Monday, November 20, 2017

Daring to Hope - Katie Davis Majors - Book Review

This book blessed my soul so much. It is the story of a young missionary to Uganda and her adopted children. Katie does a wonderful job of weaving together her story along with the things that the Lord taught her through that. This book really encapsulated her heart and her relationship with God. She candidly shared the things that she thought and felt while ministering to the hurting and the hungry. I was very blessed by the parts of this book where she talked about her quiet times with God and the things that God spoke to her through the Word.

One thing that struck me about this book is how God formed and shaped her through tragedy - and how she gained a heavenly perspective. God wants to give all of us His perspective in life, but only if we allow Him to. Katie allowed God to use the difficult things in her life to grow her - and she honestly shares about that in this book.

I also appreciated how she talked about her grappling with God. She asked God all the hard questions about why bad things happen, the purpose of miracles, etc. and I so appreciated how she didn't try to avoid or side step the big issues, but she addressed them head on.

Few books have blessed me more than this book. I felt nourished and encouraged every time I picked it up and I would definitely recommend it!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. The opinion and content are entirely my own.


Monday, August 14, 2017

He Calls You Beautiful - Dee Brestin - Book Review

We quickly forget the intensity of God's love for us. He Calls You Beautiful was an incredible reminder to me that I am loved and desired. God jealously desires me - and that is incredible.

When I first started this book, I desperately hoped that this would not be a cheesy or cliche book. Some things written about Song of Songs are just cringey and shallow to read. But as I read this book, I continued to be encouraged and refreshed. It was such an encouraging book to read!

Brestin masterfully weaves together her own personal encounters with God along with the testimonies of others. They add a lot of depth and beauty to this book - showing us that God is an intensely personal and relational God. She shared several stories from her experience with prion ministry - and those were especially touching. AND our relationship with God. I thought that was a very neat perspective. It basically applies to all of our relationships.
She also talked about how the Song is relevant to our human relationships

This book really encouraged me with where I was at when I read it. It really made me want to throw everything aside and just go spend time with God - and more books should be like that!

It also helped break the mindset that the Song is about romance, or designed for married people. The Song can be encouraging for anyone - no matter where they are. Because we are all caught up in the Divine Romance. And that's a wonderful place to be.

Here are some links for those interested:

More information: https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/544946/he-calls-you-beautiful-by-dee-brestin/&source=gmail&ust=1502833107483000&usg=AFQjCNEtVulWTZDbJFSxF-sW0EuRXnQu-Q

Author Bio: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/authors/35839/dee-brestin/

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. The opinion and content are entirely my own.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Break Open the Sky - Saving our faith from a culture of fear - Book Review

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first got this book. The cover was very gripping. I also wondered how it was possible to write a whole book on the subject of fear and faith. I was very eager to find dive in! This book is a very easy read and I read it in a couple of days.

Going into this book, I very much hoped that it would be practical and not merely a pep talk about getting over fear. I was very pleased to find that he presented very heavy hitting and solid truth! He talked about how the Western World is more afraid as a whole than lots of different poor nations are - and he analyzed why. He also went through different things that we are afraid of such as suffering and taking risks. Stephan Bauman has seen a lot of hard and difficult things through his years of relief work in other countries - and yet I was intrigued by his perspective on suffering. That was probably one of the things that I enjoyed most about this book. He didn't shy away from difficult subjects - and suffering is included in that. As one who works to alleviate the sufferings of others, he had an intriguing perspective. He talked about how suffering is not something that we need to avoid and push away, but suffering is something that we can embrace without fear because God uses to draw us closer to Him than we could imagine.

I really appreciated the experience that he has. He was able to share many stories about believers and people in other countries and their stories. That added a lot of depth to this book!

Overall, this book was great and I'm glad I read it! Definitely something that left me impacted. We are really good at ignoring our fear and sometimes we need to face it head on with the truth - and that is what Bauman did in this book.

Here are a few links for those interested:
http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/234659/break-open-the-sky-by-stephan-bauman/#details

http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/authors/185732/stephan-bauman/

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. The opinion and content are entirely my own.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Chamberlain Key - Timothy P. Smith - Book Review

Codes in the Bible? I would have to say I was pretty skeptical coming into this book. I had heard a little bit about this concept before, but I didn't really know much about it and I definitely was hesitant to believe something like that!

Reading this book was incredibly informative and enlightening. Timothy Smith shared his personal story along with sharing the things that he discovered. I appreciated his honesty and authenticity. Another thing that I really appreciated was how thoroughly he researched everything that was put in this book - he didn't just throw out theories or random things. He thoroughly searched everything out and had experts confirm his findings. That was one thing that really helped me out while reading this!

Smith shares his life story and steps of the journey that took him to this amazing discovery. It was an incredibly intriguing and compelling read!

I'm still not completely sure what I think about the concept of messages being encrypted into the original Hebrew documents, but this book really challenged me to start thinking about this. And I began to realize that the biggest reason I doubt is because I don't really think that God could communicate like that - and that's because I have put God in a box. But this book challenged me to think about the fact that God could quite conceivably communicate to us in this fashion! God is not restricted by our understanding! I think that this is the biggest takeaway I have from this book - that God is not restricted!


Here are a few links for those interested:

Chamberlain Key Debate & Discussion Group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1827281677560431/
More information: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/537278/the-chamberlain-key-by-timothy-p-smith-with-bob-hostetler-foreword-by-eugene-ulrich-phd/
Author bio: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/authors/2135192/timothy-p-smith/

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. The opinion and content are entirely my own.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about God by Eric Metaxas - Book Review

I was very excited to get this book! I had heard the name Eric Metaxas and seen several of his books but hadn't had the chance to read any until I got this book. I've read lots of different Christian apologetics books over the years and they can have a reputation for being dry and somewhat boring, but that was not the case with this book. The question and answer format of this book made it interesting and personable. It was like a dialogue between two interesting people who both have their different opinions and views but are trying to understand the other side. It made it more like a dialogue than a sermon – which helps keep your attention!

I appreciated how Metaxas delved right into the controversial questions with boldness but not rudeness. That is something that I always look for when a Christian is addressing touchy subjects. It is important to have a listening and an understanding attitude – and Metaxas exemplifies that in this book. His answers are very respectful and yet incredibly sincere. You can tell that he is speaking from the heart and from his life experience and not just preaching a sermon. The best sermons are the ones that are lived out and not spoken!

There was only one thing that disappointed me a little bit in this book. All throughout the book, Metaxas emphasizes how Christianity is not merely a religion, but an incredible opportunity to have a deep, intimate relationship with God. He does a great job of focusing on this point and I really appreciated that because a lot of apologetics books don't talk about things like that. But then at the end of the book, when he had a perfect opportunity to explain how to have a relationship with God, he mostly talked about going to church and the importance of fellowship with other believers. While fellowship with others is important, the point of the whole book is fellowship with God. This book would be a great book to give unbelievers or people who are seeking to follow God and for that reason, I believe it could have done a better job of practically explaining what that looks like – and how you seek God. It's not hard to see that Metaxas has a relationship with God – and so because of that, he has the authority and the experience and the insight to explain what relationship with God looks like practically.


Other than that point – which is merely my opinion – I thought the book was excellently written. It was engaging and easy to read. It is a great book to read if you have questions about God and how He works. I would definitely read other books written by this author. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. But the opinion is completely and entirely my own.

More information: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/books/113616/everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-god-but-were-afraid-to-ask-by-eric-metaxas/

About the Author: http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/authors/68702/eric-metaxas/ 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Escapes Underneath the Berlin Wall - My Review of the book "The Tunnels" by Greg Mitchell

When this book first fell into my hands, I thought, "Wow. This is a big book! How will I ever get through it?" Although it was bigger than I had expected, I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting and gripping it was. I went through it fairly slowly but I didn't lose interest one time!

The book is about the Berlin Wall crisis as a whole, but specifically focusing on the tunneling attempts. The tunnels that were built are a dramatic pictur
e of how desperate the people of Berlin were to have their freedom. This book reads like a thriller and is filled with suspense and complex characters and the missions and the risks that brave men and women took for their families and loved ones.

This was a truly riveting book and I enjoyed it thoroughly! One thing I look for in a book about history is that it tells a story. Many history books are somewhat dry and filled with details and honestly, I quickly lose interest because of the writing style of the author. But Mitchell did a great job telling a story – the story of those who were passionate to have freedom.

In the acknowledgments, Mitchell writes: “When I started this book, I had no idea how many of the key tunnelers, couriers, and escapees were still living, or if they would be reachable, and if so, would be willing to speak with me. I made a list and, surprisingly, I was able to arrange lengthy interviews with nearly all of them, and then some.” It is evident when reading this book that his eyewitness interviews made all the difference in the world. He did a very thorough job and all of the interviews he conducted add an incredible depth to this book. It is almost as if he is writing down their story on their behalf. This book gave all the different perspectives from citizens of east and west Germany, members of the press, members of the government, etc. I appreciated how it showed all the different sides of the story.

I was definitely impressed by this book and although I do not appreciate the occasional language, I would definitely recommend this book to someone interested in this topic. “The Tunnels” definitely left me with a greater respect for the freedom that I have.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. But the opinion is completely and entirely my own.







Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Prayer of Sir Francis Drake


Several years ago I came across this poem that was attributed to Sir Francis Drake and it really was inspiring.



Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.