Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lighten Up (Body and Soul Series) by Angela Ruth Strong

I was bracing myself for a raw, gritty novel about adultery and the ramifications of adultery in a christian setting. This was not the case with this novel. The story is focused primarily on the daughter of a fallen pastor, who struggles with forgiveness and finds herself understanding the issues surrounding adultery/wanting someone else's spouse througout the book. The e-book format was very easy to read, and I enjoyed the story and the characters. The author did a great job of showing the reader that we are all human and we all fail to some degree. I think that this would be a wonderful book for a teen or young adult, because it is so clean. Teens and young adults would benefit from the message presented in this book - the subtle statements about dating and not trying to steal someone else's boyfriend/spouse etc. are great! The subject matter can be raw in and of itself, but there is nothing in this book that even gets close to being inappropriate. If you want a fast, easy, and very clean read with a christian message this is the book for you!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Where God Finds You by Anita Higman

Where God Finds You (40 devotions bringing Bible characters to life) by Anita Higman, is a very unique, and well written book. The author does something I have never seen before. She has hand picked forty characters out of the Bible, and has created a fictional account of their circumstances (making sure to not write anything into the stories that do not line up with the Bible). At the end of each brief story, she then inserts the bible passages where she created the story from so that the reader can fully read the verses, and gain a more comprehensive and thought provoking perspective. As an example, she has a chapter titled, "Pilate's wife." This is based on the scripture from Matthew 27:19, "Don't have anything to do with that innocent man." The author then creates a fictional account of what could have happened in Pilate's wife's bed chamber regarding her reaction to the dream she had as stated in the Bible. The author then has a section within the chapter that speaks to the reader about how this particular incident is applicable in our lives today.For instance, she points out that we all have dreams and possibly some supernatural things that may happen in our lives so that God (or possibly the Devil) can have opportunities to influence us. She finishes each chapter with questions regarding the reading that are truly thought provoking. I read in the author's notes in the back of the book that she smelled myrrh to get her mind and senses into the times that these characters lived in. As you can see from this statement, this author is trying to excite all of the senses as she tries to create an atmosphere of reality for the reader. I really believe this book breaks the mold of the typical devotional. Sometimes devotionals all seem very similar to me in the way that they are written, but not this one. If you want a creative, thought provoking devotional based on characters in actual scriptures, then this is the book for you. If you want to think out of the box, this is a book you will enjoy. It is around 233+ pages, so it is a nice size, but not overwhelming. I received this book from the publisher. 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".

Monday, December 3, 2012

Graceful (Letting go of your try-hard life) by Emily P. Freeman

I had read the adult version of this book, and my teenage daughter saw this title and wanted to read it. She then chose to do a book report on it, which I thought was fantastic! This book is based on the fact that (pre-teen and teenagers) base their self worth on how others perceive them,and how they themselves feel based on other's expectations etc. My daughter conveyed to me that she really enjoyed how the author kept telling the reader that they are valuable just as they are, are there was no need to create a false self, and/or wear a false mask to portray someone that you're not. My daughter doesn't have a self confidence issue, but she expressed to me that some of her friends do, and that this book would be extrememely helpful to them is showing them their self worth. The book is very good at directing the reader to focus on their identity in Christ, not on what the world thinks and expects. I was very proud of my daughter that she chose to share this book with her classmates, and I believe she made an impact with the poster she made about this book and it's message. I would recommend that parents or grandparents or youth group leaders buy this book. It would also be a great small group study book for teenage girls. I received this book from the publisher. 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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