A Small Book about a Big Problem

posted in: Books | 0

 

My husband asked me the other night if I ever thought I would say I struggle with anger.  Never. In a million years.

That is actually one of the ways I would describe my parenting – on my bad days (or my kids bad days).

And I love me some Ed Welch, a great counselor, very competent at getting to the heart of the problem.

This little book about Anger is hard to read because I find me one every page.  It takes less than a minute to read each devotional – but pray the Lord would allow it to stick for more than a minute.  I need to keep this book by my bed and read a short chapter each day.

I would encourage every single mom to pick this up.  And read it.  And allow the Spirit to soften your bent toward anger.  Like he is doing mine.  (And this isn’t a book big on application, but let the Spirit be your application writer.)

Thanks Litfuse for this book. All opinions are my own.

Lord Have Mercy

posted in: Books, mothering, parenting | 0

As mamas, we all need help – and having resources to help us in our journey with God, especially in the little years that can be so lonely, help tremendously.

Lord Have Mercy is a devotional written by Ellen Miller for moms – and it doesn’t matter what stage your kids are in.

I love how it is saturated with Scripture.  I love how they are short because you know that moms don’t have all the time in the world to do a quiet time.  I love it how it is practical and calls you to action.

But, I don’t really see that it is so much better than other Mom devotionals out there – or even devotionals in general.  I just didn’t strike me as a must read or must recommend.  It may be perfect for another mom, and it is saturated with the Word of God, but just a personal opinion.

Thanks Tyndale House for the book. All opinions are my own.

Free of Me

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There is such a danger in the life of a believer in focusing too much on themselves. My husband reminded me of this by sharing with me the other day that if a person is depressed, if he genuinely focuses on others, then that will help with the depression.

Sharon Miller, in her book Free of Me, gets more to the heart of the Christian Life and some dangers we, especially as women, face.  In today’s society, we like to think about ourselves, boast in our social media, make the Christian life completely about ourselves.

The truth is that it isn’t.  It is about a bigger God then ourselves. He is the Creator and over all things – we are not in charge.  And when we learn this, life will be more about the glory of Christ.

Sharon tells her own story of self-preoccupation and then goes on to share truth about areas in our lives that we tend to focus too much on ourselves and how focusing on the truth of the Bible and God we can free ourselves of this damaging trend.

God isn’t about you.

Family isn’t about you.

Appearances aren’t about you.

Possessions aren’t about you.

Friendships aren’t about you.

Your “calling” isn’t about you.

Church isn’t about you.

Love how Sharon shares from her experience, the Scriptures, and a well-rounded theology and ministry depth, knowing God and knowing herself, and knowing other women – that life is more fulfilling when you focus on others more than yourself.  Your dreams aren’t big enough.  Sacrifice looks different when you get outside of yourself.

This is both a needed book for us as women, our families, our ministries, and churches.  And it is a convicting one for our hearts as well.  Thank you Sharon.

Just Mercy

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When I was in high school I remember reading John Grisham books – like devouring them.  I read all of this earlier work and still really enjoy him as an author.

Just Mercy reminds me much of Grisham’s work: rivoting, makes you want to keep reading, personal, you get to know the characters.  Bryan Stevenson does an excellent work of drawing you in to his world and not just letting you sit on the sidelines.  And this is, unlike most of Grisham’s work, a true story

This book will grip you in many ways and open your eyes to life in the south, life for those who need justice (which, by the way, is all of us).  And will allow you to see Christ’s redemption for you in a new way as well.

Thank you Blogging for Books for a chance to read this book.  All opinions are my own.

Acts: The Unexplainable Church

posted in: Bible, Books | 0

Last night I was at a church in the country outside of Augusta.  Friendliest church to newcomers I’ve ever been in.  I was quickly shown a seat, many people were including me in conversations, introducing themselves to me, and telling me about the oldest church building in Georgia and that they did baptisms in the creek there and still do them there.  Talk about a loving church.  A welcoming church.

The book of Acts is all about the early church, the adventurers they had in sharing the Gospel, and how the word of the Cross was shared throughout the region.

In Erica Wiggenhorn’s second Bible study, The Unexplainable Church, one covering the last half of the book, you will find thoughtful questions, great history, and spaces to write your own story – how God is leading you to obey the commands that is found in Acts.

We all have a journey in the Gospel.  Acts is filled with conversions, and beatings, joys, friendship, sorry.  And today, in the life of Christians, we find relationships, new relationships with Christ, we find our brothers and sisters in Christ being persecuted because of the name of Jesus.

When you study the book of Acts, you find yourself in God’s story.  His story is neverending.  And so thankful we get to be a part of it.

For a good study on Acts, check out this one., which is the first half of the book of Acts – and then follow it up with this one here. Here is my review of the first one. They are a great set of studies and you will know God’s story better.  Thanks SideDoor communications for this book and Moody Publishers.  All opinions are my own.

Dreamland Burning: a review

posted in: Books, World Events | 1

Earlier this week, so many of us in North America got to witness a beautiful display of God’s creativeness.  I was in the path of totality in SC, and I loved standing there, holding my almost 4 year old, seeing the moon cover the sun, shining in all of its glory, pointing directly to its Creator.

We don’t need to wait another 99 years to be in the path of totality witness the beauty of God the Creator.  We can see it every day.  In the people around us.  Whatever color we are, God created us all.

Dreamland Burning is definitely not my typical book I pick up.  But, when I have a deadline to return it to the library, I literally read 75% of it in one day.  It is so good.

Dreamland Burning is a YA fiction set in both modern day Tulsa, and in 1921 Tulsa.  It shares the story of a high school girl named Rowan (modern day) and a boy named William in 1921.  Amazingly, I didn’t get confused going back and forth, which means her writing two timelines was well-done.

Latham, the author, doesn’t make the connections of the two really cheesy or too predictable.  She uses words and names that are crucial to the story, but doesn’t use them for shock value.  She tells of the happenings, especially in 1921, in such a way that you know what’s going on but doesn’t drag out the details.

This book was captivating and I might recommend it for high school seniors, but would definitely not let them read it on their own.

Here are some thoughts: I wish books like this didn’t need to happen.  I wish my boys could grow up in a world where color really didn’t matter.  I wish my little boy could always have a little friend, named Austen, who is black, lives next door, have birthdays in the same week, and no one would ever thinks that’s odd.  I wish we didn’t pick out county that we lived in because the schools are better.  I wish churches didn’t have to exist so they could be the reconciliation – because reconciliation wouldn’t need to happen.

But, we live in a sinful world.  The only world where we will ever be free of racial injustice is heaven.  And for sure, there will be people of every race in Heaven, worshipping Jesus, because Jesus died for every race, tribe, tongue, and nation.

In the meantime, since we live in a sin-filled, broken world, we need to talk about race, the gospel of reconciliation, and how we can pursue peace.

No More Perfect Marriages (a review and giveaway)

posted in: Books, marriage | 3

We all need marriage help.  Whether we are single looking to get married (we read books on preparing for marriage).  Or we are married and need help in our marriage (so many books on this topic).  Or whether we’re no longer married (whether by divorce or death), and we can read books that will help us with that.

We are coming up on 6 years of marriage.  They’ve not been easy because we’ve moved a lot and had many external changes and two kids to enter our family in that time.  But, we’ve journeyed it together.

Mark and Jill Savage, who have been married a lot longer than we have, wrote a book together about their marriage – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

There are marriage books – and I put them in two categories: practical and theological.  Theological books (think The Meaning of Marriage by Keller or This Momentary Marriage by Piper) are heavily theological.  Yes, they are practical too, but that is not the main point of the book.  Then there are marriage books that are primarily practical.  Where these is Scripture in the book, and the author’s biblical worldview comes through, but it is mostly practical in nature.

No More Perfect Marriages falls into the latter category.  I find it to be very refreshing that the authors share their story, heartbreak and all.  They share how sin affected their relationship and how God redeems hurt and sin and pain.

One of the most helpful parts of this book is the talk about the masks we wear in our relationship with our spouse.  I’ve thought about what mask I wear – and I think it definitely changes given the circumstance.

I think this book can help you and your spouse think through some helpful things that might prevent some heavy pain coming in the future – or may help you be prepared to fight that pain together.

Thanks to SideDoor Comm and Moody Publishers for this book.  All opinions are my own.  They are giving away a copy of this book too – if you would like a chance to win just leave me a comment telling me one of your favorite marriage books!

Handlettering: kcreatives

Photo: Audrey Grace Photo

Using Your Home For Ministry

posted in: Books | 0

As a mom of preschoolers, even ones who like to get out and roam the city every day, we also like to use our home as a place of ministry. But, it can be hard to figure out schedules ways to do ministry.

Hospitality is one way we can be like God to the world and to our family.  The Simplest Way to Change the World is a helpful little book that starts with the theology of God being hospitable to us and then gives helpful ways to be hospitable.

My favorite part of the book was their chapter on how hospitality is a part of God’s nature. How he gave extravagantly to those who were his enemies.  How he would go to great lengths.

When we are trying to start practicing hospitality, let’s not turn to Southern Living or Instagram to know how to be hospitable, but look to the Word at how God is hospitable to us.  Then we can pray that we can live out our relationship with God to our neighbors, families, and friends.  That doesn’t mean we have to tell everyone the full Gospel outline every time they walk in the door.  But, it does mean we can learn how to use our homes to glorify God, teach our children how to be hospitable, and welcome those unlike us into our home.

The authors share great recommendations on how to do this as well, but you can simply use these as ideas – and start your own ministry in your home to your people.

Thanks Moody for this book and all thoughts are my own.

Is the Bible Good for Women (a review)

posted in: Books | 0

People who name the titles of books need to have a marketing degree.  There would be several ways you could market this book by Wendy Alsup, but I don’t think any would be as catchy without being condescending as this one.

Is the Bible Good for Women?  Well, we would say of course it is.  The author uses her upbringing and her theological worldview to answer so many questions that women especially have about the Bible.  She wants to help her readers develop a Jesus (gospel) view of Scripture.

In her book she covers everything from Creation, submission, the Fall, how Jesus models “women’s issues” and how Paul advised the new church to work in regards to women, and everything in between.  She engages hew audience, which could both be women who grew up in the church and are solid conservative women, or these women who are reading her book could be feminist believers (or unbelievers).

She overs her topics well, and always points to Jesus.  So, whether you agree with her completely or not, it is up to you.  But, I do think this book would be a good start in the topic of women and the church.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for the book.  All opinions are my own.  amazon

Parenting with Grace and Truth (review and giveaway)

posted in: Books, parenting | 2

I’ve never counted them, but I would assume the parenting section at your local bookstore is probably one of the largest sections on the floor.  You can easily find a parenting book to help you through and part of the parenting journey.  From attempting to conceive, finding out your pregnant, how to birth the baby, how to swaddle your baby, how to get your baby to nap, get on a schedule, eat solid food, potty train, learn their ABCs.  All of these books can be helpful to some degree.

When reading parenting books, I often say read whatever you can get your hands on, write down some notes that seem likely to work in your given situation, with your kids, or ones that you would like to try, talk it over with your husband or the people who help you parent, maybe run it by a group of other moms that you meet with or hang out with, and then try it. If it doesn’t work, move on.  Don’t get so flustered.  Not everything you read in every parenting book is going to be the right thing for your particular child or family.

Parenting with Grace and Truth, a new book by Dan Seaborn (I always think of West Wing when I hear the word Seaborn), is filled with practical help.  To me, though, I felt it leaned more toward behavior and actions, rather than to the heart of your children, growing them with hearts that were pleasing to God.  I know that there needs to be right actions.  And at any stage of parenting you are working to get your kids to act right (we are working on manners right now, as well as many other things.

“Forgiveness was at the heart of Jesus, and as such, it is the foundation of the entire Gospel.  God sacrificed His only Son for the forgiveness of our sins – past, present, and future.”  – Dan Seaborn

He helps families work through many different things likes crises or trying to become a healthy blended family.  He wants to help you discover what your kids talents and abilities are – it is helpful to know what drives them and what makes them tick and what they are good at.  I did appreciate the questions that he gave his readers to think through at the end of each chapter.  When reading any book, if you are given questions, at least take the time to think through them – it will help as you digest the book and try to implement what you are reading.

If you would liked to find some great tips in this book, just leave me a comment.  I’ll be choosing a winner soon – and thanks to SideDoor Communications, you can get a copy of it!

Thanks to SideDoor Communications for the book.  All thoughts are my own.

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