Sunday, December 7, 2014

Walk to Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne



In his memoir Walk to Beautiful, Jimmy Wayne recounts his childhood experience of abandonment, abuse and foster care. As a mother, this story was hard to read. Several times I wanted to reach into the pages and hug this hurting child. Eventually Jimmy is taken in by an elderly couple who give him the love, encouragement and home he so desperately needs.

Against all odds, Jimmy ends up with a successful career in country music. He uses this platform to tell his stories and winds up with several hit songs that deeply touch his audience. In an effort to bring more awareness to foster kids, Jimmy decides to walk half away across the United States in a campaign he called Meet Me Halfway.

I found this book to be a powerful reminder of how much our actions and words can influence those around us - for good or bad. Jimmy's mom was a destructive force in his life while Bea, was the catalyst for positive change. Every encounter we have has the potential to build up or tear down and this book reminded me of that message.


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty


I was first introduced to the concept of adoration through Sara's instagram account this summer. Immediately I was hooked on the idea of taking Scripture and turning it into praise and adoration. God's Word reveals so many truths about the character of God and it's nurturing to my soul to declare who God is each and every day based on Scripture.

In her book, Sara recounts her struggle with the reality of barrenness and how God continually worked in her life to create her into who HE wanted her to be. The story of her vision for her life, the first days and years of marriage, the growth of her family through adoption and finally the healing of her womb and answered prayers. 

Adoration is such a simple thing that anyone can put into daily practice. Like naming and listing God's blessings (One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp), this simple act of praising and adoring God is life changing. As your paradigm shifts, you will begin to focus on the sweetness and goodness of God in all things. 

Putting this into practice in my own life has helped frame my days and attitude when it needs an adjustment. It was an honor to read the story behind the idea of adoration.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.




Friday, October 24, 2014

The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski


When author Michael Yankoski witnessed the dual personality of a Christian pastor, he realized he was frustrated with his own life as a Christian motivational speaker. He set out on a year long journey to be more intentional about his faith. Guided by Father Solomon, a local monk, he began practicing several different spiritual disciplines and found a richer, more meaningful faith walk.

Practically speaking, the book is organized into three different sections: depth with self, depth with God and depth with others. Each section has six chapters that give a specific area of growth with personal stories and practical ideas woven throughout.

I really enjoyed the book and it's given me much to think about. I did read through it fairly quickly, but it's also the kind of book that could be read through slowly, giving time between chapters and sections to implement the practices into your own life.



I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yawning at Tigers by Drew Dyck


In his latest book, Yawning at Tigers, Drew Dyck presents the idea that we have gotten all too good at thinking of God in casual terms and encourages us to see God as He is really portrayed in the Bible.

Yes...God is love. But God is also a God who pours out his wrath on those who disobey Him. He does this, ironically, because He loves us.

We like to dwell on the pleasant aspects of God, but the reality is that God is so much bigger than we could ever think or imagine. And as the subtitle of the book suggests, we need to stop trying to tame God because we just can't. God is unpredictable. God's ways are higher than our ways. God seeks justice.

This book offers a fresh perspective on who God is and how we need to alter our view of him.

I've enjoyed hearing from Drew on the Phil Vischer podcast and look forward to reading more of his work in the future.


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hope Rising by Scott Todd



"Extreme poverty does not have to exist. When Christians accept that fact and start living accordingly, we will find the solution is already within our reach." ~ Scott Todd

As I started reading this book I had this sense that I'd already read this book. Several chapters in I pulled my copy of Fast Living off the shelf, also written by Mr. Todd, and compared the two. It seems Hope Rising is simply an updated version of his earlier book with very few changes.

This book is a call to the church and to all Christians to live out the fast described in Isaiah 58, and end extreme poverty. It is divided into five parts and each part deals with a specific aspect of how this generation can be the last for extreme poverty.

When you read about how the world could look in 2035, you will be encouraged and inspired to action - to do your part in ending extreme poverty. As a mom, I was particularly energized by the chapter titled "How Mom Can End Extreme Poverty."


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Restless by Jennie Allen


This is a book about God. And this is a book about us and God. And this is a book about the moment we close our eyes and see God. This is a book about facing the God of the universe and answering to him about the life and resources he gives us while we are here. 
...this is a book about discovering ourselves and getting over ourselves all at the same time. This is a book about being brave enough to imagine a better world, and how we may be used to make it that way. This is a book about changing the world and changing diapers. This is a book about fears and suffering and joys and gifts. This is a book about all that lies in our control and how nothing is in our control. This is a book about vision and obedience.    - Jennie Allen

Do you feel like there is more to life than what you are experiencing right now? Do you feel like you were made for more? Do you feel restless?

Jennie Allen did, and suspects that many others feel the same way. Using the story of Joseph from Genesis, Jennie shows us how our personal story can fit into God's greater story. The book is full of personal stories, scripture and questions that will possibly make you uncomfortable, but also take you deeper into your journey.

Even if you feel like you have it all together and are headed in the right direction, you will find wisdom and encouragement in the pages of this book.


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook bloggers program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Wall Around Your Heart ~ Mary DeMuth


In her new book The Wall Around Your Heart, Mary DeMuth walks through the Lord's prayer phrase by phrase, using it as a map and guide to find healing caused by painful relationships.

Having been in the midst of a painful relationship for the past four year, I am finding the words of hope in this book to be a balm to my soul. First, I must choose to pray. Prayer is an act of worship, and when I choose to worship God through prayer, God invites me into community.

By following the example of prayer God gives us in the Lord's prayer, we cover everything we could possibly need....praise, supplication, repentance and an awareness of who God is.

This is a powerful book full of personal stories and examples of hope. I'm sure I'll find myself coming back to it often.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Imagination Station ~ The Redcoats are Coming


Similar to other books in this series, main characters Patrick and Beth are off on another adventure. This time they experience some of the historical events leading up to the Revolutionary War. With both historical figures and fictional characters, this is an exciting tale and a fun way for kids to learn about this time period.

Although this is the 13th book in this series, the story stands alone and can be read and understood without reading the others.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for this review.