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Showing posts from May, 2017

The Usborne Creative Writing Book

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   Just by paging through, this book offered me the nostalgia to reformulate the dreams of my tween-self back into present day reality. I've been writing since I was twelve, and my style, skill, and genre choice have all changed and developed so dramatically that the wonder of writing feels a little different every time I pull out a pen or sit down at a keyboard. The Usborne Creative Writing Book is everything I would have loved as a young author, and everything I could still use to recreate that magic a decade later. The last line on the back of the book is the writer's pride and joy: "There's lots of space for you to write in, but no scary blank pages".    One of the most interesting things I have learned about writing is that a blank page is sometimes such a daunting task that the only way to get anything started is to write something - anything, regardless of the state of its gibberishness or uselessness - just to make the page less empty, which gets the t

The Story of Reality

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Gregory Koukl , author of Tactics , released a new book earlier this year entitled, The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How it Ends and Everything Important that Happens in Between. And it’s only 160 pages. This book is recommended by well known authors such as – Lee Strobel, Rick Warren , Joni Eareckson Tada , J. Warner Wallace , Sean McDowell , Nancy Pearcey and many more. Here’s what Fred Sanders, author of The Deep Things of God, had to say about this book: “When I looked into Koukl’s Story of Reality, I thought, ‘This is not how I would say this.’ I would have used more technical terms, added quite a bit of history, expanded it by a couple hundred pages, and put in about a thousand footnotes. So readers can rejoice that, instead, Greg Koukl is the right man to tell the story in such a clear, concise, and conversational way. This book explains the central ideas of Christianity and answers questions people are really asking.” And I agree. For many of us, books filled

Wings of the Wind

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"When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them. Then Israel made this vow to the Lord: "If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities." Numbers 21: 1-2  This is the continuing story and final book from the Out of Egypt series which builds upon the previous novels with Kiya, an Egyptian slave who left during the Exodus, embraced Hebrew faith and married the brother of Shira, a midwife among the Hebrew nations. We are now introduced to Alanah, a Canaanite woman who was raised motherless alongside her warrior brothers. When her entire family is killed in battle by the Hebrews, she disguises herself as a man and sneaks onto the battlefield, desperately fighting to avenge her family, with one intention... not surviving. Tobiah is a Hebrew warrior who has spent many years on the battlefields and is shocked when he fin

Hello Stars

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Faithgirlz has a new series called Lena in the Spotlight, a chapter book geared towards girls ages 8-12. Have you seen the movie The War Room? (If you haven’t I highly recommend it for the whole family). If you have, then you know the author. This book was written by the 12 year old Alena Pitts who stars as Danielle Jordan in the movie. She proved herself to be an incredible actress, so she thought she’d try her hand at writing. Here’s how she put it , “Just recently my mom and I were thinking about writing a book. Like a real book. We thought it would be really fun and a great mother daughter experience! But in reality, writing a book is pretty hard and even harder to actually get the book published. So it was really just a thought……or so I thought. But guess what?! A few weeks later my mom was emailed from Faithgirlz! They wanted to know if I would partner with them on a fictional book series! My mom and I were amazed!” As a 24 year old I was skeptical about a book written by such a

Catching the Wind

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"Better that one heart be broken a thousand times in the retelling... if it means that a thousand other hearts need not be broken at all."  Melanie Dobson uses this quote by Robert McAfee Brown which perfectly encompasses the inner struggle that Daniel Knight faces as he tries to find out what has happened to his childhood friend Brigitte Berthold. They escaped from Gestapo agents who had arrested both of their parents and the young children fled Germany and crossed over to England where they were separated upon arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years. With the aching retelling, constant searching and investigating of the possibility of her whereabouts, Daniel hires an American journalist named Quenby Vaughn whose tenacious ability to discover missing people and reports on various wartime accounts convince Daniel that she can uncover the details of Brigitte. Quenby is currently investigating WWI

Beyond Loneliness

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   Trevor Hudson writes with a voice of comfort and compassion in his book Beyond Loneliness , to describe the gift of friendship that we have in God. He begins his introduction, "An Invitation to Transforming Friendship", with some statements regarding loneliness: that it "touches each one of us" and is "no respecter of age or rank", and that it "may be one of the most painful experiences that we go through in this life" (15). Then he asks a few questions:       - Do you feel lonely?       - Is there a friendship-shaped hole in your life?       - Are you open to reimagining your relationship with God as a friendship?       - Do you want to be transformed into the person God wants you to be?       - Does the possibility of starting a lifelong journey with God attract you?       - Do you long for a real experience of the living God?    If you answered yes to any of these questions, he asks that you "join [him] in discovering how to

The Practice of the Presence of God

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     This little book is a quick read, which makes it all the better for pausing and reflecting on the depth that it holds. I read it for a class that I was taking. The Practice of the Presence of God emphasizes the spiritual disciplines of servitude and stillness.      Brother Lawrence worked in the kitchen at the monastery where he ended up, after time served in the army and a stint of isolation in the desert in search of spiritual growth. There is a short biography detailing his life in this book, but most of The Practice of the Presence of God is a collection of letters written by Brother Lawrence to his Brothers and Sisters in Christ who had written to him troubled, struggling, and searching. His literary voice is that of a gentle mentor seeking to counsel and to comfort with the wisdom that he seeks from God to offer. His words emanate humility, patience, and kindness that comes from a life of intentional servitude. Brother Lawrence practices the art of finding God in every

Us Versus Us

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Surprisingly, 86% of LGBT people spent their childhood in church. Gay rights and homosexuality are a hot button topic both in religious and secular circles. Mention one side of the discussion and you are bound to get someone breathing down your neck about how incorrect you are. Even within your circle of belief, there can be disagreement. Us Versus Us breaks from that in a very refreshing way. Rather than discuss theology, Andrew Marin takes us on a sort of guided tour on this social civil war between the two camps and shows how not so far apart we are. The book draws on the largest scientific survey of LGBT religious backgrounds, beliefs and practices to create a more clear picture of their story. The research is anonymous, but features both quantitative and qualitative information to show the variety of experiences and mindsets out there. Marin uses this information to speak to both sides on the theology of reconciliation and seeking to show Christ's compassion to all.