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Could “Positive Thinking” be Harmful?

Ever wonder how the message of “positive thinking” crept into the church and its teachings? Did you know that this message has its roots in the occult and mystical cultures? I really had never considered the topic of positive thinking being harmful or how it could permeate a culture and doctrine.

L.L. Martin has taken a look back through history to see how this once thriving movement infiltrated the church and the ramifications. This book is well done, the history lesson you will receive is very interesting, well-sourced and done so you don’t snooze while reading in.

Each chapter has some discussion questions so you could do this as a group study or just use them for yourself to really ponder what is being said. You will learn in this book that there is a thin line between being a positive person and adhering to the “positive thinking” doctrine.

I love the fact that the book uses scripture to help make the point, along with quotes from many of my favorite Christians such as A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis, Randy Alcorn and Dietrich Bonheoffer to name a few. I would recommend this book, it lays out the history and the perils of the “positive thinking” movement.

This book was given to me by L.L Martin for my honest opinion.

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Great Finish To the Two Blue Doors Series

Together at the Table is the final book in Hillary Manton Lodge’s Two Blue Doors series. This is my favorite book in the series and I love how Hillary pulls everything together. There is a surprise romance that I did not see coming and at first, I was a bit disappointed, however, as Hillary brought them together I decided that she had chosen correctly (I am purposely being vague so I don’t spoil it for you readers).

I love how all of the characters interact with each other and I love how the book does not make everything perfect with nothing but happy endings, Hillary leaves things real and a bit messy like real life. The recipes throughout the book are great, the apple and ginger hand pies I just purchased all the ingredients for and can’t wait to try.blogging for books

If you enjoyed the letters between the two sisters, I think you will love when you find Mireille’s journal that she keeps with letters to Gabriel. You learn the truth about the family and you get to meet more of the extended family in this book.

This is a really cute series; however, I would not classify it as a strong Christian message. If you just want a cute story with a well-written storyline and good character development then this is a great series for you. If you prefer a strong Christian message with redemptive messaging this is not the series for you.


 

This book was given to me from Blogging for Books for my honest opinion.

 

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Shattered Prayers-A True Story

Many Christians go through life never having their faith really tested; Shattered Prayers by Kenneth Ching is a true story and a memoir of the testing of his faith. Kenneth, Kenny, is a Christian and had lived a relatively easy and blessed life, great career, nice home, loving wife, good friends and he had just found out that his wife is expecting their first child.

The pregnancy seems completely normal, all of the tests are normal the sonograms look good and they know they are expecting a boy. Every day he and his wife pray for the health, both physical and spiritual health of the baby they have agreed to name Joshua.

The pregnancy continues as normal and in October Erin goes into labor. Once Joshua is delivered Kenny realizes that he seems to be struggling to breathe but none of the nurses seem worried. He returns to check on Erin who is now getting her breakfast so Kenny decides to check on Joshua as he heads to the cafeteria.

Joshua is gone from his nursery bed, and now Kenny begins to panic. He learns they have taken him to the NICU. From this point Kenny now walks you through the ordeal that he and Erin will now face as they find out that Joshua has been born with Pierre Robin Sequence, a genetic disorder where a child is born with an abnormally small jaw which can lead to all types of other disorders.

Kenny does a great job of explaining how helpless they felt as parents and the true struggles they had with their faith as God had not answered their prayer for a physically healthy child. He takes you through exactly how he felt when they thought they had gotten through one hurdle only to find out there were more to come.

He shows you some of the small miracles that some may over look when dealing with a sick child, like receiving a new job in Virginia where the difference in sea level helps Joshua finally be able to breathe properly at night or seeing him walk when you are continuously told he may never or that he is developmentally behind. He shows you how exhausting and frustrating it is deal with a sick child around the clock.

Through this journey he shows you how his faith grows and struggles at the same time. He lets you know how deep his struggle with God goes and how he is able to reconcile himself back to God. I think believers and non believers will enjoy this book. It gives you great insight into what parents of sick and/or disabled children struggles with and perspectives you may not have considered; everything from faith to fatigue to the simple unknowing what the next step is and the realization that this is probably going to be a life long journey.

I liked the book; it was open, honest and without pretense. It shows the very really struggles that Christians go through as their faith is being tested. It also illuminates the struggles families encounter when dealing a child that has not been born healthy. It is a story of truth, hope, acceptance, setbacks, miracles and the love of God.

This book was given to me by the publishers, Kirkdale Press for my honest opinion.

 

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Skip, Framed to Death

I must say I really procrastinated in posting this review. I hate reviewing a book that I didn’t like, as I know that the author has dedicated a lot of time and energy to creating their book. With that being said, I did not like this book at all and I feel part of the reason was because on NetGalley it is list as Christian fiction, which it is not. The only reference to Christianity at all has the characters attending church once, the word “Christian” is used once, and one reference to a pastor and prayer meeting, that is it. So while I’m reading the book I am thinking to myself, “No one in their right mind would call this Christian fiction!”

I do, however notice that on Amazon under the book’s categories it does not list in Christian fiction. Even with that realization, I didn’t like the book. The lead character, Faith, seemed to me like a copy of Stephanie Plum from Jane Evanovich’s series, with way less humor so she was very hard to even like. The plot had to many fingers pointing in too many directions so when you find out who the bad guy is, you have to actually go through the book in your mind to see if that really made sense or did you miss something crucial to the plot. Sorry, I am just not a fan of this book.

This book was given to me by NetGalley for my honest opinion.

 

 

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A Simple, Yet Profound Explanation of Who The Holy Spirit Is

It is my honest belief that A.W. Tozer is quite possibly one of the best Christian teachers of all times. When you read the sermons collected in his book, How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit, you will wish that you could have sat in his congregation to hear the original teaching.

A W Tozer

A W Tozer

Tozer explains the Holy Spirit and who He is in a very simplistic yet profound way. For example, there is one saying of his that will stick with me so I can explain Him to others. “God took religion from the realm of the external and made it internal.” That statement is so simple yet when you ponder it; you see just how life changing it is. Tozer is saying that once the Holy Spirit was sent, God’s word was sent straight to your soul.

This is the third book I have reviewed from A.W. Tozer and even though they look like you should be able to read them in less than two hours, they take me weeks. They are a process and they are truly a teaching format. You will learn the simple truth about God and it will change the depth of your understanding of who God is.

 

This book was given to me by Moody Publishers for my honest opinion.

 

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Mesu Andrews’s-Miriam

Mesu Andrews’s-Miriam

This story’s main character besides the obvious, Moses is Miriam, his sister. The story begins years after the first novel, The Pharaoh’s Daughter; it starts right before Moses returns to Egypt with Miriam being a very prominent figure in the community that is often called upon for her wisdom, knowledge and advice because she is  gifted by God (Yahweh) as a prophetess. However, her line of communicating directly with God is drastically starting to diminish and causing her a great deal of distress.

The story that Mesu Andrews has created is about Miriam’s relationships with God and those she loves and how the changing of her gift is affecting these relationships. It is also about Moses’ return to Egypt and the story of the plagues and the eventual release of the Jewish people. It also sets up the sequel to this book by introducing us to Joshua.

In general, I enjoyed this story, however, not quite as much as Mesu’s first novel. I never really felt a real connection with these characters as much as I did with both of Moses’ mothers (birth and step). She did do a fabulous job of accurately portraying the harness of life during this era and how the plagues would have affected all those living at the time. I look forward to the next book in the series.

This book was given to me by Blogging for Books, for my honest opinion.

 

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Love Endures All Things

Bo Garrett and Elly Sullivan are two teenagers crazy in love. They can hardly wait until Bo is 17 and they can marry. Elly has their lives planned for them, Bo will work in the cranberry business just both of their fathers and they will have lot of babies. When proclaiming their love one day they have an open conversation about Elly’s wavering belief in God, the preacher they have is the “hell, fire and brimstone” type and has made Elly actually afraid of God. During this declaration of love Elly makes Bo promise her that he will never become a preacher, ever.

When Bo turns 17 he leaves to go explore the world and literally falls off the face of the Earth. Elly does not hear a single word from him in seven years until one day she runs into him at the local mercantile. The story proceeds from here as they begin a long a difficult journey to healing, forgiveness and reestablishing trust. There are also a few obstacles, Gideon who Elly doesn’t truly love but is engage to be married and the fact that Bo returns as a preacher.

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Over 80% Reviewer Ratings

The Preacher’s Lady by Lori Copeland is really well written and the characters are well developed with a good strong message of forgiveness and salvation. I love watching Elly’s transformation and salvation. You learn to love how Bo is so patient with Elly letting her grieve her original dreams, venting her anger, and slowly building a trustful friendship. He even goes as far as helping shovel a present of cow manure from her new beau, clearly a rancher and not a cranberry farmer, love endures all things.

I was given this book by Netgalley for my honest opinion.

 

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