Book Review – Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado, Published by Thomas Nelson
How can you outlive your life? How can you transform your faith?
Take a look at Max Lucado’s latest book, and you may be surprised at what you find. One thing you learn right off the bat with Max, is what his personal stand on the subject is. As part of the dedication for this book, Max dedicates 100% of his proceeds to benefit children and families through faith based organizations.
Throughout the book Max brings the Old and New Testaments to life, and he shows you how what God said hundreds of years ago applies to my life today. We go along for the ride with the Ethiopian Enuch as he learns about God first hand from Philip. How does this story show us how Philip outlived his life? It shows that by obeying God and sharing both his time and his with an immigrant he outlives his life.
How much affect could your college student be having on someone’s life while away at school? There is an interesting twist in Chapter 13 just for you. It shows you how you can be outliving your life before it has fully begun. We are never to young, to old, to poor for God to use us. God knows no limits and has no limits when using you to your fullest.
I found this book to be an eye opening look into my own faith, and how much I ‘allow’ God to use me. I am very thankful that Jesus did not hinder God’s use of Him, and I pray that my prayer turns to action in my everyday life.
I recieved a copy of this book to review from Thomas Nelson Publishers.  The opinions expressed in this review are 100% wholly my own.

Book Review – The Vigilante’s Bride by Yvonne Harris

The Vigilante’s Bride by Yvonne Harris, published by Bethany House.
This historical fiction romance begins during 1884 in the wilds of the untamed Montana Territory, and has everything a good American Cowboy romance should have. Cowboys, cattle rustlers, Indians, a mail-order bride, shot-outs and a saloon fight.
Emily McCarthy is dislodged from her place at the Girls Home when she is unable to find work in Chicago to earn her keep. The board members of the Aldersgate Home for Girls accept, on Emily’s behalf, a request for a mail-order bride. Emily is told of the boards’ acceptance, and is given no choice regarding leaving the civilized world of Chicago for the wilds of the Montana frontier.
Upon arriving in Repton she finds herself engaged to the town bully who is old enough to be her grandfather. As if that wasn’t enough, she also finds out that her fiance is harassing the local Foundling and Orphan Asylum, of which he is a board member. The hero of this story faces the standard dilemma of overcoming his past and finding himself ‘having feelings’ for the girl already committed to someone else.
 
I really enjoyed the book and Yvonne’s writing style. Though this plot has certainly be done before, I loved her take on it. There were no huge twists or turns in the plot, but it was a comfortable read. I really enjoyed the character developments and the storyline between the hero and heroine was very entertaining.
 
I recommend this book as a fun, lighthearted read. I was provided a copy of this book to review by Bethany Publishers. The opinions I have expressed in this review are 100%, totally my own.

Book Review – Bittersweet, by Shauna Niequist

Are you looking for some reality in your walk with God? Do you want to read a book that tells it as it is rather than one that tends towards a preaching tone? In her book, Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist shares thoughts on change, grace, and learning the hard way. No preaching tone in this book!
In an easy to read style (and easy to relate to) Shauna’s second book, published by Zondervan, shares a period of her life full of change. Each chapter shows another thought on life, family or God by way of a situation she is facing or a realization she is making. Shauna bears skeletons from her closet, and lets you in where even your best friends may not let you enter. Her down to earth writing style was very easy to follow, and full of wit and artful illustrations.
The reality of the situations she shares can and do happen to everyone. I was deeply touched by her story. It showed me how others can have similar doubts and questions about their lives. No matter how ‘together’ they seem to have it. In many ways Shauna and I are complete opposites. She enjoys cooking, entertaining, and loves spending time with people. I tend to be a homebody, enjoying the privacy of my crafts, and can only cook a couple recipes. However, even though we are completely different in those respects, we both love God and have crossed some of the same questions and issues in our very different journeys.
Shauna’s chapter about finding your home, your best place, really struck a cord with me. I always seem to be trying to ‘hard’ at life. Never believing that where I am is good enough. (Though who it’s not good enough for I couldn’t tell you.) It is interesting how reading Bittersweet shed a lot of light on issues with myself that I was busy ignoring. I think this book has helped me to grow-up and get over the last remnant of childish self centeredness I was holding onto so firmly. The belief that ‘someday’ I will deal with this or that issue. I know that God placed this book in my path to help me, as I have been praying for help in this area for several years. Not that God wasn’t giving me hints, but this is one that truly knocked me upside the head and got me to listen. That was another thing Shauna shares. That growth in our walk is in no way quick. You can’t rush maturity in Christ. There is no fast food solution. You have to simmer like a sauce to perfection (hopefully a sauce that someone else is cooking, LOL).

After reading Bittersweet, I can’t wait to go find a copy of Shauna’s first book, Cold Tangerines. Maybe I can go grab it before my trip.  You can get to know Shauna better at http://www.shaunaniequist.com/
I received a copy of this book to review from Zondervan Publishers.  This review is 100% my own opinion.

Book Review – Forgotten, by Melody Carlson

{I received a FREE copy of this book from NavPress Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.}
~ Seventeen and Homeless ~

What would you do if you and your mom moved to a new town, and then your mom skipped town leaving you alone to fend for yourself?
That is the problem that faces the main character of this book. It shows us how many times we look at others with blinkers on. We want to see the pretty side to everything, and oftentimes we fail to see beneath the surface to the chaos. In this, the first book of her new series “Secrets”, Melody does a very good job of taking us below the surface of Adele’s life.
This story begins with Adele’s bi-polar mom getting a new job in a different town. She and Adele pack up everything and move hoping for a fresh start. Adele begins her Senior year of High School as part of the “in” crowd, and begins to live a life of fiction. Using the difficult situation that Adele faces, Melody explores the difficulties in maintaining friendships when you use pretense to mask the chaos going on in your life. You can only have true friendships if you are being true with them and yourself.
I was very taken with Melody Carlson’s writing style and storytelling in this book. The ending of this book could have been fleshed out a lot more, but overall I enjoyed the book. It is written in the first person, but that did not annoy me in this instance as it has with other authors. It is the first book by her that I have read, but I can assure you that it won’t be the last.
 
I received a FREE copy of this book from NavPress Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Book Review – Captured by Grace, by Dr. David Jeremiah

{I recieved a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson to read and review. 
The opinions in this review are 100% my own.}
“No One is beyond the reach of a loving God.”
Dr. David Jeremiah compares the life journey’s of Paul and John Newton in this book focused on the far reaching power of God’s grace. If God can accept and extend His grace to a slave trader and a radical Jew intent on arresting professing Christians of the early church, what is keeping you from accepting this same grace?
I recommend this book very, very highly to you. It was an engaging read that held my attention and my wandering mind (quite an accomplishment these days, LOL). There are so many interesting tidbits about Paul and John Newton, that it really helped to flesh out my understanding of their lives. It was also very interesting to see the influence of these mens’ Christian walks on others, and how that affected the issues of their times.
John Newton’s conversion had a far reaching affect that influenced and added strength to the movement to abolish slavery through his unique testimony. While Paul was influential in the development of the early church and it’s leadership. Dr. Jeremiah shares hardly known facts regarding each life from both before and after their conversions. Looking at Paul’s life, Dr. Jeremiah shows us how small seeds of the knowledge of God were being planted in Paul’s mind and soul by seeing how Christians acted during and after their capture. As Christians we often times forget how God can use us every time we interact with others, no matter the circumstances.
 
This book has left me with a better understanding of God’s grace, and how it should impact my daily walk.  Dr. Jeremiah referenced many different versus, and this was the first time for me to feel that I understood what the Romans Road is all about.  It has inspired me to be more conscious of how my interactions can be affecting someone else’s life, and to work on being more Christ-like in my everyday life.
 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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.”