Thursday, September 23, 2010

Letters to God

I watched Letters to God over the weekend and it was a great movie! I just had to share ... The movie really speaks to what a lot of the books I've blogged about talk about. Every person is important. And every life matters. God can use anyone to make a difference in the world. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kindness

At the last few Beth Moore simulcasts, she has concluded with a commissioning of sorts. People pair up, look each other in the eye, and repeat after Beth. The one we did in the spring was very powerful. This one is quite powerful as well. Be encouraged!!!

My Dear Sister,

Your God has called you

To use that mouth of yours

For His great glory.

Don’t just add to the noise.

Become a real woman

Who opens her mouth with wisdom.

God wants the Law of Kindness

On your tongue

And the love of Christ

In your heart.

Never forget:

Kindness is not a weakness!

When you’re wearing down

Head to Christ and His people

And let them build you back up.

Always remember:

His yoke is KIND.

Make sure

It’s the only yoke you wear.

It’s time to go our separate ways

But we’ll all meet up again

At the glorious epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Until then,

Let the One who led you here

Lead you on with cords of kindness.

Now, get out there

And build a welcoming fire

In a cold world.

Live by the Law of Kindness!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Blog Mooch: (In)Courage

Wow! I love this idea! Taking a picture every day for a year and journaling the memory that goes along with it. I think you could do some really fun things with photo albums or journals or photo books at the end of the year-long project. What a precious memento! If you're interested in following Jessica's journey throughout the year, you can follow her on her blog, The Mom Creative.

I came across this post on a blog I follow every now and then called (In)Courage. It's a great blog for women ... super-encouraging, full of great theological thoughts, and lots of great ideas about topics that I'm interested in. More than anything, (in)courage is about relationships - with God and each other.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

God Knows My Name by Beth Redman


God Knows My Name: Never Forgotten, Forever Loved by Beth Redman is a phenomenal book. The entire purpose of the book is to teach us "that the God who made us also understands us intimately and proclaims our worth by naming us and calling our name." It is evident that Beth has learned this message for herself. She shares bits about her past that expose the hurt she endured and ultimately how the amazing power of God has transformed her life. Every point she makes is from Scripture, which makes the book even stronger.

The primary points Redman makes are evident in the chapter titles: God Knows My Name, God Knows My Past, God Shapes My Character, God Sees My Choices, God Has Not Forgotten Me, God Is My Helper, God Is My Defender, and God Is My Restorer.

At times the book seems a bit simplistic. However, after reading the entire book, I feel like each word is a product of Beth's journey to restoration and is completely heartfelt. The simplicity makes it seem more possible, if that makes sense.

I was thoroughly challenged and encouraged by this book. Several times I thought, "This is just what I need right now."

A complete study guide in the back makes this ideal for group study or for more in-depth individual study.

4 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from The B&B Media Group in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Snowflake by Jamie Carie


The Snowflake is Jamie Carie's debut novella. Set in 1897, Ellen Pierce is forced by her brother to leave their home in California and set out to make their fortune panning gold in Alaska. Trouble strikes early on and they must continue their journey by foot to reach Dawson City. Only the strongest will survive. Upon arriving in Dawson City, Ellen realizes that survival will be more difficult - and more expensive - than she originally thought. With few options, she must learn to trust God for her every need.

Carie does an excellent job of weaving in Christian themes and using the story to point readers to Christ. This is such a sweet story. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Jamie Carie's books.

4 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from B&H Books in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hello, I Love You by Ted Kluck


Hello, I Love You is an extremely honest recounting of Ted and Kristen Kluck's two adoptions. They originally decide to adopt internationally because they felt called to it. So they raised money, went to Ukraine three times, and finally brought home their little boy. Years later, they decided they wanted to grow their family again - only to engage a long battle with infertility. They finally determined that they would adopt from Ukraine again.

Kluck describes in detail the process for both of their adoptions. His emotions spill out on the pages of the book. Bitterness, anger, fear, joy, sorrow, excitement, uncertainty. He also describes how the process of adopting, working through infertility, and adopting again changed his relationship with the Lord. He's also open with how the entire process affected his relationship with his wife - and how ultimately it brought them closer together.

There were times that I felt like he was just a big complainer, but he addresses the conviction that he felt about complaining/whining, his repentance, and how he and his wife worked through this difficult time together.

I enjoyed this book. The honesty was at times shocking, but helpful for understanding the entire process and how it affected Kluck, his family, his relationship with his church, his friendships, and his relationship with the Lord. Plus, hearing from an adoptive father provides a unique perspective, as most of the stories/blogs about adoption I've read are from the mother's perspective.

4 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado


In Outlive Your Life, Max Lucado addresses a topic that many Christians are discussing ... using the one life you have to really make a difference for God. I've heard many messages preached on this topic over the past few years and read several books as well - a couple this year, even! So ... I wondered if Lucado would have anything new to say on the subject.

I was immediately impressed with the book. Lucado uses the book of Acts to illustrate how the Church should address poverty, homelessness, persecution, "the least of these." He gives great pictures of Christians who did the RIGHT thing and the WRONG thing and talks about how having the right attitude is ultimately the key to it all. Scripture is woven throughout and points are drawn from Scripture - rather than using random verses to back up Lucado's thoughts. I appreciated that he laid out the gospel in chapter four as a way to make sure that readers were clear on the main thing - the reason that the rest of this even matters.

I also liked that each chapter ended with a passage of Scripture and a prayer that often voiced my exact thoughts. A discussion guide and ideas for action for each chapter are provided at the end of the book, which would make it an easy book to discuss in a small group or book club.

This is a pretty easy read and could probably be finished in a few hours.

4 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews


This is a precious book taken from the story of The Butterfly Effect, also by Andy Andrews. The story teaches kids that everyone has the power to change the world ... whether we think we do or not. Everything we do or say matters! Andrews traces the path of influence of a man named Norman Borlaug who learns how to make special seeds that allow crops to grow all over the world, providing food for 2 million people who are hungry. Is it really Borlaug that fed all those people ... or the people who influenced HIS life? I also loved the illustrations by Philip Hurst. They were absolutely beautiful!

I would highly recommend this book!

5 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program in exchange for my fair and honest review.

The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews


What a sweet little book! The book is presented like a gift book - with beautiful pictures and only a few words on each page. However, it has much more substance than gift books typically do. Taking two stories of seemingly insignificant people who had great impact on the world, Andrews proposes that we ALL have huge impact on the world for generations to come. After reading the story of one single man who held his ground during the Civil War therefore changing the outcome of the battle and therefore the war and a wonderful story about George Washing Carver, I'm inclined to agree. More than just a feel-good moment, though, the book challenges you to believe that GOD can use you for great things. Highly recommend!

5 stars (out of 5)

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Blog Mooch: Main Stream

This blog post by my friend Rebecca Figert brought to mind some of the thoughts I had when reading The Butterfly Effect and The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews. Since, reviews for both of these will be posted tomorrow, I had to share.

Reaching women from every walk of life, Main Stream is a spiritually nutrient, current, and active blog site that equips women for their daily interactions with people, the Internet, and God. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Heavens Proclaim His Glory, Compiled by Lisa Stilwell


The Heavens Proclaim His Glory uniquely combines science and creation. Every page beautifully displays amazing pictures from NASA's Hubble Telescope. Scripture and selections from Christian authors (including Francis Chan, Anne Graham Lotz, John MacArthur, Max Lucado, Patsy Clairmont, Franklin Graham and more) bring constant attention to God's role as Creator of the entire, intricately-designed universe. Science would have been a lot more fun with pictures like these to illustrate the concepts of "space." My only complaint is that the book was a little long (176 pages) for a gift book.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a teaching tool or just for your own enjoyment. It would also be a great book to guide personal prayer and worship time as the Scriptures included are some of my favorites (if you can have "favorite" Scriptures)!

4 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze Blogger Review program in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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