Friends, Partners & Lovers by Kevin A. Thompson

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Friends, Partners & Lovers, by Kevin A. Thompson, tells the reader what it takes to make a marriage work. It is not just a book for those who are struggling in their marriage, it is also a great resource for any one who is married or going to be married.

The author points out that the number one cause of divorce is that the marriage died because one or both of the spouses neglected to intentionally invest in the marriage. In a healthy marriage both spouses play the roles of friends, partners and lovers. By doing this, we let our spouse know that we will always be by their side, we will always have their back and we let them know someone will always see their soul. Being a good spouse takes time and is demanding. Unless we play all three roles we are failing to give our spouse everything we promise, and everything they deserve.

The author states that healthy marriages do not have less conflict, rather they have more positive interaction. He also states that if both partners are willing, a marriage can radically change. But you can’t change your marriage by trying to change your spouse. You can pray for a change in your spouse, but you must start with a change in yourself. The conclusion of the book gives us eight questions to think about, to see if there are areas in our lives that we need to change.

I enjoyed reading some of the personal things the author puts in the book. The one thing that stands out most in my mind is that he felt he could tell how the marriage will last by how the couple feeds each other the cake at the wedding. I think back at weddings I have been to and seen couples “smash” the cake into their spouse, while other weddings the couple have been so respectful that if they get frosting on their spouse, they take a napkin and clean their spouse’s face. I have not thought of this before, but it makes sense that those who take care with their spouse show more respect and love.

Another thing that is pointed out in this book is that your spouse needs to be your friend. But they cannot be your only friend. You need other friends that you can turn to, that you can talk with about things that your spouse does not care to talk about.

This is a good book for married, or soon to be married people. I really think this book is one that should be recommended at marriage enrichment classes or counseling. There are some points within the book that may offend the reader, as the author goes deep in how we need to treat our spouse and what we need to do to help our marriage. To get the most out of this book, I feel it should be one shared by both spouses, and not just read by one. In my opinion, if only one is going to read the book, it will be the one who is putting in the most work to make a marriage work. And some points in the book may make they sit back and think about things that are not being done in their marriage. As well as things they deserve in their marriage that they are not getting from their spouse. Each chapter ends with “Be Intentional” questions that will make you really sit and think.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing and I have written an honest review.

224 pages

ISBN: 9780800728113

Publisher: Revell Publishing

To read more about the author, go to: http://www.kevinathompson.com/

Some place you can buy this book are:

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/friends-partners-and-lovers/383870

https://www.amazon.com/Friends-Partners-Lovers-Takes-Marriage/dp/0800728114

https://www.christianbook.com/friends-partners-lovers-takes-marriage-work/kevin-thompson/9780800728113/pd/728119

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/thompson-kevin-a/friends-partners-and-lovers/6987048.html

Sacred Privilege by Kay Warren

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My passionate prayer is that every pastor’s wife will get to read this book, because it could save your life, marriage, family, and ministry from a lot of unnecessary pain. And it can help make the rest of your life, the best of your life.” – RICK WARREN

Sacred Privilege, by Kay Warren, is written mainly for pastor’s wives. It gives encouragement, and tips for other wives in ministry. She goes into detail explaining how as a pastor’s wife, you will lose your privacy, you will be criticized, there will be complaints and conflicts. With these she tells the reader to leave it to God. She explains not to get caught up in trying to please every body.

The author explains that you will not be in ministry very long before you realize you have said yes to God in a way that will challenge every part of you. The author explains you need to accept who you are and know that be open to change. She also explains that you need to take care of yourself and your needs. And if there are children involved in the family, you need to help them . Ministry couples raising children have the normal stress of raising children. But they also have the additional stress of know everyone in their congregation will be watching them as they raise their children as well as what their children do.

I found this to be a very interesting book to read. I am not a minister’s wife, nor am I a minister’s daughter. I do, however, have family members in the ministry field and this book helped me to see the stress and sacrifices that minister wives deal with. I appreciate how the author uses her life experiences to help other wives. I think this book should be recommended reading for spouses of those in training for ministry as well as for family and close friends.

I received this book from Revell Publishing. I have written an honest review.

272 Pages

ISBN: 9780800728168

Publisher: Revell Publishing

To learn more about the author go to  http://kaywarren.com/

Some place to purchase this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Privilege-Life-Ministry-Pastors/dp/0800728165

http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/sacred-privilege/378170

https://www.christianbook.com/sacred-privilege-life-ministry-pastors-wife/kay-warren/9780800728168/pd/728164

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sacred-privilege-kay-warren/1125738339

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/warren-kay/sacred-privilege/6987049.html

Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke

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Under a Desert Sky, by Lynne Hartke, is a very powerful book of Lynne’s walk through cancer followed by her parents’ walks through cancer. Lynne writes a very emotional and inspirational book. Her writing is so honest and truthful, asking the “why me” questions so many of us ask in the privacy of our own thoughts.

This book takes us through Lynne’s life and journey through cancer. Lynne fought the cancer fight and won. Shortly after, both of her parents began the cancer fight. Each fighting their fight in their own way.

The author takes us on hikes with her and her family, describing the beauty they see and the trials they go through. The one hike that sticks in my mind, is when their daughter just laid down on the dusty trail and told them to leave her there. But when her father reached for her, she got up, dusted herself off and went with him. To me, this relates to me the walk we have with God and through our lives. During the good, easy time, life is beautiful. But when we get ill or things get hard, we get overwhelmed. We want to just throw ourselves down and not go on. With God’s help we are able to get back up and finish the walk.

I just love this book! It often brought back memories of watching my parents’ through their cancer walks. At times I though she was writing my story. So truthful and honest and powerful and emotional all wrapped up together. This is a book that everyone would benefit from reading. Regardless if their trial in life is cancer or any other situation. This story will inspire you to keep going, to trust and will encourage you.

Just after I started reading this book, I received a call from my husband that I never wanted to receive. We dropped everything to make necessary arrangements and notify the children. We were making an ‘rush trip’ for my husband to have surgery. As I laid in the hotel that weekend, it was this book that I grabbed to read. While our situation was very serious, we were not alone. Others have had worse situations and through Lynne’s experiences I was able to just shrug off my normal life for the time my husband needed our every thought and action to be on him.

I want to thank this author for writing such a wonderful book. And the publisher for allowing this book to be available on their blogging network.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

256 pages

ISBN: 9780800727741

Publisher: Revell Publishing

To learn more about he author go to: http://www.lynnehartke.com/about/

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/under-a-desert-sky/382370

https://www.amazon.com/Under-Desert-Sky-Redefining-Hardest/dp/0800727746

https://christianbook.com/desert-redefining-beauty-faith-hardest-places/lynne-hartke/9780800727741/pd/727742?event=CBCER1

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/hartke-lynne/under-a-desert-sky/6987044.html

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/under-a-desert-sky-lynne-hartke/1124824761?ean=9780800727741

The Parables of Jesus – by James Montgomery Boice

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Some sections of the Bible give us grand theology.

Some move us to grateful responses to God.

The parables ask us if there has been any real difference in our lives.

The Parables of Jesus was written by James Montgomery Boice. As a pastor, the author gave a sermon series on the parables. This book is a result of that sermon series. This book contains 30 parables that are broken up into 5 different categories. Parables of the Kingdom, of Salvation, of Wisdom and Folly, of the Christian Life and of Judgment. The author gives a lot of background to the parables and explains their meanings. He gives reasons as to why he feels they mean what they do.

One of the things that really stood out for me was where the author points out what has happened to sin. He points out the clergy dropped the word sin to not offend the congregation. Court jurists turned the word sin into crime. And psychiatrists calls sin a complex. So now no one is a sinner.

One of the things that I really like about this book is the author including a general index and a Scripture index in the book. This makes is really easy to go back and find something within the book.

This is a really good book to read to understand the meaning behind the parables. This is not a quick read book. While reading the book, I often found myself having to put the book down and just think about what I had read. I feel this would make a great book to use as a bible study or with a group to help dig deeper into the meanings of the parables.

I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishing Blog Review Program. I have written an honest review.

261 pages

ISBN: 9780802414496

Publisher: Moody Publishers

James Montgomery Boice (1938 – 2000) As well as being a pastor, he was also president and co-founder of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, the parent organization of The Bible Study Hour on which Boice was a speaker for more than thirty years. The Bible Study Hour is still heard as a radio broadcast worldwide. Boice was a well-known author and speaker in evangelical circles.

Some place you can purchase this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Parables-Jesus-James-Montgomery-Boice/dp/0802414494

https://www.christianbook.com/the-parables-of-jesus/james-boice/9780802414496/pd/414496

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/boice-james/parables-of-jesus/6722944.html

https://www.moodypublishers.com/books/bible-study-and-reference/the-parables-of-jesus/

Never Give Up: You’re Stronger Than You Think by John Mason

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Never Give Up: You’re Stronger Than You Think is an inspiring book written by John Mason. This book is broken up into three sections, “Looking Inward”, “Looking Outward” and “Looking Upward”. Within these three sections are 52 nuggets of information to help us not give up on our dream. The author gives us tips on how to not give up when we are ready to quit, how to avoid trouble and how to keep our energy up when faced with difficulties.

The author points out that anything worth doing is going to have struggles. And that most people give up either when they have failed to do something they wanted, or when they have accomplished something they aimed for. The author points out to us that God does not quit. That God has given us gifts to use and excel at. God does not take back the gifts he has given us. That by using the gifts God has given us, we will get better at what we are doing.

The author uses Bible verses to show us that the Bible gives us directions for how to live. He also uses Bible verses to show us how to gain godly wisdom and the benefits of prayer. God will give us the answers we need if we listen when he speaks to us. God will tell us what he wants us to do and he will use us right where we are, just like he used people in the Bible such as Mary to be the mother of his son.

Some of the points in this book that really stand out to me are that we sometimes feel we should always be busy. This kind of thinking can be a trap. The important thing is that we are progressing. The author points out that the Devil tricks us into saying yes to so many things. We gets spread so thin that we are not able to excel at what we are doing. I wish I had read this 10 years ago when I left the work force and decided to volunteer “a little”. My little became very overwhelming quite quickly.

Another thing the author points out in the book is that everyone has a potential to lead and influence others. He actually lists 25 ways to lead and influence well. When I took my first job outside of the house after having our children, I had co-workers tell me I would not be a quiet person very long working with them. Little did I know that I would eventually be in a position of leadership in work, as well as my volunteer life.

One of the most important nugget, I feel, is sometimes the most important thing is to get away to a peaceful God-filled spot. To leave thoughts and feelings behind. We should have a place where we can go to be alone and focus on the Lord.

This is a very thought provoking book. This is a book that you may want to go back to from time to time to encourage you in your daily walk.

I received this book from the Revell Publishing. I have chosen to write this honest review.

166 pages

ISBN: 9780800727116

Publisher: Revell Publishing

To learn more about the author go to: http://freshword.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/never-give-up-you-re-stronger-than-you-think/376290

https://www.amazon.com/Never-Give-Up-Youre-Stronger-Think/dp/0800727118

https://www.christianbook.com/never-give-youre-stronger-than-think/john-mason/9780800727116/pd/727112

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/never-give-up-youre-stronger-than-you-think-john-mason/1123923483?ean=9780800727116

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/mason-john/never-give-up/6879825.html

GodRunner by Will Hart

GodRunner

Everyone is called to something, somewhere.

GodRunner is a non-fiction book written by missionary Will Hart.  Will tells his story of coming to the Lord and about his missionary work.  Will was the son of hippies.  His mother became saved from listening to the radio.  She was filled by the Holy Spirit and the family thought she had gone crazy.  Even though his father was at times scared of the situation, he decided the family would follow her.  When Will was a senior in high school, he became saved and decided to be a missionary instead of going to college.  This is a book of places he’s been, people he has saved, as well as his family life.

Some of the points he makes in this book are to go out and do what the Spirt wants you to do.  You do not have to leave the country, you can be used by God right where you are, in what ever you are doing.  We are to take every opportunity God gives us to work with others.  God created us in love and he will never stop loving us.  God is seeking us and pursuing us.  He seeks us when we are least expecting it and sometimes that makes us uncomfortable.  But sometimes God has to take us to our lowest point to restore us and rediret us.

While this book is not what I expected, it is very well written and  has  good points in it.  I especially liked the parts in the book where the author talks about his young life and his mother’s personality.    I typically do not read auto-biographies, and at times it felt that this is what the book is.  I did however, think he did a good job of describing what a missionary family’s life it like.  While not going into detail, he did show the sacrifices the entire family had to make. I am giving this book a 4, only because of the auto-biography feel.

I received a copy of this book from Book Club Network.  I have chosen to write this honest review.

183 Pages

ISBN: 9781629117737

Publisher: Whitaker House

To learn more about the author and his ministry go to: http://www.hartministries.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://globalawakeningstore.com/Godrunner.html

https://www.christianbook.com/godrunner-your-place-gods-big-story/will-heart/9781629117737/pd/9117737?product_redirect=1&Ntt=9781629117737&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCG

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/godrunner-will-hart/1124936453?ean=9781629117737

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/hart-will/godrunner/6818404.html

Reflections With God by Linda Seger, Th.D.

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Reflections With God While Waiting to Be Healed is written by Linda Seger, Th.D. Linda developed a movement disorder and later breast cancer. Through the Promises for healing in the Bible, through prayer, daily therapy and the best doctors in the world, she improved but was not healed. She turned further to God, exploring where He is and who He is while waiting to be healed. This is a book of her journey along with very helpful information for anyone who is going through illness or injury.

She gives the reader very good information regarding what they may be going through and their walk through their condition. She explains that when we develop a condition that our life will change. Instead of having time for going to events we enjoy, we may now be spending that time with medical visits. She explains the need to reach out to others for help. We may now notice the people we look to raise us up are not the people we look to during a health condition. We look to people who will give us a smile, compassion and caring. We are to call on our spiritual community during a time of need. Even though we may be tempted to blame God for our situation, we are to look to Him to help us through our journey.

I really appreciate this book and the good advice the author has given from experience with her heal walk. I like that she points out that our life may take on a new normal. Our new normal may be therapies that take up our time or learning to do simple things in a new way. But good can come out of tragedy. Our illness may lead us to do something for others.

I received a copy of this book from BookClub Network and I have written an honest review.

144 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1942557708

Publisher: Clovercroft Publishing

Beyond Suffering Bible NLT by Joni and Friends, Inc

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I received a request to read and review this Bible.  At first I ignored it wondering how I would read and review a whole Bible.  But when I reread the email the night after sitting in the hospital another day with my very ill son, I knew I had to read it.    But when I got it, I found that it was written more along what I had to deal with.  At the end of the Bible portion of the book are articles written by various people.  One of the first I read was “The Constant Distraction”.  I felt I was reading my story!  Having suffered an injury over 15 years ago, I have lived with constant pain and had to learn how to manage the fine line of what I can do for how long and how often and still be able to live a fairly normal life.  Other articles that really spoke to me were “How to Be a Loving Friend to Those Affected by Disability” and “Becoming a Welcoming Church”.

The Bible is the New Living Translation, which is very easy to read and  understand.  It contains a users guide to help the reader use the Bible.  It also includes ten reading plans that are broken up into five  to 7  readings.  The reading plans make the Bible a very good choice for small group Bible Studies.   I really enjoyed “Growing Spiritually Through Suffering” and Praising God Through Suffering”.

The books of the Bible start out with a short over view of the book, who wrote it, when and it’s purpose.  The over view also lists the suffering and disability themes in the books.  Through out the books are Connection Points to help the reader understand specific verses.  There are also profiles of the authors and people in the  Bible books and additional writing within the books to read more in depth.

I am so glad I decided to accept this book from Tyndale Publishing.  It has replaced the Bible I have used for years.  It is so easy to read and understand.  I really like the additional readings and Connection Points added to the books.  I have found myself rethinking what I have read several times.  And I enjoy the background of the Biblical people that is in the Profiles.  I especially enjoyed reading Joni Eareckson Tada’s story.  She gives so much encouragement to so many people just by how she has moved past her disabilities.

This Bible is not just for the person living with illness or injuries, it is for anyone who knows someone struggling with illness or injuries. We all know someone that struggles with these and this Bible is great for the caregiver, support person and friends as well.  I feel this would be a great addition to any church Bible Study ministry, to reach out and show they care.

If I could find one negative to say about this specific edition of this Bible, it would be that the pages are so thin. Turning the pages is a little hard when laying down.  I am afraid they might rip.  But this Bible is available in other formats.

Thank you to Tyndale Publishing for allowing me to read and use this Bible, this is my honest review.

1696 pages

ISBN:  978-1414395586

Publisher:Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.tyndale.com/p/beyond-suffering-bible-nlt/9781414395586

https://www.christianbook.com/nlt-beyond-suffering-bible-softcover/9781414395586/pd/395586

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Suffering-Bible-NLT-Struggles/dp/1414395582/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beyond-suffering-bible-nlt-joni-and-friends-inc/1123505301?ean=9781414395586

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/joni-and-friends/nlt2-beyond-suffering-bible-softcover/6829608.html

 

8 Steps to Achieve Your Destiny by Samuel R. Chand

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Using a wealth of examples gleaned from today’s top organizations, Dr. Samuel R. Chand lays a solid foundation to prepare today’s leaders for the unavoidable difficulties. Whether you run a corporation, a non-profit organization, or a church, 8 Steps to Achieve Your Destiny will provide insight into eight issues every leader must face.”

In this book the author writes about the importance of the people you work with That those you have worked with in the past are not the ones that will be good for your future. He talks about the importance of having positive people, people who will help you grow and those that will grow with you.

He writes about the places our future will take us. As humans we cling to the familiar, but with God’s help we strive for the unfamiliar. It is in the unfamiliar that we learn to trust God and have faith in him. To have growth we must walk in the unfamiliar. The author points that for some people that being left in the familiar too long will lead them to becoming bored and restless. These gifted visionaries need to move on.

Each time we respond to a new possibility, new doors open for us. Our attitude and thinking changes. He also walks us through the importance of personal preparedness for growth. But not everything about growth is easy. There will be pain, there will be criticism from others.

When I was asked to read this book, I did not realize that it would become a book that would help me with my “growth”. As a volunteer of many different programs, most in the leadership capacity, I have had to step back and take a look at what direction my future holds. This book has been very helpful during this time. As I step away from programs that I have been with for a long time or those that are very near and dear to my heart, I have felt extreme pain. But through this book I have come to realize this is the way it should be. That to have stayed in those positions I would have grown frustrated. The hardest thing for me when moving forward has been leaving the people what I have worked with. And with this book, I see that is also normal That I will now be involved with a whole new group of people who will help me grow even more.

I really was helped a lot by reading this book. It helped reaffirm to me that the changes I am making in my volunteer life are doors that God are closing and opening for me. Some of them not always what I thought would happen. If you are in a leadership position and are feeling frustrated, bored and felling there is something else out there for you, this is a must read book!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Book Club Network. This is my honest review.

167 pages

ISBN: 9781629117348

Publisher: Whitaker House

You can buy this book at:

https://www.christianbook.com/steps-achieve-destiny-life-with-purpose/samuel-chand/9781629117348/pd/11734X?product_redirect=1&Ntt=9781629117348&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCG

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/8-steps-to-achieve-your-destiny-samuel-r-chand/1123660190?ean=9781629117348

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/chand-samuel/8-steps-to-achieve-your-destiny/6818501.html

https://www.amazon.com/Steps-Achieve-Your-Destiny-Purpose/dp/162911734X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1481824660&sr=1-1&keywords=9781629117348

Alive in the Spirit by A. W. Tozer

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Nothing is more beautiful than a Spirit-filled church displaying the marvelous harmony of the Holy Spirit in its midst.”

Alive in the Spirit, written by A. W. Tozer, is a book compiled and edited by James L. Snyder. A. W. Tozer was a self taught theologian authoring more than 40 books. After his death in 1963, his estate gave Reverend James L Snyder the rights to produce new books from over 400 never-before-published audiotapes. This is one of the books Snyder has compiled and edited from those tapes.

Using scripture to support his writings, Tozer believed that our churches were in need of revival. He felt that we have become Christians that go about doing God’s work without having the Holy Spirit. He points out in history that when a revival took place, God scrapped everything and started a new.

He felt that many Christians were satisfied with just being saved. That being saved meant they would go to Heaven so they could sit back and relax. He felt people were satisfied with what they have and that churches are satisfied with numbers, programs and methods but without the Holy Spirit. Tozer felt if we were to be the church God wants, that we would be so filled with the Holy Spirit that it would flow out of us

Tozer offers us some deep questions to ponder, “Where does the Holy Spirit fit into our churches? Is He the foundation of our ministry or have we replaced Him with our programs and entertainment. We will never get anywhere without allowing the Holy Spirit to bring us into a relationship with Jesus. For the Holy Spirit to work without our lives, we need to surrender to him and allow Him to work in our lives. The Holy Spirit transforms and changes us, making us holy inside. When the Holy Spirit comes, we will have the power to do everything God has called us to do.

This book will cause you to stop and think about where you are at in your spiritual walk. It will encourage you to want more in your Christian life. It will also may you stop and think about the Christian activities that you take part in. Are you just going through life, or are you growing in your Spiritual life? This is a wonderful book to help you sit back and think about your life and what may be missing or needing maturing. I really enjoyed reading this book. It made me stop and think about many things, including where to go from here to get where I want to be in my walk with God. I would recommend this book to every Christian no matter where they are in their Christian life.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany Publishing and this is my honest review.

192 Pages

ISBN: 9780764218071

Publisher: Bethany House

This book may be purchased at:

https://www.amazon.com/Alive-Spirit-Experiencing-Presence-Power/dp/0764218077/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481567417&sr=8-1&keywords=9780764218071

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alive-in-the-spirit-aw-tozer/1123279865?ean=9780764218071

https://www.christianbook.com/alive-spirit-experiencing-presence-power-god/a-w-tozer/9780764218071/pd/218070?event=

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/tozer-a-w/alive-in-the-spirit/6773386.html