I had a wonderful summer book study with my newest daughter-in-law, Alicia, who chose Girls with Swords for us to read. Although, I’ve seen Lisa Bevere multiple times on television this is the first time I’ve read one of her books. Not unlike her TV appearances, Lisa has a powerful message to share.
Today many of the popular video games and comic book adventures depict women as heroes. But that certainly has’t been the norm of our social culture. Having not seen strong women modeled for us, many of us girls find it difficult to step into the role of warrior princess.
In Girls with Swords Lisa does a wonderful job using fencing metaphors to teach us the power we have available through The Sword of God’s Word. But before we can learn how to weald our sword we must first be aware of the battle set before us. Once we learn our battleground the task of becoming a warrior begins. We learn how to forge our sword, walk through the battle toward our harvest, armed with the Light, songs of praise and even times of silence.
Lisa carefully teaches us that as God’s children we are chosen but we must be trained and armed before God will commission us to our individual battles. We may be chosen it’s up to us to attend boot camp. Only there will we get the preparation necessary for the battlefield of life. If you are looking for a book to study this Fall I highly recommend Girls with Swords! Also, you might want to check out the Girls with Swords Fencing Manual which goes beautifully with the book. It’s perfect for individual study or small groups.
If you cannot see the video screen below Click Here for a message from Lisa Bevere.
Making Good Habits Breaking Bad Habits is up there with Joyce’s best and most practical books. I love the way Joyce writes. She sweetly imparts her wisdom from personal experience of dealing with consequences of her own bad habits that ultimately motivated her to create healthier habits.
Joyce takes us through a series of behaviors that when combined, provide a beautiful recipe for successfully changing habits. She recommends rather than focusing our energy on removing the bad habits we should implement positive habits which will eventually drive out the bad habits.
I have been a huge fan of Joyce Meyer for years and have read many of her books. She has impacted my life in immeasurable ways. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for her.
If you are struggling with some bad habits, and who isn’t, I encourage you to get Making Good Habits Breaking Bad Habits. I personally have purchased an audio copy and look forward to listening to it so I can further cement these principles in my brain. Thanks Joyce!
If you can’t see the screen below CLICK HERE to watch Joyce Meyer discuss Making Good Habits.
Last December, while searching for books to review, I stumbled upon Made to Craveby Lysa TerKeurst. I was unfamiliar with the author but found many books by her with raving reviews and as a seasoned Amazon shopper that means BUY =D
With obesity rates rising, it’s no secret that food is a big problem in our world today. Though this isn’t my specific area of weakness, sex and food addiction are closely related, so I decided it would be a great selection to review. Little did I know God had a different reason for me to read this book. On a seemingly normal Saturday afternoon, I was reading along when all of a sudden God snuck up and healed a deep emotional wound from my childhood! Just like that. Out of the clear blue. Healing came through Chapter 14 ironically titled Emotional Emptiness. To process her own childhood emotional wounds, Lysa used Philippians 4:8:
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
So as I read how Lysa processed her painful memories, I processed my own unmet nurturing needs. Here are excerpts from my journal:
What is true about my childhood?It is true that by father was emotionally unavailable, an alcoholic, sex addict and womanizer. It is true that my older brother was born handicapped and my mother wasn’t able to give me the nurturing I needed because she had to care for my siblings. It’s true momma did the best she could. She didn’t reject me on purpose, she was just running on her own strength and didn’t have enough to go around.
What is right about my childhood? It is right that my mother did all she could to care for my brother. God just whispered to me – if our roles had been reversed – if I had been in the wheel chair, my mother would have done the same for me!
What is pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy in my childhood?What if I change my perspective on this emptiness and feeling of lack? What if I look back at this memory and see it as a sacrifice of love for my brother so that he could have the care that he needed most? Jesus doesn’t see His wounds as a victim but as a sacrifice of love. I mustn’t see the empty places as lack for me but as a gift to my brother and sister. By doing this my perspective changes to purity of heart, loveliness for my brother, my sister, and my mother. Seeing the positive vs. the negative allows my pain to become something admirable and praiseworthy.
Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting a surprise healing that day. One thing I know, is that my burden is gone. I am free from that empty pain of lack! Our cravings may come in different packages but the bottom line is still the same: we’re all trying to fill our spiritual emptiness, to moisten our dried up hearts with pleasures found in the world. It won’t work no matter how hard we try. It seems the harder we try the deeper the hole gets, and the less satisfaction comes until we are so numbed that we can’t feel our brains think any more. Whatever your weakness: food, sex, gambling, shopping, media… You will find help in this book. Where the word food shows up just fill in your particular weakness. That’s what I did and it worked for me! I highly recommend Made to Craveby Lysa TerKeurst. It’s an easy read, with touching personal stories sure to reach a spot in your heart. There are study guide questions at the end of each chapter that make it perfect for small groups to work together.
In RelentlessJohn Bevere challenges us take our faith to another level. Many Christians aren’t walking in the Power available to them through the life-changing Grace of God through Jesus Christ. Why? Because they are unaware.
My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 TEV
“If you look up this verse in a red-letter edition of the Bible, where all words spoken by Jesus are in read and all others are in black, you’ll see that the words above are not black. They’re red. So although these words are reported by the apostle Paul, they are not his words–they are straight from the Lord Himself. God defines His grace as his empowerment. Yet according to a survey, only 2 percent of U.S. Christians know and understand this.” ~John Bevere
This was eye opening for me! How can so many Christians be unaware of the authority and power they have in Christ. Through personal stories and Scripture John dissects the true grace of God and shows us how it can bring us the power we desperately need to live in our world today.
Relentless by John Bevere is a must read for serious believers. It’s an easy, enjoyable read that delivers on content while supplying the tools we need to reach our goal.
“God doesn’t author hardship but uses it to strengthen us for greater conquests. He never leads us into a storm that He doesn’t give us the power to overcome.” ~ John Bevere, Relentless
Real Sex ~ The Naked Truth About Chastity by Lauren F. Winner Published by Brazos Press 2006 183 pp
Wow! …Is the best place to start with Lauren Winner’s hard hitting book Real Sex ~ The Naked Truth About Chastity. I’ve taken a long break from reading, so it took me a bit to get into; but once in, I couldn’t put it down and plowed through it in one day.
Ms.Winner beautifully and intelligently takes on the subject of sex: sex in our culture and the community, sex before and after marriage, sex and single adults and most importantly sex and the church. Real Sex is conservative yet honest, direct and engaging, intellectual (keep a dictionary handy) and best of all–completely scriptural!
Real Sex is a must read for every Christian adult, single or married. Parents, read it and share what you learn with your teens and tweens. There are excellent discussion questions in the back of the book for small groups or family talks around the dinner table.
Ms.Winner teaches us valuable lessons about how our culture and the Christian church view sex and deal with chastity. She raises some great points that will leave your thinking about what we should do differently. We would all do well to step up to the challenges she humbly puts forth. This book would be an great resource for single and married adult ministries as well as youth ministries across America.
In the last 6 years I’ve read numerous books on sexuality, secular and Christian. But I have yet to find a more relative book that speaks directly to my testimony and the ministry to which I have been called. Blessings, gratitude and applause to Ms. Lauren Winner. I am now a huge fan!
I highly recommend Real Sex~The Naked Truth About Chastity and intend to use it regularly as a resource for my ministry…
May 2010 at a XXXChurch conference in Las Vegas I had the opportunity to meet Crystal Renaud. With her interviews just published in Christianity Today and The New York Times and an upcoming book, The Dirty Girls Ministry was taking off like a rocket. Anxiously I awaited the opportunity to read Crystal’s story.
In Dirty Girls Come Clean, Crystal Renaud breaks new ground by coming clean about her own pornography addiction, along with 6 other girls. With stories that are touching and transparent, these women are breaking a silence that is long over due in the recovery arena. A well rounded recovery book, Crystal provides the necessary steps and resources for women to find hope, forgiveness and healing.
Pornography addiction, like other addictions, knows no religious or age boundaries. There are millions of Christian women hiding in the shame of this addiction. If you, or a woman you know, struggle with a pornography addiction please get this book. Teen girls and parents this is a MUST READ!
What you remember about Jane Fonda may not be all that appealing or interesting. And honestly, this isn’t the type of book I normally browse, much less purchase. But after seeing Jane Fonda on a talk show recently I had to order it. At first glance My Life So Far didn’t seem to fit the theme of my ministry, but once I read her introduction I knew it was something I was supposed to read and write about.
Her story will help many women find healing!
In My Life So Far Ms. Fonda is incredibly transparent about all aspects of her life and marriages. She talks openly about her battle with eating disorders, self image issues and sexuality. Considering she’s from my mother’s generation; I was amazed at how much my personal issues and emotional feelings mirrored hers. With her history of political controversy, who could imagine Jane Fonda had self-esteem problems?
She opens up about her deepest fears…
“I’m terrified of getting to that place right at the edge of life when there’s no time left, being filled with regrets and having no time to set things right.
I began thinking a great deal about [fears of mine] in my late fifties. I had begun to go through deep inner changes–changes that I didn’t fully understand until I began writing this book. I realized then that to avoid regrets, I would have to start, while I was still healthy and strong, to name what those might be and to do something about them. I needed to live consciously, and I knew it would mean facing things that frightened me — like intimacy.”
One of my favorite things is her comparison of life to a play…
Act I Birth to 29 Act II 30-59 Act III 60…
“The big difference between life and acting… in life there’s no rehearsal… this is it; better get it right before it’s over.”
Today, I’m challenged to finish my second act with a deeper understanding of myself, life and God. I want to go into Act III with great physical health, intent to have the best ending possible.
My Life So Far is full of wonderful stories of Jane’s family and movie making with great photos throughout. It’s quite a read to tackle with 600 pages, but definitely worth the time! Whether you’re a movie buff, interested in political history or a struggling with personal issues, you’ll get caught up in her story and won’t want to put it down. Having found a sister/friend… I miss hanging out with her. Her next book Prime Time: Creating a Great Third Act is scheduled to release in September. I’ve already pre-ordered it!
True to form, Donald Miller, in his unmistakable story-telling style, tackles important subjects like faith and theology. Seriously, yet humorously, shedding light on them so that you will never read the Bible the same way again.
As the title suggests, this is a personal journey of faith. Faith renounced then found; but not just found, rediscovered with a clearer understanding of God’s Word and what it means for mankind.
Having read only two of his books, I am a huge fan of Donald Miller’s writing. I especially like the way he includes the reader in his personal struggles with life, God and faith.
I highly recommend this book. It’s an easy, entertaining read, but at the same time will make you think long and hard about what you really believe about God and Scripture.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their www.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.”
Chronological Guide to the Bible Thomas Nelson Publishers March 2010 $24.99 217pp
For my BookSneeze Review this month I chose the Chronological Guide to the Bible. This book is an excellent reference for any serious Bible student. Extremely user friendly with a nice form factor and feel; great color photos and charts. It’s an enjoyable study tool. As a former home school mom, I see this as a great addition to any home school Bible curriculum, and best of all the Chronological Guide to the Bible works with any Bible translation.
Rather than being divided by the traditional order of books in the Bible, the Chronological Guide to the Bible is divided into 9 Epochs of time; with handy charts for chronological reading of the Bible. Where several of the Bible’s books overlap, (i.e., 1 & 2 Samuel / 1 & 2 Kings) they are combined to tell the history in the order of their occurrence.
Most of the information is adapted from The Chronological Study Bible published also by Thomas Nelson in 2008. The benefit to using the guide over the Bible itself, I believe, is primarily simplicity of use. As far as I can tell it isn’t necessary to own both, although I chose to purchase the Bible myself so I could give an accurate review. I personally prefer to have both in my library and would encourage others to do the same.
I thoroughly enjoy studying the Bible; and because I find Biblical history fascinating I really look forward to spending more time in the Chronological Guide to the Bible.
This is an excellent reference tool I’ll use in my personal library for many years to come. Thank you Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze!
Disclosure of Material Connection:I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware of the escalating problem of pornography addiction in our world today; and with increasing availability the problem will only get worse.
THE CRACK COCAINE OF SEX ADDICTION – porn/sex-related sites make up nearly 60% of web traffic.
20 million Americans spend hours on porn; maybe it’s even in your home after the family’s in bed
30% of Christian women admit to the use of pornography
50% of pastors say they struggle with porn
This book is not just for sex addicts but should be read by everyone!
·Women: they themselves may be teetering on the brink of sexual addiction or may be married to a man like Michael Leahy who hid his addiction from his wife their entire marriage.
·Men: based on statistics today, there’s a good chance they’re in denial of their own addiction or be surprised to find they’re married to a closet sex addict themselves.
·Everyparent: should be aware of the potential dangers their children face each day.
·Teens and college students: it’s likely they’re being exposed to pornography on a regular basis and don’t see the trap that’s being set for them.
A poignant story of a 30 year battle with pornography, the loss of a marriage and children because of addiction; but more than that it’s the story of America – our porn nation. How porn’s affecting all of us, how we see ourselves and others and what can be done about it.
For those concerned about the sensitivity of the subject matter, not to worry, the author is a Christian man and gets his points across without graphic details.
Leahy covers all sides of the porn story.
The addict’s perspective: how easy it is to get addicted to pornography and the difficulty getting free and staying free from it.
The big picture: the hyper-sexualized media, and the increasing availability of pornography especially to young children.
The reader who may be an addict:to one hiding in shame and denial, much needed words of encouragement and excellent resources to aid those seeking freedom from pornography’s grasp.
“I believe when it comes down to really understanding how far our sociosexual pathology has taken us, you needn’t look much further than our own personal experiences, our current attitudes, and the people around us. Think of how your own sexual viewpoints, beliefs, and behaviors have changed in the past ten to twenty year. When I talk with college students and share what junior high and high school students are doing sexually, most of them are shocked. The lines of decency and sexual integrity have shifted, and old values are constantly replaced by new ones. But at what price? How far can the boundaries be pushed before someone gets hurt?” – Michael Leahy, PORN NATION
As a recovering sex addict I highly recommend this book. In fact, I’ll go a step further and tell you if you don’t read PORN NATION there’s a good chance you’ll be ignorant to one of the worst epidemics this country has ever seen.
With sex addiction statistics as they are, even in the church, it’s almost certain someone you know, maybe even you or a member of your family struggle with this issue.
There’s so much shame linked to this particular addiction for women, that it’s nearly impossible for them to reach out for help. If you read this book maybe you’ll be able to spot specific behaviors and help them before pornography destroys their lives.