Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Basis of the book is solid, but falls short

2 STARS
REVIEW: Gospel Centered Mom: The Freeing Truth About What Your Kids Really Need by Brooke McGlothlin

As a new soon-to-be mama, I was excited to read this new book. And the premise is good: Let go of the craving to be a stellar parent by your own efforts and rely on Jesus. Yes! I agree! And I want that! Unfortunately, while the basis of the book is solid, the book just seemed to fall short for me.

One reason may be that the author seems to only focus on having sons as children. Now I understand that is her context, and that she only has sons, and she writes from what she knows, but I felt a little left out and disconnected to many of her references since I am getting ready to have a little girl.

And maybe it was also my expectations that made the book fall flat. Because in reading the title, I thought there might be more practical things to take away from the book—like prayers to pray over them, parenting tips, and the like. But it seemed to lack those things, at least from my perspective.

What I did appreciate was the author’s use of Scripture and emphasis about mom’s relying on Jesus, not on themselves. The book also contains discussion questions at the end if one would like to use in a mom’s group. But in the end, I wasn’t overwhelmed at the book and a bit disappointed.


*I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this unbiased review.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Warning: Challenging! Are you willing to take the oath?

5 STARS
REVIEW: The Martyr’s Oath: Living for the Jesus They’re Willing to Die For by Johnnie Moore

This is a hard book to read. Not because of the writing style, but because the stories are so hard to hear. In this book, you read personal testimonies and stories that are unimaginable to us in the Western world. Stories like Rose from Nigeria who watched as her husband’s head and children’s heads were cut off in front of her because she and her family believed in Jesus. Or Peter from China who was put in unthinkable prison conditions because of his Christian faith. Each of the book’s 15 chapters highlights a personal testimony from around the world from someone who was a martyr for their faith.

This book is so intense and convicting that I could only read a chapter a day or even just one a week, as I let these immensely difficult stories sink in to my soul. But just because something is hard does not mean you avoid it. Actually, reading this book can challenge you and transform you and help you empathize with persecuted Christians around the world, and realize what Christians in the rest of the world endure. The author’s hope is that by the end of reading the book, you will be ready to stand with Christians around the world in harm’s way and take the Martyr’s Oath yourself, a page-long document that says that you are a follower of Jesus and are willing to give your life for Him.

If you would like to read the oath as well as download the first chapter for free chapter, click here.

*Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

This book echoes what your soul wants and needs to hear

5 STARS
REVIEW: When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner and art by David Catrow

If you have a child, know a child, or just even need some encouragement as an adult—go get this book now! Because we all long and desire to know how we fit into this world. We all need assurance that we are deeply loved and a unique creation. And this book delivers on just that through vibrant and adorable artwork, and inspiring words.

It is a story told through the eyes of a narrator reminding a precious little girl that God made her, thinks about her, sees her, delights in her, and smiles over her. Amen! Words we all need to hear deep in our soul.

As someone who is preparing for an adoption, and loves collecting books for my soon-to-be little one, I was excited to read in this book where it says: “Out of billions of faces from cultures, all races, people God made, from all different places, God knew your name. Your picture is framed. God’s family without you would not be the same.” It reminds us that everyone, from everywhere, brings unique color, rhyme and rhythm to the world through God’s great design.

The book is recommend for age is 3-8 years old, but as an adult, I found this book to be a tender devotional read to remind myself who I am in God, and that He adores me. So, I recommend this book for all ages and places! It echoes what your soul wants and needs to hear.

For more information, click here


*I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this unbiased review.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

It’s all about family

4 STARS
REVIEW: God Gave Us Family by Lisa Tawn Bergren and art by David Hohn

As someone who is preparing for an adoption, I was excited to read this book.

It is a sweet story, with magnificent artwork, told through the eyes of a wolf pup. He wonders why his family looks different than all the others since he is the only “child.” He notices that some animal families are small, some big, some have adopted children, some families have parents who are divorced/separated, and even some children are raised by their grandparents. But even though the families look different and come in all sizes, the little wolf pup learns that God is the one that brings families together.

Since children are so curious, and ask lots of questions, I can see this being a powerful book to use with children (the book’s recommend age is 3-8 years old) to explain why their family might look different than other families.

One thing that possibly could have been added is a nod to a single person, or single couple without children. Because aren’t there many different ways to define family? The book even says: “Whenever somebody is loving and caring to another, that’s family.” So couldn’t a couple without children be considered a family? Every person’s relationship situation is different. Some people consider life-long friends their family or their church community as family. There are so many ways to define family. So just know that this book doesn’t hit on all of them.

Overall, the message is clear and sweet: God makes each of us a part of His family.

*I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this unbiased review.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

I heard God’s voice speak to me through this book

5 STARS
REVIEW: Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God by Mark Batterson

This is an excellent new book from one of my favorite authors, Mark Batterson. And as with all of my Batterson books, this one ended up with countless underlines, stars, and notes throughout!

This book is about knowing God still speaks today, and with all that is going on in the world today, many of us need that comfort. We just have to make sure we are aware, attentive, and listening for His voice. Because God can show up and speak to us anywhere, anytime, anyhow.

Batterson lays out what he believes to be the seven love languages of how God speaks, including through: signs, Scripture, open doors, dreams and visions, people, and pain. God’s voice is not subject to the inverse-square law or any other law of nature for that matter. He is supernatural, and He can speak any way He pleases.

Not only is it important to be aware and attentive in listening for God’s voice, we also have to trust in His timing. Batterson urges readers to hold out for God’s perfect timing –not our timing—and allow God to give us the best He has for us. God wants us to hear what He’s saying, and to hear His heart. He loves us and wants to tell us He loves us.

So, if you feel you are having trouble hearing from God, or want to know more about the way in which God speaks to us, pick up this book. Read it, and listen for God.

You can learn more about the book here.

*I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this unbiased review.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Book makes you realize eviction isn’t a one-sided story

4 STARS
REVIEW: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in The American City by Matthew Desmond

Evicted is an eye-opening book that takes a real, true, heart-wrenching look at poverty, renting, and eviction in America. It is a vividly stunning sociological work as author Matthew Desmond paints an even-rounded picture of landlords and those in poverty who rent from them.

In the 300+ pages, one is able to see poverty and eviction from both sides. You see the wellspring of life in his writing as he brings the young, old, genuine, and troubled to life. And Desmond's writing is so well done it draws you in and makes you fall in love with virtually every character presented. This book makes you realize eviction isn’t a one-sided story.

If you are interested in poverty issues happening in America, this is a well-written book with a new angle you want to make sure you don’t miss.


*I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this unbiased review.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Well worth the read! Read it over a meal...

4 STARS
REVIEW: Eats with Sinners: Loving Like Jesus by Arron Chambers

The idea of the book is modeled on Jesus Christ, as He ate food with people because He wanted to build relationships with them. Jesus’ approach was so uncomplicated. He just found lost people, loved them, spent time with them, ate with them, and ministered to them. Thus, this book is about simply being intentional in our relationships with others once again.

In fact, author Arron Champers said that ultimately this world will not be changed by well organized church programs, magnificent church buildings, better functioning church boards, smooth running denominations, longer committee meetings, or the passing of more comprehensive church bylaws. Instead, the world will be changed when Christians resolve to make life, health, hope, peace, joy, truth, and love more accessible to the lost by simply being in their life, eating with them, and introducing them to Jesus.

This book is not a step-by-step guide on what to say when you eat with a lost person, but it does include many biblical references pointing to what Jesus did when He ate with the lost in order to inspire you to do the same in your own way. Chambers claims that eating with sinners, and building intentional relationships with lost people through which they can be introduced to Jesus, is the most effective way he knows to reach people for Jesus Christ. Thus, we have to be very intentional about interacting with lost people, because sometimes as Christians we can become insulated and isolated from lost people. So, reaching lost people requires big faith, being intentional, and an investment of energy and time.

P.S. Don't get offended by the title. Because as Chambers says in the beginning, in case you didn't know, you eat with a sinner every time you eat with anyone, and anyone who eats with you eats with a sinner, because we are all undeserving sinners in need of God's grace and love. And if you are a Christian, you're just a sinner saved by grace. With God, there are no lost causes. Let us believe that God has the power for positive change in the life of every sinner, even a sinner like me.

*Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.