Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Eye Opening

There are those books that you genuinely look forward to reading a chapter each night.  A Sudden Glory by Sharon Jaynes was one of those books.  It wasn't groundbreaking and new.  It was an amazing reminder.  It tore away any facade erected by religion and asked the reader to examine their relationship with the Lover of their soul.  It talked about noticing the little things God gives us each day just to say "I'm here and I love you!"  The book made me consider my day.  What did God give me today?  That amazing blue sky that I just sat in awe of? Yep, that was the gift of my loving Savior who is ever showing me that I am his.  That timely text from a friend wasn't just from them but from God as well.  She had other points to consider besides just the daily miracles we take for granted.  Probably the most earth shaking point for me was that ingratitude is "a casual despising of God's sovereignty."  Wow.  My God has a plan.  He is in control, and even those things I don't like in my life are working to make his BEST plan for my life a reality.  I admit there were certain parts of this book directed at married women that I couldn't fully appreciate, but overall, I recommend it to Christian women who are feeling guilty for wanting something more.  The problem isn't in the desire for something more, but in what we think will satisfy that desire.   Check it out!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just not "Christian"

I just finished reading The River by Michael Neale.  I was really excited to read this book, but in truth, it kind of let me down a bit.  If I was just reviewing this book as fiction, and not "Christian fiction," it would most likely get a better review.  As for the story line itself, it was pretty good.  I enjoyed it for the most part. The only real hole I found was a conflict resolved at the end much too quickly, but unfortunately, I'm not reviewing this book merely as a piece of fiction.  This book is marketed as "Christian fiction."  The premise of the book is that The River is calling to the main character throughout his life.  He lives in fear of that very river because as a young child, he witnessed the tragic death of his father.  Throughout the book, "The River" is always capitalized, ascribing to it some weight of deity.  There are some good parallels to draw between God and The River, but there are also parallels to other deities of other religions.  The book is vague about it.  There is a higher power.  I'm not the type who thinks every "Christian fiction" book should have the gospel of every page, but this book could honestly be successfully tied to any "higher power."  I liked this book...as fiction, maybe even as "spiritual fiction", but I can't like it as "Christian fiction"

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

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Twelve Unlikely Heroes

I enjoy reading pretty much anything by John MacArthur, and Twelve Unlikely Heroes was no exception.  I admit, when I first picked it up, I expected it to be about the disciples, but it actually pulls characters out of what many call the "Hall of Faith," and showcase how they were heroic.  Some people don't like the term "Hall of Faith" because they feel that it exalts these Old Testament characters.  It makes people think of lives like theirs as unattainable.  MacArthur examines each of these twelve and shows how, despite being flesh, despite being weak or timid, despite being sinners, each person chose to stand for God in a time that wasn't convenient or easy.  I have always loved the character of Jonathan.  He was David's most loyal friend.  He did the right thing even when all the authority in his life, the king and his father, were doing otherwise.  MacArthur's chapter on Jonathan was incredible.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the true mean of the word hero (which the introduction spends a bit of time discussing  a little more in depth), is studying the portraits of faith in the Bible or just wants to know that you don't have to be perfect for God to use them.

I was given a copy of this book through the BookSneeze program.  I was not required to write a positive review.