Thursday, January 26, 2017

How's Your Soul? by Judah Smith


How's Your Soul?: Why Everything that Matters Starts with the Inside You by Judah Smith is an easy to read primer on the importance of maintaining the health of one's soul. Using scripture as the basis of what a healthy soul needs, Smith elaborates on each need with personal anecdotes and analogies that help the reader relate to each need.

Smith is an entertaining writer. How's Your Soul? uses humor which makes the text both approachable and easy to relate to. Smith also maintains a good balance between being solidly based on scripture while not being overly spiritual. How's Your Soul? can be understood and appreciated by Christians and non-Christians alike. Smith makes each point relevant to a broad audience without compromising the supremacy of scripture.

I'd recommend How's Your Soul? to anyone who has ever felt the busy pace of life overwhelming them. Anyone who has ever felt that something isn't quite write with their inner self will benefit from this book.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Friday, January 20, 2017

Visioneering by Andy Stanley

Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision the Revised and Updated Edition by Andy Stanley sets out a clear course for anyone who feels the burden of a vision. Using practical advice, the biblical story of Nehemiah, and experience from his life and others, Stanley walks the reader through the birth of a vision to seeing it through long term.

The story of Nehemiah is used throughout Visioneering to illustrate the principles Stanley puts forth. This ties the whole thing together and helps the reader remember key points such as distinguishing between  a good idea and a God idea, avoiding distractions, and the importance of maintaining one's moral authority. 

Much of what one reads in Visioneering could be mistaken for self help, positive thinking train of thought if taken out of context. The key difference is the ground these statements have in scripture.Stanley never wavers from the grounding a vision will have in God's plan both for an individual life and the world. 

The revised and updated edition includes questions at the end of every chapter to help the reader apply that chapter's principle to his or her vision. There is also a small group discussion guide included at the end of the book with advice for the discussion leader. Each "Building Block" is highlighted in the text, and there is a list of these blocks with page numbers included at the front of the book for easy reference. Like all of Stanley's books, Visioneering is easy to read and understand. I would recommend it to anyone who has an idea and could use some guidance as to how to best develop and pursue it. 

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Tough As They Come by SSG Travis Mills

Tough As They Come by SSG Travis Mills is the autobiography of one modern soldier who sustained and overcame catastrophic injuries while serving in Afghanistan. Part of the famous 82nd Airborne Division, Staff Sergeant Mills was six weeks into his third tour of duty when he triggered an IED. The explosion left him a quadruple amputee as he became the fourth such survivor of the war on terror.

SSG Mills' story is a pretty typical one until his injury. He recounts growing up a star football player in small town America. He enlisted after feeling aimless and unfulfilled during his short time in college. He met and married his wife in a whirlwind romance between his first and second tours, and they had a baby girl between his second and third tours.

The first three quarters of so of Tough As They Come is about SSG Mills' life before his injury. It includes amusing anecdotes from his childhood and stories about his experiences during his first two tours. As an infantryman and a paratrooper he saw a lot of action and served his second tour in the remotest, barest regions of Afghanistan. His personality comes through the description of his life. Its obvious he looks at things positively and uses humor to deal with tough things. He loves hard, works hard, and play hard. All of these things would come into play during the recovery from his injuries.

It's obvious SSG Mills doesn't view himself has a hero, though he is, just as are all the other men and women who have served our country. His tenacity and spirit are great examples for anyone facing adversity. Tough As They Come is easy to read as it feels like one is just listening to an entertaining storyteller. It's well written and appropriately paced. The excerpts of his wife's journals and other recollections from people in his life add a unique flavor that give credibility to Mills' character and personality.

I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in stories about overcoming adversity. Those interested in the stories of soldiers or the war on terror should also read this book.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

God Made You Nose to Toes by Leslie Parrott

God Made You Nose to Toes by Leslie Parrott is a children's book about the different body parts God gave each of us. From our hands and feet to our ears and eyes, God gave us parts that have ability to do everything we need.

By comparing human body parts to that of different animals, the author communicates the uniqueness of each of God's creatures. Even though they may look different from others, God gave each of us the parts He did. The message is that God loves us just as we are, and is interested in what makes us unique. Its a perfect message for any child, especially as they begin to notice differences between people. 

This is a very sturdy children's book that is perfect for the littlest readers. The cover is padded and the corners rounded. The pages are made of thick cardboard and are easy to turn. Each page only has four lines of text, and everything rhymes. The rest of the pages are covered in beautiful, vibrantly colored illustrations. The bright colors and large pictures should catch and hold the attention of any child. I'd recommend this book to anyone with a child.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255