There is so much that I love about this book, I don't know where to start! You see I am the queen of frustration. There is so much in my l
There is so much that I love about this book, I don't know where to start! You see I am the queen of frustration. There is so much in my life that frustrates me it's pitiful. People don't expect sold out Christians to say things like that--but it's true. We understand the power of prayer, we understand that we should die to self daily, we understand that the DNA of Jesus the Christ enables us with all of His abilities, however, some days it seems as if we can't even muster up the strength to act upon what we believe.
I have been a huge fan of Psychology since I took my first class at age nineteen and realized that understanding myself and my motivations gave me a way to handle my frustrations. Even so, that alone is not enough and the authors break that down very clearly in the four parts of their book:
Part One: You are Here 1- Life is Difficult, 2- Will You Go North or South? 3- Groaning: God's passionate pursuit of your heart
Part Two: Going South 4-Grumbling: The first sign you're headed south, 5- Grasping: Your attempts to gain control
Part Three: Going North 6- Grace: The power to turn north, 7- A Great Gift: The new identity we need, 8-Gratitude: The response to God's love, 9- Giving: The fruit of a grateful heart
Part Four: You-Turn 10-Getting It, 11- Growing It 12) Giving It Away: Mentoring Others
This book is an awesome combination of self-realization (by the authors), learned skills (psychology, compassion, love), teaching and spirituality. If you're anything like me, you will start out reading at a clip and realize that this is a book to savor, learn and experience. As you begin to savor and learn (via the self examination/discussion questions after each chapter) you will cry buckets of tears, probably at the most inappropriate times, however, you will come out less frustrated and more at peace with yourself, the world around you and most importantly, a (new or ) renewed relationship with God.
The authors have done such a great job of covering all the bases. Men reject God and religion because they crave facts and operate via the intellect vs emotions. True North covers that. If you've ever heard T.D. Jakes preach a sermon, you wonder how a man can so clearly understand the heart of a woman? True North understands and addresses the nexus of our hurts. It forces you to name it (face it) and to see it for the lie that it is. True North shows the love of God and how His love works in our lives and how if it's not working (frustration) it's because of a choice we have made in our life. True North addresses taking responsibility for our choices, and convicts us to give up that entitlement spirit that is prevalent in this day and age. True North acknowledges the imperfections, makes clear the choices North (God) and South (flesh) and gives great action steps teaching us to practice turning to God instead of groaning and grumbling.
True North challenges us to choose God no matter what. It makes it clear that although the choice is not an easy one, sticking to our choice and practicing doing so even in our rough times is rewarding. It also challenges us to go to the next level and to bring others along with us for the ride.
My Rating: I unabashedly award this book a 5/5 rating.
My Recommendation: This book accomplishes its purpose in a straightforward and gentle manner. I totally recommend it for small group discussions. It is low cost ($15.99) scripturally correct counseling--in a book!
About the Authors Gary Heim is pastor of Small Groups and Discipleship at Blythefield Hills Church in Rockford, Michigan; an adjunct professor at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary; and a retreat and seminar speaker. He is a limited licensed psychologist in Michigan where he had a private counseling practice for over ten years and was a staff counselor for RBC Ministries. Married to Lisa for over twenty-five years with two college age children, Gary enjoys hunting, fly fishing, and backpacking.
Lisa Heim is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Michigan where she has had a private practice for the last twenty years. Lisa has been married to Gary for over twenty-five years and together they are the proud parents of two college-age children. In her spare time Lisa enjoys reading, walking, kayaking, home decorating, and gardening.
NOTE: This book was received from the Publisher, Kregel Publications, free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this book! Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs will take you and your child on a ride of the best kind of tall-tale bedtime story. The story linI loved this book! Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs will take you and your child on a ride of the best kind of tall-tale bedtime story. The story line is original; the pictures are expressive and bring the story to life very nicely which helps to suck you into a nice mind bending, what if this is the way things really were moment. As a pancake lover myself…I thought about it long and hard for a few minutes before I came back to reality, but what a delicious ride it was!...more
I chose this book based on the title and the promise implied: truth, liberation and empowerment. In the back of my mind was the thought thMy Thoughts:
I chose this book based on the title and the promise implied: truth, liberation and empowerment. In the back of my mind was the thought that it might have a feminist agenda, which I do back flips to avoid reading but I chose the book anyway.
As I read Danielle’s pain and frustration at situations experienced, personally and secondhand via the stories of women she encountered personally or read about was tangible. I can imagine that a life’s work of research and instituting programs to empower women while encountering the same stories of abuse, abandonment or neglect over and over again would engender the need to do something, say something to alert society to the silent unanswered cries of women all over the world. Different women, different cultures, same abuse.
After reading, I can say there is truth in it with regards to abuse women suffer in and out of the church due to small minds, society turning a blind eye and inaccurate theology, however, I felt neither liberated nor empowered.
Despite that, there are some good points:
* The author’s love for God is clear and prevalent * The book is a quick read * The first half of the book gives lots of interesting statistics * The back of the book gives brief biographies of many fascinating women * This book is a good conversation starter referencing how we apply God’s principles in today’s society
I gave this book 2-1/2 stars
Since I disagree with much of the theology, I would be hesitant to recommend this book to others, especially a young Christian who has not had time be discipled....more
This book was unbelievable hard to put down. As a person who struggled with issues of identity, love and unforgiveness, I found myself nodMy Thoughts:
This book was unbelievable hard to put down. As a person who struggled with issues of identity, love and unforgiveness, I found myself nodding, weeping (a bit), and stopping every once in a while to thank God. I am so thankful that I woke up and realized that by choosing God, I was choosing to love myself and that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, whether the wounder is repentant or not. It is at the point of forgiveness that we can begin to heal and have a rebirth. Although I have come such a long way from the severely wounded woman that I once was, I do wish that I had been able to get my hands on a copy of this book back then.
Love & Forgiveness is broken down into seven cohesive sections:
1. Introduction (Belief/Salvation) 2. Love 3. Repentance 4. Forgiveness 5. Communication 6. Pop Culture vs The Bible 7. Oneness of Giving and Receiving
It is equally palatable for the non-believer, new believer or old head believer. It is contemporary enough to avoid the churchified feel and speaks encouragement and truth with ease and conviction. Despite the inclusion of the touchy issue of tithing, if you are struggling right now, I would strongly recommend this book as a tool to help you understand who you are, what love is, and how you can work your way towards forgiveness. ...more
Title: Red Ink (Extreme Devotion Series: China #3) Author: Kathi Macias Publisher: New Hope Publishers Genre: Christian Fiction Series: Extreme Devotion ReTitle: Red Ink (Extreme Devotion Series: China #3) Author: Kathi Macias Publisher: New Hope Publishers Genre: Christian Fiction Series: Extreme Devotion Reviewed by D.S. White
"They took her child, her family and her freedom---but not her faith"
About the Book:
A young Chinese woman, Zhen-Li—raised to observe the party line, including its one-child-per-family doctrine—falls in love with and marries a Christian, and adopts his faith. Though the couple downplays their Christianity in an effort to survive, Zhen-Li’s family is appalled, and she and her husband are ostracized. When she becomes pregnant for the second time and refuses to have an abortion, the persecution begins in earnest. Zhen-Li’s parents, under pressure from the government, pay to have Zhen-Li kidnapped and the baby aborted.
It is then Zhen-Li decides she must live up to her name—"Truth"—and take a firm stand for her faith, regardless of the consequences, and so she begins to regularly teach children about Zhu Yesu ("Lord Jesus") and to distribute Christian literature every chance she gets.
Based loosely on the life of Christian magazine editor Li Ying, currently serving a ten-year prison sentence in China, the story of Yang Zhen-Li tells the desperate tale of her incarceration and separation from her family, as she continues to minister to other prisoners, and even to her guards.
My Thoughts and Impressions:
I loved this book! I was sucked in from page one. I felt Zhen-Li's fear, her yearning for her husband and son, her terror of the prison guard and her desire in spite of it all to "go...and tell." I got goosebumps as I read the interactions with God by the different characters.
During the course of the book, Zhen-Li's evangelistic spirit, in spite of her newness to Christianity, put me to shame again and again. It was not the type of shame that makes me feel lower than a snake's belly, but shame that motivated me to want to do more. More for China, more intercession, more in my church ministry, and more in my personal life that will honor God.
I wasn't even a third into the book before I worked up the courage to upbraid the choir about the fact that we take our ministry lightly every time we are late, show up unrehearsed, omit personal prayer time, meditation or Bible study. We harbor a sense of entitlement about our place of worship and do not appreciate the magnitude of God's grace and mercy toward us, while our counterparts in China and other non-Christian countries are literally dying for a place of worship such as we have.
Although faith conditions in China are outside my sphere of experience, I found the Zhen-Li's personal struggle between faith and fear quite relatable, and as I read the final page I was praising God. The resounding message in my mind was, "You gotta act." Oh I know! I thought. I'll buy a copy of this book for Through a virtual blog tour. I know from looking at the statistics of my websites each day that the Internet has immeasurable reach! So I contacted Kathi, pitched the idea and three days later this tour began.
It is my prayer that those who have been introduced to this book will obtain a copy, read it, act on it, and then pass on the book to others.
−This book is evangelism/revival in a box. −The author handles several subplots without losing the reader. −Even though it's 320 pages, the book is a quick read. −The author's faith pours through each character's encounter with God. Key Negatives:
−Didn't see any.
Buy this book!
About the Author:
Award-winning author Kathi Macias has written more than 20 books, including the award-winning devotional A Moment a Day, and the popular "Matthews" mystery novels. One of her recent novels, Emma Jean Reborn, is being put into script form by playwright Barry Scott. Kathi has won many awards, including the Angel Award from Excellence in Media, fiction awards from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild, and the grand prize in an international writing contest. With women's ministry as her primary interest, Kathi is a popular speaker for women's retreats, conferences, and churches. A mother and grandmother, Kathi and her husband, Al, call California home.
Gary, Indiana has come a long way from Ron Howard's lisped version of, Gary Indiana, Gary, Indiana, Gary Indiana! heard in the Musical, The Music Man.Gary, Indiana has come a long way from Ron Howard's lisped version of, Gary Indiana, Gary, Indiana, Gary Indiana! heard in the Musical, The Music Man.
In Brenda Hampton's Playa's Handbook Gary, Indiana is home to one Lance Montgomery who author's The Playa's Handbook. Read the top ten rules below:
Top Ten Rules [DS's comments in ()]
- Never give a woman the key to your apartment. - Playas "have sex," they don't "make love." - Avoid crotch-grabbers, unless you like feeling assaulted. - Before you get carried away with a woman, make sure everything she's packing is the real thing (LOL, LOL, LOL!) - Stay away from women who have reputations for "faking it." - Beware of women who prefer the "on-top" position all the time. (eyebrows raised) - Avoid the "First Come, Last Served Syndrome" by making sure she's willing to go down on you if you're willing to go down on her. (ROFLMBO) - Don't be afraid "not" to commit, no matter how hot the sex is. - Beware of women who ask what sort of work you do too soon in the conversation. Usually that's an indication they are trying to find out how much money you make. (Wrong! If you have a J O B and if it's legal... LOL) - A woman can't use you if you use her first.
Reading the a book which includes the above rules and following an example of the author, Lance Montgomery, three male friends give into unspoken male peer pressure to unleash their inner playa.
This book was a good afternoon read. The characters are indentifiable as someone's brother, bonehead or significant other that we've all encountered at some time in our lives. ...more
I loved Carrie and Connor's story. The author handled an often swept-under-the-rug issue with a frankness that was effective yet not over the top. GreI loved Carrie and Connor's story. The author handled an often swept-under-the-rug issue with a frankness that was effective yet not over the top. Great job Mrs. Jackson!
I was however, disappointed in Lance and Asia's conclusion. Lance was not as dynamic in this sequel and (for me) there was a less believable quality, however I would still recommend the purchase of the Playa's Handbook and No Playas to anyone wanting a good read, with characters who make you laugh, shake your head or tick you off ... just like people do in everyday life. ...more