Reading the first line in this book, “Hi, we’re Ryan and Josh Shook, two brothers in our twenties”, my first thought was “oh great I guess I’ll just get through this book and move on”. However, as I read on, this is turning out to be one of the favorite books I’ve read this year. Ryan and Josh are open and honest and have an easy writing style. If they knocked on my door today, I would welcome them in with, put the coffee on and we’d have great conversations (and hopefully my son and son-in-laws would be there too.)
The subtitle of this book is “Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own”. This book is written by two young men who know this generation to their generation at a time when it is urgent.
I love the chapter names chosen for this book and also the subtitles; Soul Thirst, A Faith That Fills Emptiness, or Trashing the Checklists, A Faith Focused on Relationship, to name a couple. Just the names could stir up great discussion and they reveal how so many this age are feeling.
I love the quotes by different people at the beginning of each chapter. One of my favorites is “It is more important to live one word of Scripture than it is to memorize volumes” (Tim Hansel).
The authors are not fake nor do they pretend know it all. Their strong faith comes through only because they truly have a “firsthand” faith and have a passionate desire to share it with others.
This book is like a no nonsense discussion that really makes sense. From the interviews where others answer hard questions to the easy ideas the brorthers offer and even the videos posted online that go along with book; this is a great book. I would buy it for gifts and recommend it to parents who wish to communicate to their kids that you don’t want them to just adopt your faith but to experience a relationship with Christ “firsthand”.
I thought the reason I ordered this book was because I could get hard copy from Waterbrook Press in exchange for my review, which I did. But God had a higher purpose in mind. This book was sitting on my kitchen counter when my friend Sally dropped by. Sally & her husband and 27 year old son have been going though a tragedy. She had heard about this book and was planning on buying it to leave it in her son’s house, and now here it is, sitting on my counter, ordered just for that purpose.
Just writing the title for this post I feel like I"m supposed to write something profound and deep. So in titling their book "Trusting God", Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith and Mary Southerland really were jumping off the swing midair, arms extended, and freely falling as their cover indicates. These three authors, known as "The Girlfriends in God", teamed up to write a devotional/Bible-study/journal for all of us girlfriends. Using real life experiences and being real to tell us how they trust God helps us relate and see ourselves. My favorite thing about these chapters is how they back everything up with God's word. They even have a short video on their website that coordinates with each chapter. This book can be read just "me", but since it was written by girlfriends, I would love to read it and study it as a Bible study with my girlfriends. The stories are divided into 12 weeks with 6 stories in each week. As in any devotional, there are some stories that did not resonate with me but as I move on to the next one, I am drawn in and learning and going deeper in learning to really "Trust God". I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for this review.
A tangled mess, that's what they were, the string of Christmas lights I took out of the attic. I guess I thought I could just get the lights and string them perfectly on the tree in five minutes and it would be beautiful and perfect. Instead I was trying to untangle the string for over ten minutes - and not joyfully at all. Then it struck me how our lives are just like these lights: tangled. While we would like them to be beautiful and perfect, simple, and organized, they are complicated, involved, complex, confused, messy, and mixed-up; and we are frustrated more than joyful.
The Christmas music was playing in the background. I should have been singing along, remembering the reason I was decorating; but I wasn't! Then the words of a song I had been listening to in the car called "No Room", came to me. It talks about how when Jesus was ready to be born, his parents could not find a motel room anywhere - there was "No Room". The chorus goes like this: No room, no room Sorry but life's too full to let you in No space, no place for the Savior Jesus No room. Are our lives so tangled that we have no room for Jesus? We can get so busy, or so stressed, or preoccupied, that all of a sudden our string of lights is tangled and there is "No Room" for Jesus. We might be getting our shopping done, our baking completed, or our house decorated, but our days leave "No Room" for the reason we are celebrating. Let's open the "inn" of our heart and let Him in.
I want to be like shepherds, who hurried off to find Him and when they had seen Him, spread the word. Their lives were not tangled, and they were joyful and singing and praising God. They made room in their lives for a Savior. May we do the same.
Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic The subtitle of this book is "The Incredible Power of Faith in Action". Incredible it is as Nick shares his own life experiences and the incredible people he has met traveling all over the world. I was so inspired by the many stories of those hopeless, unlikely, or against all odds giving themselves to be used in powerful ways. Nick's faith is contagious and encouraging. His willingness to be real and raw about his failures and successes helps us trust and love him more. He is never boasting but gives all the credit the Lord. You come away thinking "if he can do it, so can I". Having no legs or no arms, he has been through alot for a 29 year old. The topics he addresses such as bullying, failure, depression, and surrender remind us how much we need to live God's way not our own. I absolutely love the stories of the people he has met in his travels. It is so good to read about the Power of God in others and how if we surrender our lives, God does the most amazing, incredible, powerful things! I had never heard of many of the people and the ministries they started and now I wrote them down so I can read and learn more about them and pray for them. Nick said he prayed that the words of this book would open our hearts and minds in a fresh and dynamic way so we will puts our faith into action and then inspire others to do the same. With God 1st, we can and will all be unstoppable. I received this book from Waterbrook Press for review purposes. Thank you.