Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

The More I Seek You by Kari Jobe March 31, 2013

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This song moves me every time that I hear it. It is so true, pure, and beautiful that it brings goosebumps to my skin, and tears to my eyes. How often do I seek God? How often do I thirst for his presence? How often am I utterly overwhelmed by my desire and longing to know him more, and to be with him? This song is so beautiful, and an amazing reminder to me. I encourage you to truly listen to the words, and take it’s words to heart.

 

‘the Heiress of Winterwood’ Book Review March 28, 2013

thTitle: the Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers On the Moors Book 1)

Author: Sarah Ladd

Date I Finished Reading: March 27, 2013

My Rating: 5/5

The following is the plot description from the back of this book:

Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.

When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting at her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.

Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she’s forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.

Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.

Both must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them.

 

This is a difficult book to review, not wanting to give too much of the plot away. However, I can say this. The Heiress of Winterwood, Sarah Ladd’s debut novel, is phenomenal!  I was quickly drawn into the plot and found my thoughts constantly drifting back to the story whenever I was not reading it!

There were a few qualities of this book that I especially liked. For example. I loved the setting and time era. The story is set in London in the early 1800’s. This proved to be  a very interesting, and refreshing change from many historical romance novel. This, along with the originality of the plot, kept the story from becoming cliché

Another aspect of the book that I liked was Sarah Ladd’s writing style. She writes in a manner where you feel as though you are in the room, watching what is unfolding. She uses, colorful, descriptive vocabulary that give you an idea of the scene without becoming too wordy or drawn out, which was a huge bonus in my opinion! Also, her writing style portrayed her characters excellently! Her characters did not seem unrealistic or vague, but were very relatable and clear.

Overall, I can definitely say that I would recommend this book to you! I found it engaging, interesting, and addicting, as well as a beautiful story of faith and love. It is by far one of the best books I have read in a while!

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, however, my opinions are my own.

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Heiress-Winterwood-Whispers-Moors/dp/1401688357/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364485747&sr=8-1&keywords=heiress+of+winterwood

 

A Lesson From 10-year-old Boys March 26, 2013

Are you ever blown away by the gospel? Do you ever cringe when you think on or imagine the brutality of what Christ endured both before and during his time on the cross? Or does the intensity of it all escape your thoughts, leaving you dulled to the horror and extent of Jesus’ sacrifice for you? These are some questions that I have been asking myself today.

Each Tuesday morning some of the fourth grade students from local elementary schools come to our church for one hour during the school day. During this hour they are taught from the scriptures, learn memory verses, play games, sing songs, etc. It is a truly amazing opportunity and an immense blessing. I have the privilege of teaching one of these classes. My class is made up of three boys, whom I have become rather fond of. Throughout this school year we have been working through the Bible. We began at creation, and now, as we near Easter, are exploring Jesus’ crucifixion.

Having grown up in a Christian home, being active in my church, and being homeschooled, I have grown up hearing the gospel, which is a true privilege. My WRE (weekly religious education) kids have not had that. So this morning when told them the story of Jesus’ beating, the cat o’ nine tails, and the crucifixion process, I watched their reactions. The boys, all about ten-years old were wincing, cringing, and shocked by the details that I was describing. They were blown away by what Jesus endured. This got me thinking.

Do I take what Jesus endured too lightly? Do I sometimes take for granted the fact that he was beaten with leather, glass and bone to the point where he was not even recognizable? Do I? Do you? Do we sometimes hear that Jesus died for us, and fail to grasp just how intense and excruciating this death really was? I am sad to say that sometimes this is the case with me. Sometimes I breeze over the gruesome details of his death and instead focus on the happy ending. Why? Maybe because it is painful to come to the realization that I deserve that death. It hurts to think of and picture myself in Christ’s place, which is where I deserve to be. I deserve to be the one beaten with the cat o’ nine tails. I am the one who deserves to be spat at. I am the one that deserves to drag a massive cross — an emblem of shame– up a mountain in humiliation. I am the one who deserves to die on a cross. And so are you, as harsh as that may sound. But no, Christ took our place. How awesome is that?!

Today I was reminded of the extent of Christ’s sacrifice, and the depths of his grace.  I was once again brought to the startling realization of the pain, ugliness, and disgrace brought about by sin. I was once again shown the love, glory, and magnificence of my savior. And what did it take? Three ten-year-old boys. What will it take for you?

 

‘The Bondservant’s Life’ Book Review March 13, 2013

untitledTitle: The Bondservant’s Life: Foundation for Understanding Prophecy, and a Call to Maturity, Love, and Unity in the Knowledge of God

Author: John Brenner Chandler

Date I Finished Reading: March 13,2013

My Rating: 2/5

I was not expecting this book to be so big. Honestly. This book is a total of 500+ pages packed full of notes, thoughts, scriptures and teaching. It dives into the life of a bondservant and of submission to God.

Some positive attributes of this book would be Chandler’s knowledge. It became obvious as I read this book that he knew what he was talking about, and had illustrations, quotes, articles and other resources to support his thesis. I was impressed with how much scripture he brought into the book, making it centered around God’s word.

However, at the same time, I struggled to read this book. Chandler’s writings are very deep, but the way that he presents his beliefs is very difficult to understand. He is very wordy and at times long-winded. I understand and appreciate the use of good vocabulary, but this was excessive, to the point where it made the book difficult to read and understand. This is why I gave this book the rating that I did. While Chandler may have depth and substance to his writing, but how can you think on and apply the teachings if you can hardly make sense of what he is trying to say? I couldn’t.

Overall, I would say that this book had potential. It could have been a great resource, but the length and style of writing made it difficult to understand, enjoy, or apply.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Bondservants-Life-Foundation-Understanding/dp/0983810206/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363189877&sr=8-1&keywords=the+bondservant%27s+life

 

‘To Honor and Trust’ Book Review

thTitle: To Honor and Trust (Bridal Veil Island)

Authors: Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

Date I Finished Reading: March 13,2013

My Rating: 5/5

Once you have been hurt, it can sometimes be very hard to forgive, and to trust again. Callie knows this to be very true in her own life. She was once hurt by a man she loved, and now guards her heart against that ever happening again. However, Mr. and Mrs. Bridgeport, her employers we treat her as family, are convinced to help Callie find a suitable husband. Callie is able to dodge their plans, but not without finding  love for herself along the way. But should she really trust Wesley? Can she? Or will he break her heart as well? And with so many different paths and choices, is this God’s plan for her life?

This book ties together many qualities to paint a wonderful picture. Romance, mystery, humor, and history are mixed together in a charming, entertaining, and engaging way, resulting in a very enjoyable read. I was quickly pulled into the plot of this book, becoming attached to the characters, who were well written. I loved the setting of the story as well, one that is a bit more unique and original.

I really do not have any complaints whatsoever about this book, so I can honestly say that I would recommend it to you, if you are anything like me in the fact that you enjoy a good book that captures your attention until the very end.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Honor-Trust-Bridal-Veil-Island/dp/0764208888/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363177715&sr=8-1&keywords=to+honor+and+trust

 

‘Passion’ Book Review March 4, 2013

thTitle: Passion: How Christ’s Final Day Changes Your Every Day

Author: Mike McKinley

Date I Finished Reading: March 4,2013

My Rating: 5/5

Some books have good content, but lack application, making them impractical. This is NOT one of those books. No, this is a book that is full of both wisdom, and practicality. By examining the details of Christ’s final day on earth, we see how they can affect our life in radical ways.

In this book Mike McKinley takes a look at the details of Christ’s final days from the garden of Gethsemane to the crucifixion. He often approaches them from an angle that we — or at least I– never have before. He helps us to see every aspect of Christ’s behavior during this time as an example for how we also should live. Whether that means we are more compelled to forgive, more encouraged towards faithful friendship, etc. He also uses characters from the story that we sometimes tend to overlook, such as the mourning women, Barabbas etc., to help us see our relationship with Christ in a whole new light.

Simply put, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Whether that be a sceptic, a new christian, or one more mature in the faith… it doesn’t matter. This book can help you see things in a new light, and give you food for thought.

Note: I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

 

‘Stumbling On Open Ground’ Book Review March 3, 2013

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Title: Stumbling On Open Ground: Love, God, Cancer, and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Author: Ken Mansfield

Date I Finished Reading: March 2,2013

My Rating: 5/5

I have sometimes wondered what a person goes through when fighting cancer. I have wondered what exactly they endure spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Maybe that is why this book was so interesting to me, maybe not. Either way, I was drawn into the story of Ken Mansfield, and his wife, Connie.

In this book Ken lays out the story of his two fights with cancer, including a rare, life-threatening, “incurable” cancer. He is very real and honest as he does so, writing on the pain, heartache, and touching moments with God.

Ken is, no doubt, a talented author. He has a way of writing that draws you in, and holds your interest. He uses wonderful analogies to give you a vivid picture of the  hardships he endured. His humorous touches also adds to the read.

I would, without a doubt, recommend this book to you. I found it to be enlightening, heart-touching, inspiring and encouraging.  how gave me a look at just how heartbreaking and  excruciating cancer can be, both physically and emotionally. It made me more aware of how blessed I am to be given a strong, healthy body. And it made me even more thankful  that I have a God who is right beside me during the hardest of trials.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for may honest review. However, my opinions are my own.