Friday, October 25, 2013

Beautiful Lies by Jennifer Strickland

Society tells us that our value lays in our outward appearance, how men think of us and that media will determine how others might look and feel towards us, but that isn't true.  Jennifer Strickland in her new book Beautiful Lies covers all these lies and shows us that they are just that, lies.  That our true value comes from our relationship with God and that no one can demean us when we are true to ourselves. 

Strickland was just a teenager when she became a model.  She had the perfect modeling career where all the greatest designers wanted her, she was traveling the world for photo shoots and all the money and luxury that anyone could ever want.  But what she also had was everyone around her determining her value.  Her agent, the men in her life, the designers who would book her, and all the various members of the modeling world.  How valuable she was to them was determined by the number on the scale, her perfect (or sometimes imperfect) completion, and how good clothes looking on her.  If any of these things went outside the “model standard” she was useless to them. 

Over the years, fitting into the industry standards took their toll on her.  She was having eating disorders, her self-esteem was really low and she was starting to wondering if modeling wasn’t for her.  After going to church with some friends while overseas, she finally sees that her worth isn’t determined by anyone other than her heavenly father.  Thus, the journey leading up to this book was started. 

There are five lies that Strickland addresses in this book followed with the five truths that we should be believing instead of buying into the lies we are told.  They five lies that women are being told are:

  • Your worth comes from how you look
  • Your worth comes from what men think of you
  • Your worth comes from media tells you that you should be like
  • That we need to put on a good face for everyone no matter how we are feeling inside.
  • That media is the be all and end all of how you should be. 

But, those are just the lies.  All the truths come out, throughout this book, with the love from our heavenly father pouring off the pages as she shows us how each lie can be defeated by God's word.  Strickland shows us just how much we mean to God.  We are His children and even though we might be imperfect, He still loves us and values us immensely.  Our TRUE value can never be found by material items and the way others look at us, it must come down from heaven. 

This is a book that I think every teen girl and woman should read.  Strickland had to find out the hard way how much she is worth, but following her journey through this book you will see everything she went through and hopefully avoid all the lies, remembering that only God can determine our true worth.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harvest House for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Passion Pursuit by Linda Dillow & Dr. Juli Slattery Pursuit by Linda Dillow and Dr. Juli Slattery is a bible study about sex.  Yes, you read that right…sex.  Go figure, right?!?!  I’m sure you are used to other bible studies on getting to know Jesus better, learning how to be a better wife and mother or strengthening your bond with your heavenly creator.  But, studying about sex, well that just seems like it’s a topic that a Christian women wouldn’t want to talk about with her peers must less study.  It’s quite the contrary though.

Passion Pursuit is a 10 week study that is centered around your sex life in your marriage, but there is so much more to it.  It’s about intimacy and we all know that one of the biggest ways of being intimate with our husbands is through sex, but this book is also about finding intimacy with God through knowing His words on the topic of sex in your marriage. 

Sex isn’t a taboo topic like most want us to believe.  Yes, there are ways of taking things to far, but God actually WANTS us to have an amazing sex life with our husbands.  He even encourages us to do so.  There are a few stipulations or DONT'S that you need to follow like: No Fornication, No Adultery, or No Lustful Passions to name a few. 

Sex is a gift from God as part of a wonderful and happy marriage and this study is filled with all the answers to your burning questions that you may be to shy to ask someone.  Plus, there is biblical references to back up what is being taught so if you need more clarification just grab your bible. 

I can say that, without a doubt, I love this study.  I want a happy marriage and sex is part of that.  I also want to know what God has to say about sex so that I may live my life as biblically as I can.  I am thankful to God for this small gift and thankful for this study.  I finally have some answers that I have wanted for a long time. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

People Raising by William Dillon

People RaisingThere are people in society with so many wonderful ideas of ministries that can be of great service to others in need.  The only drawback is that most of these people don’t know how to get the money needed to start their ministry.  The new and expanded edition of People Raising by William P. Dillon is a manual that will help those people achieve their dreams of ministering to others. 

What I love about this book is that Dillon will walk you through each step of fundraising with intricately detailed instructions.  But before he starts talking about how to raise money he explains the biblical way of doing so.  Most believe that God will provide, and He will, sometimes it’s not in the form of cash, but instead, the people He puts into your life. They were sent by God so that you may find the support needed to accomplish your goal. 

After you get through the first part of the book and come into the right attitude for raising money you will move to the next part where Dillon walks you through reach step of raising the funds needed.  This is one of the best parts of the book.  Each chapter of this part is dedicated to one step and the requirements needed to fulfill that step.  He walks you though how to start with the people you already have in your circle, to how to make appointments and conduct them in a manner that others will want to contribute, and how to say thank you.  Yes, you need to thank your donors.  They will appreciate it greatly and possibly be willing to give more in the future. 

The last part of this book is how you are going to implement your plan.  Once you have walked through each step of this book and have your plan all laid out it’s time to put it into motion.  Dillon is here to help with that also.  He with you on your walk each step of the way.

Raising the money to start a ministry or organization can be hard work and very time consuming.  If you keep this book with you at all times you should not have any questions.  It’s filled with all the tips you will need and step to make sure you are fulfilling the mission God has set before you.  I think this book is more like a seminar than just a book.  There is so much information that you will never regret having this book in your library if you want to create a new church, go on a mission trip, or just want to create an non-profit.  It’s one book that I will always have on my desk.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Bible Savvy Series

The bible can be a hard book to read sometimes.  It can seem disconnected and just plain overwhelming.  Well, that’s they way it feels to me.  I have found  set of book recently called The Bible Savvy series by James L. Nicodem.  These books have helped me tremendously. 

There are 4 books to the series and each one of them builds on the book before.  Nicodem starts the series off with a book titled Epic: The Storyline of the Bible.  Most people assume that the bible is just a bunch of stories that have no connection to each other, but in fact, the bible has a continues theme that shows up in each story: Redemption.  He starts off by showing how redemption is prepared, prophesized, proclaimed, purchased and then perfected.  Each of the 66 books in the bible plays a part in the completed story.

The next three books show how you can better understand and learn from the bible and points to how you can see the theme of redemption throughout. 

Context: How to understand the Bible
Foundation: The Reliability of the Bible
Walk: How to Apply the Bible

Each one of these books builds on the foundation that Nicodem laid when he shows you that the bible has one, important, central themes.  These three books help you to better get acquainted with your bible and show you that no matter what anyone says, it is a reliable source to build your faith and life on. 

My absolutely favorite part of these books are that they are not just a manual to follow.  Nicodem engages the reader with questions at the end of the chapters so that you can really apply what he is saying in these books and have a better life by understanding God’s word better.  

 I think this series would make a great bible study for a church since a lot of people have a hard time with understanding all the things God has to say.  I have noticed that one of the issues I have, at times, is getting everything from God’s word that He would want me to, but now I have help and you can too.

*I received a complimentary copy of these books from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own. *

Friday, October 11, 2013

His Treasure: Gems of Love from Your King

The beautiful cover is just the beginning.
Sheri Shepherd has released many inspirational books, but I must admit that her newest one, His Treasure, is my favorite.  It’s filled with God’s promises and the love that he has for us.  Plus, it’s the perfect size to put in my purse so I can have every bit of love from God with me all the time.

When you open the book your eyes will automatically be drawn to the brightly colored pages.  They have an old Victorian feel to them since the graphics are old picture frames with backgrounds that have the look to textured linens.  It’s just a visually beautiful book.

But, the graphics aren’t the best part…all the love that spills off the pages is.  Each page has a different letter written to you, His daughter, that tells you how He promises to be with you and love you every minute of your life.  The letter have a theme to them and those themes (just to name a few) are: how much He loves you, how much He wishes for your heart and His to connect through the Word, and how much He will always be there for you no matter what.

With the holiday season coming up soon, I would suggest you remember this book when filling out your shopping lists.  It would be a great gift to your best friend, mother, sister, and even your grandmother.  Every woman needs to be reminded of how much God loves her no matter what age she is.  I even think this could be a wonderful book for your teenage daughter (if you have one.)

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, October 10, 2013

He Wins She Wins: Learning the Art of Marital Negotiation

Cover ArtThe art of negotiation can be tricky.  One person has their demands while the other person might want something completely different and neither leave the table feeling happy about the process or outcome.  But, Im not talking about negotiating in a business setting, I am talking about negotiating in a marriage. 

William Harley, Jr has a new book called He Wins, She Wins where he talks about how, if done right, marital negotiations can come to a close with a win-win ending.  It will take work from both partners, but it is doable. 

He talks about why most marriages have issues and describes a concept called the Love Bank.  He says that to have a happy marriage, both partners need to make “deposits” into the Love Bank so that one person never feels like they are giving their all while the other person is just “withdrawing” everything.  He says that our emotions and how we feel about a person are tied to this Love Bank.  How much we have inside our Love Bank determine how we feel about the other person…when the person is making deposits we feel happy towards them, but when they are making to many withdraws we might determine that they should not be in our lives. 

Now, most marriages end because conflicts have a win-lose ending.  This will never make for a happy marriage because one person comes out of the conflict feeling like they have given up everything and gotten nothing in return.  This goes back to the Love Bank where one person is making a withdraw and the other person feels like they are getting nothing.  Yes, marriages are about sacrificing, but not so much so that you are the only one sacrificing.

Conflicts come from many different corners of marriage and can arise over things such as money, children, and even sex.  He also address how to negotiate with each other when we are feeling emotional, not quite sure how we might feel about the issue in question, or you don’t want to even bring the issue up.  There are certain ways to handle these situations and a few others that might arise and with his tips you can get through them all with a win-win outcome. 

What better way to make sure you have a happy marriage than to be able to work through a conflict and have a happy ending?  That’s what we all really want right…a happy ending.  Make sure you get your happy ending by learning how to negotiate in your marriage.

 Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.*

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Knowing God By Name | Book Review

Knowing God by NameGod has so many names.  Each one glorifying His amazing and never ending traits.  He is our everything so shouldn’t we know what to call Him?  Know Him intimately enough that we know His each and every name because He has named us?  Enter Knowing God By Name by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland.  This is their second book in their Girlfriends in God Faith Adventure series. 
This book is an 8 week study of God’s names and how you can better know Him by understanding each name.  Each one of His names describes a different trait that we can see in God, so you must understand…there are a lot of them. 

For 5 days of the week you will be introduced to a new name of God and have presented before you, a daily reading devotional, about that name, that will help you to gain a closer and more personal relationship with Him.  On the 6th day there is a place for reflection on the devotionals from the past 5 days.  But if you are anything like me you will not be able to wait till day 6 to start reflecting.  There is so much truth and knowledge in this book that I just had to highlight, write notes in the book, and start journaling just to make sure that I was getting everything from this that I could. 

What’s even better is that they have created videos to go along with this study, but the wonderful part is that the videos can be watched online for FREE…Yes, you read that right…FREE.  They want you to have a more intimate relationship with your creator that they are not charging to watch the videos and the videos just add to the intimacy you will get from this study.

So…grab your girlfriends or your bible study group at church and get to know God better by become familiarized with each of His glorious names. 

Ladies...this is a must read book to expand you relationship with God.  

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*

Unglued | Book Review  There are something all women deal with and find hard to control at times.  Even myself can have issues with controlling my emotions. Sometimes I bottle emotions up or sometimes I just explode, which never ends well. But luckily there is help, and thanks to Lysa Terkeurst and her book Unglued, there is help on the journey with dealing with emotions and finding a healthy way to live with them.

Emotions can get the best of us and I’ll be the first one to admit that I can have issues with my emotions. What I love about this book, is that Lysa is like every other woman out there struggling to deal with her raw emotions.  She’s not perfect by no means or has anything completely figured out, but it’s like she says, this book and process is all about making progress, it’s not about becoming the perfect person.

She talks about there’s two different types of unglued.  There are the exploder’s and there are the stuffers.  They are pretty much self-explanatory by the names that she gave them, whereas the stuffer stuff everything down and avoid their emotions and the exploders just explode.  Now to find out which one you are there is a self-evaluation at the back of the book which will let you know which type of unglued you are.

The thing that I found that was most approachable about this book is the fact that she’s not perfect nor does she claim to be. She is just another human like the rest of us dealing with our God-given emotions and trying to find some grace in her day-to-day life. Emotions are something were all that have to deal with, but there is hope we can find a path, through this book, to a grace filled life and a life of calm were emotions don’t control us.  That is, if you allow the process to work and use the helpful tips that she provides in this book.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own. *

The Pillars of Health | Book Review

There is a new book out about health called The Pillars of Health by John Pierre.  The premise of this book is a help you improve your life by improving your health and fitness and your nutrition all at the same time.  While Pierre promises he can help improve your life by improving your health, he also promises that it will be fun in the process. 

While this book is filled with helpful information such as diet, exercise, and nutrition plans it is all information that I have previously seen in other books, websites, media outlets and nothing was new to me.  The basics of his plan are to eat a vegetable-based diets, avoid processed foods, and to get as much exercise as possible through the four pillars that he lists this book.

The four pillars consists of nutrition, mind, motion, and compassion. These are the four cornerstones of his “lifelong wellness” plan, that if you already live a healthy lifestyle, you would earn you know about these.  I do like the fact that he addresses the mind and body connection and offers ideas on how to improve your brain function and mental acuity.  He shows that the body is connected as a whole and for you to have a healthy body everything must work in unity.

What I don’t like about the book is the images of the exercises that are all in black and white. This gives the book a feel reminiscent of a 1980s fitness book. Plus all of the information has already been included in other books which makes this redundant for myself.  Although, if you are new to living a healthy lifestyle, this book might just be the one for you. 

There is one more thing I would like to say as a positive about this book and it’s that it has some great recipes in it, the only downside is they are scattered throughout the book which makes it to find the recipe you want.  You just might even read over them if you’re not paying attention.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.*