Easy last minute Christmas gifts

It’s down to the wire. December 25 is officially five days away, so if you haven’t started your Christmas shopping, you better get cracking. Whether you make a list and check it twice, or if you just fly by the seat of your pants, it isn’t too late to get going.

Whether it’s friends, family, a co-worker, or someone who has everything, this list of easy last minute Christmas gifts will get you started. Plus, they’re all affordable, so none of these ideas will break the bank.

What are you waiting for? Get going! Merry Christmas!


United States of Jihad


Peter Bergen has created a highly informational book for those interested in the growing threat of terrorism. Fact-based with lots of details as to the incidents occurring on the homeland. A lot of research seems to have been placed into this book.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of United States of Jihad in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Failure: The Back Door To Success

No one likes to fail.

Failure can be painful, and it can leave a person wondering, “Whats next?”

Erwin Lutzer’s book Failure: The Back Door To Success proposes a positive spin, claiming that failure can actually help you get to the success you want.

Or at least that’s what the cover would have you think. After all, more than 100,00 readers can’t be wrong.

A better title for this book would be Failure: Don’t Let It Happen to You or Failure: How It Can Ruin Your Life. Why so negative? A few examples from the book: a couple decides to become missionaries, and they move to a foreign land. Things don’t work out, and they return home. They’re embarrassed to explain why, so they tell their friends a different story to cover up the “failure” that they are no longer missionaries. Or, a Christian woman marries a non-believer, and she has to work like crazy to make her marriage work. She resigns herself to wondering what might have been – could she have been a missionary had she not gotten pregnant before being forced to marry this guy she’s now stuck with? (What is it with this author and missionaries?) This woman can’t stand her husband, but she has to love him.

If you’re expecting a Christian version of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, this book isn’t it. I disagree with what seems to be the author’s belief that most human failure results from sin. Yes, much of it does, but just because a career objective does not work out as hoped for, does not mean that it HAD to be the result of sin. Perhaps God had something better in mind, or circumstances changed…. we are human, and our knowledge is finite.

Another major lacking point of this book is how it focuses on failure – it’s very negative – and it lacks the knowledge of how to get from the failure to success.  Information on “the back door to success” is what it’s missing. That positive aspect is lacking. This book focuses on sin so much that it overspiritualizes –  it overlooks the fact that sometimes failure happens even when people are following God with all their hearts.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


Book Review: Courage for the Unknown Season


What’s next? How can I get through the changing seasons of life? Life no doubt often holds changes in store that we don’t like, can’t anticipate, or have trouble navigating.

Courage for the Unknown Season by Jan Silvious promises to provide confidence and hope for those who want to arm themselves through the choppy waters of life changes. Unlike Miriam Neff’s book Where Do I Go From Here?, there’s something about Courage for the Unknown Season that makes it a book that should be more targeted towards those in the latter part of their lives. It’s rare that I would say this about any book, but Silvious’ book just doesn’t reach well to people at all life stages. Even more, when I started reading it, I was staring a major life challenge in the eye. The book didn’t make me feel better, and it didn’t offer me any hope. When major life challenges happen, optimism, for some of us, isn’t the best route – we need to grieve first and then move on.

Some people, no doubt, are going to majorly benefit from this book. I just was not one of them.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



Paying less for Christmas gifts

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There are only 21 days left until Christmas! While you’re wrapped up in your holiday shopping, you can still keep your eye on the ball when it comes to staying on budget. Check out these tips for paying less for Christmas gifts.