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Category — i LOVE books

The Missional Mom by Helen Lee

My mom gave me this book to read because she thought I would enjoy it. And indeed, I did enjoy it but it was a challenging read! It was one of those books that spurs you to evaluate yourself and make some changes. I would recommend it for any mom.

Each chapter focuses on one topic or thing that a missional mom does or does not do. A few examples: A Missional Mom Resists Cultural Pressures, A Missional Mom Engages in the Needs of the World, A Missional Mom Doesn’t “Do Evangelism”. Each chapter also includes examples of how real moms are doing each of these things, questions to ask yourself, and action steps.

One thing I liked about her examples (most of them) is that she purposefully did not say if the mom had a job outside the home. To the author, it didn’t matter because all mom’s all called to live missionally. There are not many “mom” books, blogs, resources that are not biased towards stay at home or work outside the home but this book wasn’t at all (to me).

I read this at the beach and I wish I had had a highlighter with me – I may need to read it again!

Some highlights:

  • Many mom’s “buy the lie” that being a mother is their highest calling. Before you get mad – a noble and important calling for sure but not the highest. A Christian mom’s highest calling is just like any other Christian’s: to know God/be with God/”immerse ourselves in His immeasurable love and grace”
  • Missional moms create missional families, churches and communities. If you are intentional with ministering to others (even if it’s a challenge for you because it’s something new) it will affect your children and be their norm.
  • Missional moms combat against consumerism and materialism.
  • Missional moms all have callings – these may be jobs that pay, volunteer “jobs”, etc.
  • Work-Life Balance: You don’t have to achieve a work-life balance every 24 hours. There will be seasons (years) when a mom’s focus will be heavily on her family (for example, when you have very young children) and then there will be seasons (years) when a mom has more time to focus on others. The author encourages the goal of achieving a work-life balance over your lifetime. A great challenge!

I feel like there is so much more to say but I’ll just let you read the book for yourself! And in fact, I am going to start re-reading it tonight!

 

July 1, 2011   2 Comments

Slave by John MacArthur

This is another book that I got to review before Christmas. I sat down and started the book several times but I just couldn’t get into it. I think it was because of the time of year with Christmas excitement and the so soon arrival of Thomas. I will definitely go back and read this book someday when life gets a little less crazy – like, maybe when I’m 60! Slave has received great reviews from other bloggers – so it’s worth checking out.

Book Description from Thomas Nelson:

Best-selling author and pastor Dr. John MacArthur reveals one crucial word that revolutionizes what it means to follow Jesus.

Throughout the Bible, followers of Jesus are commanded to submit to Him as their King. They are told to obey and follow, faithfully and without hesitation. Every time Christians utter the word Lord, they make a subtle yet profound declaration—that God is their Master and that they belong to Him. In fact, the Bible describes believers as His slaves. They have been bought with a price and now live for Christ as a people for His own possession.

But go into most churches today, even flip through most Bible translations, and you won’t see or hear the word slave anywhere. That’s because it has been lost in translation. In this gripping book, Dr. John MacArthur uses deep Bible teaching and historical evaluation to expertly uncover the one forgotten word that restores the Bible’s definition of true Christian freedom.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

March 7, 2011   Comments Off on Slave by John MacArthur

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball is the second book I have reviewed for Blogging for Books by WaterBrook. I actually read this before Christmas and then got busy with life and forgot to blog about it!

A summary I got from Amazon:

Can mysterious matchmaking booksellers bring two lonely hearts together in time for Christmas?

In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad’s (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick. And the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball.

Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they’ve decided to bring together.

This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers’ best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?

Overall, it was a fun read. It’s not a book I would read again and again or necessarily suggest to a friend though. Since it is a novella the characters are not deeply developed and I felt like there were too many story lines. It definitely could have been a full length novel.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

March 6, 2011   Comments Off on Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul

Tandem by Tracey Bateman

This is my first book to review for Water Brook’s Blogging for Books program. I chose it because it sounded interesting with a plot including lost love and of course, murder. What I didn’t realize is that it is about vampires. Yes, a Christian fiction book about vampires. Now I know vampires are all the rage right now but I am just not “into” them. So I was a bit disappointed when I realized it had a vampire storyline but I decided to give it a try anyway.I also didn’t realize that this was the second book in a series but that did not make too much of a difference to the overall story – it just took me a minute to catch up with who was who.

Lauryn is a young woman who runs her families auction house business while caring for her father who has Alzheimer’s disease. The current estate she is working on is full of priceless antiques and secrets. Some of the items in the estate draw Amede Dastillion from her New Orleans home in hopes of finding her long-estranged sister, Eden. When Amede arrives she finds that her sister is being held captive and someone is killing deer and humans in ritualistic killings.

Overall, my reaction to this book is, “eh.” I could take it or leave it. The plot was good and I probably would have really enjoyed it if I enjoyed reading about vampires. Lauryn, who was the main character (and not a vampire), was a very believable character and you could relate to her struggles of being her own person, taking care of her father and running a business.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

December 4, 2010   2 Comments

A Time To Dance By Karen Kingsbury

Do you ever feel like you’re living a lie? You look perfect on the outside but inside you’re dying? You put on your “happy face” when out in public? I think that most of us can probably relate to these feelings in some way or other. This is the dynamic that Kingsbury explores in A Time To Dance.

John and Abby have the perfect marriage or so it seems. At one time they were so in love but now they are two strangers who live in the same house. Each are busy with their careers and with three kids there hasn’t been much time for each other the past few years. They are set to “announce” their plans to divorce when their oldest daughter announces her engagement – so John and Abby decide they can keep pretending for at least 6 more months. During that time God speaks clearly and persistently to John and Abby about His perfect love.

I was so glad to get this book in the mail. Something new to read! I had been re-reading the books on my shelf for a while (I think that makes 5 times for some of the books.) But, I finished this one too fast – a grand total of about 6 hours. It was an easy but great read. The characters are so realistic and you feel like you are part of the family. I know it’s probably pregnancy hormones but I cried several times while reading!

As a young person who has been married a relatively short time the book was a good, realistic reminder to keep my marriage fresh. You always hear about people whose kids grow up and move away and then they realize that they have nothing in common anymore. With a toddler and one on the way I am beginning to realize how easy that can happen. And of course, the importance of keeping God first in everything.

There is a second book in this series and I am definitely going to read it too!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

December 1, 2010   2 Comments

Plan B by Pete Wilson

“Your dreams may not be happening, and things aren’t turning out the way you expected, but that doesn’t mean your life is spinning out of control. It just means you’re not in control.”

Do you ever feel this way? Out of control! I do. And I think this quote from Pete Wilson’s new book, Plan B, is great. Of course I feel out of control – because it’s my God who is in control. I just have to be patient and trust in Him!

Plan B Book Description:

Learn how God often does His best work in our most hopeless situations.

What do you do when a shattered dream or an unmet expectation causes you to turn to Plan B? Pastor and author Pete Wilson uses real life stories of disappointments and tragedy along with biblical stories such as David, Joseph, and Ruth to help readers face their own overwhelming situations and through them to learn God is working to help them surrender their plans to receive His. He identifies our common responses to difficulties and offers hope, helping us to

Understand what God might be up to See how surrender helps us to receive God’s plan Embrace the community of believers Reconcile a God of love with a life of tragedy and suffering Wilson points readers to the cross as not just the starting line but the centerpiece of our stories with God where we turn in our Plan B and find the undeniable relationship between crisis and true spiritual transformation.

I thought this was a great book! It usually takes me months to read a non-fiction book but I finished this in less than a week. Pete’s writing style is conversational and easy to read. He provides scripture text and references in the book which is great because I am one that would not go and look them up on my own. One of the best things I am going to take away from this book is that it is ok to not know all the answers. But to know that God IS in control.

I highly recommend this book! Even if you have not experienced a Plan B in your life (yet) it will help you relate to those around you who are experiencing pain and heartache. Ironically, Plan B, was released the day a catastrophic event hit Nashville, TN (my hometown and Pete’s hometown). Those around us are experiencing an ultimate Plan B. Remember Nashville in your prayers as it is going to take many months to rebuild.

Click Here to buy Plan B

Click Here to visit the book’s website to hear testimonials and join in the conversation

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

May 4, 2010   2 Comments

Winston Churchill: Christian Encounter Series by John Perry

Winston Churchill Book Description:

Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience.

Master statesman and orator Winston Churchill was in no small way responsible for the WWII Allied victory over the Axis powers. At many times he stood alone leading the fight against Hitler, absolute in his belief that Britain must “with all the strength that God can give us … wage war against a monstrous tyranny.” From where did he derive his strength and comfort? In this Christian Encounters biography, discover how Churchill’s Anglican faith sustained him during some of the darkest hours in human history.

I enjoy history – I look forward to watching the History channel when I stay at my parents house and I particularly enjoy anything about World War II. I was excited about the chance to read Winston Churchill by John Perry. But I was disappointed. It did not capture my attention – and I must admit I did not finish the book.

It was interesting to learn about Churchill’s early life and how family dynamics shaped him into the adult he became but I didn’t grasp the “Christian Encounter” part of the book. I read over half of the book but maybe I didn’t get far enough for ends to start connecting.

Or maybe I am just not as big of a history fan as I thought! Maybe I’ll pick the book up again later and truly enjoy it – if I do I will let you know :)

Interested in purchasing this book? Purchase from Thomas Nelson for $12

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

April 28, 2010   2 Comments

Tim McGraw

Tonight we headed out to Barnes & Noble at Opry Mills Mall for the Tim McGraw book signing. I have been looking forward to this for a week!! First things first – we had to buy his new book. Will and I got to B&N about 10:30 am and only had to wait in line about 30 minutes to buy the book. Yay! Each person could get 2 books signed so I got one for me and one for my sister, Dana.

“Love Your Heart” By Tim McGraw & Tom Douglas

The actual book signing was from 6-8 pm so we headed back out to Opry Mills when Bill got home from work. We got there a few minutes early and they had already started lining up. I was so excited – this was my first “high profile” book signing. A few years ago Bill went to Al Gore’s book signing at Green Hills.

Will and I getting excited for the book signing! The stage is behind us.

I got in line while Bill entertained Will out in the crowd. Thank you Bill! When Tim McGraw walked in everyone started screaming :) These two girls near me where hysterical – I thought they might faint! They even had on Tim McGraw t-shirts. When Tim & Tom first came out they did a short interview with the news cameras and then got busy signing books!

Tim & Tom posing for the cameras.

Finally our turn!

Both Tim McGraw and Tom Douglas were nice and friendly. Tim waved and said “Hey Buddy” to Will and Will reciprocated by blowing him a kiss. So cute!

Our signed copy :)

“Love Your Heart” is a cute book and the second book co-authored by Tim McGraw. It is perfect for daddy’s to read to their little girls. Or it’s perfect if you’re just a fan of children’s books of the signed variety :)

April 1, 2010   1 Comment