Friday, March 11, 2016

Book Review: Room For Hope

Room for HopeRoom for Hope by Kim Vogel Sawyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed "Room for Hope" because of the story setting, small town in the 1930's. It was a little out of my typical reading interest, seeing as I'm more into historical fiction set either in the Regency period or Civil War/post-Civil War.

The plot grabbed my attention from the beginning, a husband and father living a double life and leaving behind his wife to pick up the pieces after he dies. It is a story of forgiveness, overcoming shame, and learning what it means to love.

At some points it had me turning pages quickly to find out what would happen, and then there were moments I was near tears because the characters stirred my heart.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

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Thursday, March 03, 2016

Book Review: A Lasting Impression

A Lasting Impression (Belmont Mansion, #1)A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this story. In the beginning of the book I wasn't sure it would draw me in, but the characters were interesting enough to pull me in. Then the theme of the book made the story memorable for me. Claire, Mrs. Acklen and Sutton were interesting to read about. Although each of them came from different stations within society, they all shared one thing in common. Shame.

This is part of why I enjoyed the story so much. I've been going through a Bible study for the last 6 months about the shame we experience in our sinful and human state. It doesn't matter who you are, you have either done shameful things or are associated with someone who has brought shame on you. That's exactly what Claire, Mrs. Acklen and Sutton were all dealing with privately within their hearts, and they were seeking how to overcome it.

I highly recommend this book, and I am looking forward to book 2 of the Belmont Mansion series.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Book Review: Transforming Prayer

Transforming PrayerTransforming Prayer by Daniel Henderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It seems like prayer is one of those areas of the Christian disciplines that I'm always working to improve at. I've read several books on prayer, and this book is one of the better titles I've found.

Christians need to be most concerned with God's will as they pray, rather than seeking their own will. Henderson teaches much about the worship - based prayer, and I find it very helpful. As I've begun to practice looking for the character of God within the psalms and praying through them, I am finding that a worshipful prayer comes much more readily. Remembering and meditating on the character of God makes all the difference when you pray and prepare to go out into your day ready for spiritual battle. This is a book I will be recommending to friends.

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Friday, February 05, 2016

Book Review: Invisible

Invisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You AreInvisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are by Jennifer Rothschild
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book I've read by Jennifer Rothschild. A friend had recommended it to me, and I wanted to see what it was about. Jennifer writes in a down-to-earth style with humor, as if she's having a chat with her girlfriend, using little quirky words to make the truths she's talking about simple and to stick in our minds.

I believe her teaching on the believer's identity in Christ is helpful. This is a doctrine that many Christians fail to grasp, and as a result, they end up living bound in chains of guilt and self-condemnation that God has released us from at the moment of salvation. Christ lived under the law, died and rose again that we could live freely by grace when we put our faith in Him.

I have read other books on the believer's identity in Christ, and I would categorize this one as entry-level reading. If you are a new believer, have not learned about your position in Christ, or do not consider yourself to be much of a reader, this is a good starting point. She teaches in a simple way, and you don't walk away wondering what she meant.

Beyond this book I would recommend two others, Found in Him by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Shame Interrupted by Ed Welch. They are excellent and go much deeper into the doctrine, really opening up the scriptures to teach how Christians should deal with their shame.

There are a couple things that Jennifer refers to in her book that make me squirm a bit and would cause me to be cautious in recommending the book to a new believer. She refers many times to self-esteem, which is a psychology term, not a biblical one. Scriptures do not teach anything about having a good or bad self-esteem. The one thing I can say about her references to self-esteem is that she never tells you in this book how to have a good self-esteem, which makes me a little less concerned about it. The other thing that didn't sit well with me was her statement, "You aren't redeemed because you are worthy, but because you are worth it." I feel like we're treading on thin ice a bit here. The only worth I have is because Jesus saved me, not why He saved me. Salvation is not about our worth to God. It is about showing the glory of God and the riches of His amazing grace. But maybe I'm splitting hairs.

My last observation of the book is that I felt concerned for the gals who read the book who are unbelievers and might think that everything she's saying applies to them too. Jennifer's teaching in Invisible only applies to believers who have put their faith in the Lord Jesus, and I'm not sure she makes that clear.

Although it's not the first book I would recommend to people on the topic of identity, it is useful and has its place.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Well, Hello!


Is this thing on?...

Just dusting off the old blog today, working on updating my picture and bio information. I thought I might put it back into use for a bit, and I want it looking fresh and spiffy for all two of you who might still have my blog link.

Stick around, and we'll see what happens....