Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Journey to Victorious Praying by Bill Thrasher | Review

"When our heart ceases to pray, we are not praying."
-Bill Thrasher

A Journey to Victorious Praying by Bill Thrasher was written to give readers a revival and reawakening in their prayer lives. You know that your prayer life has died when you pray without expectancy of any outcome, and I feel safe in saying that we all eventually reach that point. When this happens, we have to ask, "Why pray?" That is where this book comes in. We need to let the Holy Spirit move us, and guide and empower us in prayer. True prayer starts with God and the prayer burden He places on our heart. Also, it is thanksgiving (not just prayer and supplication) that truly brings us to peace. Finally, do not forget to share your real concerns, burdens, and desires with God. He already knows all of them, but getting them out in the open with God will lighten our burden.

The book is split into sections for daily reading, perfect for those who want to focus on smaller sections at a time, or do not have much time for reading throughout the day. I thought this book was so full of great information and ideas, so I highly recommend journaling along with reading this book. There is also a section at the end of the book with questions and chapter reviews for you to journal about and reflect. At the end, there is also an appendix with selected prayers from Scripture and ideas to stimulate prayer. 

This book teaches how to strengthen your prayer life, and how to avoid things that will kill it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to strengthen an already healthy prayer life, and for those who need to bring their prayer life back to life. I gave this book 5/5 stars.

*I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review as a part of their blogger program. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

NIV True Images Bible | Review

The NIV True Images Bible is a Bible for teen girls. It is full of extra content designed to help teen girls with stuff like body image, decision making, friendships, and sex, more. 

This Bible starts with helpful information for the reader about reading the Bible, whether they are very familiar with the Bible, or if this is the first time they've picked one up. The back of the book has guides for reading, study ideas, and Christianity basics. Included throughout are 52 profiles of women in the Bible, topic guides, "love notes" from God and space for reflection. Each book begins with the author, date, setting, verses to remember, themes to consider, and life lessons. This Bible relates the stories within to things a teen girl might experience.

I would recommend this Bible for pre-teens (rather than teenagers) who have never read the Bible before, as the content is geared toward a younger audience. The physical Bible itself is very nice. It is a sturdy hardcover with a beautiful dust jacket and cover. Overall I would give this Bible 4/5 stars.

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Essential Guide to Prayer by Dutch Sheets | Review

"God dwells where there is prayer."

This book by Dutch Sheets, originally published as The Beginner's Guide to Intercessory Prayer, is all about the power and importance of intercessory prayer, praying for one another. Sheets stresses that we pray for others as part of the service Jesus has called us to, and also as a way of finding peace and getting closer to God. Prayer is how we maintain a relationship with love, so we should pray with the intention of building a loving relationship with Him, and everything in life flows from that relationship. Relationships based on love are the relationships that last. Most importantly, God works miracles through us on earth. However, we need to pray and allow God to use us to make it happen. We are God's link to activity on earth. Finally, we must always remember to persevere. Intercession is a marathon, not a sprint.

It was really interesting reading about intercessory prayer. I have read many books on prayer, but this was the only one I have read that is fully devoted to intercessory prayer, rather than just a chapter or section on the subject. Each chapter ended with questions to make sure you understood and to review the content of the chapter. There were tons of examples in each chapter to explain and illustrate each point. Overall, I thought it was very well written. It's a short book, so I was able to read through it quickly, but it was still full of very useful and impactful information. The tone of writing as well was very entertaining. Dutch Sheets told stories very well, and often had me laughing out loud at his jokes and humor. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who is specifically interested in learning more about intercessory prayer. Overall, I gave this book 3/5 stars.

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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. 


*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.


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