Sunday, May 29, 2011

Picking my scabs...

It amazes me that as humans, we are prone to poke our wounds when they are just starting to heal. As a child, I poked my scabs...and picked at them...I would pick 'em just enough to get to the point where they weren't ready to come off, and i would pull at it slowly. We enjoy pain...I'm not sure why. Maybe we just like to feel something. Maybe it's only when the wounds are the severing lines of something we just don't think we can ever really let go of. Maybe we don't trust God enough to believe that healing and tomorrow is better than pain and yesterday. The thing i learned from all that scab picking as a kid. The ones i never picked at...they just went away. The ones i obsessively picked at. Those are the ones that are actual scars today. I wish it was as easy as letting God rub some antibiotic ointment on there and believing Him that its going to feel better soon if we just leave it alone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Untamed made me hungry...

Untamed by Lisa Harper left me wanting to search out my untamed Savior. The Savior I can't fit into any box. My Savior that although He doesn't fit in "their" box, doesn't fit in my box either. The God that isn't afraid to confront me about my sin. My God who is both the Lion and the Lamb. That was the purpose of this witty, attention grabbing book. With chapters about my wildly compelling and wildly faithful Savior, there were definitely moments where I just smiled thinking about how awesome my God really is. The format of this book made it very easy to read. I finished it in about 2 days, but it would have been much faster if i just had time to sit down and read! I didn't find the whole book peaches and cream. Though I loved her story telling, I at times feel that her handling of Scripture or bible stories was a little irreverent, though I'm sure that wasn't the case at all.

Though this may sound strange, I found my favorite part of the book to be the discussion questions included after every chapter. Though they were tied to the chapter itself, there were many times that I wouldn't at all have gleaned something from the chapter had it not been for these questions.

You can order this book here.
You can read an excerpt here.

I received this book as part of the Blogging For Books program with this publisher.

The Seraph Seal

The Seraph Seal took me on a journey similar to what I would imagine to be The DaVinci Code, though I have never read it. The general idea is that a predestined group struggles to break the code of an early new testament manuscript before the predestined "evil" group does the same.

It is fortunate for this book's rating that I don't rely on fiction for doctrine. Doctrinally, this book gets a zero out of five stars, but as far as fiction goes, this book gets about three and a half stars out of five. The authors developed their characters very well, but any reader may struggle keeping up with each character through the many two paragraph anecdotes. The book was a bit predictable, but it certainly captured possible reactions of society to apocalyptic events. It was also interesting to see some possible modern applications of prophecy considering today's technology. One area where there was no room to fault the authors was on their amazing research. The Seraph Seal was one of the most clearly researched books I have ever read. There were very few discrepencies with the exception of the concept of translation, and a code being lost in it. Overall, it was a good fictional read with no doctrinal benefit. I would go as far as not to recommend this book to anyone without a biblical understanding of the end times.

I received this book as part of the Booksneeze program with Thomas Nelson publishing. I was not required to write a positive review.

Birthday adventures

Today was my birthday. Today was a day of adventure. My roommate Amber decided today was going to be a day she was in charge of, so i wasn't allowed to get up until she came to get me. That was a little difficult because I woke up about 2 hours before she did. I decided to spend that couple of hours finishing up some books Im reading, so yes, stay tuned for some book reviews. :) At about 9 am, amber opened my door with a cinnamon roll and a mocha in her hands...I was happy :) She handed me an index card telling me to pack my things and head to another friends apt to get ready for my day. There I enjoyed a bubble bath and a long time alone with my God :) The next card that I found there told me that my third graders from student teaching were expecting me for lunch. That definitely made me smile. I L.O.V.E. spending time with them. Upon arriving at the school, I got a text to return home after my happy little lunch. Lunch was great, and I got cards from all my kids. Then I came back home for a walk to a nearby park, just a great time to relax and enjoy my God's amazing, beautiful creation. Arriving back home, Amber drove me to the president of MBBC's house, and she and I went out shopping...though i didn't get anything, it was a blast anyway. I got back home, only to get in the car and head to a horse stable to spend the next hour playing with and petting horses. :) THAT was extremely happy as I haven't gotten to interact with horses in a long time. Again, we got in the car and headed to another undisclosed location...this time Chili's for dinner where we ate WAYYYYY too much. The waiter was awesome and my birthday brownie sundae was pretty incredible. To end the day, I got home and had a great time hanging out with some of my favorite people playing games. So yes, it was a good day, and maybe 25 won't be that bad....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Churched by Matthew Turner

This review is hard to write. Not because I didn't like the book because I did. Not because I thought the book was wrong because it wasn't. This review is hard to write because it spells out the same spiritual journey I have taken in my life, the same journey that my church has undertaken. The journey where the masks are removed and people are sincere, yet flawed creations. Matthew Turner writes with a humor that does not lessen the importance of his story, but maybe it's easier for me to see that because it's my story as well. He shares anecdotes of his childhood that show what a Christianity about rules rather than Christ leads to. My only problem with this book is that Turner does not offer an alternative, a solution to the problem, but maybe that's because he's still searching for it himself. Maybe that is the solution, to search with a genuine and open heart for the things God has for us.

I give this book five out of five stars because of Turner's ability to honestly grasp the life of someone in this movement. The good and the bad. The right and the wrong. I give This book five stars because it was written by someone who didn't make a knee jerk reaction to something he felt was massively flawed.

I received this book as a part of the "Blogging for Books" program with Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review.

You can purchase this book on the publisher's page here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Graduation and other fun things

So I officially walked out of the gym at maranatha with the class of 2011. I am an alumni. That feeling is pretty amazing. Another amazing feeling, I didn't fall walking across the stage in front of the world. My heel slipped...I felt my heart skip and then i squared my shoulders and walked slowly across the platform. Then came the tassel flip. Dr. Brock flipped my tassel, and it was like all my equilibrium was completely thrown off. I had to take a deep breath before I even thought about walking across the rest of the platform. Graduation was followed by the traditional hour of taking random pictures with absolutely anyone you ever shared a lunch table with, and then we were off to our open house and our hundreds of cookies. Hundreds...and i still have half of them downstairs in my kitchen. It was great and a blast to see some of the people that love Lori and I (we had our party together since a lot of people who would come to mine would come to hers as well). I just want to say a big THANKS! to everyone who made graduation a special day :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Nick of Time took no time at all

So I know that book reviews have become a common thing on here, but OMW there are some great books out there! I actually just finished one last night. Actually it was this morning because i COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. I read Nick Of Time by Tim Downs. I say read, but I actually mean devoured. It was so great! The story was engaging. The characters were realistic and well developed. Downs took risks with his characters, but he was consistent with them. And the best part........I have never read another Bug Man Novel, and I still knew what was going on! Usually when I read a book that is part of a series, I get frustrated if it is not the first book. Tim Downs crafted this novel in a way that it was not difficult to understand the general idea of the series. This is at least the 4th book. But I will be reading them in the future. In this book, Nick, a socially awkward forensic entomologist, goes on an adventure the week of his wedding. Don't worry, his stupidity is pointed out several times. The book is filled with twists and turns that kept me guessing. I would highly recommend this book to absolutely anyone who enjoys action filled mysteries.

I received a free copy of this book as a part of the booksneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Chocolate Diaries

The title to this book alone made me want to read it. Unlike the author, I'm not a chocoholic, but I was intrigued at the idea of a Christian Living/Women's interest book that had something to do with chocolate. The idea of the book is simply finding the sweet pieces in a life filled with bitter ingredients. It started out with talking about how to blend these bitter ingredients into the recipe of your life to make a sweeter product in the end. I had to give this book three stars out of five because I felt that as a "Christian Interest" book, there wasn't a lot of Christian going on. It just didn't blow me away, which is what a book would have to do to earn all five stars. The exception to this is definitely the second to last chapter, which pretty much nailed the whole thing. If that chapter were the entire book, it would have gotten 5 out of 5 stars. I did like that the author didn't sugar coat anything despite the sweet title. She got in and got right to her point. The book contains funny anecdotes and great tips on handling the little things in life. Possibly my favorite part of the book (with the exception of that exceptional chapter of course) was that each chapter ended with a recipe or chocolate idea. It was definitely a rather enjoyable and easy read.

You can order this book here.

Read the first chapter here.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing group for this review.