Inner Beauty Forever

just my thoughts on books and stuff :)

‘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.

 

‘The Bondservant’s Life’ Book Review March 13, 2013

untitledTitle: The Bondservant’s Life: Foundation for Understanding Prophecy, and a Call to Maturity, Love, and Unity in the Knowledge of God

Author: John Brenner Chandler

Date I Finished Reading: March 13,2013

My Rating: 2/5

I was not expecting this book to be so big. Honestly. This book is a total of 500+ pages packed full of notes, thoughts, scriptures and teaching. It dives into the life of a bondservant and of submission to God.

Some positive attributes of this book would be Chandler’s knowledge. It became obvious as I read this book that he knew what he was talking about, and had illustrations, quotes, articles and other resources to support his thesis. I was impressed with how much scripture he brought into the book, making it centered around God’s word.

However, at the same time, I struggled to read this book. Chandler’s writings are very deep, but the way that he presents his beliefs is very difficult to understand. He is very wordy and at times long-winded. I understand and appreciate the use of good vocabulary, but this was excessive, to the point where it made the book difficult to read and understand. This is why I gave this book the rating that I did. While Chandler may have depth and substance to his writing, but how can you think on and apply the teachings if you can hardly make sense of what he is trying to say? I couldn’t.

Overall, I would say that this book had potential. It could have been a great resource, but the length and style of writing made it difficult to understand, enjoy, or apply.

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/The-Bondservants-Life-Foundation-Understanding/dp/0983810206/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363189877&sr=8-1&keywords=the+bondservant%27s+life

 

‘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.

 

‘Little Black Books: Science and God’ Book Review February 15, 2013

lbbsagTitle: Little Black Books: Science and God

Author: Scott Petty

Date I Finished Reading: February 14,2013

My Rating: 2/5

Science. The origin of life. Evolution. Creation. Questions about these and similar topics bombard us day in and day out. We, as christians need to be firm and confident in our beliefs and knowledge about God and science. Especially young adults. That is why I was excited about reading this book. I knew that it was directed towards adolescents and was eager to see what this book would contain.

However, this book was not quite what I expected. I had mixed feelings regarding it. As I started out, within the first chapter and about halfway through the second I was impressed, and pleased. Scott Petty made points and discussed the topic of why science and God are not enemies or against one another, and why we do not need to choose between believing in God, or believing in science and scientific evidence, which I believe is an important fact for teens and young adults to realize.

But as I began the third chapter, that changed. I noticed more and more that Petty hinted to, and later flat-out-said that the big-bang theory is likely to be correct, even biblical! He also later explains that we should NOT read the book of Genesis as a scientific explanation to the beginning of the world. Also, he suggests that when Genesis refers to the world being created in six days, he was not referring to literal 24-hour days, but instead he was speaking of time spans, or was simply being poetic. Both of these beliefs seem to point away from the Bible and God instead of towards it.

Another complaint that I would have would be the fact that Petty uses little to no scriptures to support his thesis and points. He sticks them in on rare occasions, until about the last half of the final chapter, where they appear a bit more frequently.  That is always a negative for me. If you are gonna try to convince someone to trust in the Bible and biblical teaching, then you need to use more than one or two passages.

Even though I do not like these aspects of the book, there are positive attributes as well. I have already mentioned the fact that Petty speaks of the fact that we do not need to choose between science and God. Also, he directs it towards young adults, and does a good job at connecting with them in his writing style. Throughout his book he uses humor, as well as examples that are easy to relate to and connect to the main point.  His writing style is just very easy to read, which is great when it is being directed towards teens.

Overall, though, I am not sure that I would recommend this book. Although the first chapter makes some good points on an important issue, the rest of the book – although written well – could result in the reader being confused, considering the fact that Petty encourages you to believe in and have faith in God, yet at the same time teaches that the big-bang is true, and consistent with scripture.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an 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

 

‘The Air We Breathe’ Book Review January 9, 2013

thTitle: The Air We Breathe
Author: Christa Parrish
Date I Finished Reading:January 8,2013
My Rating: 5/5

Eleven-year-old Hanna is excited about her day in town with her Dad. Every Saturday is their day. They walk into the bank completely oblivious to what they were about to experience. Next thing she knows, Hanna has witnessed a bank robbery, her father’s murder, and been kidnapped. Weeks later, by God’s grace, Hanna escapes and is reunited with her mother. But she is never the same. She doesn’t even talk…until she meets Claire. Claire, who is also hurting from past loss, strikes an unlikely friendship with Hanna, and soon finds that this little girl is helping her to heal from the pain. But then Hanna and her mother vanish Claire, has no idea where they are or what happened. Several years later, Claire encounters Molly Fisk. Can Claire help Molly heal from her past in the same way that Hanna helped her to?
I cannot explain how much I loved this book! The storyline, characters and non-stop questions left me hungry for more. My mind constantly drifted back to the story, curious of what would happen next. These are the signs of a good book! One of the aspects of the books I liked would be Parrish’s writing style. She switches back and forth between Claire, Hanna, and Molly to give you more insight and details of the story. I also liked the fact that Parrish doesn’t drag things out until they get boring, or use clichés frequently.
Overall, I loved this book and would highly recommend it. The plot is original, the writing is interesting, and the story is one of love, healing, and trust in God’s sovereign plan.

Note: I received  a copy of this 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/Air-We-Breathe-Christa-Parrish/dp/0764205552/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357751836&sr=1-1&keywords=the+air+we+breathe+christa+parrish

 

‘The Cross Centered Life’ Book Review

CrossCentered-01Title: The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing

Author: C.J. Mahaney

Date I Finished Reading: January 8,2013

My Rating: 5/5

How often do you preach the gospel to yourself? At first this may come across as a weird question, but really. The cross is the center of our Christian faith. Yet we somehow tend to live our lives with the gospel absent from our thinking. Why? In this book, C.J. Mahaney discusses why and how we are to live our lives centered around the gospel. He discusses why forgetting about the cross leads to frustration, irritation and disappointment, as well as how living a cross-centered life requires us to move past legalism and condemnation in our minds and hearts. He explains that we must keep the gospel in our mind and hearts, that we are to not move on from the cross, but deeper into it. Finally, he gives practical applications and steps you can take to center your life around the cross and the gospel.
When I read this book I really only had one complaint…it was so short! But at the same time this is a huge positive, since Mahaney is great at addressing the problem, explaining the mindset we should acquire and recommending solutions in a very efficient way. He doesn’t over-explain or go on and on, yet at the same time he does a great job of not being to vague or leave unanswered questions.
I would definitely recommend this book to you! It is great food for thought and opened my eyes to an area of the gospel that I tend to forget, or not even consider.
You can find a copy of this book here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Cross-Centered-Life-Keeping/dp/1590520459/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357748787&sr=8-1&keywords=cross+centered+life