Thursday, December 3, 2015


It's been a loooong time since I've posted a book review, but I want to get going with this again.  I pulled out a review I should have posted a while ago to get me back on track:
If you feel as if you are just spinning your wheels...not living, but only surviving, then you may have lost your "chazown".  The book title was enough to intrigue me, but the substance was enough to keep me interested from cover to cover.  Finding your vision sounds a lot like psychological fluff, but Craig Groeschel grounds his writing in scripture and sincere pursuit of God's design.  We are often guilty of just hoping that God will just plop His plans and direction in our lap, and sometimes it is that obvious. But, more often than not, it requires intentional steps on our part to pursue God before His direction is clear.  This book is very practical in its approach and an easy read. The application is more challenging, but a very worthy pursuit...for   "where there is no vision, the people perish". (Proverbs 29:18)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

War on Christmas

I just finished a new book that comes at the perfect time for preparing my heart for the true meaning of Christmas.  There is so much craziness in our lives year-round that when the Christmas season rolls around, it seems here and gone before I ever even know what hit us.  But the perfect example for us is Mary, who took what the angel said and "pondered these things in her heart."  What steps are you taking to ponder the greatest gift ever given this season?
So this book is a beautifully illustrated guide to all things Christmas...discussing questions such as Why December? Why a Christmas tree? Should we call it Xmas?  Where was Jesus really born?  When did the wise men really come?  It thoroughly examines what evidence exists to answer these questions and many more.  I appreciate that it is exhaustive in the search for answers, but also leaves some room for more questions.
The book is put out by Answers in Genesis, a Christian apologetics organization which defends the truth of the Bible.  They are best known for there defense of the Biblical account of creation and the Creation Museum.  I am a big fan of theirs, and frequently use their website and published materials as we wade through the secularization of public education with our children.  That being said, my main criticism of the book is that it comes across as a defensive point of view, and that is something that makes me uneasy.  It is so difficult for Christians to find that balance of "speaking the truth in love", that we often err on one side or the other, but we must not neglect one or the other.  When it comes to seeking His righteousness, I think we sometimes lose our way and become more concerned with seeking "right-ness", which is a very different thing.  There is no mistaking that the book does what it sets out to do: it defends the truths of Christmas; after all, the subtitle is "Battles in Faith, Tradition, and Religious Expression".  And I would recommend it to anyone curious about the details of the Christmas narrative, but because of the tone, it might not be the first book I would recommend to someone who does not already believe in the authority of the Bible.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

She's Got Issues

If you are a woman and you have issues, this book is for you.  If you are a woman and you think that you don't have issues, this book is especially for you.  Because like it or not, we all have "issues", and this book can help you unpack those issues and deal with them with honesty and grace.  I received the book and DVD for group study free from the publisher in exchange for my participation in the blog tour and my honest review here.  The book has 14 chapters and the DVD has 6 sessions, covering the issues of control, insecurity, comparisons, fear, anger, and unforgiveness.  While some issues hit home more than others, I still found her approach to each of them very relatable, and still giving you more than just "self-help", but Scriptural guidance towards understanding and coping with our issues.  The video sessions are part one-on-one interview with someone giving their own personal story, and part group Bible study led by the author.  Overall, I found this to be a great study for any woman to do on her own, but even better for a group of friends to do together...even for those who don't see themselves as a "Bible study leader".  I think the subtitle sums it up well..."seriously good news for stressed-out secretly scared control freaks like us."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wait No More

In this book, Kelly and John Rosati share the story of how they adopted each of their four children from the foster care system.  Each child has a special story of how they were brought into their "forever family", and I really enjoyed reading how each story unfolded, finishing the book easily in one weekend.   Kids are messy...and four kids are exponentially messy!  So to read the story of this couple voluntarily entering into their mess and loving each child with a forever-kind-of-love was beautiful!  This was an honest account, so there are failure and success stories included.  I was shocked to find out there are 107,000 orphaned children here in the US.  We have well over 300,000 churches in the US, so if every three churches in the U.S. combined to adopt and support one child, we would have no more orphans in our country!  This book inspired me to come alongside others in any way I can to help them in this difficult process of adoption.  I would encourage anyone who has an interest in adoption, especially through the foster care system, to read this book.

Spirit Fighter

Hi!  This is Makenzie, Vicki's daughter, and I am here to tell you my insight on Jerel Law's book, Spirit Fighter.  I think Spirit Fighter is a tween Christian book that is action-packed and exciting but also gives a good message of how God loves you.  Jonah Stone is a 13-year-old boy that, along with his 11-year-old-sister Eliza, goes on an adventure to rescue their mother who is secretly a nephilim (a daughter of a human and a fallen angel).  Jonah and Eliza go on an adventure with the help of a guardian angel and God (also known as Elohim) to go against the forces of Satan and the fallen angels.  Spirit Fighter is a good novel that everyone will enjoy and I can't wait for the second book Fire Prophet to come out!  Bye!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Decision Points

OK, I gotta be honest.  I didn't finish this book yet.  I plan to...I just haven't yet.  I am a pretty big George W. Bush fan, and I respect him and many of the decisions that he made while in office, but there were also decisions that I didn't agree with or understand at the time.  Not very often do we get the chance to read about the background information on the major (and minor) events in a president's life, so he is to be commended for making himself vulnerable in that way.  He admits in the book that not every decision he made was good, and he might choose differently given more information at the time.  We also get some of his life story...what made him into the man who became President.  His childhood and his relationship with his parents, his struggle with alcohol abuse, and his relationship with his wife and daughters were particularly interesting.    His writing style seems random...a story here, then off on a tangent, then back to the main sequence of events, but I didn't find that too distracting.  I'm now to the point of 9/11, and for many of us, that will be most interesting we all had our eyes on the President as he led our nation through that most difficult time.  So I read on...I am confident that it is time well spent.

Life Application Study Bible Devotional

Although I cannot say I've ever read a "bad" devotional book, there are a precious few that I would strongly recommend.  Most of them seem to put the emphasis on the applications or illustrations with little emphasis on God's Word itself.  This emphasis, while interesting to read, leaves you with very little to "chew on" as you go throughout your day.  This devotional sets out from the very beginning to put the emphasis on the Scriptures, and that is what makes it stand out from the rest.  There are 52 weeks of readings, taken from the key events in Jesus' life described in the Gospels.  Each week has an introduction, then 6 days of readings, including thought-provoking questions that give you something to consider all day long.  I would strongly recommend this devotional to anyone who wanted to spend a year learning more about the life of Jesus and applying His Wisdom to his or her own life.