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C.S. Lewis & Mere Christianity – Paul McCusker

C.S. Lewis & Mere Christianity is published by Tyndale House Publishers.

C.S. Lewis & Mere Christianity is published by Tyndale House Publishers.

About the Book
About the Author
Read a Sample

Summary: C. S. Lewis & Mere Christianity: The Crisis That Created A Classic is a look at the historical events of C. S. Lewis’s life and how they impacted his writing. The book also has tidbits of  information about the important people of the time period and the important people directly connected to C. S. Lewis. If you’ve ever wondered why C. S. Lewis wrote the way he did, or if you love all things C. S. Lewis, this will become an important book for your personal library.

Review: I love history and I love C. S. Lewis. That said, this is the perfect book for a nerdy book-lover like me! Paul McCusker did a great job bringing Lewis’s time period to life. This wasn’t just a book about C. S. Lewis, it was about the events that were happening during his life. After reading the book I have a better understanding of what C. S. Lewis lived through which in turn helps me understand a little better why he wrote Mere Christianity (which is one of my absolute favorite Lewis writings). I love the fact the Paul McCusker included pictures, not only of Lewis but of WWII. The book itself was well-researched and is easy to read. Sometimes history/biography can be a little bland and boring, but the author did a great job keeping this not overly heavy. The chapters are fairly short which helps keep you reading. None of this, “Great, I’m only halfway through this chapter and I’ve already read 50 pages.” (if you know what I mean).

There was really only one place that I felt confused when I was reading, and that may have been because I missed something earlier. In Chapter 5 the author mentions Minto and I can’t seem to figure out who that was. That doesn’t take away from the greatness of the book though. C. S. Lewis & Mere Christianity will definitely find a home on our bookshelves and will make a great homeschool resource!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own, no other  compensation was received.

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A Call to Resurgence – Mark Driscoll

About the Book
Read an Excerpt
Resurgence Website
Author’s Website

 

Summary: Is Christianity really alive in today’s world? Yes there are a lot of churches, Christian schools, and talk of God, but do the people who go to these places or say these things really believe it? Mark Dricoll brings some interesting statistics to life and calls believers to live fully for God.

Review: Quite honestly, I got this book because I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I’ve heard a lot of people say they don’t like Mark Driscoll for one reason or another so I thought I’d read his newest book. I want to say that people don’t tend to like him because he’s blunt, at least that’s my first impression. I’d agree with that assessment. However, I don’t think that’s any reason to not like him. No he doesn’t sugar coat his words, but does that make what he’s trying to say untrue? Nope! In fact, that’s why I like him. I’ll take a plain doughnut please, none of this sugar glazed stuff. Why? Because the sugar changes the actual flavor. Same goes for sugar coated words. Do I think things could be said a little less “harsh”? Yes, but at the same time, will people listen to this particular message if it isn’t presented like it is? I don’t know.

 Anyway… As I read through A Call to Resurgence I made notes of quotes I liked and things I did/didn’t agree with. On the whole, I agree with the message of the book. We do live in a world where Christianity isn’t popular, and we as Christians do need to stand firm in the Word. It did bother me a bit that Pastor Driscoll didn’t capitalize pronouns used in place of God or Jesus. Other than that, I have a favorable opinion of A Call to Resurgence. 

 On pages 112 and 113 there’s a chart to kind of help you figure out where you might be on the “tribe” scale. Looking at the chart I thought I kind of fell in between two groups because I fit both descriptions. Maybe I’m just weird, that’s ok with me!

I’ll leave you with this quote because it pretty much sums up the general message of the book (I think).

 “This is not a time for compromise but rather courage.” (Driscoll, 3)

 Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received.

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Little Book of Great Dates – Dr. Greg & Erin Smalley

A Focus on the Family book, published by Tyndale

About the Book
Read an Excerpt
About the Authors
Author Website

Summary: Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you stop pursuing your spouse! That’s the general idea behind the Little Book of Great Dates. Dr. Greg Smalley and his wife Erin have come up with 52 dates, one for each week of the year, to help married couples reconnect. Each date has a short explanation of the importance of the date’s theme, as well as an activity idea for the date itself and a conversation starter section. Small enough to fit in a purse, the Little Book of Great Dates is a great way for couples to start getting back into the habit of dating each other.

Review: First off, I love the cover. It’s blue and it looks kind of like a journal. I also love that it’s small enough to fit in the glove compartment of the car or in my purse. Admittedly, my husband and I still try and get dates in every now and then. It is nice to have this little book though because it’s got a lot of really good ideas in it (which is great for me since I’m not very good at coming up with date ideas).

Having grown up with the boy who became my husband, I already know several of the answers that go with the conversation starters, but not everyone does! I love that the authors give you some questions to help you dig deeper and get to know each other better. I think one of my favorites is the one where you’re supposed to go and do something that the other one really loves to do and then switch the next time. It really gives your spouse an idea of why you like doing what you do, or they might see a side of you they don’t get to see because you’ve never done it together before. I know it sounds weird, but it really does bring you closer together!

If you have a hard time coming up with dates, or you want to start dating your spouse, or even if you do date but want something deeper, I’d suggest that you pick up this little book and try it out! Make it a habit. Date your spouse and see what happens.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received.

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My Princess Devotions – Karen Whiting

978-1-4143-6905-1

Available from Tyndale Publishers

About the Book
(w/ excerpt)

About the Author

 

Summary: Available in September 2013, My Princess Devotions (Preschool Edition) is a new addition to “The One Year” family of books. The daily devotions are designed to help little girls learn that they are in fact little princesses because they are daughters of God, who is the Almighty King. Each devotion has a princess-y title, a verse that corresponds to the title, a brief explanation, a prayer, and a way for young girls to apply what they’ve learned to real life. A fun and relevant way for little girls to learn about God!

Review: It’s taken me a while to get the review written for this devotional because I had a hard time getting it out of the hands of our 4-yr old daughter. If that doesn’t tell you how great this book is, I don’t know what will! As I was browsing through the available titles on the Tyndale Blog Network, she came up behind me and said in an excited voice, “Oh mommy! I want that one!”. How could I not get it? One, she’s all about princess and cutesy and pink. Two, it’s a devotional and we include daily devotions in our school time. The package eventually came in the mail and as soon as I opened it, in the car, she reached out for it and hasn’t let go since except to eat and sleep. She loves to remind me that we need to read her “princess ‘votions”.

Now, on to the “technical” stuff. There are 365 devotions, one for each day of the year (unless it’s a leap year), and each one has four little sections. There’s the “Royal Words” (Scripture verse), “Princess Thoughts” (brief explanation), “A Prayer for the King” (daily prayer), and “Princess in Action” (Life application). Sometimes the verses make you go “Um, what?” but then the explanation and application sections make it clear. Example: On March 10th the verse is 1 Samuel 2:19 and it talks about Hannah bringing Samuel a little robe each year. At first it’s like, “Ok, sure?”, but then you read to find out that it’s a verse being used to help little girls see how important moms are.

The only thing I really “take issue” with is that until a little girl (or boy, for that matter) asks Jesus to be their Savior, they technically aren’t a prince(ss). But I understand why kid’s devotions are written the way they are so it’s ok. It’s my “job” as a parent to do the guiding towards the Savior.

Personally, I think Karen Whiting did a great job with this devotion book! I know our daughter gives it 10 fingers up, if she’d let go of it, LOL!

 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free through the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received.

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Captive in Iran – Maryam Rostampour & Marziyeh Amirizadeh

About the Book

About the Authors

Buy the Book: Amazon, ChristianBook, Books-a-Million, Barnes & Noble, Lifeway, Parable

Before you read the review, please watch the video! 

Summary: Maryam and Marziyeh became Christians in 2005 and couldn’t keep it to themselves. They handed out Bibles to those who asked for one and spoke with those who asked about Christ. The problem? They lived in Iran where it was (and still is) illegal to share your faith if it isn’t Islam. The girls continued sharing their faith and meeting with their house churches until one day in 2009. Maryam and Marziyeh were arrested and eventually sent to Evin Prison in Tehran where they spent 259 days. While there though, they were able to reach many more people for Christ, some who may not have been reached otherwise. A modern-day Joseph experience where “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result–the survival of many people.” (Gen. 50:20, HCSB)

Review: One word – WOW!

I know Evin Prison has been in the news recently because of Pastor Saeed. If you want a glimpse into prison life there, at least on the women’s side, I urge you to read Captive in Iran. The strength these ladies had, despite their treatment, can’t be explained any other way than God. Maryam and Marziyeh’s experience is moving and thought-provoking. We’re not put in jail for our beliefs here in the U.S. (at least not yet, who knows what the future holds) so it’s easy to say “Oh yeah, I’d stand behind my faith!”. But would we really? Would I really? When faced with questioning, torture, and possibly even death, would I stand firm?

I’m still having a hard time coming up with words to review this book. I loved it, which will probably sound weird, but it was awesome to read about the power of God in their lives. And it was enlightening to read just how the process works in Iran. I know people are probably going to say “Yeah well that’s from their perspective, that’s not how it really works. They’re just trying to make the government look bad.” To which I have to say, they lived it and have a better idea of how it works than anyone who hasn’t experienced it. Throughout the book they never spoke with resentment toward their captors, and that’s amazing given their experience.

Please, I encourage you to read Captive in Iran. Share it with your friends. Give it to your pastor. Read it in a small group (there’s a great discussion guide available as a PDF). Read it, if not to prepare for the possible, to educate yourselves and others. Be inspired to live fully for God, no matter what the circumstance.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free through the Tyndale Blog Network, no other compensation was received. All thoughts are my own.

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