You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Nonfiction’ category.
Author: Brad Formsma
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The title of this book originally caught my eye, because I do like giving! I’d recently been despairing because I realized that all the self-help books out there, while definitely useful and good, were just that–focused on self. They were all about helping you in your marriage or how to get over your past or how you could be a better cook. Please don’t get me wrong, those are all great things, and working to better ourselves by sheer default also happens to better the lives of those around us, too.
But what I was craving and felt like the Christian market was missing was a book simply focused on loving others– what we could do for them, and ideas on how to do it.
I Like Giving was the answer to that craving!
This book is filled with practical ideas, inspirational stories, and all the benefits of giving packaged in a fun, colorful book that made it easy enough to read in a day. It’s a very simple read (don’t expect fancy vocabulary or complex theological discourse), but that’s part of the appeal of the entire thing.
Anybody can read this book, and anybody can give! There’s no rule book for giving. You don’t have to be a preacher. You don’t have to have a certain degree. You don’t even have to have a big checkbook. It’s all about the heart and the honor of God being able to use you to make a difference in somebody else’s life–whether it’s as simple as giving of your time, or as big as writing a check with a lot of zeroes. Each of them are giving. And each are a beautiful thing because of the people they touch.
This book and what it talks about is something that’s very close to my heart, and it challenged me to take my giving to the next level. You can never love or give too much. You’ve heard it said: “You can’t out-give God,” and it’s true. He fills our cups to overflowing so that we can share out of the overflow, and how much joy it brings to do so! It’s one of the greatest privileges I know to be able to share God’s love and grace with others. Not because of anything I’ve done or am, but because of what He’s done and Is. Not for my name, but for His.
While I Like Giving challenged me to give more, it did it in a way that was very non-condemning. I didn’t feel guilty after reading; just inspired and encouraged by the true stories of people who gave or were given to and had their lives changed forever.
If you’re craving a book that’s radical, that might just leave you changed when you turn that last page, and, at the end of the day isn’t even really about you, then I Like Giving is your book!
(I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.)
In the spirit of I Like Giving, I will be giving away one free copy of this book to a U.S. resident! The giveaway will be open for one week starting today, August 27th, and ending on next Wednesday, September 3rd. The winner will be chosen through random.org and notified via e-mail. The winner will have until midnight Friday night (Sept. 5th) to claim their prize, or it will be given to the runner-up.
To ENTER leave a comment with your e-mail answering one of these questions: 1) Tell us about a time someone gave to you when you needed it or least expected it. What did it mean to you? or 2) Tell us about a time you gave to someone else. How did it change you?
To find out more about the “I Like Giving” organization/movement and to see more of their stories and videos, visit them here: http://www.ilikegiving.com.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
When I first saw Spoken For, I was a little worried it might be too simplistic and not that deep of a read, just because it came across as though it’s geared towards a younger audience. But the more I learned about it, the more I realized it actually seemed to fit the stage of life I’m in right now almost perfectly (early 20’s, for those of you who don’t know 🙂 ). While it was a tad simplistic in parts, I would highly recommend this book for not only teens, but also for women in their 20’s and maybe even their 30’s, that’s how good it was! Spoken For has a message every woman can relate to, and that’s about our quest for love. Our need to be desired and cherished, to hold and be held, to love and be loved.
Who doesn’t adore a good romance? The thing is, we often miss the greatest romance of all: the one we have with our Savior.
How do I describe all that this book did for me at this stage in my life? Let’s just say it was a message I desperately needed to hear, and that it left me in tears. Authors Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke helped me understand God’s love in a way I never have before in such a raw, touching way, I can honestly say this is one book that has helped change my outlook on life and relationship with my Savior forever.
There aren’t many books that can do that!
I am adopted, and while I grew up with the two most amazing, loving people I know as parents, I’ve always struggled with some feelings of rejection. So when I read the chapter called, “You Are Wanted,” I cried. I’ve never been the girl to turn heads, have never had a boyfriend, and usually hid in a corner on prom nights. So when I read, “You Are Pursued,” I bawled. And what salve to my soul to hear “You Are Loved” after a season of isolation and pain that seemed to last forever.
I also appreciated the authors’ honesty about the down times in their lives and the study questions they had at the end of every chapter as well. I usually hate those, but somehow they managed to write them in a casual, non-annoying way.
So dear broken heart, if you’re reading this right now and need tangible proof of God’s love, please pick up this book, and may you know how high, how wide, and how deep His love reaches.
Even to you.
(I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.)
Let’s Talk Book: Have you ever read a book that completely changed you or how you viewed your relationship with God?
Author: Dabney Hedegard
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
It’s not very often I use the term “inspiring” or “an inspiration” but When God Intervenes and Dabney Hedegard are just that.
When author Dabney was only six weeks pregnant, doctors found a football-sized tumor in her chest which sparked a ten-year battle with her health that included four near-death experiences.
If you don’t believe in God or are struggling with your faith right now, I dare you to read this book. I promise it will change you. I have never been so touched by a book as I have this one, and I finished it praising God and with tears in my eyes.
The miraculous events and the faithfulness of God in keeping His promises to Dabney’s family not only encouraged me and stretched my own faith, but left me in awe. Her entire story is a testament to God’s love and power, and I couldn’t more highly recommend it! If you have money enough to buy one book this entire year, use it to buy this one. That’s how good it is.
I picked up When God Intervenes thinking I’d read a few chapters and re-visit it later when I had time. I didn’t put it down until I finished it at 3:00 the next morning.
The writing is smooth, the story is riveting, and the overall message is a life-changing one. Dabney’s openness and honesty about what she was going through was so refreshing, and I was surprised to even find a little bit of humor when the book dealt with such a serious topic.
The one and only itty-bitty complaint I have has to do with the format of the book. Because you become so attached to Dabney and her family as you read, I wish they would have had a section in the middle with some photos of them. The book was so personal, I missed seeing who I was reading about. There was only one photo of the author and her family, and it was on the back of the book. And because Dabney’s story spans ten years, there was a lot of scene-hopping which was a little hard to follow at times. Although the scene/year changes were always marked, I wish they would have organized it a little more into sections, such as: “Years Before the Cancer,” “During the Cancer,” and “After the Cancer.” Something like that.
However, those two little things weren’t enough to distract me or keep me from enjoying the book as a whole.
So. I’ll summarize: BUY THIS BOOK.
(I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.)
Let’s Talk Book: I actually had the privilege of meeting this author when I went to a writing conference where she was trying to get this book published. Meeting her, I had no idea she’d been through so much.
In life, we are each a bundle of stories. I have found the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” rings true when it comes to people.
What about you? Have you ever met someone whose story surprised you?