Friday, March 29, 2013

A Review: "Organic Outreach for Families" by Kevin and Sherry Harney

"Organic Outreach for Families:  Turning Your Home Into a Lighthouse" by Kevin and Sherry Harney is the third book in the "Organic Outreach" series. The Harneys offer this definition:  "Organic outreach is not a program that every person follows the same way. It is an understanding of faith and life that releases every believer to share the love and message of Jesus in a way that feels right for them" (p. 11).

Consisting of three sections (Reaching your own family, Raising children of light in a dark world, and Turning your home into a lighthouse), each section offers practical information on how to become a light in your family (immediate and extended) and neighborhood. Kevin and Sherry take turns with authoring the different chapters, and their three sons also include brief stories and reflections throughout the book. Each chapter concludes with a "Becoming a Lighthouse" section with several ways to implement the principles discussed in the chapters in your own family.

As a mom of two small boys, I really appreciated the ideas in the book. As we are called to make disciples, it needs to begin at home. It caused me to reflect and reevaluate ways that I am introducing my boys to Jesus, as well as ways that I need to do better. I loved the stories that they told to show how the principles came to life in their own home.

This is a great, practical handbook full of ideas that can be implemented in your own home and neighborhood. It's perfect for families, but several chapters are perfectly appropriate for singles or couples without children.

(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.)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Review: "Firefly Island" by Lisa Wingate

"Firefly Island" by Lisa Wingate is the third book in the "Moses Lake" series. Mallory Hale was working as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill when a chance encounter allowed her to meet Daniel Everson, a biochemist working for the USDA. A whirlwind courtship culminates is a quick marriage and move to Moses Lake, Texas, where Daniel begins a unique job opportunity. Daniel is immediately immersed in his work, leaving Mallory to adjust to life as stepmom to three-year-old Nick and figure out a way to fit in rural Texas.

Questions are immediately raised about Daniel's new boss, who comes across as mysterious, demanding, and intimidating. As Daniel spends more and more time away from home, Mallory immerses herself in settling in. She starts a blog about her transition from city girl to cow girl. As she gets to know the people in her new town, she begins to see great needs there for things like education and making healthier foods available to all. The last few chapters of the book are dedicated to the unraveling of political intrigue.

Overall, the book was just okay. It was told in the first-person, which caused it to fall a little bit flat. The characters lacked depth. There were a number of interesting pieces to the storyline, but they felt a little disconnected from one another. It was a bit slow and unrealistic to start off, but the action picked up in the second half of the book. This was my first dive into a Lisa Wingate novel; I liked it enough to try another one, but I will "proceed with caution".

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

A Review: "The Lifegiving Parent" by Clay and Sally Clarkson

"The Lifegiving Parent" by Clay and Sally Clarkson completes the "Lifegiving" trilogy that also includes "The Lifeg...