Once I finished reading the book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, I knew I had to read Chase the Lion. Since Mark Batterson wrote this book as a follow up and the first one spoke to me, I knew this one would too and I was right. I enjoy Mark’s writing style and relatability, as well as his passion to help his audience to live their best life. I also enjoyed hearing about the concept of “running toward the roar” from the perspective of pursuing dreams rather than just enduring pain (like in Levi Lusko’s book Through the Eyes of a Lion). This book is even more empowering and inspiring than the first and if you want to courage to pursue your dreams, this is a book I highly recommend ~ Bethel
Everyone has dreams we want to pursue, but many of us get scared and stop pursuing them before we even start. We are often so afraid of failing, we allow our fears to prevent us from pursuing our God-given dreams. We often make excuses to not pursuing them, but are evitable aware that our fears are parlaying us. It makes us ask the question: how do we overcome our fears to pursue our God-given dreams?
In his book Chase the Lion, Mark Batterson teaches us how to stop running away from dreams and opportunities that scare us and instead choose to run towards them. Once again using the story from Scripture about Benaiah defeating the lion in a pit on a snowy day with only a spear, Mark helps us to see that it’s only when we stop fearing failing that we can seize opportunities in their tracks, especially the types of dreams that would be impossible without God’s intervention. This engaging book will inspire anyone to take action that the dreams that have scared them for far too long. This is a book I highly recommend. Get your copy today!
To read my review of this book "prequel" In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, click here
To read my review of Batterson's best-selling book The Circle Marker, click here
To read more about my story of "running toward the roar", click here
From the moment heard about this book, I was intrigued by the title. This book has been on my review list for over a year now and on my “To Be Read” list for a few years, especially after I read The Circle Marker. When I finally did read it, I could not put it down. I felt like the author spoke my creative language. Mark has a way of inspiring his readers to a new perspective on the struggles of our lives, especially this book and its follow up book, Chase the Lion. For anyone that wants to learn how to face your fears and prepare yourself for the opportunities, this is definitely a book I recommend ~ Bethel
All of us face regrets for opportunities we missed. Whether by not recognizing an opportunity or by fear of failure, we often look back at opportunities we missed out on with regrets and fear that they will never come again. We want to better prepare ourselves for opportunities, especially when we know that God gave them to us, but we become afraid of our own dreams and ambitions, which starts the cycle all over again. It makes us ask the question: how do prepare ourselves to pursue and not run away from God-given opportunities?
In his book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Mark Batterson explores how to face our fears and failures so that we can be prepared to thrive when life gives the best opportunities. Mark shares the story of Benaiah in 2 Samuel 23, where he managed to kill a lion in a pit on a snowy day using only a spear as a weapon. Using this short story as his primary analogy, Mark explores we, like Benaiah, can face our fears and regrets so we can be ready to pursue God-ordained opportunities when they come. Using this obscure but powerful story as well as stories and illustrations from his own life, Mark empowers his audience to rise above missed opportunities from the past so they won’t miss what God may have in store from them in the future. Engaging from cover to cover, this is a book that I highly recommend to anyone that is looking to live a life that is ready to seize opportunities that comes their way.
Get your copy from Amazon today (#commissionearned) by clicking here
It's been quite a while since I've written on this blog. I've not posted any books reviews this year, even though I've read a few books I've intended to review. Self-publishing a book at about the same time the pandemic became widespread in the US resulted in a struggle to figure out where I am going next with this blog. I have a few new writing ventures that will probably be announced soon that have been taking most of my spare time. But I have not wanted to completely abandon my love of reading and reviewing books. So I am trying an experiment by listening recommendations of books I've already reviewed on this blog. I will make some brief comments and also link my original review if you want more information. I hope you will enjoy these posts and consider checking out a few of these books for yourself ~ Bethel
We are currently living in unprecedented times. As we are navigating the covid-19 pandemic, many of us are uncertain about the future. We are unsure how long it will be before we can leave our homes without fear. We are unsure where our next paycheck is going to come from. We are unsure when we will times will return to normal. As we try to figure out where to go next, we often struggle to turn to the best source of strength and hope: our Lord and Savior. As I have tried to figure out how to navigate this pandemic, some of the books I've reviewed have come to my mind and have helped me to find joy and peace in the middle of difficult circumstances. If you are looking for books to read during this time, I give you 5 recommendations as a place to start:
Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors
A powerful story of a young women who learned to hope through a series of difficult and trying circumstances, Daring to Hope is an inspiring testimony that will encourage you, regardless of what season you are currently facing (as is her previous book Kisses from Katie).
To check out my review of Daring to Hope, click here.
You Can Trust God to Write Your Story by Nancy and Robert Wolgemuth
A collection of stories from their personal lives, the lives of friends, and the lives of characters from the biblical narrative, this book is a powerful reminder that we can trust God to work in any and every season of our lives.
To check out my review of You Can Trust God to Write Your Story, click here.
Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth
A biblical exploration of the concepts of gratitude, this virtue is important for us to develop, especially with the circumstances that we are currently facing. Our outlook on our circumstances will change significantly if we learn to choose gratitude in any and every season of our lives.
To read my review of Choosing Gratitude, click here.
Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko
One of the best books I've read about trials and suffering, Through the Eyes of a Lion is a book designed to help you face your current and future trials in the strength of Christ. When we face painful situations head on instead of hiding from it, we find the strength to "run toward the roar".
To read my review of Through the Eyes of a Lion, click here.
The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
An incredible perspective on prayer, The Circle Maker is the perspective you need to help you change your prayer life. I am currently read through the devotional book Draw the Circle and enjoy its unique perspective on how to pray for God's glory in all that we face.
To read my review of The Circle Maker, click here.
Have you read any of these books? Are there any books that you would add to this list? Be watching for more recommendations over the next month!
Due to the seasonal nature of this book as well as my commitment to review this book within a particular time frame, this will probably be my shortest review to date. Posting this Christmas Day means that you all are probably not looking for an advent book. I also apologize to any faithful followers of my blog for my lack of posts in 2019, since I have only published a dozen reviews (this being the 13th) and nothing else. But I am working on some awesome plans for my blog and YouTube channel in the coming months that I cannot wait to share. I also hope you are still encouraged by this review, even as we continue to remember the significance of the incarnation beyond Christmas Day ~ Bethel
In his book, The Characters of Christmas, Daniel Darling walks through the different stories of the nativity narrative from the perspective of each major and even some minor characters surrounding the birth of Jesus. Giving historical context along with personal insights, this book gives a new perspective to many of the characters we don’t think much about, and even those we do. Even going back to some of those in the lineage of Jesus, Darling illustrates the incredible tapestry of people that God wove together over 2000 years to help bring Jesus into the world, and with Him, the redemption of all mankind. This book is much different from many devotional book, or even books on advent. It’s an invitation to step into their world in order to become a part of the redemptive story of mankind. This book is pretty straightforward and a great compliment to any holiday tradition. Get your copy today!
Personal Rating. My major criticism of this book that there were several details about Joseph and Mary that we being asserted as facts that are not mentioned in the Bible and cannot be proven from external sources. For example, the author makes the assertion that Mary would have been illiterate. Although it’s true that she came from a small town in a small country, this is not a detail I am comfortable with him asserting as fact. This is one of several examples in the first several chapters of this type of assumption. The last chapters (starting with the one about the Wise Men) are much better in this respect, after you are dealing less with specific details about Joseph and Mary that the Bible doesn’t give. Other than this noticeable problem, I enjoyed the book overall.
* I received a copy from the publisher for the purpose of this review
To read my past blog post to give you a new perspective on the details of the nativity narrative, click here
I was so excited when I heard about the film Unplanned. I have always been prolife, as is the the rest of my immediate family. I even remember participating in a few “walks for life” when I was still a kid. I knew a lot about pro-life arguments, and even some pro-choice strategies. But I knew hardly anything about Planned Parenthood and I definitely knew very little about what goes on within the walls of these types of clinics. But when the film Unplanned was announced and it immediately attracted controversy, I was drawn to support the film. After I was inspired by seeing the film, I became interested in reading Abby’s book to learn the more complete story of her personal journey. I am so glad I did. Although the film does a wonderful job at portraying the story of her life, I loved hearing more of her story in her own words. If you are interested in learning more about the pro-life cause, or want to read a book about a life transformed by a radical transformation in Christ, this book is a must read ~ Bethel
Abortion is one of the most controversial topics in American culture. I believe this is because of a prevailing mindset in our culture that we should be able to pursue happiness in any way we see fit and never have to deal with the consequences. But the truth is there are almost always consequences, not just for you but for those that are impacted by your decision. This is especially true with sexuality in America. By this mindset, a women should be able to have sex and not have to suffer any of the consequences, including an unplanned pregnancy. As long as that mindset is prevalent, they will always be women seeking what seems to be the easy way out. There will always be women willing to buy the lies fed to them about the baby being only “undeveloped tissue.” It makes it difficult for those that are pro-life to have hope that we will ever be able to make a difference in the fight for the unborn.
In her book, Unplanned, Abby Johnson shares her journey from being pro-choice to pro-life, all the while demonstrating God’s redeeming grace at work in her life. When Abby first heard about Planned Parenthood at a college volunteer fair, she had no idea how much this organization would change her life. Having had abortions herself, she decided to support women in crisis by volunteering at the local Planned Parenthood clinic. Over the span of eight years, he rose to being clinic director, truly loving the job of helping women in crisis. Despite the disapproval of her Christian family, she was committed to her cause. But when she actually participating in helping with an ultrasound guided abortion, she knew she could no longer be a part of abortion or Planned Parenthood. She turned to the same people that she had been fighting against, the Coalition for Life, literally moving from one side of the fence to the other. When Planned Parenthood filed an injunction against Abby and the Coalition (which was shoot down in court), she was given a platform to share her story with the world and help further the pro-life cause. Abby’s story isn’t an easy one to hear, for she even warns you of this in the first sentence of her introduction. But it is one that demonstrates God’s grace and forgiveness. In a story much like the apostle Paul, we can see that God can turn the most zealous of hearts back to Himself. We just have to trust Him with all the details, even the ones that are unplanned. Get your copy of the book or the movie today!
Quick Review: Unplanned Movie
Since I had posted a quick review of this film on my Facebook page, I will go ahead and share the images of my review here. Enjoy!