Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First Things First by Kurt & Brenda Warner

I cracked open this book with no expectations… I’m not a football fan, and hadn’t the slightest idea of who Kurt Warner was, or anything about his family. This book however totally changed the way I thought about many things. Overall, the gist of this book was the “Warner Family Rules”, the standard to which Kurt and his wife Brenda ran their family and raised their children. This book was filled with humorous and heart-touching stories about their lives, and it gives wonderful perspectives from both Kurt and Brenda on their family. It was very interesting reading a book written by both parts of a couple.

I valued the honesty in which they write their story, I felt as if I really got to know them a bit in that book- which is rare anymore!  It definitely inspired me to come up with “rules” for my family, when my husband and I have children. It was a fairly quick and easy read- the way the Warner’s told their story had me flipping pages quickly, just to find out what happened next. I was also impressed at how Biblically minded this book was- it didn’t sugar coat or dull down on the faith part “just to sell a story”. I would certainly advise anyone interested in raising a family to read this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale House Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, December 13, 2010

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

What would you do if you could live beyond your “boundaries”? This is basically question the author poses. Not living beyond our means financially, but beyond the limits of what we think we can do in regards to changing the world. The author walks through the first twelve books of Acts in the Bible and talks about how the people that Jesus called and equipped were just ordinary men that were qualified because they were called.

This book completely turned what I thought about my life and my purpose upside down. Like most Christians, I have viewed those in full time ministry as “something special” and tend to view God's calling for me as being less than special. However, I learned that simple changes in my life can help me “outlive my life”. This book definitely held my attention, I was able to finish it in just over a week. By not only walking through Acts, but also reading stories of typical people who have accomplished enormous things for God, the author wraps you in the truth that yes, you can really do this.

If you are in a dry place, searching for “something more” in your relationship with God... read this book. If you are in a thriving place, looking for the next step in your ministry... read this book. I don't really care who you are, or where you are in life... or even if you've got a relationship with God right now, read this book! It will challenge you and hopefully change your faith and your way of thinking, for the better.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

Truth That Sticks by Avery T. Willis Jr. & Mark Snowden


Jesus taught his disciples and the crowds with parables- so why are we stuck behind pulpits giving litergies chock full of biblical references that congregants probably aren't even reading? Lets face it, most people these days aren't learning from what they read, they are oral learners. This book focuses on making truth stick like velcro in a post-modern “teflon” world. This book suggests that in order to make truth stick, you need to learn how to really reach people (by storying, not “preaching at”), and to disciple them (teach them to do what you do, by storying).

I really found this book interesting! It changed the way I think about preaching, and the job of the preacher- it's not to deliver the most eloquent homoly that no one understands, but it's truly to story the Bible to people, in ways they can remember those stories!! What good is a church full of people who possibly own Bibles they don't read and don't know anything about, but at least there are beautifully delivered sermons, when there can be a church full of people who truly understand and hunger for God's word...even when that means changing the delivery! The only thing I didn't care for in this book was that it was a slow read. I had to struggle to keep turning pages and not give up on it completely.
I recommend this book to anyone in a church leadership position, from a pastor to a lay leader- even to someone who is considering being in leadership.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
If you haven't visited my other blog, click here.
Leave a comment on either site, if you are interested in receiving a free copy! When I post my next review, I'll randomly select one person to send my copy, at no cost to you!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Amy Inspired, by Bethany Pierce

Meet Amy Gallagher, an aspiring author who gets caught listing her life, instead of living it. She is stuck in a job by default; in a relationship, by default; with a housemate, by default- none of these fulfilling her life. Her housemate Zoƫ is the exact opposite- a free spirit willing to do whatever it took to stay inspired as an author, and a person in general. Together, these best friends go through trials and tragedies, as well as blessings and successes. This book is about Amy, finding herself despite a growing pile of rejected manuscripts, and a series of trials.

I really found this book inspiring. Being in my twenties and having faced the insecurities and uncharted waters that come with adulthood (relationships, career choices, family drama, etc.); reading how Amy comes to terms with living her life, instead of putting it on a to-do list. This was a definite page turner, and it was definitely suspenseful. Throughout the book, I thought I knew what would happen, but I was constantly wrong! There were also touches of romance and sorrow, which ultimately reminded you of your best friends, and made the characters jump off the pages. This certainly was the most relaxed “Christian Fiction” I have ever read- God was throughout the book, in a real way as the characters struggled with growing a solid relationship with Him as adults.Overall, I recommend this book to anyone looking for an inspiring novel that is fiction, but with depth.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

If you haven't visited my other blog, click here.
Leave a comment on either site, if you are interested in receiving a free copy! When I post my next review, I'll randomly select one person to send my copy, at no cost to you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Transforming Church in Rural America by Shannon O'Dell

In this book, Shannon O'Dell talks about how we need to “break all the rurals”- basically break all of the rules of rural ministry... because really, what pastors dream of dusty pews and debating deacons? It seems these days that most pastors dream of mega-churches, and easily financed budgets. O'Dell shares his five goals for ministry, which transcend not only into rural ministry, but any ministry situation- Vision, Attitude, Leadership, Understanding, and Enduring Excellence... also known as VALUE.

This book was incredible. O'Dell has a very conversational way of writing which made me feel as if I was watching a movie, or having a personal conversation with him... not reading a book. Throughout this book were Bible references which built a solid foundation for the subject matter. I recommend this book to anyone, whether a pastor or a church-goer, in an urban or rural setting. Everything was written in a way that was easily understood, and it was as much of a “page turner” as any non-fiction book would be. This book also has valuable resources, and links to plug into online- to connect and learn these principles in an in-depth manner.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

If you haven't visited my other blog, click here.
Leave a comment on either site, if you are interested in receiving a free copy! When I post my next review, I'll randomly select one person to send my copy, at no cost to you!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

In Ephesians 4, Paul tells the early church to put off their old selves, and to put on Christ. This book deals specifically with what it means to separate ourselves from sin. A Christian's journey is not about what one can make God do for them, or how God may “fall short” of their expectations in their life. rather it is about the pursuit of being holy, because God is holy.

This book completely challenged me. I saw myself in so many of the illustrations Jerry Bridges had in this book. It is definitely not an easy read, despite being a rather short book. I really liked how scripture references were all over the pages, it was truly a solid foundation for the content. I also liked how everything flowed together in a way that made me want to read it. I typically find shorter non-fiction books to be a struggle to get through, however this was not the case. Overall, I recommend this book in a heartbeat to any Christian struggling with the issue of sin, and the desire to be holy and true before God.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

If you haven't visited my other blog, click here.
Leave a comment on either site, if you are interested in receiving a free copy! When I post my next review, I'll randomly select one person to send my copy, at no cost to you!

Kelly Smith, you win this book! Thanks for commenting on Facebook! Keep posted, a new review is coming Monday 10/11!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Resurrection in May by Lisa Samson

May Seymour is your typical twenty-something college grad. She's going into her future full of high hopes of becoming a journalist, starting with a missions trip to war-time Rwanda.

Along with her bright future are even more harsh memories of her partying days. After one wild evening she is found by seventy-something Claudius on a deserted country road... from that moment on, her life and her future changes forever.

We follow May's journey of finding who she is as a young woman, as well as finding her identity in Christ.

In my opinion, this book started out very slow... it took me several sittings to even get through the first few chapter. However once the author brought life to the characters, I was soon sucked in, and felt like I was just another character. There were several genres represented, some suspense and mystery, and even some romance. I felt as if I was truly relating to the different characters in their humanity, imperfections, and search for a real relationship with God, which can be unheard of in Christian fiction. Overall, I would recommend this book, even with it's slow start. You may end up just as surprised as I was!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”