REVIEW: “So Much More Than Sexy” by Mark Atteberry

A short, quick read that I finished in 3 hours.
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Mark details, for us women, why it’s important to pursue being godly instead of being sexy. He reminds us that we need to be counter to the culture — to stand out, and be different. He also shows us that inner beauty is still more important that outward beauty, though he doesn’t say we shouldn’t try to look good. He just says we shouldn’t put so much importance on the outward appearances.
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Good stuff.
Just as a side note… My absolute favorite part of this book was where Mark encouraged women to take up reading, as a way to help their brain, and then absolutely gushed about his love of books and reading… I was drooling! I think I may just write him an email, today, and tell him how much I loved finding a kindred spirit! ๐Ÿ˜›

REVIEW: “The Irresistable Revolution” by Shane Claiborne

An inspiring and motivating book that has me thinking of how I can possibly reach out to the poor and homeless that live nearby. This book speaks to what I long for in my faith, deep down.
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At first, I was a little worried that this book would fall too much along the lines of the ‘Emerging Church’ movement. The wording in the introduction led me to be wary, as well as the list of people in the Appendix — many of which are known to be associated with that movement.
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But, on reading the book, I relaxed. Shane’s writing style is friendly and full of humility. He’s also quite funny! ๐Ÿ˜€
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For all of those who are dissatisfied with what you see of Christianity and the church, read this book and you’ll begin to believe that there really is another “Way”… something more along the lines of what Jesus originally intended when He established the “church”.
Rated: B+

REVIEW: “On Guard” by William Lane Craig

This book has a ton of scientific and mathematic information, and most of it went right over my head. My brain actually hurt throughout the majority of the first half of this book!. LOL. The second part — the part that dealt more with Jesus, instead of the Universe & whatnot — was easier to read, and went a bit quicker for me.

Overall, I think this book had some good arguments, and is a good reference. It was just a bit too scholarly for me.

Rated: C

REVIEW: “Character Is the Key” by Sara Dimerman

Based loosely around the ‘Character Matters‘ program that is implemented in schools, this book teaches how parents can be a valuable addition to the program by modeling the ten key character traits (plus some of their own additions) at home. Those traits are Responsibility, Respect, Optimism, Fairness, Courage, Honesty, Initiative, Perseverance, Empathy, and Integrity.

I loved the first part of this book, where it talks about modeling character at home. But, when they got to the part about having Family Meetings (one a week for 4 weeks, then one a month focusing on 1 trait per month, thereafter), they lost me. I don’t think that family meetings would go over well in my house. Not to mention, I have a personal aversion to these meetings as I grew up with something of the sort, and have a bias against them. ๐Ÿ˜•

Regardless, I think the basic idea of this book is a good one. I think modeling character for our kids — instead of insisting they be more honest, or more responsible and punishing them otherwise — is a much more realistic and effective approach. Ms. Dimerman seems very wise, and I loved that her faith (though never really mentioned) shines through in the way she writes.

See http://www.characteristhekey.com for more.

Rated: B-

REVIEW: “Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle” by Shannon Ethridge

Having just finished reading the boys’ version of this series (“Preparing Your Son…“), I expected to find something very similar in style. Unfortunately, this book –for the girls– was more preachy and wordy than the other book. It’s almost as if the author assumed that, because she was focusing on girls, she had to use more words to get her point across, and that she could speak in more flowery language because girls can understand that better.

Also, I thought this book –like the other– would be aimed at the 9-12 year old range. But, I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing this book with my daughter until she is at least 12 or 13 years old. There are graphic pictures of the male and female anatomy, and the descriptions of said male anatomy are more in-depth than I feel would be appropriate for a younger audience. My daughter is currently 9.5 years old, and I’d thought to share this book with her now. After having read through, though, I’ve changed my mind, and am going to wait on that, or find a different book to share with her.

This book is still good, though, in that it touches on a bunch of subjects that girls should be aware of as they hit puberty. The book talks about clothing, friendships, emotions, and sexuality. I especially enjoyed the bits about clothing, because it showed me how I might be setting a bad example for my daughter in some respects. I don’t dress immodestly — or, so I thought — but some of my shirts may still be too revealing, even though I’m not specifically showing off my chest!

Like the book for the boys, this book is also divided into two parts, the first being for Mom to read on her own, and the second for Mom to read with her daughter. The daughter’s section includes “creative conversation” exercises for her and her mother to partake in — crafts and other activities to do that will further explain the material that was covered in that chapter.

Overall, it’s not a bad book. It’s just not exactly what I’d expected, and maybe not the way I’d want to go about things with my daughter, knowing her personality. I don’t know that this book would be the best fit for her.

REVIEW: “Preparing Your Son For Every Man’s Battle” by Fred Stoeker

This book is aimed mostly at fathers, but it also says that single moms can read it, and get use out of it, too. Being neither, I still felt it was important for me to read this book, given that I’m the Christian “leader” in my own home (my husband doesn’t share my faith).

And, it was definitely an eye-opening read! There are so many things about the male brain that I didn’t understand before! I see, now, how I went wrong in my own teen years! ๐Ÿ˜•

Anyway. This book is broken into two sections: The first one is to be read by the parent, in order to prepare him/her to talk with their son about sex and sexuality. The second half is for your son to read, and for you to discuss with him. It is somewhat graphic, but not so much so that it will harm him.

The half of the book that your son is to read is also broken into two different sections… the first being for 11-13 year olds who are just about to enter puberty, and need a beginner’s education. The other is for 13-15 year old boys who have already gone through puberty and need a deeper understanding of what God says about sex and sexuality.

My favorite part of this book, as a whole, was that it encourages parents to “do book” with their child — pick a book (maybe this one), and sit and read it together… then discuss what you’ve read, and share your own stories with your child in order for them to build a relationship with you. As it’s been said, “Rules without relationship equals rebellion“. I see how this can be true from past experience, and I want to be sure to avoid that with my own children.

I definitely recommend this book to any parents who haven’t yet had “the talk” with their kids. I haven’t, but I’m no longer as terrified to do so as I once was. I think this book is going to do the “hard part” for me — of getting that information “out there” — and then letting me use it as a jumping-off place to get the discussions started.

Wish me luck! LOL ๐Ÿ˜›

Rated: B+

REVIEW: “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen sets out to try to increase her happiness level over the course of one year, by following through on a set of resolutions that she’s set for herself, and by letting herself be guided by her “Twelve Commandments“. The result is both encouraging and enlightening.

I loved how Gretchen wasn’t afraid to include parts in her book about her own failings and shortcomings — she shares about her bad days and moments, as well as her good ones. And, I love that I found in her a sort of kindred spirit — we both are prone to note-taking for no apparent reason, and have an obsession with finding just the right pen to write with. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This book has inspired me to think about doing my own “happiness project”… but, whether I’ll actually make it through a full year or not is yet to be seen. Maybe I’ll start smaller. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Definitely recommended.

Rated: B+

REVIEW: “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers

I’ve been meaning to read this book for several years now. Several people have raved to me about how good it is — even going so far as to be absolutely horrified when I’ve told them I’ve never read this author, before! LOL. Now I can say that I have read a book by her, and it was really, really as good as they said!

Michael Hosea meets Angel in a brothel in Pair-a-Dice, California — a gold-digger’s town. He’s in love at first sight, and determines to marry her. She goes, if reluctantly, but can never seem to remain faithful. Regardless, Michael’s love for her runs deeper than she expects, and he doesn’t condemn her for running away or betraying him.

This story is based off the true story of the prophet, Hosea, found in the Bible, and the prostitute named Gomer that he married at God’s direction.

A fantastic tale that I couldn’t put down from the very first page to the last. Definitely check it out! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rated: A+

REVIEW: “The Forgotten God” by Francis Chan

Too often,ย believers focus only on God the Father and/or Jesus the Son… and they “forget” about the Holy Spirit. But, the Spirit lives in us, if we’re believers. He guides us and directs us, if we’re willing to submit our lives to His care.

A good book with a refreshing, open-minded viewpoint. I especially liked the part where Pastor Chan shared about how his church is now trying to live closer to the Acts 2:42-47 model. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Recommended.

Rated: B+

REVIEW: “One Million Arrows” by Julie Ferwerda

A powerful book about raising up our children to be spiritual “arrows” for God’s quiver, ready to make a difference in the world — or, even just in their sphere of influence!

This inspiring book showcases examples of Christian parents, and their very devoted Christian children who are already making a difference in the world — for example, Alex & Brett Harris (http://www.therebelution.com/blog/ ) and their big brother, Joshua Harris (author of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye“). And, it not only showcases parents, but also teens who’ve built ministries from the ground up, and caring, compassionate people (like “Papa” in India) who have taken in orphans & abandoned children to raise them up in the hopes that they, too, will spread God’s Word throughout their towns & villages.

I definitely recommend this book, especially if you’ve thought that you can’t do anything to change the world around you… even ONE person can make a difference… that’s what this book will teach you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For more, see the website @ http://www.onemillionarrows.com
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[This book was received through FIRST Wild Card Tours]