Fueled by Fire

Staci Wallace has had a long career in the business world. She is also a Christian woman interested in the idea of femininity and the role this plays in a woman’s life. What pressures do Christian women face in their careers? How do Christian women feel faced to conform to the world in their daily careers? How does a woman’s job connect with her faith?

Wallace pulls stories from the Bible, and none of what I read lacked Biblical accuracy. It’s always important to filter truth from fiction. Unfortunately, this book just didn’t click with me. Wallace talks about how the business world and the Christian life are connected, and I do believe this can be true. This book lost me with its specific metaphors and examples. Ultimately, I did not finish this book. I don’t doubt that there is a way to show that God is present and that God cares about how we do our jobs, but this book wasn’t personally meaningful to me. Perhaps it may be different for you. I think this book might better resonate with women who are at a higher corporate level in their careers. If you’re a CEO, a vice president, if you own multiple businesses, if you are at a more seasoned level in your career, you might really relate to this book.

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

Searching for Certainty

Do you crave certainty in your life? Do you wish for things to be steady, certain, and predictable? Many of us want certainty but find that life has other twists and turns in store.

Ministry leader Shelly Miller believes that you can overcome in spite of uncertainty. Her new book Searching for Certainty has a beautiful, nature-inspired cover. This book is categorized on the back cover as “Christian living”. Many of the Christian living books I’ve read are focused on the reader in that they offer questions for reflection, advice, and tips for how to deal with life adversity. This book reads more like a memoir in many respects, because the author goes into great depth about her own life experience, as far back as to her own childhood and adversity she suffered growing up. She takes this experience and then tries to link it to a Biblical story. The book is centered on the author’s perspective and life experiences, and based on that, I would say this book is more like a memoir than a book of advice or help.

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

Home Made Lovely

Wish you could make your home beautiful? Wondering how you can make your home clutter-free and lovely, like the ones you see on TV? Meet this new book, Home Made Lovely.

Home Made Lovely is a different kind of decorating book. It isn’t just about decorating your home; it’s about decorating your heart. Decorator and designer Shannon Acheson advises us to consider that as we remake our homes, we should consider who we are doing this for, and why. It’s easy to look at what we see on TV and social media, and make comparisons as to how beautiful these homes look. As we might try to measure up or see that we don’t, our motivation should be carefully considered. In summary, our homes should serve us and the people around us. While we want our homes to be beautiful, the function of loving others through our homes should be kept at the forefront of our minds.

She doesn’t recommend having a dull place – quite the contrary! Acheson offers up lots of ideas of how to rejuvenate your living spaces, and many of these ideas are budget friendly. The glossy pages of this book offer realistic ideas of how to be hospitable through all seasons of life. Acheson knows that clutter is a thing, and she doesn’t push for an unrealistic standard of perfection. She keeps it real and encourages women to just strive for something, whatever will work for them.

I am excited to see that, with my non-existent cooking skills, this book has some recipes that might actually work for me… I was not expecting to see this in a book about decorating. Home Made Lovely is a comprehensive guide for how to turn any home into a haven, and I highly recommend it.

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

Active Shooters in Houses of Worship

Years ago, the term “active shooter” did not exist in our common vocabulary. Today, it does, and active shooters take out their evil in various locations. This sad reality occurs in schools, shopping malls, and places where people worship. In his book Active Shooters In Houses of Worship, Vinny Green discusses how shootings in churches are different from those that occur in other settings. This is a sobering topic, but he urges faith leaders to have a plan in case this were to happen in their congregations.

Green leads G-Square International Training Academy, using his years of experience working in law enforcement. His prior experience includes investigating and exposing hidden corruption in various places of government. He was also in New York City on the day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Thinking about an active shooter attack is not something that anyone wants to think about. No one wants to consider that this might happen to them, let alone at their church or place of worship. However, Green makes the case that it is something that spiritual leaders need to think about. His recommendations are smart and they aren’t morbid or weird. In our modern world, it would be wise for any pastor, rabbi, priest, or religious advisor to have a “what-if” plan for this type of event. I highly recommend this book for all faith leaders that want to keep their people safe in an ever-changing world.

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

A Dolly for Christmas

Young girl Daisy doesn’t want a fancy toy or an electronic gadget for Christmas. She visits Santa and asks him for something very special. Interestingly enough, she’s wanted this something special for a long time.

Kimberly Schlapman of the country band Little Big Town has teamed up with Morgan Huff to create A Dolly for Christmas. Huff’s illustrations are so charming and so fitting for this story. The cover sparkles with glitter that just begs you to open it, like a gift.

A Dolly for Christmas is one of those children’s books that is almost more for the adults than the kids. Children’s stories often have a moral message, and this book is no exception. The moral in this one is clear, and the author’s note at the end explains where her inspiration comes from. This book would make a great gift this holiday season (but give carefully, due to the sensitive subject matter). It is a heartwarming story for kids to read.

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