Monthly Archives: July 2015

Live Expectantly: A Review of “Your Sacred Yes”

9781441265494 In 2013, I chose the word Joy as my ‘one word’. What I began to learn that year was that true joy only comes from the Lord– not from the approval or opinions of others, not from our circumstances. And that is what is at the heart of Susie Larson’s Your Sacred Yes.  In Your Sacred Yes, Larson addresses how we as Christians have a tendency to say yes to the wrong things, at the wrong time. But God created us to glorify and enjoy Himself forever, and while our circumstances may change, and it may look different at various times throughout our lives, that is a constant. Larson also addresses how it is imperative that we begin to see ourselves washed in the blood of Christ, a beloved child of the King, and how we are called to love others truly, something we are only capable of once we rest in the fact that only Christ’s opinion of us matters. I was both blessed and encouraged by Your Sacred Yes, and would highly recommend it to all Christian readers, men and women alike. Your Sacred Yes is ideal for personal reading, or for a group study, either of which would be beneficial to the reader! I would give Your Sacred Yes an “A”. Find out more about Susie Larson and her books here. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under blog

Practice Makes Perfect: A Review of “The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly”

the-real-doctor-will-see-you-shortly-jacket

Last year, I fell in love with memoirs. There was something about the honesty, the first-hand recounting of a life that captivated me.

Matt McCarthy’s The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly was no exception. Deeply personal, gritty, and packed with raw emotion,  The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly is one man’s tale of life as an intern– a look into a physician’s first year post-medical school.

McCarthy holds nothing back, allowing us to see his year as an intern for what it was: full of beauty, trials, growth, and sleep deprivation. Profoundly inspiring, The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly will give every reader, whether with a medical background or not, a greater appreciation for the sacrifices and unique challenges each physician faces. Brutally honest, McCarthy freely acknowledges his mistakes and fears, and chronicles how interactions with his fellow interns, residents, and attendings shaped how he practiced medicine, and how interactions with patients shaped him.

I found The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly to be a fascinating read, ideal for those who love either memoirs or medical non-fiction. Readers do need to be aware that there is a hearty usage of the ‘f’-bomb, as well as other strong language, so it is best suited for mature readers. I give The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly a “B”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .

Leave a comment

Filed under blog

Listening to the Rabbi’s Heartbeat: A Review of “Abba’s Child”

41c8maov3bl

Those who know me know that I have authors that I love. One of my favorite authors, who has had a tremendous impact on my life is Brennan Manning.

One of his books made it into my top 21 books a few years back.

Manning’s books are filled with passion and verve, and with extensive quotes, something I love. But most of all, Manning’s work spills grace, and the love of the Savior, drawing me in, and touching my soul in a way few authors do.

When I had the opportunity recently to read and review the new edition of Abba’s Child, I was thrilled!

Abba’s Child was a balm to my soul, a sweet comfort, a reminder that I am loved deeply, completely, by the Father, by the servant-king. Is that not amazing? God knows me better than anyone ever has, or ever will, with all my flaws, with all my sin, and yet He chooses me, loves me, and wraps me in His arms, drawing me close to His heart. Such a sobering, thrilling knowledge!

And yet, Abba’s Child was more. It confronted my sinful heart, challenging me to pull off my mask. That is a hard thing.

I know I am someone who longs for approval– that is a great weakness of mine. It cuts deep when people criticize me, especially when those people are people I love.

But what I have come to realize, through reading Abba’s Child is that I cannot stay in the grief, in the pain, in the frustration, in the confusion. Those things do not make up who I am. They simply shape me in my Savior’s image, and make me more like Him.

We have been given an incredible opportunity– to love because we are loved, to give because we have received, to bless because we are blessed. And too often, we allow an impostor to rob us of fully appreciating the love of God, and rob us of our joy. It is time for the masks to come off, for our identity to be that of Abba’s Child, and nothing more.

Abba’s Child is a beautiful and timely call for Christians to become accepting and loving, like our Father, finding joy in letting go of perceptions and embracing a life centered on bringing glory to God through everyday acts of love and service to those around us. I would highly recommend Abba’s Child, and it is a book I look forward to reading many times in the future. I would give Abba’s Child an “A”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .

Leave a comment

Filed under blog

Review of “Marie Durand”

Durand__42064.1421871715.1280.1280

It is a pleasure to find an author that you trust and whose books you enjoy reading, and Simonetta Carr never fails!

Not only is Carr’s Christian Biographies for Young Readers series well-researched and written to appeal to readers of all ages, but the books are high-quality hardcovers that will hold up to years of reading.

The newest installment, Marie Durand tells the story of a young French woman who endured great suffering, and many trials, yet never wavered in her faith, and was a constant encouragement to both her family, and those who came into contact with her. Imprisoned for her faith for nearly forty years, Marie Durand left a legacy of faithfulness that is sure to touch the hearts of readers.

I thoroughly enjoyed Marie Durand, and cannot recommend it, and the other books in the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series, highly enough. Ideal for reading as a family, it would also be a helpful addition to homeschool curriculum, or a wonderful introduction for those new to the story of Marie Durand. I would give the book an “A”.

Read my review of Simonetta Carr’s John Knox from the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Cross Focused Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Leave a comment

Filed under blog

Review of “The Blackberry Bush”

41OX3yOP9IL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

 Most of you have probably figured out that I love to read. But over the past year and a half, most of what I have read has been review copies of new releases.

A while back, a friend reminded me that it is important to read for pure pleasure sometimes. So when my local Christian bookstore ran “bargain books” on sale for buy one, get one free this past weekend, I bought a whole stack of them!

One of the books I purchased was David Housholder’s The Blackberry Bush. 

A small book, at only 200 pages, I was initially captivated by the intriguing cover and title. However, I quickly became interested in the storyline, and read the book in one day.

The Blackberry Bush tells the stories of Josh and Kati, born the same moment, half-way around the world from each other. Their lives are not easy, and The Blackberry Bush follows them through their struggles, as they discover both their roots and their wings.

The Blackberry Bush is written in the style of The Book Thiefwith the symbolism of To Kill A Mockingbirdyet falls short of its epic potential. The storyline is initially intriguing, but I found that there were aspects of the plot that were either underdeveloped, or completely skipped over, and the ending felt rushed, and a bit scattered.

I also have concerns over some of the theological ideas presented in The Blackberry Bush, such as modern-day prophecy, a strong and continual emphasis on the importance of dreams, also referred to as visions, and a problematic marriage between a Christian and a Muslim.

While The Blackberry Bush reads as a book geared towards a young adult reader, parents should be aware that adultery and illegitimate children play a central role in the story’s plot, and while the behavior is not encouraged, it is not completely dealt with as sinful, but rather viewed as love, with a cursory reference to the fact that God has forgiven.

Overall, I found The Blackberry Bush to live up to the title. Sometimes sweet, but mostly just an unkempt bramble of theological ideologies you have to dig through to find the good. I would give The Blackberry Bush a D.

1 Comment

Filed under blog

Review of “Maggie Bright”

978-1-4143-8323-1

Hello all! I hope your June was wonderful. Mine was full, and flew by, and I still can’t believe it is July! I hope to resume regular reviews this month, and can’t wait to delve into the stack of books I have to start and finish. What have you been reading this summer?

It is no secret that I love a well-written and captivating historical novel. Last summer, I delighted in Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke. This summer, I have enjoyed Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot.

A riveting mystery that recounts the miracle of Dunkirk, during World War II, Maggie Bright introduces us to Clare Childs, an orphan who inherits a yacht from a mysterious stranger. Why was Clare left the yacht? Why did a priest burglarize her yacht? How can Clare help with the War effort?

I was pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns in Maggie Bright, though I must admit I found the first fifty pages or so to be a bit slow. However, once I had figured out how the cast of characters connected together, I found the story to be both intriguing and informative, leaving me with a greater appreciation for the miraculous rescue of British forces at Dunkirk.

While not light or fluffy reading, due to the subject, I believe readers will find Maggie Bright to be a refreshing historical novel that will make you laugh, and yet touch your heart. I would give Maggie Bright an “A”. Definitely a book I will read again, and share with my friends!

You can find out more about Tracy Groot and her books here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .

2 Comments

Filed under blog