When I first heard that Jackie Hill Perry was coming out with a book, I was so excited. I had already been exposed to her testimony when I first read the book Messy Grace and researched some of the resources that went with it. I already knew that her story demonstrated the power of God’s redeeming grace and wanted to know more. When I finally got around to reading it, I could not put it down. I finished it in a single day. Even if you don’t struggle with same sex attraction, most of us can find ways to relate her story to our own. This is a book I highly recommend to practically anyone ~ Bethel
In her first book, Gay Girl, Good God, Jackie Hill Perry shares her incredible testimony of God’s redeeming grace as he helped her overcome her struggles with same sex attraction. A childhood including an inactive father and abuse at the hands of someone she trusted, brokenness was a theme of the early part of her life. This eventually result in her pursuing same sex relationships, embracing masculinity instead of womanhood, and drug abuse. But one night, while she was home alone watching TV, God got a hold of her heart. Without a church or a preacher, God revealed to her that her sin would be her death and that she needed to repent and change her ways. And that’s exactly what she did. She broke up with her girlfriend, slowly started to change her clothes, and started going to church. She eventually met and married Preston Perry, a man who also had brokenness in his past. They are now the parents of two little girls. Although Jackie knows that struggles with temptation will be an ongoing battle, she also knows that power of God’s grace in her life, if we choose to pursue. She also addresses working through same sex attraction from a biblical perspective. Jackie’s testimony is powerful and moving and her insights into living in victory over sin is something that everyone can relate to. Aside from its biblically grounded perspective on same sex attraction, the story of the redemption in Jackie’s life makes this a book that I would recommend to practically anyone. Get your copy today!
To read more about the subject of a Christian's response to same sex attraction, check out my review of the book Messy Grace by clicking here
I first heard about this book when my Facebook friend and book launch guru (Anna LeBaron, author of The Polygamist’s Daughter) shared about the book launch she was leading. At first, I thought the title sounded weird. But the more I heard about it, the more I was interested. It finally got the point that I was dying to read it, so I got it around my birthday. In the end, I was not disappointed and instantly knew why this book has become a New York Times bestseller. Rachel is fun and quirky, but also honest and vulnerable with her audience. She never tells you to do anything, but speaks from her own experience and allows that to help the reader along their own personal journey. That was enough for me, because I found that some of my experiences mirrored hers. And when they didn’t, she shares what happened in a way that’s relatable. Although I would limit the recommendations of this book to a certain audience, I personally really enjoyed the book and will use it to help me overcome lies in the future. I hope you can too ~ Bethel
Lies. Lies surround us in our culture. Lies about who we are, what we can be, and what others perceive of us. The more we see these lies disguised as truth, the more likely it is that we will just accept that as truth. This seems to be especially true for women in our society today, with the air-brushed versions of womanhood we see plastered across billboards in Times Square. Believing these lies about our identity aren’t just bad, they are dangerous. They will hinder us from living our lives to the fullest and being the women that God wants us to be. They can steal our joy, our hope, our families, and our future. We can even let these lies define us and our identity. If makes us ask the question: how can I stop believing the lies about who I am?
In her New York Times Bestseller, Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis shares lies that she believed about herself so that her readers can identify them and make the choice to become who there were meant to be. Each chapter addresses one of these lies. Unlike other books in the self-help category, she break down how these lies became prevalent in our culture or share a bunch of statistics to make you change your perspective. Instead, she shares the good, the bad, and the ugly from her own life experiences, shared what she learned along the way, then she concludes each chapter with things that helped her overcome each given lie. From marriage to motherhood, from writing to weight management and so much in between, Rachel covers it all in a way that is honest and accessible. Although it’s subtle in its presentation, her faith is evident throughout the stories that have become her life. With her faith as a foundation, it becomes clear how she learned to overcome the lies she had believed for so long and it makes it clear that you can learn to do the same. This book is a powerful call-up call that is hard to ignore. It’s calling women of my generation to stop wallowing in the lies to hold them back and to replace them with truth. It’s a reminder that we have the power to change these perceptions for ourselves. It’s a chance to have a new beginning even after we’ve faced pain and difficulties. It gives us hope that we can become women who stand in our faith against all odds. It’s exactly what this generation of women need. Women young and old need to read this book, especially if you are married with kids. Get your copy today!
Teen Rating. This book is geared specifically towards married women with kids. Chapter 7 is heavy on the sexual content, to the point that I would not recommend any teen to read that chapter. There is a few curse words used (one use of h*** and one use of p***). She also talks about her older brother’s suicide and struggles with drinking. If chapter 7 is skipped, a mature teen (16 or 17) could read the rest of the book and get a lot out of it.
Singles-Friendly Rating. Although I did get a lot out of the book, I was disappointed that this book didn’t do more to appeal to single women. I understand that Rachel was speaking out of her own experience, but I think that more could have been done to appeal to women who have never been married and don’t have kids. However, most of the lies she addresses do speak to those who aren’t married. I would still recommend it to single gals, but I would do so with the suggestion that they skip chapter 7 (which personally made me very uncomfortable)
This book is powerful and moving. I sensed that the first time I heard about it. I had been drawn to the work that Mary Beth and Steven Curtis had done for the orphan crisis and adoption aid back while I was in college, but didn’t know a ton of details of what led them on that journey. I had known that they had lost a daughter, but I didn’t know much beyond that. When I finally read this book, I was so moved by Mary Beth’s heart. I found there were so many points in her life in which I could relate to her personally. Because of this book, there are two things that I now SEE in a different light: the need to care for the fatherless, and God’s ability to make beauty out of the ashes. If you like Steven Curtis Chapman, if you have a heart for orphans, or if you have endured a personal tragedy, this book may be just what you need to read ~ Bethel
To read more about my Show Hope project that was inspired by Mary Beth's and Steven Curtis' heart for orphans, click here
Sometimes life is hard. When circumstances come that threaten or destroy our security and peace, it’s hard to understand why or discern where God’s hand is at work. Especially when we experience tragedies that alter our lives, we hardly know how to handle ourselves in our grief. It becomes all the harder for us to understand why bad things happen and God’s plan fits into the chaos that has taken over our lives. We remember life as it used to be, wishing it could be the same again, but are left with pain and brokenness in the midst of the ashes of tragedy. Things that made sense just a week before are unclear and messed up. We don’t know how to move forward from the place where we currently stand. It makes us ask the question: Can God really make beauty out of the ashes of tragedy and brokenness in our lives?
In her first book, Choosing to SEE, Mary Beth Chapman, wife of famous Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman, tells the story of her life to help us SEE that beauty and come from tragedy. She walks you through her childhood, meeting and marrying Steven, struggling with clinical depression, having their children, choosing to take up the call to adopt from China three times, and founding the adoption aid organization Show Hope. She shares from her perspective to walk her husband rise to fame, and how circumstances in their lives shaped some of Steven’s greatest hits. You walk through the crazy journey of life with them in a way that is engaging and entertaining, at first. But everything changes when you learn about the day when they lost their youngest adopted daughter, Maria Sue. The tone of the book changes, even to the point of using a different font. Mary Beth recounts the tragic day of the accident and the days that followed in a raw and vulnerable way that will connect to anyone that has endured such a personal tragedy in your own life. Mary Beth opens up to an honest struggle to understand why their lost their daughter and how to find beauty from the ashes of grief and tragedy. But in the middle of the darkest season of their lives, they found stories and lessons that Maria left behind, that helped them find peace and trust God despite their circumstances. Thanks to Maria, they now SEE in a way they never had before, and so can you. You will be moved, challenged, and inspired by this book, especially if you have endured a personal tragedy. Get your copy today!
Teen Rating. My only hesitation with recommending this book to a teenager is that the details shared about Maria’s accident are shared in somewhat graphic but completely appropriate detail. There is a lot of descriptions of blood and bloody clothes. You may want to read that portion in advance to determine if it’s right for your teen to read.
I don’t know if I will ever forget hearing Beth and Darrell share Rachel’s testimony. I was in 8th grade at a private Christian school and our school was invited to a special chapel service at another local Christian school. Most of us didn’t even know what it was about until we got there. At this point, it would have been almost 6 years after the tragedy of Columbine, but most of us remembered that day even if we were just kids. I’d heard stories about a few of the victims dying after they were asked if they believed in God, but I had a hard time telling them apart from each other. But after hearing Beth and Darrell, Rachel’s story will forever stick out in my mind. We all left that service so moved and challenged by what we heard. Rachel was beautiful young woman with a beautiful heart devoted to living for Christ. The more I learn of her story, the more I am inspired to live my life fully for Him. I believe everyone else that reads this book will be inspired to do the same. ~ Bethel
April 20, 1999 was one the defining tragic moments of my generation. On that day, two teen boys entered their school in Littleton, CO with weapons, including guns and bombs. When most of their bombs didn’t go off, they resorted to shooting their fellow students, especially those of a minority or those that profess to be Christians. In the end, 12 students and one teachers died before the shooters took their own lives. Some of the students were reportedly asked if they believed in God, and those that answered ‘yes’ were shot. But one victim’s response stood out above the rest. Rachel Joy Scott, after having been shot three times, was picked up by the hair and asked “Do you still believe in God?” She answered, “You know I do.” Her shooter than told her, “Then go be with him.” Her answer has left her a powerful legacy that has endured for years after her death, but also continued to unfold for years after she passed away.
In the book Rachel’s Tears, Rachel Scott’s parents Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott share more than just the story of her death, but share about how she inspired and cared for others while she was still alive. They take turns sharing stories of the ups and downs of Rachel’s life, including the struggles their family faced when they divorced, the experiences surrounding the shooting, and many of the good things that have come from the experience of losing their daughter. You also hear stories that others told about her, including part of a chapter written by her youth pastor Lori Johnson. You also get to see some of her writings and drawings from her private journals. The result is that you are given a picture of young woman who truly hungered for a deeper relationship with the Lord, who wanted to live out her faith, and wasn’t afraid to live out her faith, even when it eventually cost Rachel her life. Through this book, you come to understand that enduring this tragedy was not easy, for Rachel’s brother Craig was also at the school and continues to heal from everything he witnessed that day. But you also come to realize that Rachel’s death was not in vain, that God has made something beautiful out of the ashes of grief and tragedy. God made something beautiful out of Rachel’s Tears. This book is powerful and moving, and one that I highly recommend. Get your copy today!
I would have never guessed she grew up in a cult. I “met” Anna online when she was the publisher’s leader of one of my most recent book launches. In fact, I realized we had been on other book launches together! She is so fun and full of passion, especially when it comes to reading and launching books she believes in. (She even called herself the “cat header”, lol) When she friended me on Facebook, I was excited to find out that she had written her own book, but I was shocked to discover what it was about. I was very curious and brought it soon after. I was amazed when I finished it, amazed by all that this woman has overcome. Much of her story is shocking and unsettling, especially for those of us that haven’t grown up in a polygamist culture or in extreme poverty. Being this vulnerable about her broken and difficult past wasn’t easy, but God has used it for His glory. I am so grateful I found this book and for Anna’s courage in sharing her story. I hope that anyone that reads this book will be inspired to let God use the broken pasts of your past for His glory ~ Bethel
Many people with broken or difficult pasts struggle to share their story. Especially when you are still in the process of healing from your brokenness, most of us would tend to suppress memories of our past trials. This tends to lead to a feeling of isolation and can often hinder the healing process. Therefore, it takes great courage to write a book that shares your life story when you have brokenness in your past. In fact, after reading this book, I’ve come to realize that writing a autobiography or memoir is one of the most courageous and vulnerable things any writer can do.
In Anna LeBaron’s memoir, The Polygamist’s Daughter, we meet one of over 50 children of the infamous Ervil Lebaron, the murderous leader of a Mormon fundamentalist group with 13 wives. Anna and her siblings grew up in the worst of condition, as their family was extremely poor and constantly on the run from law enforcement due to her father’s illegal activities. She was often separated from her mother and mistreated by her father’s other wives (sister-wives). They all believed that Ervil was a prophet of God and they have to do whatever he told them. As a result, they all suffered at his hands. When her father was arrested and eventually died in prison, the oppression from the cult did not stop. They living conditions did not improve and many of her siblings and the sister-wives were forced to work for slave wages or no wages. When Anna’s mother and some of her siblings moved away from the cult’s leader, things finally started to turn around for their family. They had some money to provide for basic needs and things were going well for them. But when the cult’s leader convinced Anna’s mom to move back, Anna knew that she could not go with them. She ran away when she was 13, moving in with her half-sister Lillian, her husband Mark, and their six children. After being enrolled in a Christian school, Anna (as well as Mark and Lillian) can to know Christ and they lived changed for the better. But this doesn’t mean that their troubles from the cult were over. After several years past, some of the people that escaped the cult were murdered at the exact same time, Anna’s life was once again turned upside down. Several years later, after 5 children and a marriage that she through twice, Anna found healing throughout that time through the help of counseling, and was finally able to break down the walls of defenses she had built up to survive during her childhood in the cult. And seeing where she ends up is probably the best part of all.
This incredible woman should be an inspiration to all of us. I am personally in awe of the raw honesty in her story and as her courage in being willing to share it with her readers. Through many trials, she has overcome is now a strong woman in Christ. My heart grieved for what she went through, but also rejoiced to see all that she overcame. You will be moved, challenged and inspired by this powerful story if you read it. I highly recommend this book to anyone about 13 or older (due to moderate references to violent events and mild sexual content). Get your copy today!
The Polygamist's Daughter: A Memoir
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Living in the Redemption of the price Jesus paid for you and me.
My name is Bethel, and welcome to my site, Princess Worth Dying For, where I hope to share Christian reviews, Christian Spoken Word, and a Christian Insights on everything from modesty to musicals. My main focus on this blog is book reviews, and the main focus of my YouTube channel is spoken word, but I do crossover work with both.
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