Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Christian Life (Review)

This review is for the book "The Christian Life: Cross or Glory?" by Steven A. Hein. In this book, the author does have a decidedly Lutheran take on the Christian life, but I really enjoyed this book. Hein definitely draws his view of theology off of Luther, but I find it very interesting. Basically, Hein is trying to show Christians that the bottom line of salvation is the fact that Jesus died on the cross for us. Yes, faith without works is dead, as stated in scripture, but the bottom line is that all that is needed for salvation is your belief. If you believe, that is the requirement for your salvation. We often busy ourselves doing the "work of Christ", but that does not make us "more" saved or more likely to get into heaven. Grace is about being rescued from our sin. We will then want to act for God and have grace for others. The love of God will work in us to want to love others and then ourselves, whereas before we were saved, our love of self came before all other things.

I enjoyed this book. Hein writes in a way that it is easy for the average person to read and understand.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Miracle Drug (Review)

This review is for the book "Miracle Drug" by Richard L Mabry. This is not the first book I have read by Mabry, so I expected that I would enjoy it as I have his others. I was not disappointed.

In this book, the former president and a nurse, Rachel, come back from South America with a slight cough. Rachel's boyfriend just so happens to be a doctor - who has just been assigned to be the former president's personal doctor. Josh, the doctor, wants to get the two of them checked out for international diseases. What turns up is frightening - a bacteria which is immune to all antibiotics. The only hope is a drug that isn't FDA approved. But can they get their hands on enough of the drug to save both lives?

This book is filled with mystery, suspense, and conflict. I love the medical aspect of Mabry's writing. It's intriguing and adds something that most other books don't contain. I highly recommend this book as well as Mabry's other books.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Just Show Up (Review)

This review is for the book "Just Show Up" by Kara Tippetts and Jill Buteyn. I read the first book that Kara wrote, right before she passed away in March. To read this book was pretty surreal, because she seemed so peaceful and wise, and I know that her life here on earth is over.

Kara and Jill have a fantastic back-and-forth in this book and I love their perspectives. Jill is able to write from the perspective of someone who is losing her best friend, and Kara is the victim of a brutal cancer that, while ravaging her body, is giving her an incredible opportunity to witness about her faith. Both of them are learning to lean on each other. Kara has to say yes to all the ways that her friends want to help her through this time, and Jill has to learn what is helpful and what is a burden.

This book is an incredible guide to being a person who will show up in the hard times. From Kara's perspective, having someone who will just "show up" for her means more than anything. And from a mother's perspective, it is heartbreaking to hear the decisions that Kara had to make for her family - to have a friend willing to help plan her funeral, a friend who will make school lunches for her kids when she's gone, a friend who will pick up her friends for a playdate when her husband needs a break.

There are so many ways we can be there for our suffering friends. This book made me want to be that person, and be the person that can accept help also. We must learn to lean on each other in this world, and be greater victors that way.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Just Show Up Tippetts Buteyn

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Methuselah Project (Review)

This review is for the book "The Methuselah Project" by Rick Barry.

This was by far one of the most interesting book concepts I have ever come across. The book begins in Nazi Germany with Roger Greene being shot down by enemy planes. He soon finds himself an unwilling participant in a Nazi experiment.

The book quickly flip-flops to present day America, following Katherine Mueller and her uncle, who are involved in some top-secret organization. I was very curious to see how these two stories were going to come together. Trust me, when it started coming together, it was completely intruiging.

Roger was an experiment in something called The Methuselah Project. Most people know Methusaleh because he was the oldest person recorded in the Bible. The Nazi regime was attempting to experiment on humans to see if they could create some kind of indestructible person, a fountain of youth of sorts.

So in 2015, Roger Greene is in his 90's - but does not look a day older than when he first landed in Nazi Germany. He is able to escape from his prison but the world is not as he left it so many decades ago. He is also in danger because of the Germans in charge of the experiment.

I really enjoyed this book. It was thrilling and captivating, and I have never read another book like it.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Splendor of Ordinary Days (Review)

This review is for the book "The Splendor of Ordinary Days" by Jeff High. This book is the third book in the Watervalley series, although I would not have guessed that without reading it in the very back of the book. High does a great job of making you familiar with the characters from the beginning, and intertwining their pasts without making you feel like you've missed something when you haven't read the other books.

This novel involves lots of characters, but mainly revolves around the town doctor and his girlfriend. There is also a grumpy newspaper editor who steals a lot of the spotlight in the book. The book focuses a lot on military veterans, as well as the townspeople and their relationship with nearby Mennonites.

I felt that the book was well-written and I really liked the characters. I love stories that involve small towns because I just feel comforted when I read these books. The author does a great job of holding your interest, and I would really like to read the other books in the series now that I have met the characters.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Israel's Mission (Review)

This review is for the DVD and book, Israel's Mission, by Ray Vander Laan. I have a great respect for Ray Vander Laan, and if you have never seen any of his videos or looked him up, I highly recommend it. He is incredibly knowledgeable.

Vander Laan's outlook is that we need to understand the history and culture behind the Bible. He adds so many facts and aspects of the background to the Bible that help us understand better some of the traditions or verbiage used in scripture.

I enjoy having a book and DVD that go together. I love doing small group Bible studies and I feel that this is one that is perfect for a small group setting, or even just a family. There will be lots of good discussions that come from this particular study. I highly recommend it and I would be very interested in doing more of Vander Laan's studies in the future.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pass It On (Review)

This review is for the book "Pass It On" by Jim Burns and Jeremy Lee. The intent of this book is to provide parents with ways to pass on a legacy of faith to their children through life experiences. The unique thing about this book is that although it gives lots of ideas on how to pass your faith on to your children, it breaks up the legacy of faith based on the age of the child and their probably physical, mental and spiritual maturity at that specific age. For example, the authors note that fifth grade is a big year because it usually marks the end of elementary school. Children are usually struggling with their identity. So for your child's fifth grade year, you should focus on their identity. By using scripture and examples from family and friends, you can help your child see their identity and take pride in their uniqueness. The book even speaks about where fifth graders are at physically (need to be challenged physically, for example), emotionally (may stress over school, for example), relationally (use humor that may not be funny to adults, for example) and spiritually (have more of a global view, for example).

I think this book is a great tool for parents. Like I already mentioned, it is unique because I can see how the authors are taking into account so many aspects of a child's personality and circumstances as they grow up. The book begins at kindergarten and goes through twelfth graders.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.