Where I am at the Museum {Part Three}

Read Part Two Here

I went to drop off my till (the money from the register) at the Bookstore, then hurried back to the offices. I was thankful the interview was going to be in Mr. Director’s office, because I had heard from someone that they conducted interviews in the corner of the Cafe, and that just sounded scary to me.

Mr. Director was already in his office, and Mr. Assistant Director (the SET member I previously mentioned) arrived soon after I did. I was told to take a seat, and slid into one that seemed to make the most sense – creating a triangle between the three of us in the room. My mind was going over everything I’ve ever studied about business, interviews, etc… I tried to keep my body posture open, my facial expressions engaged, and my voice modulated and my words well-thought-out and clear. Before long though, I just started having fun.

It was a relief to have Mr. Assistant Director there because I’d spent enough time talking to him that I felt like we were friends and I could get a read on him. Mr. Director, on the other hand, was nice, but I simply could not figure out what he was thinking and that was stressing me out a bit.

 

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Cool Story: Mr. Assistant Director and his wife went on this caving trip with us in March, and that’s where I first met them. (It was a work-related trip.)

 

 

Then, at one point Mr. Director was like “Um, I have a red flag.” I was nervous but asked him what it was, hoping it was an objection that I would be able to overcome. Instead, he mentioned a silly “red flag” that obviously wasn’t actually going to be a problem. When he said that I suddenly got hope that he did indeed think I would make a good SET member because surely he wouldn’t be joking about it if he wasn’t liking what he saw, right?

The week we did our interview was also the week that they were changing around a bunch of the offices, and that meant that Mr. Director was in the process of switching to a new office, and Guest Services was getting his current one. Because of that, the mic where they made the announcements that went out on the museum loudspeakers were located in his office, right in front of me, actually.

Partway through our interview one of the managers knocked on the door, then came in and asked if he wanted to proceed with announcements as usual or forego them since he was conducting an interview. He said it was fine, to send in the announcements guy at the right time. So, a few minutes later a guy sheepishly knocked, then came in. He apologized a lot and obviously felt very awkward for interrupting our interview. I didn’t mind though, because it gave me a few moments to collect my thoughts since I’d been answering a lot of questions.

Mr. Director and Mr. Assistant Director both joked with Announcements Guy and it really helped the whole interview process to feel homier and relaxed to me. This happened twice, and by then I was actually thoroughly enjoying the interview.

One of the other SET members (the same one who had sent Mr. Director out to talk to me in the first place) had come by Fair Trade one slow day and spent time asking me all the questions that he thought would come up during the interview. Therefore, I felt rather prepared for the questions I was now answering.

In fact, sometimes I felt like maybe I was answering the questions too well because I was so enthusiastic about the position I was hoping for. (The SET members had done a great job of making my life at the museum better, and although I didn’t want to leave the Bookstore, I was excited at the thought of making other people’s lives better, too.) One time when I was finished answering a question I was like “Did that answer your question?” and Mr. Director just kinda nodded and replied that yes, it answered his question, plus several more.

Our interview lasted for an hour, and by the time it was over I really didn’t know what to think. I thought it had gone well, and I knew it hadn’t gone bad, but I wasn’t sure if I was a good candidate for the job or not.

When I got back to the Bookstore to pick up my till I was greeted by a host of co-workers and managers who were all wondering how it went. Up until this time I hadn’t mentioned the fact to very many of my co-workers that I was looking into a position with SET, but after the interview pretty much everyone knew, and they were all excited to hear how everything went.

Throughout the process, I felt very supported and encouraged by my co-workers and managers. Even though they didn’t want me to leave the bookstore, being part of SET was the next best thing, because that meant I got to stay year-round, plus help out in the bookstore whenever they needed someone extra.

As time progressed I discovered that multiple co-workers, managers, and even managers from other departments had all gone to Mr. Director and told them that they thought I’d do great as a SET member. That made my heart exceedingly happy.

Now all I had to do was wait and see if I’d gotten the job or not.

And, I’m off to work again, folks. So, I guess this gets a Part Four. Have a great day!

 

Where I am at the Museum {Part Two}

Read Part One Here

After talking with the director of the Museum, I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to do next – so I prayed about it and looked for any opportunities to take the next step. I didn’t want to bug Mr. Director, so instead, I looked for a chance to talk to anyone who would know anything. Through my questioning, I found out that I needed to go to the HR department and request a transfer paper that I would then need my current manager, as well as Mr. Director sign before I could move forward with trying to set up a job interview.

My bookstore managers were fantastic throughout the whole process, asking me how it was going, what step I was on, as well as letting me slip away during slow times to get the transfer paper, etc…

Yo, folks, this kind of stuff is still new to me (I grew up working in a family business and then a small coffee shop, which is nothing like going through all the steps and systems of working for a place with a thousand employees). Everything I did outside of my current department was rather intimidating and nerve-wracking, and even though everyone was exceedingly helpful and kind it was beyond freaky to embark on the process.

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When I was filling out my transfer request paper I had to write what department I was interested in joining and I was freaking out so much that I wrote that it was the Service Execellence Team. Yeah. As in, my official paperwork has me spelling the word excellence incorrectly. Classy, right?

With my transfer request in hand, I went to find my current manager. Now, although I always worked under the bookstore managers, I actually had a different over-all manager, and she’s the one who would need to sign the paper. I hadn’t yet informed her I was hoping to transfer (because I’d been talking about it so much with the mangers I actually interacted with, and I hadn’t realized I would need to tell the over-all manger). Well, when I went to find her, I couldn’t. After looking on and off throughout the day as time allowed, I was walking past the lunch break room and saw Mr. Director inside preparing his lunch.

I took the paper into the break room and asked him what I would need to do in order to secure his signature. He looked intently at me for a moment then told me if I put it on his desk he’d sign it and give it back to HR. That was pretty thrilling to hear, except for the fact that I still needed to get my manger’s signature on it. I thanked him for the offer, then explained the situation to him. He told me my manger wasn’t working that day, so I could still just leave the paper on his desk and he’d get her signature as well. Now that made me happy, except for the fact that I still hadn’t told her I was hoping to transfer to another department. So, I told him that. He said it was fine, he’d explain everything to her.

That’s when I began to get excited. Because, you know, if Mr. Director is willing to talk to your manager about you changing departments, that means he’s kinda on board with the whole idea, right?

So I left the paper with him and entered my long days (and even longer nights) of waiting.

In reality, it was a relatively short amount of time, but patience and I aren’t on a first-name basis with each other. We’re really sort of at odds with how life is supposed to work, so time seemed to drag as I waited to hear back. Therefore, instead of waiting patiently I searched out people to talk to about how the processes of transferring worked, trying to construct a timeframe in my mind, etc…

One of the guys on SET had recently been promoted to a pretty high position in the museum, as well as still being a SET member, so I figured he’d have answers. Plus, we were kinda friends, so it wasn’t intimidating talking to him. He was walking through the bookstore one day at closing so I asked if he had a moment, then started throwing all my questions at him. He was amazing and let me take all the time I needed to get clarity on what was going on. I found out from him that my transfer request was being processed and I would have an interview with him and Mr. Director sometime during the next week.

Some of the answers he gave me were rather vague, but I got the idea that he thought I’d do well on as a SET member and that I had a chance at getting the job. That was exciting, so I made myself stop questioning everyone within sight and awaited my interview.

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Another part of the whole behind-the-scenes of what was going on was the fact that I didn’t want to leave the bookstore. I love the people there so much that the idea of not getting to work with them all the time made me really sad. But, there was no way I could stay there and work full-time, year-round. Plus, as a SET member, I would get to go back for a portion of each day to help out at the bookstore when they needed it most.

Finally, the day came when I was told what day my interview would be, although I wasn’t sure what time during the day it would be. It was mid-morning on Interview Day when I was working out by myself in Fair Trade and I looked up to see Mr. Director striding toward me.

He was like “You’ve not seen your email, have you?” Because apparently he’d sent me an email with the time for our interview, and it was basically right then. He told me not to worry, that he was sending someone out to replace me, and I could head on back to his office when my replacement got there.

And it’s time for me to head into work again, folks! So, I guess this saga gets a part three. 😉

Where I am at the Museum {Part One}

If you would have asked me a year ago where I thought I would be on my birthday I probably could have literally guessed a thousand times without getting the correct answer.

If you would have asked me a year ago what I thought I’d be doing on my birthday, I probably could have guessed ten thousand times without getting the correct answer.

And yet, here I am.

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My birthday is just a little over a week past, and that means I’m on day eight of my new job at the Creation Museum. I’ve been in complete awe every single day at how much I’m enjoying it. You see, I seriously thought I wouldn’t like the job for at least a month. I gave myself a full six weeks to settle in, learn the tasks, and acclimate to the changes before I would even allow myself to entertain the idea that I’d made a bad decision when I changed departments.

Confusing, right? The thing is, I really liked being in the bookstore at the Museum. My days were filled with happiness, and I found extreme delight in the every-day tasks, my co-workers, and selling resources and stuffed animals to people. But, my bookstore job was a seasonal one, which meant I only had work there about nine months of the year.

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The manager of the bookstore (who’s one of the big reasons I liked the bookstore so much) and I were talking one day and he brought up the idea of me getting a fulltime position somewhere at the Museum. (Full-time positions aren’t currently available in the bookstore.) The manager is a very fatherly sort of man who’s advice and counsel I trust a lot, so after questioning him about why he said that (everything he brought up made a lot of sense), I started on my quest to find a full-time position.

The evening before I’d been talking to my mom on the phone I’d been telling her about SET – which stands for Service Excellence Team, commonly referred to the Red Shirts. They’re a very small department (at that time there were only five), and they’re trained to do pretty much everything. During my time at the bookstore, they’d been amazing with stopping by my station in Fair Trade to give me breaks when I needed them (because I worked by myself out there). Due to those breaks and short conversations as they passed by on slower days, I’d gotten to know most of the SET Members fairly well and always came to the conclusion that I could never do what they did because it would be far too overwhelming.

Well, when I was telling my mom about SET she randomly told me she thought I should one day apply to work with that team.

I laughed.

And then I informed her that was not going to happen.

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My conversation with Mom was Sunday evening, my conversation with my manager was Tuesday afternoon, and since I can’t stand to sit around and just ponder something versus taking action, by Tuesday evening I was in an all-out quest to figure out what I needed to do to apply for a job on SET.

(Note I’d been praying about what I should do regarding my job for several months now since I wanted to stay at the Creation Museum indefinitely.)

That first night I didn’t get far in my questioning about SET except to find out that they did indeed have a couple of open positions, including a full-time one.

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Later on that week I asked one of the SET Members what or where or how I should go about getting an interview (is that what I needed?), or who I should talk to, or??? (Pretty much I was freaking out and totally out of my comfort zone and completely unaware of the next steps I needed to take.) He off-handedly informed me that I’d have to talk to the Director of the Museum. (Gulp.) Then as the SET Member hurried off to continue working, he was like “I’ll just ask the director to come out to talk to you next time I see him.” (Double Gulp)

Sure enough a few minutes later I saw the director heading toward me. Mr. Director is a great guy – I’d had many short interactions with him and was always impressed by how he took time to talk to his employees and help guests. In fact, I’d seriously been planning on writing him a Thank-You letter earlier that week, thanking him for the time he took to keep things running so well. But, as I saw him striding toward me, I suddenly felt intimidated and wondered for probably the 745th time in the last 12 hours what I was doing.

I greeted him and informed him very ineloquently that I was interested in joining SET. He nodded and asked me what I thought it was that SET did. I yammered for a moment about how they helped everyone and did everything and were pretty much my heroes at the Museum because they gave me breaks. He nodded, said we’d talk about it more, and then hurried off.

And folks, this post is taking me far longer than I’d planned. In fact, this is Day Two of me writing it, and I’m about to head off to work. So, rather than continuing my saga in this post, I’m going to publish this as Part One, and hopefully, start writing Part Two tomorrow. 😉

Have a great day!

DEAR FUTURE ME {27th BIRTHDAY MUSINGS}

Dear Future Me,

I’m not sure when I’ve ever felt so much like an adult and a ten-year-old at the same time. Throw in some eighty-year-old vibes for good measure, and you’ve got a little glimpse into what my life is currently composed of. But, before I get into that, let me give you a little snapshot of where I am so you can look back and feel all the nostalgia.

It’s 9:29 Monday morning, the weather is incredibly hot so my AC is nosily chugging away, trying to combat the heat. I’m sitting long-ways on the couch, with my Spotify liked playlist (with 1,985 songs) serenading me – specifically with the song Love Story by Taylor Swift, the only Taylor Swift song I ever listen to. I just finished my coffee (which I ran over to my adopted parent’s camper to make because I still haven’t perfected the measurements in my own coffee maker and I wanted to make sure the coffee was good this morning), and I’m chugging away at water from my clear bottle with a deep purple lid because the sun pouring through the window onto my back is making me thirsty.

On my table, I have three plates of freshly baked white chocolate craisin cookies, and I deposited a bag of caramel popcorn on the bench seat when I came in from saying hey to my adopted parents when the arrived here a few minutes ago. Other than that my darling camper is clean with everything in order. The pantry is over-stocked, water jugs all full, cupboards organized, and the diffuser is puffing out the scent of lemongrass.

This year my life took a turn that I dreamed and prayed about for years, but was never really sure if it would work out. At the end of May, I moved to Kentucky to work at the Creation Museum for the summer. A summer that was delightfully full, scary, rewarding, exciting, and stuffed with one of the biggest learning curves I’ve ever experienced.

And, now here’s the crazy part. The summer’s over, and I’m still here.

See, Future Me, after I got settled in here, I realized it was exactly where I was supposed to be. From the four plants next to my sink to the routine of hauling in my drinking water to carrying around a stuffed animal at work to making friends with my co-workers… Well, everything felt right. Like smiling at guests at the Museum and cooking meals for my friends and dancing through the gardens was exactly what this season of my life was meant for.

And, although I haven’t told anyone online, and I haven’t even gotten around to telling everyone back in Ohio, this is now my life. Today is the transition – today I’m going from being a Seasonal Generalist to a Full-time SET Member. I’m going from being a blue shirt to a Red Shirt. It’s exciting and terrifying and thrilling all at once. It’s the answer to many prayers, countless conversations, dozens of my coworkers helping me and giving me advice, and me flinging myself so far outside my comfort zone that I spent weeks of restless nights.

It also means I’m committed to staying here.

Future Me, who knows where you are now, and what kind of commitments you’ve made. But Current Me? Well, this commitment to the Creation Museum is the first time I’ve ever agreed to anything that lasts more than a couple of months, and it’s crazy. I just spent a couple of weeks with my family and whenever I had a chance I went through my belongings at home, deciding what I did and didn’t need. See, since the plan is for me to live in a camper long-term, that means I can start downsizing my stuff. Because stuff is far less important to me now than it used to be. I’ve learned a lot this year, and knowing what is and isn’t helpful in my life is one of the key lessons I’ll carry into the new year with me.

Like unnecessary words bog down a story, unnecessary items and choices do the same to my life. Wearing a uniform each day has helped me see the blessing that a lack of choices can be, and so I’ve begun streamlining the rest of my life so less of my time is spent on making choices, and more time is spent doing, being, and enjoying.

I keep watching the clock as I clack away on the keyboard – it’s now 10:14 and I’m about to pack my lunch, gather up my cookies, and slip Homer on. See, Future Me, this is where the ten-year-old side of me pops up. I literally wear a stuffed animal to work. They’re called Huggers and they are cute little animals with arms like slap bracelets. They hug onto my wrist and fill me with happiness. And, since we sell them at the bookstore, I’m allowed to wear them as I go about my tasks. For my birthday Sarah made Homer a red shirt to match my new uniform, and I can’t even tell you the amount of joy I felt when I opened the shirt.

And I guess that’s how I’ll close this letter to you. With the story of Homer. Because you see, joy is really important to me. I feel an immense amount of it bubble over on a daily basis. It’s a childlike wonder that takes over and makes me want to hug the world. It’s a delight that makes me smile and stay at work late so I can organize the stuffed animals. It’s a deeply entrenched part of who I am.

Please, please don’t lose that. I understand that you’re growing up. That budgets, interviews, and scary situations are pushing and pulling at you. One day you’ll probably be too proper to dance through life barefoot with a stuffed animal on your arm. And that’s okay – I don’t expect you to always be so random and crazy. But please, please don’t lose your delight and wonder and joy. Find ways to keep those alive in your life.

Dear Future Me, God created you this way for a reason. Your parents named you Lydia Joy for a reason. You’ve been blessed. Share that blessing, carry that blessing with you, and remember that joy doesn’t depend on what’s going on around you, but rather what’s going on inside you.

Now… Well, it’s time to head into work and hope that the cookies make up for the huge amount of ignorance you feel as you begin a new year and a new position.

Blessings!

Lydia

King’s Shadow {The Silent Years}

Today is my first day in a while that I’ve had off work without needing to go shopping or having company over. And, although I enjoy doing both those things sometimes, it’s so nice to spend a day just relaxing at home.

I sat out in the sun reading a nonfiction book and sipping coffee, journaling a ton, and then got caught up on housework and cleaned out my fridge because I’m going to be visiting my family for about two weeks.

This afternoon I took a nap and finished reading King’s Shadow. I’m excited about this for several reasons, including the fact that after being behind with book reviews for far too long I’m finally caught up! I’m so thankful for the grace the publishing companies/review sites showed me when life didn’t go according to plan and I got behind.

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THE STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 384
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Title: King’s Shadow
Fiction

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Two women occupy a place in Herod’s court. The first, Salome, is the king’s only sister, a resentful woman who has been told she is from an inferior race, a people God will never accept or approve.

The second woman, Zara, is a lowly handmaid who serves Salome, but where Salome spies conspiracies and treachery, Zara sees hurting people in need of understanding and compassion.

Powerful and powerless, Idumean and Jew, selfish and selfless–both women struggle to reach their goals and survive in Herod the Great’s tumultuous court, where no one is trustworthy and no one is safe.

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

In July of 2017, I received the first book in The Silent Years series for review. It’s titled Egypt’s Sister (read the review here) and totally intrigued me. I’d never read a book that took place during the Silent Years before, and I right away set about researching that time period.

Over the last couple of years, I bought books 2 (Judah’s Wife which I gave three stars) and 3 (Jerusalem’s Queen which also got three stars from me) when they were released. The crazy thing I was didn’t even really like the storyline of either of those books, but the writing, world-building, and research were so well done that I kept going with the series. When this book was released I jumped at the chance to review it.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

My admiration for the author is strong. I can’t even imagine the number of historical documents she had to shift through to write this book, nor how much notetaking she had to commit to in order to keep everything straight. Considering the sheer amounts of Herod’sAlexandra/Alexander’s, and Mariamne’s that were mentioned in this book I’m amazed by how smoothly the storyline flowed and how well I was able to understand what was going on. Seriously though, why did everyone use the same names? (Actually, not seriously, I understand why.)

As far as storylines go, I thought the author made a bold (and wise) move by having the story be from the perspective of the “bad guy” – although you never feel like that when you’re reading. Most of the story is told by Salome, the sister of Herod, a person who was very loyal to him. Therefore, as we read about the atrocities that Herod committed, it’s through the eyes of someone who’s only seeing his best and always justifying his actions. If you were reading the book just paying attention to tone instead of content, then it would seem that everything that is going on is perfectly normal and acceptable. It’s only when you stop and consider what is actually happening that you realize how terrible it really is.

This perspective was well done and made the story flow in a way that I’m not used to. Instead of focusing on emotions that you’d normally feel while reading about someone in history doing horrible things, those violent acts were just stated as facts and then you move on. For instance, when King Herod had someone he’d loved very much be executed, he then went crazy for a while. Since we’re reading from the perspective of Salome, we focus on her sadness that her brother is having a hard time, and the way she tries to help him, vs. the fact that the man is a brutal, savage madman.

Because of this lack of emotion and the way Salome merely recites facts (“And then he had 300 Jews killed in a mad fit, but hey – the guy has to protect his throne.”) it made the book a lot more bearable to read than if it had gone into how horrible everything was. If this story was merely fiction I wouldn’t have liked the approach at all, but since it’s based on true facts I appreciated being able to read and learn this way.

The other perspective is from Zara (a made-up character) who is Salome’s Jewish handmaid. Her chapters weren’t very often, but she did provide an interesting balance to Salome’s cut-throat and scheming ways. Since her perspective isn’t really prevalent in the story I felt like we didn’t get to know her well as a character, but I have nothing bad to say about her.

The book covers about a 30ish year period of time, which isn’t something I generally like, but for the sake of this story, I think it was well-done.

I’ve learned so much through this series, and I find myself being satisfied with King’s Shadow as the final book.

CONCLUSION

There’s a lot of horrible stuff that goes on in the book. So much plotting, killing, torture (not in detail) scheming, lying, and un-holy relationships.

But, nothing was written in detail (probably about as much as if you were reading the Bible), and I think the author did a really good job of making the time period come alive without saying too much. I think I would recommend this book to people fifteen and older.

RATING

I’m giving King’s Shadow 4 out of 5 stars. I’m thankful to Bethany House Publishers for giving me a copy so I could review it for y’all.

Protecting Your Child from Predators

Warning: Hey folks! This review is going to be nice and vague, but it’s still not necessarily something I recommend for kids. So, proceed at your own decretion.

THE STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 240
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Title: Protecting Your Child from Predators
Nonfiction

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Read the back cover blurb here. (Since it’s a sensitive topic, I’m choosing not to post the back cover blurb on my blog since I have young readers.)

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

I think this subject is one that really needs to be taught today. I became fairly aware of it when I began studying the subject of children’s ministry at churches. (I taught Children’s Church for fifteen months before moving to Kentucky.) When I read the blurb for this book it sounded like the authors really knew what they were talking about so I requested the book.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

Obviously it’s not a fun topic to read about, but the authors did a phenomenal job of tackling an exceedingly difficult subject with gentle grace while not compromising the message.

The book is laid out in such a way that it’s easy to skip around and read the parts that are applicable to you and your life. After the introduction where they explain the purpose of the book, the rest of the chapters are divided into three different sections, each one focusing on a certain age group and how to best prepare children of that age to be safest. This is helpful because it means the reader doesn’t have to be overwhelmed trying to read the book all the way through – instead they can read it at the same pace their children grow.

Throughout the book, one of the authors shares many stories (with appropriate changes) from her years as a counselor. Along with the examples, she explains what could have been done differently, how parents should respond in each situation, and the best way to help children move on. (With the main emphasis being on what could have been done to prevent the situation in the first place.) In each example, I was impressed by how kindly the author approached what had happened. It was clear that she loves children and parents, and even when someone obviously did the wrong thing, she doesn’t pass judgment. Instead, she lovingly helps offer solutions. With that attitude being the overall tone, I can see how this book will be a huge tool to helping parents rectify abuse and wrongs that might have unknowingly been going on in their homes.

In addition to the true-life examples, this book is also full of statistics. A lot of those stats are rather disturbing and a good reason for people to read this book. But, in the midst of all that, I didn’t feel like the book was trying to scare the readers. Instead, it was informing us, then providing good tools for how to protect children. The authors continually took us back to the Bible and showed how we’ve been prepared to fight and that we aren’t powerless. This approach was very encouraging.

Although I didn’t enjoy reading the book, I did find it very enlighting and something that I feel like will help how I am around children (especially who I don’t know well) in the future. The writing style is easy to read which is perfect since it’s such a difficult topic. I read the whole book within five hours of unboxing it.

CONCLUSION

This is a book I highly recommend. It’s disturbing, yes, but it’s written with such grace and love that they make a hard, horrible subject something that can be read and received. I do recommend that it not be read by anyone under 18, possibly even older.

RATING

I’m giving Protecting Your Child from Predators 5 out of 5 stars. I’m thankful for the publisher for giving me a copy so I could review it here.

Ice Cream and Fire

Y’all, yesterday I switched off days with a co-worker. Because of that and another day switch, it meant yesterday was my 8th day working in a row. I’m sure there are plenty of people who can pull that off without a hitch, but for me it was a mite bit much. Except it wasn’t because I didn’t really end up working.

See, I mentioned a coworker that it was my 8th day working, and my manger overheard me. (Said manager is amazing and really cares about his employees; seriously, I thank him on a daily basis for being so thoughtful.) Well, he determined that I’d been working too hard and needed to rest, so he worked it out so I could go home after I’d worked less than half my shift. The only problem was I like my job so much that I really didn’t want to leave. So, after I clocked out I just hung out there talking and reading stuff on my phone.

Then, he finally convinced me I should head home and sit in the sun to read a book, and so that’s what I did, complete with a delicious Birthday Cake Bash Ice Cream Cone with Sprinkles. (Yes, please!) That meant that today (on my actual off-day) I have been able to catch up on a boatload of things I’ve been behind on.

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After being behind with my reviews for months, I finally submitted four reviews to different publishing and review sites, plus I read a book and wrote a fifth review. So, enjoy, folks!

THE STATS:

Find the book on: Amazon and Goodreads
Pages: 176
Publisher: Chosen Books
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Title: Fire!
Nonfiction

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ABOUT THE BOOK

The world has wandered so far from God that nothing short of revival will reignite the fires of awakening. But God is about to set the world ablaze, and the nations will burn for him once again.

In this book, filled with empowering inspiration and astonishing real-life stories, pastor and speaker James Levesque offers twelve biblical principles to help you return to the passion you felt at the beginning of your faith–and carry the torch to your community and nation. This book is an exhortation to action, to ignite the fire inside you and see your life activated for signs, wonders, and miracles. Say goodbye to powerless Christianity and become a burning brand for God.

WHY I CHOOSE THIS BOOK

I regularly read books that I hope will challenge me and help me grow more into the person who God has created me to be. This book seemed like it would be perfect for the job.

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BOOK

To keep things simple, we’re going to go with a list of things I did and didn’t like for this review.

What I Did Like:

-The author did a good job of speaking the truth with passion and not shying away from calling this generation of Christians out on what we’re doing wrong. I agreed with a lot of what he said about how we need to go back to being passionate about obeying and serving God. He mentioned that America is pretty much a Third World country when it comes to how spiritual (or non-spiritual) we are, and that seems like a really appropriate description.
-The books is full of enlightening, practical ways to serve God better and more fully. It doesn’t just tell us what’s wrong in the Church today, it then helps us go to the Bible to find solutions.
-It was an easy to understand book – meaning it spoke in layman terms and although it challenged my thinking, it didn’t challenge my brain to try and figure out what the author was trying to say.

What I Didn’t Like:

-I didn’t agree with a lot of what the author had to say. Yes, there were nuggets in the book that challenged me and helped me in my walk with God, but there were also things that I really don’t agree with, and therefore I won’t be recommending the book or reading more by the same author.

For Instance:
*At one point the author is talking about dreams God has given us, and he says “When God gives us a dream, we are usually nowhere near the full manifestation of that dream. But through the pits of life, God’s dream will never leave us. As a matter of fact, it is what sustains us through every trial. Your dream will make a way. (Emphasis mine.) Um, excuse me? I do agree with the basic concept of what I think the author is saying – when we’re focusing on what God has called us to do that helps us push through the hard times, etc…. But it’s God’s grace, God’s mercy, and God’s love (etc…) that sustains us and makes a way, not a dream He’s given me.
*The author has a section about how God will do this and that, etc… where he names multiple things that God will do in your life after you have the right attitude and belief about giving and receiving. And, while I believe that many people are not receiving God’s full blessings because of a wrong attitude or belief about God and His nature, I also didn’t agree with the dogmatic approach the author took while talking about this subject. (Yes, the promises in the Bible are true, but there are some promises who were made to certain people, and not to all generations of Christians.)

-There were a lot of other small instances throughout the book that left me shaking my head, disagreeing either with the tone, the conclusion, or the example given in the book.

CONCLUSION

I got some good things out of the book. It challenged me to seek God with more passion and reminded me that God has got to be first place in my life, no matter what. This book also helped remind me to study what I read and match it against God’s Word to see how it lines up. Because of the discrepancies I found, despite the fact that there were some really good parts of this book, I won’t be recommending it.

RATING

I’m giving Fire! 3 out of 5 stars. I’m thankful for the publisher for giving me a copy so I could review it here.