Thursday, December 16, 2010

Amy Inspired

I cannot say that I 'flew through' this book. I usually eat up the pages, but I found myself struggling to even finish this story. The main character, Amy, is almost 30 and is completely focused on her writing career (that she doesn't have). She was just “mopey” and I feel like that's how I can best describe the book tone itself. She lives in an apartment with her eccentric friend, can't keep a boyfriend, struggles with her sexuality, is not happy with her job, and is constantly comparing her writing career with her best friend's. Her best friend is a Christian when she wants to be, and is obsessed with environmental friendliness and not eating meat.
I don't know, I just couldn't get past how much I did not like the main character to really enjoy the rest of the story line of the book. Not to mention, I did not feel like it was really a Christian book. Yes, perhaps the author was trying to show how everyone questions their beliefs sometimes, and we face temptations but I like to read about Christians who are alive in their walk or who overcome some dry period in their life and grow stronger. It's inspiring to me, and helps keep my interest.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing Company for the purpose of reviewing.

Coming Back Stronger

This is a true story written about the football player Drew Brees life having been injured and his struggle to make it back to professional football. It is not only well written but inspiring as well. We all face hard times and it is good to be reminded that through hard work and faith in God that we can push through them. They also give you a look into his life overall. Adventures of his childhood, attending and playing football for Purdue University (boiler up!) meeting his now wife, and his child. I think that it is good to get a reminder that professional sports players are not all convicts, or men who cheat on their wives as it is portrayed in the news. Drew Brees is a great Christian role model for everyone no matter their age.

I would have liked to see a bigger focus on the gospel. I just got the feeling that it was centered around the philosophy ‘God helps those who help themselves’. Which in certain situations I do agree with, but there are some times and instances when we must wait and be patient on God to act. What we feel is right and what needs to be done may not truly be a part of God’s plan at all.
I will say, that I am by no means a football fan, but was simply looking for something to read  to burn off time. I was happy with the book for what it was, and will be recommending it to friends that I know are football fans, but I would most likely not read it again.

Seeds of Turmoil

My latest book to have read from was Seeds of Turmoil. The book in a nutshell described the past, present, and possible future conflicts in the Middle East. It goes from Abraham and Sarah, to Israel becoming its own nation in 1948, and conflicts  that are occurring today. I really enjoyed reading this book, as the author wrote in such a way that I could picture things as they happened. I also learned much about the Middle East and Islam that I had never known and probably would have never learned if it were not for this book. The story of Sarah and Abraham took on a whole different light.  Every time I have read that story I had pictured Sarah's servant like she had somehow seduced Abraham into bedding her so she could become pregnant. The way that was explained in Seeds of Turmoil helped me to take a step back and look at the story differently. 

Sarah and Abraham did not wait patiently on God for him to complete his promises to them. The son, Ishmael was not forgotten by God, even though he was not the son to receive God’s ‘chosen’. A great people came from Ishmael as well and the book shows how everything stems back to one sinful event in history.

Wright is informative, captivating in his writing, and also challenges his readers to look at their own lives and to notice how one small, seemingly insignificant, sinful event can change history forever.
I would highly recommend this book, and am very pleased with the quality of writing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On This Day in Christian History

This is a daily inspirational book filled with stories of saints, martyrs, and missionaries for each day of the year. Each story is a single page, and sometimes even less. I was very excited when I first received it and held high expectations for it. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. Several of the stories are not exactly inspirational, and quite often they were a little depressing. In some way the gospel was spread, but it always involved in death of some sort. I would have liked reading some inspirational stories that ended with spreading the gospel and the character for the day surviving the tough situation.
I do believe that it will be a good book for some people, and perhaps I held my expectations too high, but I don't know if I would recommend this to everyone. In all honesty, I do not know if I were to have read one story for the next year I would have finished it. I need something to grab my attention and hold onto it. I did enjoy the bible verses for each day, and there were some encouraging stories, but overall I felt it was lacking something. The stories were quite repetitive, and lacked a connection to draw the reader into each person’s story. I know that this must have been difficult since the stories are true and happened anywhere from fifty to hundreds of years ago, but a more personal connection would have perked my interest more. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Snow Flakes

We had our first snow flakes today! I encountered the flurries while I was leaving school for the day. My excitement lead me skipping to my car. :-) Snowfall out here is nothing compared to snow back home. There's no lake effect, no hills to sled down, barely enough covers the ground to make a proper snow fort! (Yes, last year we did make a snow cave)

Sleep is evading me tonight apparently. I am supposed to go to Indy tomorrow morning to celebrate a few friend's birthdays, but I am not feeling very well. School stress, work stress, and now the weather changes are starting to catch up with me. I'm considering staying home tomorrow and hopefully getting better over the weekend instead of getting worse.

I got my second BookSneeze book in the mail today! On This Day in Christian History is a year round devotional filled with tales of saints, heroes and martyrs. I'm excited to start reading it! My first Bethany House book came in this week as well, Amy Inspired. I will post my review blog on this novel shortly. I'm trying to think of how to word my opinion without being unfair. The book itself is just not my cup of tea, but I'm sure for many others, they would greatly enjoy it! I don't want to turn someone away from a book just because I prefer science fiction and fantasy.

Well, I'm off to read myself to sleep. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I've had a pretty uneventful Halloween so far. I'm shocked at how quickly October has gone by! (Although I am happy to be rid of all the scary movies and decorations all over the place). No, I am not spending my day passing out candy to happy children, or going to a scare house to cling to my fiance. I spent the whole morning at work and am home for a few hours before my second shift of the day begins. I tried to get someone to work for me tonight, but I knew no one would step up to do it. So, once again, my Halloween will be spent serving spagghetti to the Hoosier population.
Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings verbalized how I feel right now perfectly. "I feel like butter spread over too much bread" (or something to that effect).

Well, now I'm off to work again. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Outlive Your Life

This past week has been quite busy! Exams, both work schedules, and now I'm trying to find the time to add in housecleaning! Insane.
But of course, I found time to read Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado.
It's definitely one of the few 'self help' Christian books I have read that keeps my attention! I felt like I could not get enought of it. Definitely a must read for anyone who is feeling down on themselves. It was almost like the book was written for me, at this exact point in my life. He encourages us to let God use us where he chooses, and not to get discouraged because we are 'blue collar' workers. God used what society considered 'low status' people to share the gospel so long ago, why wouldn't he look to use normal people today as well. He gives great ideas on how to incorporate how the disciples gave, taught, and treated others into our culture today. I especially loved the part on micro financing a small business in a developing nation and helping out not just one family, but the entire community! (I actually have been looking into doing the same thing.) What I got most out of this book was that the small things matter. What we do for other people that may seem meaningless and dull to us, could be a deal breaker for someone else.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is willing to get a wake up call!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


It's here! It's here! I have been waiting all week for my first book from booksneeze to get here and it came today!
For the next few days, aside from studying for school, I will be reading Out Live Your Life, by Max Lucado. In anticipation for this book to get here, I decided to get a jump start on Christmas shopping for the year. I got my neice and nephews children's books by him. (well, I also got one nephew Thomas the Train Phonics but it's still educational!) I feel like not only do Lucado's books teach children to be good to others, and to look to God but they also focus on feeling good about yourself. Isn't  that a wonderful message to send to our future generation?! I surely think so!
Anyways, as soon as I'm finished I'll write about it, but I'm sure it's going to be great! Everything by Lucado is usually pretty good!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Journey Home

It has been a year and two months since I moved to Indiana. I have been overwhelmed with schooling, working two jobs, and everything else that life throws at you to really notice. Not that I don't miss home, but making time to do so is the difficult part. We have a four day weekend off school, and it is my best friend from high school's baby shower and yet I still find myself making a list of things I could be getting home if I stayed in Butler.

Even 150 miles away from my fiance I cannot escape the overwhelming film of hunting that has surrounded my life for the  past eight days. Yes, it is finally the dreaded hunting season. The part of the year where I lose my significant other to the outdoors, and find more and more of my own clothing being converted to 'Mossy Oak'. I arrived at my parents to a 15 degree temperature drop, and only a hunter's camo sweater in my backseat. Look whose going to the baby shower in a white dress and a tree! They at least know who I'm marrying, so I hope I don't offend anyone.

I had a good, long conversation with my dad today about life out in Indiana. By talk,  I mean, I vented about my irritations with life in general and he kindly offered to show me land for sale not too far from their house. I don't mean to complain, honest, I don't. I know what I should try to work things out. My normal course of action would be to ignore it, and try to let everything go. But honestly, I know that's not the healthy way to go about things.

Being at  the wedding last weekend in Pittsburgh reminded me of the young woman I was in high school. My total and complete focus had been on God, and helping others back then. I still feel that tug to go on missions trips, and volunteer, but the dedication to both has greatly declined. Everyday since last Saturday I have been growing more and more dissatisfied with the way I am living my life. I want to put myself back into the mindset I had just a few years ago and focus on God, not on what I think I need to be doing.