Category Archives: Christian Living

Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God by Sheila Walsh

Title: Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God

Author: Sheila Walsh

Rating: Good

Reason for Reading: I received this as part of the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze program.

Summary: Beautiful Things is a book about Sheila Walsh’s personal journey from stardom, through her breakdown, and finding her faith again. Sheila profiles people in the Bible who have trusted God through various circumstances.

Review: Beautiful Things is not what I expected. I fully expected a book more like Sandi Patti’s Layers, where it chronicles a famous woman’s journey through a difficult period of her life. However, Beautiful Things…is more like a Bible study than an autobiography. Sheila profiles lives of Biblical characters who have learned how to trust God in very unique circumstances. She chronicles the (first) death of Lazarus and the following resurrection. Through it, I learned a host of new details…things I either forgot or didn’t pick up in Bible College. And while the book walks the reader through all these great little facts and details that aren’t always readily present within the context of the Bible passage, it doesn’t feel as if you’re reading a college text or sitting in a lecture hall. Sheila’s writing style is lively and engaging. Each chapter starts off with a personal anecdote, and then walks the reader through a historical account found in the Bible. Finally, each chapter ends with Sheila bringing her point home and explaining what the reader should learn from the passage, how the reader can apply the passage to his or her own life.

Be prepared to have your thinking and faith stretched. I was unable to sit and read the book cover to cover simply because it made me face my hidden faults and insecurities. If you’re looking for a book to help you grow your faith and at the same time make you feel as if you’re not alone in learning to trust God, then this book is for you.

Dawn

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Filed under Bible Study, Christian Growth, Christian Living

Living Life in the Zone

Title: Living Life in the Zone

Author: Kyle Rote Jr. and Dr. Joe Pettigrew

Rating: Good

Reason for Reading: This book was provided to me free of charge by Thomas Nelson, Inc. through the BookSneeze program in exchange for preparing a book review and posting it to this blog.  The content of this review is solely my own words and not influenced by receiving the book as compensation.

Summary: The book is a 40-day study for men.  The book provides a short chapter for each of the 40 days.  Each chapter includes citations of relevant bible verses, a profile of a sports or business figure and how they have applied that life principle in their life, three self-assessment questions, and an assignment to put the lesson into practice that day.

The subjects discussed include a man’s relationship to God, improving your relationship with your wife, being a more effective father, you role as friend to your fellow man, and being a Christian man in your workplace.

Review: The lives up to its description as a spiritual game plan for men.  While many self-improvement books provide only limited spiritual content, Living Life in the Zone is replete with spiritual discussions and biblical references.  The book describes “the zone” it is teaching men to live in as not just a period of higher productivity, but higher effectiveness.  It encourages self-examination to help men redefine their role as husband, father, friend, employee, manager, and spiritual leader.

The part of the book I found most helpful is the biographical sketch included in each day’s reading.  Under the subtitle Playmaker, this section uses a notable man’s real life experience to illustrate the spiritual principle being at work in real life.  Most of the men profiled are notable in the world of sports, like Tom Landry or Kurt Warner.  Some of them are notable from the world of business, like David Green of Hobby Lobby or Mike Glenn of FedEx.  Not all the examples are those of men who used the spiritual principle to succeed, nor are any of the stories too Pollyanna or unrealistic.  Even though I was familiar with many of the men profiled, I learn something new from each Playmaker section.  The authors have described their lives with details not covered in typical media coverage of athletes and coaches.

If you want to know more about these notable men from sports and business, something that reflects how their spirit and their relationship with God affected their lives, this book is a must read.  You want to explore how you can have a deeper understanding of spiritual issues, if you are looking for a guide familiar with sports, business, and politics in the modern world, this book will deliver.  This book is a fun read while providing a meaningful message.  It is enjoyable and educational.  I highly recommend this book for any man with a wife, a child, a job, and a relationship with God.

Devon

Other resources: http://www.inthezone.org

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Filed under Christian Growth, Christian Living, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships

Tithing by Douglas Leblanc

Title: Tithing Test Me in This

Author: Douglas Leblanc

Rating: Good for you if…

Reason for Reading: I received this book as a part of the BookSneeze program by Thomas Nelson publishers. I chose it over other books, because I’m a person who tithes and I wanted to read others’ views of tithing.

Summary: The book Tithing is a religious journalist’s view of the ancient practice of tithing. Through the stories of many people across the country, Leblanc tells the benefits of tithing. He uses real-life examples of people associated (or formerly associated) with the Episcopal Church to bring a face to tithing.

Leblanc uses the stories of these people to encourage the reader to return to the “ancient practice of tithing.” The concepts of living simply and being generous are thoroughly discussed as well.

Review: As a practicing tither, I was excited by the possibilities presented in a book dedicated to the subject.

Though the book is interesting and fairly easy to read, it deals more with the politics of the Episcopal Church than tithing. Many of the biographies and anecdotes in the book don’t even mention tithe or giving.

Unfortunately, I was bogged down enough by the church politics and so distracted by the numerous off-topic anecdotes that after 3 hours of reading over half of the book, I couldn’t finish. The author gave a good effort, but the result fell far short of my hopes.

This book is good for you if…you are interested in Episcopal views of tithing, or just want to read various random people’s thoughts on tithing and giving.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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