Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

‘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.

 

‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ Movie Trailer August 22, 2013

Hello, everyone! This trailer is for the movie Alone Yet Not Alone, based on the book by Tracy Leininger Craven. I am super excited about the movie, which is released next month! Do not forget to enter my giveaway for the book by commenting either on this post, or on my previous post! 🙂

 

‘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/

 

‘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

 

‘Past Darkness’ Book Review May 3, 2013

pdTitle: Past Darkness

Author: Laurel Woiwode

Date I Finished Reading: May 5,2013

My Rating: 2/5

The following is a description from Amazon.com

An uplifting story about the importance of family, the power of music, and the ever-present mercy of God.

“I could hear my heart­beat in spite of the commotion and noise. I’d never seen anything so horrible…What’s wrong with me? I thought. I knew everything had gone black and silent, but I couldn’t remember why. I could hear now, but was still surrounded by darkness.”

Gabrielle Larson is a fifteen-year-old living in Chicago with reasonable plans for her life: to follow in her parents’ footsteps as a Christian musician. But when tragedy strikes, Gabrielle finds herself forced to relocate to North Dakota, where she must learn to live with the difficult reality of her past in a strange and unfamiliar place.

Years pass as Gabrielle not only fights to accept the aftermath of what’s happened, but also to survive on a farm full of horses, cows, Uncle Will, and Aunt Bea. Enduring nature’s windstorms and the loneliness of grief, she struggles to heal, and even finds herself face-to-face with the possibility of love in the most unexpected place. But the darkness is real and her heartache profound—will she ever emerge from the noisy past to catch the redemptive tune of the present?

Have you ever been extremely excited about something, only for it to not reach your expectations? That is how this book was for me. I was anxious to read it, expecting to find a touching story about a teenage girl and a horse. However, that is not what I found. Although the description hints at this type of plot, it is somewhat misleading. The story mostly takes place when Gabrielle is an adult, and the involvement of horses in the plot is minimal.

There were some aspects of the book that I did not like. For example, the writing style that is used is choppy, even childish. Woiwode uses few descriptions, the characters are not very well drawn-out and the scenes are short and vague. These characteristics combined together to create a plot that was unengaging and hard to be drawn into. Also, it seems like all of the character’s problems were solved in a flash, which is very unrealistic.

Overall I would say that this story had potential, but was poorly executed. The plot could have been touching and sweet, but due to the author’s style was instead boring and difficult to enjoy. I would most likely not recommend this book as an enjoyable read for you.

I received this book free from Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, however my opinions are my own.

To Read Chapter One of This book go here: http://static.crossway.org/excerpt/past-darkness/past-darkness-download.pdf

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Past-Darkness-Laurel-Woiwode/dp/1433535181/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top