Archive | Book Reviews

Your Kids and Christian Community

Your Kids and Christian Community - Parenting Like HannahOne of the many reasons young people are leaving the Church is that they don’t see the benefit in community. It’s no wonder that a generation left to basically raise themselves doesn’t understand the benefits of being in relationships that can help them grow and mature – most haven’t experienced one. Instead, the world we have created where children are left to figure out life by themselves is making them notice only the negative aspects of community – in our case being part of a Church family.

I was interested when offered the chance to review Better Together by Rusty George. The book is advertised as a way to discover the power of community and in this case, the advertising fits. The book is divided into four major sections – dealing with the negatives of others, using community to help you connect to God in deeper ways, using community to help overcome your weaknesses, and using community to help you leave a legacy.

Each section contains several chapters with discussion questions at the end. The book is easily read and contains lots of references to stories in the Bible and scripture. It also has plenty of personal stories and real life examples to show what the concepts may look like in the life of the reader.

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Courageous Women in the Bible

Courageous Women in the Bible - Parenting Like HannahIt’s virtually impossible to turn on the television or open a magazine without seeing some discussion on women. Whether it’s the rights of women, the abuses and problems women face, the roles women should or shouldn’t take or some other topic, women are the focus of much attention today.

There is a false narrative out there that because God created some differences in men and women, He is somehow anti-woman. Yet, God reassures us constantly we are all equally loved by Him. A quick examination of scripture will also reveal God placed women in many critical and important roles throughout history. Even some women, in what might be called stereotypical roles, had a major impact on their world and ours.

So, I was interested when offered the opportunity to review the book Courageous Women of the Bible by Latan Roland Murphy. Murphy examines the lives of eleven different women in the Bible from Deborah to the woman who was hospitable to Elisha. Although each story is different, each woman showed a different kind of courage – the same types of courage women still need today.

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936 Pennies:The Intentional Christian Parent

936 Pennies:The Intentional Christian Parent - Parenting Like Hannah936 pennies. It sounds like a lot if you are five years old and someone offers to give them to you. As a parent though, it’s a rapidly shrinking number representing the weeks you have to raise your child from birth to age eighteen. As someone whose child is about ready to graduate from college, I am all too aware of how quickly those pennies disappear. Oh, you are still blessed with some extra pennies when your adult child is on a break from school or your family vacations are taken together. Those bonus pennies are different though.

I was interested to see what this young mom had to write about her discovery of the meaning of those 936 pennies for each of her young sons. 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting by Eryn Lynum is a book designed to make you slow down and reflect. It’s not a list of how-to’s. It’s not filled with tips or great ideas. Yes, there are a few sprinkled here and there, but it seems the author is content to take a stroll with the reader reflecting on what intentional parenting is or perhaps should be.

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Teaching Your Kids (And Yourself) How to Talk About God

Teaching Your Kids (And Yourself) How to Talk About God - Parenting Like HannahChristians are called to share the good news about Jesus with others. Yet if you ask most teens (or adults) what they would say if they were “sharing their faith”, they have no idea.  How can we help others reconcile to God and become Christians if most of us don’t even know what to tell them? How can we teach our kids how to share their faith if we don’t even know how to share ours?

I was interested when offered the chance to review the book Talking About God by Steve and Cheri Saccone. How would the authors communicate clearly what to say when sharing faith with people who have embraced a radically different lifestyle than the one God calls us to live? Would they give into societal pressure and water down the Bible’s message or commands?

The format of the book was a bit surprising. I’m not sure what I expected, but a book recounting what I assume were real conversations wasn’t it. Once I got used to it though, I began to relax and enjoy the journey.

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Dads Always Fall Forward Don’t They?

Dads Always Fall Forward Don't They? - Parenting Like HannahChristian dads have it tough sometimes. So many of the Christian parenting books are written for women. It has really been difficult at times for me to find new resources aimed specifically at dads and the special role they need to play in the lives of their kids. So, I was excited when offered the chance to review Always Fall Forward by Todd Gerelds.

Gerelds is the son of a famous football coach about whom “Woodlawn” was based. The coach’s name meant nothing to me, but the fact that the book taught godly lessons using the Bible and football analogies was key. My husband is like many other wonderful Christian husbands. He loves football. You relate something to football and he is probably going to listen a little more carefully than he might otherwise.

At the end of the day, this is what makes this book have extra value. Christian husbands who might otherwise secretly roll their eyes at the idea of a devotional book may be drawn to read this one, in part because of the football angle.

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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)