Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to Pick Up a Stripper

And Other Acts of Kindness
Serving People Just as They Are

By Todd and Erin Stevens

Friendship Community Church, led by Pastor Todd Stevens, has experienced tremendous growth through acts of kindness. The church’s most radical servant evangelism project is Nashville Strip Church, founded by Erin Stevens. Erin’s life changed when God told her to "go feed the strippers." With home-cooked meals and gift bags, Erin shows dancers that God loves them. How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness is the message and story of how to get out of the pew and into the streets to become a good Samaritan.

When I read the review for this book, I was instantly drawn to it since I've become a firm believer in doing random acts of kindness. This book gives practical examples of ways to reach people and specific reasons for the beliefs behind why followers of Christ should make it a way of life.

This book gave me a new sense of motivation and definitely made me see the truth in living by planning to serve others every day. I am now more determined to not just wait for God to bring someone across my path, but to purposely plan, visit and find ways to connect with my neighbors.

The one area I would say that I might in some way disagree with the author is in his discussion about the giving of one's time. I believe that our time may be just as important and may be more important than our money. Money may cover a need but time spent with a neighbor builds trust and friendship and screams louder than money that one cares about that person they are willing to spend time with.

This book is a must read for every one who claims to be a follower of Christ. It's something we all know instinctively, and yet, need to hear and be reminded. Let's get out there church!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review from the publishers and BookLookBloggers. I was not required to give a positive review.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Trail

A Tale about Discovering God's Will
By Ed Underwood

This book is about a young married couple who are faced with a difficult decision about accepting and making a job change. They have opposing views about the decision as well as how to look for God's guidance. Their friends set them up with a pastor who takes them on a wilderness hike up the High Sierras in order to teach them principles on how to discover and follow God's will.

I didn't think I would like this book, but it was easy to get into and kept my attention. While reading, I felt as if I actually experienced this adventure into the mountains. I pondered and wrote down pages of wisdom the author wove throughout the story. I found myself with mixed emotions which ranged from extremely sad to encouraged, but the ending left me hanging. I felt frustrated by my own unanswered questions.

I would recommend reading this book with a small group in order to work through the questions and emotions that this book will raise. There are additional small group questions included in the back of the book for further discussion.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review. I was not required to give a positive review. Thank you Tyndale Publishers and Tyndale Blog Network.

Tyndale Blog Network

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Arms Wide Open

A Call to Linger in the Savior's Presence
By Sherri Cragg

Come near. Stop striving. The Master of the banquet has raised His glass to welcome you as His dear child.  Sherri Gragg proves that Christ is a kinder, more tender, more loving Savior than many understand Him to be.

With an introduction like the above, I was eager to read this book and excitedly opened the box to examine my new book. I instantly wondered if they had put lead or gold in the cover. For a book of its size, it was very heavy. After reading the acknowledgments and introduction, I was sure the weight had significance due to the anointing I felt after just the first few pages. Yes, in just those few pages, I was convinced that I held a holy book.

Admittedly, I jumped in and was determined to read as many devotionals as possible in order to get through the book in a timely manner, but, as the subtitle invites the reader to linger, I relaxed and slowed my pace to savor the chapters, for this is no ordinary devotional. The author retells the encounters with Christ as if it is with each one of us, personally, encountering Him with our own ailments and character flaws. She weaves in historical details that help the reader to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and attitudes during the time of Christ.

I liked the stories where Christ loved on the person in spite of their weakness or sin. I didn't care as much for the retelling of Christ's death because it seemed more redundant. But, the last chapter, The Restoration of Peter, was a powerful finale of hope to all those who have tasted failure. Using this devotional was like getting a big hug of encouragement and reassurance so I could run off and play again, which I know we all need.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who needs encouragement and who desires to gain a greater understanding of the time when Christ walked the earth.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my review. I was not required to give a positive review. Thank you Thomas Nelson and BookLook Bloggers.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Friday, July 11, 2014

Middle of Summer

....and in order to not panic about how quickly it is passing, I have to look at the glass as half full rather than half empty. There are still 6 weeks of summer yet to enjoy.

There are 6 more weeks to get to the lake, to wiggle my toes in the sand and to soak up some sunshine. Granted, our weather has been more than iffy and hasn't been all that hot, in my opinion, but there is still time. Whenever it is warmer, I am either at work or at the shop working. Since we work every day, I am usually working. BUT, I have managed to sit on our deck a handful of times now where and when the sun has actually been on it.

I am still hopeful that there will be a few hours to connect with waves and sand. After all, it's only the middle of summer.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

First Day of Summer

And, it's breezing by. We've been working our butts off at the shop, long hours and every day. We've added more to our work load because not only are we busy with the day to day upkeep of running a shop, but we now are in the plastic worm production business. This means that we are working after hours, after the shop is closed.

Whew. AM I EVER GLAD I DON'T HAVE ANOTHER JOB. I already have a job! AND, it's a job all right.

That being said, although I feel bad about not blogging during this busy season, I know that it's a short season and it will soon be over. I just hope I can eke out a few moments to enjoy my favorite time of the year and, hopefully, wiggle my toes in the sand at the lake.

Happy First Day of Summer!