Book Review: Life with a capital L by Matt Heard

http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9781601424464?width=500&alt=no_cover_b4b.gif

What makes the difference between a life with significance, and a life that is mundane? Is there a connection between the Bible and the problems that face humanity? What does it mean to live life to the fullest?

Matt Heard addresses these questions using thought and feeling in Life With a Capital L. It’s an overview of life where he addresses freedom, the heart, beauty, worship, time, and brokenness. There’s a lot of wisdom packed into these pages, so much so that I was surprised when he referenced himself as “middle-aged”, as I was expecting someone much older having accumulated these life lessons. Heard has taken stories from his journey and assembled them into Life With a Capital L, creating a life manual to provide notes for things you can watch out for, or things that you already know but can be glad to have someone else acknowledge.

On a scale of five stars, I rank this book four out of five, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a thought-provoking, stimulating book.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Blogging for Books

The One Year Hearing His Voice Devotional: Book Review

978-1-4143-6685-2

How much time does it take to listen for the voice of the Lord?

With Chris Tiegreen’s The One Year Hearing His Voice Devotional, it’s easy to build quiet time into your day.

Every day of The One Year Hearing His Voice Devotional begins with a verse and reading that is just long enough to stimulate thought, yet short enough to be completed in the busiest of schedules. The devotional contains one reading for every day of the year, so it can be started anytime. The readings sometimes follow a similar theme for a few days, but this is typically not the case.

A unique feature of this devotional is Tiegreen’s “FROM THE HEART OF GOD” readings. The first time I read one of these, I was a bit taken by surprise, as I didn’t completely understand the concept. Eventually I figured out that it’s Tiegreen’s idea of what God wants us to know, and this is a bold, fresh way of delivering a message.

Who will benefit from this book: I would recommend this book to any Christian who is seeking a devotional to use for private study. This book is ideal for the busy person who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend, yet still wants to spend a few minutes each time on spiritual improvement.

FTC Disclosure: Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. The thoughts and opinions in this book review are my own.

Just 18 Summers

https://i1.wp.com/files.tyndale.com/thpdata/images--covers/175_w/978-1-4143-8659-1.jpgHow much time do you have to spend with your child? You have Just 18 Summers, which is the essential message of this book by Rene Gutteridge and Michelle Cox. The novel weaves the lives of four families together. Each family is very different in their personality and the challenges they’re facing.

What the members of each adult member of the group – and what Gutteridge and Cox clearly want you to realize – is that it’s important to make the most of the time you have to influence, teach, love and enjoy your child. The four families in Just 18 Summers are at different phases of this journey, with children at different ages. This influences their thoughts as do their different priorities in life.

For the most part, the book was realistic, although some of the dialogue with the youngest character, Ava, seemed a bit unrealistic. She’s a young child and is portrayed as a bit mature for her age. There were some moments in the book when the spiritual element of the book seemed forced – as if, just to make sure there was no mistake, it was squeezed in so it comes across as unnatural in places. However, on the whole Just 18 Summers is a very enjoyable read that could cause anyone to re-evaluate their perspective on what’s important in life.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. This is my honest opinion about this book.

Beautiful on the Mountain by Jeannie Light: Book Review

https://i1.wp.com/files.tyndale.com/thpdata/images--covers/500%20h/978-1-4143-8713-0.jpgA rural church has been closed for years. It sits abandoned, and a request has been made for it to be re-opened. Poverty is a concern in this area but a spiritual leader’s guidance could unite people. Is an inexperienced person, with no theological training or pastoral experience, really the ideal person to get this rural church open?

This is the conflict in Jeannie Light’s Beautiful on the Mountain. But she isn’t judging someone else – she’s judging herself. While some comparisons have been made between this story and Catherine Marshall’s Christy, Beautiful on the Mountain takes place more recently and lacks the romantic element that Christy has. In Beautiful on the Mountain, Light feels guided to carry on from the smallest, most random circumstances.

Beautiful on the Mountain will appeal to those who are looking for an inspiring read. There is no singular climax, so it will also appeal to those who enjoy a realistic story that resembles real life.

FTC Disclosure: Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

Declutter Now!

Declutter Now Study Guide

Have you ever felt surrounded by clutter, powerless to get it under control?

While it’s unclear if husband and wife team Lindon and Sherry Gareis have ever felt this way- they are professional de-clutterers so to speak – they do know that it’s worth looking for the root of the problem.

There seems to be a theme in their eight-week study, Declutter Now! Study Guide 8 Weeks to Uncovering the Hidden Joy and Freedom in Your Life. To address the problem of clutter, The Gareises don’t provide strategies of how to get organized or which items to throw away, but their method is to look within instead. This eight-week study includes one chapter for each week that mainly focuses on one way clutter influences or is connected to another facet of life. I found it fascinating how the Gareises were talking about issues that seemingly have nothing to do with having too much stuff. But, everything is connected, and letting go of clutter proves that. The Gareises show the connection of how clutter can influence or show up in our physical health, finances, spirituality and careers.

As a member of the Ambassador International Blogger Review team, I received a free copy of this study guide. It’s designed to be an eight-week journey and the study guide makes references to another work of the Gareises, Declutter Now! Without that book, I could not understand some of the questions and didn’t understand all the contents of the study guide. Another area that influenced my experience was how I read it and with whom.  I read this alone and did not use a full eight weeks to get through it. I did get insights from reflecting on the questions, but to get the most from the experience, I recommend going through the journey with at least one other person who wants to de-clutter.

FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of Declutter Now! Study Guide 8 Weeks to Uncovering the Hidden Joy and Freedom in Your Life from Ambassador International, the publisher. The thoughts contained in this review are my own.