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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Book Review: The Reluctant Journey

The Reluctant Journey is a well written conversation walking the reader through the books of Genesis and Exodus and the stories of Abraham, Jacob and Joseph.  Author Richard Parrott frames the discussion by breaking the paths a partner of God is called to to one of 3 paths.  The path of Wandering (Abraham), The path of wounds (Jacob) and the path of wisdom (Joseph).  Parrott presents the scriptures in summary form including where he is drawing each part of the story from with scriptural reference.  As the stories unfold Parrott has the reader pause to insert themselves into each path with insightful questions.  Each chapter ends with questions for further reflection.  

I really appreciated the boldness of questions asked.  Being reminded that honesty is what drives us deepest into relationship was prevalent throughout the book.  There were a times in each chapter where a statement was made which read as absolute fact when in further inspection was actually author interpretation of a particular circumstance explained in scripture through one person's interaction with God.  

I think this is a very thought provoking book that gives good insight to how we need to look at our interactions with God as we seek to do His will.  I hesitate to say that the paths outlined are all encompassing.  God is a relational God and will individually meet people where they are in order to move them forward in relationship.  It is possible most people will encounter one or more of these paths in their life.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  In exchange for a free copy of this book I was asked to give an honest review by

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Review: 100 Ways to Love Your Husband/Wife

This review is actually of 2 separate books, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson, and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson.

I'm sure you have guessed that these books were written by a married couple.  Each book is very plainly written, the majority is very short chapters consisting of a way to love your spouse. Occasionally there is a deeper explanation offered.  For example, one suggestion to wives is "start a fire in the kitchen".  This can be a bit hard to grasp from just this sentence, but the example Lisa Jacobson includes makes this suggestion clear.  I found all the suggestions to be easy to understand and very truthful.  Additionally, I appreciated that the authors were willing to give examples from their own marriages of ways they didn't perfectly love each other.  It is a great reminder that all of these suggestions are a lifetime in perfecting.

Book Review: Pray the Scriptures When Life Hurts

Kevin Johnson has created a beautiful devotional for anyone who is seeking to move forward from a wound.  Whether it be divorce, illness, feelings of abandonment or betrayal, we all go through the same emotions.  This book is a reminder that emotions such as agony, loneliness, questions, frustrations and more are all subjects God address in scripture.

Each chapter is broken up to address the emotion, give explanation of the scripture used, break out the scripture with prayer response prompts, and finally, and area with questions for further discussion.  I found this book to be an excellent tool to pray back scripture to God.  Johnson says at some point you run out of words when suffering through a hard time.  This book helps you to find more words to engage God with, and flesh out emotions.

This would be great for a small group discussion if the focus is healing.  I give this book 5 out 5 stars.

**I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Bethany House Publishers.

Book Review: Knitting Block by Block

Knitting Block By Block by Nicky Epstein is a beautifully written book.  Filled with 150 knitting patterns that are all a squares, this book is incredibly creative in block designs.   I was a disappointed by the lack of actual projects presented.  This book is more about giving the crafter freedom to use the blocks anyway they desire, not in specific projects.

Many of the patterns are for a more advanced knitter, although the patterns are very well written and easy to figure out.

If you enjoy knitting and are looking for a challenge, or you hate increasing and decreasing, but want to create more then dish cloths, this book is worth checking out.

** In exchange for an honest review I was given a free copy of this book via Blogging For

Book Review: Every Thing Bitter Is Sweet

I've been drawn to books that reveal the Character of God recently.  I read an excerpt of this book and ordered it immediately.  Shortly after, Jen Hatmaker posted a review, so I knew I was on the right track at finding another awesome woman author.

Sara Hagerty has woven together an autobiography of sorts.  She writes of her life in a vulnerable and honest way.  Revealing wounds from people, life, and God.  In this time of learning and developing Hagerty gives the reader hope and understanding.  Each challenge such as marriage, infertility, financial issues, is spoken of with emotion, details and vulnerability.  Grace covers each story as Hagerty shares not only the journey, but the lessons learned, the scripture leaned into and the movement forward.

I found myself delighting in joy with successes explained, tearing up as Hagerty put words to wounds different in nature to my own, but deep and aching just the same.  Over all, I walked away wanting to learn more from this woman, more about her, and more from the God she adores.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  In exchange for an honest review I was given a free copy of this book.  I loved it so much I purchased an additional copy to lend out.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Book Review: Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

I read this book several years ago.  I remembered feeling like as a type A woman who desires to be loved through acts of service, this book gave me a voice.

This time reading this book I was reminded of how Jesus' words to Martha have universal and timeless meaning.  Each chapter is written very clearly, without flowery language and yet the examples presented are impactful.  As women we are often overwhelmed with tasks.  Important tasks, but none the less a to do list that can distract us.  Each chapter breaks down the emotions wrapped around the need to balance sitting still and listening to God with accomplishing all the daily tasks needed to be done each day.

There are several discussion questions included in the back of the book for each of the 12 chapters.  The chapters themselves do not take long to read, making this a very easy group discussion book.  There is a reason why over 1 million copies of this book have been sold.  This book is an encouragement to any women trying to balance life in a way that reflects Jesus.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review: Rythms of Grace

I'm really not sure what I was expecting from this book, but I knew that when it came to finding a rhythm for our family, it was in need of some HELP!

Kerri Weems is a speaker and author who has a realistic handle of the craziness of life.  Each area covered in this book had me nodding my head as I walked the treadmill and read.  It may seems crazy to read a book on how to stop being so busy when you are so busy you need to read and exercise at the same time, but that is exactly why this book was needed.

Weems writes in a way the slowly draws the reader to crave peace and balance in their life and to realize how it can be found.  Covering subjects such as work, relationships, your body, spiritual vitality, each area is discussed from personal experience, scripture and a group of questions designed to help the reader focus on the area in their own life.  What I appreciated most was the practice of identifying pace setters and peace stealers in each area of my life.  After laying a case for why each area needs to be examined.  Tools are given to examine the area.  THEN, the reader is not left hanging!  Specific steps in how to create a calendar and life with margin are added at the end.  There is not a one size fits all step by step, simply steps to be taken at the readers pace to create peace and Shalom in one's life.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it for anyone college age and older.  In fact, I believe reading a book about creating margin and making wise life changes early in life will lead to a more peaceful extended life.