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Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Prayer Wheel by Patton Dodd, Jana Riess, and David Van Biema

The Prayer Wheel is a rediscovered aid to prayer that was used in the Middle Ages. The wheel looks like a target with bands containing a significant Christian text divided into seven phrases aligned like spokes. These spokes radiate from the word "God" which is at the center.

The book is divided into daily readings using the prayer wheel and is divided into four sections: Seven Paths Through the Prayer Wheel; Praying the Wheel for Everyday Life; Praying the Scriptures with the Wheel and The Bands of the Wheel.

Would be helpful for those looking for a more structured guide in their prayer life. This book is published by Convergent Books.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Way to Brave by Andy McQuitty

Using the example of David facing Goliath, Andy McQuitty shows the reader how to develop a courageous faith in today’s challenging world. Only by relying on God can we become brave enough to live fully and courageously today and face tomorrow without fear.  There are some good reminders throughout the book including the fact that our primary mission on earth is not to engage the culture but to love our neighbor.

Using Scripture and personal illustrations throughout, the book is divided into the sections: God calls us, God anoints us, God breaks us, God tests us and God trains us.  There is much practical help in the book to help guide the reader along the pathway to a courageous soul and to embrace what God is doing in one’s life. Then when one has a Goliath moment in their live they will have the ability and the tools to stand, fight and win.  I found this book helpful in dealing with my own personal battles and would recommend it to others.

I received this book from Moody Publishers for this honest review.

All Together Different by J. Brian Tucker & John Koessler

In this book, the authors draw from both Scripture and social identity theory to examine how we see ourselves as individuals and how that affects how we relate to others in community. Some issues examined include what part of our identity is fixed and what is alterable; how does sin affect our identity;  how our faith as Christians transforms our identity; and how personal  identity works itself out in church settings.The topics of racial and ethnic differences, gender identity and generational identity are also discussed.

The concluding chapter has helpful suggestions in moving forward in upholding the church’s unity while honoring the individual’s identity.  At the end of each chapter there are questions for reflection and discussion which would make this book a useful resource in a small group setting or for church  leadership teams to use to work through conflicts that arise in the church.  Understanding another person’s perspective and listening is always helpful in resolving conflict no matter what the setting. This book was informative and enlightening in understanding how to maintain one’s identity but also being in community with others.

I received this book from Moody Publishers for this honest review.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

"When God Made Light" by Matthew Paul Turner & David Catrow

“When God Made Light” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book by the same writer and illustrator of “God Made You.” One of the lines in the beginning of the book says “Now, God made the sun to light up  our days, to cover our planet with life-filled rays.” The illustrations are of two sisters at play enjoying each other and the beauty of creation.  Their creative play in the sunlight and moonlight is simply delightful.

The author encourages the reader or listener to “beam like the sun and glimmer like a star.” This wonderful book is a great addition to any young child’s library and I am looking forward to reading it to my grandchildren.

The publisher is Waterbrook.  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Where The Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

This book is the second in the “Vintage National Parks” novel series taking place in Yosemite National Park. Olivia Rutherford is hired to do a series of water color pictures depicting the scenery of Yosemite. Clark Johnson is a disillusioned pastor, working as a park guide, who was the victim of false accusations at his previous church. Olivia has some secrets of her own that she is dealing with and as they together experience the beauty of Yosemite, they both discover insights into who they are and struggle to find their way forward.

It was interesting to see what Yosemite was like in the 1920’s and would be of special interest to those who have visited there. This story is part mystery and part romance. At times, I felt the story did not mesh well together and there were some unanswered questions for me at the end of the story. It still was a light and enjoyable read however.

This book will be released by Waterbrook Publishers on June 5, 2018.

I received this advanced copy from Blogging for Books for this review.    

Friday, February 9, 2018

Nothing To Prove by Jennie Allen

Written by Jennie Allen, the founder of IF:Gathering, this book is helpful for all of us who have felt that we were not enough.  As she points out in the book, God knew we would never be enough. So He became enough for us. Jesus is enough.  The author encourages the reader to realize our dependency on Jesus and not to pursue meeting our needs in other ways.

The book is divided into two main sections:  Our Desert of Striving and God’s Streams of Enoughness.   Each chapter in the second section begins with a story from the Gospel of John and ends with some questions to reflect and act on. There are questions at the end of the book which would enable readers to read the book and discuss it at one time or over  a few session.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this thought provoking book and was challenged by its words.  It is a book I will go back to often and reflect upon. The publisher of this book is Waterbrook. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.   

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How to Be a Perfect Christian by Babylon Bee

This "comprehensive guide to Christian living" is filled with humorous steps on how to be a perfect Christian. In this self proclaimed step by step guide to going from a clueless Christ follower to a supercharged megabeliever, the advice given ranges from finding a church that is built around you to how to serve the church without lifting a finger.

This is Christian satire at its best. I was familiar with Babylon Bee which pokes fun at Christian cultural quirks as well as many familiar trends and traditions. I had seen their articles on Facebook and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and laughing out loud at some of the outrageous things in it. Through its humor, it will cause the reader to take a look at their own Christian walk and come to a better understanding of biblical faith. 

The publisher of this book is Multnomah. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.