Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

‘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.

 

A Lesson From 10-year-old Boys March 26, 2013

Are you ever blown away by the gospel? Do you ever cringe when you think on or imagine the brutality of what Christ endured both before and during his time on the cross? Or does the intensity of it all escape your thoughts, leaving you dulled to the horror and extent of Jesus’ sacrifice for you? These are some questions that I have been asking myself today.

Each Tuesday morning some of the fourth grade students from local elementary schools come to our church for one hour during the school day. During this hour they are taught from the scriptures, learn memory verses, play games, sing songs, etc. It is a truly amazing opportunity and an immense blessing. I have the privilege of teaching one of these classes. My class is made up of three boys, whom I have become rather fond of. Throughout this school year we have been working through the Bible. We began at creation, and now, as we near Easter, are exploring Jesus’ crucifixion.

Having grown up in a Christian home, being active in my church, and being homeschooled, I have grown up hearing the gospel, which is a true privilege. My WRE (weekly religious education) kids have not had that. So this morning when told them the story of Jesus’ beating, the cat o’ nine tails, and the crucifixion process, I watched their reactions. The boys, all about ten-years old were wincing, cringing, and shocked by the details that I was describing. They were blown away by what Jesus endured. This got me thinking.

Do I take what Jesus endured too lightly? Do I sometimes take for granted the fact that he was beaten with leather, glass and bone to the point where he was not even recognizable? Do I? Do you? Do we sometimes hear that Jesus died for us, and fail to grasp just how intense and excruciating this death really was? I am sad to say that sometimes this is the case with me. Sometimes I breeze over the gruesome details of his death and instead focus on the happy ending. Why? Maybe because it is painful to come to the realization that I deserve that death. It hurts to think of and picture myself in Christ’s place, which is where I deserve to be. I deserve to be the one beaten with the cat o’ nine tails. I am the one who deserves to be spat at. I am the one that deserves to drag a massive cross — an emblem of shame– up a mountain in humiliation. I am the one who deserves to die on a cross. And so are you, as harsh as that may sound. But no, Christ took our place. How awesome is that?!

Today I was reminded of the extent of Christ’s sacrifice, and the depths of his grace.  I was once again brought to the startling realization of the pain, ugliness, and disgrace brought about by sin. I was once again shown the love, glory, and magnificence of my savior. And what did it take? Three ten-year-old boys. What will it take for you?

 

‘Passion’ Book Review March 4, 2013

thTitle: Passion: How Christ’s Final Day Changes Your Every Day

Author: Mike McKinley

Date I Finished Reading: March 4,2013

My Rating: 5/5

Some books have good content, but lack application, making them impractical. This is NOT one of those books. No, this is a book that is full of both wisdom, and practicality. By examining the details of Christ’s final day on earth, we see how they can affect our life in radical ways.

In this book Mike McKinley takes a look at the details of Christ’s final days from the garden of Gethsemane to the crucifixion. He often approaches them from an angle that we — or at least I– never have before. He helps us to see every aspect of Christ’s behavior during this time as an example for how we also should live. Whether that means we are more compelled to forgive, more encouraged towards faithful friendship, etc. He also uses characters from the story that we sometimes tend to overlook, such as the mourning women, Barabbas etc., to help us see our relationship with Christ in a whole new light.

Simply put, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Whether that be a sceptic, a new christian, or one more mature in the faith… it doesn’t matter. This book can help you see things in a new light, and give you food for thought.

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

 

‘Made To Crave For Young Women’ Book Review January 29, 2013

thTitle: Made To Crave For Young Women: Satisfying Deepest Desires With God

Authors: Lysa TerKeurst and Shaunti Felhahn

Date I Finished Reading: January 28,2013

My Rating: 5/5

Chocolate. Caffeine. Boys. Friends. Shoes. Stuff. Diets.  We all have cravings, and we all attempt to fill those cravings with different things or people. But the satisfaction is only temporary, or perhaps non-existent. Why is it that we can never find satisfaction?

In  this book, Lysa and Shaunti speak to young women on cravings and desires. They discuss emotional, physical, and material cravings, and the wrong things we tend to look to in order to fulfill them. This ranges from food to shoes to shopping sprees and all the in-between. They discuss the error in our turning to these things for satisfaction, joy, and contentment, and also encourage you to take active steps towards abstaining from these tendencies and longings, instead turning toward God and his love for fulfillment.

There were several aspects of this book I liked. Lysa and Shaunti do a great job at connecting with areas that affect each and every one of us, relating well to young women. They are also honest and open about the difficulties of turning away from cravings and idols in our lives, not attempting to give you a false view of this journey. They use personal accounts, real-life stories, and great illustrations to relate to the reader as  well as to keep your attention.

Overall I would say that this is a wonderful book for teens and young women. It is filled with truths that can and do greatly benefit the reader. I would recommend this to any and all young women!!

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

You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/Made-Crave-Young-Women-Satisfying/dp/031072998X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359492901&sr=8-1&keywords=made+to+crave+for+young+women

 

‘Dirty God’ Book Review December 21, 2012

images (2)Title: Dirty God: Jesus in the Trenches

Author: Johnnie Moore

Date I Finished Reading: December 20,2012

My Rating: 5/5

I have always known that Christ was gracious. Yet at the same time I did not realize just how saturated by grace his life and ministry were! Dirty God brings our attention to the extreme grace of Jesus Christ from the time of his birth to his resurrection, and then calls us to that same level and life of grace towards others.

The first half of this book is on Christ giving grace to ourselves and others. It discusses how every aspect of Christ is gracious, even when that grace hurts. It discusses how we tend to have an entitlement mentality, which lessens our view of God’s grace, and perhaps even cause us to miss it!

The second half of the book follows the thought that since we have received the grace of God, we ought to extend that same grace to others in our lives. He shares how grace can be big, grace can be small, can go unnoticed, can change a life… can be hard.

I thought that this book was GREAT. It opened my eyes to aspects and details of the scripture that I too often look over without much thought. It caused me to examine my own life, to see where grace lacks (which was very convicting) and seek how to live out Christ’s grace to others around me.

I also really liked Moore’s writing style. He writes in a very easy-to-read way, with amazing illustrations and threads of humor woven in (which not only made it a beneficial read, but an enjoyable one, too!).  I didn’t have to force myself to read, but was excited to come back to the book.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. I really had no complaints. I found it to be an enjoyable, yet eye-opening read that would greatly benefit any Christian who is seeking to better understand Christ’s grace, or apply it to their own lives!

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/Dirty-God-Trenches-Johnnie-Moore/dp/0849964512/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356098615&sr=8-1&keywords=dirty+god