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Out of the Depths

Edgar Harrell has written a book “Out of the Depths” about the men who survived the sinking of the U.S. Indianapolis during World War II. And I think this book touched on one of my biggest fears, being alone – adrift at sea – abandoned in shark infested salt water for five days and nights with no hope in sight.

This book is about the faith and hope we have in God that enables us to have courage in dark times. But Edgar Harrell is not simply an author recording events, Edgar was actually a young marine who was aboard that ship when it sunk.

He is a survivor.

Reading Edgar’s brave story is truly a testimony to anyone who knows what it means to be blessed with the gift of each new  day.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes true-war stories, or tales of patriotism and bravery. How wonderful that this story has been recorded and preserved for everyone to read.

Thank you to Bethany House publishers for a preview copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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When We Were on Fire

Addie Zierman is the blogger of “How to Talk Evangelical.” Her book “When we were on Fire” was named one of 101 Best Books of 2013 by Publisher’s Weekly

Addie has been “speaking evangelical” fluently since she was three years old. Like many Christian leaders, she has been a Bible study leader, prayer group founder, Sunday school teacher, worship band singer, and member of Awana. Plus she still knows all the words to the song “Jesus Freak” by DC Talk (who doesn’t?)

I am probably just 10 years outside of her target audience with this book, but as a pastor and leader I have seen first hand the struggles that the church has made in recent years. Lots of young people are raised with “fire” all through the young teen and youth group years – Summer camp, sleep-overs, late night rallies after the game, but then as those kids grow older… what happens to their spiritual walk?

I think anyone who grew up in this evangelical bubble, during the entire WWJD craze would indentify with this book – especially youth kids and those who worked in the youth ministry. I watched some of my own students drift away, play with alcohol only to slowly find their way back.

This is a wonderful story about belonging, falling away, addiction and recovery. Well deserved to be one of the year’s best books. Pick it up.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books 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

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PASSION: The Bright Light of Glory

Well if you don’t know – the Passion Conferences are Christian gatherings that we started back in 1997 by Louie Giglio. Of course they are open to anyone, but their main demographic has been young adults – specifically college-aged students.

And you get a lot of the “Passion” story in the first part of the book. It’s a great starter for anyone not familiar with the Passion movement or even as a refresher for those who are.

But Louie Giglio is not the only contributor to this book. Through the various chapters you will get to hear from Francis Chan (love him!) John Piper (amazing doctrine)

Beth Moore (who doesn’t know who Beth Moore is?) Judah Smith (great speaker) and Christine Caine (founded the A21 campaign).

The over all theme of this book is: You can do great things for God – and the world! If you’re familiar with all of these contributors (or none of them) this is a great pick-me-up. I would highly recommend this book for a college or high school graduation or birthday.

Thank you to Booksneeze/ Book Look for this review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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I’ve Never Been to Vegas, but My Luggage Has

Mandy Hale is affectionately known around the world as “The Single Woman.” Her mission is to inspire single women to live their best lives and to never settle, Mandy cuts to the heart of the matter with her inspirational, straight-talking, witty, and often wildly humorous take on life and love; and her message reaches millions of women across the world every day through her blog.

Again, I am not Mandy’s target audience. I am a man… I am married. (I have also been Las Vegas) I picked this book up for my church so that it would minister to ladies who might check it out from the library.

The author’s writing style is easily relatable. The story she tells of her life is direct and I am sure would speak to a young single woman.  I am sure there are many young people who face the prospect of a career, marriage and maybe even kids with a little bit of trepidation, but the author’s own story has a very reassuring tone that I am sure would bring comfort to someone looking for answers.

Clearly as a blogger, the author is a good writer. She is also a Christian and this book will often site biblical ideas and encourage readers of faith.

Thank you to Booksneeze / Book look for this review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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Miss Brenda and the Loveladies: A Heartwarming True Story of Grace

 

All right I’ll admit it, I’m not a woman. And lately I have been reviewing a lot of “woman books” for our church library. But don’t hold that against me.

In a nutshell this is book about women ex-cons and how the author, Brenda Spahn helped turn their life around through Christ and Community. Did I know that’s what the book was about when I picked it up? No. To be honest, I picked it pretty fast and was a sucker for a flashy picture with a catchy title (not to mention all of the smiling ladies on the cover).

The first thing that caught me off guard was the tone of the book. Waterbrook is a Christian publisher, and yet the book is written in the voice of a person … who swears. So that was a little off-putting, but hey, it’s in character, right?

Through the book, Brenda tells openly about how she overcame the struggles of drug addiction and how she came to know the seven ladies featured in the book. The story is about a shelter and a home where these broken women can stop and put their lives back together.

And while the message was certainly inspiring, uplifting and encouraging, I really had trouble identifying with it. Not because I am not a woman, but just because so much of the subject matter was so foreign to me. There are also a lot of other graphic descriptions of sexual abuse and drug usage that threw me a little.

Thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah for this preview copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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