Genre: Christian Life

Book Review:What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman

Posted July 5, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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ISBN: 9780310494225
Book Review:What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt PermanWhat's Best Next by Matt Perman
Published by Zondervan on February 21st 2014
Genres: Religion, Christian Life, Professional Growth
Pages: 256
Format: ebook
Source: Scribed
Buy on Amazon

Do Work That Matters
Productivity isn't just about getting more things done. It's about getting the right things done--the things that count, make a difference, and move the world forward. In our current era of massive overload, this is harder than ever before. So how do you get more of the right things done without confusing mere activity for actual productivity?
When we take God's purposes into account, a revolutionary insight emerges. Surprisingly, we see that the way to be productive is to put others first--to make the welfare of other people our motive and criteria in determining what to do (what's best next). As both the Scriptures and the best business thinkers show, generosity is the key to unlocking our productivity. It is also the key to finding meaning and fulfillment in our work.
What's Best Next offers a practical approach for improving your productivity in all areas of life. It will help you better understand:
* Why good works are not just rare and special things like going to Africa, but anything you do in faith even tying your shoes.
* How to create a mission statement for your life that actually works.
* How to delegate to people in a way that actually empowers them.
* How to overcome time killers like procrastination, interruptions, and multitasking by turning them around and making them work for you.
* How to process workflow efficiently and get your email inbox to zero every day.
* How your work and life can transform the world socially, economically, and spiritually, and connect to God's global purposes.
By anchoring your understanding of productivity in God's purposes and plan, What's Best Next will give you a practical approach for increasing your effectiveness in everything you do.

I first heard about the book on an ElleChat, and I was all like I MUST READ IT AND BECOME MORE GOLDY PRODUCTIVE.
I have to be honest at first I was kinda irritated when he spent the first half of the book telling that we don’t NEED to be productive to have God’s love. I was all like DUH, but then I thought about it, and a few people came to mind that I would like to shove this book under their noses and be all like SEEEEE….
Then I read on, and I came across one of the best explanations of Justification that I have read in my life. And I have read many. The way this author explains it though blows every other way I have heard it described out of the water. Seriously this man is a genius. For that reason alone I was all ready to buy a bunch of books and pass then on to all of the “legalistic” Christians I know. If only I had that much money.
Then I read on. I could sympathize with the author because I hit the same kind of “snags” that he did wit the Getting Things Done Method. All this time I thought it was just me and that I was too stupid to have a “mind like water, ” but nope it seems that many other people had the same issues that I had faced. That alone made me feel better.
Then we get to the part of the book where he gives us is a way of overcoming the issues that trip so many of us up in the GTD method. I don’t want to give alllll the details away because I want people to buy the book cause believe me this is a book worth buying and keeping near you. I will tell you this much, this man is a genius for coming up with the method that he did. I have implanted it into my workflow, and it had helped me tremendously.
One thing I was glad to have read was that it takes other people a couple of hours of writing or working on something to get into the flow. I had thought since I had read the book ‘Flow” that I was just not great with whatever I was doing and I lacked that something that people talk about when they are in their sweet zone. It turns out I was giving up too soon. He explained that creatives need long stretches of time to work on things and to reach that sweet spot. I had previously only allocated 2 to three hours a day for writing. After reading this, however, I sectioned off whole days just to write. No editing, nothing like that. Just pure unadulterated pouring of words on the page. I can finally say that I have discovered my sweet spot. It turns out that all these years all I had been doing was a warm up and not the actual sport.
Truthfully I feel that this is a book that everyone should read. If you are not a Christian, you can skip over the first part and just read about his methodology. It is genius. It takes GTD to whole new levels. If you are at ll interested in maximizing your productivity, then get this book ASAP!

Book Review: Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer

Posted June 9, 2017 by Hillary in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

ISBN: 9781433688676
Book Review: Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla ShirerFervent by Priscilla Shirer
Published by B&H Publishing Group on August 1st 2015
Genres: Religion, Christian Life, Prayer, Women's Issues
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Source: library
Buy on Amazon

You have an enemy . . . and he’s dead set on destroying all you hold dear and keeping you from experiencing abundant life in Christ. What’s more, his approach to disrupting your life and discrediting your faith isn’t general or generic, not a one-size-fits-all. It’s specific. Personalized. Targeted.   So this book is your chance to strike back. With prayer. With a weapon that really works. Each chapter will guide you in crafting prayer strategies that hit the enemy where it hurts, letting him know you’re on to him and that you won’t back down. Because with every new strategy you build, you’re turning the fiercest battles of life into precise strikes against him and his handiwork, each one infused with the power of God’s Spirit.  New York Times bestselling author Priscilla Shirer, widely known for her international speaking, teaching, and writing ministries, brings her new role from the 2015 film War Room into the real lives of today’s women, addressing the topics that affect them most: renewing their passion, refocusing their identity, negotiating family strife, dealing with relentless regrets, navigating impossible schedules, succeeding against temptation, weathering their worst fears, uprooting bitterness, and more. Each chapter exposes the enemy’s cruel, crafty intentions in all kinds of these areas, then equips and encourages you to write out your own personalized prayer strategies on tear-out sheets you can post and pray over yourself and your loved ones on a regular basis.  Fervent is a hands-on, knees-down, don’t-give-up action guide to practical, purposeful praying.

I have wanted to get deeper into my faith and to be honest prayer is the one area I suck at. I always feel like I never know what to say. I am always like Hillary your problems are so small compared to millions of other people who have it worse, or Hillary; God has heard it all before. This leads to me not praying anything.

I have seen this book pop up all over the place in the book blogging world, and I had read one of her books before and enjoyed the book. So off I went to the library to get me a copy. Let me tell you to make sure you have a big chunk of time for this book cause once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. There were so many times in this book where I was like YES!! That is me. Or is my lack of passion for going to Church the Devil trying to get a firm hold? This put a whole new spin on things.

One thing that I liked is that she gave us specific passages that we could copy out. Some books tell us to pray, and I am left wondering what do I say? But Shirer gives us scriptures that we can build off. I copied down all that I felt God calling me to pray over. I finally feel as if I have a starting point for a personalized prayer life.

I also loved that she advocated writing down our prayers and sticking them to a wall or and to start a prayer journal. I started my prayer journal by using Day One, and I posted some on the wall in my Home Office corner so that I will remember what I am praying about all the time since I am here most of the day.

The book itself is divided into a chapter that deals with one specific area that Satan tries to gain a stronghold. I was shocked at some. Before when I was sick with Bipolar, and I felt I had something tangible to pray over and to fight off I had a zeal like you wouldn’t believe. Now that I am well and doing well I find myself lacking that same zeal but never did I imagine that it was Satan trying to increase the increasing distance that I was feeling from our Lord and Saviour.

When I realized that I had lost my zeal for God, I made sure that I got my behind BACK to Church. And no my life is not perfect but I know I made a tiny step in the right direction and I actually could feel God again for a brief moment during Communion, so I know He was pleased also.Click To Tweet This is the chapter that struck me the most out of the whole book.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking to jump start or to start an active prayer life. It will give you guidance and wisdom that you need to craft your personalized prayers so that you don’t feel like you have nothing to say. My prayer life has been full(er) and has picked up speed in the two weeks since I read this book.


Rating Report
Overall: five-stars

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

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




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

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 Check out Francis Chan's video blog at  

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.



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

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.



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

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.






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.


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

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.


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

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.