Monday, December 31, 2018

All Lives Are Sacred

All Lives are Sacred
Family Photo of My Baby Shower


You may have noticed that you no longer find regular posts here. Just book reviews.

There's a reason for that.

I have begun a new website a few months ago. Called AllLivesAreSacred, I have to say something upfront. The site is Christ-centered. This site is what we define as prolife. That is, all my posts stress, in some way or other, that all life is sacred. From conception to natural death. What does this mean? That abortion and euthanasia aren't morally acceptable. Yet this website seeks to inform the public, especially those facing crisis situations, of alternatives to abortions. These are options that, while not ideal, are a vast improvement over abortion as no one is killed. Also, I'm seeking support to legislate for a third option to replace abortion. If you want to debate abortion's merits or ask questions about it, I have set up a forum for you to question and debate (respectfully and without profanity). Been affected by abortion? Faced an unplanned pregnancy? Have a loved one who has faced an unplanned pregnancy? Have you been adopted? Adopted children yourself? Placed a child for adoption? Had an abortion and worked through it? Are you yourself been conceived in an unplanned pregnancy and worked through it? Then you can draft your story right on the "Share Your Prolife Stories" webpage. You can submit it anonymously. Also, I'm hosting something of a giveaway of of mostly Christ-centered books, newsletters, CD's and more. All freebies.

Looking forward to seeing you there! Whether you agree with my worldview or not.


All Lives are Sacred

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

MOMENTS WITH THE SAVIOR by Ken Gire



This book is a devotional. These devotions are based on the life of Jesus, as depicted in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Ken Gire starts his devotional with an Introduction. He promptly follows it up with his unnumbered pages. Each one begins with a Bible story quoted directly from Scripture. He follows up each story with his meditations, basing them on the story just shared. A prayer follows each story and meditation. This book's structure is simple but appealing. It includes a blue ribbon that the reader can use as a bookmark. The author, Ken Gire, is the bestselling author of over twenty books. They include The Divine Embrace and Intimate Moments with the Savior.

This book is easy and fast to read. Gire makes it all that these devotions promise to be. Throughout my time reading this book for review, I have been using this book in my own private devotions. And I continue to use it. It's that good. The SCriptures each devotion are based on give me the exact words of God. Then the meditation following the Bible story provides insight on on the meaning of the verses. Also, the meditations make the Bible story real and relatable to us today. I read in each one the couching of the Bible story in modern terms. For example, in his meditation on the story in Jesus' healing of the women with internal bleeding. He illustrates her angst, shame, utter distress and ultimate desperation in seeking cures from many doctors to get her out of her misery. SHe prays and prays and feels ignored even by God. He dramatizes Jesus' compassion in restoring her dignity, health and hope by calling her forward and calling her "Daughter." Every devotional behaves like this. I plan to continue to use the devotions in my life. Also the mediations challenged me as Gire has a way of making application quite personal and specific.

I recommend this book for all people. I'd suggest it for non-Christians. In these pages they can discover Who Jesus is and what He can mean in their lives. They aren't Gire's target audience but they can benefit from sections of this book, especially the stories of Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman. I recommend this book for all Christians regardless of stage of spiritual development. Pastors likely won't find these devotions challenging. Small groups may want to use this book in the private devotions of members and have members discuss each chaper even though there is no discussion guide. It's great for teenagers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through BookLookBloggers.com in exchange for my honest review. I wasn't required to write a positive review of this book.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

All Lives Are Sacred

All Lives are Sacred
Family Photo of My Baby Shower


You may have noticed that you no longer find regular posts here. Just book reviews.

There's a reason for that.

I have begun a new website a few months ago. Called AllLivesAreSacred, I have to say something upfront. The site is Christ-centered. This site is what we define as prolife. That is, all my posts stress, in some way or other, that all life is sacred. From conception to natural death. What does this mean? That abortion and euthanasia aren't morally acceptable. Yet this website seeks to inform the public, especially those facing crisis situations, of alternatives to abortions. These are options that, while not ideal, are a vast improvement over abortion as no one is killed. Also, I'm seeking support to legislate for a third option to replace abortion. If you want to debate abortion's merits or ask questions about it, I have set up a forum for you to question and debate (respectfully and without profanity). Been affected by abortion? Faced an unplanned pregnancy? Have a loved one who has faced an unplanned pregnancy? Have you been adopted? Adopted children yourself? Placed a child for adoption? Had an abortion and worked through it? Are you yourself been conceived in an unplanned pregnancy and worked through it? Then you can draft your story right on the "Share Your Prolife Stories" webpage. You can submit it anonymously. Also, I'm hosting something of a giveaway of of mostly Christ-centered books, newsletters, CD's and more. All freebies.

Looking forward to seeing you there! Whether you agree with my worldview or not.


All Lives are Sacred

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

YOU ARE NOT ALONE by Dena Yohe



This is a advice book which uses the author's personal experiences. Dena Yohe spreads this book throughout 15 chapters. She begins each chapter with a wise or relevant quotes. She follos her final chapter with an Afterward, an appeal to her target readers. Yohe includes a section called For Those Who Want to Help Someone Else, which gives suggestions on how to help parents of troubled teens. If the Unthinkable Happens includes encouragement and comfort for those who have lost a child to self-destructive choices. Yohe includes a Chair Exercise meant to help her targeted readers to draw nearer to God in their need. More Help for Specific Worries includes references to help for her readers. She includes many pages of Suggested Reading and Acknowledgements of those who made this book possible. She includes a Tribute to a Young Man and wraps it all up with Notes from sources used for this book. Dena Yohe has been a social worker, pastor's wife and Cru staff member. Her daughter, who was once deeply troubled and self-destructive, inspired the nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA). The author's daughter was portrayed in a 2015 Sony Pictures release.

I read this book quickly. Because of the way Yohe writes, I knew how her situation with her daughter would end up. For years, I've been aware of the nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA. I knew of it because of the people I "friended" on Facebook. However, I never knew that the author of You're Never Aloneis the Founder of that nonprofit. Even more, it was news that her daughter inspired TWLOHA. Yohe writes in such a way that you care for her, her family and especially for her one-troubled daughter, Renee. Renee writes her own short columns that her mom inserts in this book. They give a good view of things from a teen's perspective. One thing I couldn't understand is why Renee's doctor diagnosed her with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). With all the misery and hell that this family had endured, I can understand why they wanted to put a label on suffering tha made no sense to them. Reason for my perplexity? To me, its seems that SPD can't explain much of Renee's past self-destructive behavors. What did they have to do with sensory integration? But a doctor gave Renee this diagnosis and he must know. Also, I feel thankful that as a parent, so far, that my family and I have been spared the heatbreak of the author and of so many other parents of troubled youth. I was moved by her strong and enduring faith in and intimacy with God. This book makes me wonder how many families are facing similar situations with their young people, that this author faced.

This book clearly targets one audience. That's the parents of young people and especially troubled youth. Non-Christian, agnostic and atheist parents may dislike the clearly Christian content in this book even as they welcome its compassionate, caring counsel and the author's candid sharing of her own experiences. But this book may plant seeds in their hearts where they may consider God. Hurting Christian parents, especially in our Western culture with our "church is a museum for saints" culture, will find this book tremendously comforting and encouraging. They'll also find it full of of resources for further help. I recommend this book for every pastor to equip them to counsel troubled youth and their parents. I also recommend this book for youth ministers and other caring professionals who work with young people.

I received a compliementary copy of this book through BloggingForBooks in exchange for an honest review of this book. I wasn't asked to give this book a favorable review.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

THE WEDDING SHOP, by Rachel Hauck



This is a novel, a work of Christian fiction. THE WEDDING SHOP is a series book and continues in a book called THE WEDDING CHAPEL, also by Rachel Hauck. THE WEDDING SHOP begins with a Prologue, which introduces the reader to this bookand gives a feel for it. This book spreads out over 33 chapters. It ends with Discussion Questions about the book, followed by Acknowledgments. This book ends with the first chapter the the sequel which continues THE WEDDING SHOP, THE WEDDING CHAPEL. Each chapter in this book is written in the point of view of various character in the novel. Many chapters are given fictionalized months and years, or names of settings. Rachel Hauck's book THE WEDDING SHOP, was named as bestseller by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. This book was also named as Inspirational Novel of the Year by The Romantic Times. It also was a RITA finalist.

I read through this book quickly. I found it to be well-written and interesting. I liked it better than a former novel that I had recently reviewed but that's just me. I didn't get drawn into this book until the 5th or 6th chapter of this book. That's still near the beginning of this book. The author goes back and forth in time because she ties two lead characters together. Separated by time, the author shows how our lives can be intertwined. I can't say how true to life the twists and turns of their lives turned out being. Of course, the author sees to it that most of her main characters experience positive outcomes. I expected that. The author shows us that the main characters were on spiritual journeys. I saw their lessons and awakenings. Yet she doesn't get heavily into theology and I can't see how her style can be viewed as "preachy." I enjoyed the suspense of wondering how things would turn out with the main characters. I must admit that a couple of times, I peeked ahead in this book to get clues about the outcome. This novel includes romance and relationshis without getting syrupy. By syrupy, I mean overly-sentimental. I would mentally cheer or curse character throughout this book, especially during dramatic scenes. I had to remind myself that this is all fiction. So this book has impact.

This is Christian fiction. But as entertaining and edifying as Christian fiction is, Christians need to remember some things. Christian fiction should never become our primary spiritual food. WE're to reserve this for the Bible and books baased on Scripture. Christian fiction, because of idealistic outcomes, can make us discontented with our lives, marriages, congregations, and friendships. But I recommend this book for non-Christians who enjoy reading romances. In reading this book, they'll find more than entertainment. The hope is that as events unfold, God will draw non-Christian readers to Himself. If this is the author's purpose in writing this book, she does a great job.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. I wasn't required to give a positive review of this book.

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