Archive | Book Reviews

Becoming Mom Strong

Becoming Mom Strong - Parenting Like HannahBeing a Mom can be scary. There are times when it can feel overwhelming. Christian parenting takes even more effort than “regular” parenting. It’s tempting to stop putting in the extra effort and allowing God to “fix our mistakes” – or hoping your kids will pick up enough at church to become godly men and women.

Heidi St. John has written a new book Becoming Mom Strong. She advocates allowing God to give you that extra strength, energy – whatever you need – to Christian parent the way He wants you to parent. Her theory, one could say, is that tapping into God and becoming stronger spiritually, will also provide additional strengths you need.

I thought it was a very interesting perspective that she believes God created childbirth to happen when women are young and often have little life experience on purpose. She theorizes it is by God’s design, precisely because they are inexperienced. Although she doesn’t say it explicitly, St. John implies it is because those young moms will then turn to God for His guidance in raising their kids.

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Beauty and Christian Teen Girls

Beauty and Christian Teen Girls - Parenting Like HannahWhat is beautiful? More importantly to your teen daughter – is she beautiful? It’s a loaded question and your daughter’s self-esteem, relationships and even her spiritual health can depend upon how the topic of beauty is handled and taught by those around her. As her parents, you have a lot of influence in how she views herself. But how does a Christian parent balance the concepts of humility, beauty, self-esteem and inner versus outer beauty.

It’s a minefield for sure, and one the social media beauty expert Chelsea Crockett attempts to tackle in her new book Your Own Beautiful. Crockett, known for her BeautyLiciousInsider videos, has attempted to address a lot of topics of interest to teen  girls. The book covers everything from beauty to boys from a Christian perspective.

Barely into her young adult years, Crockett knows what is important to tween and teen girls. She attempts to address those topics from a Christian perspective, and most of the time she succeeds. She has great practical tips on things like Bible study and accountability.  As often is the case with this type of book, the author shares how she strayed from God for a bit and what she learned in the process. (Which is great, but I still would appreciate an occasional book from a teen who didn’t go “off the rails” – not perfect, but who was as consistent as any of us at trying to live the life God wants for us.)

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Marriage and Money for Christians

Marriage and Money for Christians - Parenting Like HannahResearch just about any study on marital problems and the top topic mentioned is finances. Bring two people into a marriage with two very different ways of handling money and the results can be disastrous.

To be the best possible Christian parent, it is also important to have the best possible marriage. For many, this may mean finally resolving those money issues that cause constant conflict in your marriage. It’s also vital to develop healthy and godly money management skills so you can not only care for your kids, but also help them make wise financial decisions in their own lives.

So, I was interested when offered the opportunity to review the book Money Problems Marriage Solutions by Chuck Bentley. Bentley is CEO of Crown Financial Ministries. Crown was founded by Larry Burkett – the Dave Ramsey of the 1970’s and 80’s. I had heard of Burkett when I was young, so I was curious to see how this ministries financial advice compared to the more familiar Ramsey model.

The biggest difference is that this book seems to focus on viewing the money issues in an effort to improve marriages, not just financial issues. The financial advice is very similar to that found in other similar type books. That’s not a negative – how many habits are there that people need to have to stop wasting money and creating huge debt.

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Great Resource for Teaching Teens About Empathy and Forgiveness

Teaching Kids About Empathy and Forgiveness - Parenting Like HannahIf you have paid attention to the world at all in the last few months (or more), you have probably noticed tensions between various groups of people reaching a point where each group lashes out at the other. To anyone who can take a step back, it often feels as if no one is able or even willing to try and understand the other group’s viewpoint.

God calls Christians to love their neighbor as themselves. The Good Samaritan is actually a story about a man helping his mortal enemy survive a brutal beating and robbery. If we want our kids to accurately reflect God’s image, we have to teach them empathy and listening skills.

Empathy and truly listening to another’s point of view does not necessarily mean you will ultimately change your conclusions, but it does mean you can understand that there are other perspectives and reasons why other people have come to a different conclusion.

Recently, I was given an opportunity to review a new book, I think everyone absolutely needs to read – no matter your position on current issues. Convicted by Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins is subtitled “a crooked cop, an innocent man and an unlikely journey of forgiveness and friendship.”

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Teaching Kids Asking For Help Can be the Bravest Thing To Do

Teaching Kids About Bravery - Parenting Like HannahLife can be scary. Especially when you are young. You want to be brave, but everything can seem new, confusing and scary. Sometimes little ones can be so scared they are even afraid to tell anyone they are afraid and why.

The new picture book Lizzy the Lioness by Lisa Bevere attempts to teach kids about bravery. The author uses the story of a lion cub and a little girl to teach little ones that sometimes the bravest thing you can do is ask for help.

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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)