Friday, June 10, 2016

A Review: "The Blessing of Humility" by Jerry Bridges

The Blessing of HumilityIn what turned out to be his final book, late author Jerry Bridges leads the reader on a journey through the Beatitudes in "The Blessing of Humility". In ten chapters, he explores each characteristic noted in the Beatitudes individually and discusses how it helps lead the believer into humility. He also includes chapters on how humility and the Gospel intersect, and gives the reader a very brief overview of humility in the New Testament.

I truly enjoyed and appreciated the layout and content of this book. Humility is a virtue that is discussed so little in churches and other Christian circles that this book stands out as a great resource. The depth with which Bridges writes helps the reader understand well each character trait in the Beatitudes. The discussion guide included at the back of the book is perfect for individuals and small groups who want to dive deeper into this topic. This was a fantastic, quick read with so much value and depth. Highly recommended!

(I’ve received this complimentary book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Review: "Unashamed" by Christine Caine

"Unashamed" is the newest, powerful book by author and speaker Christine Caine. Drawing on her own personal experience, the stories of others, and weaving Scripture throughout, Caine shares candidly about the effects of shame and the journey to overcome it. "Unashamed" helps the reader to identify areas of poisonous shame, toxic thoughts that hold us captive and distort our perspective about ourselves and about God. She shares about the consequences of allowing shame to remain hidden and continuing to give it a stronghold in our lives. She describes the path to freedom for herself and others, which gives incredible encouragement for others who are in various stages of that journey themselves.

My two favorite chapters were "God Moves In So We Can Move On" and "He Healed My Mind". These two chapters deal specifically with the healing that God brings when we bring our shame to Him and allow Him heal our hearts and minds. Retraining our minds is a large part of moving from shame to freedom, and immersing ourselves in the words of God and His promises are key in this journey. 

I have never read a book by her before, but this one definitely inspires me to read more! I found it to be a wonderful book about a topic that too many people are afraid to bring up. I hope that many read this book and begin the work needed for freedom for shame.

"...I'm writing because I've found God's rich rewards in the ongoing journey from shame-filled to a shame-free life. I have found that no matter how big the giant looms over me--no matter how hard he tries to drown out what God wants to say to me--the truth remains:  Jesus shamed my shame! So I wrote this book from a place of victory--inside my promised land--to help give you, dear reader, your victory" (pp. 180-181).

(I’ve received this complimentary book through the BookLook program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

Friday, May 27, 2016

A Review: "Colors of Goodbye" by September Vaudrey

May 31, 2008. The date that life forever changed for the Vaudrey family. Nineteen year old Katie left for her first day of her summer job and never made it. Her mother, September Vaudrey, captures the story of Katie's life, death, and the grief of the family so very poignantly in this book, "Colors of Goodbye".

This memoir is incredibly touching. September shares so freely the profound loss their family felt in the aftermath of Katie's death. She doesn't shy away from the difficult aspects, and is very candid in sharing how the different personalities in her family grieved in different ways. Her openness and honesty with the realities of grief captured me and drew me completely in to their family story.

Katie was a gifted artist. Her artwork is interspersed throughout the book, which gives it even greater meaning. This book is a beautiful tribute to their daughter. I feel privileged to have read this book and to have been allowed a glimpse into such a private tragedy and witnessed this family's return to joy from the depths of such a shattering loss.

(I’ve received this complimentary book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Review: "Forever My Little Boy" by Karen Kingsbury

"Forever My Little Boy:  Loving Your Son for Now and for Always" by Karen Kingsbury is a sweet look at raising a boy. The bits of narrative are interspersed with Scripture verses and little prayers for your boy. Whimsical illustrations by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff depict the boy in the story growing up; the colorful pictures add a lot of character to the story.

With Mother's Day and Father's Day coming up, this would make a nice gift for any parent of a boy. It's a touching look at capturing moments in a boy's life as he grows up.

(I’ve received this complimentary book through the BookLook program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Review: "The Red Door Inn" by Liz Johnson

The Red Door Inn (Prince Edward Island Dreams, #1)"The Red Door Inn" by Liz Johnson is the first in the "Prince Edward Island Dreams" series. Marie Carrington flees to Prince Edward Island to escape a personal trauma. She encounters widower Jack Sloane on the boat and is invited to help him decorate his new bed and breakfast. Upon arriving, she meets Seth Sloane, his nephew, who moved to the island in order to help renovate the inn and forget about the fiancee who nearly ruined his life.

The trio work hard to establish this new bed and breakfast, while each works through personal pain from their pasts. At first, Seth cannot understand why his uncle brought in this young woman who seems to need more just a job and a roof over her head. Marie can't understand why Seth has a tendency toward gruffness and near animosity toward her. Only after they spend more time together and begin to reveal portions of their stories do they come to understand the layers underneath the initial appearances.

The theme of redemption and finding healing is strong through this novel. The characters were fairly engaging and the setting was truly gorgeous. This was a decent read and I may consider following through with additional books in this series. I wouldn't say that it is a "must-read", but the story is nice one to spend a few days with.

(I’ve received this complimentary book through Revell Books in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Review: "Lots of Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids" by Whee Winn

After this book, "Lots of Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids" by Whee Winn, arrived at my house, I immediately opened the package and started testing a few jokes out on my kids. They both love knock-knock jokes and this book does the trick of infusing fresh life into their joke-telling repertoire. My oldest has enjoyed using this book to provide some easy entertainment while I'm getting dinner ready.

The book contains over 250 jokes and is laid out in several sections, with jokes sorted by name, place, holidays, or objects. This has been a fun addition in our house, especially for two boys who absolutely love knock-knock jokes!

(I’ve received this complimentary book through the BookLook program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Review: "The Life Giving Home" by Sally and Sarah Clarkson

Coming Feb. 2, 2016"The Life Giving Home:  Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming" by Sally and Sarah Clarkson is the story of the Clarkson family, how they created a home life for their family and all who enter their home that is welcoming, loving, and a haven of rest and peace. The Clarkson family truly embraced making their home a place that gives life and refuge to many, one that celebrates family, friendships, and faith.

The book is divided into two sections. The first one discusses thinking about home--what home means, what it could look like. The second section composes the vast majority of the book and is divided not by chapters, but by months. Each month revolves around a certain theme with some introductory thoughts and a section on what it looks like in practice in their own home life.

I truly enjoyed this book and all the ideas contained within, not just the practical ones, but also the whys of making home. Hospitality is not my strong suit, but this book gives me plenty of ideas that I can easily tweak and apply to my own family.

(I’ve received this complimentary book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)