Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Lost than Found: Finding a way back to Faith by Jared Herd

If you are fortunate to find this, you have gained a book that is both good for those who have walked away from their faith, as well as for those who are still solidly walking in faith.

The author covers a wide and diverse array of topics in a way that communicates he understands, he is not judgmental, nor preachy, yet offers some good food for thought.

He explores the discussion on secular versus sacred lines, imagination, illusion and reality, purpose of pain, myth and truth, and a lot more. Each chapter, almost, can be read as an entity unto itself without apparent connection to the next. However each one builds on the other in subtle ways to conclude in a very strong way with a clear call that it is all about Jesus and your relationship with Him. He then adds at the end a wonderful chapter on renovating not demolishing in regards to the church. These closing chapters really puts a mind at ease that this is NOT someone who is some hard edged emergent church person or church hater.

That said, this book is thin on its use of the Bible. Stories are a strong point, but can be subjective, so more use of scripture would make this much more solid.

The author paints a realistic picture of the church and the people in it(and uses a very cool illustration about sketch art versus drip art...VERY nice, won’t spoil it in the review...).

For someone who is disillusioned with “the church” there is some good food for thought. For those still firmly walking in faith, this book provides good challenges for us as well and gives a good insight into some of the issues a LOT of folks are working through so we can seek to be a part of the solution not further exasperate the situation.

3 out of 5. The lack of scripture is "excusable" to a degree considering the authors main target audience,BUT discerning readers need to stay alert to not let good stories lead to points that might not be scriptural.The fact he quotes Rob Bell at points leads me to mention that. (I didn't find anything "off" in those quotes, but Rob is not the greatest source material, and will just leave it at that.)

This book was provided as a complimentary copy by the publisher Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hermie a Common Caterpillar- Max Lucado book review

LOVE IT!!! Wow! Super! Great Art! Great Story! Powerful Message! Timely Message!

When I first received this level 2 reader e-book, I thought it was going to be the same message as story of the Wemmicks, from Tell Me Your Secrets.There is a similar THEME, but the story, imagery of the caterpillar to butterfly is POWERFUL and there are other layers of story and truth presented in the story in subtle ways. Hermie talks about being able to talk to God and hear from Him, and how some other kids thought that was strange, yet we read of God's loving assuring communications to Hermie, impressing to kids THEY can talk and hear from God-EXCELLENT!

I also liked the undertone of Hermie having to wait to see that God did indeed have something special ahead for him. A nice sublesson on waiting and patience(dealing with a 2.5 year olds impatience makes me wish SHE was a level 2 reader right now LOL).

I will be buying this in paper version for when she is able to appreciate it more, I am that impressed with it.HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!

This book was provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers as a complimentary copy, in exchange for an honest review.

Night Night Blessings- Amy Parker Book Review

This is a quick read book which would connect well with ages 6-9 year olds.It is set to rhyme, which is something I love, it makes it easy to remember, kids love rhyme, and having a rhythm to it helps draw in kids who may not enjoy reading but love music.

The overall message reminds kids as they go to bed to count their blessings and know that God is with them, watching from above and is the provider of the blessings they have.

Food, games, pets, sunlight, toys and family time are listed among the blessings. The art is nice, subtle colors, compared to bright and bold, appropriate for a book set to be read at night time.

In today's society of self entitlement it is a GOOD reminder to impress on our kids that we need to be appreciative and thankful for the BOUNTIFUL blessings we have.

I can see after a few readings this book being imprinted in their minds and having the kids say the rhyme along with you and working it into a bed time prayer. So I give it a high recommendation to check out.

This book was provided complimentary to me from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Love You More The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter By Jennifer Grant

As an adoptive parent, I am glad to see more materials being put out that shares the realistic story of adoption, the gift, the loss, the biblical mandate to care for the orphan in various ways that is all wrapped up in the eyes of a precious child needing a family.

The author, who is a journalist, jumps between telling her story of adopting, to giving the reader some other related information about adoption, at the beginning the transition was a bit jarring, but once she got into the heart of her story the switches were not noticed, and the information given was valuable.

I was touched by the retelling of their story of meeting with their new daughter. I appreciated the way the author painted a realistic picture of adoption. Care for the orphan is something we ALL are called to, and adoption is part of the solution, but is something a couple has to feel called to as there are challenges mixed into the blessing there is, so it is good to get a balanced view. Adopted children experience loss, deep loss, couples often face loss due to infertility, adopted children get a family, couples get children, wonderful provision. The author communicates this well.

I also enjoyed the frankness she expresses in dealing with being a “conspicuous family”. There are definitely challenges, connected with that.

This book didn’t blow me out of the water, but it was an enjoyable read and would be that for someone whether they are adopted, adopting, or not connected with adoption. It is this last group that I think needs the exposure to help educate them so they can be supportive and informed so they can help those around them who adopt, while still being challenged in a very careful way about what THEIR role is in the care for the orphan.

This book was provided as a complimentary copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.