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.

Monday, May 29, 2017

If you can get past the cussing ... book for women who want to get their stuff together

4 STARS
REVIEW: Boss B!$%*:A Simple 12-Step Plan to Take Charge of Your Career by Nicole Lapin

My interest was piqued when I was sent this book for review, because I always like to hear the inspiring stories of powerful women like Nicole Lapin, a successful and profitable television anchor and author. So, I decided to keep an open mind despite a curse word being in the book title.

Because, as Lapin describes, being a Boss B!$% isn’t a bad thing, but a very good thing. She says it is kinds of like being Glenda the Good Witch, not the Wicked Witch of the West. Basically, being a woman in control. A woman who is the hero of her own story. A woman who doesn’t need saving because she has her stuff together. A woman who takes ownership of her life, and is confident in her power to create successful life on her terms. Being a Boss B!$%  is being a woman that owns being a woman and is comfortable in her own skin.

But, more than anything, Lapin says, being a Boss B!$% is a state of mind more than a title or anything else. It doesn't matter where you work, if you work for someone else, or if you don’t work at all. Being a Boss B!$% all about how you feel and carry your self. You can either let the days run you or you run the day. And a Boss B!$% runs everything!

This is not a wimpy book or a light read, it is hefty at more than 370 pages, and is broken down into 3 big Sections: Being the boss of you, Being the boss at work, and Being the boss of your own business. It even includes a dictionary of business terms (terms that you don't need a dictionary to understand). So, if you can get around the cuss words in this book (the author at the very beginning of the book at least admits that she does cuss a lot), the author has a lot of wisdom and knowledge to share. 

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

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Overall a good starter book for new Christians or youth learning how to pray deeper

4 STARS
REVIEW: Talking with God: What to Say When You Don’t Know How to Pray by Adam Weber

If you are looking for a starter book on prayer, this might just be it! Because as the title states, prayer is simply all about talking with God.

The book is broken into three sections including a section on “How to Pray When...” and includes such topics as when we face storms, are discouraged, are exhausted, and are wanting to be used by God. It is written in easy, accessible language with 15 short chapters.

One of the most fun and interesting sections is at the end of the book in the endnotes section in which author Adam Weber affectionately calls “field notes.” Most readers would skip this section entirely, but it is here that Weber offers up paragraph explanations from within each chapter. For example one endnote (aka “field note”) says: “While dropping off my kids at school, my first grader randomly said, ‘Dad, Jesus died and rose from the dead before I was born, right?’ And I said, ‘Yup, he sure did.’ My son went on to ask, ‘But, Dad, were you there? Did you see Jesus rise from the dead?’ All I could say was, ‘No, buddy, I didn’t. But that would have been cool, huh?’ I’m so glad my kid thinks I am two thousand years old.” That is golden! So, if you get this book, don’t skip the endnotes (aka “field notes”).

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

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Is this book good for women? Up to you to decide

2 STARS
REVIEW: Is the Bible Good for Women? by Wendy Alsup

As a woman, I was drawn to this book and curious to see how author Wendy Alsup would answer her title question: Is the Bible Good for Women?

She begins by digging into Genesis, the first book of the Bible, and pointing out how the creation of “personhood” preceded the creation of “womanhood.” Alsup states that women are necessary, and are needed to reflect God's glory in the world, to work side-by-side with man to bring order, beauty, life, and fullness into the world. Women are to be image bearers of God. Later, she digs into the Scriptural stories of women from the Old and New Testament  such as Esther, Ruth, Priscilla, Phoebe, Rahab, Tamar, Dinah, and Deborah.

While I agree with some of Alsup’s research, I definitely do not agree with all of her Scriptural interpretations concerning women—especially when it comes to their roles in the life of the church. She does state upfront, though, that she wants the reader to wrestle with the Holy Spirit and do their own study of the Word of God, and for them to draw their own conclusions and private applications. And I have also learned through the years that reading the works of authors with whom you disagree can help you grow and mature as well as create open conversations, so the time spent reading this was not lost.

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Would not “choose” it

2 STARS
REVIEW: Your Magnificent Chooser by John Ortberg

I was excited to review this book as the drawings looked precious, and I am always looking for ways to teach folks about choices and the free will that God has given us. However, I found this book to be a bit confusing, especially for children. And having the “chooser” depicted as a fuzzy balloon that lives with you seems to add to the confusion.

While the book is written in the rhyming rhythm similar to Dr. Suess, and the concept seems compelling, it unfortunately just falls flat for me. I would not “choose” it.


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

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Too bad Jesus isn’t over everything in this book

2 STARS
REVIEW: Jesus Over Everything by Clayton Jennings

I had heard good things about this author, so I hoped to like this book, but unfortunately didn’t.

No doubt God has used author Clayton Jennings, as God can use any of us, but this book came across more like a “look-what-I-have-done” book. I know Jennings speaks to large crowds all over the world, but as another reviewer stated, the author kept mentioning how many people he has talked to, where he has been, and all his personal accomplishments. While the author may not have intended for that to happen, it was too much. It felt prideful and just totally turned me off from what he was trying to accomplish.

So unfortunately in this book I don’t see Jesus over everything, but instead I see Clayton Jennings over everything.


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