Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

Gift For Country Music Lovers! January 15, 2014

61hl+U+xqLL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_I was recently given the privilege of receiving a copy of the new Once-A-Day Country Faith devotional. I was delightfully impressed. This book compiles writings from a variety of country music stars on their favorite Bible verses. The singers, ranging from Josh Turner and Craig Morgan to Miranda Lambert, Scotty McCreery, and members of Florida Georgia Line, give insight on their lives and their faith through the thoughts that they share. While some of the readings are deeper and more thought-provoking than others, I still found it interesting to read through the devotional and see ways that God has worked in these people through His Word, and even how this has influenced and affected the music and the songs that these people sing and write.

While I found this book to be interesting, it was not excessively challenging or provoking. However, I couldn’t help but realize how great of a gift it would make for someone who is very interested in country music (such as myself). I would especially give it to those who are not believers, as I believe that seeing the truth from God’s Word, and how it affects some of their favorite celebrities, may be an excellent way to witness to them!

 

‘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’ 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! 🙂

 

‘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.

 

‘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/

 

‘Bible Savvy’ Book Series Review

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.