Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Let's Hear it for Louisa!!


I love when writers focus on parts of our American history that few have read about in-depth.  No, I'm not criticizing...I, for one, hardly knew who the War of 1812 even involved...and I am a student of History! (No, you may NOT have my diploma back!)

The author, Jane Hampton Cook, took a lesser-known, though very important, time period and retold the story in such a fresh, light, and interesting way that I burned through this hefty 400+ page tome without even thinking of it as non-fiction.  (See the details here.) I became completely enveloped in the love story between John Q. and Louisa Adams, incredulous to the normalcy at the time of her travels, alone (!), from Russia to Paris by carriage.  I secretly rooted for J.Q. as he struggled to be accepted back into the realm of politics that his father had made seem so easy to do.

I am happy to proclaim that I not only learned important facts about our country's history from within the pages of this deliciously thick book, but I have come away with renewed pride in the people and spirit that started us on the path to greatness.

*I would like to thank BookSneeze for the free copy of this book in exchange for my personal review.

Another "need to read it again" book...


Is it okay to admit when a book is over your head and the concepts were a bit too...theological?

While I was excited to read about author Rick McKinley's concepts of the Kingdom of God being "already" being present, but "not yet"...I realized that even that quote confused me a bit.

The reader is invited to explore the possibility that we already live in the kingdom and that the idea that we, as sinners, are continuously working to get there is defunct.  In saying that, our role here on Earth becomes much different as we are asked to live out God's will as if we are already with Him.  Want a "world without injustice or oppression or poverty"?  Then create it.

This, I understood!

I see this book as being an amazing tool for pastors (as the author has himself begun a unique "community" in Portland, Oregon) and those that seek to discuss deep, revolutionary theology.  The publisher is generous enough to allow you to read the first chapter here. There are amazing ideas that I high-lighted and underlined in an attempt to give myself direction for when I go back and re-read this little gem (as it is only 184 tightly packed pages!) 

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

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another Reason to Love These Authors!

Dannah Gresh and Suzy Weibel have written some of the best pre-tween to adult books I have ever read.  They seem to be able to tap directly into the female mind (of any age) and give down to earth but incredibly valuable spiritual guidance, full of real stuff that all of us can “chew on” and hold on to.

There have been times that I was at a complete loss as to how to help my tween daughter come through a difficult situation (sometimes that last person they want advice from is “The Mom”) and these two women’s words helped me to gently guide her and love her through it all.  Their writings have helped me to reconnect with both of my daughters’ spirits in ways I never knew were even possible.  I highly recommend checking out their line of Secret Keeper Girl books, and don’t stop there!  They write for teens and women as well!

Obviously, when I saw that I could review the “One Year Devos for Teen Girls” in anticipation of my oldest becoming a teen very soon, I jumped on the opportunity.  Of course, I was not let down.  I absolutely love the tone these women write in – so not “preachy” – more like a loving big sister…someone who’s been there and done that, but isn’t looking down on you because you haven’t. And the reader is not blasted by Theology, just the love of the Lord.

I highly recommend this devo for any parent of a teen girl.  I obviously didn’t get to read every entry (I perused several days and the Introduction so that the girls and I can enjoy the “surprise” of daily entries as they come!) but the ones I did read only reinforced my opinion of these authors.  The added “Action Step” at the end of each devo is such a great idea for continued conversation and thought for both parent and teen alike!!

*A big thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest, and personal review!