May 242015
 

Proverbial Beauty: Secrets for success and happiness from the wisdom of the ages
Paperback:
244 pages
Expected publication: July 1st 2015
By: Timewise Press
ISBN: 0692369201
ISBN13: 9780692369203

Summary

We live in a world of endless contradictions. Work vs. family. Money vs. fulfillment. Desires vs. obligations. The body vs. the spirit. We rely on conventional wisdom to point us forward. But conventional wisdom gets it wrong more often than we imagine.

Open this book and celebrate the marriage between the greatest collection of verbal images in history — King Solomon’s Book of Proverbs — and the most famous visual image in the world — Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

· Find tranquility in the midst of conflict
· Develop attitudes that deepen relationships
· Gain clarity through times of darkness and confusion
· Decrease cynicism and find joy in the daily miracles that fill our lives.

Take a guided tour beneath the surface of the world we live in through the lens of news stories, historical vignettes, folktales, the wonders of nature, and the discoveries of science — all woven together in a lyrical and surprising medley of the human experience.

Researchers have no explanation why people, when blindfolded, can’t walk a straight line; but what is it about human nature that makes us wander in circles? What does former NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to ease Manhattan traffic with “congestion pricing” reveal about the way we make decisions? What can fig harvesting, migraine headaches, and two Miss America titleholders teach us about the underpinnings of emotional well-being?

The answers to 3000 years’ of questions are here, revealed for every seeker of truth and self-awareness in the language of our modern era. Guided by the wisdom of Solomon and the mysteries of the Mona Lisa, learn how to find tranquility in the midst of chaos, how to savor the moments of everyday life, and how to resolve the paradoxes of the human heart.

My Review

I was raised Catholic and have been a Christian for as long as I can remember. So when Yonason Goldson emailed me inquiring about a review of this book I was a little hesitant. I received this book in exchange for an honest review. The book is amazing and I found myself taking notes before the first chapter even began. This book is full of wisdom and is beautifully written in a way that makes it relatable to everyone. It took me awhile to read through because I was note-taking and such. It will be on my shelf and in my “to read” pile for years to come!! Love it!

About the Author

I graduated the University of California with a degree in English in 1983, then set off across the United States hitching rides and sleeping in hostels, campgrounds, or by the side of the road.  Half a year later, I set out farther afield, this time across Europe, intending to circle the globe via Africa, Australia, and a return trip to Asia.  (But that’s another story.)

Too weary to carry on after months on ten-dollars-a-day, I crossed the Mediterranean for the Land of Israel.  There, I planned to occupy myself picking oranges on a kibbutz before stalking the southern hemisphere.  You can read about some of my adventures here .

We know what happens when Man plans.  A strong dollar had given a few million other young Americans the same idea, and there wasn’t a spot to be found on any kibbutz in the country — an unprecedented event.  With dwindling funds and a depleted constitution, I took a most unlikely turn and found myself as a neophyte in a talmudical seminary.

It took two months, ceaseless bouts of syllogistic sparring, and a former professor of philosophy from Johns Hopkins University to convince me to see the world in a new light.  Read about how my background in literature sparked my personal awakening here .

I spent the next nine years learning ancient languages and studying the accumulated wisdom of 3300 years, starting a family, earning my rabbinic ordination, and acquiring the credentials to teach Mankind’s most profound wisdom to others.  After leaving Israel, my wife and I spent a year teaching in Budapest, Hungary.  You can get a taste of our experiences here .

Two years later we moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where we have lived since 1996.  I teach high school, lecture adults, and write on contemporary issues, currents events, inspiration, education, childraising, history, philosophy, spirituality, and self-awareness for Jewish and popular journals.

In between the responsibilities of my day-job, I have been invited to address such organizations as the Kiwanis Club, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and Oasis, as well as a variety of religious and secular audiences.

http://yonasongoldson.com/

May 232015
 

How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible
Author: Keith Ferrin
Paperback: 176 pages
Published: May 19th 2015
By: Bethany House Publishers (first published May 12th 2015)
ISBN: 0764213237
ISBN13: 9780764213236

Summary

Finding Joy in Reading God’s Word
When it comes to the Bible, most of us talk about two things: Is it true? And how should it impact our lives? But you may be missing something vitally important: Do you “like” the Bible? If you don’t, consistency will always be a struggle, and the Bible will be less likely to transform you.
Keith Ferrin has been talking to churches about enjoying the Bible for years, and now he’s compiled his most helpful tips. Written in a friendly, conversational tone, Ferrin teaches you how to develop a relational mindset and to approach the Bible in a way that lines up with the way your brain learns best. “How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible” will help you genuinely love the Bible more, read it more consistently, and apply God’s Word to your everyday life.

My Review

This is a simple to read book that really emphasises reading your Bible rather than spending hours or weeks learning how. I really appreciate that this book is so down to earth, has recommended scripture readings and each “chapter” is called a “Tip”. As someone who studies the Bible daily I know how easy it can become a chore and at times that has caused separation between me and the Word. This book came at the right time (God has good timing, perfect actually) and I read it just as I was beginning to slide into that slump. I am so excited to have received this book for review from Bethany House Publishers because I don’t think I would have bought it on my own. Now, it is a treasure that I will read again and again and I have already recommended to others!

If you are only going to buy one book this year about studying the Bible then this should be it! Definitely five stars!


Jan 052015
 

Colliding with Destiny by Sarah Jakes

Colliding with Destiny
By: Sarah Jakes
Published: September 2014Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Hardcover, 215 pages

Summary

The story of Ruth is a journey of transformation. By allowing God to transform her circumstances, Ruth went from a widow who would be excluded from society to a wife with a secure and protected future, a future that ultimately paved the way for the birth of King David! Her story is full of collision–loss, heartache, poverty, even shame–but she never let her past define her. Instead, the most painful time of her life became her most pivotal, propelling her to a destiny she never imagined.

Perhaps you have a past you’re struggling to overcome. If disappointments, whether a result of your own choices or the actions of others, have kept you from being your true self, this book is for you. Follow Ruth’s life and discover the hope available to each of us. Your yesterday does not have to dictate your tomorrow. 

Despite your past pain, you, too, can find redemption and restoration.

My Review

Sarah Jakes does an awesome job with this book, jumping right in with “Life Doesn’t Always Go As Planned”. She dives deeper into the story of Ruth and this tiny little Biblical chapter and shows us all the richness and glory that is in God for not only the women of the Bible but ALL women of Christ.

She applies the teachings of the book of Ruth to her own life and engages us by making it into a sort of self-study as she asks the reader questions at the end of the chapter and before closing that chapter with prayer.

It took me quite awhile to read through this book. I wanted to take notes and really reflect on the story. It is an easy read but I think if you want to really get the most out of it you should participate in the questions Sarah asks you to reflect on and pray the prayers.

Overall, I think this book is a five star. It is not only great writing but the dust cover is embossed and has a beautiful metallic finish. The book without the dust cover is white with a gold binding and the title of the book on the spine. This is important for me because many books lose their dust cover over the years and they don’t have anything on the spine except a publishers mark, making it harder to find the book you are looking for. I know this book will be in my arsenal and read many times over my life!

About the Author

Sarah Jakes oversees the women’s ministry at The Potter’s House of Dallas, the church led by her parents, Bishop T.D. Jakes and Mrs. Serita Jakes. She regularly blogs at sarahjakes.com and occasionally serves as a TV host on The Potter’s Touch.

 

**I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts expressed are my own**

Oct 142014
 

Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)

Stolen Dreams
Expected publication: October 15th 2014
By: Twilight Times Books (first published June 24th 2014)
ISBN: 13 9781606192818
Series: Cassie Scot #4
http://christineamsden.com/wordpress/?page_id=3162

Summary
Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

My Review

Without spoiling the book for those who haven’t read it yet it is sorta hard to review! I am sad to say that this is the final book in the series but happy to say that Christine Amsden reported to me with the release of book 3 that there are spin off books to this one with some great characters. So, it’s not completely over!

This series is easy to connect with and while I wouldn’t necessarily say it is YA I am not sure what I would call this genre. It is a great read for adults with an open mind and maybe even some interest in the occult, though definitely not mandatory. I would also allow my children to read this book because it’s not scary or beyond their realm of being able to understand the plot.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is in the mood for a really awesome read and if you want the full story start with book one of the series “Cassie Scot ParaNormal Detective”. This is a series you can really get into, learn from and totally enjoy!

The message that I take away from this and that I hope any young people take away from it is that it is not only okay to be different, but it is amazing to love yourself just how you are instead of trying to be something you’re not or impress people who don’t matter. It is beyond great to just be YOU!

About the Author

Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Stolen Dreams by Christine Amsden was the winner in the Fiction Fantasy/Contemporary category of the 2015 Global eBook Awards and a finalist in the Fiction eBook Category for The Next Generation Indie Awards (2016).

Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have hated one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Sep 132014
 

The 10 Commandments of Marriage
Practical Principles to Make Your Marriage Great

By: Ed Young
Published by: Moody Publishers
Estimated Publication date: October 1, 2014
ISBN: 9780802412249

Description

Marriage is God’s idea. He planned it. He designed it. And if you follow His blueprint, it will be more rewarding, more loving, more exciting than you ever imagined.

In 10 Commandments of Marriage, Dr. Ed Young shares the “thou shalts” and the “thou shalt nots” of successful relationships – straight from the pages of God’s Word. Long-married couples will find love-building precepts that will revive a failing marriage and make a great relationship even better. Soon-to-be-marrieds will discover what marriage is all about, and gain priceless insights into starting on solid ground.

In words that are profound, often humorous, but always biblical, Dr. Young draws from decades of counseling couples to provide 10 commandments for a lifelong marriage that sizzles. God wants your marriage to be nothing short of incredible. And it could begin with this amazing book.

According to Beth Moore (bestselling author and speaker), “The 10 Commandments of Marriage not only tells you ‘what.’ Thankfully, it tells you ‘how.’ Ed Young has taken the principles of Scripture and has had the courage to test them on the linoleum glued to average life on planet earth.”

My Review

I absolutely loved this book and I recommend it to anyone who is in a relationship or plans to be in one at some point. I am sure I will be turning back to it time and again. It is well written, contains relevant stories and comparisons and most definitely ties the biblical teachings into the message.

While I don’t think you need to be a Christian to benefit from this book I do believe that Christians would benefit most from it because of the biblical references. We are shown time and again throughout the bible how a marriage should and shouldn’t be and Ed Young ties all of that information together, simplifies it, and makes it applicable to you and me.

I definitely recommend this book and because I received and e-copy for the purpose of review that isn’t “finalized” it will be in my shopping cart soon!

I don’t often give “glowing reviews” but this book energized me spiritually and showed me where I need to work on myself to be the best I can be for my partner.

About the Author

ED YOUNG has been the pastor of 32,000-member Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, since 1978 and is also a trustee of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Houston Baptist University. A former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Ed is the author of many books including The Ten Commandments of Marriage and The Ten Commandments of Parenting, and ministers through the international television and radio broadcasts of Winning Walk. He and his wife, Jo Beth, have three adult sons and seven grandchildren and reside in Houston.

 

Marriage is God’s idea. He planned it. He designed it. And if you follow His blueprint, it will be more rewarding, more loving, more exciting than you ever imagined.

In 10 Commandments of Marriage, Dr. Ed Young shares the “thou shalts” and the “thou shalt nots” of successful relationships—straight from the pages of God’s Word. Long-married couples will find love-building precepts that will revive a failing marriage and make a great relationship even better. Soon-to-be-marrieds will discover what marriage is all about and gain priceless insights into starting on solid ground.

In words that are profound, often humorous, but always biblical, Dr. Young draws from decades of counseling couples to provide 10 commandments for a lifelong marriage that sizzles. God wants your marriage to be nothing short of incredible. And it could begin with this amazing book.

“The 10 Commandments of Marriage not only tells you ‘what’ but, thankfully, also tells you ‘how.’ Ed Young has taken the principles of Scripture and has had the courage to test them on the linoleum glued to average life on planet earth.” — Beth Moore (bestselling author and speaker)

$14.99 USD
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