Thursday, January 17, 2013
Friday, October 12, 2012
Saturday, September 1, 2012
The River is an analogical novel that is easy to read and thought provoking. In a way it was thought provoking as to how it relates to Christianity, as the book is published by a Christian publisher. (There are no revelations or discussions of Christianity or God, etc. in this book.) I found myself, however, also relating to the concepts in this book. Concepts of fear, including fear of living life, and overcoming such fears. The story is very good, although predicatable at times. It's basically a coming of age story and how the main character overcomes difficult obstacles to becoming the man he was meant to be. It is well written and I found it hard to put down. I like that it is a thought provoking book. I was disappointed in the lack of Chrisitian influence, as the anaolgical concepts could come across as non-Christian, i.e. new age, secular, etc. It is a good read, but I would recommend this as a non-Christian book. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Monday, August 27, 2012
The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief by Larry Alex Taunton
The Grace Effect is not only an encouraging read for Christians, especially those battling atheists and secularism, but it is actually an account of how God intervenes and creates opportunities to work with God. The author does not characterize his book as such an account, but I couldn't help but notice the evidence of it. The book starts with a casual debate with Christopher Hitchens, a popular atheist, on Christianity, God, and God's relevance today. The author then begins his detailed account of his experience of adopting a ten year old girl from Ukraine. The author also explains Ukraine's history and how Christianity became suppressed for many decades. At first, I didn't realize where the author was going with this, but it became a real life, true example of how Christianity, or the lack of it, affects people and culture. The author provides an evidentiary account of how true Christianity, the only religion that is based on Grace, influences society and creates what the author calls the Grace effect. Through the author's experience of the adoption process in Ukraine, a country where Christianity has been absent for many decades, the reader can see just how true Christianity affects society, even in secularism. The adoption process in Ukraine was full of corruption, bribes and clearly did not have the child's best interests at heart. The author's interactions with citizens further illustrate how calloused and uncaring the people of Ukraine are. By explaining the history of Ukraine, with it's socialist and communist foundation, the reader clearly sees what happens to a society that is not influenced by Christianity. This is wake up call as to the dangers of the atheist movement and the damage atheism can cause to society. It is important to note that socialists and communists are atheists, which the author explains in his book. The author makes a very good point, that atheists who live in a country influenced by Christianity are not comparable to the atheists who have not been influenced by Christianity. The lack of moral conscience in Ukraine validates this point. How Sasha's (the ten year old adoptee) life has now been affected by Christianity drives the point home. Sasha is a real life example of the Grace Effect. I highly recommend this book for everyone, both Christian and non-Christian alike. It is an eye opener as to what will happen to a society that has been devoid of the Christian influence. After the adoption proceess, the author publically debated Christopher Hitchens, and the author's real life experience of interactions in a country that has been devoid of Christianity for many decades only strengthened the author's ability to successfully debate a prominent atheist. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
This nonfiction book discusses all aspects of strengthening your faith and strengthening the body of Christians. Christianity is being influenced by many secular factors. Once any aspect of Christianity becomes secularized, Christianity has taken a fall. Christianity is being subjected to many ideals that would minimize it's importance. There is a quote in the book that, in my opinion, summarizes this book as a whole: "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, if of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important." This is a quote from C.S. Lewis.
This book is like a pep talk - not a preachy sermon. It helps to get you more excited about your faith, your walk with God, and the Church. All aspects are covered as the author impacts the reader with the importance of a Christ-centered life.
The book is divided into four sections:
Part 1//The Call to a Vigorous Faith
To Fight the Good Fight and Finish the Race
Part 2//The Case for a Vigorous Faith
Why Does Jesus Speak with such Severity and Urgency
Part 3//The Obstacles
You Have Enemies: The Flesh, the World, and the Devil
Part 4//The Essentials
How to Fight the Good Fight
Throughout the book, the author has singled out comments, putting them in bold and outside of the paragraph. These comments emphasize the importance of the subject. For example, "All genuine Christian action begins with prayer because all genuine Christian action begins with God."
This book had me re-evaluating the strength of my faith. I learned how to strengthen my fight for the good fight and to finish the race strong.
I highly recommend this book!
Tyndale House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of this book for me to review. This in no way influenced my review
Thursday, August 18, 2011
An excellent self-coaching book! No matter what your setback is, you will find this book empowering, enlightening, and encouraging. You may have lost your job; you may have gotten divorced; you may have had a tragic accident - to say this book is useful for any setback is an understatement.
This is a thorough book, which includes how to catch negative thinking; how to recognize how your emotions factor, how to figure out your next move; and much more. The author includes wisdom from psychologists, as well as the Bible. Each chapter ends with a prayer that is devoted to the topic of the chapter. Even more, the author is not condescending, and is realistic and encourages the reader to remain realistic and flexible with goals.
This is not a book that simply addresses feel good Bible verses. This is truly a highly useful book to get your life back on track, no matter what your setback is. The author starts the book with 5 key commitments you need to make to yourself to start you on the road to recovery. Here are the commitments, which are explained and in the very first chapter:
1. I will not feel sorry for myself.
2. I will not stare at the closed door.
3. I will dig deep to unearth the courage I need.
4. I will direct my thoughts - my thoughts will not direct me.
5. I will choose to believe that all things work together for good.
Using real life examples from the author's life, as well as others she has coached, this book is fantastic. The author is very realistic as to how you will most likely feel during the process of your comeback - such as, why don't I feel better, now? I highly recommend this book to everyone.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This in no way influenced my review.