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Good Reads

Now Available from Jeff GoinsWrecked!
Moody Press is presenting this little book sure to become a classic.  If you are a Christian who is trying to do all the right things and wonder why you do not feel complete, or satisfied, or at peace, your answer is in Wrecked.  If you are a seeker and wonder why some Christians are authentic while others seem to be struggling to live their faith, the journeys in this book simply display the difference.  If you are looking for fulfillment amid challenge, trials, controversy, and, well, life…Wrecked is your answer.  Biblically sound, gut-wrenching honesty.  Highly recommended.
Simple things are often the most profound, and this little book is no exception.  With story-telling ability of Andy Andrews, and each tale couched in unswerving honesty and humility, Goins has penned a remarkable resource.I found myself saying, “Yes! Yes!” chapter after chapter, and writing down memorable quotes to share.  Wrecked is phenomenally moving and affirming.A personal-journey handbook to a deep maturity that walks the talk, Wrecked should have a place on the shelf of every person desiring to truly live their faith as well as every discipler, apprenticeship/life-counselor, missionary and short-term mission candidate.

Wrecked will be my gift of choice this year to the leaders in my life, that they may see how they had a part in my being profoundly wrecked, and in turn, have an opportunity to share this potential classic with others seeking a deeply satisfying life-experience.

Purchase from Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble
The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk: Conforming Deadly Thought Patterns to the Word of God by Shelly Beach

This book was one of the most profoundly effective life-changing personal journeys I’ve read to date. Simple truths of God’s word combined with personal revelation that The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk by Shelly Beachanyone can relate to makes each chapter a gate to mental and emotional freedom through an increasing intimacy with God.In addition to personal discovery the evidences of self-talk reveal motive and action of Biblical Characters from Genesis to Revelation and cannot help but enhance one’s understanding of God’s Word and how to avoid the subtlety of the enemy’s attempts to destroy our faith from within.The end of each chapter has suggested scriptures for prayer and questions for meditation and personal application, and a closing prayer. The back of the book has 10 sections of assessment tools, evaluations, outlines, guides and summaries. It is an excellent resource to accompany the chapter readings, for use in self-study or lay-counseling to assist in moving head-knowledge to heart knowledge and then to godly action.I will be sharing this book with our pastor and with family and friends. It will find a place on my counseling shelf with books by others who have had a deep walk with God and a willingness to share their own pain for the benefit of others – Chambers, Bunyan, Piper, Lewis et al.Highly recommended for personal use, counseling, and speakers or writers who wish to understand characters of history or current times. Every thinking person should read this book.

Longing – Karen Kingsbury

From title to conclusion, Longing echoed my heart’s cry.  The youthful relationships with all their longings, including peaks and valleys, victories and fears instigated prayers for my grandchildren, their relationships, and their longings.  I tend to relate most to Bailey’s mother, Jenny, and her longing to be a godly wife, mother and grandmother, so her reactions – and confessions – opened my heart to let God be God in my life and in the lives of those who are my legacy.

The cancer diagnosis, and the godly wisdom of Cheyenne redeemed both tender and painful memories in the loss of a dear young almost-daughter, and a grandson.  Both spoke love and hope into others and changed more lives for eternity in their short walks than most I’ve known who lived long and “full” lives. I was encouraged to do the same. I was not able to hold my daughter as our grandson died, and just as Jenny would react, I almost felt I’d go mad, but for assurance of God’s presence and sovereignty holding the pen of their lives and mine.  How gracious of Him to give a character named Cheyenne words to heal those lost longings, and wisdom to look deeper, whatever the cost, to a future with God’s perfect peace. How precious to know that as God through Tara held Chey, God also provides arms to hold my daughters when I cannot be there.

Stories where characters change through submission to God also change me.  Ultimately in this book, every character presented some personal longings before God, accepted the grace to love freely or to freely let a loved one go, and each one trusted God alone for the outcome. What a remarkable and personally encouraging life illustration.

I thank God that He is the one who holds Karen Kingsbury’s pen, and through her, he’s written comforting words to me. Words of peace for the longings of my past, words of wonder at being married to one who would fight for me, and hope for longings of generations yet to be fulfilled through wise decisions that will count for eternity. Longing truly is another example of fiction that changes lives.

Review Remembering Christmas – by Dan Walsh

Often, in the Christmas rush, we look to the new things we will get, and fail to recognize gifts we already have. I love stories that stay with me because the characters’ lives meaningfully change. Walsh’s story of renewal is like that – a gift of entertainment with unpredictable events sure to keep you reading, yet more. Subtle surprises and poignant characters struggle to find restoration from Christmas past, a place to slow down and savor Christmas present and a hope for Christmas future.  Rarely do I read Christmas books before the season, but I’m glad Revell sent an advanced reader copy so early because this is a classic that will be read again, this year and next.


Previous Reads

Saffy’s Angel – Hilary McKay – YA Novel – 2002

Ten Lies About God and How You Might Already Be Deceived… Erwin Lutzer – 2000  – One of those books you will read, re-read and use as reference in counseling. As usual Lutzer’s book is firmly grounded on God’s Word.

Take Four – Karen Kingsbury

If you haven’t read Karen Kingsbury’s “fiction that changes lives” you should.   This has more of Bailey Flanigan’s story (character in the Baxter family series).   Incredibly well done of course, and makes me want to find Unlocked, and read that next.

Cape Light by Thomas Kinkade and Katharine Spencer – 2002

A slow beginning as characters are introduced, but worth it when you get into the story.  A Christian romance with characters that made me want to read the sequel.

Week of Dec. 1

Girls Meets God – A memoir by Lauren F Winner – 2002

The child of Jewish father and a lapsed Southern Baptist mother, Lauren first chose to become an Orthodox Jew, after which she feels drawn to Christianity, eventually converting, and ultimately attempts to reconcile both sides of her religious identity.

Lifestyle hardly ever matches the creed of choice as the character seems obsessed with sex outside of marriage, yet is shocked by a married friend’s determination to have an affair and then continue the marriage.  One review called it a charming and humorous “and sometimes abrasive recollection of a religious coming of age.”

The parts I enjoyed the best was her introspection and the description of the books and quotes from her constantly fluctuating theological library filled with books on Judaism and Christianity.  I also found interesting her intellectual struggle to reconcile the two faiths and her total spiritual background.

A Perfect Day by Richard Paul Evans

This was a re-read for relaxation – a 2003 story of writer’s fame, lost perspective, and a stranger sharing truth and brings an awakening.  I’ve only disliked one of Evan’s books and keep several for light re-reading.  He is certainly a skilled writer.

In The Company of Others by Jan Karon

It was not as easy as usual to ‘get into’ this Karon book because much of the book involved the characters reading an ancient journal.  This greatly slowed down the first half of the book.  Father Tim and wife Cynthia’s personalities are what kept the pages turning until the journal reading began connecting to other characters and situations in the story.

The Walk by Richard Paul Evans -2010 –  Another want-to-read-more novel has me in line with other Evans’ readers, waiting for the sequel in April.  The storyline of a walk across the country and the people and situations that change the main character’s perspective easily causes one to look on the situations and characters of our personal walk through life.  Intriguing and entertaining while also thought provoking.  This is one I’ll keep to read again.

In the Shadow of Evil by Robin Carroll

Under the Mistletoe by Irene Brand and Anita Higman

The Noticer – Andy Andrews

Bride of Honor – Ruth Axtell Morren

The Edge of Light – Shorey

The Red Bird ….

At the Back of the North Wind – George McDonald

200 Men, One Woman – Nancy Price

Tales of O’Henry

One Church – Many Tribes  – Richard Twiss

Favorite Books

Behind the Glittering Mask – Mark Rutland

Personality Plus – Marita Littauer

Silver Boxes – Florence Littauer

One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven – Mark Cahill

Bible Characters from the Old and New Testaments – Whyte

 

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