Valuable Insight, but Difficult to Wade Through

crabb_diffkindofhappinessHave you ever tried reading a book that had a strong message and worthwhile intentions, but you just couldn’t get into it? That was the case for me with Dr. Larry Crabb’s new release, entitled “A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love”. Without question there are many jewels of wisdom found within the pages of this book, but at times the language feels so deep and lengthy that those gems are difficult to uncover. Perhaps a slow and thoughtful reading is what is needed, with plenty of time between chapters to ponder and consider the author’s message… Continue reading

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Ideas and Ideals to Incorporate

“We yearn for a place of belonging and becoming. A lifegiving haven of warmth, rest, and joy that will bless everyone who enters it. A welcoming respite in an isolated culture. We long for a lifegiving home.”

With these words, beloved mother and daughter authors Sally and Sarah Clarkson invite readers on a journey. This journey leads down the path of creating a home filled with special memories and traditions that your family will cherish. Published by Tyndale Momentum early in 2016, “The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming” is certain to inspire women who long for their homes to become places to flourish, love, grow and belong. Continue reading

A Hope-Filled Treasure

Every Little Thing imageIsn’t it a delightful surprise when you decide to read a book you don’t know much about, by an author you’ve never heard of – and it turns out to be one of the best non-fiction books you’ve read in a long time? Well, that is exactly what happened to me when I picked up a little paperback from BakerBooks entitled Every Little Thing written by Deidra Riggs. As she explains on the back cover, Deidra’s story “calls you to accept God’s invitation to join him in making a difference right where you are, right now. She shows you that you were created with a purpose and with the capacities to fulfill that purpose.” Written in a warm, witty voice, Deidra weaves her thoughts into beautiful word-pictures that will touch your heart… And maybe even give it hope, too. Continue reading

A Unique Biography – But Definitely for Mature Readers

The Boy Born Dead imageCOME SEE THE BOY BORN DEAD. These were the words on the sign that started it all. They initiated David Ring’s career as an international speaker, simply by helping to fill a small high school auditorium with people ready to hear his story. How did David Ring, a boy who lived every day with the debilitating affects of cerebral palsy, arrive at this point? Well, you’ll need to read The Boy Born Dead, published by Baker Books and written by David Ring with John Driver and David Wideman, to find out.

Although you may not guess it from the first few pages of David Ring’s story, this book was definitely not a light and carefree read, nor an easy story to watch unfold. It was, however, powerful. Continue reading

Emily’s Best Book Yet

Freeman_SimplyTuesdayEmily P. Freeman has proven me wrong, and I am so glad she did! What am I talking about, you ask?   Well, after reading Emily’s previous book entitled A Million Little Ways, I truly did noSimply Tuesday imaget think it could be beaten – either in unique and inspirational content or poetic writing style. With the release of Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World, however, this theory is proven false. Truly it is my favorite inspirational non-fiction book of the year, and within the top 10 of my all time greatest picks.

Surprisingly, so much inspiration is packed within the pages of this book that the descriptions on the back cover, in publicity blurbs, and even chapter excerpts simply don’t do it justice. To give you an idea of the range of thoughts it contains – all written in Emily’s signature poetic prose – check out these chapter sub-headings: Continue reading

Share a Beautiful Journey with Susie Larson

Your Sacred Yes image“When we do life with a consistent awareness of God’s presence in our midst, we find joy. And that’s the place where healing, fulfillment, and abundance happen. Jesus invites us to live purposeful and passionate, focused and free. It’s time to grab hold of our moments and cherish our days the way Jesus cherishes us.”

With these words, author Susie Larson invites us to join her on a journey entitled ‘Your Sacred Yes: Trading Life-Draining Obligation for Freedom, Passion and Joy’. If you have ever felt as though you are held captive by commitments and the opinions of others, stuck in the ever-turning wheel of busyness, and powerless to change a thing, this book was written for you. Continue reading

Bright, Sparkling, and Uplifting!

PrintTitle: Immeasurable: A Memoir

Author: Diana Anderson-Tyler

Publishing House/Publication Date: eLecto Publishing, LLC/2015

Genres: Memoir; Devotional; Inspirational Non-Fiction

Number of Pages: 107 Continue reading

Today is the Day review

Today is The Day imageDo you have a dream hidden deep in your heart?  A dream so big, so out-of-the-ordinary, or so seemingly impossible that you’ve pushed it to the back of your mind and all but forgotten about it?  But you can’t forget about it completely, because God placed it inside you for a reason – a purpose…  Maybe now is the time to pull that dream out, dust it off, and take a deeper look at what it means to your life.  Maybe, ‘Today is the Day’.

Bil Cornelius is a best-selling author, and the founder and pastor of a large and still-growing church fellowship.  In addition, he is a believer in following your God-given dream, and his newest book brings to life various action plans to help his readers do just that.  ‘Today is the Day: Find and Embrace Your God-Given Dreams’ was published by Baker Books in January of 2014, and is certain to help anyone who feels like a personal dream is beyond reach, or is unsure how to get started on realizing a lifelong goal.  With an energetic, encouraging, easy-to-follow style, Mr. Cornelius breaks down his process for making dreams an actuality using Biblical concepts and proven methods for success.

The first portion of this book was my favourite, as it dealt with identifying if your dream is truly from God, recognizing that God has great plans for each one of His children, and breaking down the ultimate goal into tiny, daily, doable actions.  Fittingly, many Bible verses accompany each section, steeping the concepts in Biblical truth.

Towards the middle of the book, however, I felt it spoke less to me, because my dream is a quieter, smaller-scale, primarily internal-based dream.  It focused  more on readers with far-reaching dreams such as opening a business (or entire franchise!), starting a world-wide ministry or mission, or climbing to the top of a corporate ladder in a large company.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with such dreams, and the world needs large-scale dreams to bring about large-scale changes for the better.  But people with smaller, less earth-shattering dreams are also necessary, and God has given us those dreams with just as much love and care as a dream to found a multi-million dollar business.

If your dream is far-reaching and world-changing, this book could very well change your life, or at least your perspective on how you view the dream.  I can easily picture business owners hoping to expand, church leaders with a vision, and company workers with a passion for their job gaining a great deal of spiritual help and guidance from this practical book.  However, if your dream is of a quieter nature, not every aspect of this book will resonate with you…  Certain aspects may be beneficial, as they were for me, but on the whole this book may not be the best choice for readers seeking guidance towards a simple, low-key dream placed deep in the heart by our Creator.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.

Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health review

Switch On Your Brain image“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2, NIV)

Have you ever considered the deeper truths of this Scripture verse, the portion that states our minds can be renewed, and it is a process that can – and will – transform our lives?  If you’ve ever felt trapped by your thought patterns, or held captive by toxic ideas or past traumas, Dr. Caroline Leaf can help you.  Her newest book, Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health, was published by Baker Books in the fall of 2013.  While this book has been called ‘the owner’s manual to how our brains work’, it is also so much more.  Drawing from decades of scientific research, as well as her own Christian faith and beliefs, Dr. Leaf shares with us in an understandable, scientific language the fundamental functions of the brain. Using these facts as a foundation, she then explains how, with the Holy Spirit and Scripture as our guides, we can transform our minds from toxic to healthy.  In essence, we can ‘detox‘ our brains.

Just a few of the incredible points made in this little book include:

– Science is just beginning to catch up with the Bible, showing us the evidence of verses such as 2 Timothy 1:7.  “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  (KJV)

– Neuroplasticity, the concept that shows how changes in thinking actually change the structure of the brain and effect behavioral change, can truly help us renew our minds and, consequently, transform our lives.  (Romans 12:2)

– In dozens of cases encountered and documented by Dr. Leaf, people of all ages who applied the steps and perseverance necessary to detox their minds excelled beyond all typical expectations.  For example, car accident victims deemed by neurologists as ‘vegetables’ managed to retrain their brains enough to complete their education and became successful, contributing citizens.

– In the later portions of her book, Dr. Leaf outlines the basis for her 5-Step Switch On Your Brain Learning Process, which is used each day in the 21-Day Brain Detox Plan, also outlined in this book.

If you are like me, the large amount of scientific data contained in the pages of Switch On Your Brain may be a little intimidating.  However, I discovered that by focusing on the portions you are able to understand, and using them as a tool for bringing the focus of your mind closer to God, your life will be transformed.  If you let the Holy Spirit work in you as you read the information contained within this book, Philippians 4:8 will become the ‘new normal’ of your thought life.  “Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.”

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.