Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: A Place Called Blessing

Another month, another book review.  It’s been nice, being able to enjoy reading for pleasure again, now that I have time without studies on my hands.

I chose this book because of the backstory… a young boy, whose parents are killed while he was young and who grows up in foster care and learns at a young age to become self-relient… yet lacking what we are all looking for in life: unconditional love.

The book is an incredibly fast read, which was good because it was a bit predictable.  I was drawn in during the first couple of chapters, but the middle was a bit slow for me.  The ending as I said was a bit predictable, except for one surprising turn of events, which made the story line completely worth reading.  (I don’t want to give it away.)

The themes of trust, unconditional love, and being blessed are nicely woven throughout the book, and the characters are definitely lovable.

I enjoyed the story, and for anyone who wants to read a book in a few hours, it’s a good one to pick up.


Book Review: It Couldn’t Just Happen

I think it was the teacher in me that first was attracted to this book, but it was a “future parent” in me that appreciated it the most.  Because it tackles various topics (dinosaurs, planets, creation, evolution etc.) this book is a great supplement for parents of all higher-elementary/middle school students.  Knowing what is taught in public (and even Christian) schools today, there leaves a lot to be questioned.  This book addresses some of the topics kids (and lets face it, us adults too) are curious about…. {I’m still a huge dinosaur debater!}

Just a few cool additions the author adds:

1. At the end of each “chapter” there are 5 exercises you can do with your children to enhance each topic.

2. The inclusion of verses from the Bible throughout the book are great.  People want to separate science and religion, but these verses tie them together quite nicely.

3. It is definitely a evangelistic tool.  The last section of the book dives into what the Bible says about all the topics, what Jesus taught, and some great comparisons between our modern day knowledge and the past wisdom.

The illustrations and pictures are beautiful and breathtaking, and I think it’s a great tool for parents to have…. after all, there will come a day when your children will have questions, and it’s probably a good thing to have a little back up 🙂

Book Review: The Velveteen Bible

After a loooong journey, across the sea and sitting in customs for a while, my copy of the Velveteen Bible finally arrived.

This small, pocket-sized kids bible is perfect as a “first gift bible.  It comes inside a beautifully decorated holding box, which is a wonderful addition to the bible itself.  The inside cover has a few information pages for the child to fill out, such as, “about me” page and “my family” page etc.

Inside the pages at key verses, there are adorable storybook pictures to accompany the verses.  For example: Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother.  with a drawing of a baby elephant presenting flowers to his elephant mother.

The size is just an added bonus, wonderful for any little boy or girl…. such a wonderful gift for any child!

Book Review: Left At The Altar

If you’re looking at the title of the book, and thinking to yourself, “I’ve never been left at the altar… there’s no need to read this book”, let me start by saying, “You’re wrong”.

Though the premise of the book is about being left at the altar, the underlining theme of the book is HEALING FROM REJECTION.

And as the author, Kimberly Kennedy, says it so truthfully, “Rejection is rejection, no matter how it happens.”

For her it happened in the church, but for many others it’s happened anywhere and everywhere.  Throughout the book, she gives glimpses of others who have dealt with rejection, and how they have overcome those feelings of hurt and abandonment.

But more than lessons of hurt and rejection, this book was about learning how to have a relationship with God and trusting Him in every area of our lives.  It’s about always putting Him first, no matter what situation or relationship we are in.

She also spends quite a lot of time on the topic of forgiveness, which again, is important in all aspect of our lives.  There is a quote that I loved:

As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind.– Isabelle Holland

And ohhhh how true that is! Whether it’s a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, mother/father, sister/brother, or a friend who has deeply hurt you, if we are to truly move on and heal, we must learn to forgive.

At the end of the book, she gave a few lessons she learned throughout her healing process, which I found to be extremely wise.  Overall, it was easy to read, which I enjoyed tremendously.  I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt rejected in their life (and if you never have, WHO are you?!?), but especially to all the ladies out there who have never quite healed 100% from that one encounter.

(And we’ve all have our one encounter.)

Book Review: Voices of the Faithful

I have never felt so connected to a devotional book than with this one.  Not only is this a yearly devotional, but it’s a yearly devotional written by missionaries serving all over the world.  Each day is a new verse and a short story written by a missionary from their “neck of the woods”. The stories come from ALL over the world and give a glimpse into the area in which they serve.  Its a year focus on missions, the passion of my heart.

Now you understand why I relate so easily to the stories and devotionals. There’s something that comes with the connection of other missionaries on the field.  Though we live in different areas of the world, and our stories vary with region, we seem to have SO many experiences in common (as all my other missionary friends can attest to).

Another wonderful addition to this devotional is the forward each month, written by Beth Moore (and if you know me well, you know I love her).  She has a flavor of writing that I adore!

To all my friends living on the field, I KNOW you will love this book!  The stories will make you laugh and cry, and believe me when I say that we can relate to each one of them.  I am dedicating this review to all of you that I have worked with in various countries, and all of you who I have gotten to know over time, who are also diligently serving to the ends of the world….

In hopes that you will find a way to add this wonderful devotional to your collections.

Book Review: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

This was the first Donald Miller book that I read, even after all my friends had been telling me about him for a while now, and I’m glad I finally read one of his books.

What I love about this book is how Donald writes.  He writes so honestly and open that you can’t help but feel a part of his story and the process he goes through, making his life a movie.  His self-discoveries throughout the process lead to the questioning of our own self-discoveries.

What I really took from this book, I think, was the idea of “living your own story”.  For any aspiring writers out there, this is such an important theme to grasp.  I know that even for me, sometimes I’m so caught up in what to write and how to write it, I forget to just LIVE my own story.

Inside the overall story, there are some great mini-stories in the book.  I would recommend this book, and especially to anyone who is looking into writing and all that the process entails. Even if you aren’t looking to write anything and just want a good book to read, then I suggest picking it up.

Fearless: by Max Lucado

Once again, Max does not disappoint with his new book, Fearless.  He is able to take many current-day situations that cause many of us fear, and break them down in a way that only Max could.  There were so many “I can relate to thatmoments“, which is what I absolutely adore about his writing.

I thought I would try something a little different with this review, so I picked out some of my favorite “nuggets” placed throughout the pages….

  • Prayer is the practice of sitting calmly in God’s lap and placing our hands on his steering wheel.  He handles the speed and hard curves and ensures safe arrival.  And we offer our requests; we ask God to “take this cup away.” This cup of disease, betrayal, financial collapse, joblessness, conflict, or senility. Prayer is this simple.
  • Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
  • Everything will work out in the end.  If it’s not working out, it’s not the end.
  • Fear loves a good stampede.  Fear’s payday is blind panic, unfounded disquiet, and sleepless nights.  Fear’s been making a good living lately.
  • Acknowledge threats but refuse to be defined by them.

And, probably my favorite part is when he writes about us putting Christ in a box. I loved how he looked back, and examined this trend from the very time he walked on this earth.

His Palestinian contemporaries tried, mind you.  They designed an assortment of boxes.  But he never fit one.  They called him a revolutionary; then he paid his taxes.  They labeled him a country carpenter, but he confounded scholars.  They came to see his miracles, but he refused to cater.  He defied easy definitions.  He was a Jew who attracted Gentiles.  A rabbi who gave up on synagogues.  A holy man who hung out with streetwalkers and turncoats.  In a male-dominated society, he recruited females.  In an anti-Roman culture, he opted not to denounce Rome.  He talked like a king yet lived like a pilgrim.  People tried to designate him.  They couldn’t.  We still try.

Read this book!  You’ll be glad you did…

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