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Book Review: 40 Verses to Ignite Your Faith by Laurie Polich Short

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From Back Cover:

Many of us have our “go to” verses. The ones we memorize, post on social media, and hang on our walls. But sometimes we need a fresh word or promise for the season we find ourselves in–something that ignites our faith in the face of fear, doubt, loneliness, insecurity, or overwhelming circumstances.

In this powerful, accessible new book, author and speaker Laurie Short mines the Scriptures, revealing insights and promises from 40 verses we often overlook. Digging in to these “in between” verses, she unearths fresh wisdom, guidance, and encouragement that will help you seek and experience God in new, dynamic ways.

From trusting God’s timing, to not worrying about the future, to holding on to faith when things look dark, the hidden insights found in these verses will help you navigate the challenges that cross your path, breathe new life into your weary soul, and ignite your faith once again.

My Review:

40 verses to Ignite Your Faith is not your typical devotional. The author takes verses that are often overlooked and shows the reader that there is meat in all of God’s word not just in the well known go to verses. Most devotionals are focused on well known sections of the Bible that everyone can relate to but 40 verses to Ignite Your Faith shows 40 verses that are just a easy to relate to. Each devotional is about three pages long and covers a variety of topics like The Subtle Insertion of Doubt, Moving Ahead of God’s Timing, Hearing God’s Voice, The Decisions before the Decision, The Story Within the Story, The Writing om Our Hearts, Running Away from God, When Circumstances Bring Doubt and The God Who Weeps. Each devotional consists of a story and has a memorable quote from the devotion like “If we never give God the things we have, we will never know what God could have done with them”. At the end of each devotional there are a set of three reflection questions.

I loved 40 verses to Ignite Your Faith by Laurie Poloch Short. I loved how it brought to light how much is right in front of us that we overlook. My favorite and most inspiring quote from this book is “Be careful when you think ‘Someone should do something’ It may end up being you” I highly recommend this book to all readers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Review: Pathways From Providence to Purpose by Tony Evans

From the inside dust cover:

The power of Providence:

My hope for this book is that in reading it, you will learn to discover the power of Providence in the midst of your personal pain, fear, gain, loss, and even love. What’s more, I want you to discover the very personal nature of God as He maneuvers humanity along multiple pathways, intersecting each of us in His intended aim.

My review:

Tony Evans book Pathways: From Providence to Purpose is about how personal struggles and experiences through life get us to the destiny that God has planned for us. The book captivated me on the first page and I could not put the book down from that point on. Tony Evans uses stories that we all know and can relate to and weaves in many stores that I didn’t know but I found myself explaining these stories to others. One of my favorite quotes is found on page 69 ” Because once you understand the providence of God, you’ll know that God is in the details all the more.” This book is full of stories of people’s lives and how their destiny effected everyone around them.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves history and learning through other people’s lives.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BH/Lifeway Bloggers program. https://www.bhbloggers.com/ I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Review: loving your spouse when you feel like walking away by Gary Chapman

 

Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away

Product Description

What to do when you feel like giving up

When you said, “I do,” you entered marriage with high hopes, dreaming it would be supremely happy.

You never intended it to be miserable.

Millions of couples are struggling in desperate marriages. But the story doesn’t have to end there. Dr. Gary Chapman writes, “I believe that in every troubled marriage, one or both partners can take positive steps that have the potential for changing the emotional climate in their marriage.”

Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away, the revised and updated edition of the award-winning Desparate Marriages, teaches you how to:

  • Recognize and reject the myths that hold you captive
  • Better understand your spouse’s behavior
  • Take responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, and actions
  • Make choices that can have a lasting, positive impact on you and your spouse

An experienced marriage and family counselor, Gary Chapman speaks to those whose spouse is any of the following:

  • Irresponsible
  • A workaholic
  • Controlling
  • Uncommunicative
  • Verbally abusive
  • Physically abusive
  • Sexually abusive
  • Unfaithful
  • Addicted to alcohol or drugs
  • Depressed

Marriage has the same potential to be miserable as it does to be blissful. Read Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away to learn how you can turn things around.

My Review:

I decided to review Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away by Gary Chapman in hopes to help some of my friends who are having difficult times in their marriages. Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away addresses many issues like spouses who are irresponsible, a workaholic, depressed, controlling, verbally abusive, physically abusive, sexually abusive, uncommunicative, unfaithful and addicted to alcohol or drugs. Each chapter focuses on one of the above mentioned issues but focuses more on the issue than the solution. Most solutions are just seek counseling. There are a few insightful points through the book and the stories help the reader relate to other people going through similar situations.

I would recommend this book to anyone in a marriage with the understanding that I’m unsure if the subtitle “Real Help for desperate Hearts in Difficult Marriages” is accurate because this book rehashes the issues instead of offering much help.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review from the publisher through the Moody Blogger Review Program. http://www.mpnewsroom.com/content/blogger-review-program I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Review: Decoding Your Dreams by Jennifer LeClaire

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Book Description

What is God saying to you in your dreams?

Decoding Your Dreams provides an in-depth explanation of the true source of our dreams, dream classifications, and even dream symbols.

There are dozens of mentions of dreams in the Bible. From Abraham to Joseph, from Daniel all the way to Pontius Pilot’s wife, God has communicated with His people through dreams throughout recorded history.

Why would God choose to speak to us while we sleep?

Perhaps it’s because we are too distracted during the day to sit still long enough for Him to share the deep secrets of His heart.

Jennifer LeClaire is convinced God speaks to us in ways that are very personal. At times he may use pictures, memories, impressions, or even a still small voice.

Let Decoding Your Dreams help you embrace your Spirit-inspired dreams!

My Review

I was excited to review Decoding Your Dreams by Jennifer LeClaire but when I began reading it I was very disappointed and almost disgusted at how the author related to the reader. This book has more of a worldview than a biblical view on dream interpretation. In the introduction, the author says “You are the best interpreter for your dreams– you know best how you relate to God and hoe He relates to you” The title of the first chapter is “God Speaks Through Dreams” I think that the person talking would be the best person to ask about what is said and therefore God would be the best interpreter of dreams. In . In the first chapter, she explains a dream and then says “I’m not spiritually dense, so I understood the overarching meaning of the dream.” Dense means stupid. So what if you don’t understand dreams? Does that mean that you are stupid because you don’t understand dreams? Why would you write a book to help people understand what the Lord may be saying to you while you’re sleep if anyone who doesn’t understand dreams is dense? In Chapter two, The Biblical World of Biblical dreams, the author explains the importance to “understand what the Bible says about the dream world so you can avoid New Age pitfalls and get on the same page with God about what He’s saying to you in the supernatural realm.” But on the contrary, the author then covers cultural dreams in chapter 6 using a world view standard when many of the topics have biblical insights that the author could have mentioned. She continues the chapter explaining the difference between dreams, visions and trances. In chapter 3 she explains the scientific evidence of the negative effects that happen when people are not allowed to dream like tension, anxiety, depression, lack of concentration, eight gain and a hallucinations. Chapter 4 the author explains different types of common dreams. Chapter 5 has a short dictionary of codes. I really like that each term is backed by scripture. Chapter 6 I did not like because it is a world view of the terms instead of God’s view of the terms. Romans 12:2 says ”  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The rest of the book has questions answered, examples of dreams and activations.
I have several serious issues with this book.  Either we trust God for interpretation or we do not and look to the world. It is not wise to go back and forth between God and the world while warning about doing so at the same time. There are many more reliable books about biblical dream interpretation like Dr Joe Ibojie, Ira Milligan, James Goll, Adam F. Thompson, Adrian Beale, John Paul Jackson and Herman Riffel. I would only suggest Decoding Your Dreams by Jennifer LeClaire if you have read these other authors and are using this book as part of your Biblical dream book library.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

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Book Review: What About Kids Ministry by B&H Books

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From the Back Cover:

Wouldn’t it be great if you could sit down with a room full of seasoned kids ministry leaders with nothing but time and a list of questions to ask?

Now, with What about Kids Ministry?, you can do just that! Never are people more impressionable, more passionate, or more eager to learn than in their childhood years. For this reason, those who parent and minister to children have incredibly consequential jobs! But they often lack the answers and solutions to some of their most important questions.

In What About Kids Ministry?, kids ministry expert Bill Emeott has curated a series of questions and answers from some of the most authoritative voices in kids ministry today. In doing so, he has created the go-to resource for every kids and family minister or parent seeking practical answers to their questions about how to minister to children.

My Review:

What About Kids Ministry is a practical resource for anyone needing help with their children’s ministry. The book is a collection of essays by 19 experienced children’s ministry workers. The book consists of ten chapters. Each chapter has a question and topic for a title. Topics include Crafting a plan for your ministry, managing ministry specifics, sharpening your ministry basics, developing your ministry team, understanding the kids in your ministry, sharing the gospel in your ministry, connecting your ministry with families, ministering in difficult situations, navigating relating in ministry, and balancing life in ministry. Each article has a question for a title. Some questions include What about developing a vision? What about my role on church staff? What about VBS? What about training? What about today’s kids? What about the age of accountability? What about equipping families? What about hospitals? What about friendships? What about my spiritual growth?
This book intrigued me. It answered many questions and things that I was curious about children’s ministry before reading it. I recommend this book to anyone involved with children’s ministry even if that is just raising your own kids.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BH/Lifeway Bloggers program. https://www.bhbloggers.com/ I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Review: Unwrapping the Names of Jesus- An Advent Devotional by Asheritah Ciuciu

Unwrapping the Names of Jesus by Asheritah Ciuciu is a devotional for the Advent season. The book has 4 chapters, one for each week of Advent The chapters include Hope, Preparation, Joy, and Love. Each chapter is split up into seven sections: An over view, five daily devotionals and activities for the week. Each devotional has a reading, a challenge, a prayer and scripture references. The activities range from family fun to service oriented projects. There is bonus online content in the activities section to get printable activitiy sheets and other resources.

This book was a little smaller than I expected but is packed full of information and resources to help the reader celebrate Advent.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for ideas to help in their Advent celebration.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review from the publisher through the Moody Blogger Review Program. http://www.mpnewsroom.com/content/blogger-review-program I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Review: Keeping Christianity Weird

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From the Back Cover:

Jesus is different. Go and do likewise.
Many Christians have become comfortable with letting the world mold them instead of being set apart by God. And many churches have traded in their biblical roots for complacent conventionality. But Jesus and the church are anything but conventional. The hallmark of our faith is that it sees the world differently than the world sees itself.

We are called to be eccentric–off center, unique, different—not conformed to the patterns of the world but transformed by the renewing of our minds. By God’s grace, we are not only dissatisfied by sin but also increasingly uncompelled by conventionality.

So resist the allure of acceptability. Get back to the unsafe roots of our faith. Be equipped to surprise the world with the Good News it didn’t even know it was waiting for. Challenge the way things are by living a life that has been truly set free by Christ.

My Review:

This book was hard for me to get into but I soon found this book to be insightful and packed full of stories and examples of how Christianity should be different from the world. This book has seven chapters with many subchapters. There is an introduction in the front and a note section in the back with references listed.  Each chapter has “For Your Consideration” section where four questions are listed to further think about each chapter. In chapter one, the author describes in length what an eccentric Christian is and why it is so important. Chapter two is about the Weird Cities Movement. I love the story of the Euclid Square shopping mall in Cleveland.  Chapter three has quite a bit of Scripture explaining how “Jesus was the Original Weirdo” Chapter four explains the history of Christianity and how it differs from today. Chapter five is about how to stay weird as a Christian. Chapter six talks about making it normal to be weird. Chapter seven closes the book with a recap of the book.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in Christianity as a whole or Christians who need encouragement to live our Romans 12:1-2 “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network. http://www.tyndaleblognetwork.com/ I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”