Archive | Book Reviews

Beautiful New Children’s Christian Book

Beautiful New Children's Christian Book - Parenting Like HannahMost children’s books are perfectly lovely and have stories that are interesting, fun or educational. I am always looking for children’s books though, that have that extra dynamic of building faith in God or encouraging godly hearts and behaviors. A few years ago, the early children’s Christian books just didn’t have the same quality standards as secular children’s publishing.

That has changed with the team of Paul Turner and David Catrow. I was excited when offered the opportunity to review their newest book, When God Made Light. They previously teamed up for the picture book When God Made You. The books have a very similar feel and look to them. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. In fact, Catrow is becoming one of my favorite illustrators.

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Resource for Helping Christian Teens Develop Resiliency

Resource for Helping Christian Teens Develop Resiliency - Parenting Like HannahBeing a Christian teen can be tough. Even under the best of circumstances a Christian teen trying to live his or her faith will feel isolated. Many will be teased or ostracized for making godly choices. So many teens end up abandoning their faith in an effort to fit in and be accepted.

I was really interested when offered the chance to review the new book I Will Not Fear: My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith Under Fire by Melba Pattillo Beals. In the late 1950’s, Beals was one of nine teens chosen to be the first to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was a dangerous assignment for anyone, but leaders knew it was necessary to break down racial barriers in education.

Since this happened before I was born, I am sure none of you were alive at the time either. In fact, I was young enough/old enough that what happened during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s were the vague memories of a very small child and weren’t a part of school curricula yet. Most of what I learned, I absorbed after moving to Atlanta as an adult and hearing the stories from the survivors themselves.

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I’d Like You More If You Were More Like Me

I'd Like You More If You Were More Like Me - Parenting Like HannahLet’s be honest for a minute. No matter how much you love your spouse and children, there are just moments when you want to run away to Tahiti without them – permanently! Fortunately, God frowns on such things or Tahiti would be over run with runaway moms (and dads, and kids!).

Many of those days are a result of people living together in a confined space day after day. No matter how much alike you are, there are differences. Those differences can cause misunderstandings. Actually at times, even similarities can also cause conflict.

Most of us are totally unaware of this and honestly believe everyone else is somehow fatally flawed because they think and act differently than we do. While in some cases that may be true, the vast majority of those differences are perfectly godly and acceptable.

Unfortunately, those differences can cause us to pull away and create emotional distance – creating shadow marriages and families – not the deep intimate, beautiful relationships God designed them to be. John Ortberg’s book I’d Like You If You Were More Like Me is one of the very best books I have ever read for helping people recapture the intimate relationships God designed for them to have in their lives.

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Teaching Young People About Being the Hands and Feet of Jesus

Teaching Young People About Being the Hands and Feet of Jesus - Parenting Like Hannah

 

When I train mission teams, I usually ask them what their goals are for the experience. The most common answer is to “love them like Jesus”. To “be the hands and feet of Jesus” is really just another way of expressing the same idea. When pressed what those expressions look like in the “real life” mission experience, I have yet to have a young person be able to articulate what they need to actually do to fulfill what they consider their mandate. This is not only sad, but a bit scary. Undefined, those teens will believe they have “been the hands and feet of Jesus” no matter what they did or did not do.

Nick Vujicic attempts in his latest book Be the Hands and Feet to help readers understand in more practical terms what being “the hands and feet of Jesus” really means. Full disclosure – I am a huge Nick Vujicic fan. His way of viewing his disabilities through the lens of God and not man is not only refreshing, but I have personally witnessed the positive effect his message has on children with special needs and their families.

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The Laughing Christian Mom

The Laughing Christian Mom - Parenting Like HannahRemember seeing a viral video of a mom laughing hysterically in her car with a Chewbacca mask ? Well, she has turned her fifteen minutes of fame into an effort to bring joy back into the lives of others. Her latest production is not another viral video, but a book.

Laugh It Up: Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy by Candace Payne is what I would call a hybrid book. Part self-help, part memoir, with a little bit of Christian faith mixed together to create a how-to manual of finding joy in life.

The memoir part of the book is interesting although not spell-binding (at least for me). She gives fairly solid advice in the self-help genre, which I would say is the bulk of the book. As for why it is published by a publisher known for Christian books, I’m not quite sure. You can tell she is a Christian, but the faith piece is the weakest part of her book. Mind you, this is no judgment of her personal faith, but the book lacks strong ties back to the Bible.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)