover God's deepest thoughts about sex. The mind-blowing truth she uncovers clearly points the way to a sexuality that's satisfying and real and everything God designed it to be.

In this book, Dannah Gresh does a phenominal job of addressing sexual issues we currently face in society using both biblical truth and current science. She shows us clearly God's expectations and shares why those expectations are so important for a healthy sexual relationship. Dannah does not just talk about why one should wait for marriage, but also covers such topics as porn, masturbation, homosexuality, and just how far is to far.

I wish this book had been available to me as I worked my way through these issues on my own. I found all those questions that have plagued me answered in such a way that I want to go out and share it with every young woman I know. I highly recommend this for parents, young women, and youth groups. Do not wait to share this with your daughter/sister/friend. Pick it up and read it NOW, then share it with all you know. You will not be disappointed.

As part of the FTC requirements, I must share that I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Max on Life by Max Lucado

You know that moment when a friend asks you a question about your faith that you just can't answer? The one that makes you feel uncomfortable and squirming around looking for an out? Squirm no more. In Max Lucado's new book, Max on Life, Max answers many of the questions that have been presented to him in the last thirty years. With thoughtfulness and insight that is purely Max, he gives us the answers to questions on hope, hurt, hereafter, and many others.

I was skeptical when I first started reading, as many of the questions were pretty basic for a seasoned Christian (such as Who is God? Did Jesus really rise again? Etc). But as I dove further into the book, the questions became deeper and I was hooked. Max's responses are scripturally based and filled with the gospel. After each excerpt, I found myself uplifted and enlightened.

This will not be a book I pick up and reread, but that is not the authors intention. However, it is one that I will not be passing on. It has become a permanent part of my library as a reference for when I can't find the right words to answer those difficult topics. This book has my high recommendation.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I am required to mention that has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. This in no way influenced my review.

Monday, May 23, 2011

iShine Bible

The iShine bible by Tyndale publishers is a compact NLT bible geared towards preteens/adolecents. There are two different designs geared towards boys and girls, however the content is the same. I
Throughout the bible are three different bold colored sections on value, identity and purpose, along with a link (and a QR barcode) to a video on each topic. There is also a section in the front that addresses common questions on such topics as death, abuse, peer pressure, and living out your faith.

I gave one copy of the bible to my son, 10, and one to my daughter, 6. They were both initially drawn to the style of the bible. They liked the bright colors and trendy design. They also liked the compact size which makes it easier to carry around. However, this bible is geared towards preteens and adolescents and because of this, my review will be based on the reactions of my son.

As I said above, the design was an instant hit with my son. The content in the three main sections are not real deep, but then again, I think my son appreciated that. It was informative without being preachy. The links for each section are not long either, they include a short discussion by a popular teen singer and a music video on the subject. That being said, I wish there had been more short sections on other topics. My son will quickly have these memorized and he will be ready to move on. I was more drawn to the questions in the front of the bible that address many subjects faced by preteens today. I plan on using these as a basis for discussion with my son.

All in all, this bible would be a great tool to help young new believers develop their relationship with God during a critical time in their faith walk. I would have to say that Tyndale did a great job of targeting the preteen/adolecent group. I believe this would also be a great tool for reaching out to those that do not yet believe. It just may not be a great fit for those that are ready to take their faith walk a step further.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commision, I must mention that Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a coplimentary copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review of the book.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Courting Miss Amsel

Edythe Amsel arrives in Walnut Hill, Nebraska, after receiving her first teaching offer. Leaving behind a troubled past, Edythe is determined to focus on her students and move on. However, some of Miss Amsel's teaching methods and beliefs, especially those on the sufferage movement, do not sit well with many of the members of the community. And there is the issue of the feelings developing towards the guardian of two students. Despite her determination to focus on her teaching, Edythe finds her heart pulling her in another direction.

This story was your typical historic romance. I enjoyed the detail paid to the women's sufferage movement and to the then unique teaching methods used by the main character. That being said, I found the book to be quite predictable. If you are looking for a warm your heart romance, without many twists and turns, this is your book. However, if you are looking for something deeper, keep looking. All in all, an alright read, but nothing spectacular.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I am required to mention that Bethany House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. This in no way influenced my review.

When the Hurt Runs Deep by Kay Arthur

Have you ever asked yourself why is this happening to me? What have I done to deserve this? How can God let this happen? Using stories of those that have hurt, Kay Arthur shares with us how to work thruogh these questions, looking to the only one who can heal, God. Through it all, Kay refers to God and his love for us. Although we may not understand, Kay shows us that God does and is here to carry us through the valleys.

I found this book to be biblically sound and full of helpful insights. Having experienced valleys of my own, I only wish this book had been available to me soon. This is not only a must read, but a must keep. I can see myselft rereading this treasure as I experience the valleys that are yet to come. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is experiencing their own valleys. It will help to see you through.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I am required to mention that Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. This in no way influenced my review.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Life Promises for Success by Jim Tressel

Life Promises for Success by Jim Tressel

Life promises for success is a short book made up of three sections; The Essence of success, The Elements of Success, and The Epitome of Success. In each section, New York Times best seller and Ohio State Buckeyes football coach Jim Tressel, breaks the subject down into more detailed readings. Each reading is no more than two pages long and addresses such themes as attitude, focus, integrity, and persistence. Included in each reading are several bible verses which he calls life promises.

I initially bought this book for my husband, thinking the sports angle would interest him. I was pleased when he continued to read after the first two pages. Then it was time for me to read so that I could write my review. What I found blew me out of the water. This book is not just for sports fans, but for everyone young and old, male and female. It is rare to find such a book. Each page is short, perfect for daily reading and meditation. That being said, I do not think it would make a great choice if you are looking for a book to sit down and read all at once.

Mr. Tressel also does a wonderful job of sharing his faith throughout the book. Although he does not directly address God in each commentary, there are also several bible verses on the second page that relate to the theme of the day. Along with this, Godly character traits are instilled in each reading, making it a great book for teenagers and young adults. I plan on reading this book regularly with my preteen son as another way to instill such values in him. Overall, this is a great book and I would recommend it for all readers.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I must mention that Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review of the book.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

God's Promises Devotional Journal by Various Authors

God's Promises Devotional Journal by Various Authors

The first thing I noticed about this book was how appealing the cover was. I found myself hoping the content was as good as the cover and I was not disappointed. Each page includes a devotion made up of three parts. First is a bible verse pertaining to the day's promise. Next is a short (5-6 sentences), but inspirational blurb by various authors. The rest of the page is devoted to a space for the reader to write their thoughts on the reading and the included question.

I absolutely loved this book. Although short, the devotions were great and left me feeling encouraged and ready to face whatever the day held. But my favorite part was the journaling space. Many times I read a devotion and think for a moment, then move on to the next activity. This book compelled me to reach deeper and absorb what I was reading before writing what God spoke to me in that moment. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone for their own library or as a gift for someone else.

I am required to let you know that I received a free copy of this book from In no way does it affect my review of this book.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Same Life, New Story

Same Life, New Story by Jan Silvious

Same Life, New Story is a 10-week bible study about changing your life situation. Jan Silvious uses biblical characters along with modern day women to show how to stop settling for the life you have and start working towards a new one. She brings to light several roadblocks that may be holding you back and then discusses how to move past them with God's help. Included in each chapter are personal reflection questions, a journal entry topic, and group discussion questions to help you delve further into the topic at hand.

I found this book to be thought provoking and enlightening. Although I was not looking to change my life story, I found myself becoming aware of places I have settled for what I have instead of reaching for what God wants for me. I enjoyed the way the author interwove bible characters, biblical based truths and stories from modern day women to make her point. Her use of humor and antidotes captured my attention and kept it. I hope to bring this book to my woman's bible study. I would recommend it to all women, whether you are looking to change your life story or just want to be inspired to be the woman God intends.

By agreeing to post a review of this book, provided a free copy of this book.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry

This is a memoir by Carolyn Maull McKinstry, a black child growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, during the civil rights movement. Carolyn experienced the civil rights movement firsthand, including surviving the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and a participating in the children's march in downtown Birmingham. She also shares the many atrocities she witnessed to simply because of skin color. Carolyn shares how her faith carried her through the turmoil she experienced and made her into the woman she is now.

This book is touching and eye opening. Growing up, I remember hearing about the civil rights movement, but found myself disconnected. This book opened my eyes to the injustices that were endured by blacks in the south. I found myself experiencing anger, frustration, disgust, sadness, and many other emotions as I read. Once I started, I could not put the book down. I was confused at times by the way the author jumped around instead of telling things in chronological order, but this is my only fault with the book. I would recommend it to anyone who was not a firsthand witness to the brutality of that time. It will change the way you view history.

According to FTC guidelines, I need to inform you that Tyndale Publishing provided a free copy of this book for review.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Voices of the Faithful, Book 2 by Kim Davis and Beth Moore

First, I must share that I am writing this book review as part of the blog review. The website provides free books and in return, I provide a review of the book. I am not required to give a good review, just an honest one. How cool is that?

Today, I am reviewing the book, Voices of the Faithful, vol. 2, by Kim Davis and Beth Moore. The book is a compilation of 365 devotions based on the experiences of missionaries around the world, one for each day of the year. Each devotion also includes a bible verse and a prayer based on the reading.

At first I was leary of this book, thinking it would be interesting, but not something I would normally purchase. Much to my surprise, I loved the book. Each devotion is short (less than a page for most), making it easy to stick to a daily reading plan. The stories are inspiring and you can see God actively working through each one. Most surprising was the way I found myself applying the writer's experience to my own life and feeling God speaking to me through them.

I also love the prayer at the end of each day, which helps to give a direct area in which to pray instead of just praying for the missionaries around the world as a whole. I love that I can be more specific in my prayers and requests to our Father in Heaven.

The daily readings also help to bring the world mission field to my heart and home. I plan on integrating them into our daily family devotion.

I would reocmmend this book to anyone who is considering it and to those who are not.