This was a book that I didn’t realize how much I needed it. I first heard about this book when I got a free download of the audiobook from Christian Audio a few years ago. It wasn’t until I did some self-reflection that I realized how much I needed to read a book like this. So I quickly tracked down a gently used copy. I eventually had the whole book read in a single day. This type of book turned out to be exactly what I needed to read. This book allowed to wrap my head around the number of betrayals I have experienced, start the journey of processing them, and help me get on track to healing. I wish I had this book 5 or 6 years ago. If you have experienced any sort of betrayal, this is a book that I cannot recommend enough ~ Bethel
Betrayal is a scary and often painful word. Sadly, most of us are all too familiar with the pain that is associated with this word. Some betrayals are small, while others are life-altering. The more we trusted them before it happened, the most deeply we are wounded by their actions. Once we’ve experienced it, it has the ability to change the way we see everything, but many of us want to pretend like it means nothing. Yet we find ourselves stuck in a cycle of hurt and mistrust that we are unsure how to get out of not matter how her we try. It makes us ask the question: how can we heal and trust again after we’ve been betrayed?
In his book Beyond Betrayal, author Phil Waldrep teaches his audience a biblical perspective on handling and processing betrayal. Sharing from his own experience of being betrayed by a friend and employee, Waldrep reveals how real and devastating the pain of a betrayal can be, as well as the unfortunate consequences if we choose to suppress our emotions from betrayal and refuse to deal with them. He reveals what can be learned about the nature of betrayal by one of the most famous betrayals of all time – Judas. He walks us through many of the emotions that come at the different stages of processing and healing from betrayal, including shock, anger, isolation, forgiveness, and more. Each chapter concludes with practical advice for implementing the concepts discussed. Through it all, you will find hope for healing and evidence through the author’s story of how God can redeem any pain or hurt we experience for His glory. This book speaks with incredible wisdom and insight into a topic that is not discussed often enough. This is a book I highly recommend to anyone who has ever experienced a betrayal.
Books in Review: Inside Narnia
I have been a fan of Narnia since I first read the series when I was in junior high. I eventually became a fan of the other works of C.S. Lewis as well as the story of his life. Then my senior year of high school, I was assigned a research paper in my English class that was both a biography of an author as well as a literary analysis of one of their works of literature. When I decided to do this paper on C.S. Lewis, I went through some of the books I already owned about C.S. Lewis and discovered this book. I came to realize that this book went a step above most books that merely talk about the spiritual values in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – this book did the work of literary analysis for me while keeping the language understandable and the spiritual values at the forefront. This book was so rich in the details I needed, I didn’t have to reread The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to complete my paper. If you a huge fan of Narnia or need help with a research project like mine, I cannot recommend this book enough ~ Bethel
The Chronicles of Narnia is one of the most beloved fantasy series in history. With seven books written by the well-loved author C.S. Lewis, the first book of the series, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is probably the most beloved. This book, full of biblical parallelisms and practical life themes, has had many books written about it that try and get to the bottom of all of them. While some of them do a good job, others struggle with diving deep enough while also being understandable to the average person. However, there is one (or rather a series) that stands out above the rest by examining the book in a whole new way.
In Inside Narnia, author Devin Brown dives into a compelling analysis of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, the first book released in The Chronicles of Narnia. Instead of just reviewing the spiritual themes or values in the story, Brown takes deeper by exploring the interesting symbols, deeper meanings, and fascinating details that often get missed. You also learn details about the life of C.S. Lewis that contributed to the story. While some books that do this type of literary analysis would be considered dry or uninteresting, this book makes the analysis engaging and understandable (as long as you have a basic understanding of literary analysis). As this book breaks down The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe chapter by chapter, you will come to see this beloved story in a whole new light and see how this fantasy world can teach us spiritual truths about our own world. If you are a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia or you have a research paper involving these topics, this is a book I highly recommend.
Teen Rating. I read this book as a senior in high school and really enjoyed it. However, I was a student who was both passionate about the topic and knowledgeable about literary analysis. A teen (or adult) that struggles with English or literary analysis may struggle with understanding portions of the book. On the other hand, if a student needs to do a project like a research paper on these topics, this would be a great resource to help them out
Two Additional Books
Inside Narnia was originally released in 2005 to coincide with the release of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe film from Disney and Walden Media. When the film proved to be successful, Devin Brown chose to write more books to coincide with the release of the subsequent films. Inside Prince Caspian was released in 2008 and Inside the Voyage of the Dawn Treader was released in 2010. They were all republished with new covers by a different publisher in 2013.
Both of these books use a similar precise to Inside Narnia. While I haven’t either of these books all the way through, I do own them and have read parts of both of them. I believe that they do they maintain a similar quality to the first book and would be valuable if you are interested in learning more about Prince Caspian or The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
However, Brown did not continue the series after the original film franchise was discontinued. Personally, I would love to see him complete this series one day, especially the one that would explore The Last Battle in greater detail. I also wish they hadn’t discontinued the film franchise, but that’s another story for another time.
Facing the Giants was a big deal when I was in high school. There were few Christian movies like it at the time and I found myself relating the setting of a Christian school, despite the fact we didn’t have a football team and I knew little about the sport. So I was presently surprised when I found out there was a novelization of the film that was in my church’s library. I remember being unsure of what to expect but was not disappointed. This book gives a lot of extra details and background to the story you see in the film and brings you deeper into the world of the movie and its characters. If you are a fan of this movie, I highly recommend that you check out this book ~ Bethel Grove
In the novel based on the film Facing the Giants, you meet Christian school football coach Grant Taylor. Grant is fighting an uphill battle, since he has not had a winning season in the 6 years has coached the Shiloh Eagles football team and the team’s lead scorer transferred to a rival school. Things are not much better at home, as he and his wife Brooke struggle financially and long for children they don’t have. When things take a turn for the worst, Grant turns to the Lord, who leads him to reevaluate the way he follows the Lord and the way he leads his team. His new passion for his spiritual renewal eventually inspires his team and changes everything, eventually leading them to challenge the biggest team they ever faced and a game they would never forgot.
The story of the film is inspiring and this novelization, with added details and characters not seen in the film, enhances the powerful truths in this story further. It is divided into several easy-to-digest chapters and clearly changes perspectives between characters in a way that is engaging. This book would also easily appeal to teenagers as well as adults. If you are a fan of Facing the Giants or Christian fiction, this is title I highly recommend. Get your copy today!
While I don't always talk about my books or products I am producing on this blog, I am going to make an exception because I have several projects I have completed since the beginning of the year, most of which I haven't talked about at all. So I am briefly going to touch on each one and share links so you can learn more if you are interested. Here we go:
Before talking about the specific products I've released, I want to highlight my newest avenue of self-publishing through a website called Gumroad. Instead of being limited to just publishing traditional print books, eBooks, and audiobooks, Gumroad gives me the ability to sell my own digital or even physical products without having to play for an official webstore. Instead, they simply take a small percentage of my sales so I can start where I am. While I have many ideas and projects in the works that I hope to release through this site, my main goals as I have launched this site have been to either sell PDFs versions of books I've already released or exclusive PDF eBooks that will be on a variety of subjects I am passionate about. To see my whole store, click the image below:
Are You Ready to Repent (Again)?
As the third part in Are You Ready series, Are You Ready to Repent is a short Bible study for teens focusing on the topics of repentance and recommitment. These topics tend to be confusing to teens and can lead them to be convinced that they aren't forgiven and need to keep repenting in order to earn God's favor. This study will give them a biblical grounded view of repentance, how it fits into the message of the gospel, and help them discern if they need to recommit their life to Christ. This book is available in print, eBook, and PDF download. To learn more, click the image below.
Are You Ready Leader's Guide
This guide is designed to have all the materials a youth leader would need to teach classes based on all three of the books in the Are You Ready series. For each book, there are download links for editable teaching scripts and instructions for completing follow up meetings with each participant. This book is available as a print book, eBook, and PDF download bundle. To learn more, click the image below.
Small Group Leader Journals
In addition to publishing more traditional books, I have also been doing some experiments with publishing a type of book called "low content". This is a book that the user has to fill in, such as notebooks, planners, and journals. So working in line with much of my other books, I am working on ideas for several low content youth ministry books. The first low content book is a journal designed to help small group leaders improve their small group time. There are two variations of these journals: one for general youth ministry and one for teen girl ministry. To learn more, click on one of the images below.
Student Info Book
This low content youth ministry book is simply a method that youth leaders or small group leaders can use to keep track of their student information. To learn more, click the image below.
20 Questions to Ask When You Are Studying the Bible (PDF Download)
As my first PDF only eBook, this resource will give you question you can ask that will help you dig deeper into the Bible and hopefully help you see the Scriptures in a new light. To learn more, click the image below.
Make sure to stay tuned to this site to learn more about future projects like these.
I was excited to hear that Mark Batterson was releasing another book. However, I was admittedly surprised to discover what it was about. Having written dozens of books, many of which have multiple variations of the same core material, this book was one, at least at first glance, I don’t think I would have expected to have been written by him. However, once I got into the book, it was easy to see that this book was written in his style of speaking and challenging the reader that has become more familiar to me as I read more of his books. While it initially seemed strange, I found this book to be just as inspiring as his other titles that I have read, on a subject that is incredibly relevant to my life. It was also an honor to be a part of the launch team for this release. Whether this is your first Batterson book or your 12th, this book is one I definitely recommend ~ Bethel
In his book, Please Sorry Thanks, bestselling author Mark Batterson explains the life-giving and life-changing qualities of these words and the far-reaching implications of choosing to adapt them to our lives and relationships. Breaking down each of these words into three parts of the book, Batterson explores each of them in a way that connects with his readers. We learn in the “Psychology of Please” how our willingness to be polite and humble can open hearts, minds, and even opportunities. Through the “Science of Sorry”, we learn that willingly admitting when you do wrong or expressing compassion for someone who’s struggling can restore broken relationships. In the “Theology of Thanks”, we discover how learning to have a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness can change the way we see the people and world around us. Through all this, we are reminded that choosing to put the power of all three of these common words together can change our hearts and relationships more than we can imagine. Batterson does all of this in his unique style of writing, full of fun and relatable stories and illustrations, that makes you feel you are speaking with a friend. This book is a creative and inspiring approach to common words that we can tend to take for granted. It’s one that every Christian should read. Get your copy today!
* I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review
Singles-Friendly Rating. My only issue with the book is that some of the illustrations spoke strictly to marriage and/or families. While I was able to figure out ways to relate, I wish there were a few illustrations that also spoke to singles instead of just married people. There is also an illustration that mentioned testosterone in such a way that it was only speaking to men, but this reference was not clarified to be only for men reading the book. It was kind of confusing as a woman.
Make sure to check my reviews of my other books by Mark Batterson:
In A Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day
Chase the Lion
Draw the Circle
Win the Day
Books in Review: Safe All Along
I was so excited to hear that Katie was releasing another book. Her first book Kisses from Katie was a very influential book in my first few years after I graduated college. I was also on the launch team for her last book Daring to Hope. So I jumped at the opportunity to read an advanced copy and join the launch team. I discovered a book that, much like her two previous books, was exactly what I needed to read in this season of my life. The continuation of her story is not what I expected it would be, but it is still a tale full of God’s love, faithfulness, and provision. She even taught me something new about the biblical story from which my name originates. If you have read either of Katie’s previous books or you struggle to trust God to be your Prince of Peace, then this is a book you definitely want to read ~ Bethel
Safe is a word that describes how many of us long to feel. But it’s also true that it’s a feeling that too many of us struggle to maintain. When we don’t feel safe, we tend to feel worried and afraid. We get caught in anxious mental spirals of “what-ifs” and “if-only's” that steal the joy of the present from us. Especially in the aftermath of a global pandemic, people in our world seem to be struggling to find their peace. As Christians, we know God is there, but we struggle to fully rest in His love, grace, and provision. It makes us ask the question: can we ever feel safe again?
In her book, Safe All Along, bestselling author Katie Davis Majors walks her readers through the struggles of overcoming anxiety so that they can realize that she did that we have been safe all along. She begins the book by describing a story of swimming in the Nile River with her daughter in a place with fast rapids. When they both got caught in the rapids, Katie thought her daughter would get swept away. When they both came out alright, Katie’s husband took her to a higher vantage point, where she could see that there were several places along the river where her daughter could have swam to safety. This illustration sets up the whole book, encouraging readers to realize that in Christ, we are safe all along. This is hard-earned wisdom for Katie, as she experienced serious anxiety over the last several years between the weight of worrying for her family and loved ones, a global pandemic, and a difficult move from her beloved country of Uganda to the United States. While she has chosen to see a therapist and medication to help with her struggle, Katie has also chosen to process her struggles and anxieties through the lens of Scripture and help her readers do the same. The first half of the book lays the foundation for overcoming the spiritual aspect of anxiety and worry by sharing Scriptures and part of the story of her emotional roller coaster of the last few years. The second half of the book lays out 10 practices based on Scripture that can help readers in their own journey toward finding biblical shalom.
This book is honest, relatable, and full of powerful biblical truth. Katie continues to speak with wisdom beyond her years and a vulnerability that allows readers to find a place in which they relate to her journey. This is a great book that I highly recommend. Get your copy today!
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review
Singles-Friendly Rating. One of my only criticisms of the book is that, from the perspective of a single person, I wish that more attempts had been made to relate to singles in some of the illustrations the author used. When all the illustrations refer to marriage, it can leave single people feeling left out. While the topics were relatable, I wish that more effort was made to speak to single people.
Personal Rating. My other criticism is that while, as someone who struggles with anxiety, I could relate to a lot of the author’s anxieties, I could not relate to all of them. Especially as a single woman, I couldn’t relate to the author’s struggles with being anxious about the future of her children. But it is a reminder that when it comes to worries and anxieties, each person’s struggles are unique to their mind. I still found so much wisdom, grace, and hope in these pages. This is a book I highly recommend.
Check out my reviews of Katie's previous titles:
Daring to Hope
Kisses from Katie
I am also running a giveaway through Simple Youth Ministry for a Free PDF package of my book Are You Ready to Be Baptized?
For more information, check out my Facebook post: http://tiny.cc/okp5vz
Lion's Eyes Reviews is a blog dedicated to reviews of Christian books, most of which are non-fiction, but may also occasionally review movies and musicals. It will also feature the work Bethel does to help launch and promote the works of Christian authors.
The name is derived from one of Bethel's favorite books, Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko. Through these reviews, Bethel hope to give Christians the tools they need to look at the world "through the eyes of a lion" so they can find the courage to "run toward the roar".
To find the detailed archives of these reviews, you can check them out here:
Books In Review
Movies in Review
Broadway In Review
To understand the rating used in these reviews, click here
Bethel Grove is a Christian young woman who loves to read and write, eat Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzards, and disciple teen girls as a youth leader. What started as a hobby of writing book reviews and doing deep biblical studies eventually led her down the path of self-publishing and helping other Christian authors launch their books. She hopes to someday be a vocational youth minister and well-known author.
Lion Eyes Reviews
Author Bethel Grove
Simple Youth Ministry
Teen Girl Youth Ministry