Thursday, May 17, 2018

book review: "adamant" by lisa bevere

What is truth? This has become the defining question of our time. But while everyone has an opinion, truth, it seems, is getting harder and harder to find. Perhaps that's because we are searching for something when we should be looking for someone. Truth has a name. More ancient than time and more present than this moment, truth is not a river that changes with the cultural currents, but a rock - immovable, invincible, unshakeable - and the cornerstone of all we are and ever dream to be. Theologically deep yet intimately accessible, Adamant will be an anchor for your soul in a raging sea of opinions, giving you a clear sense of direction in a wandering world.

I'm such a fan of Lisa Bevere! I did the devotional for this book on the Bible app and really liked it and then being able to read and review the book was an added bonus! I feel like this topic is something women today are so hungry to hear. It's so easy to become wrapped up in seeking approval from others that we miss what God says about us. Lisa talks about how we're safe in Christ. "Our position in Christ is not based on our ability to hold on. The moment we hide ourselves in him, we are secured in his ability to hold us. In Christ, our Rock, our Adamant, our Cornerstone, we are safe." I love what she says about faith! "Faith is the hidden quickening of hope that leaps within us to help us believe there can be more." And she talks about Jesus as our Adamant. "On the cross, this Rock, Jesus, was opened once again, and this time blood and water flowed from his side...water to wash and blood to redeem." I read that and had to stop. I've heard that before but it got my attention this time. The importance of both the water and the blood. And she goes on. "The goodness of our Rock is impervious to our awfulness. As our Adamant encounters our flaws, they become as dust in the presence of his perfection. It is not that he is unaware of our violations. He sees the pain and shame that our willful choices bring upon ourselves and others. It is just that he cannot help but be what he is...good and merciful. He is the Lord and Savior of all, and any who throw their broken lives on his adamant mercy are transformed." This was such a great book!

I received a copy of this book from Icon Media Group for my honest review.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

book review: "high cotton" by debby mayne

Shay Henke has mixed feelings about going to her family's next reunion. On the one hand, she'll get to see everyone in her mama's family - folks she loves unconditionally. On the other hand, she knows there'll be more drama than you can shake a stick at. 

The days leading up to the event bring one surprise after another. First Shay must deal with her sister-in-law's deep, dark secret. Then she has to contend with the childish ways of her business-mogul twin cousins. And when her high school crush wants to be her date to the reunion...well, it may have been a dream come true for Shay's teen self, but the woman she's become doesn't know what to make of this. 

Shay's contentment is challenged, and she's determined to shake things up a bit. But will she find the excitement she's looking for, or will Shay realize she prefers her quiet and predictable life? One thing is certain: Life in the Bucklin family is never boring.

I loved this book! As a Southern girl myself, this book was right up my alley! I had to get used to the point of view switching with each chapter as I had to remember who was who but then it made the story more interesting as the story switched from character to character. I thought the characters sweet and charming and and found myself laughing at Shay's family's antics. This is a story for anyone who has those family members you just have to love. I liked reading about Shay's journey in finding a job she enjoyed (and couldn't help but think of the timing from one job to the next as God's perfect timing) and that she was brave enough to take that leap! Though fiction, this book encouraged me in my own life. To pursue that thing that I may be scared to do and live boldly!
I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. You can purchase the book on Amazon by clicking here.

Monday, January 29, 2018

book review: "faithful finance" by emily g. stroud

It's easy to feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped to deal with your personal finances. You wonder if you will ever experience financial freedom. you want to spend money on what matters, but you don't know how. 

With twenty years of professional experience, financial advisor Emily G. Stroud knows that money can be one of the great causes of stress in life - but it doesn't have to be that way. Finances, in fact, can be a great source of joy, security, and hope. 

Faithful Finance includes Emily's ten secrets to managing money with confidence. Presented in a conversational style, this practical guide offers ten simple but life-changing principles that work for every financial situation, every income level, and every stage of life.

I wanted to read this book to get a basic foundation for beginning to invest and this is a great start! I like how detailed Emily is but also how she breaks things down for those who aren't familiar with the terminology (like me!). Investing is something that had seemed overwhelming and elusive but now is easier to understand and I have an idea of where to start! After reading this book, I now have some direction in how to begin investing and continuing to save. As someone in my early thirties, I'm thinking about purchasing a home in the near future and it's so helpful to read about the different kind of loans and which I need to pursue. I feel like the book can be summed up with these words: "Goals are extremely important because they give you direction. If you do not have a plan, you will inevitably lose focus. As a result, you won't make wise decisions with your finances." This is a great book for those wanting to know more about being wise with their finances!

I received a copy of this book from Handlebar Publishing for my honest review.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

book review: "christy" by catherine marshall

 "The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.

But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her - and her one-room school - as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove. 

Yearning to make a difference, will Christy's determination and devotion be enough?"

I was very excited to review this book! I remember watching Christy on TV when I was little, so when I think of her, I picture Kellie Martin. It was her, along with the rest of the cast that I imagined as I read this book. Reading about Christy's life and her journey, it kept reminding me of my own life. I really liked one of the conversations between Miss Alice and Christy. Miss Alice was talking about their job in Cutter Gap. "One of our tasks here is to show folks a God who wants to give them joy. How they need joy! They have such hard lives..." And that's our job as well. To show God's love to others. I like the honesty of Christy; I found myself identifying with her more and more as I moved deeper into the story. She had to battle within herself to decide whether or not she would stay and teach or return to what was comfortable. But she said, "nor did I want to be a quitter." Her prayer not long after that statement is something I think we all can relate to. Her prayer, to me, is a moment of surrender. Of exchanging her plans for what God would have her do. "Somehow this Cove was my Cove. The children were my children. Little as I had to give, I had to give it here. It was as Miss Alice had said last night, we have to decide to give - even in hard spots where there's lots of evil...Anyway if You can use me here in this Cove, well, here I am."' I love the humor is this book and the heart. The people Christy met through her journey played a huge part in her life.  People to encourage her and befriend her. People possibly placed there by God for that moment. We all need people in our lives to listen and make us laugh and encourage us when we need it. I think back to my first year as a teacher and felt much like Christy did: overwhelmed with the task before me, unsure if I had made the right choice and contemplating quitting. But that's what makes this story so timely for me. God is showing me something about persevering. Of not giving up when it seems too hard. And that's where this book comes in. Christy is working on that same lesson. Though her story takes place in 1912, it's just as relevant today as it was back then.

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. You can read other reviews in the tour by clicking here.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

book review: "israel - God's heart - landscapes and legacy" by ron gafni and kathleen barrett

Many of us only dream of traveling to the Holy Land. Very few, like Israel's top aerial photographer, Ron Gafni, soar above the craggy mountain ranges of Masada, the salty Dead Sea, and the iconic locations where Jesus walked. Israel - God's Heart - Landscapes and Legacy, beautifully captures the ancient landscapes of this great nation, as well as presents the legacy of God's redemption plan for the world.

I really enjoyed this book! I would love to travel to Israel some day - to see where the Bible unfolded! I like what it says on the first page: "The land of historical sites linked to the most decisive events in the history of humankind." The pictures are stunning! It just amazes me to see pictures of Capernaum, Nazareth and the Jordan River. And I like the narrative that runs through the book. It just all comes together to beautifully show such an important part of our Christian faith. 

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. You can learn more about the book by clicking here.

Friday, June 2, 2017

book review: "questioning evangelism" by randy newman

There was something different about the way Jesus communicated with the lost: He didn't force answers upon people. He asked questions. So why don't we?

Following Christ's lead, Randy Newman has been using a questioning style of evangelism for decades. In this proactive book, he provides practical insights to help Christians engage others in meaningful spiritual conversations. He challenges us to examine how we think about people, their questions, and our crucial message. 

I found this book insightful and interesting! I've never thought about how Jesus would often answer questions with questions and it makes sense! Reading this book has helped me to see how I can be more effective at talking to people about Jesus. 
I like how Newman gives possible conversations to allow the reader to see how things could go. To see how answering a question with a question would look and provoke thinking and ultimately understanding. "Answering a question with a question, then, has significant advantages over using direct answers. It brings to the surface the questioner's assumptions. It also takes the pressure off you - the one being asked - and puts the pressure on the one doing the asking. Shifting the burden of the response is important because as long as we're on the defensive, the questioners are not really wrestling with issues. They're just watching us squirm." I feel like the book can be summed with with these sentences: "I'm proposing a style of evangelism that is a dialogue more than a sales pitch. I'm pleading for conversations that lead to conversions, rather than presentations that lead to preconceptions. I'm encouraging the use of questions more than the use of answers."

This is a great book for those who want to do a better job of understanding what they believe and why and being able to help those understand who want to know more about the Christian faith.

I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications for my honest review.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

book review: "true to you" by becky wade

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100-percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.

John enlists Nora's help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?

I'm a fan of Becky Wade and was excited to read another of her books! I always enjoy a book with great banter between the two main characters and this book did not disappoint! I like how John described Nora as real but guarded and capable but vulnerable. I feel like that's something every girl can relate to! And I love Nora's love for vintage. And I'll admit I laughed out loud at John telling Nora he would carry her bag "...even though he felt like a wuss every time he put her bag with its green trim and bright pink monogram over his shoulder." I wanted to cry when John pushed Nora away, telling her he only saw his father when he looked in the mirror. I love how Nora put it in her letter to John: "All along, God knew you were Brian's son and He knew I was my mother's daughter. I believe that He brought us together on purpose, which explains why we're such a good match even though we're not much of a match on paper at all." I just enjoyed the sweetness of John and Nora's story. And his grand gesture for Nora at the end? Oh goodness. It was a great end to the story! This was a great, fun read and I look forward to reading about the other Bradford sisters! I suspect Willow and Corbin will find a way to get back together and I keep hoping Zander will tell Britt how he feels!
I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. You can read other reviews in the blog tour by clicking here.