Rise Of The Mystics by Ted Dekker – Beyond The Circle Book 2

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It all started with Black and someone by the name of Thomas Hunter, who entered another world – Other Earth as it’s called, and radically changed things by saving the world from an airborne virus.

All these years later, Rachelle, a girl born blind who was also able to enter this Other Earth,  changed the world as well, finding the first 3 seals in the previous book, only having two seals left to find…

Rachelle Matthew’s character is beautifully written, how she struggles to figure out what is going on and why she thinks things. She knows how to stand strong against the darkness that is in front of her, both in the present world and Other Earth. Some familiar faces return, as they play an amazing part.

Ted Dekker is one of my favourite writers and I have been a fan of The Circle Series since I first found out about it. Now, all of these years later (or has it been?), comes the conclusion of Beyond The Circle.

Ted Dekker hooks you with every page turning scene without wanting to put the book down. It is another heart-pumping adrenaline ride, finding out what happens to Rachelle Matthews and her father, along with Vlad Smith and everyone else. It is so beautifully written – every scene, every character. How they work together or against, and just how evident Christianity is within the pages of this book. It’s almost like a modern version of The Chronicles of Narnia if it could be compared to that.

Ted Dekker knows how to write, and he writes so amazingly well.

If you haven’t read the first book in the adventures of Rachelle Matthews, I would definitely recommend you read that. Further, then that, I would even recommend reading Black, Red, White, and Green – The Circle Series. They aren’t necessary to read Beyond The Circle, but they might help you gain some better insight I think is the right word?

If you want a book series that is absolutely worth the money, I would highly recommend this book.

Is the Circle truly finished?

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.

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The Return – Lacey Sturm

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Honestly, I was really excited to read this book. I’m not just talking about how she was in Flyleaf, but I’m talking about the fact that every book that she has published, she is openly honest with everything.

This is, I believe the third book that she has released, and they only get better and better. Lacey Sturm, is open, honest, and does not hold anything back. She truly writes from the heart and in this book, amongst personal stories (and even recipes!), she dives in the topic of how do we love God back?

It can be a tough pill to swallow sometimes, depending on the circumstances and what is happening in our lives. It could be a number of things, and all of these can change the how that we look at God. The thing is though, even in the circumstances that we are facing in our lives, we just need to love God back because He first loved us.

Being honest, Lacey is one of my favourite non-fiction authors simply because of how honestly open she is, because she wants to the readers to find the joy in loving God back how she found it.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.

 

Selfies Book review

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Selfies by Craig Detweiler is a look at how God is portrayed through the age of social media.

Pretty much everyone has a smartphone. All of those people all over the world take numerous pictures of themselves, or “Selfies” as they are called. Pictures are posted on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and pretty much everywhere else that a picture can be posted online.

Throughout this book, Craig takes a serious look at how this phenomenon changes the way people look at God. Does God perhaps get shoved to the back burner because we are so occupied with taking pictures of ourselves, or even looking at photographs that our friends or other people have posted online?

This book also looks at how we can move from a place that is so focused on ourselves to a place that God wants us to be in so that we can grow in Him and what is wanted for our lives instead of always focusing on what pop culture and the world gravitates towards. this generation needs to push past the boundaries that culture has placed on them, and they, along with all of us, need to be the people that God has called us to be. We need to represent Christ and be Jesus to the people that we all meet on the streets, instead of them seeing us always on our cell phones.

We need to get back to the real world.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Brazo Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.

Facing The Blitz – Three Strategies for Turning Trials Into Triumphs by Jeff Kemp

“In football, a blitz is an all-out attack. Defenses use them to force the quarterback into a mistake and create mayhem and destruction. But by its nature the blitz also creates an opportunity for the quarterback and his team, as it leaves holes in the defense. What looks like the worst play can become the best.” (taken from http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/facing-the-blitz/355352)

A blitz is something crazy, it’s something that can cause panic and change the order of things like maybe a little bit of organized chaos. A blitz can also change things for the better, like in football, whereas someone doesn’t expect a certain something  to happen from you and their absolutely excited about it. Thing’s in life happen a lot whether it’s good, bad or somewhere in between. We won’t know what kind of ‘blitz’ it will be until we face it head on.

That’s exactly like this book. Jeff Kemp does an excellent job discussing the ‘blitz’ play of football and how it relates to our personal lives, where it’s a turn for the worse, or maybe just something that’s unexpected but it turns out to be something amazing later on down the road. He gives key examples from his own life, which definitely helped me to connect more with the book, and describes how he turns the blitzes of our lives into something victorious.

Kind of like the time in the bible where the Israelites were facing off against the Philistines and this super tall guy named Goliath came out to fight, and the Israelites were scared. I’d say that would be a blitz right there. Then David, who isn’t nearly as tall as Goliath shows up, and he faces the giant, defeating him in the end.

See, a blitz we go through in life might seem rough at the start, but give it time and who knows what might happen next. Jeff explanations of things were easy enough for anyone to read, and anyone whose facing things in life to try and change them for the better. Though there might  be some situations that might be a little different, who knows. There’s a lot of key elements that I’ll be reminding myself of time and time again because they are so important in travelling this road that we call life.

I definitely give this book a 4 out of 5.
The book is absolutely amazing, anyone going through anything(Which is probably all of us) should read this, to help us grow when we start facing difficult ‘blitzes that come our way.
The only reason I’m giving it a 4 is that I was provided this as an e-book for reviewing purposes and it was missing possibly about 4 chapters, Don’t take that as saying, I don’t want missing chapters. Don’t do that, just go and read this book and watch how it can transform your life.

Jeff Kemp quarterbacked in the NFL for eleven years, playing for the Rams, the 49ers, the Seahawks, and the Eagles. He and his father, Jack Kemp, were the first father-son quarterbacks in NFL history. Today Jeff speaks at community events, churches, men’s and marriage conferences, business conferences, and prayer breakfasts.

In 2012 Jeff joined FamilyLife as a vice president, networking and speaking on how to strengthen families. His other networks include the Marriage CoMission and Fatherhood CoMission, National Coalition of Ministries to Men, Pro Athletes Outreach, Athletes in Action, NFL Players Association, and The Jack Kemp Foundation. (From the Author Bio section of the Bethany House website.)

Jeff and his wife, Stacy, live in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.

The Reason – How I Discovered A Life Worth Living By Lacey Sturm Book Review

There is a reason you exist . . . 

The day Lacey Sturm planned to kill herself was the day her old life ended. As an atheist who hated Christians, she thought church was a place for hypocrites, fakers, and simpletons. After a screaming match with her grandmother, she ended up in the back of a sanctuary, hating everyone in the room. But what happened in that room is The Reason she is alive today.

With raw vulnerability, this hard rock princess tells her story of physical abuse, depression, suicidal struggles, and more–and her ultimate salvation. She asks the hard questions–Why am I here? Why am I empty? Why should I go on living?–showing that beyond the temporary highs and the soul-crushing lows is a reason each of us exists and a purpose for our lives. (Taken from Http://Bakerpublishinggroup.com.)

So, I’m just going to say this right off the bat, how many people are getting this book because they listen to Flyleaf?

To  be honest, you don’t even need to listen to Flyleaf to read this book. This is the story of one woman and how her life turned completely around, having one mind frame, and then having something completely different. It’s raw, crazy, beautiful, amazing – I could probably have a big long list of words I could use to describe this book, but I’m not sure if you would have time to finish reading this review.

The reason that I decided to get this book and review it is because I knew who Lacey was, being in Flyleaf. I only had heard a few of the songs before, but I recognized the name.

Why do I like this book so much? Because of the passion you can read in the words on the page as she’s writing them down. It’s just a beautiful and wonderful book, the ups and downs and everything in between and how God changed her life. It’s a crazy book, but that’s what makes it beautiful. She isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind and you can definitely feel the raw emotion.
I was so absolutely excited to get this book. There were parts that I was reading, and I was thinking it’s kind of like me in a way.
It’s simply an absolutely, truly amazing book and you can just feel the thought and dedication she put into writing it.

Just go buy this book and have your mind blown at how amazing is it and how much you’re life will change.
Just do it.

Lacey Sturm is a mother, wife, writer, speaker, and musician. Originally the voice behind the platinum-selling international rock band Flyleaf, she is now a solo artist. But most of all, she is one of God’s works of art, and she wants others to know and understand how special, how beautiful, how kaleidoscopically wonderful we are all made. Lacey speaks for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and its Rock the River events. She cofounded the Whosoever Movement and helped begin the RESET movement as one of their key speakers. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family. For more information, visit http://www.laceysturm.com.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Do you NEGU? Never Ever Give Up by Erik Rees and Jenna Glatzer book review


QUICK OVERVIEW:

When Jessica Joy Rees is diagnosed with two inoperable brain tumors at age 11, she focuses on bringing hope, joy, and love to other children fighting cancer through her Never Ever Give Up message and fun-filled JoyJars—64oz plastic jars filled with toys and love delivered throughout the world. (From The Zondervan Website.)

Some say one person can’t change the world, things are too far gone. Well I dare whoever thinks like that, read this book and think the same after. One person can definitely change the world, or the country, but that’s where things start. They only go uphill from there.

I’ll be honest. I got a blog review email about reading this book, somehow it ended in my junk mail which was weird, and I  don’t know why, but I didn’t respond right away when I got it. I do like real, true stories. When I did finally get the book, starting to read it I knew that I wouldn’t be able to put it down (I did sleep though, so don’t worry)

Here’s the story of one girl, who was absolutely fine her whole life, and then one day out of nowhere, things begin to change, things start happening that no one was expecting at all. And sometimes we have no control over what happens, but it does, and all we can think about is why? We don’t have all the answers though.

Jessie on the other hand, thought about others before her, even with what she was going through, and brought joy and smiles to everyone else with what she did.  Through her hurt and pain, she saw something else. She helped other kids who were joing through cancer, even when she was hurting! The world doesn’t think like that at all.

The Message of what Jessie started all those years ago is still around. Who knew how much of an impact one person could make and the lasting effects it has on us all.You want to read a story of determination, faith, selflessness, and God’s amazing love that in some way we have no idea what it really is? Go read this book. You cannot be moved, you cannot be challenged, you cannot be motived more from just this book alone.  You definitely might not have a dry eye after finishing this.Jessie started something, and I think wherever we are, that Erik would want us to do the same things that Jessie did, and help spread a little Joy all around, it might not have to be something like the Joy Jars, but that little bit of Joy could mean a whole lot more than you could ever imagine and it could start a whole chain reaction. The world be so much better.
Go ahead, even check out the foundation website – http://negu.org
This is an Advanced Reader’s copy courtesy of Zondervan for review purposes

Unwrapping Lazarus by Pete Carter Book Review

You are invited by God into a life beyond imagining.

Do you wish your faith were greater? Do you suspect that bigger things are offered by a bigger God than you have dared to hope for? The destructive thoughts and behaviors that bind you can be unwrapped–just as Lazarus was unwrapped from his bindings at the mouth of his tomb–freeing you to walk into the supernatural. (Taken from Baker Publishing Group website.)

Do we want something bigger than what we have now? Do we want something, do we crave more than what we have right now in this life? It’s questions that I know I’ve been asking and you have possibly asked yourself. Something that’s holding us back from living in what God wants us to live is ourselves. We aren’t perfect, we are only human. We have pressures coming at us from the world around us and all of the influences that it holds.

It’s like Tug of War and we’re in the middle.

Pete Carter goes through some of the things in this book that can help us free ourselves from the struggles and everything else that we’re fighting with and helps us realize the potential we have and how we can live a bigger life of Faith with God. God doesn’t want us to hold back, he wants everything. We have to, we need unwrap ourselves from everything that keep ourselves closed in – the thoughts, the behaviours, everything that keeps us away from what God wants for us.

It’s like the Peanuts character Linus. He always has the same blanket that he holds onto. Now think of that as the security, the unGodly thoughts, everything that the world thinks we should have. Reading this book, it’s like unwrapping ourselves from that blue blanket, and giving ourselves totally to what God wants for us.

This book, is simple and easy to read. Also providing the real, true stories that he’s experienced helps with understanding everything a lot more, than someone whose written this book  with words that are way over everyone’s head.

Go out and read this book.
It’s one of the many tools that will help transform your life for the better.

About The Author
Pete Carter is part of the senior leadership team of North Kent Community Church in the United Kingdom. He has passion to see good medical practice and Christian healing work side by side. He is a popular speaker and part of the teaching staff of the Revival Alliance network of Bethel Church, Redding, California. He and his wife, Kim, live in New Ash Green in the southeast of England and enjoy being parents and grandparents.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.