Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

‘Fierce Convictions’ Book Review March 16, 2015

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Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior
My Rating: 3/5

We all dream of making a difference. Of leaving a lasting mark on the world in which we live. We savor stories of heroes both past and present. They inspire us to strive for that same greatness.
This is one of those stories. For the most part, however, it has remain untold.
Prior to having read the back cover of this book, I had never heard the name of Hannah More. I knew nothing of her life or her legacy. However, I came to discover that it is worth knowing.
 Living in the late 18th and early 19th century, Hannah More utilized her passion and gift for writing in great ways. Working alongside William Wilberforce and other great minds of their time, she worked towards the abolition of slavery in England. She also strove to better the lives of those in the lower class through the founding Sunday schools, where they were taught to read. This was a radical, even resisted effort in her culture. Her greatest impact and legacy is undoubtedly her writings. Through numerous volumes of tracts, books, and stories, she encouraged biblical values and lifestyles. These works greatly affected the morals of both the lower and upper classes.
I would most definitely encourage you to acquaint yourself on the life of More. Hers is one which can inspire our hearts, and educate our minds. However, the style in which Prior wrote this biography is quite dry. While I appreciated how researched and detailed the account was, I found it difficult to follow and at times even boring to read. At times it seemed to be more of a list of facts rather than a well-written story.
The life of Hannah More was one of courage and dedication to the Lord. I believe our generation would greatly benefit from being taught of her and others like her. Yet I would warn you that while this is a detailed and full account, it is one which requires much focus, and is not a leisurely read.
I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

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‘Learning To Love’ Book Review July 28, 2013

Title: Learning To Love: Passion, Compassion, and the Essence of the Gospel

Author: Heidi and Rolland Baker

Date I Finished Reading: July 22,2013

My Rating: 3/5

I have always loved to hear missionaries’ stories. They are always inspiring, encouraging, and enlightening. They always motivate my thoughts and prayers. Which is why I was excited to read this book. I was eager to read and to learn about Heidi and Rolland Baker and their ministry to the unreached people in Mozambique.

I enjoyed reading about the many people who were moved by the gospel through their ministry as well as how God worked in and through the Bakers as they shared his word. From reading of those who were brought to Christ, to the struggles that these missionaries overcame, to hearing of miraculous healings that occurred, I was encouraged by the faith and the love that God grew inside of Heidi and Rolland because of their passion and their ministry.

There were a couple of aspects about this book that I did not like, however. For example, I found that they were very repetitive in their story-telling, yet at the same time, it seemed as though they almost took for granted the miracles and wonders happening. It seemed as though they occasionally would say “many deaf villagers were healed”, “nearly entire villages were saved” or “a lame man walked for the first time” yet they treated it as a common occurrence. They almost seemed as though they were used to, or took for granted God’s miracles.

While I believe that the Bakers had a wonderful heart and ministry, I found the book a bit difficult for me to read due to how repetitive the writings seemed to be. If you can see past that, however, I believe that this is a great book for you to read.

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

Also, if you are interested in, or enjoy reading books on true missionary accounts, I would recommend the book Call of a Coward. You can read my review on this book here: https://innerbeautyforever.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/call-of-a-coward-book-review/

 

‘When God Makes Lemonade’ Book Review June 12, 2013

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Title: When God Makes Lemonade: True Stories That Amaze and Encourage
Author: Don Jacobson
Date I Finished Reading: June 12,2013
My Rating: 5/5
I know from my own life that sometimes the hardest, hopeless, most painful circumstances in life often become God’s greatest blessings. And that is what this book is all about. A compilation of 68 individual stories and testimonies, it truly is an excellent read.
Each story you read in When God Makes Lemonade shows God’s grace and wisdom as well as his love in the lives of those involved. Some of the stories made me laugh, some amazed me, some brought tears to my eyes, yet all of them gave praise to God.
I would most definitely recommend this book, especially to those presently experiencing a trial or struggle. It is sure so inspire you as well as to strengthen your faith.
Note: I received this book free from the publisher 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.

 

 

‘I Still Believe’ Book Review February 7, 2013

978-1-4143-7559-5Title: I Still Believe: a memoir

Author: Jeremy Camp with David Thomas

Date I Finished Reading: February 7,2013

My Rating: 5/5

“Even when I don’t see, I still believe.”  The words of Jeremy Camp’s song I Still Believe,  have reached out to and connected with thousand of people around the world, as has many of his other songs. But what inspired Jeremy to write these words that he shared with so many people? In this memoir, he shares his testimony and the story (or stories) that inspired and encouraged him in his music.

Jeremy shares his story from his rebellious teenage years, to falling in love, to losing his wife to cancer, being called to the music ministry and to remarrying and starting a family. He tells how God worked in his heart and mind throughout all of this and how God has worked in and through him.

I absolutely loved this book. It has to be one of my favorite memoirs, if not my favorite! Jeremy writes with honesty, humor, and love in an interesting and easy-to-read manner.  He doesn’t try to glorify himself or toot his own horn, but is down-to-earth and humble.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially to someone who is experiencing a hardship or loss and is trying to stay faithful and say for themselves, “I still believe.”

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

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/I-Still-Believe-Jeremy-Camp/dp/141437559X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360267198&sr=8-1&keywords=i+still+believe

 

‘By Faith, Not By Sight’ Book Review December 6, 2012

thTitle: By Faith, Not By Sight: The Inspirational Story of a Blind Prodigy, a Life-Threatening Illness, and an Unexpected Gift

Author: Scott MacIntyre with Jennifer Schuchmann

Date I Finished Reading: December 6,2012

My Rating: 2/5

I really wanted to like this book. When I read the description I became pretty excited, expecting to open up the crisp pages and dive into and engaging, inspiring read. I was disappointed. As I began to read, I waited and waited for the story to get going and grab my attention. I can honestly say, I never got hooked (although it did become a bit better once Scott began to tell of his experience on American Idol) I had to drag myself to finish the book, which is very uncharacteristic of me.

In this book Scott tells his own story. He tells you of his being born blind, going to college at 14, graduating at 19, and finding out the day of college graduation that he had severe kidney failure. He shares his story from being a young kid, to a college student, to a dying patient, to being on tour with American Idol, and an aspiring musician throughout it all.

There were a few things that I didn’t like out the book. For starters, Scott is VERY repetitive, continuously telling you stories or details that you have already read once or twice before. The thing that I disliked the most was the fact that there was a hint of pride in Scott’s writing. At times it came across like he was boasting about how great he had handled what he was enduring (although I don’t think that was his intent). For some reason, this really annoyed me.

I am not entirely sure I would recommend this book. If you are a huge Idol fan, then you would probably enjoy it, but as for me, I was not too impressed.

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

You can find this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Not-Sight-Inspirational-Life-Threatening/dp/0849947219/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354825934&sr=8-1&keywords=by+faith+not+by+sight

 

 

‘Still Lolo’ Book Review November 29, 2012

images (25)Title: Still Lolo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, and a Family’s Journey of Hope

Author: Lauren Scruggs and the Scruggs Family, with Marcus Brotherton

Date I Finished Reading: November 29,2012

My Rating: 5/5

Two steps. It doesn’t sound like much, compared to how many steps we take throughout the day. But on December 3,2012 two steps changed Lauren Scruggs’ life forever. It was that night that Lauren stepped out of a friend’s plane, and into a spinning propeller. It was this accident that caused Lauren to lose her hand, her eye, and nearly her life.

In the book Still Lolo,  we see the story of Lauren and her family’s trial and faith throughout her injury and recovery. As you can imagine, the whole ordeal was both physically and emotionally draining. Yet, throughout it all, their faith and confidence in the Lord held them together and gave them hope.

As you can imagine, for Lauren, life after the accident required many adjustments. As a fashion journalist, you can imagine Lauren was very conscious of her appearance. However, the Lord brought Lauren to the realization that she was still beautiful, that she could still be loved, and that he still had a plan for her. This is a lesson that all young ladies need to learn at one point or another.

I was quickly drawn into this book. I found it to be inspiring, encouraging and eye-opening. I highly recommend this book to you!! You can actually read the first chapter by following this link:

http://mediacenter.tyndale.com/downloads/press_kits/StillLoloCh1.pdf

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/Still-Lolo-Spinning-Propeller-Horrific/dp/1414376693/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354373193&sr=8-1&keywords=still+lolo