I remember the few times I was a part of a church similiar to the one inChurched, and it caused memories to be stirred that I had never thought much about. Matthew Paul Turner shares some of the experiences in a fundamental Baptist church that shaped who he is today.
The books goes forward and backward through various times that Turner was a kid, and teenager. He reflects that the church's main feeling it evoked in him was fear. If you get lost in the wackiness of the stories you may miss the point Turner tries to make with each character in the book whether it be how they added to his confusion, or helped him to eventually find hope as an adult. This book is not just about growing up as a Baptist, but it is also about learning how to find hope in God.
I found the book to be relatable, because I have experienced, and witnessed a few things mentioned in the book. I have known the debilitating fear that can be instilled when you are a child. Another point that stood out to me was how the church lost the importance of an individual finding Christ in the pride of the numbers of people that had became Christians, particularly children. I knew people that became Christians through a few church related visits, but were never guided, or showed interest in afterward because they became a number for the church to boast about. This book reflects on many points similiar to this, and it will leave you either offended or encouraged that someone is stepping up to discuss what many people have experienced.
Turner ends the final chapter by providing hope in the church even after the experience that confused him about his beliefs as an adult. If you are a member of a Baptist church that has many similiar views as the one he attended then you will probably not enjoy the book. If you have had a similiar experience as Turner, then you will feel the setbacks, and hope that Turner provides in sharing his journey. Turner sought many churches with his wife before finding one that renewed his strength to continue finding Jesus in a society that has many imperfections.
I received this complimentary copy from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for a review.
Sometimes we make decisions that we regret, and it can be difficult to move on from those choices. In Making the Best of a Bad Decision, Lutzer explains the types of choices we make, and how to overcome the consquences of those mistakes.
The book does a good job of covering serious bad decisions people make, and then following through with how to find strength when moving forward. Biblical characters are used to help readers understand that God will forgive us no matter how serious the mistake was. King David seems to be most referred to in this book.
Lutzer writes how to make the best of what we choose very simply, but sometimes are mistakes are not so simple to get past. He does make it point to mention this, and that sometimes are consequences will never leave us no matter how much we work to move on completely. The examples he gives really help to strengthen his point, and give proof that people have moved past some difficult situations, but sometimes only the individual can judge how to go about their situation. This book should provide some guidance if you are needing something to help you through a decision that has affected you negatively.
This book is encouraging to someone who may feel hopeless because of choices they have made in the past. The book's last chapter leaves the reader to ponder making the ultimate decision in their life, which is a great way to allow the reader to ponder the change Jesus can make on their life. A reader will feel empowered and encouraged that God is there for them even after they made wrong decisions. Lutzer gives enough scenarios for anyone to find something hopefuly in this book.
This complimentary copy was provided by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review.
Scotty is nearing the end of her journey that she knows as a teenager, and in this book she begins to transition to adulthood. Along the way she learns forgiveness, and heartache while beginning to understand what it is to trust Jesus.
I really enjoyed this final novel in the Hollywood Nobody series. There are many answers that are built up throughout the series that are finally answered such, whether Scotty's mom will be found, and if Scotty and Seth finally see each other as more than friends. Not everything has a simple answer just as you would expect in real life, but Scotty finally gets the answers she needs. The characters all brought lessons to the table in the book, and Scotty has her own lessons to learn and share. There is not much for me to say that I did not enjoy about the book, since I would recommend it to anyone who is a teen or is not to read. The writing can be a bit confusing since Lisa Samson does not clarify who is saying the dialogue in a traditional manner.
Overall I really enjoyed the book, and found that it conveyed a character attempting to understand who Jesus was and how to live by his teaching, which is a great change to read. This book could be a great read for anyone even though its intended audience is teens.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review 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 Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
David Ponder is called on once again to seek the principles that not only will improve his life, but will save the human race. He meets a variety of historical characters that help him brainstorm what these principles are.
The first book, The Traveler's Gift, was interested to read, but this time around something is missing from this sequel that was in the first one. The book provides much historical insight in a fictional way to people who existed in history. It is missing a way to feel for these characters though.
Much of the book seems like dialogue, and there is not much action. I feel a book needs some type of action because you cannot have characters sitting at a table figuring out what to do the whole time, and that is what seemed to be happening in this book. I did look forward to seeing which historical character they would encounter next, and what principle that person would share, but it was difficult to read when I always knew that what would be next was more discussion amongst the characters. The Traveler's Gift was a good start to this series, but The Final Summitdid not live up to what the first book was. It provides good historical insight, and does stir enough interest to keep you reading, but it needs more action.
This book was provided by Booksneeze in exchange for a review.
This book is set in the 1800s and follows Ann Miller as she witnesses slavery, and what it means to be a young woman living during this time. After meeting Will Hanby she finds herself torn between two men.
I actually liked this book more than I expected to. It reminded me of when I was into historical fiction a lot as a kid. The characters were all quite well developed, and the story threw in enough twists to keep you interested in reading throughout. The book was even surprisingly open about some of the choices the characters made, and the consequences they felt because of those choices. The moral dilemma the characters had to deal with was also a surprising element to the story. The characters seemed to reflect deeply about how they were affected by previous experiences.
This book does contain a love story, but the build up seemed a little lacking. I felt like a little more chemistry could have been built througout the book between the two, but overall I anticipated the moment Ann would finally choose who she wanted to be with. There were a few slow scenes, but each scene seemed to add to the story. I have not researched accurately if this story is historically accurate, but the era it was based in fascinated me.
This book was overall very interesting, and a good read. If you are looking for something that is Christian based, and explores a historical era then this book is for you.
This book was provided by Booksneeze in exchange for a review.