Genre: Christian Life

Review: Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things by Sara Hagerty

Posted December 16, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ISBN: 9780310339953
Review: Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things by Sara HagertyEvery Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty
Published by Zondervan on October 7th 2014
Genres: Religion, Christian Life, Spiritual Growth, General, Inspirational
Pages: 208
Format: eARC
Source: publisher
Goodreads
three-stars

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty is the story of a woman whose life expectations went unmet while her heart became re-acquainted with her first Love. God, who comes in the hunger that pain so masterfully produces, worked His way into her insides to write a love-story as universal as the barrenness that every life clothed-in-flesh wears.
 A back alley is an unsuspecting place for a brush with God. In the age of fingertip access to pipe dreams and a ceiling-less supply of ambitions, where do you find the God who was birthed in dirt and straw? Sara Hagerty found Him when life stopped working for her. It was after almost a decade of Christian life and ministry when she was introduced to pain and perplexity. God met her and moved her when life broke.
 Hagerty weaves in and out (not necessarily sequentially) stories of her conversion and teen years, dating years, infertility, adoption, early years of marriage, husband's business failure, and family health issues. The overall message is that all the tough times end up teaching her major lessons about herself and God.

my review

I rarely have such mixed feelings about a book. Normally I can tell you that I either liked it, or I hated it and I can tell you why. I really want to work on my faith. I understand that by faith I am-am more Danielle Laporte than Billy Gram. I mean I can read Pema Chadron and be all like omg she is BRILLIANT! But I read something like this book and there is SOMETHING that I have resorted to calling the holier than thou asshole test. This is where people tray and sound how the Lord had helped them but in doing so they make people like me who I will fully admit to being broken sinners feel like assholes.

For example, when I read someone like Pema Chadron I can relate to her and I feel like I am on the right path and that I am on the brink of an awaking. I feel good and I want to do good and I want all humankind to feel peace and joy and communion with our creator or the source as it is called in some circles. To me, the Creator IS the source so.

I read Something like Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet and I read about how to agreed to Give her life to the Lord at 16 and followed all the rules I feel like and asshole because at 16 I was battling drug addiction  and a mental illness and my single mother was trying to keep my ass out of Juvenile. (I am a productive member of society nowadays and I have never been in an adult jail so therapy  and medication really do work). I  feel like scum because of all I put my mom through. And that makes me not like the book.

To be fair, the writing is beautiful. It is an internal journey of a woman getting to the core of communion with God. It tells the story of how God peeled back layers and layers til what was left was a precious diamond that reflects God. I LOVED the language and how she described her internal journey. and yet…

I felt worse and worse. Like I wasn’t good enough. Like maybe I was unsavable which I know is not true. God has blessed me with a life beyond my wildest dreams and I now try and follow him, but I KNOW I am still broken in a fallen world and I will never reach the heights of holiness that this author talks about. I could feel the anger in me that all she lacked was getting pregnant. That is all she couldn’t get pregnant. I wanted to tell her to try fertility treatment or something. I hate to admit this, but I felt as if her problem was really not all that big a deal. I know couples who deal with this will disagree with me, but I somehow feel that that people who have suffered withdrawal from drugs and cancer patients and the lack have far more to deal with and so what if you can’t have a kid?

Again my feelings with this book stem from a personal nature. This is a beautiful book to read if you have only faced something of a similar nature. That language is out of this world and it is a beautiful story. So I gave it three stars.

final verdict

 

IT WAS OK

three-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Book Review: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan, Danae Yankoski

Posted July 28, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9781434768513
Book Review: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan, Danae YankoskiCrazy Love by Francis ChanDanae Yankoski
Published by David C. Cook on 2008
Genres: Religion, Christian Life, General
Pages: 186
Format: ebook
Source: Scribed
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

God is love.  Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love.  Have you ever wondered if we're missing it?
It's crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe--the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor--loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.
Whether you've verbalized it yet or not, we all know something's wrong.
Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts-it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you're wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.
Learn more about Crazy Love at www.crazylovebook.com. Check out Francis Chan's video blog at francischanblog.blogspot.com.  

my review

I have been aching to get closer to God lately. I thought this book sounded good. It seemed like it was written by someone who is close to God and has some good words to say about it. I did not have any pre-conceived notions going into the book.

I liked it ok. It was a refreshment to the usual do this or go to hell type books that so many of my Christian friends read. It was also extreme. I am not too sure how I would feel if God told me to give away everything and do something. Yes, I have a dream of traveling and writing but to GIVE AWAY stuff and trust God? I am ashamed to admit this, but I am not sure if I have that level of confidence in God yet. That is something that I need to work on.

The book has a message of extreme love. It involves giving away stuff and things like that. Not something most of us want to hear. Many of us want to feel vindicated, or that great material blessings are on our way. This book is the opposite of that. For me, it was a hard book to swallow as it pointed out all my weak spots. Then again that is good as I can now work on them.

it-was-ok

three-half-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Book Review: Be All You Can Be by John C Maxwell

Posted February 26, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9780896937857
Book Review: Be All You Can Be by John C MaxwellBe All You Can Be by John C. Maxwell
Published by David C Cook on January 1st 2010
Genres: Christian Life, Professional Growth, Religion
Pages: 192
Format: ebook
Source: library
Goodreads
one-star

You have big dreams and major goals for your life. You want to be a leader, fulfilled and fully realized, always able to take what life throws at you and stretch beyond the status quo. But for some reason, you never quite get there. You just aren't living up to your potential, and you don't know why.Now America's leadership expert, John Maxwell, gives you the tools you need to Be All You Can Be. In this powerful book filled with easy-to-grasp truths you can put to work right away, you'll discover the principles of success that can really help you succeed. Maxwell will guide you through four key steps: Know: Discover the principles for fulfilling your God-given potential. Show: Learn how to model the principles so others can see them at work. Go: Roll up your sleeves, get out into the world, and live what you've learned. Grow: Experience living at your full potential, continually assessing your progress.As a result, you'll gain considerable hope for the future, which in turn will give you power to overcome in the present. Successful living and leading starts now: Accept the challenge to Be All You Can Be.

why I read this bookI am a sucker for personal development books and I liked that this had a Christian bent to it.

 

my review

 

All I can think of to describe this book is ehhh. It did not really have any helpful things you could do to maximize your potential. It basically told you to leave your stuff up to God and trust that he will take care of you. To a certain population is nice but I am of the kind of person that wants actionable items. I can’t think of any one that would actually get anything out of this book. I am still nad that I cant get the time back I spent on this book. If I had it to do over I would skip it.

didnt-like-it

one-star
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Book Review: Bait Of Satan by John Bevere

Posted February 25, 2015 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

ISBN: 9781591854135
Book Review: Bait Of Satan by  John BevereThe Bait of Satan by John Bevere
Published by Charisma Media on 2004
Genres: Christian Life, General, Religion, Spiritual Warfare
Pages: 255
Format: Paperback
Source: library
Goodreads
one-star

Escape the enemy's deadly trap!  The Bait of Satan exposes one of the most deceptive snares Satan uses to get believers out of the will of God--offense. Most people who are ensnared by the bait of Satan don't even realize it. Don't be fooled! You will encounter offense, and it's up to you how it will affect your relationship with God. Your response will determine your future. If offense is handled correctly, you will become stronger rather than bitter. In this tenth anniversary edition of his best-selling book, John Bevere shows you how to stay free from offense and escape the victim mentality. With more than 400,000 copies in print, this book includes testimonials of transformed people who have read copies in print, this book includes testimonials of transformed people who have read the original book and a devotional supplement, featuring discussion questions, scriptures, and prayers. You will find answers to tough questions like these: Why am I compelled to tell

why I read this bookThe title of the book caught my eye in the library. I just had to know what “bait” that Satan was using and if I was falling for it.

 

 

my reviewThis whole book can be summed up as this. When bad stuff happens and you react unchristian like then yes you are caught in Satan’s snare. The book then goes on to give example after example of this.

I felt that the book and most Christian books in general give easy answers to tough life problems. I am not sure if this is intentional or not. To be sure, there are some christian authors that I love such as Joel Osteen, but most come off as really cheesy. Like this book. I mean I know if someone hurts you are something that you are supposed to turn the other cheek and stuff but honestly, who among us expect saints can actually do this. I know for myself, I have a knee jerk reaction and yes I start plotting revenge scenarios in my head. Ah well. I am only human after all. If you like cheesy books then you might like this one. If not, then don’t waste your time.

didnt-like-it

 

 

 

one-star
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

Review: Becoming a man of Unwavering Faith

Posted November 4, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, christian / 0 Comments

becoming a man of unwavering faith

From Goodreads:

During the course of his 60-year ministry, John Osteen combined an extraordinary love for people with a vision for ministry best described in his own words: “No limits.” In this hardcover volume not only includes content from John’s sermon transcripts, but also a foreword and commentary written by his son, Joel; the principles of this “no limits” faith come alive again for a new generation.
For the moments of struggle and temptation that every man faces, and the times in life when he feels surrounded and under attack, John’s message is profoundly simple-those moments are precisely the time for an unwavering faith. In this book, John schools today’s believers in seven qualities of unwavering faith:
1. It hears and sees what the world cannot see or hear.
2. It prays earnestly even though it has already heard the answer.
3. It is strong when there is no evidence of the answer.
4. It always says, “Go Again!”
5. It goes on when there’s just a little evidence.
6. It believes for the big when it sees the little.
7. It begins with nothing but ends up doing mighty things for God.
Osteen also provides principles for those times when faith doesn’t seem to be working. BECOMING A MAN OF UNWAVERING FAITH is a guidebook to stronger faith, from a man who spent a lifetime testing its limits.

My Review: If you have ever wondered what it is like to live a life of unlimted faith then this book explains how. It describes the seven things people do to get the most out of life and how to trust God for everything. People think that faith is something you have but this book also explains that faith is something that you do. It goes into depth of each of the seven steps that you do. This book was short but there is a lot of information packed in this book.

three-half-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

The Power of a Praying Woman

Posted March 28, 2011 by Hillary in Book Reviews, christian, self help / 0 Comments

The Power of a Praying WomanThe Power of a Praying® Woman by Stormie Omartian
Published by Harvest House Publishers on February 1st 2014
Genres: Christian, Christian Life, Prayer, Prayerbooks, Religion, Women's Issues
Pages: 254
Goodreads
four-stars

Stormie Omartian's bestselling The Power of a Praying® series (more than 23 million copies sold) is rereleased with fresh new covers and new material to reach a still-growing market of readers eager to discover the power of prayer for their lives. It may seem easier to pray for your spouse, your children, your friends, and your extended family, but God wants to hear your requests for your life too. He loves it when you come to Him for the things you need and ask Him to help you become the woman you have always longed to be. The Power of a Praying® Woman is just for you. You'll find personal illustrations, carefully selected Scriptures, and heartfelt prayers to help you trust God with deep longings, not just pressing needs cover every area of life with prayer maintain a right heart before God Each chapter concludes with a prayer you can follow or use as a model for your own prayers. Women of all ages will find hope and purpose for their lives with The Power of a Praying® Woman.

power of a praying woman

From Goodreads:

It may seem easier to pray for your spouse, your children, your friends, and your extended family, but God wants to hear your requests for your life too. He loves it when you come to Him for the things you need and ask Him to help you become the woman you have always longed to be. The Power of a Praying Woman has led countless women into deeper, more fulfilling prayer lives. Now, with a new cover, Omartian, through her knowledge of Scripture and candid examples of her own epiphanies in prayer, shows you how to:
1. draw closer to God
2. know His plans and purpose for your life
3. receive comfort, help, and strength for every day
Trust Him moment by moment with the concerns of your heart and discover the awesome power that prayer will release in your life.

This is a re-read. Every time I read it I feel that I get more out of it. I try and read it several times a year.

Ever since I was little I have been taught to pray for others. Somehow it seemed selfish to pray for myself. This book shows that not only is it good to pray for yourself but that God wants you to. It tells when you stop and take time to yourself that you fortify yourself to do what God has in store for you.

This book explains all the different areas that you can pray for yourself. It explains why those areas matter and how it can help you have a better life. The author puts in some things that I would have never thought to pray for myself for. She really puts a new perspective on how to have a deeper understanding of an effective praying life.

four-stars
Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!

A Purpose Driven Life

Posted August 31, 2010 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

A Purpose Driven LifeThe Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
Published by Zondervan on August 1st 2006
Genres: Christian Life, General, Religion
Pages: 334
Goodreads

You are not an accident. Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind, and he planned you for his purposes. These purposes will extend far beyond the few years you will spend on earth. You were made to last forever!Self-help books often suggest that you try to discover the meaning and purpose of your life by looking within yourself, but Rick Warren says that is the wrong place to start. You must begin with God, your Creator, and his reasons for creating you. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.This book will help you understand why you are alive and God's amazing plan for you-both here and now, and for eternity. Rick Warren will guide you through a personal 40-day spiritual journey that will transform your answer to life's most important question: What on earth am I here for?Knowing God's purpose for creating you will reduce your stress, focus your energy, simplify your decisions, give meaning to your life, and, most importantly, prepare you for eternity.The Purpose Driven(tm) Life is a blueprint for Christian living in the 21st century-a lifestyle based on God's eternal purposes, not cultural values. Using over 1,200 scriptural quotes and references, it challenges the conventional definitions of worship, fellowship, disciple

0310276993.01._SX140_SY225_SCLZZZZZZZ_ If you are looking for advice career wise or personal growth this is not the book for you. However if you are looking on living for God this book is perfect for you.

It is written by Rick Warren a pastor at Saddle Back church one of the largest in the world. It explains how to live for God. The premise is that if you live for God then God will help you in other areas of your life.

It has references to bible scriptures and other references that pertain to the book’s theme. Let me be clear on this, it is not written from a fundamentalist view but rather from a sound Christian frame of mind.

The most important part that is stressed is that life here is a practice run for eternity. When one views it from that view point it makes some of our troubles seem more bearable. It also offers a message of hope. That no matter what your circumstances now may be, that there is a better way. I liked how he says there are no accidents of birth that if you are here on earth, God wanted you here. This is a refreshing change from many fundamentalist view points on how people are tainted with unpardonable sin if you were not born and raised in a strictly Christian manner.

It fails to give too much detail on how you can know what God wants you to do career wise but perhaps that was not the aim of the book. Still it would have been nice to have something about that.

According to the bible 40 days is enough time to take a significant spiritual journey. The book is meant to be digested at the rate of one chapter a day for 40 days. I read it in a few days since it was a library book so I cant tell you if it really was a great spiritual journey. I had friends swear by it so I guess for some people it works.

Overall you come away with a feeling of renewal and hope and in today’s climate that is a good thing.

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Hillary

About Hillary

I am a book lover who loves to read and write. I only leave my apartment for food and MOAR books. I love to meet new people online so don't be afraid to say hi!