Friday, October 25, 2013

Book Review: Memoirs of the Way Home

Gerald M. Bilkes' Memoirs of the Way Home:  Ezra and Nehemiah as a Call to Conversion "demonstrates these biblical memoir's relevance for us today as they challenge us to consider whether we are in the far country or, by grace, on our way back home to God."

The author fantastically captures the meaning, depth, and application of the books Ezra and Nehemiah in the Bible.  The author masterfully sticks to the Bible as his source rather than spouting his own opinions.  He takes the reader throughout the Bible to further develop the points he is highlighting from the Biblical context of both books.  Because the author lays the Bible as the foundation to understand the text, he accurately portrays their relevancy in today's Christian community.  The reader should not attempt to read this book without having a Bible in hand.  

This book is a real Bible study.  It is not meant to be read instead of the Bible but alongside it.  There is no fluff but rather filled with thought provoking material meant to stir one into action.  The questions provided after each chapter are so insightful rather than the usual busy work given.  By presenting the two books separately, the author did a wonderful job in presenting the material in a clearer and in depth manner rather than had he attempted to combine the two.  

Because the author makes it a point to continually point the reader to Jesus Christ, this book is a wonderful resource that can be used with new converts, Bible study groups, and even in a family Bible study setting.  I commend the author for tackling an often overlooked topic in Christian circles--a call to conversion.  

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

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Book Review: Jesus on Every Page

Jesus on Every Page:10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament written by David Murray seeks to reveal “Christ’s presence throughout the Old Testament—in the Creation, the Law, the Psalms, the Prophets, and the Proverbs.”

Beginning on the road to Emmaus the author begins with giving a clear Biblical foundation on Jesus from His own testimony, Peter’s, Paul’s, and John’s.  The author piques the reader’s interest to find out more about Jesus, but now rather than looking solely at the New Testament witnesses, he turns the interest to the Old Testament. 

The author starts in Creation and works his way through the Old Testament.  The author’s goal is worthwhile and noble but the delivery was a little lacking.  It could definitely come from my expectation that the book was going to be more an expounding of the Scriptures themselves to see Jesus rather than various quotes from other author’s works on the subject and the Bible verses referenced all to often solely in the notes.  This is not to say that the author does not provide Biblical evidence which he does just not as the central focus.   Each chapter is broken up into subtopics making it hard to keep track of all the information presented in a cohesive manner. 

I applaud the author’s intent and believe this could be a valuable resource for a new believer. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, October 7, 2013

Empties: September

I can't believe how many half-used products were lingering about that we have been able to use and get out of the house.  This little experiment has really helped me to:

1.   see just how much "things" can start to accumulate and take over cabinets, drawers, closets, etc.

2.   curb my purchasing
Before I would usually pick up two of items, you know just in case whereas, now I wait until said item is almost finished in order to repurchase.  Some times I get a better deal and sometimes I don't.  And I am ok with that:)  The space and clutter-free environment is more important to me right now.

3.  exercise self-control in other areas
Yes, I may be disciplined in the "beauty supply" department, but what about other areas?  It has helped my stock up mentality.  Instead of purchasing food because I know we will eventually eat it, I don't buy until we have consumed the food we already have then buy.  This is somewhat made difficult because we do the majority of our shopping at Costco, but it is doable.  It has also helped in the clothing and school supply areas:)

This round included:
1. Airwick lavender scent (not my favorite)
2.  Scentsy Ocean:)
3.  Lubriderm-will not repurchase since I am looking for more natural products
4.  Clean & Clear toner-have one more bottle of this
5.  Renpure Conditioner-will repurchase once I go through my other conditioners
6.  Body Shop lemon scrub-still have a few to go through...I think four of these
7.  Reach floss-I have quite of few of these (floss in general) to go through
8.  Listerine strips-I actually have to go out and buy some:)
9.  Tom's toothpaste-this takes some time to get use to:)

I will probably wait a few months before making another empties post because there really isn't much left.  As of now my total empties total is: 35!!