Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Berenstain Bears, The Very First Christmas By: Jan & Mike Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears, The Very First Christmas is a cute book for readers of all ages. It’s the shortened and illustrated version of the Christmas story that your child can easy read and understand. Although the story is missing the whole story it gives the gist of the reason for Christmas and why Jesus is at the center of it all.
Everyone loves the Berenstain Bears and this book is no exception to what you have come to know and love about the Berenstain family. The illustrations are very cute and this would make a perfect book to add to the Christmas (or Berenstain Bear) book collection. It is short, affordable, fun and to the point. Thank you to Zondervan for blessing me with a copy of this book.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

7 Secrets to an Awesome Marriage: Strengthen Your Most Intimate Relationship

As someone who is currently engaged I figured this book could help point me in the right direction before I ever could run into problems to begin with. “7 Secrets to an Awesome Marriage: Strengthen Your Most Intimate Relationship” By Kim Kimberling, PhD, Craig and Amy Groeschel points out 7 key areas in marriage that often lead to conflict and strife and how to deal with them. Those 7 key areas (secrets) that the book lists, that I am about to make not so secret (in my own words), are: 1. Stop our insanities 2. Start putting God first 3. Connect with each other 4. Fight correctly 5. Balance our time better 6. Have meaningful sex 7. Fight together against something not against each other.

I have read many marriage, dating, and other relationship books before this one and have heard countless pastors preach on this topic so I was excited to receive this book and read it with my fiancĂ© to see what new information we can find and implement into our lives. As we were reading though our interest kind of waned. It wasn’t that it did not contain good advice and it wasn’t that we disagreed with anything we read but we felt that not to much of what was written pertained to us (and not just because we weren’t married yet). On top of that we have heard or read elsewhere everything that this books contains so nothing here was new to us.

It was still a very good book, and we recommend it to anyone facing difficulties in marriage or wanting to strengthen their marriage but if you already have a solid relationship together and with God, there wont be too much new things to take away from this book, especially if you have read other Christian marriage/ relationship books. Thank you to Zondervan for providing us with a copy of this book and helping us grow.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

7 Men And The Secret Of Their Greatness By: Eric Metaxas

7 Men And The Secret Of Their Greatness is a great retelling of the lives of men that have shaped and pointed our society to hope, freedom and Christ. I have to admit, coming from a younger generation, and being born in Europe I have never heard of some of these men, and of the 7 mentioned only known 2 of their stories. The book begins with George Washington, then William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonheoffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and finally ends with Chuck W. Colson. Each of these men had different challenges to face; each had different temptations and struggles to endure, and each had an incredible character that was rooted in their Christian faith.

Before beginning this book, I already mentioned that I had no idea how some of those men had ever impacted society let alone know their Christian experiences. Each has an incredible testimony and this book gives a great overview of all of them. In a 200-page book not everything about these men could be said, you may need thousands to capture each man’s story. Most of us don’t have the time to read hundreds or thousands of pages about each individual so Eric Metaxas does a fantastic job to capture the essence of who the person was, what they are known for, and how through their life and accomplishments Christ and his work was exemplified.
It’s a wonderful book, especially if you enjoy biographies, and would recommend it to anyone looking for great examples of living out your Christian faith and standing up for your beliefs and how Christianity has shaped society for the better. Thank you Thomas Nelson for blessing me with this book.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Tank Man’s Son: A Memoir by Mark Bouman

The Tank Man’s Son by Mark Bouman was a deeply touching and moving memoir. The things Mark had to endure no one on Earth should ever go through. In great detail Mark recounts his childhood events at the hands of a neo-Nazi, authoritarian and deranged father. From the physical beatings he received to the psychological trauma that was engraved into his mind that he was worthless and stupid, Mark retells his stories in great descriptive detail. It’s hard to believe that such a story can even be true in America. Sure we hear of domestic violence and child abuse (sadly and unfortunately quite often) but this is on a whole other level. What’s most surprising is how despite his upbringing Mark never turned out to be like his dad. The incredible way that God has prepared Mark for his mission is a testament that even when Satan intends to destroy a person and means something for evil, God can turn it around and use it for His glory.

It’s an incredible memoir that will have you doubt the fairness of life but will also leave you amazed at the grace and the transforming power of Jesus Christ. I highly recommend this book to all. Thank you to Tyndale for blessing me with a copy of this book.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul By: Bill Hybels

Simplify by Bill Hybels is such an important book for today’s society. More and more of us are running around like chickens with our heads cut off, too busy ‘running to and fro’ but missing out on all the important things in life that really matter. Bill Hybels takes a step back and reminds us unclutter our lives in areas such as finances, work, relationships, family, and spend our time meaningfully.
Everyone I know is busy working hard or studying hard. I am a dental student and so hardly have any free time, but whatever time I do have I am reminded by this book to use it wisely. Most importantly I am reminded to spend more time with God. It’s funny how we are never to busy to watch a show, or listen to a music video, but we are waaaaaay to busy to read a chapter or spend 15 minutes in the bible. I am guilty of this fact and frankly everyone I know is too.
Simplify is a simple book to read, there isn’t any deep theology, nowhere to get lost in, but it does bring out a lot of good points and practical advice that can change how you live you life. Only changes for the good await those who read this book and decided to take it to heart.

I want to say thank you to Tyndale for blessing me with this book!

Whatever the Cost: Facing Your Fears, Dying to Your Dreams, and Living Powerfully By: David & Jason Benham

Without knowing a single thing about the Benham brothers I picked up this book based on the cover caption said: “Facing your fears, dying to your dreams, and living powerfully.” What I found between the covers I never expected; I mean the book sounded interesting and all but I had doubts it would WOW me.
Let me tell you I read the first hundred pages non-stop. The stories and testimonies of David and Jason contained between the covers are fascinating, incredibly motivating and extremely inspiring! We all face hard times and most of us have had our dreams die or fade away but the way Jason and David let the Lord guide their lives through the good times and the bad is such a valuable lesson for all Christians today. The lessons they provide in their brief point boxes throughout the chapters are incredibly wise! Each one of them can be framed as a motivational poster.
I’ll be honest, my dreams have shifted within the last few years and I have been really banking on God’s leading to point me in the right direction in life and although I believe God has led me on the right path, and continues to lead me, I really would have loved to read this book earlier, be inspired, and encouraged especially during the transitional periods where life was full of uncertainty. The Benham brothers show that no matter what stage in life we are in we can (and should) serve God to our fullest potential and glorify God knowing that He is in control and works for our good.
What an incredible testimony, definitely a MUST READ. Incredible story, makes me want to be a better/ harder worker and overall a better Christ follower.

Thank you Thomas Nelson for blessing me with this book!