Non-Fiction Review: Megan Hill’s “Praying Together”

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If you’re looking for a book that will move and convict you deeply, yet teach you with great skill – “Praying Together” is one of my highest recommendations, as Ms. Hill writes with passion, eloquence, and truth.

The overarching theme is that of praying in community, but the chapter lengths and study questions are great for personal study as well as group. There are many layers to unpack in each section, and working through it with others will allow you to unfold them all.

I really enjoyed all the historical and Biblical context Ms. Hill pulls in as she lays out each point for her reader. It gives the work greater depth, helping to stick with the reader throughout the day. I definitely can’t wait to go over these lessons with my children.

In short, your prayer lives will be changed.

I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley

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Non-Fiction Review: Matt Weber’s “Operating on Faith”

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“A Painfully True Love Story” is the subtitle of this book, and boy – it’s not kidding around. The Webers sure went through a lot their first year of marriage.

I appreciate Mr. Weber writing this book. So many memoirs out there focus on the struggles and triumphs of the author only – and while there’s nothing wrong with those works, this book brings something new by focusing so much on his wife, making what THEY are going through the central theme.

A better book on how to forge a marriage together would be hard to find.

No, the Webers aren’t perfect, but they are great role-models in how they actively put each other first, help each other through the hard days, and show grace for each other’s mistakes. The story in these pages will remind you to slow down a moment and savor the time you have with others – making each interaction count.

I recommend this book as good training for all who want to make their own relationships stronger.

I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley

Non-Fiction Review: Brandi Haas’ “More Tales From Suburbia”

This review is a stop on the Great Escapes blog tour for “More Tales from Suburbia”.

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This book is a GREAT way to start the day. Those few quiet minutes before the kids wake up, a hot drink of your choice, and another Tale From Suburbia – a recipe that can’t be beat! 

I highly recommend this book for all moms (and dads) out there! The Tales within the story retain the style of a blog post, but here, it works – as the reader can take in one or two for a pick-me-up on those hectic, rushed mornings – or settle in during a quiet moment to enjoy a laugh fest. 

And believe me, your sides will ache, and the tears will roll. All the parents out there will find so much truth in the roughly 200 pages of hard-hitting hilarity in Mrs. Haas’ second book. It is definitely one to read, and then read again!

In short, I loved this book, and can’t wait to get a copy for all my fellow mom friends.

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Non-Fiction Review: Ruth A. Tucker’s “Extraordinary Women of Christian History”

This book challenges expectations and assumptions – growing and stretching the reader’s notions of history, the church, and legacies left behind.

As promised in the introduction, this work is definitely no sugar-coated look at an interesting collection of women from the church’s history. At the same time however, the author is neither condemning nor gossipy in her overview of each individual. This is a great example of a straightforward, honest look deeper beneath the surface of each woman, while still emphasizing Christ’s redemption as the central focus. 

This book is best used as a study text – definitely not a one-sitting read. With the questions at the end of each chapter, and the extensive bibliography included that the reader can use to find companion texts for deeper context, I would highly recommend this book for any Bible study group!

I am absolutely going to have to read through this fantastic work several times again to get deeper, and see what I missed.

I received a review copy of this work from the Publisher through NetGalley

Non-fiction Review: Barbara Rainey’s “Letters to My Daughters”

In just 6 words, the subtitle of this work: “The Art of Being a Wife,” captures the book’s essence in a way not many subtitles do! The word pictures, the ways Ms. Rainey describes the world of relationships, all are full of rich color, depth and meaning.

Relating marriage to different types of art connects with everyone in some fashion, as we all have a type of art we gravitate toward, and understand the world through. The fantastic imagery makes reading the book a treat itself, on top of the amazing content within.

I absolutely love the letter format in this work. It allows Ms. Rainey to convey very clear thoughts and honest answers, while reaching out with a personal touch. She doesn’t gloss over the hard issues, nor berate those who ask for advice. She completely captures the tone of mother and mentor, and creates a book you want to read, as you know you will receive clear, caring instruction.

I plan to bundle this work with “15 Verses” as gifts to my newlywed friends, as they both impacted me greatly, refining my outlook and attitudes in my own marriage!

I received a review copy of this work from the publisher

Non-Fiction Review: Lisa Bevere’s “Girls with Swords”

This review is from my “for fun” stack of books I’m reading through – books that are new to me, not necessarily new to print. This title came as a recommendation at the library, and I am so glad to have picked it up!

This is a deep, deep dive into how swords are an image of our faith. Ms. Bevere has layers upon layers of ideas to share – each chapter building on the last, and she takes the time to comb through it all and lay it out fully for the reader. There is a lot of research behind this work, and Ms, Bevere uses it all, but in a way that teaches, not just wading through empty facts. I really enjoyed the style she uses in this work.

This isn’t your typical “you are wonderful, go take on the world” book for women that one can find so easily on the shelves. This is a focused, intentional look at the enemy against us, and the preparations, legacy, weapons, and strategies for battle we must  use in our fight. Ms. Bevere puts it so well when she says, “it is always better to choose your position through decisive action, then to have it chosen for you through passive default.”

This work is a great blend of quotes from notable historical figures, verses from the Bible, and Ms. Bevere’s own thoughts and insights. All of them add up to great truths that inspired deep discussions while I read through the book. I look forward to reading through this one again, to dig deeper into things I may have only brushed before, and I look forward to gifting copies to my friends, to continue the good conversations that spring up!

 

Don’t forget! Enter the giveaway contest for an autographed copy of Deadly Scandal by March 20. Just comment or tweet @KSRPearson with the name of mystery character that’s stuck with you, and the title or series they are from. Feel free to enter more than once!

Non-Fiction Review: Richard D. Phillips’ “1 & 2 Thessalonians”

“Christian life and ministry will always have a local feel and flavor. There is a tendency today, however, to exaggerate those differences when it comes to the witness of the gospel. When we think of Paul’s various places of ministry, we should note that his strategy varied little, and his doctrine not at all, despite the wide variety of cultural and social contexts in which he served.”

This is just one of the many, many quotes I marked in this book! There are so many good moments of deep insight – over and over I had to stop and re-read to fully digest everything Mr. Phillips had pulled out from each verse.

This book is a call to action, urging you to get up and go! How you live your life and faith, how you support your pastor and church, and how you reach out to the people you come across in your day, is given sound instruction through careful examination of Paul’s teaching. Each piece of his letter is broken down, explained in further context and deeper meaning.

As this book started as a collection of sermons, the language and topics are very approachable and open, allowing anyone to dive in. A great book to use as a Bible study, both personal and group. The truths within are impactful, and will change your worldview!

I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley