Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Book Review: Soul Friends

Soul Friends by Dr. Leslie Parrott discusses the necessity of close, honest, real, God-given relationships in our lives. 
The publisher sums it up well with
Dr. Leslie Parrott is speaking the heart-language of women in her new book that shares how friendships are essential for spiritual formation - for women of all ages.
In Soul Friends, Dr. Leslie Parrott brings you into an intimate and vulnerable conversation about the life-changing value of deep-spirited friendships and soul-altering relationships.
Whether it’s a new friend, a member of a small group, or a friend we’ve had for years, these soul-friends embody the grace that enables us to take a next step in the unfolding journey of our lives. God has great purpose, intention, and fulfillment in the give-and-take of deep-spirited friendships. If we purposely cultivate them, God will bring us soul-friends to help us along our spiritual journey.
Leslie reveals how every woman traverses four stages of growth—quest, calling, crisis, and communion – again and again. And whatever stage you find yourself traveling right now, you need soul friends to help you move forward.
With courageous honesty and heart-felt revelation and reflection, Leslie reminds every woman of the incredibly intimate, intricate, faith-forming work God does in her through the gift of soul friends he places in her life.
I enjoyed this book a lot. I found the messages easy to understand, practical, and relatable.  I also like the setup of the book.  The chapters are fairly small making it easy to pick up and read a chapter or two when I had time.   I hope to pass this book on to some friends in my life and see if we can foster a deeper relationship like she discusses.  It has also challenged me to be more open about my faith and my struggles with those who are already close to me.  If I am not real with them, how can I expect them to ever be real with me?


Note: I did receive a copy of this book for free to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Book review: Companion Guide to the Old Testament

Companion to the Old Testament by Ted Leach is exactly as it sounds.  It is the companion guides to help a reader better understand the history, culture, languages of the Old Testament with other religions.  The publisher describes it as “This book helps Christians understand how the Old Testament is “community property” shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims. It is a constructive resource for interfaith discussion, particularly for people of different faiths (or no faith) who are seeking to identify some shared principles of our common humanity.”
I think this book would be great for a religions scholar to have on their shelf but I found most of it too difficult to understand.  Not necessarily the concepts but the way it was written.  I felt like I was in a lecture hall with a professor that knew he was smarter than all of us teaching his pupils how ignorant they were on the subject.  It I don’t think that’s how the author meant it but that’s how I felt.  I felt wrong for having different opinions on subjects he discussed.
All in all I do not think I will be recommending this book to any of my friends and family.

Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Book Review: Savor

Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are: 365 day devotion by Shauna Niequist is a January through December quick devotion filled with half page thoughts by the author on how to better look at what God has given you that day and where he has placed you.  It’s about living in the present, not looking to the past or future of what could be or should have been.  She tries to help lead the reader through enjoying life and seeing how God provides for us daily.  When we open our eyes to it we will be amazed at all that God does for us in a single day, let alone the entire year.

I enjoyed this devotional.  Each day is a verse and then her telling a story or anecdote with a point.  Each devotion is a page or less.  She also gives a question or thing to do for that day.  Each devotional is insightful.  You can tell each one means a lot to her as we go on this journey with her to stop over analyzing and planning and to thank God for what you have today.

Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review: Undone

Undone; A Memoir, A story of making peace with an unexpected life by Michelle Cushatt is the memoir of Michelle and her battle to balance  controlling her life to normalcy and giving it u to God in all the chaos, crisis, and miracles.  Michelle in less than a year battled cancer, had a full house to empty nest, and had the house filled again with children in need.  As she tried to balance all this she found God’s presence and comfort around every bend.
First, I chose this book solely on the cover.  So whoever designed it good job.  I thought this book was going to fiction after I quickly skimmed the back summary.  Who could even think about throwing all those obstacles together except for an author with a wild imagination?  Then in the first few pages I realized this was a true story told for the author of what she had gone through and I was hook. 
I really enjoyed the author’s story telling ability and her flow of writing. I found this book very easy to read and very hard to put down.  This book is so full of faith and struggle I think any mom, wife, woman could relate with all her struggles, feelings of inadequacy, anxiety over the future and the unknown and how to protect your children, and the feeling of grace and peace when you truly know God is there in your midst comforting you. 


Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review by the publisher.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Book Review: Regain Your Spiritual Poise


Regain Your Spiritual Poise by Rob Wingerter is a book outlining the importance of a spiritual retreat to block out any distraction and focus on God and your relationship.  The author takes your through many benefits of it, its outline in the bible, and how historically it was a common practice.

I have to say I really struggled reading this book.  I do not think I was the correct audience.  I think it was made for older pastors who are really looking to dig into the subject.  But as a layperson who love to read, this was not the book for me.

I think the hardest thing about this book is the way it was written.  I felt like I was being lectured by a really boring (albeit very knowledgeable) professor who likes to kind of speak above the audience. 

Sadly I will not be passing on this book or recommending it to other readers.  I think this book was written with the best intentions but fell short for me.  I do with the author and the audience readers the best.  I hope the find the peace and rest they were searching for.

Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Book Review: Miracle on Voodoo Mountain


Miracle on Voodoo Mountain by Megan Boudreaux is an amazing story about a 24 year old girl that head the call of God for her to move from her home town on Louisiana, leave everything and everyone she knew, to go live in Haiti.  She didn’t know what she would be doing or how she would support herself, but she went.  In her first few days there she was scared, confused, and lonely and slowly God placed people into her life so she could accomplish great things for Him.  In less than a year she had helped close down a corrupt orphanage, adopted two girls, start the non-profit organization Respire Haiti, fed thousands of children, open a school, built a new larger school, educated hundreds of children who wouldn’t have been able to afford or attend any other school, found love, and got married. 

Through all her struggles she has seen many miracles from God and provisions given to her by prayer and faith.  This book is one that left me not wanting to put it down.  I love the flow of the stories and have they come together. This book has encouraged me and inspired me.  I really enjoyed reading it.  It also makes me want to go to Haiti and help.

 Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Book Review: Time to Choose

Time to Choose by Dawn Kazmierzak is the story about her mother as a child living through world war two under Nazi regime. 

This book leads the reader through the story of the occupations and how the Nazi government and the war drastically changed their lives.  At the end of each chapter she gives an insight on what the reader should think about to ensure that similar circumstances to do not happen again.

This book for the publishing synopsis interested me but I found the story of the author’s family life very interesting.  What I did have a problem was some of the “Connecting the dots” thoughts at the end of each chapter.  She is very judgmental in some of her comments.  I understand the background she is coming from but just because you choose something like public school or day care does not mean you don’t care about your child’s education.

I don’t know if I would recommend this book to anyone although I did find the story and some of the “connecting the dots” interesting.  If I did tell someone about this book it would come with a lot of cautions about the content and the single-minded judgmental mindset on many touchy topics.


Note: I was given a copy of this book to read and review.  The opinions above are my own and I was not compensated for a positive review.