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.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Review: Prayers for New Brides

Prayers for New Brides:  Putting on God's Armor After the Wedding Dress by Jennifer O. White seeks to equip brides to "learn biblical truths about marriage, the spiritual battle, and prayer, pray in agreement with God's will for her marriage, and activate these truths in her life through study, journaling, and intentional conversations with her husband and other wives."

I will start off by stating that I am not a new bride but have been happily married for twelve years.  Yet, the title of the book intrigued me.  It is a topic I have not previously seen covered.  Admittedly, I thought the book was going to be about specific prayers to cover your husband but I was pleasantly surprised.

The author candidly talks about the influence her parents' marriage and subsequent divorce had on her marriages.  She speaks how her unresolved insecurities and issues infiltrated her marriage after destroying her first marriage.  This served as a warning for couples to see the importance of resolving their issues and expectations prior to marriage.

Every day's reading includes a Prayer Prompt section as well as a Wife's Call to Action.  The prayer prompts are filled with Scriptures and the prayers are more focused on God helping the wife rather than change my husband prayers.  The call to action is exactly that.  Wives are encouraged to journal in order to put into action the knowledge they are gaining from God's Word through prayer.

I expected the book to be about areas I should pray in regards to my husband but it has proven to be a refresher course on how to maintain the established boundaries  for veteran married couples while offering newlyweds practical, informative strategies on how to ward off the inevitable attacks from satan.  I highly recommend this book to both.

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

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Book Review: God's Smuggler

God's Smuggler written by Brother Andrew with John and Elizabeth Sherrill purposes to "grip readers all over again and inspire a new generation to step out on their own journeys of faith."

Does it grip readers?  Most definitely.  Without the epilogue, the book is about 260 pages but it seemed to end too fast for this reader.  I wanted to read more and more of Brother Andrew's adventures.  Seeing how God transformed this man who smuggled himself out of church services as a child to one who would disperse numerous Bibles throughout the countries behind the Iron Curtain truly amazes one.  

Does it inspire a new generation to step out on their own journeys of faith?  Seeing God work in the most minute detail increases the reader's faith and more importantly implants the desire to see God working in the same manner in his own life.  It opens one's eyes to the plight of the persecuted church and implants a desire to help

The story heroically tells of God who has no impossibilities or difficulties.  Through His instruments, God was able to penetrate man's barriers and proclaim His Word to nations who would have otherwise been left hopeless.  It shed light on how the persecuted church lives and also warns the reader that the biggest enemy is not persecution but indifference.

I would strongly recommend this book to gain information on the needs of the persecuted church and to stir one's own desire to meet that need.

I received this book for free from Bethany House for this review.  This a Chosen book.