Answers to the Most Important Questions about the End Times By Dr. John Hart: Book Review

Answers to the Most Important Questions about the End Times
By Dr. John Hart 

Find it on: 

Narrative 
Non-Fiction
189 Pages

About the Book (Back cover Blurb):

For everyone who is curious, confused, or even fearful about Jesus’ second coming, the Antichrist, the end of the world, the book of Revelation, and biblical prophecy, Dr. John Hart clearly and respectfully offers real, biblical answers. He reveals exactly what God’s Word says as well as what it doesn’t say, explaining how it impacts your family and friends. This slender volume answers everyone’s most-asked questions, and even includes a list of Bible references for further study.

Why I Choose this Book: 

I haven’t read very much about the end times, so I was pretty curious to learn more about it from people who have studied the matter extensively. 

What I Thought About this Book:

Unfortunately it wasn’t really my style. Now this is going to sound quite lame, but the fact is, I like stories. I like being able to relate to people. Don’t get wrong, nonfiction books are great – but I don’t feel a draw toward a book when it’s just fact after fact. I literally don’t know a single thing about the author from reading the book (except that he’s obviously studied the end times). I am able to engage in a book much better when they illustrate points by telling short stories that are true. Since we’re studying the end times though, I can see how that didn’t exactly fit into the picture. (All that to say, you’ll probably like the book, so you should check it out.) 
 I did learn stuff from reading the book though, and although I didn’t agree on 100% of his interpretations, it was encouraging to see how often he quoted or referenced the Bible. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of references, so yay for authors who really take the Bible as the authority. 
The book discusses questions like “Who is the ‘False Prophet’?” “What is the Role of Israel in the End Times?” “What Nations Will be in Power in the End Times?” and many other similar ones. There were some explanations that didn’t make a ton of sense to me, but I have a feeling that if I would study the matter more throughly, then they would. 
Conclusion:

Overall it’s a pretty good overview of what the end times look like. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but that’s only because it wasn’t my style. 
Rating:


I’m giving Answers to the Most Important Questions about the End Times 3 stars out of 5, and 4 stars out of 10. 

*I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review*

Intercessory Prayer By Dutch Sheets: Book Review

Intercessory Prayer
By Dutch Sheets 

Find it on: 

First Person
Non-Fiction
286 Pages

About the Book (Backcover Blurb):

Called foundational, revolutionary, illuminating, and motivating, Intercessory Prayer continues to be a classic work after more than 20 years. This rich, biblical teaching is full of fresh insights showing how vital our prayers are and how God has always planned to work in partnership with us through prayer. As Dutch explains the nuts and bolts of prayer with wisdom, gentleness, and humor, readers will find inspiration and courage to pray for the impossible–and the persistence to see prayers to completion. 

Why I Choose this Book: 

I know prayer works, and that it’s extremely important, but far too often I don’t pray as much, or the way, that I should. Recently I’ve decided to read some books about prayer and implement more structured prayer into my life. 

What I Thought About this Book:

Going into the book I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I was soon drawn in by the author’s writing style, and then the information grabbed me, too. Mr. Sheets wrote a book with a lot of seriousness, but he found a good balance of throwing in funny little stories or rabbit trails at just the right time to help balance the book. There was one time when I literally laughed out loud, which was totally unexpected for me. 
Intercessory Prayer explores the topic of prayer to great levels. Mr. Sheets doesn’t shy away from “hard” (aka confusing) questions, like “Is prayer really necessary? Isn’t God sovereign? If so, then why do we have to pray?” Instead, he delves into the Bible and explores hundreds of verses, going into the Greek and Hebrew origins of different words, and helping give a more complete picture of why prayer is important. 
The fact that Mr. Sheets uses so many verses from the Bible while explaining his standing was a huge plus. It’s always encouraging to me when people go to God’s Word as their standard, instead of just quoting other people or using logical. (The book uses all three examples, so yay.) 
Mr. Sheets also told of multitudes of miracles and answers to prayers that he’s experienced, or else known people who have experienced them, over the years. That was quite encouraging and inspiring and helped remind me in more than one way how important it is to pray. Mr. Sheets also gave some ideas of specific things to pray about in certain situations, drawing from the Bible for examples.

Overall, I enjoyed the first half better than the second half, but both of them had lots of good information. Some of what Mr. Sheets pointed out about different Hebrew and Greek words was totally new to me and helped me learn a lot. It also helped me to understand prayer to a greater degree. I always knew it was important, but this helped spotlight the reasons it’s important. 

Conclusion:

There were some things I didn’t agree with in the book, as well as some doctrines that I need to study more before I agree or disagree with them. I suggest people who read the book do so willing to set aside their own preconceived ideas and really study God’s Word. At the same time I caution people not to blindly accept everything the author says. Overall though, the book was edifying, uplifting, challenging, and full of God’s Word.

Rating:


I’m giving Intercessory Prayer 4 stars out of 5, and 8 stars out of 10. I recommend it to Christians who want to serve God. 

*I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review*

Spotlighting My "To Be Read" Pile

Y’all. I have seven books currently waiting to be read for reviewing purposes. (I mean, I wanted to read them anyway, but I they’re the books I’ve received free in exchange for reviews.) Since I’m excited about these books, and it’s obviously going to be a month or so before they’ve all been featured on Noveltea, I thought today would be a great time to give y’all a whirlwind tour of what we have coming up. 
I’m also a bit amused with myself, because never in all my born days have I had so many non-fiction books waiting to be read. (Only one of them is fiction.) I guess it’s the season for non-fiction? I also have several more books that I’ve requested, and the fiction/non-fiction ratio is more balanced with those. 
And, without further ado, let’s begin this lovely Monday with a look at some amazing books!
Yes, there’s another book, but it’s an e-book, so I couldn’t exactly take a picture of it since it’s on the picture-taking device. 
by James W. Goll 
I requested this book from Litfuse, which is currently one of my favorite books-for-review programs. Multiple times a month Litfuse sends out emails with information regarding a soon-to-be-released book. When a book looks interesting, I fill out the form that literally takes one minute, including choosing what day I’d like to post my review on. Then, if I’m chosen to take part in the blog tour, the book magically arrives in the mail, and I get an email confirming my agreed-upon day to post. 
I choose to review Hearing God’s Voice Today because prayer is something I’ve been studying as I work on learning to pray more often. And, on a more shallow note, I think the cover is gorgeous, as well as peaceful. I’ll be posting my review of this book on October 3rd. 
by Dutch Sheets 
Unfortunately this book fell prey to that “I’m in slightly over my head” feeling, and I’m actually not sure who I requested it from. Since the publisher is Bethany House, I’m going to guess I received it from them, and hope I’m correct. 
This is currently the only book I’m reading (which is crazy, I barely ever am only reading one book), and I’m a little over half way through it. I don’t remember the last time I read a book so slowly. Intercessory Prayer is good, borderline amazing, and there’s so much information packed into each page that I can’t skim read like normal, hence the long reading time. As much as I’m enjoying and learning from the book, the normally-rapid-fire-pace-for-everything side of me is getting antsy. There are some things I don’t agree with, but overall I’m quite impressed with it. I hope to review it this week. 
By Eva Marie Everson 
This is another Litfuse book, and my review is supposed to be posted September 20th. (And, it’s a good thing I’m writing this post, because for some reason I had it in my head that the review was due in November. Say what? 
The reason I chose this book is because it says it’s “A Contemporary Christmas Carol” and I have very early memories of watching the Donald Duck version of “A Christmas Carol” and then of course reading the real book once I got older. So, pretty much, this sounds like fanficiton of a book I’ve been aware of basically all my life. Pretty cool, right? 
Marcus Warner and Jim Wilder
This book has a nearly embarrassing story. I requested it from Moody Publishers, along with two other books I’ve long since reviewed. I don’t know if the book by mistake was never sent to me (I’m pretty sure that’s what happened…), or if I lost it somehow, but I never saw it. Since I knew I had requested three books from Moody Publishers, I ended up crediting them for a book I’d received from a different publisher. The problem came in when I tried to submit the review from the other publishers to Moody. It wouldn’t go through (obviously), so after several tries I finally contacted someone at Moody. They promptly (and kindly) replied that the aforementioned book wasn’t one of theirs. So, I asked what book I hadn’t reviewed that I requested, and, to make a long story short, they graciously sent me another copy of Rare Leadership
I requested Rare Leadership because it sounded like a genuinely interesting and helpful book (although I’m not a big fan of the cover). Some of the points that the backcover talks about are 
*Cultivating emotional maturity in yourself and others (Um, yes please.)
*Keep relationships bigger than problems  
*Increase productivity through trust, joy, and engagement 
Not only do those things sound fantastic to learn about, but they also use the Oxford comma, which makes me happy. 
By Dr. John Hart 
I requested this book from Bethany House, and received it on Friday. I still have a great childish delight in seeing a package addressed to me in the mail. It’s especially fun when I forget what book I requested (like I did with this one), and so receive a total surprise when I tear open the envelope. 
The reason I wanted to read this book was simply because, as crazy as it is, I’ve barely read anything (other than the Bible), that talks about the End Times at all. 

By Jennifer Eivaz
This book is from Chosen, and I requested it totally independently of Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets, although when I first received the two books in the mail, I thought they must have gone together. 
Although I haven’t read any of this book yet, I’m excited to see how the two books work together. I requested it for much the same reason as the other one: Because I want to learn how to pray better. And besides, I think the cover is very appealing. 
By Jason B. Ladd
 I’m vacillating between being really excited about this book, and being slightly nervous. See, I don’t like writing non-glowing reviews, but I really feel bad writing non-glowing reviews when the author himself has requested I read a book, and that’s how I received One of the Few
Mr. Ladd emailed me after finding my blog, and gave me some information about his book. Thanks to the lessons I’ve been trying to implement regarding timely answers to emails, I emailed him back and said I would think about it. Then, when I had a few minutes I looked up the links he had sent. What I read left me intrigued, (including the fact that he’s a homeschool dad and his family lives in Alaska!) so I agreed to read the book, and he sent me a link so I could download an e-version. 
* * *
Which one of these books looks the most interesting to you? 

(un) Natural Mom By Hettie Brittz – Book Review

It’s a delightful Monday morning, and wonders of all wonders, I plan on being home all week! I’m seriously excited about that, and all that I’ll (hopefully) be accomplishing. This morning has gotten off to a great start, although it’s a good thing I built some leeway into my plans, because yeah… I’m already seeing I’m going to need it.

Today I get to review an interesting book for y’all. I also have three more books awaiting their debut onto Noveltea’s stage. I’m currently reading Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets, and although I’m only on page 57, I’m pretty impressed with it. The plan is to review that book on here sometime this weekend. 

And sitting on my desk, just waiting to be picked up, I have The Intercessors Handbook by Jennifer Eivaz, and Rare Leadership by Marcus Warner and Jim Wilder. How’s that for a fantastic sounding to-be-read pile?  This month has been a bit slow-going when it comes to reading. I’ve only read four books, and three of them were ones I had agreed to review. It’s been a good month though, and the plan is to read one or two of the aforementioned books before September comes rushing in. (September! Yay! Autumn and beauty and all sorts of wonderfulness.) 

Now for today’s book review…

(un) Natural Mom
By Hettie Brittz 

Find it on: 

First Person
Non-Fiction
278 Pages


About the Book (Backcover Blurb):

Do you feel like you’re the only mom who serves store-bought birthday treats, dreads school plays, and misses the days of going to the bathroom by herself?

unNatural Mom gives you permission to say that mothering doesn’t always come naturally to you. Parenting expert and self-proclaimed unnatural mom Hettie Brittz helps you…

  • Recognize how unrealistic our culture’s standards of mothering are
  • Move beyond the myths of “supermom”
  • Complete the Parenting Style Assessment to determine your own parenting style
  • Understand and forgive the mothers who hurt you
  • Embrace your capabilities as well as your challenges

Come find new hope in discovering that every mother has unique gifts. In Christ, the “unnatural” mom becomes the supernatural mom who is just right for her family!

Why I Choose this Book: 

Although I’m obviously not a mother yet, I do have a lot of kids in my life and I’ve found that sometimes it helps me be a better human when I study books like this one. Also, I would like to be a mother one day, so the subject is quite interesting to me. Plus, mothers are just incredibly amazing and I am pretty overwhelmed them, so reading a book by a mother about mothering seemed smart.

What I Thought About this Book:

It was quite interesting. There were many things that didn’t apply to me at this stage in life (duh), but I was surprised at how much I still gleaned from the book. Miss Hettie pretty much created her own “personality system” for mothers, using trees for the different categories. Since I have a fond place in my heart for studying personalities, this book was right up my alley.

Miss Hettie writes with a lot of honesty and some humor. I was happily surprised at her creative way to weave the different personality traits into the book and found myself eager to keep reading. I found areas in life I could relate, even though I don’t have kids of my own, and look forward to hopefully reading this book again down the road if I ever have kids of my own.

Conclusion:

Her book was definitely written from the mother-to-mother point of view, and even though there weren’t lots of details, it’s not a book I would hand to a young teenage girl.

Rating:

I’m giving (un) Natural Mother 4 stars out of 5, and 7 stars out of 10. (The book was close to a 3-star book for me, but I’m fairly certain it would have gotten a solid 4-star review if I was a mother, which is the intended audience, hence the rating.)

*I received this book free from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review*

Service Tails by Ace Collins – Book Review

This morning I was sitting down to eat breakfast when it suddenly hit me that the month was passing by exceedingly fast and I’d most likely missed the deadline for one of my Litfuse book reviews. After some searching of my emails, I realized that was indeed the case. Thankfully I was only a day late; sadly, I hadn’t even begun reading the book yet. It’s a good thing I schedule reading time into my world as an author, because I was able to move around plans and curl up with a nice mug of coffee and race through the book. 


Service Tails 
By Ace Collins 

Find it on: 

Third-Person Narration 
Non-Fiction Contemporary
200 Pages

{The cover won’t load for some reason, but I’ll try again later.}

About the Book (Backcover Blurb):

Heart-tugging true stories of the courage, faith, and loyalty of remarkable service dogs.
Not all heroic dogs wildly toss themselves into lifesaving situations. Some save lives simply by their incredible commitment to duty and service. Some lead the way to independence for people whose disabilities were supposed to limit their lives.

In Service Tails: More Stories of Man’s Best Hero, prolific author Ace Collins introduces us to leaders whose entire lives are wrapped in the banner of service. Their stories are remarkable snapshots of the value of vision and teamwork, as well as devotion to duty and unconditional love and acceptance—stretching the way we see both canine and human potential. Their training was intense, their loyalty unquestioned and each step of the way they constantly adapt to better serve those they lead. These unforgettable dogs are more than heroes; they are models from which we can learn how to love and serve unconditionally.


Why I Choose this Book: 

Although I’m not an animal-lover to the degree that lots of people are, I do enjoy dog stories from time to time. Plus, I’ve been intrigued by service dogs for quite a while. And, well, there’s a Golden Retriever on the front cover, and Golden Retrievers are such beautiful creatures. 

What I Thought About this Book:

I’m simply amazed at how smart dogs are (and at how patient humans are to train them so well). Service Tails is a collection of 12 true stories about dogs and how they served their masters who had disabilities. 

If this book wasn’t true, it wouldn’t have held my interest, but since it was true, it was pretty intriguing. I probably won’t re-read it, but overall I don’t have any negatives about the book, other than the fact that it felt a bit redundant at times. The fact that most of the stories take place (or at least end) as recently as 2012 makes it pretty cool, because I know I can look up the various people they mentioned who have been in the news. 

Told in a simple style, but with easy to picture details, Service Tails is a book that should appeal to dog people everywhere. It’s also eye-opening as it talks about struggles people with different disabilities go through. (Blindness, deafness, being paralyzed, etc…)

Overall, it was quite enjoyable to learn about the different dogs and all the amazing things they’ve done to help their masters over the years. It’s also really encouraging and inspiring to hear about the people themselves – all they went through and overcame, and how they didn’t let their problems stop them from living life. 
Conclusion:

Although I wouldn’t consider this to be a christian book, it was clean and and free from violence, so it’s a good read for the whole family. 

Rating:

I’m giving Service Tails 4 stars out of 5, and 7 stars out of 10. 

About the Author 

Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children’s works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.
*I received this book free from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review*

Master Your Money: Book Review

Master Your Money 
By Ron Blue
Find it on: 
First-Person
Non-Fiction
272 Pages

About the Book (Backcover Blurb):
A step-by-step guide to financial freedom
Do you know if you have enough? Do you know how much is enough? If you can’t answer these questions, Master Your Money is for you.
In this book, Ron Blue extracts principles from God’s Word and applies them to your financial portfolio.
Learn how to:
  • Avoid the most common financial mistakes
  • Apply biblical principles for money management
  • Save, invest, and give wisely
  • Create a long-term financial plan that works
  • Plan for your taxes and estate needs
  • Get out of debt
Ron’s professional experience in financial planning will ease your anxieties over money and be an asset to you and your family for generations to come. Learn the tools and techniques you need to move forward toward true financial freedom.
This new edition includes important updates and new content, making it timely and relevant.
Why I Choose this Book: 
Money is an important part of life and I want to make sure I use my money in a way that brings God glory. 
What I Thought About this Book:

Master Your Money is thorough, helpful, and practical. It’s clear the author knew what he was talking about and that he really wanted to help others manage their money well. I especially appreciated the many times the author referenced the Bible and used God’s Word for his guide while writing the book. As God’s children, I believe that Christians are going to be held accountable for how they make and spend money and this book can help people figure out how to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and use their finances to live life the way God wants them to. 
There were quite a few times where I felt like the book was above my head, but that’s not surprising as taxes and investments are still something I find quite confusing. Reading books like Master Your Money helps me learn a little bit more though, and for that I’m thankful. (I will note that Your Money Map by Howard Dayton was more at my level and covered a lot of the same information. I highly recommend both Master Your Money and Your Money Map.) 
Being free to earn and spend money is a blessing I’m very thankful for. I’m also thankful that money can, and should, be used as a tool. When we learn to master our money it no longer “masters” us, and that’s a very good thing. We can’t serve both God and money, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have money, it just means that money shouldn’t be our god or an all consuming issue in our life. This book can help bring that balance about, which makes it a very useful book.
Although I don’t remember the book discussing it, statistics show that there’s a lot of friction regarding how people handle finances when it comes to marriage and I’m pretty sure the same is true with other relationships (such as business partners). I highly recommend people who are sharing finances to read this book and work through it together.
Conclusion:
Yay! Read it. Learn. Don’t spend more than you make. Use God’s Word as a starting point. Money can be a blessing when used the right way.
Rating:

I’m giving Master Your Money four stars and recommend it to anyone 18 and older. (Although I suppose it’s really geared more toward those who are already running a household, it doesn’t hurt to get a good foundation started early on.) 

The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Book Review

The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations
Find it on: 

Third-Person 
Two Points of View
Non-Fiction
288 Pages


About the Book (Backcover Blurb):

Love God, love people. Could evangelism really be that simple?Often, it doesn’t seem so. It can feel scary, awkward, and uncomfortable as we try to navigate loaded questions and different perspectives. Even the most faithful of believers sometimes get stumped. But can you imagine if we, as Christians, simply spent time with people who are far from God and provided a safe place to talk about spiritual matters? If we listened to them and discovered what was really important to them? After all . . . it’s what Jesus did. And it’s what you can do too.

Drawing straight from the life and ministry of Jesus, The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations offers simple practices to help you build relationships with people who believe differently. Anyone who has read and appreciated Becoming a Contagious Christian or Just Walk across the Room won’t want to miss this book on creating a safe space to have natural, loving, and spiritual conversations with others.


Why I Choose this Book: 

Conversations are interesting, and there’s always the balance of carrying on a good conversation with someone who believes differently from you while remaining respectful. Plus, from reading the sub-title I actually thought it was about how to have conversations between christians with different interpretations of the Bible, but that wasn’t the case.

What I Thought About this Book:

When I started the book I really wasn’t sure what I thought of it. There were several things in the first few chapters that I didn’t agree with fully. For example: the authors seemed to almost look down on just out right witnessing (as in, bringing up conversations about God before developing a relationship). I think there are many different ways to witness, and that different people are called to witness in different ways, and each situation is different from all other situations. 

After the first couple of chapters though, I found myself agreeing more and more with the book. The overall word that kept coming to mind as I read it was practical. The book was incredibly practical and therefore easy to put into practice. 

The main idea I came away with is that as christians we’re called to be the salt and light and so therefore we need to fulfill that calling by actively engaging people in every-day life situations. We should be building relationships, then sharing God’s truths with those people in a conversational-type setting instead of simply lecturing them. 

There were many parts of the book that could have been in any self-development book, but then they related the ideas back to the Bible, pointing out how Jesus is our example. For instance, there was a chapter about asking questions and then really listening instead of asking questions and then forming your reply as they talk. They shared several examples of questions Jesus asked and the situations surrounding those instances. It was pretty cool. 

Conclusion:

I read this book all in one day while getting over the flu. After the first few chapters I found it interesting, helpful, and informative. I don’t recall any questionable content. The writing wasn’t anything to write home about, but it was nice and easy to read. 

Rating: 

I’m giving The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations four stars and recommend it to ages 15+ 

*I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an honest review*

20 Things We’d Tell Our Twenty-Something Selves By Kelli & Peter Worrall: Book Review

20 Things We’d Tell Our Twenty-Something Selves
By Kelli & Peter Worrall 
Find it on: 
First-Person 
Two Points of View
Non-Fiction
256 Pages
About the Book (Backcover Blurb):
Are you making your twenties count?
Despite what many think, our twenties aren’t that dead space between youth and real life. Done right, they can be among our most important years.
In 20 Things Wed Tell Our Twentysomething Selves, professors Peter and Kelli Worrall look back on the good, bad, and miserable to give you the best of what they’ve learned, like:
Dig deeper than your doubt
Foster good habits
Take risks
Adjust your expectations
Press into pain
With humility, warmth, and brilliant storytelling, Peter and Kelli invite you not only into their wisdom, but into their very lives, sharing about marriage, faith, drawn-out adoptions, dark nights of the soul, and the God who’s in it all.
But 20 Things is more than a list of advice; it’s a book that can change your life. Let the trend of your twenties be sowing wisdom, and who knows what the rest of life will bring?
Includes action steps, discussion questions, and ideas for further reading at the end of each chapter.
Why I Choose this Book: 
I’m in my twenties and I want to live each day of my life to the best of my ability. Enough said. 
What I Thought About this Book:
Wow. I really liked this book. It was so chocked full of amazing advice given in a really loving, friendly, and easy to understand way. The book is written by a husband and wife team and I greatly enjoyed the way they pulled it off – I = have no clue how people can co-author a book like they did.
Each one of the points was so spot-on and helpful and Biblically based which was really refreshing. They told stories from their on lives, opening up to the hurt and problems they’d gone through and how they’d learned from their own issues and received healing, and how other people can, too. 
I was reading several different books at once, but I can’t remember anything inappropriate in this book, nor does anything come to mind that I disagreed with. (Surprise, surprise! I may have missed something though.) 
Overall I’m very thankful I read this book and I really want to re-read it already. It’s challenging and insightful and encouraging all at once. I’m also eager to look into the recommended reading that they had at the end of each chapter. Normally I don’t like sections like that, but in this book I found them unique and interesting. 
Conclusion:
 In reality I think this book is one that very much transcends age. I would have found it extremely helpful in my teens and thing it would be quite beneficial to people older than their twenties, too.  
Rating: 
I’m giving 20 Things We’d Tell Our Twenty-Something Selves Five stars out of five, and ten out of ten. I highly recommend it to anyone thirteen and older. 
*I received this book for free from Moody Press in exchange for an honest review*

The Seven Laws of Love By Dave Willis: Book Review

The Seven Laws of Love 
By Dave Willis 
Find it on: 
First-Person 
One Point of View
Non-Fiction
272 Pages


About the Book (Backcover Blurb):
In our fast-paced, success-obsessed culture, we’re constantly tempted to chase after things that don’t matter. We’ve been conditioned to value possessions over people, status over relationships, and ourselves over God.

But the reality is this: God created love to be the centerpiece of our lives. In The Seven Laws of Love, Dave Willis makes the case for a love revival and proves that in returning to a life of love we have no greater model than the one who is love himself.

In Dave’s humorous, touching, down-to-earth style, The Seven Laws of Love takes you on a journey through the ins and outs of everyday relationships—with your spouse, your children, your friends, and your coworkers—using practical, applicable examples and guiding principles that demonstrate what a life of love actually looks like.

There is no higher calling on earth than to love and be loved. It’s time to learn The Seven Laws of Love, and to make loving a priority over all other pursuits. Anything else isn’t really living.

Why I Choose this Book: 

It’s a constant aim of mine to love more. It’s so easy for me to be motivated by goals, by achievement, by need, and by guilt, but I want to be driven by love. I want my life to shower those around me with the love that God has so freely given to me. 
What I Thought About this Book:

Mr. Willis is really down to earth; in fact, I would liken his style to that of a friendly email. I know that probably sounds weird, but there was one point where I actually subconsciously thought I was reading an email… Something that I don’t think has ever happened to me while reading a book before. I enjoyed the style – it was real and easy to breeze through, yet packed in a lot of good information.

The book was practical and very Biblically based, backing up many of the statements or ideas with verses. I appreciated that. Mr. Willis also uses examples from his own life and that of his family to help drive points home and make them stick. He’s a pastor (something I hadn’t realized going into the book), and that was evident: He sounded like a joking, easy-going pastor. 

There were a lot of suggestions of ways to be more loving, as well as a list of discussion questions at the end of each chapter. (Although, I maybe didn’t quite read all of the discussion questions… Oops.) 
Conclusion: 
 
There were a few of his examples I didn’t exactly appreciate and maybe 100 % agree with, but other than that I found the book helpful and encouraging, as well as inspiring and convicting, as the case may be. 
Rating: 

I’m giving The Seven Laws of Love four stars out of five, and seven out of ten. 
*I received this book for free from BookLook in exchange for an honest review*

Out of the Depths By Edgar Harrell: Book Review

Out of the Depths 
By Edgar Harrell 

Find it on: 

First-Person 
Non-Fiction
192 Pages


About the Book (Backcover Blurb):

The Inspiring Story of a World War II Hero’s Miraculous Survival at Sea
July 30, 1945–The USS Indianapolis and its 1,196-man crew is making its way toward a small island in the South Pacific. The ship is sailing unescorted, assured by headquarters the waters are safe. It is midnight, and Marine Edgar Harrell and several others have sacked out on deck rather than spend the night in their hot and muggy quarters below. Fresh off a top-secret mission to deliver uranium for the atomic bombs that would ultimately end World War II, they are unaware their ship is being watched. Minutes later, six torpedoes are slicing toward the Indy . . . 

For five horrifying days and nights after their ship went down, Harrell and his shipmates had to fend for themselves in the open seas. Plagued by dehydration, exposure, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks, their numbers were cruelly depleted before they were miraculously rescued. This is one man’s story of courage, ingenuity, and faith in God’s providence in the midst of the worst naval disaster in U.S. history.


Why I Choose this Book: 
I’ve been interested in the story of the USS Indianapolis for several years now. We have a friend, Bob Welsh, who is a storyteller and has an amazing talent of weaving true historical accounts into verse. I’ve sat spellbound many times while listening to his poem, Sleep Well, Ye Men of Indy’s Crew. (The poem is rather long, but well, well worth listening to!) A couple of years ago Bob even brought one of few survivors to meet our family – it was history come to life. 
What I Thought About this Book:
For some reason this book was extremely hard for me to get into. Like, over two years hard to get into. I started it in 2014 and picked it up several times during the next 24 months, but it didn’t hold my interest. Then I picked it up a couple days ago and like a switch was flipped, I hardly wanted to put the book down. It was incredibly interesting and pulled me in and made me almost feel the horror myself. 

The story is amazing – really a miracle, and I don’t use that word lightly. The author is very clear that he believes it’s only by the hand of God that they were saved. He describes how so many different elements worked together to create their rescue, and it’s astounding. 

True war books always leave me sad. It’s horrible and the cost of life is staggering. I’m so very incredibly thankful though for those who offered and gave their very lives so that we could live in freedom. 

I’m so amazed at how the survivors were able to hang on. I have no clue how anyone could have a strong enough will to fight through what they did as the days slipped away in agonizing pain and terror with little to no hope of being rescued. The group of men from the Indianapolis are truly astonishing. 

The crew from the Indianapolis unknowingly played a huge part in ending the war and yet because of Navy politics weren’t fully recognized for around 50 years. I feel honored to have been able to thank one of the survivors in person for fighting for our freedom. 

Conclusion: 
This book isn’t for kids. It describes in some detail the horribleness of what the crew endured and it was gruesome. At the same time though, I don’t think the author went into too much detail, it just isn’t suitable for kids. 
Rating: 
I’m giving Out of the Depths Four Stars (eight out of ten).

*I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review*