Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Every Single Woman's Battle...

I just read Every Single Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge. I was kind of disappointed. Partially because I've already read Every Woman's Battle which was ok. This book was kind of meant to be a companion guide to that book (though it claims to be sufficient on its own), so I had basically already read it. That's the other reason I was disappointed was because there was nothing new in this book. It was literally just quotes from Every Woman's Battle and Every Man's Battle. I do admit that the questions for discussion were very good, and if you can find a group which is actually capable of openly and honestly discussing this type of struggle, it could be a very useful tool. I do admire the author's commitment to her work. Sexual struggles for women isn't a very popular subject. The author fights some of the myths and misconceptions of women's battles.

Each chapter of this book is broken down into a few sections. It is introduced by quoting a passage or two from the books I listed above. Then the reader is challenged to examine their own lives to discover where they are struggling. Then they have a section for group discussion, and every chapter is finished off with a prayer. I have to give this book about a 3 out of 5 stars, but I highly recommend reading and discussing it while you read Every Woman's Battle.

I received this book for free as a part of the Blogging For Books program with the publisher. I was not required to write a postive review.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Heart. My homes

As the line goes, "Home is where the heart is." That's why its so hard to pin down my "home" these days. There's home, my physical residence where I live, and there's home...hundreds of miles away. I've been blessed with two places that feel like home. Two places that my heart aches for when absent from them. Two churches that I am blessed to call mine.

Home #1 is the one i have known my whole life, and yet if it weren't for my church, it wouldnt really be home at all. I mean my parents live there, but theres far more to it than that. Walnut Creek Baptist Church is the church I started attending when i was 7 years old. For those of you wondering, its not a "praise band" church. It has conservative standards that serve as guardrails for people who live and raise their children and families in that church. The standards do not serve as shackles. I miss that church dearly. It's where I got saved, baptized, and taught so many things about life and love. It's this church that sent my family Christmas presents just a few months after we began attending. It's this church that supported our family when my dad had cancer. It's this church that prayed for me through years of college. It's this church that I can walk into and feel at home at anytime. When I was 12 or 13, our church welcomed a new pastor. It was tough at first. We didn't have a lot of the guardrails he wanted to put in place. We didnt want them. We thought he might have been a little power hungry. Years later I look back and i know he was exactly what God had for us at that time. He is the man that was exactly what we needed. Of course, with a pastor, comes his children. I was intimidated. As a "nerd," I got intimidated easily. Tomorrow (Friday) one of his daughters will get married. I'm happy to say that my intimidation was ill founded and i found friends among his children. They truly want to live for Christ in a world where it's not always easy. I found many other friends at WCBC. Some are still in my life and some broke my heart. They walked away from me as they walked away from God and the church (not that walking away from a particular church building is walking away from God, but in some cases, thats just how it works). As we entered college, my youth group friends began to tentatively reach to discover what we really believed. I am happy to say, that most of what I found was what I had already been taught. Our church has grown as we have. At first our searching was examined and a little misunderstood. There were hurt feelings and frustration to work through, but its amazing that once lines of communication were opened, we understood what was going on...on both sides. No church is perfect, and there are things that can always be improved, but I'm so happy to call that place home. I don't understand how people can be brought up around such amazing, loving people, and turn away from all they have been taught and experienced. I know God's word will not return void. For those of you there, I miss you all more than words can say. My heart has been aching lately to return home, even for a little while, but I know that God has my here at this time in my life for a reason.

Home #2. When I started my time at mbbc I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. I prayed that I was making the right choice. I had peace that I was, but I knew no one. Through God's evident leading, He brought me to Berean Baptist Church. I've been there for 4 years, and I have learned that the body of Christ I was a part of at WCBC wasn't limited to that church. I have found families that have taken us in for meals and good times. I have found friends that spiritually challenge me, and I have found a place to use my talents to serve my God. I am so thankful to know that I have a home away from home.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Life Lately...

Hmmmm...so life lately could be summed up in a few words...what? huh? wooo! ummm? lol Lots of things are going on. Car broke down, car got fixed, is car fixed? who knows. I guess i'll answer that question in the next few days. Tutoring is going well. I'm learning fun new ways to teach different subjects, and teaching myself new games as I make them up for my kids :) Then there's my new retail job. I pretty much love that. I never knew that I would love retail, but it's pretty awesome. I just wish I had a few more hours each week.

My amazing brother got me a new phone. He's pretty awesome. He's basically the coolest brother ever. I now have an electronic leash to the rest of the world at all times. Not sure how I always feel about that.

There are a few down dips on this roller coaster of life, but this isn't the time or place to talk about them. Overall, my life is basically as amazing, except for those few unsavory parts that aren't. I find it interesting that Obama won on his platform of change. Change is awful. Even when it sounds good at first, it usually ends up causing tension and irritation. Yay change! :-/ lol

Monday, June 20, 2011

God's Love Letters Review

Today I got God's Love Letters To You by Larry Crabb in the mail. Tonight I'm reviewing it. Why such a fast turn around? Because it was THAT amazing. I loved it. This book got five stars. While I was reading I would stop and just make my roommate listen to a paragraph, a passage, or a page that I loved. The book highlights 40 books in the Bible with a short love letter "from God" for each. At first, I was a little nervous that the letters would be vague and talking about this nebulous love of God that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but it wasn't. The book spoke of the real love of God. The God is LOVE love of God. The "letters" are heartfelt, truthful and promote holiness above happiness. I do intend to read one of these a day as intended, but I couldn't put it down. The style reminds me of a Father writing to his daughter. I write to talk to God. I write to figure out what He's trying to teach me. Reading "letters" just helps me. The written word is my best medium for communication.

I received this book free as a part of the "Booksneeze" program by this publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This one got it!

I guess it's book review Wednesday on here, but thankfully, I can give this book a much better review! I read It's Not About Me by Max Lucado, and I was really excited about it because in a world where its all about "self-esteem" and making yourself feel good, this book got it! Its not about me, its about God. Of course I LOVE Lucado's writing style and ability to say what he means without beating around any bushes. The book starts with a section focused on thinking about our God and how amazing He really is. When you have a right view about God, it's easier to make it ALL ABOUT HIM! It was nice just to sit and reflect on the different aspects of God. Then comes the section about making it all about God. Everything we have is for his glory, our things, our bodies, our friends, our family...everything. This book just really made me think about times when I say it's all about Him, and then live like its all about me. That thing you just felt was a glimpse of the conviction this book hit me with. I reccomend it to be a part of the library of any person that seek to glorify God with their entire life.

I received this book from the publisher for free as a part of the "Booksneeze" program. I was not require to write a positive review

Sorely Disappointed :(

I recently received a book about the Holy Spirit, The God I Never Knew by Robert Morris. I was very excited because as I've written on here, I believe this is a member of the Godhead we miss. I started to read, and I got a little uneasy when the author went on about how the Holy Spirit as a distinct voice in our thoughts that over time we can learn to distinguish. My thought was "Yes, I believe that the Holy Spirit can guide our thoughts and bring Scripture to mind, but the Holy Spirit is NOT a schizophrenic voice in my head." I also believe it is biblical that tongues are a gift that God gave to the apostles before Scripture was completed, and since Scripture has been completed, it is a gift that has been done away with (as for tongues, they shall cease). This author does not feel this way, and participates in "Prophecy conferences" that aren't just studying prophecy given to us in Scripture. The author goes on to say that we must receive the Holy Spirit in an act different than that of salvation. My question to that is, how can I receive God at salvation, without receiving God (the Holy Spirit)? This book is one of the reasons for the story the author placed at the beginning about his wise pastor warning him to stay away from those who "talk about the Spirit." Was this book well written? besides a few glaring typos, yes. Was it an easy read? Fairly so. Was if biblically accurate? I declare an emphatic NO. I was sorely disappointed.

I received this book free as a part of the publisher's "Blogging for Books" program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Waiting Place........hmmmm

This book looked perfect. The premise really kind of outlines where I am in life. One of those times when you feel like the universal remote of life has been used to push pause. When you aren't sure where you're going or how to get there, and you're just stuck waiting. When I first read this book, I was kind of disappointed in that I didn't feel like it hit on just what it was supposed to. It didn't give me verses to read to meditate through the "dark" places of the "waiting place." It didn't give me those little Christian inspirational "pep talks" that tell me everthing is going to be ok if you just hang in there another day or two. It was really well written, a captivating read of humor and a little drama and trauma, but it didn't have what i thought it should be. It just didnt...but I waited to write a review. I waited almost a week. I can't explain why I didn't post right away, but I gave the book time to set in. Then i realized the whole point of the book was not to commiserate with you in the Waiting place but to show you that the waiting place is a place we are in our whole lives in some way or another, and if we just wish away the "waiting places," we wish away our entire lives. I liked this book...a lot...there were little parts here and there when i was like ooooo...thats not what I would have chosen but overall it was a genuine look into Eileen Button's life. A few of the things I would have probably left out were her struggles as a pastor's wife, but then again....that makes it genuine. I would probably give this book a 4 out of 5 star rating :)

I recieved this book free as a part of the Booksneeze program of Thomas Nelson Publishing