Saturday, May 5, 2018

This Month's Resources

This year I have been following along with the Bible Studies on the First5 app.  I decided to take out the guess work of what I would be studying this year and commit myself to study alongside the books they chose.  

On Monday, I will begin the study of Return to Refuge: The study of Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.  This is a five-week study from May 7–June 16. I will be using their experience guide but it is not necessary.

I used this commentary in studying Prone to Wander: The study of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah and Micah.  The site has both written commentary and sermon audios which were both insightful.

This time around, I purchased this commentary because I just prefer the feel of a book in my hands as opposed to an online resource.  I chose this commentary because it contained all the books I would be studying not because I am familiar with the author.  Hopefully, it will prove to be a valuable resource.  

This month I will attempt to read Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices by Thomas Brooks.  I have already begun reading it and it is  not a book one reads just to finish.  It is a book that you read with your Bible close at hand and gives you a lot to think on.  

I find listening to podcasts while cleaning a blessing and this one was very eye-opening. 

This song is such a great reminder that Jesus' Name is indeed Great!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Book Review: The Better Mom

Ruth Schwenk's 'The Better Mom: Growing in Grace between Perfection and the Mess' is our opportunity to see how God uses parenthood to shape you into who he wants you to become.

I admire the author's intent on writing this book.  The author provides a lot of personal experiences and Scripture to highlight her points.  I especially enjoyed her correlation with Jesus and His disciples with us discipling our children to send them out.  Overall, I thought the Biblical connections she made were very insightful.

However, this book just did not resonate with me.  The first nine chapters were difficult to get through.   The author's continual reference to momming seemed to have trivialized the call of motherhood to another hobby, something that we do in between the years our children are 1-18 while pursing other interests in making a difference in the world. Instead of viewing ourselves as whole in Christ, we tend to compartmentalize our lives and determine the influence that Jesus will have on each particular area.

As I read, I kept on thinking whether Christian moms around the world could read this book and glean from it.  Can other mothers across the world relate to our "struggles with laundry?"  Are we trivializing motherhood when our struggles are whether or not we are too tired to make a Target trip? These are the author's examples, not mine.

Overall, there are some good nuggets in this book but not enough to make me recommend it.

                       I received complimentary copy of this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Book Review: Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children

Jodie Berndt's Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children is a series 'with specific and powerful prayers for our grown-up kids, whether they are just leaving the nest, flying well on their own, or struggling to take off at all.'

At first, I was very excited to read this book since I have a 20 year-old of my own.  I thought the topics covered were a great mixture of the conventional and unconventional subjects facing adult children. While I did not assume that the prayers would necessarily be for Christians only, I did expect the prayers to be Biblically based.  Some of the prayer requests mentioned (child's spouse to be athletic) seemed to be very superficial.  There was not an emphasis on eternal matters like that the child's spouse should love Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.  When the author referred to adult children, I assumed she was talking about actual adults.  The behavior described (choosing a job based on medical coverage for pets) of these "adults" seemed very juvenile.

In concept, I think the idea of this book is a great one.  Parents can never have too many resources when praying for their children but this book misses the mark.  While reading, the parents seemed to be unsaved themselves(not minding their children drinking p. 255) and more concerned with their children living the American dream rather than truly being saved.  

I would not recommend this book.  If parents want a resource to help them with praying for the children, there is no better resource than the Bible itself.

                                 I received complimentary copy of this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Book Review: Hinds' Feet on High Places

Hannah Hurnard's Hinds' Feet on Hight Places 'is a story of endurance, persistence, and reliance on God.  This book has inspired millions to become sure-footed in their faith--even when facing the rockiest terrain.'

The book is stunning which is what attracted me to read it aloud with my daughter.  The size of the book with its beautiful illustrations throughout make it an ideal read aloud.  We both thoroughly enjoyed reading this allegory.  The chapters are about six pages long so it does not become too overwhelming for a child to sit and process the information.  The illustrations are not only beautiful but helpful to keep the children on track on Much-Afraid's journey.

It provided a lot of material for discussion.  One of our most enjoyable parts was discussing the trials Much-Afraid faced as well as the tactics of Resentment, Self-Pity, Bitterness, and Pride.  We were able to draw many connections between the trials and the enemy's tactics along with the Shepherd's help to overcome the trials.  Although some of the concepts are a little more difficult for younger children to understand, it is a great opportunity to discuss them.

Overall, this will be a good read aloud with plenty of material for discussion.  I briefly looked up the author and it appears that she strayed from Christianity and seemed to have believed in universal reconciliation.  Even this point could serve as a discussion to have with our children about the susceptibility of straying if one does not remain in Christ.

I received a complimentary copy of above mentioned title from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.