Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

‘A Cast Of Stones’ Book Review February 19, 2014

downloadTitle: A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword book 1)

Author: Patrick W. Carr

My Rating: 5/5

I honestly had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book to read it. What I found was a delightful surprise. With an entirely  unique spin to the typical story of kings, adventure, sword fights, and quests, this book grabbed my attention and had me hooked to the very end.

Errol Stone has no idea of the amazing talent and potential that he possesses. He sees himself as almost anyone else does. As  a drunk. However, when someone offers to pay him for delivering a message, he quickly accepts, thinking that the money would help him to purchase more ale. What follows this seemingly simple task is an unforgettable, and unpredictable adventure that will change his heart, and his destiny.

I absolutely loved the setting of this book. Carr did an excellent job at painting a vivid picture of Errol’s surroundings that helped me to become much more engaged in the plot. The time and culture in which this story occurs drew me in quickly and easily. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was the way in which Errol’s character matures, changes and learns throughout the book. This made him seem so much more real and believable. I soon became very attached to his character, and found myself rejoicing in his victories and grieving over his trials.

My only negative remark in regards to this otherwise wonderful masterpiece would be that at times I felt that particular characters entered and left the story far too quickly, leaving little time for them to truly become developed or contribute much to the plot. I found myself waiting for them to somehow be worked back into the story, thinking that they had left far too abruptly, but they never did. However, this is only the first book in the series, so perhaps Carr plans to reunite the characters in a later book.

Over all, I would say that this creative, engaging and wonderfully written book is one that I would most definitely recommend, and greatly enjoyed!

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

 

A Great Gift for Homeschool Moms! December 3, 2013

homebibleI wanted to share with you a great resource/gift for homeschool moms that you know! I gave a copy of this Bible both to my own Mom, as well as to another homeschool Mom in our church. Both of them were very excited to receive them.

Although this is not directly related to the study Bible itself, I wanted to start out by saying that I absolutely loved the cover of this Bible. It is colorful, creative and appealing. And I know, I know, you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I can honestly say that I especially liked the cover to this Bible.

Now, moving on to the content of the Bible, itself. Inside the pages of this Bible is 365 daily devotionals for encouraging homeschool moms. I found that the devotions were easy  to find and to use. Also, the devotions themselves are both practical and applicable. One morning my Mom came to me with a smile and told me how perfect what she had read in it that morning was for what she had been feeling and thinking through before.

The one aspect of this Bible that I did not care for was that the words of Christ were not in red, which I normally do prefer. However, this is true for many study Bibles, and in all actuality is not that significant of a detail.

Overall I would say that this study Bible could be either a helpful resource for yourself, or a wonderful gift for another woman in your life. I would like to note, also, that this Bible does come in the NIV as well, if you would prefer that translation.

Note: I received this book from Booksneeze.com in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.

 

‘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.

 

‘A Gospel Primer For Christians’ Book Review September 12, 2013

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.

 

‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ Book Review September 6, 2013

9780310730538Title: Alone Yet Not Alone: Their Faith Became Their Freedom

Author: Tracy Leininger Craven

Date I Finished Reading: August 26,2013

My Rating: 5/5

The following description is from Zondervan.com:

The Leininger family settled deep within America’s new frontier in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania. A sudden Indian raid changed their lives forever. This story retells the heroic and daring escape of Barbara Leininger, and the touching reunion with her sister, Regina, after nine years. It also gives us an endearing portrayal of the love between family members and the strength of childhood memories. Father and Mother Leininger’s commitment to ‘hide’ God’s Word in the hearts of their children.

I remember reading this book several years ago. At the time I found the story to be admirable and inspiring. As I recently have reread the book, in anticipation for the upcoming release of the movie, things are no different. I still find the story within its pages to be touching.

Based on a true story, this book offers young readers (as well as older readers) a glimpse of what life was like for many people in America’s past. As young girls having moved to America, Barbara and Regina Leininger were raised by their parents to have a deep love for and faith in God. They cherished and memorized God’s words, hiding them not only in their heads, but also in their hearts. However, like all of us, their faith was tested. As the girls and their family experience tragedy, loss and separation, Barbara and Regina promise one another that no matter what, they will have faith in God, and they will not lose the song in their hearts.  As they are separated, years go by, yet each sister find her comfort and hope in the Word Of God, and in the lyrics of an old hymn.

This is a wonderful book of faith, hope and trust that will truly inspire you. I would definitely recommend it, especially to younger readers. It reminds us of how blessed we truly are to serve our great God, as well as how powerful His Word is in ourCravenT hearts and our lives.

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

About the Author:

.Tracy Leininger Craven loves history and retelling real-life stories in her historical fiction books. She also loves spending her free time in the great outdoors with her husband David and their three children.

 

‘Billy Graham In Quotes’ Book Review August 7, 2013

billy graham in quotesTitle: Billy Graham In Quotes

Author: Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney

My Rating: 5/5

When I was baptized, my church gave me a copy of The Bible Promise Book. It was a little book that contained many different Bible passages, organized by topics. This book reminds me a lot of The Bible Promise Book, only it contains quotes from Billy Graham instead of Bible passages.

This book contains hundreds of quotes from Billy Graham, covering 110 topics from anger to abortion, from society to worship. Each section of the book contains a passage that follows the same theme or thought of the quotes that are to follow, laying a biblical foundation for what is to be read. And I found that the quotes contained are biblical, encouraging, inspiring, and applicable.

I am very excited about this book. I believe that it is a great resource that I can put to good use. Whether in writing, preparing lessons, or looking for a credible source to quote for a school project, I believe that I will definitely  be coming back to this book frequently. I would definitely recommend the book to you for your own life, whether simply to read, or to refer to, I believe that it contains biblical, truthful quotes that you would benefit from.

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

 

‘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/