Thursday, July 27, 2017

Book Review: Praying for Girls

Teri Lynne Underwood's Praying for Girls: Asking Do for the Things They Need Most seeks to 'equip you to pay with more confidence and power' by featuring '200 Scripture-based prayers that cover key areas of every girl's life.'

Prayer can be an intimidating topic but the author provides a practical approach.  The book is not sequential so you can jump start your prayers based on the specific area you desire to begin.  The author does state that the last section contains the hardest prayers we will pray because they are the catalyst for all the other prayers.

The format of the chapters consist of a personal story to illustrate the topic and three sections--Prayers, Just for Moms, and Girl Talk.  The Prayer section contains many examples of prayers alongside Bible verses.  The Just for Moms sections deals with how the topic relates to mothers.  This section was especially significant because it honed in on the importance of mothers living out the Scripture in front of the daughters.  The author's vulnerability in sharing her struggles helps the reader to see the importance of a mother being ministered as well. The Girl Talk section gives many ideas for mothers to illustrate the subject whether through crafts, talks, or outings.  This section was very helpful in providing ideas for those of us who lack in the creativity department.  

Overall, this book is a useful tool for mothers seeking to jumpstart praying for their daughters.  It is a resource filled with the practical information for those who are seasoned in praying for their daughters as well as those just beginning.

       I received complimentary copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.

Book Review: The Wisdom of God

A. W. Tozer's The Wisdom of God seeks to 'change your decisions attitudes, and relationships, setting you on the path to becoming all God wants you to be.

Having never read any of Tozer's works, I was not sure what to expect.  Was it going to be dry and difficult or challenging and thought provocative?  It was definitely the latter.  Tozer's writing style made it quite easy to follow along as he tackled a deep subject matter--wisdom.

The first few chapters were a little hard to get into but I suppose he was setting a foundation for the topic.  Once you got past them, you were glad you pressed on.  Wisdom is so clearly explained and shown how to be practically applied in the Christian life.  It was portrayed as vitally necessary in the Christian walk for all believers as opposed to something only reserved for the elderly. Tozer's juxtaposition of worldly wisdom and godly wisdom left the reader with a clear understanding as to why the believer must seek the latter and abhor the former.  The warnings against the evil man and the strange woman remain a timely message.

Tozer's conversational style of writing with its cut to the chase manner made this not only an enjoyable read but a profound one.  There is much to consider during the reading and even more left for introspection afterwards.  I would highly recommend this book any one seeking to further understand godly wisdom for its personal application.

                                                                              I received this book for free from Bethany House for this review.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Book Review: The Prayer Saturated Family

Cheryl Sacks'  The Prayer Saturated Family:  How To Change the Atmosphere in Your Home Through Prayer, seeks to demonstrate that "through prayer, you have the power not only to change the atmosphere of your home but also to be part of changing the spiritual atmosphere wherever you go."

At first, following the premise of the book was difficult.  During the first few chapters, I had to go back and reread the chapter titles to remind myself the central point of the chapter.  This was due to in part because the author uses a lot of stories from various sources to make her point.  Unfortunately, this method had the adverse effect.  The main points were often lost in the examples.

However, the book did get better.  The examples given for each chapter actually added to the content and did not leave the reader confused.  Chapter 8 on Battling Dark Forces was especially insightful considering that it is a topic often overlooked.  The second part of the book is filled with practical advice on how to get started and keep the prayer altar in the midst of challenges and life changes.  The third part of the book offers a 31-day family prayer guide that is especially helpful to steer families in the right direction of jump starting their family prayer altar.

Although difficult to navigate at first, this book offers a wealth of information for families who want to build a prayer altar.  This book gives a plethora of examples as to its importance, the results of having one, and the strategies to start and maintain a family prayer altar.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to create or strengthen their family prayer altar.

                                                                         I received this book for free from Chosen Books for this review.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Review: Discipline That Connects With Your Child's Heart

Jim and Lynne Jackson's Discipline That Connects With Your Child's Heart:  Building Faith, Wisdom & Character in the Messes of Daily Life seeks to "teach four powerful principles for discipline that shape both behavior and your kid's heart."

At the onset, I really did not know what to expect.  I was alarmed that this book was really off or spot on.  What did I conclude?  It is a little bit of both.

I appreciated the fact that the authors did not attempt to present a fix-it-all method to children.  There are so many things I appreciate about this book such as the My Response section which encourages parents to examine and deal with what is going on in their own hearts before attempting to minister correction to their children.   They carefully detailed that the child's misbehavior can not be dealt with at face value.  There are deeper issues going on within the child that the parent must deal with.  Hence, they introduce their four principle method of Foundation (You are safe with me), Connect (You are Loved no matter what), Coach (You are Called and Capable), and Correct (You are Responsible for your actions). They provide so many practical ways of how parents can deal with a variety of issues that may arise.   

While there was a lot of useful information, there are things lacking.  Whereas, the authors encouraged parents to look at the big picture while disciplining their children, it lacked in showing the bigger picture-eternity.  The focus seemed misplaced at times.  While I understand the Gifts Gone Awry part, there was not an emphasis in teaching the children that the misbehavior was sinful and the eternal consequences of practicing sin.  The authors almost made it seem as if sharing this would make the child feel condemned and not encouraged.  Presenting only the hopeful parts of the gospel while neglecting to show the dangers of rejecting the gospel is not the full gospel.  By the time I reached what the authors refer to as parents reaching that "crazy place," I was done with the book.  

While there is a lot of useful information to glean from the book, I walked away from this book disappointed.  I do not want to commend a child who lied for being creative or having a good memory.  As a parent, I want to be able to deal with sin in a Biblical manner without sugar coating the gospel.  This may be a starting point for parents who need to learn that discipline is more than correcting external behavior but I would encourage the parent to continue searching the Scriptures.

                                                                       I received this book for free from Bethany House for this review.