Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

‘One Way Love’ Book Review December 1, 2013

photoTitle: One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World
Author: Tullian Tchividjian
Date I Finished Reading: November 30,2013
My Rating: 5/5

We live in a world that is very conditional. In order to receive one thing we must first do or achieve something else. And we often find that this constant need to become a certain way or to achieve certain expectations or criteria has left us completely exhausted, discouraged, and unmotivated.
In this book, Tullian Tchividjian does an amazing job of revealing to readers just what Jesus meant when he said “It is Finished”. He shows how Jesus’ death and resurrection free us from having to work towards meriting our own salvation. The truth of Christ’s completing work on the cross is one, that once you truly comprehend is so amazingly freeing and life changing.
I absolutely loved this book. It was written in a way that was full of scripture and truth, yet was easy to understand, think on, and apply. Discussing topics from performance-based faith, arguments against Grace, and the amazing and everyday power of one-way love, this book is so very true, practical, challenging and refreshing.
I would definitely recommend this book to you. Whether you struggle to understand the grace of God, to accept the grace of God, or maybe what impact this grace has in the life of a believer, this book is an encouraging and practical tool.

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

 

About The Author:

Tullian Tchividjian is the senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; a lecturer at th Knox Theological Seminary; the founder of LIBERATE; and a grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham. The author of numerous books, including Jesus + Nothing = Everything and Glorious Ruin, Tchividjian speaks at conferences around the world. He and his wife, Kim, have three children.

 

‘God Girl’ Book Review September 12, 2013

9780800719401Title: God Girl: Becoming The Woman You’re Meant To Be

Author: Hayley DiMarco

Date I Finished Reading: September 2,2013

My Rating: 5/5

I absolutely love when I find a book that is both biblical, and practical. I do. I love when I can be challenged in ways that can be applied in my everyday life. This is one of those books. Directed towards teenage girls, it provides biblical guidance on living as godly young women. Touching on topics from happiness to communication, it offers a biblical perspective on issues that are far too often negatively affected by our culture today.

Hayley did an excellent job when writing this book. She wrote in a way that is easily understood, with it’s humor, comparisons, and stories. It was easy for me to become engaged and interested in what was being said, and often found myself thinking “oh, yeah! I can completely relate!” This writing style, along with the lists of applications at the end of each chapter, helped me to apply what was being taught to my own life, and to examine myself to see where I was and was not showing these godly attributes in my own life.

I would definitely recommend this book to young women. I read it in a single afternoon, and found that it was a simple read, yet was so full of applicable truths!

 

About The Author:

Hayley DiMarco is the best-selling author of more than thirty books, including Dateable, Marriable, Mean Girls, The Woman of Mystery, and hayley_avatar_medCupidity. She spent the early part of her career working for a little shoe company called Nike in Portland, Oregon and Thomas Nelson Publishers in Nashville, Tennessee.

In 2002 Hayley left Nelson and founded Hungry Planet, a company intensely focused on feeding the world’s appetite for truth by producing books and new media, taking on issues of faith and life with a distinctly modern voice. Shortly after founding Hungry Planet, Hayley successfully completed a nationwide executive search for someone to run the company so she could focus on writing. She describes her husband, Michael, as her most successful business acquisition!

 

‘A Gospel Primer For Christians’ Book Review

A-Gospel-Primer-for-Christians-9781885904676Title:  A Gospel Primer For Christians: Learning To See The Glories Of God’s Love

Author: Milton Vincent

Date I Finished Reading: September 1,2013

My Rating: 5/5

“The gospel is so foolish (according to my natural wisdom), so scandalous (according to my conscience), and so incredible (according to my timid heart), that it is a daily battle to believe the full scope of it as I should. There is simply no other way to compete with the forebodings of my conscience, the condemnings of my heart, and the lies of the world and the Devil than to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsings of the gospel.” [page 14]

This summer I went along with some other teens from my youth group to the Teen Leadership Conference at Baptist Bible College in Pennsylvania. During the worship services at the conference, small portions of this book were read. The truths in the readings were so relateable, applicable, and thought-provoking, that I immediately wanted to read the book.  I am so thankful that I did.

Within the pages of this book Milton Vincent relays to us beautiful, simple, yet life-changing truths about the gospel, and it’s effects on our daily lives. By touching on biblical truths on the gospel, he teaches how this affects our view of the cross, our perspective towards others — both the lost as well as fellow believers—, prayer, pride, hope, etc.

One aspect of this book that I absolutely love is that in the book, Milton includes all of the scriptures from which he drew the truths and conclusions of which he wrote. They are all quoted at the bottom of the page. This was a great tool in directing me towards passages that spoke on topics and truths which I found especially thought-provoking, interesting, or convicting.

The end result of reading this book was that my faith, love, and appreciation in and for the gospel was greatly strengthened. It challenged me to consistently be pointing my own heart and mind back towards the gospel and the cross of Christ every moment of every day.  I would definitely say that I recommend this book to any and all believers, encouraging you to read it for yourself, and learn truths of God’s word that will both encourage and change you.

 

‘The One Year Devos For Teen Girls’ Book Review August 9, 2013

9781414371597_p0_v2_s260x420Title: The One Year Devos For Teen Girls
Author: Dannah Gresh and Suzy Weibel
My Rating 2/5
I believe that it is very important that we are in God’s word on a daily basis. I also believe that it is important that teen girls have a firm, biblical foundation on practical, applicable issues in society today. I was hoping that this devotional would provide just that. However, I came to have mixed feelings about it.
I liked the way that this devotional was formatted. Each day’s reading began with a passage from scripture pertaining to the topic that is to be discussed. Next, the author shares her feelings, beliefs and thoughts with the reader, normally tying in the verse with a relevant subject. Each day’s reading ends with an ‘action step’ which is a practical, personal application based on the passage and devotion just read.
However, although I did like the format, or layout of the devotional, I was not overly impressed by the content. Although I thought the topics were relevant, important issues, I did not find the information, or thoughts shared, to be very deep or thought-provoking. I believe that the content was basic, perhaps even watered-down. It may possibly be beneficial for a new believer, but I do not believe that a more mature Christian would be challenged by, or learn from this devotional.
Overall, I would say that although I was pleased with the format in which the devotional is written, I do not believe that many girls would truly benefit from the content within it.
Although I would not necessarily recommend this devotional, I would recommend the Josh McDowell’s One Year Book Of Youth Devotions.
Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

 

‘Bible Savvy’ Book Series Review July 28, 2013

Title: Bible Savvy (4 Book Set)

Author: James L. Nicodem

Date I Finished Reading: July 21,2013

My Rating: 5/5

I love when I come across a book that is just practical, yet still full of truth. I do! They are biblical, easy to understand, and easy to apply. The Bible Savvy Series is one of those reads. Based on scripture, easy to read, and full of biblical, practical applications, I found this series to be very beneficial to me!

Epic: The Storyline of the Bible

In this first installment of the series, NIcodem walks through the Bible, making a brief overview of it’s vast plot. Working his way from Genesis to Revelation, he shows how all of scripture is one common theme. Even though there are 66 books within the Bible, they are all part of one plot: The story of redemption. He discusses the outline of redemption prompted, redemption prepared, redemption prophesied, redemption purchased, redemption proclaimed and redemption perfected. Seeing how all books and divisions of the Bible fit together under one common story line helped me to better comprehend how the pieces fit together as well as to be reminded that each portion of scripture is important and not to be overlooked as unimportant.

Foundation: The Reliability of the Bible

In this second book, we are shown just how we know that the Bible is what the Bible says that the Bible is (comprehend?).  The key topic throughout is how we know that the Bible is truly the word of God? How do we know that it is God-breathed? How do we know it is true? How do we know it is without error? How do we know that we can trust the Bible? Basically, it describes to us why and how we can have confidence in the Word of God. In today’s culture it has become extremely important that we know what we believe, and how to defend that belief. This book proved to be a wonderful tool in answering those questions, and giving me knowledge to pass on to others when this topic arises.

Context: How to Understand the Bible

Out of all of the books in this series, I believe that I found this one to be most beneficial and helpful to me. In this particular volume, Nicodem discusses each genre of scripture and presents you with how to properly read and understand them. He discusses books of poetry, books of prophesy and everything in between. As I read it I was encouraged to better study and search scripture as well as to better utilize outside resources in order to better understand the context under which different scriptures were written, which will help me to better understand the meaning of God’s Word.

Walk: How to Apply the Bible

I feel that this book did an excellent job at wrapping up the Bible Savvy series and showing why this is relevant and applicable to our personal lives. He also walks through the COMA outline and provides wonderful examples that allow you to both learn how to as well as actively practice searching out the context, observations, message and application of scriptures. It was extremely helpful in helping me to comprehend how to better understand scripture as I read and study God’s Word.

I would most definitely recommend this series to you if you desire to better understand, study and apply scripture to your life!

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

 

‘Finding God In The Hunger Games’ Book Review June 19, 2013

image

Title: Finding God In The Hunger Games: 30 devotions to inspire faith
Author: Selena Sarns
Date I Finished Reading: June 18, 2013
My Rating: 3.5/5

I am an insane Hunger Games fan. After reading Suzanne Collins’ trilogy I discussed, contemplated and raved about the story for several weeks endlessly, and still do quite frequently. However, I never saw any Biblical parrallels in the plot, which is why the title of this book piqued my curiosity. I expected the book to be a bit far-fetched, failing to truly contain anything of use. Nevertheless, I grabbed my sunglasses, headed to the city pool, and floated leisurely in a tube as I explored this new devotional.
I was, in fact, delightfully surprised by what I found within the covers of this book. Where I had expected to find far-fetched, cliche points, I instead found biblical parallels that I could clearly see where I once had never considered before. Sarns did an excellent job of using passages of scripture and portions of The Hunger Games story to teach lessons through beloved characters. With topics ranging from unconditional love to gratitude, we find little life lessons tucked away between the pages of the trilogy.
There were only two negative aspects of this book that I discovered. The first is that although good points were made and explored, they were not necessarily deep or very thought-provoking. My second complaint has more to do with he book itself rather than its contents. I read the book within a day, yet as I neared the end, more than half of the pages fell from the binding, suggesting poor quality.
Overall, I would say that although this devotional is not extremely deep, I believe Hunger Games fans would definitely enjoy it. A word of warning, however: this devotion contains snippets of the story from all three books in The Hunger Games trilogy, and could contain spoilers for those who have not yet finished it.
Note: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

 

‘Naked God’ Book Review May 31, 2013

adornment_4670_1440x900Title: Naked God: The truth about God exposed

Author: Martin Ayers

Date I Finished Reading: May 30,2013

My Rating: 2/5

In this book Martin Ayers explores questions such as is there a God? Who was Jesus? How does this influence my life? And he does so in an attempt to persuade or encourage non-believers to follow the Christian faith. Having this knowledge, I was eager and curious to begin reading the book, hoping to find a great resource to pass on to others, Christians and non-Christians alike. However, the book was not what I had hoped it to be.

There were a few different issues, or arguments that I had against this book. One would be that it seems Ayers uses very little scripture or outside resources to support his points, instead following the path of reasoning and logic. Now reasoning and logic is not necessarily a bad or negative thing, but I believe that when exploring a theological issue God’s word should be at the center of our thinking, and other people’s writings and thoughts can prove to strengthen the argument. This is why I was disappointed that so few scriptures appeared throughout the book.

Another aspect of the book that I disliked was the fact that at one point Ayers promotes the belief that evolution and the big bang theory is in line with biblical teachings, and therefore can be true.  I personally was turned away by this. Scripture points to God’s creation of the world through his words in a six-day process. This is not what evolution and the big bang theory teaches, and therefore they cannot both be right. I believe that God’s word is true and right in everything, including creation. This alone would prevent me from passing this book on to another, especially a non-believer, because I find that it could become very misleading.

The final complaint that I have against this book would be that it does not seem to go very deep. I personally did not find anything in this book that was challenging or even thought-provoking. At the beginning of this book Ayers says that his goal was to remove assumptions and merely explore the truth about God, who He is and how it affects us. And although he does remain neutral, I feel as though not much was exposed, but merely the more obvious was stated.

To sum it up, I wouldn’t recommend this book to another person, especially to a non-believer. I just feel that resources we pass on to others should contain and be supported by scripture. This book is not. I simply feel that the points presented in this book are basic, and do not go very deep, and that there are many other resources for Christians and non-Christians alike that would be more beneficial to read from and to study on this topic.

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

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Naked-God-Truth-About-Exposed/dp/192144164X/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1370018335&sr=8-10&keywords=naked+god