Sunday, June 18, 2017

How To Overcome Worry by Winfred Neely REVIEW


Everyone deals with worry and stress. It's part of human life, but it isn't a part of God's plan for our lives. In this books, Dr. Winfred Neely gives his advice for overcoming worry in a worry-filled and anxiety-creating world. 

First of all, concern and care for others and ourselves is healthy and biblical. However, it becomes unhealthy when it turns into worry. This is because, not only is it detrimental to our physical health, but also to our spiritual health, as worry and anxiety are rooted in unbelief that God is taking care of things. While Neely notes that there is no on/off switch for worry, he gives a bunch of Bible verses and tips for working past your worry and being able to put all of your trust in God. Foremost, Neely stresses the importance of prayer. Bringing all of your concerns to God allows you to talk through the problems with Him, and be able to give the problems over to Him. Prayer is the key to conquering worry. Prayer is supposed to have an answer, and when we pray, we can expect peace from God. 

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the verses and advice Neely gives throughout. I ended up doing a ton of journaling and finding it to be really helpful. He used great metaphors and imagery to explain his concepts. Each chapter, as well as the end of the book, gave helpful verses, tips on how to put into practice the methods of stopping worry, guidance for prayer, recommended books, and questions for reflection and discussion. I have this book 3/5 stars.

*I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

A Selfish Plan to Change the World by Justin Dillon REVIEW


This book is all about using what means you have to change the world. Justin Dillon, founder of Slavery Footprint, argues that you don't need much to change the world, just your passion for a cause, and whatever resources may be available to you. Changing the world is for everyone.

How to change the world...big question. Dillon suggests asking yourself: what bothers you? What do you think is broken? Finding these issues that really tug your heartstrings and make you angry is the starting point. Dillon states, "When you say, 'I wish someone would just fix it,' there's a good chance that person is you."

As I mentioned before, Justin Dillon created slaveryfootprint.org, a website where you can find out how many slaves it takes to provide the things you use everyday. As much as we like to think that it is a thing of the past, slavery is still rampant today, and Dillon is working to stop it. 

Dillon also argues that changing the world is selfish, but it's a good kind of selfish. He says that we do good to make ourselves feel better, and that is okay. It is okay to do good for selfish reasons. 

I found this book to be very inspirational and entertaining. It is always great to see examples of people doing great things with what they have. Dillon had a very friendly tone in his writing. I actually laughed out loud at a few of his footnotes. Overall, I gave this 4/5 stars. 

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Let's Be Real by Natasha Bure REVIEW


In this book, Natasha Bure gives advice for teens, from dealing with boys and breakouts, all the way to keeping your faith and being true to yourself in today's world. 

Though the intended audience for this book is teens and younger girls, and I'm a bit older than that, at 21 I still really enjoyed the advice in this book. It gave me a new perspective on a lot of things, and made me realize actions that God has taken in my life in the past. It led to quite a bit of journaling and thought on my part. 

Honestly, I just chose this book to review because it was written by DJ Tanner's daughter, and I was hesitant going in due to the fact that I'm a bit old for some of the themes. However, I loved this book so much. Natasha Bure seems like such an honest, genuine, and mature young woman. She is a great role model, and I would have loved a book like this when I was in high school. She was very open and honest, so I could really relate to everything that she talked about. 

I gave this book 5/5 stars, and I highly recommend it for pre-teen and teenage girls. 

xx
Heidi

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

20 Things We'd Tell Our Twenty-something Selves by Kelli and Peter Worrall REVIEW



20 Things We'd Tell Our Twenty-Something Selves is a book by Kelli and Peter Worrall, which seeks to give advice to all of the twenty-somethings in the world going into their "quarter-life crisis", the terrifying and confusing time when young adults begin making crazy changes in their lives, from moving out, going to college, and getting married. The Worrall's are teachers at Moody Bible Institute, and are approached all the time by students seeking advice about the future.

I requested this book from Moody Publishers to review because my friend, a student of Peter Worrall, read this book for a class and loved it, and she recommended it to me. 

The Worrall's use this book to give twenty pieces of advice for millennials growing up and moving out into the world. Each chapter ends with activities, questions, and other readings for the reader to consider. A Bible study to accompany the book is available for free online.

The advice that they gave really hit close to home. There were so many moments when I read a sentence and had to stop reading and sit for a moment to think about how it applied to me. Reading the book felt like reading a letter that was written to me, which reassured me that I wasn't alone in those things. Many of the things that I learned were things that I had thought about but had never seriously pursued. The authors really show their own voice, and they are friendly, open, relatable, and personal. 

I loved this book so much. It was so personal and applicable to me. I highly recommend it and gave it 5/5 stars.

xx
Heidi

*I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 




Monday, May 8, 2017

The Dawn of Christianity by Robert J. Hutchinson REVIEW


The Dawn of Christianity: How God Used Simple Fishermen, Soldiers, and Prostitutes to Transform the World by Robert J. Hutchinson gives a detailed history of the early Jesus Movement, starting just before Jesus' death and ending with the apostles. 

The book went very in depth and informative, yet was written simply enough so it was very easy to understand. It was filled with pictures of the places and things that were being discussed. Everything was explained so clearly, and events in the Bible made a lot more sense to me after. Surprisingly, it did not read at all like a textbook, and I found myself immersed and unable to put the book down. 

This book was so interested, I really loved it. I have it 5/5 stars and I'd definitely recommend it. 

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Hitler's Cross by Erwin W. Lutzer REVIEW


Hitler's Cross, written by Erwin W. Lutzer, outlines the ways in which, during the Second World War, Adolf Hitler used and twisted both the cross and Christianity to promote himself and further the Nazi agenda. This book seeks to explain "the 'hows' and 'whys' and 'what ifs' of this tragedy". The primary focus of this book is to teach readers how Hitler crushed the church in Germany during his time of power, and to explain where God was in the middle of all of this. 

First of all, it is important to understand that nothing happens without God's consent. Therefore, He allowed the Holocaust to happen. Trust me, I know how hard this is to accept and understand. Lutzer explains that God uses even things He hates to direct the world to an appointed end. Satan does have an influence in this world, but only to the extent that God allows. 

Secondly, this book describes in great detail Hitler's personal religious beliefs and how they influenced the church in Germany. I had thought all along that Hitler considered himself to be Christian and thought that the church was important in Germany. However, Lutzer explains how Hitler was deeply involved in occultism, and actually tried to destroy the church in Germany. Pastors preached about Hitler, crosses were actually removed and replaced with swastikas on the altars, Mein Kampf took the place of the Bible, and the people were encouraged to "be German, not Christian". Hitler actually took Jesus' place as the one to follow and live by and many parallels were drawn between the two. Jesus' blood was shed to save us, and the Jews' blood also had to be shed to save Germany and the Aryan race. Also, he explained that the idea of Aryan superiority is a very old concept, as is the blaming of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus. Many Christians have believed that the persecution of Jews is punishment from God for His Son's death.

Satan definitely had a hand in the Holocaust and the power given to Hitler, and Lutzer explains why. Satan wants to exterminate the Jews so God will be unable to fulfill His promise that the Jews will flourish in the end. Satan wants God to be proven a liar. However, we know that Satan does not have the power to undermine God, and nothing will get in the way of God's plan. The "final solution" was not final.

I learned so much from this book about how Hitler gained his power, why he wasn't stopped, and how he had such an influence over the church. I realized that many things I thought I understood were wrong. I also really enjoyed explanations of how loving God is despite the horrible things that happen, and that He can never be defeated. 

The only thing that bothered me about the book is that the author would go off on tangents and get off topic quite a bit about modern day issues, such as abortion and gay rights, which were very out of place within the rest of the information.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

*I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

7 Reasons Why You Can Trust The Bible by Erwin W. Lutzer REVIEW


"If the Bible is based on facts, we have hope for our present crisis in religion and morality."

"The Bible is a book of answers, not a book of questions."

"Religion, if it is worth believing, must be based on facts."


7 Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible by Erwin W. Lutzer is a thorough examination of the historical, logical, and scientific proof of the validity of the Bible. No ancient manuscript in history has been doubted or held with as much skepticism as the Bible. For Christians, this book will validate and give you reassurance in your beliefs. Our faith is based on lots of evidence, but it is still faith. For non-Christians, it gives you another perspective to consider will all of the facts and information.

This book is so full of information regarding the validity of the Bible, and the lack of validity of many other popular theories. I had no idea that so much physical or historical evidence existed that proves the Bible. However, Lutzer stresses that the Bible does not provide 100% proof in every case. We still need to be saved by faith, and if there was proof for everything, there would be no faith. However, our faith isn't blind faith, it is faith based in logic. The Bible must be completely accurate when it comes to science and historical events in order for the rest of it to be credible and believable.

Goals for this book:
-those who believe might understand the reasonableness of their faith; we need to be able to defend the faith
-that the most radical skeptic will read the book and be led to study the scriptures, and God will grant them the ability to know and believe 

I absolutely loved reading this book. I learned so much and was so reaffirmed in my faith. I really recommend this book for anyone who enjoyed the God's Not Dead films or Man, Myth, Messiah by Rice Brooks (my review for that is here). It was a little slow starting out, but once it got into the facts I was so intrigued and couldn't put it down. I gave this 5/5 stars, and I absolutely recommend it.

xx
Heidi

*I received this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.