Friday, June 17, 2016

Becoming a Woman of Excellence: 30th Anniversary Edition

In this 30th Anniversary Edition, Cynthia Heald writes about what it means to become a Woman of Excellence. It's revised and updated from the previous version, with an important "Thoughts and Reflections from an Older Woman" tidbit in each chapter.

Each chapter begins with a key verse to memorize. Most of the Bible verses are common and somewhat short to make them easy to remember. It then leads to a short devotional about what it means to become a Woman of Excellence, whether it's putting your selfish ambitions aside, or just realizing that it's impossible to do these things on our own. God is the source of our strength and we must remember that He is the one who guides our steps.

The next part of the chapter includes a series of questions about the short devotional, and then some Bible verses to look up and explain the meaning of. She also features quotes and short paragraphs by famous people such as A. W. Tozer, C. H. Spurgeon, and Oswald Chambers that relate to each chapter.

Each chapter ends with "Thoughts and Reflections from an Older Woman."

I think this is an amazing book for anyone looking to deepen their relationship with God. Unfortunately, I have never read the first version of this book, but I did very much enjoy this one! Cynthia writes in such a way that is easy to understand and follow along. I think it would be appropriate for a Christian in any stage of life, whether they are a new Christian, or have been saved for a long time. It would be excellent as a Women's Bible Study but also just for an individual to do on her own. I think it would be equally great as a Bible Study to do with teenage girls.

I would highly recommend this book and rate it as 5 stars. I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

The Seed by Erik Guzman

"The Seed: A True Myth" by Erik Guzman reminds me of something C.S. Lewis would have written. It's a Christian fiction fantasy story that is based on Trinitarian theology and uses Biblical themes such as God's character and man's true identity and calling.

The book begins with Tatus, who is chasing the Shadow that took his wife and son from him. Wyrm, the serpentine dragon attacks Tatus, but then infects him with worms. When we next read about Tatus, he is healed and appears to be a Christian. He ends up meeting two other young people who plan to help him build a labyrinth to trap the shadow.

Initially it was difficult for me to get into this book. The very beginning (first chapter or two) don't explain much and leave readers guessing what they're reading. However, it gets much better as the book goes on. I love books that can take a story and turn it into a parallel of Biblical facts. This is why I feel like this book is much like something from C.S. Lewis. He mixes fantasy with Biblical truths.

The book itself is not very long. It's a short read good for an afternoon of reading. I would highly recommend it! I rate it as 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Purchase a copy here!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Jefferson's America by Julie M. Fenster

As America was nearing the beginning of the nineteenth century, there were numerous countries vying for the territory surrounding the Mississippi river. Britain, France, Spain and America all had explorers journeying out into the wild to gain what knowledge they could from the land.

We first read about Thomas Jefferson years before he's president. Back when he is Secretary of State, Vice President, a farmer for a short while, and then finally back in politics once again. Readers get to experience a bit of what he was like and his relationships with George Washington, George Clark, Meriwether Lewis and many other prominent figures from history.

Also interesting to me, is the mention of other explorers and their journeys following the Mississippi river meeting many of the Indian civilizations along the way.

Although I am not usually one to read a book on history, I decided to pick this book up to perhaps learn something new about our past. I found it to be very interesting and I learned quite a bit from reading it!

It's written in a way that's very easy to understand. It's not like reading a school history book full of dates and names. The author actually paints a very vivid picture of what life in America must have been like around the time Thomas Jefferson was elected President. The author definitely has done her research with this one and you can tell that she is highly invested in this story and her work. I would rate it as 5 stars!

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

My Father's House by Rose Chandler Johnson

Life in the South is just what you would expect for Lily Rose Cates. Her family had their share of problems but she knew with certainty that her daddy loved her more than anything. When life suddenly changes for her the summer she turns 16, she sort of loses a sense of her identity.

By the time she graduates college, she meets a handsome young man who offers her things she's always wanted. She immediately falls for him despite the warning flags and sirens going off to all of those around her. She ends up marrying Manny within a few short months, and quickly learns the secret of his ways on their honeymoon. She's devastated with the whole idea of Manny not being who he said he was, but she can't bring herself to leave him. She just knows he will change.

After nearly three years, she finally gets the courage to leave him. She heads back to the South, back to the life she always knew, and hopes to start over. Back in her hometown, she comes to find herself once again, remembering her purpose in life.

I found this book to be quite the inspiring read. I also found it to be very true to life in many ways, especially when it came down to Lily Rose having to leave Manny. He'd make her promises and beg her to stay, buying her some elaborate gift to try to make her forget about the abuse. You would think it would be simple to just get up and leave the relationship, but sadly I know from experience that it is not. Despite the abuse, Lily Rose obviously still loved him, and it was hard to grasp that someone you love could hurt you so much.

This book was full of southern charm and character, and I found it difficult to put down. The beginning of the book is a little slow moving, but it quickly picks up the pace after the first couple of chapters. I don't believe this book is inappropriate in any way, but it does contain sensitive material that may upset some people. I rate it as 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.