Tag Archives: BookSneeze

Book Review: Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress – by Lysa TerKeurst

Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst
Book: UNGLUED Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress
Author: Lysa TerKeurst
Publisher: Zondervan
Date: December 18, 2012
Genre: Christian devotional
Pages: 208; paperback
Price: $12.99
My rating: An excellent, inspirational book of encouragement and comfort for women
 

I received this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Lysa TerKeurst is a bestselling author of fifteen books and a national speaker. She is also the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries (www.proverbs31.org), helping women learn to live lives centered on God in the midst of whatever life brings.

This devotional was written for the purpose of being a companion book to her bestselling book Unglued, which I have not read. As someone who knows what it is to become unglued, I thoroughly enjoyed each daily devotional. Lysa TerKeurst writes from a woman’s heart to a woman’s heart in such an understanding way. In doing so, she draws attention to God while He uses her words to minister to the reader.

Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress. If we are honest about it we all can testify to making imperfect progress. Lysa TerKeurst speaks from that place in easy conversational writing. She has put together a wonderful 60-day devotional that I wished could have been longer. It takes less than five minutes to read one day’s devotional, which begins with a scripture reading, followed by a Thought for the Day, and then a short reading usually consisting of a very suitable anecdote from her experience. Some are funny, some are painful to read because they are so familiar, all are encouraging and insightful. Each devotion ends in a very brief prayer that is an easy lead-in for the reader to continue on her own.

I like finding good devotionals. This is one of the best I have found. The author does not preach or talk above the reader, or talk down to the reader. She is honest, sincere, and transparent in her writing and addressed common issues in a way that made THIS reader stop and think.

If you are wanting to find a devotional that is real to your own life, easy to read, and suitable for those days when you have maybe five minutes to spare … try this one. Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress by Lysa TerKeurst is likely to stir your heart and encourage you in your walk with God and in your relationships with the people in your life.

You can find Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

Book Review: Beyond Molasses Creek – by Nicole Seitz

Book: Beyond Molasses Creek
Author: Nicole Seitz
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date: January 31, 2012
Genre: general fiction
Pages: 312; paperback
Price: $15.99
My Rating: an intriguing story that draws the reader in
 

I received this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

The dedication in this book reads: To those who long to be free.

This story is told from the individual voices of its three most prominent characters, Ally, Vesey, and Sunila.  It begins when Ally and Vesey are children – when white children are not to be friends with black children – so theirs is a secret friendship until they are found out and Vesey pays the penalty in a volatile climate of racism. Later, Ally travelled the world over when her heart’s desire could not be attained, and now at sixty years of age she comes home to South Carolina because her father died.

The tragedies and disappointments that affected Ally’s life led to her searching for peace from “the gods”, even though she was brought up to know the true God of peace. Vesey, who lives across the river – Molasses Creek – suffered poverty and racism, but he knows Jesus Christ as his source of peace. Then there is Sunila, twenty years younger but also searching for freedom and peace in her life of hard labour in India and the racism of caste in that country. Because of an unfortunate event connected with Ally (which in real life probably would not occur – but this is fiction), her life is not what it should have been.

The author has written an intriguing tale. It took me awhile to get into the story because of how it is broken up – into short chapters that jump from one person to another – but once I caught on to this it was easier to keep track. The story gradually picks up momentum, and layer upon layer the questions that are raised are answered.

One thing that bothered me was the hinting about the Lord but the outright repetitiveness about the idols and gods of man-made religions, with not much of a decision made when it was obvious the Lord answered Ally’s heart’s cries. She thanked God but it did not seem to be much more than saying, oh, He IS real. Perhaps the reader is supposed to understand that through all of Ally’s searching God was waiting for her all along.

Another thing that bothered me – and I’m being careful to not write spoilers into this review – is that Ally told a whopper of a lie near the end of the story, which I felt was very dishonouring to her friend who was an honest man. It just seemed shockingly wrong and could only lead to more pain. It simply made no sense to not tell the truth.

If you are looking for a Christian book, Beyond Molasses Creek is not near the top of my list. But if you are looking for a different kind of fiction, this could satisfy that hunger. I will say that I was moved to tears in a few places, so it definitely was not a total letdown. The reader can get pulled into the story, and I found that once past the halfway point I wanted to skip ahead to find out some things because of what was unfolding a little too slowly for my liking. (I resisted and stayed the course, though.)

Nicole Seitz has written an emotionally charged novel that I actually enjoyed, despite the points I mentioned above. I wouldn’t mind reading more of her books.

You can find Beyond Molasses Creek listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 
 

Book Review: Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You’ve Only Heard About – by Darren Whitehead & Jon Tyson

Book: Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You’ve Only Heard About
Authors: Darren Whitehead & Jon Tyson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date: 2011
Genre: Religion
Pages: 189
Price: $15.99 US
My Rating: Inspiring, informative, encouraging for anyone seeking to be inspired, informed, encouraged in their Christian life.

I received this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

The authors, both from Australia, received a revelation new to them, that “God’s strategy for redemption on the earth was to be carried out by the church.” They were moved to prayer, relocated to the USA where “the future of the Western church is hanging in the balance”, and set into place in ministering to hearts and lives as part of that strategy. In this book, Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson share their vision in a clear and sincere, heartfelt manner. They include wonderful teachings, stories, and insights, which reveal “God’s kingdom coming to earth.”

Rumors of God is divided into ten chapters, each with a subtitle.

  1. The Sculptor’s Shop: Rumors of Abundant Life
  2. Hostages of the Mind: Rumors of Another Dream
  3. The Great Reversal: Rumors of Generosity
  4. The Faith You’ve Only Heard About: Rumors of Love
  5. Getting the Gospel in Order: Rumors of Grace
  6. Giving Up Your Rights: Rumors of Freedom
  7. The Radical Individual: Rumors of Commitment
  8. Loving Beneath the Surface: Rumors of Community
  9. The Greenroom: Rumors of Justice
  10. Our Burning Revolution: Rumors of Hope

At the back of the book is a section with questions based on each chapter, good questions to make the reader think and soul search. What could be a problem, though, is that the scriptural references they use throughout the book are mostly just noted in the back and not written out in full in the text of the book. This could prevent many from getting the full impact intended.

A comment that I was surprised to read was one written in chapter 5 about when the woman who was caught in adultery was brought to Jesus. The author said that Jesus “continued finger painting in the dust”, dismissing the seriousness of His meaningful action as a frivolous idle moment.

It was unclear to me as to whether the authors were always referring to church as being “church” – the organization under man’s leadership in works, or “Church” – the Body of Christ under the spiritual headship of God and from which relationship the works come.

There are some other things to watch out for, but Whitehead and Tyson made some excellent points and provided interesting – and surprising – stories to express their enthusiasm. It is a good read. On the whole Rumors of God is a book of encouragement to those who seek to be inspired and motivated in their faith.

You can find Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You’ve Only Heard About listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂