Thursday, October 21, 2010

Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman



All I can say is "Oh my goodness, you have to read this book!" Let me make something clear, I enjoy reading all kinds of books, but if it is not a story, not fiction, the likelihood of me actually finishing it is small. I read this book cover to cover, in a matter of days. It spoke to my mother's heart, my woman's heart, and my spiritual heart. It is Mary Beth's testimony and it is so powerful, it truly will change lives!

Many of you will remember that a few years back, Steve and Mary Beth Chapman lost their youngest daughter, their son hit her with his car. Yes, this is the story of that, but more than that, this is the story of their family. Of their lives. Of their adoptions, their careers, their testimony. Have you been craving to read something real? Have you gone to church and left feeling that everyone was fake, putting on a sunny smile where no one is free to be real????? This book will shatter all the pretenses. Mary Beth is not perfect. Yes, reply with the sunday school answer that no one is. But there you go, a perfect little sunday school answer. Mary Beth gave me a sense of freedom, she made me want to reach out and share my imperfections, relate to her, talk to her, be real with her. And that, my friends, is the power of a testimony. Not to be a pretty little package all tied up with a bow. But to be messy, to be real, and to be used for God's glory to touch lives and hearts, giving people a chance to relate! To feel that they are not alone!

Anyways, all that being said, this book truly did start a change in my life. A passion to be real. And a passion for adoption. Adoption is always something I have considered, but after reading this book, I put it down and told Jonathan "we will adopt one day". We will wait until God opens that door financially and emotionally for us as a family, but I know with all my heart that the day will come when we will fulfill our calling to look after the fatherless. There is a child out there who needs a mother, and I intend to find him/her.

Read this book! You will not be sorry you did. Give it as a gift, keep it in your bookshelf, but don't just put it on the side to think about.... sit down and read it. It will have you laughing, crying, and will show you the power of a true testimony!

For more information on the book, Choosing to SEE, check out DeeperShopping.com

**I received a complimentary review copy of this book through Baker Publishing Group

Monday, October 4, 2010

Outlive Your Life Review

Max Lucado: famous, easy-to-read, inspirational... one of the best selling Christian authors of our day. Why should you buy this book? This book is interesting, easy to read, inspiring, and as an added bonus, one hundred percent of the author's royalties from Outlive Your Life products will benefit children and families through world vision and other ministries of faith-based compassion.

Outlive Your Life is filled with individual stories, both from past and present, to help you make a difference. Lucado shows us how through following the disciples example, we can continue the movement that was started over 2000 years ago. With practical advice such as "God calls us to change the way we look at people... not to label" (pg. 150). With scriptural examples, Lucado brings the bible back to life, making it relevant in today's society.

For more information on the book, Outlive Your Life, check out DeeperShopping.com

**I received a complimentary copy of this book through Thomas Nelson Publishers.

In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer Review

I just put down the book In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Upon reading the last words, I was filled with a sense of satisfaction and contentment. The book ended so well, neatly wrapping up all, or nearly all, of the conflict and questions that arose throughout the novel. As a romantic story, I would say that the book was highly successful in giving the reader a sense of adventure and wonder and staying away from the typical. This was a story that I hadn't heard before, and was content to follow the many different paths it took.

That being said, I have a few critiques. First and foremost, I believe that a title should say something about the book and I definitely would not associate this title with the storyline. I felt that it was a halfhearted stab instead of a well thought out summary of the storyline. To be honest, it had little to do with the actual story, at least that I can see. Secondly, it was not an easy book to get into. The story follows the lives of three different friends. It often changes perspectives and although this gives the book added depth as you get into it, it is harder to fully be drawn in as you are trying to relate to three characters instead of one. There was so much background information on all of the characters, I felt that Sawyer would have done better to write a story before that on Bennett, Petey, and Libby's growing up years in the orphanage rather then having to backtrack for the first half of the book. 

Nevertheless, once I got into the story, I loved it! The characters were unconventional, something I often crave from the books I read. I would highly recommend this book as a gift, or a part of your permanent library. And I will be looking for more books written by Sawyer in the future. Her writing style and imagination will keep me going back for more :)

For more information on the book In Every Heartbeat, or to purchase your favorite Christian fiction, check out DeeperShopping.com

**Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, IncAvailable at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.