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Winter and books go together like praise and worship. I can’t seem to enjoy one without the other. Maybe because the world continues to reel from the pandemic, political upheaval, and unrest, I’ve longed for books that encourage and exhort me spiritually. This month’s reads have done both.

Winter and books go together like praise and worship. I can’t seem to enjoy one without the other. #bookreview #christiannonfiction Click To Tweet

Perhaps you, too, will be stretched and inspired by the books I mention in this post.

 

Abby McDonald’s book grabbed me from the first sentence. It reads, “My husband has an uncanny ability to notice people others don’t.”  Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God is a book about perspective. It’s about choosing to live from a place of eternal hope even in the midst of hard-edged life.

Tackling the challenge of trials from a Biblical standpoint, the author addresses such difficult problems as unanswered prayer and seeing the world through the legalist’s prism. Abby invites women into her own life as well as the lives of others who have struggled to see God in the dark places of struggle.

I’m new to Abby’s reading circle but I plan to stay. This book is a wonderful, timely read. You may want buy an extra (or two) to share with a friend.

Favorite quote:...everything we say, do, or achieve in this life either contributes to the temporary realm or the eternal realm.#fromthebookshelf #shiftbookreview Click To Tweet

 

Prolific author, speaker, and president of Right to the Heart Ministries, Linda Evans Shepherd has written another go-to book, Praying Through Every Emotion: Experiencing God’s Peace No Matter What. Linda’s powerful and insightful prayers are written to engage the reader across a variety of emotions including those that are celebrated–such as blessedness and joy–to the more difficult emotional responses with which we all struggle like guilt, strife, or trust. She digs even deeper by including prayers that take on the emotions of shame, suicidality, and disillusionment.

Each scripture-based prayer is adjacent to a series of Bible verses aligned to that specific heavenly appeal.

This book is for anyone who is struggling to manage the drama and trauma of 2020 and its twin sister, 2021. It would be a thoughtful gift for the grieving, fearful, or uncertain–which may include most of us this year.

This book is for anyone who is struggling to manage the drama and trauma of 2020 and its twin sister, 2021--which may include most of us this year. #LindaShepherd #booksaboutprayer Click To Tweet

Favorite quote: “When I look to You, the darkness flees and hope lights my way.”

Spiritual Intelligence: The Art of Thinking Like God stretched the way I view daily life. It forced me to consider whether or not a Christian can develop spiritual intelligence in the same way one might grow her emotional quotient or intellectual capacity.

Pastor Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church writes, “The reason we don’t tap into the wisdom of the age to come is because we settle for the wisdom of the age we live in.  Instead of doing the “reasonable thing,” you press into prayer and ask God…”

Not the typical publication on an evangelical Christian’s reading list, this book may require another read. I’ve underlined statements that stirred my heart and placed large question marks by claims or scriptural interpretations I’d like to investigate further. Spiritual Intelligence encouraged me to consider areas of my faith that I hadn’t before and to pursue those God continues to develop.

Favorite quote: “So many Christians live reactively from earth toward heaven, instead of living from heaven toward earth.”

 

I’d love to know what you have on your bookshelf right now. What are your latest recommendations? I may need to include them in my next round of reviews.

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

P. S. I often linkup with these other wonderful bloggers.

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsMandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup

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If you’re hoping to discover a few good reads this fall, take a peek behind these book covers. They are sure to edify, challenge, and encourage your heart.

I'd forgotten to breathe in life and Light in the middle of mothering, marriage, and messy life. Click To Tweet

In a year marked by personal and global change, I’ve been forced to slow down. To stop making excuses and finally consider whether or not I’m stewarding my time and body well. When I read Kelly Balarie’s new book, Rest Now: 7 Ways to Say No, Set Boundaries, and Seize Joy, it was as I though I recognized my reflection in the mirror.

I’d forgotten to breathe in life and Light in the middle of mothering, marriage, and messy life. If you can relate, you may want to pick up a copy of Balarie’s book. It is a guide for getting away with Christ and learning to rest in Him. You’ll discover how to rest in weakness, forgiveness, humility, and more.

To cultivate what is most important is to live a life of great importance. Click To Tweet

Quote: “To cultivate what is most important is to live a life of great importance. Then moments have meaning. We give ourselves permission to be where we are. When we’re with our family, we can truly be with them. And when we’re with God, we’ll really be with God.”

 

Julie Lavender has created a go-to guide for every parent, grandparent, teacher, or any other person who enjoys spending time with little ones. Whether you’re stuck inside, far from home, snuggling, or playing games, you’ll find a variety of ways to engage that special child and brighten his days with moments that will last a lifetime.

This book would be a perfect shower gift or stocking stuffer! I highly recommend it.

Favorite Idea: Go for an outside prayer walk with your child. Pray aloud, thanking God for the provision of a roof over your heads and the love of family.

 

 

 

Practicing the Power of Prayer: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life by Sam Storms was a thought-provoking year marked by personal and global change, I’ve been forced to slow down, faith-stretching book. It’s the sort of “meaty” book I’ll read again because it isn’t quickly digested. Storms brings depth to topics almost all Christians can agree on, such as prayer, while tackling more controversial subjects, like prophecy.

Whether you agree or disagree with Storms, this book is sure to challenge your views of how the Holy Spirit operates.

Fasting tenderizes our hearts to experience the presence of God. Click To Tweet

Quote: “Fasting tenderizes our hearts to experience the presence of God. It expands the capacity of our souls to hear his voice and be assured of his love and be filled with the fullness of his joy.”

 

 

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This month I’ve been in a wonderful reading frenzy and have several nonfiction Christian books to recommend. I’ve ventured into a couple of others, but I’m not far enough along to share yet. Maybe you’ll find a few to add to your reading list as we move into chilly autumn days.

 

 

“Jesus knows where you’ve hidden your pain.” Author and pastor John Chasteen gets straight to the point and penetrates deep.

His book, Half the Battle, Healing the Hidden Hurts, challenges the reader to examine the wound festering inside. The one tucked safely away. The one sequestered in the dark places where it’s coddled and protected.

Whether our battle wounds resulted from a slanderous friend, abusive childhood, or painful divorce, Chasteen urges his readers to give Christ the worst of the pain in order to access the “stench behind the stone”.

Rich with both Old and New Testament references and a leader’s guide, this short book is both memorable and practical.

 

 

I wish this book had been available when I sported mall bangs and bangles on my wrists. A neighbor might have quietly slipped this book into my mother’s giant, 1980’s bag. This book might have made a difference then.

It certainly will now.

Charlene D. Quint has written a powerful, frank, in-depth book entitled Overcoming the Narcissist, Sociopath, Psychopath, and Other Domestic Abusers. Why is this book necessary? As the author notes, “In addition to rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, studies show that approximately 40 percent of women report verbal abuse, emotional violence, or coercive control by an intimate partner.”

 

 

...studies show that approximately 40 percent of women report verbal abuse, emotional violence, or coercive control by an intimate partner. #stop domestic violence Click To Tweet

Chapters cover such difficult topics as spiritual abuse, extramarital affairs, and divorce. Charlene, attorney and survivor, also shares how and why victims of abuse should create a safety plan, provides a multi-faceted response to the question, Why does she stay? and provides startling information about the impact of domestic violence on children.

This book would be a great resource to individuals who are living with domestic abusers, those who have survived domestic violence, counselors, therapists, and church leaders. Perhaps a neighbor you know needs this book. Maybe you do.

Note: Direct quotes from some people do include profanity.


Bend: When Life Dares You to Break, is an uplifting read penned by former journalist and author, Beth Lueders. Gathering the stories of people who survived despite incredible circumstances, Bend provides hope in a world that aches for it.

Pieced together in a fresh, easily digestible format, Bend is a collection of narratives from people around the globe and various faiths. Leuders does offer her own view of how God interceded on behalf of each person and suggests the reader consider the way in which each situation might impact his or her life.

If you’re searching for encouragement and poetic loveliness during this challenging time, Bend may be the book you’ve been waiting to discover.

Order author-signed copies of Bend directly from Beth at BethLueders.com.

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link-up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragements Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup

 

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It’s time for another round of book reviews and I have several to share! I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.

 

 

The Marriage Ark

The Marriage Ark is a solid, practical book for couples who want to grow and develop together throughout marriage. Easy to read and apply, each chapter ends with reflection questions that a couple can discuss and apply. Phillips guides the reader through such important topics as communication, intimacy in relationship, and grace. If a couple or group would like to engage in a quick study together, The Marriage Ark would be a great place to start.

 

 

MyHeart

A lovely book of poems by a trusted, faithful woman of God, My Heart, Ever His: Prayers for Women is a book ladies can turn to again and again for encouragement and hope. Without shying away from difficult topics, the author emphasizes God’s character and reminds the reader of His enduring faithfulness in every circumstance. This is a book worth keeping yourself and one you’ll want to purchase for those you love.

 

Stop

 

Stop Calling Me Beautiful is a powerfully written reminder that Christian women need more than just “milk” in order to grow in their faith; they require ‘solid food’. Masonheimer convincingly argues that women are taught the less important truth-that they are beautiful-without being taught the fundamental truths about Christ. As a result, women are leading empty lives attempting to earn their way to heaven, overcome anxiety, or bear the burden of sexual sin without understanding the basics of the faith.

An honest, insightful book for the woman struggling with questions about her faith, legalism, or particular areas of sin, Stop Calling Me Beautiful is also a call to Christian women’s ministry leaders to go deeper with the women they serve.

I couldn’t stop highlighting the pages of the ebook I was reading and I plan to order a hardcopy. This book grabbed me; it’s about actionable faith rather than getting caught up in competitive Christianity. I highly recommend this book!

 

RubysWorry

 

Although Ruby’s Worry was published a couple of years ago, it’s the perfect read for little ones who are struggling with big worries. The character in this book discovers her worry grows bigger and takes up more space in her life until she learns to talk about it with someone. Tom Percival has provided a wonderful tool for children to begin to identify and discuss anxiety or worry.

 

I hope one or two of these books make their way into your reading pile and challenge the way you think, stir your thoughts, or encourage your heart.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I sometimes link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend Fresh Market Fridays

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These are a few of the books I’ve enjoyed the last few weeks. They’ve all enriched my life in their own way and I highly recommend them. I’d love to know what you’re reading. Please let me know in the comment section. My list grows longer, but one can never read too many books.

Peace and grace,

Tammy


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strength of a Woman: 31 Days to Celebrating Your Place in Proverbs 31 is the most unique, interesting study of the Proverbs 31 woman I’ve ever encountered. Author Lauren Crews delves into the historicity of the acrostic proverb by examining the meaning of each Hebrew letter that introduces each line of the poem.

Lauren reveals a different perspective of the Proverbs 31 woman than the one I’ve come to expect. Instead of a woman with impossible standards, she becomes an exemplar. Rather than a woman against whom I’m compared, she becomes a woman of encouragement. A woman of spiritual strength and wisdom clothed with heavenly power. A woman to admire and emulate.

For those who are lovers of words and etymology, you’ll discover a wealth of information about original meanings as well as how those definitions practically apply in today’s world to the married, single, divorced, or widowed woman.

Strength of a Woman is a book that exhorts, uplifts, and educates while encouraging the believer to follow after the Lord. This wonderful Bible study, written with questions for reflection at the end of each chapter, is one every woman should read.

Lauren reveals a different perspective of the Proverbs 31 woman than the one I've come to expect.#Strength@LaurenCrews Click To Tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anjuli Paschall’s book, Stay: Discovering Grace, Freedom, and Wholeness Where You Never Imagined Looking, is a lovely, flow-of-thought look at life as one woman grapples with identity within the context of faith. Plucking scenarios from her life, Anjuli creates beautiful prose to illustrate the importance of staying with the difficult emotions, the hard places, and the God who loves us in order to become the woman we were created to become.

The book is so lyrically captivating and emotive that it is worth the read.#stay #anjulipaschall Click To Tweet

Ephemeral and airy, Stay is more philosophical and poetic than practical. It is inspiring, not empirical. There are no action steps, prayers, or points for consideration. However, the book is so lyrically captivating and emotive that it is worth the read. Anjuli will pull you into her world with rich, captivating words that cause you to explore the depth of your own pain, joy, and faith.

You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by pastor Keion Henderson, The Shift: Courageously Moving From Season to Season, is penned for those who are living “between”. Men and women who are grappling with the challenge of change; the movement of life. Whether they’re experiencing the shift from parenting as a couple to single parenting, living on a steady income to a fixed income, or surviving in the time of a worldwide pandemic, The Shift is a book that transforms hopelessness into opportunity.

This is one book I'll be adding to my Christmas list-especially for the men in my life.#powerful@WorthyPublishing Click To Tweet

Having grown up in the inner city and abandoned by his father, Keion Henderson knows about hardship. But he is also familiar with the change in perspective a person can have when we’re sure God has a purpose for our lives.

This book is one I’ll be adding to my Christmas list-especially for the men in my life. It’s powerful and timely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new Easter favorite.#honorsChrist @JillRomanLord Click To Tweet

Jill Roman Lord has penned another delightful rhyming read for the littles in your life. If you’ve been searching for a new Easter favorite, consider this sweet padded book. Not only does this book honor Christ, but your bundle of joy will be wriggling with delight as you share words that slide off the tongue from this favorite children’s author.

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

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I’ve read several books in the last couple of months and have been looking forward to sharing them with you. While the list of books I hope to read continues to grow, I never seem to find quite as much time as I’d like to indulge my favorite habit. Can anyone relate?

 

Platinum Faith: Live Brilliant, Be Resilient, and Know Your Worth written by power team, Michelle Medlock Adams and Bethany Jett, grabbed me from the first paragraph. Heart-touching stories written for every woman who ever wondered if she’s worth the fight or believed Jesus might have died for her pretty, put-together-best-friend but really didn’t intend to forgive her hot mess of a life is the book you want to buy now if you need Biblical encouragement from two woman who wrap you in a hug with authenticity. Discussion questions that work well for personal reflection or small-group study are included at the end of each chapter.

Sharing their thoughts throughout the book, Bethany and Michelle alternate as the voice behind each chapter. Sidebars highlighting helpful insights are also included.

This book is Biblically sound and rich with encouragement. It’s a wonderful book and worth buying a few extra copies to share with the women in your life. I cannot wait for these two ladies to collaborate on their next book.

 

 

Stay: Discovering Grace, Freedom, and Wholeness Where You never Imagined Looking by Anjuli Paschall is a prose-like narrative of different events throughout Anjuli’s life. She addresses everything from self-hatred and loneliness to the excruciating pain of spiritual brokenness and the simple, mundane moments of marriage and family life.

Crafting each chapter like a scene in a play, Paschall draws back the curtain and invites readers to examine the messy areas of her heart. It is in the mire she discovered God’s grace and, ultimately, where the reader will find Him-if one is willing.

If you’re looking for practical tips or action steps, this isn’t the book for you. However, if you enjoy beautiful, lilting prose and want to sit across the table from your best girlfriend discussing vulnerable, raw moments of living for Christ Stay may be the book you’ve been waiting to read.

Available for pre-order. https://www.amazon.com/Stay-Discovering-Freedom-Wholeness-Imagined

 

 

I chose to read Eyewitness to Crucifixion: The Romans, the Cross, and the Sacrifice of Jesus by Stephen Miller because my husband have planned to visit Rome this summer. While our plans may change depending upon the current state of the coronavirus, I did enjoy reading this book. While I felt Mr. Miller’s writing was dry and sometimes disjointed, his research was and supporting documents were topnotch. If you can overlook the writing and enjoy either art or western history, then you’ll be amazed by the research Miller must have done to piece together Eyewitness.

Although I don’t intend to read another of Miller’s books, I’ve passed the book along to my husband who earned an undergraduate degree in history. This might be a good fit for a seminarian or something to read with your teens at Easter as you consider Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

 

I’d love to know what books you’re reading right now. Add to my list! There can never be enough books tucked beneath my reading table.

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend Fresh Market Fridays

 

 

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As soon as the words slipped off of my tongue, my son raised a brow. “You’re not ‘just one Christian woman’. Mom, you’re a powerful woman of God. You are a warrior.” Surprised by his assessment, I paused and then felt a prompting from within. You are a warrior. 

Tucking the thought away, I only returned to it when I burrowed into Tina Yeager’s book, Beautiful Warrior, a few days later. Brimming with rich stories and therapeutic exercises for women and older teen girls who struggle with their worth and value, this book is one I wish I’d had when I spent a long, dry season in the wilderness convinced I had nothing of value to offer my husband, family, or friends. Walking through depression and isolated by loneliness, I felt trapped and alone even in the midst of a Sunday church crowd. 

Acknowledging a toxic pattern is the first step toward removing barriers to a victorious life of purpose and blessings

Author Tina Yeager, a licensed mental health counselor, reveals her personal struggles with identity and shares openly about her struggles with comparison, self-loathing, and seeking approval from others.

Beautiful Warrior helps women move beyond the futility of comparison, approval seeking, and attacking oneself with lies of the worst kind by moving into the truth of God’s love and embracing the uniqueness of being “fearfully and wonderfully made” as His beloved daughter.

The honest vulnerability Tina  weaves throughout Beautiful Warrior invites the reader to examine her own heart and experience with as much raw openness–as if speaking with a trusted companion.

But, this book isn’t one that leads the reader down a path of simple platitudes. It’s rich with scripture and includes a set of questions and action steps at the end of each chapter to encourage and guide her as she steps out of the ill-fitting garb of shame, self-hatred and lies and suits up in the armor of Christ.

If you’ve ever struggled with your value, ever doubted you matter, ever slandered your own existence then Beautiful Warrior is a book you won’t be able to put down.  In a world in which perfection is airbrushed and value seems unattainable, when women long for relationship but fear rejection, Tina Yeager’s book is sorely needed.

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