Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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Book Review: Stand By Me

Stand by Me by Neta Jackson was not what I expected based on the publisher's description. Maybe because I recently read Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Hartman which depicted a "real" radical Christian. Kat was more of a baby Christian who desperately needed spiritual grounding. This book shows what happens to people who accept Jesus as Lord and savior, but don't put down any roots or grow as a Christian. What does living green have to do with being saved? You can't help but feel bad for her. I did like how the book showed her questioning and growing - especially when she got a burden for her parents salvation.

Since I haven't ever read any of the Yada Yada books, I wasn't familiar with Avis. The author, Neta Jackson, does a great job showing real life struggles Christians face with their families through the character of Avis. However, Avis was not really likeable. The joy she got from worshiping God and the awful way she treated the college kids just didn't reconcile.

Also, I thought it was a little strange how they kept mentioning a multicultural church, but maybe that's because I was saved in a multicultural church which was never called a multicultural church to begin with and has never felt the need to distinguish between different cultures since we are all under the blood of Jesus Christ. 

Overall I liked the book, but not enough to continue the series.

Publisher's Description

Sometimes the person you most need is the one least like you.

Kathryn Davies is a bright young woman from a prominent Phoenix family. But after making a leap of faith at a Christian music fest, dropping out of med school, and moving to inner city Chicago, her family all but disowns her.

When Kat discovers SouledOut Community Church, she longs to become a part of the multicultural church family. But her tendency to immediately say whatever she's thinking steps on the toes of nearly everyone she meets-especially Avis Douglass.

Avis has a strong faith, is the principal of one of Chicago's highest performing elementary schools, and is a founding member of SouledOut. But the country's economic downturn has thrown both her and her husband's jobs in question. And Avis hasn't heard from her youngest daughter in months-an estrangement that gnaws at her every day. Where is God in this?

Kat's flamboyant zeal for living a "radical" Christian life is a stark contrast to Avis's more reserved faith. But in God's timing, the two women discover they need each other in ways neither of them expected.
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Book Review: Catch of the Day by Jimmy Houston

Net Galley recently provided Catch of the Day by Jimmy Houston for review. Since my husband is an avid fisherman, I asked him to write the review for me.

I have always enjoyed watching Jimmy Houston Outdoors. Ever since I was a teenager, I would search for his program, so I could learn fishing tips and  become a better fisherman. When my wife came across his devotional gift book Catch of the Day, it drew my interest immediately. Now not only can I get great fishing tips, but I can also get helpful spiritual tips for my daily living as well.  Anyone who loves Gods word and catching fish will really find this book a source of help.

It was a good surprise to know that Jimmy Houston is a dedicated Christian. Many religious books today only focus on feel good issues. It is very obvious to me that though he really enjoys fishing, his first priority is his service to God. The world needs people with Godly convictions to challenge their lives.  I can see how this book could minister even to unbelievers. Because of the way he illustrates facts, knowledge, and experiences through fishing, he is able to show people's need to believe and apply the word of God to their lives.

This book would be a terrific addition to anyone who is looking for an inspiring devotional and who enjoys fishing and the outdoors.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

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I woke up this morning at 5:25am and decided to start Couch25K...again. I've been thinking about it, but I always get up too late around 6:30am. And in Belize that is too late, lol. Sunrise is around 5:30am and by 7am it's HOT! Another thing that stops me is that I'd rather sit at the computer and plan starting than actually starting. But today I did it! No more excuses. It felt really good! I didn't get tired or anything.

I've done C25K twice before, so I know I can finish. It's just the the motivation to continue running that I need. So here goes!!!! I'll be putting some C25K playlists together and posting them. I hope you'll join me. Here are some links if you want to learn more:
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

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Book Review: Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Hart

Great Book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Hart. The book started slowly, so I'm glad I was reading it in order to write a review, or I might not have kept at it. But it was definitely worth it. The author does a great job building the background story and making it believable. I liked reading the story from all the different characters point of view. My favorite character is Jackson. I love to read books about genuine conversions. His conversion is so similar to the conversions in my church fellowship. I was so happy to read a book that wasn't scared to mention REAL life changes that we must make as born again believers in Christ.

Book Description

Now that she’s arrived at the ultimate address, can Mary Lynn’s view of the harbor – and success – satisfy the deeper longings of her heart?

After decades of carefully working their way up the social ladder, Mary Lynn and Jackson Scoville are living their dream: a life of luxury and ease in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina. Jackson made a small fortune selling low country real estate, so now the couple is determined to provide for their three daughters the life they both longed for as kids.

But lately the long-forgotten God of Mary Lynn’s childhood has been trying to get her attention in ways so unusual that she can no longer deny His presence. When she prays for Jackson to open his heart to God, something radical happens. Jackson has a dramatic conversion that leads to street witnessing, giving away money, and inviting less-than-reputable people into their home.

Starring out into the harbor, Mary Lynn ponders whether or not she is willing to give up her life of luxury to join Jackson in his new-found faith. What would it look like to go “all out” for God…to allow Him to lead their family regardless of the cost? Just when Mary Lynn felt she had all the desires of her heart – she finds herself being called into a much bigger story of true faith and love.

Book Sneeze provided this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Book Review: “The Voice: New Testament” from Thomas Nelson Publishers

The Voice New Testament almost reminds me of the Amplified bible or a teen study bible. I like the format as well as all the extras. This bible version has been criticized by others because it's a paraphrase, but since I like to read from several different translations this bible version works well for me. I wish I could buy some for the new converts in our church, but they don't sell it in Belize. Maybe when I go to the U.S. for conference.
I think it's a good bible to start with as long as you have a King James version or a New King James version to study with as well.


The Voice™ Bible translation is a faithful dynamic translation of the Scriptures done as a collage of compelling narratives, poetry, song, truth, and wisdom. The Voice calls the reader to step into the whole story of Scripture and experience the joy and wonder of God’s revelation. Created for and by a church in great transition, The Voice uniquely represents collaboration among scholars, pastors, writers, musicians, poets, and other artists, giving great attention to the beauty of the narrative. The heart of The Voice is retelling the story of the Bible in a form as fluid as modern literary works yet remaining painstakingly true to the original manuscripts. This translation promotes the public reading of longer sections of Scripture—followed by thoughtful engagement with the biblical narrative in its richness and fullness and dramatic flow.

This is an updated and revised version of the New Testament edition, now at an even more affordable price.

Features include:
  • Italicized information added to help contemporary readers understand what the original readers would have known intuitively
  • In-text commentary notes include cultural, historical, theological, or devotional thoughts
  • Screenplay format, ideal for public readings and group studies
  • Book introductions
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