Author Archives: anotherjoy

About anotherjoy

I'm a Quitter, blogger, writer, reader, singer, volunteer, "Supernatural" tv fan/critic, and more!

“The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel

Standard

20121230-204126.jpgI began this book in December 2010. My intention was to read it for a small group I was co-leading at the time. However, the focus of the group changed shortly after I began reading, and I ended up put the book back on the shelf after three chapters.

Fast forward two years. I had been eyeing this book occasionally for the past few months, and found that now was the time to finish. Once I picked it up again, it was actually easier to get into. Yes, Mr. Strobel’s writing style is very direct and full of factual information, which does not necessarily mean easy reading. But once you set that style in your mind, it’s very interesting to delve into the wealth of information he has garnered from his studies and the scholars he interviews for each chapter of this book.

I have been a Christian for many years, but I liked reading through the information in this book nonetheless. It is a good reminder in some areas and a revelation in others about the truth of the power that God embodied in Jesus, and really, the power He wants to embody in us as well. I recommend taking the time to read it.

Advertisements

Finally the Bride by Cheryl McKay

Standard

Finally The Bride: Finding Hope While WaitingFinally The Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting by Cheryl McKay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I saw this book recommended on a blog discussion I read several weeks ago. It was among several women approaching their 30s who have a desire for marriage but no past or current relationship prospects to speak of (yes, I am one of them). It piqued my interest, considering I’ve seen so few books geared toward single women that reached beyond “what you need to do if you want a man.”

There is something so comforting about this book. It’s just so raw and real. Cheryl McKay writes to single women, as a single woman. She doesn’t sugarcoat her desire or her frustration; instead she bares all, including journal entries she wrote to God and the responses she received back, in the midst of providing important points and lessons to us on waiting and building our relationship with God.

At times her journaled frustrations and cries to God may seem to be repetitive, or in conflict with the points she’s trying to make about trusting God. But she’s human, and she doesn’t pretend that her attitude in her journal entries is always right. I actually found it comforting to see that she had to remind herself of the points that she would later write to others in similar situations. She wants to let her readers know that they are not alone in the circumstances they face, and I can appreciate that.

I was insipred to read from a spirit-filled single Christian woman who could really relate to where I am relationally, and I love reading what McKay has to say about the relationship we need to develop with God. I appreaciate the honesty of her story, and the stories she includes of those who came before her.

If you’re single, this book will inspire you. If you’re waiting, on anything, this book will encourage you as well. It truly is a book about finding hope in the waiting, regardless of what you’re waiting on.

“Full Disclosure” by Dee Henderson

Standard

Paul Falcon is an FBI agent. Ann Silver is the Midwest Homicide Investigator. They could have crossed paths dozens of times over the years, but it’s only when an old case goes from cold to very hot that their lives intersect. As the case begins to reveal a long-dormant killer for hire, Paul and Ann deal with lifelong dreams and long-held secrets that, if exposed, would change both of their lives forever.

This long-awaited new release by Dee Henderson (her last new release was in 2006) is great. Not perfect, but very good. Dee continues her introduction of new characters alongside characters from her previous books (you will not be missing the O’Malley family for long). And the mystery surrounding the police cases being tackled have good, if not entirely unexpected, twists. I’m not sure if I focused more on the mysteries in Dee’s previous stories or if she did, but this time around the flow of the story is a little different, and seems to focus more on the characters as their relationship grows. In fact, at times the pursuit of the case seems almost to fade completely into the background of the budding romance, or at least the characters’ focus on it.  The cases don’t stay in the background for too long once the story ramps up, but the focus of this story is squarely on the developing relationship between Paul and Ann.

I liked the relationship, and the way previously known characters were pulled in to be part of the story between the two leads. I did, however, find myself entirely distracted by the new take Dee gives on her previous characters. As a closet wannabe writer, I found myself wondering more than once just how much of Ann’s story could be Dee herself, or if I was reading too much in the characterization that was written. It took me out of the story a little bit as I tried to discern the level of fiction I’ve been reading all this time. (Is this pure fiction? Fiction with an element of truth? Heavily-veiled nonfiction?)

But when I allowed myself to focus on the story purely as entertainment, I liked what I read. I’ve truly missed Dee Henderson’s writing, and it’s great to have her back. I enjoyed this new story, the different elements she put into it, the new perspective on her old characters, and the promise of more stories from the new characters. This Paul and Ann’s story might be a transition piece of sorts, but it’s a good one. As always, I’m looking forward to what else is in store.

.

I received an Advance Readers’ Edition of this book for free from the publisher, Bethany House, via LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

“Grace for the Good Girl” by Emily P. Freeman

Standard

Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman is a look at a struggle that Christian women sometimes don’t recognize, or refuse to acknowledge. It’s that struggle to make sure that we’re always doing the right thing. Whether borne out of a need to atone for the sins of the past, or fear of not being good enough for the future, or simply the constraints of a life always lived in the mindset, many Christian women expend so much effort trying to maintain their Good Girl status. Emily takes a hard look at what that status resembles, and its underlying struggle. She then takes us beyond the Good Girl framework, into what it really means to be free to trust God with details of a Christian life.

This book is such a wonderful book. It’s relief-inspiring, really. It was eye-opening to recognize struggles I’ve faced, to see the root cause of those issues, and to learn truth that can free me from the vicious cycle of trying and failing to be good all the time. Basically, it all boils down to this: Stop trying so hard and trust God with your rest! The rest of your world, the rest of your life, the rest you need right now. You can’t get it, truly get it, unless you trust God, truly trust Him. And you can’t trust Him when you’re just trying so hard to look the part of someone who trusts Him.

Lay down your good girl tools and all the toil the bring, and rest.

All of you.

Standard

You can win a copy of The Books They Gave Me, an unique compilation of the impact of hundreds of books over hundreds of lives. I’m excited to say I got to contribute an entry to this book, and I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s adventures in reading as well! Check out this link here for you chance to win an advanced copy of The Books They Gave Me!

The War of Art

Standard

In The War of Art: Break Through the Block and Win Your Inner Creative Battles author Steven Pressfield gives apt descriptions of the general blocks most people face in discovering and performing their creative pursuits, and discussing what it takes to overcome those difficulties and truly achieve the goals to which people aspire.

I really liked this book. The description of the mental and emotional aspects of being creative are truly like a war. I also liked the personification of Resistance; it helps to identify it as something that can actually be dealt with and confronted, instead of a vague notion that is always just beyond grasping.

Logically, I understand the whole “mark of a professional” concept that Mr. Pressfield has. However, that must be my own Resistance factor, because I found it sometimes to be a little daunting in that I struggle to write on any regular basis. At times I felt as though, according to this concept, I could never truly be a writer because I am never consistent with it.

Other than that one fly in the ointment, this book is very calming and encouraging, even in the sometimes off-beat way Mr. Pressfield instructs us to face the problem of Resistance. Once I manage to combine my two issues and face Resistance consistently, I’m sure I will start to see some positive results in my own War of Art.

Review: Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don’t Control You

Standard

Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don't Control You
Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don’t Control You by Joyce Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like this simple and straight-forward book addressing emotions and how to effectively deal with them so that they are not a disruption to your life. Joyce Meyer consistent provides logical conclusions and sound advice for controlling yourself instead of being controlled by yourself. In this particular outing she focuses on how address and move beyond limiting emotions, without denying or ignoring them in your life.

Joyce Meyer illustrates her points with real-life stories from her life and others, in ways that very relatable and encouraging to read and follow. The covers swveral different topics related to emotions, including fear, loss, and medical consitions. I like that this book, along with her other dealing with thoughts and other aspects of the mind, doesn’t pretend that emotions don’t really exist or that they are all bad, but rather addresses the thing that can most effectively conquer or build-up emotions: words. This is another one of her helpful and encouraging books.
.

I received this review book for free from the publisher, FaithWords. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

View all my reviews