Saturday, March 10, 2012


This book will change the way you think about "Being Christian".  Much like The Hole in our Gospel, the author challenges the church to live outside their own communities and reaching out to the rest of the world.

Do you know that if you make $27,000 a year, you are more wealthy that 99% of the whole world??  This book really makes you realize that we as Americans are so sheltered, spoiled, and ignorant to the needs in the world today.  It really makes a point to remind us that our worship is a privilege, not a right; and that we worship in beautiful buildings while most of the Christians in the world have to sneak into homes in the middle of the night to worship and would be murdered if found with a bible.  Let us not take that right for granted.  

This book reminds me to fight for the oppressed, demand justice for the abused, and get out of my comfort zone and get my feet dirty.  I'm not sure what I can do to make a difference, but I must do SOMETHING.

A Long Way Gone

An amazing memoir of Ishmael's experience in the Sierra Leone Civil War.  He shares how he lost his village and family all in the same day, became a part of the Army fighting against the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) as a 13 year old, was saved and rehabilitated by UNICEF and eventually escapes Sierra Leone and leaves the battle behind him to begin a new life.

I will be traveling to Sierra Leone in a few months and this was assigned reading before the mission trip.  I have new insight on what child soldiers go through, how they are brought into their new "Army Family", trained, drugged and prepared for battle against those who destroyed their families.  This is a heart wrenching story of loss, the scars of war, and finally redemption and safety.  I am so proud of Ishmael's determination to begin again all the while  bringing awareness to the world about child soldiers.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jesus Calling for Kids

Jesus Calling For Kids: Enjoying Peace in His PresenceJesus Calling For Kids: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This 365 daily reading devotional is an absolute must read to kids!  I read it to my children every night, and even bought copies to send to the orphans we sponsor in Sierra Leone. I have the adult version, which is great as well - but this book is just beautifully written and shows the loving-kindness of our gracious God.  My kids will NOT let me get away without reading it to them before bed, even if it is a really late night and we are exhausted, they just love hearing about how Jesus wants them to come to him with everything.  The book is written as if from Jesus to the reader, scriptures are included and more are referenced for further study if desired.

Love, Love, Love

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The Secret Garden

The Secret GardenThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was one of my favorite books as a child.  I loved reading it (actually I listened to the audiobook) again after so long, I had pretty much forgotten everything so it was nice to rediscover it.  I particularly loved the end, and was so surprised to see the hymn I sing in church every week "The Doxology" play such a significant roll.  And the magic.

Yes, this book is truly magical.

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Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a relentless God

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless GodCrazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you ever been Crazy-in-Love?  Oh that feeling of flying, dreaming, being in the moment with that one person who is EVERYTHING to you?  That is how God wants us to love him.  And you know what?

That is how he loves us!

This book reminds us of the intimate, crazy love, relentless pursuit of relationship between ourselves and God.  When I finished this book, I couldn't help but try and find ways to bring back that Crazy-in-Love pursuit of Jesus that I had at the beginning of our relationship 8 years ago.  Reminds me of that old saying - "how do kids spell love?  T-I-M-E."
So, I'm spending lots and lots of time in this crazy love with my Jesus.


From the book cover:

God is love.

Have you ever wondered if we are missing it?

It's crazy, if you think about it.  The God of the universe - the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor - loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacfificing love.  And what is our typical response?  We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.

Whether you've verbalized it yet or not… we all know something's wrong.

Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo?  Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions?  God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself.  Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts - it's falling in love with God.  And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same.

Because when you are wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.


We say things like, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," and "Trust in the Lord with all your heart."  Then we live and plan like we don't believe God even exists.  We try to set our lives up so everything will be fine even if God doesn't come through.  But true faith means holding nothing back.  It means putting every hope in God's fidelity to His promises.


God wants us to trust Him with abandon.  he wants to show us how He works and cares for us.  He wants to be our refuge.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Slave Hunter

Slave Hunter: One Man's Global Quest to Free Victims of Human TraffickingSlave Hunter: One Man's Global Quest to Free Victims of Human Trafficking by Aaron Cohen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My church hosted an evening with Aaron Cohen last week.  I was so excited to go to his presentation and was blown away by how many people were there.  It turned out that Mr. Cohen was in town to train local FBI and Police Task Forces in how to free victims of child trafficking and exploitation.  Local law enforcement, special interest groups, a prominent politician, concerned citizens and many from my church family attended and were encouraged to demand from our state representatives that more laws be passed in order to facilitate the abolishment of this horrific and evil trafficking of human beings that is quickly becoming more profitable than running drugs or selling guns.

Mr. Cohen gave an intriguing lecture about the history of slavery, the call for a Jubilee, and how he became the Slave Hunter.  I walked away from the evening with a signed copy of his book that I could not wait to read, a new awareness for the estimated thousands of trafficked human beings in MY city, and a broken prayerful heart that our country will follow Aaron Cohen's example of setting the captive free.

This book riveted me, convicted me, and educated me.  I have so many favorite passages of this book, but have decided not to share them.  I really want you to discover this book for yourself.  The Slave Hunter has shared his journey so honestly, eloquently and faithfully that I cannot help but fall on my knees to help cover his life and mission in prayer.

I will end by sharing one of my favorite quotes that has become such an inspiration since God placed in me a heart for missions:

“I am only one,
but still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but still I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
                       - Helen Keller

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Copy-right! or Copy-wrong?

My conscience is a busy little fella.

I love books.

I like blogs.

I like to blog about books.

I don't know if anybody cares.

It's really just for me and my bad memory, and hopefully your entertainment.

I really try to not offend anyone, especially an author of a REALLY good book I just read.

And am going to blog about.

I did my homework, and I think I'll be okay.

My little excerpts count as "fair use".