For many people, Christmas can be a rather controversial topic. It’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year”, filled with reflection on the baby in a manger and quality time with family. While this may be the case to some degree, there’s more to the story for most families. . . In reality, this season is also a time of hectic chaos, heartache that seems to build up from a difficult year, and frustration over what we wish was true but isn’t. In a new book from Baker Publishing, “Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season”, Alexandra Kuykendall unpacks some great insights into being present AND finding joy in our own actual, imperfect Christmases. Continue reading
If you have read any of author Heather Holleman’s works, you will know that she is passionate about discovering and revealing the hidden depths of life-changing verbs in Scripture. “Guarded by Christ: Knowing the God Who Rescues and Keeps Us” was released by Moody Publishers and, not surprisingly, is an in-depth journey of uncovering what it truly means to allow God to guard us in every way, every day.
Heather’s words are special because she is so incredibly real and honest as she delivers them. Through the three sections of her book (Our Guarding God; In the Secret Place of the Soul; and Living Daily in the Fortress) Continue reading
Don’t you love Christian Spiritual Growth books that are written by an author who draws you in, shares her story, teaches you what she has learned about God, and becomes a friend in the process? For me, many books by Moody Publishers fit this description, and the latest one I’ve read is no exception. Although small in size, Heather Holleman’s “Seated with Christ: Living Freely in a Culture of Comparison” holds a huge impact in terms of living what she calls a “seated life” in Christ. Continue reading
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first picked up my copy of of “God in the Movies: A Guide for Exploring Four Decades of Film”, edited by Catherine M. Barsotti and Robert K. Johnston. Published by BrazosPress in 2017, the purpose of the book is to “encourage movie lovers and small groups to reflect critically and theologically on some of the best movies of recent years.”
“God in the Movies” is a thick volume with in-depth discussions for 40 movies, all released between 1981 and 2014. This extensive list includes classics such as: “Chariots of Fire”, “Groundhog Day”, “Up”, “Life of Pi”, and of course many more. Continue reading
Whenever you pick up a book by “Switch on Your Brain” author Dr. Caroline Leaf, be prepared to have your life changed in some way! This is definitely the case with her newest release from Baker Books, “The Perfect You: A Blueprint for Identity”. This book is for you if, as Dr. Leaf questions in the prologue, you’ve ever asked yourself:
“Who am I? Does anyone out there understand me . . . do I have purpose and meaning, a unique part in a divine plan? Does anyone understand who I am, or who I am meant to be? Do I even understand me? Can I accept the way God has allowed me to be? Do I really accept the blueprint for identity that God has given me?”
For me, and I’m sure for many readers, it is always a bittersweet moment when you reach the final pages of a series that has worked its way deep into your heart and imagination. As one of my favorite authors, many of Michael Phillips’ series are very dear to me; but perhaps none quite so much as his latest work entitled “Secrets of the Shetlands”. Published by Bethany House in the summer of 2017, “The Legacy” is the final installment of the Shetland saga, and masterfully closes a narrative that weaves the past and present into a beautiful and unforgettable tale. Continue reading
I started a journey earlier this year with a remarkable book by Erica Wiggenhorn entitled “An Unexplainable Life: Recovering the Wonder and Devotion of the Early Church”. This was a 10-week study of the first half of the book of Acts, and was part of the Moody Bible Studies for Women series. I’ve been waiting patiently (well, sort of patiently!) for the second study in the Acts set to be released, and the time has finally come! “The Unexplainable Church: Reigniting the Mission of the Early Believers” was also written by Erica Wiggenhorn, and is a 10-week Bible study covering Acts 13-28. Continue reading
I may have mentioned this before already, but I absolutely ADORE Moody Bible Studies for Women! Whenever a new title in this amazing series is released, I am anxious to give it a try—and I’ve never been disappointed. The newest study I’ve been enjoying is entitled “Included in Christ: Living a New Story from Ephesians” by Heather Holleman. This 8-week Bible study takes students of the Word on a journey verse-by-verse through the book of Ephesians, and unpacks what it really means to answer the questions: “Who are we? Where do we belong? How do we live included in Christ?”.
A main focal point of this unique study is the practice of overcoming what Heather calls our “Shadow Narratives” with something far better: our “Savior Stories”. Continue reading
While prayer is something we are all familiar with, I believe if we are honest with ourselves it is also something we often struggle with. A new book from Moody Publishers addresses this topic directly with a book by Bill Thrasher, entitled “A Journey to Victorious Praying: Finding Discipline and Delight in Your Prayer Life”. This book is for you “If you’ve ever felt too busy, confused, or unmotivated to pray”.
This little book makes an excellent month-long daily devotional because the content is divided into short chapters that are packed with advice, stories, insights, questions for thought and journaling, key Scripture verses, and more. Continue reading
I love animals, especially dogs—so much so, in fact, that I own two dogs of my own, work at an animal shelter, and am training to become a canine massage therapist! So when the opportunity came along to read a book filled with inspirational dog stories, how could I resist? “Doctor Dog: Healing Touches from Pets We Love” was written by M.R. Wells, and published by Harvest House. Categorized as a Devotional, this little book contains dozens of stories about dogs of all shapes and sizes changing the lives of the people they love, often in amazing ways. Continue reading