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.

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.

Walk Run Soar Book Review

If there’s a runner in your life that you need a gift for this holiday season, Walk Run Soar could be the perfect gift. This book is part-devotional, part-motivational, part-fitness inspiration. Dorina Gilmore Young does most of the writing, but her husband – who also shares her passion for running- makes some contributions. His “Notes from Coach Shawn” are featured at the end of every chapter.

I am not a runner, but I really enjoyed this book. Dorina does a really good job of integrating her stories of training for marathons, making friendships with other “running mamas”, and connecting the life of an athlete into the bigger picture of living a Christian life. She seamlessly connects stories of her running with stories from the Bible, so you can see what she means when she talks about the parallels between running the race of Christian life, and actual running. The chapters read really quick, and there are also motivational quotes in every chapter from accomplished athletes to keep you inspired in your fitness journey.

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

Spiritual Intelligence

We’ve all heard of IQ, and you may heard of EQ, but have you ever heard of SQ? Probably not. Your intelligence quotient and your emotional quotient might measure how intellectually-smart or emotionally-smart you are, but Kris Valloton is proposing a third dimension of intelligence: a Spiritual Quotient. It may be surprising that a neurologist, not a pastor, is writing the forward to such a book. There’s an entire chapter dedicated to the “law of spiritual physics.”

More surprises: while this book is not a book on apologetics, it felt like it many times. On the bookshelf, if you’re a theologian, I would put this book next to Strobel’s A Case for Christ. For me, describing experiences of the divine or connecting to Christ and calling it “SQ” seemed to be a way to appeal to skeptics or seekers, or even a way to try to prove the point that science and faith do not have to be at war with one another; they can co-exist in peace, easily.

I would recommend that any pastor or seminary student, of any Christian denomination, read this book to better understand those you will serve who are science-minded. This book shows how having a strong Christian belief does not have to mean surrendering a belief in science. Your friends and family who love science will love this book. It lost me at times. Even though it does not get too deep with these concepts, this book is smart.

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

Seven Words of Christmas

If you had to summarize the Christmas story in a few short words, you might say it means the birth of Jesus Christ. You might also say a tiny baby in a manager in a barn. Or, you could say that an innocent baby was born and He eventually saved the world.

Robert Morris takes a slightly different approach to describing Christmas in Seven Words of Christmas. While he would agree with all these statements, he uses seven words to describe the spirit and heart of what the Christmas story means. He expands on each of these seven words to tell the Christmas story.

Seven Words of Christmas would fit nicely on your coffee table, but it’s small. It’s the type of book you could read a little bit of, and come back to. It tells the Christmas story in a way that anyone can understand, so it’s a nice pick for people new to the faith and people who have been Christians for a long time. This would make a great gift to slip in the mail and send to a family that you might not be able to see this year.

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