Sunday, October 28, 2012

Walking on Water When you Feel Like You're Drowning

Walking on Water When You Feel Like You’re Drowning (Finding hope in life’s darkest moments) By Tommy Nelson and Steve Leavitt I was offered this book by Tyndale Publishers for free of charge in exchange for my honest review which I am giving in this writing. When I first chose this book to review, I was not thinking of much use for myself, but more of just a good general book about anxiety and depression in the Christian’s life. As I started to read, I could not put the book down and had to complete it in one sitting! I wish this book had been around 16 or 17 years ago when I went through this with my first husband. Every symptom, every feeling, everything he was experiencing that made him feel as if he was going to die…these authors write about from experience and from a Christian and clinical standpoint. Part of going through panic attacks and anxiety that is so disabling is that you do not know what is happening to you. We had no idea what was causing him to be experiencing the pacing, the high blood pressure, the sleeplessness, the heart racing, the mind racing. The doctors we visited ranged from not knowing what was going on to stating that he must be taking illegal drugs! Not a pleasant experience at that hospital! This book is going to be so valuable to the families as well as to those who have experienced panic attacks and anxiety and depression. It clearly lays out what is happening as well as providing Scriptures to help during these times and suggesting that medications can be used to control this disorder without having to feel guilty that as a Christian you should be able to “handle it” with God’s help. Tommy Nelson is a senior pastor in a large church. Steve Leavitt is a Christian Biblical counselor. Both have suffered themselves with anxiety and depression and write about it from their own experiences. This book explores these topics : • What causes anxiety, depression and obsessiveness • What is actually happening in your body • The problem with perfection • How Biblical thinking is crucial to recovery • When you should consider medication • And more! I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with anxiety, depression or OCD as well as to family members or friends who know people that struggle with this. I believe this book will fulfill a need for the encouragement of those who are walking alongside people who are hurting. Sometimes when a person is going through this dark time, they cannot focus enough on reading to benefit, but if someone who cares can read this book and share with them during the periods of clarity, it will definitely help.

Friday, October 19, 2012

You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded)

You Can’t Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded) By Cynthia Ulrich Tobias I am thankful to Blogging for Books for providing this book for me to review free of charge and this review is purely my own opinion. Always searching for helpful hints on how to lovingly encourage my red-headed four year old son to see the point of obeying, I chose this book . The subtitle is “Strategies for Bringing out the Best in Your Strong Willed Child”. In the first couple of chapters the author discusses exactly what a strong-willed personality is and that is is not necessarily a bad personality trait…as long as the individual learns to focus his will on positive results. Included is a short quiz to determine if you, your spouse, and your children are strong-willed. There are many different theories of how to raise a child with a strong will. You do not want to break the child’s will but you do want to enforce the rules. The author attempts to show how merely changing how you communicate your rules, your wishes, etc. can relieve a huge burden of parenting a SWC. The things I liked about this book were that points were made clearly and with examples. Already I have tried changing how I communicate and I have seen very positive results. I liked the Scripture verses provided with each chapter that strengthen the author’s concept that relationship will always be more important than rules. I liked, and disliked, the fact that certain points were repeated over and over again. I liked it personally because it helped me to retain those points after I finished the book. I disliked it as a reviewer because it was so repetitive. Yes, I have two separate opinions  Two of my favorite tips were : 1) Lighten up but don’t let up. This chapter went into the value that humor can have in your relationship. Using humor to defuse the potential battle that is to take place. 2) Ask more questions, issue fewer orders. This works with me too. Ask me to help you and I am more than willing. Order me around and I am resentful. It comes back to communication. This is also working with my child. Overall, I thought this was a sensitive addressing of the issue of strong-willed children and how to use love and humor to help nurture the child. It gave helpful examples and it was good to read of other parents dealing with the exact same situations that I have dealt with.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Man in the Blue Moon

I was so excited to hear from Tyndale Publishing Company that I had won a prize in their recent contest!! When I received the book in the mail, I was pleased at two things right off the bat. One, the book was a nice thick book…more pages to read ! 377 to be exact! The second was the cover was beautiful which always makes a difference in just the excitement of reading a new book. As I started reading , I was drawn in to the story from the beginning. Michael Morris, the author, is a Southern Book Critics Circle Award finalist and is a true Southern writer. This story kept me tuned in by the many twists and drama happening in this small Southern town. The characters are very believable and you feel a connection with them. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and can’t wait to read more by this author. The book starts off with a woman and her sons, trying to survive since her husband left her due to drugs. She has to decide whether to take what money she has and pay it towards the mortgage, which she is already behind on, or take the money and pay shipping on an item her husband had ordered from the Blue Moon Clock Company before he left them. She decides to take a chance that the item, which she has no idea as to the identity of, will be of sufficient value to sell in her store and make more money to try to pay the mortgage. When the package arrives, she and her boys go to pick up the crate at the railroad station and bring it back to open at their home. What a surprise awaits them when they open the crate! This book also has a great story in the prologue about how the author came up with this idea for a story. There are also questions to be used for discussion in a book club or if you are a homeschooling mom like me…you can assign these to be answered. This is a book that I want to read again. I think it is one of those that you can reread over and over and it will speak to your soul in different ways.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Heaven in Her Arms by Katherine Hickem

The subtitle of this book is Why God Chose Mary to Raise His Son and What It Means to You. When I first chose to read this book I have to admit I went in with some trepidation. Was it going to be a book of worship of Mary, the Mother of Jesus? Was it going to focus on glorifying her? I was pleasantly surprised that when I finished reading it, I not only had a better sense of who Mary was, but I also found myself glorifying God the Father, not Mary :) This is a wonderful book for anyone to read, but as a mother myself, I found it particularly relevant. It made me relate to the issues I have as a parent, the emotions. I loved this book!

God Gave Us Love

This children's book by Lisa Tawn Bergen and illustrated by Laura J. Bryant is adorable! My 4-year-old son loved the story and the illustrations! It would make a great gift or an addition to your own home library. God Gave Us Love