Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Uncompromised Christianity by S. Michael Craven

S. Michael Craven has written a gem of a book that should be read by all who profess to be Christians. He realizes that all Christians today are being bombarded on all sides from those who seek to tear down Christianity and those who believe in the One True God.

In Uncompromised Faith: Overcoming our Culturalized Christianity the reader embarks on a journey as to why Christians are selling out and no longer living their faith. The fact of materialism, consumerism and modernism makes it harder and harder to live like Jesus. We want what we want and we want it now - who cares who gets hurt. This in turn creates more problems that we as a society have to deal with.

It is painful to see the Christ's church touting so much of the world's beliefs and living them. Divorce is rampant even among Christians, homosexuality is accepted and becoming the norm, abortion is legalized, other religions are slowly infiltrating into our churches and of course, there is no gender differences, co-habitation and premarital sex are okay. This is what the world wants everyone to believe. The church is buying into it because we don't know how to stand up against it or how to refute it. Of course there is also the risk of persecution, of which our Brothers and Sisters in other cultures and times have suffered because of their uncompromised faith in Christ.

Mr. Craven gets to the heart of the matter by discussing with well documented research, quotes from both the Christian side and the opposing side, he makes it understood why Christians need to stand up and say no more compromising! The plague of worldliness and new age philosophies are tearing Christ's churches down and are misleading those inside them. The end of the book gives ideas on what we do to help with fixing these problems both within the churches and also in our daily lives. It isn't just about saying we're Christian, it's about letting others see Jesus in us through our lives, our speech, our interactions - it's about doing!

This was a heavy read, which isn't a bad thing, it took time to mull over what S. Michael Craven was writing about in Uncompromised Faith. That is what is needed though, not some mealy mouth anecdote but meaty resources that will revive our churches and will have God present in them and in our lives!

**I am a blog book reviewer and in turn I recieve a copy of the book I choose to review. I am in no way paid, employed of financially reimbursed through NavPress. My opinions are my own.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

I must say I was a bit put off at first to read this newly released book by Andy Andrews titled The Noticer especially since three words sum it as a fictional, allegorical and inspirational but based on a true story. I am not much of one for allegories, but I was so happy that I read this.
The story really did touch my heart and made me think. The story was extremely well written and flowed beautifully. I could picture the character, Jones, carrying his well worn suitcase along the California side walks and board walks trying to help those in need.
While it was a quick read, it isn't quick to get it out of your head. I think on it at different times of the day and hope that I too will make a difference in life of someone because of this book. Getting to know Jones' simple way of life really makes on put things in their live into perspective, wether you are working too hard, not working enough, skipping out on your family. We all need a Jones in our life, someone who notices us and helps us when the going gets tough and I think this book will do wonders to help us notice each other more.
Mr. Andrews does a wonderful in weaving together this story and while one may wonder what parts are true, that isn't the point. The point is NOTICING. Notice those who have helped you and in turn try to help others and make ammends when you can. Mr. Andrews also has a project called The Noticer Project which wants us to take the time to notice the 5 most influential people in our lives NOW, not at a funeral, a birth, death, graduation or wedding, but now. It goes along with the book to notice others.
Also you can check out several videos on YouTube about the book: Why Am I the Wayward, Why Am I the Lover Lost, Why Am I the Worrier, Why Am I the Lustful Youth, Why Am I the Workaholic, Why Am I the Useless. These are some great videos and a little "perspective" on each of these. Watch them for a little more information on the book and then go buy it and read it and make sure to savor it and then when you are done go to The Noticer Project and notice your 5 most influential people in your life.

Monday, April 13, 2009


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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Timber Ridge Reflections 1 & 2 by Tamera Alexander

I had the privilege of reading the first two books in the Timber Ridge Reflections series by Tamera Alexander and published by Bethany House.

I was able to fully immerse myself in the historical aspects of the story lines as well as the characters, and seeming to walk in their boots. I felt like I really got to know the characters, their personalities and their families. It was a story that I fully enjoyed reading.

In the first book, "From A Distance", we meet Elizabeth Westbrook who comes to the Colorado Territory to photograph the wilderness and the mountains for a paper back East. She comes up against some competition but then realizes that maybe life isn't all about competing or all about working. She also helps break down some societal barriers that are put up from those of other ethnicities.

In the second book, "Beyond This Moment", we are introducted to Dr. Molly Whitcomb. She learns the hard way that even though she has a Dr. in front of her name, she still lives in a man's world, and travels out to Timber Ridge to escape after being given an ultimatum. As she lives her Faith begins to grow and she begins to rely on God to give her strength - strength to face the town, her friends and the man she loves - after her secrets come out.

These books seek to give God the glory, which I think the author accomplished - and isn't easy to do in this day and age with all the feel good junk that is passed around - Tamera Alexander succeeded. The weaving of the story with historical facts, Faith in God, love for our fellow humans - makes for an enjoyable and fast read. I read both books in a matter of days - no mere feat when you add in homeschooling, housekeeping, and three children!

I look forward to reading more books by Tamera Alexander and am eagerly awaiting the next book due out soon!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Fragrance Collection by Glade

I am a BzzAgent and have enjoyed being able to spread some bzz about the Fragrance Collection by Glade! I was a bit uncertain at first, thinking it would be:

A) just another store bought candle that's smell would smell fake

B) burn badly leaving lots of soot

C) the smell would be so small as to not make a difference in the way my house smells.

I have been pleasantly suprised and very happy with the results of this candle. It is soy based and also has three lead free wicks. Perfect for those of us who don't want to put unnatural by-products on lead into the air and into our children's lungs!

The smell is wonderful! When you open the candle and smell the smell, that is what you get when you burn it. I have a small house and with three children and two animals, some of the smells may or may not be pleasant, and with this candle I am able to mask any smells that may lingering and it scents the whole house! My husband was pleased when he walked in from work the other day and could smell the pleasantness of the currants and acai candle burning.

There are 5 other scents and it also comes in reed diffusers and room spray, and three of the 6 choices are 92 to 94 % natural. I am looking forward to trying all the other different smells, but not before I finish burning this candle and enjoying it's wonderful, warming scent.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Claim of Her Own by Stephanie Grace Whitson

I am so happy that I had the chance to review the book A Claim of Her Own by Stephanie Grace Whitson. I am a history buff and love anything that can bring history to life for me and it's so much the better when the story involves God, the Creator of all!

Mattie O'Keefe travels to North Dakota to find her brother who is mining in the Black Hills territory. She arrives, running from bad memories and bad choices, to find a shock that she wasn't prepared for. I must admit neither was I. The twists and turns in the book keeps you guessing and turning the pages right up to the very end, and then you want more.

I had a hard time putting down this book from the time I started two days ago until I finished it today - I struggled to put it down. Stephanie Grace Whitson really did a surperb job in the writing of A Claim of Her Own, a work well worth reading. From the moment Mattie walks into the city of Deadwood on a frieght wagon train your attention is pulled in and you can feel for Mattie.

There is something to be said for a book that can make you feel the character, her or his emotions - wether it be fear, sadness, grief - if the author can make the reader feel that it's a job well done. An even better job is done when you can feel the hem of your dress caked in mud, the dirt in your hair, the stench in the streets and the sounds coming from the saloons. If the author can pull the reader so that the reader feels they are there in the story then that book is a success.

I look forward to reading more of Stephanie Grace Whitson's books and am pleased that I had the chance to review this book.