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Monday, July 28, 2014

A Short Walk to the Edge of Life by Scott Hubbartt

Scott Hubbartt started on a journey in the backcountry canyons in the Andes mountains in Peru. As a military veteran, he thought he had enough experience and stamina to hike the 8 hours to his destination. Dismissing the advice to take a guide and ignoring some other warning signs, he embarks on a journey that nearly costs him his life. What began as an eight hour hike turned into days of becoming hopelessly lost. In his fight to survive, he realizes that he has come to the end of himself and at that point turns to God. The author not only has detailed his physical journey but his spiritual journey as well. This is not a long book and reads more like a journal, but it is engaging and thought provoking. Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani

This is a thought provoking book about how consumerism has invaded the present day church. Looking at the life of Van Gogh and his art as well as Scripture and history, the author discusses spiritual practices that liberate our imaginations to live as Christ followers in a consumer culture which opposes the values of Christ's kingdom. This book will encourage you to see how consumerism has distorted our faith and equip you to live differently. I highly recommend this book. After reading this book, I am inspired to read more about the life of Van Gogh and view his art work.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

If God Is Good - Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn

The question if God is good in the midst of suffering is certainly not a new question, but Randy Alcorn's book "If God Is Good," certainly addresses the topic more thoroughly than I have seen previously. It is obvious that much research and thought has gone into the writing of this book. Suffering affects all of us human beings and what is more important is the perspective we bring as individuals to the topic of suffering.

Alcorn addresses the following: How we answer the book's central question will radically affect how we see God and the world around us; Seeking answers to this question should turn us to Jesus in a fresh way; We each bring our own burdens on the journey; The faith that can't be shaken is the faith that has been shaken; and God's Word is central to gaining an eternal perspective. The book is divided into the following sections: 1. Understanding the problem of evil and suffering 2. Understanding evil: It's origin, nature, and consequences 3. Problems for Non-Theists: moral standards, goodness and extreme evil 4. Proposed solutions to the problem of evil and suffering: limiting God's attributes 5. Evil and suffering in the great drama of Christ's redemptive work 6. Divine sovereignty and meaningful human choice accounting for evil and suffering 7. The two eternal solutions to the problem of evil: heaven and hell 8. God's allowance and restraint of evil and suffering 9. Evil and suffering used for God's glory 10. Why does God allow suffering? 11. Living meaningfully in suffering.

I just has a conversation with someone who told me that out of her suffering came great blessings. This is a book that will remain on my bookshelf and I am sure I will refer to it often.

Blogging for books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fair Play by Deanne Gist

This book is historical fiction taking place during the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. The plot involves a woman physician and a Texas Ranger who both work at the fair. A lost baby is discovered and they take it to Hull House run by Jane Addams. Pictures of the World's Fair and/or the Hull House are at the start of each chapter. Being a fan of "The Devil in the White City," I am always fascinated with any fiction or non fiction related to the World's Fair. I did learn more about the living conditions of the poor in the city and the work of Miss Addams. The story was engaging but I appreciated the historical aspect more than the love story.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ben Hur by Lew Wallace

This is a classic tale set in the time of Christ by Lew Wallace. Ben Hur is from a wealthy Jewish family and is arrested for an accident that injured a Roman soldier. He is sentenced and becomes an oarsman on a Roman vessel. His journey from being a slave to wealth and freedom is the main plot, but interwoven throughout the story is the birth and ministry of Christ and how it affects him and those close to him. This book illustrates the Roman culture as well as the Middle Eastern culture at the time of Christ. It is a bit lengthy but the writing is beautiful and the story is engaging and inspiring.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

This book is haunting and beautifully written. It is a story set in war torn Chechnya and the people who find themselves in the midst of it. Havaa, an eight year old girl witnesses her father being taken by the Russian forces but runs to safety. The lives of those who are around her and how they are affected by the conflict is the basis for the story. It is a difficult book to read and displays man's inhumanity to man in the midst of war. Heartbreaking with a thread of hope woven throughout. Some language and scenes may be offensive to some, but it is not frequently used throughout the book.

Blogging for books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.