This book has been on my review radar for a long time. I have always loved the work of Dannah Gresh, but had never read anything by Nancy DeMoss (crazy, right?). It wasn’t until they announced that were going to me updating this book that I finally found the motivation to sit down and read it. When I did, I was so compelled by its powerful truth. As an adult reading a book written to teens, I was challenged by lies I believed at that age and that I struggle to believe now. As a youth leader, I was moved to work towards debunking these lies for the girls I work with whenever I have the opportunity. Through all of it, I was inspired to see life through the lens of truth, which is the Word of God, and to encourage other young women to do the same. This updated edition will help a new generation of young women stand on God’s word as their source of truth and value. This book is a must read for every Christian girl by the time they reach high school ~ Bethel
Women today are bombarded with so many lies about their identity. But many of the lies they believe started to take hold of their lives in their teenage years. They disguise themselves as fact that we must embrace to be accepted, but when we pursue them, we find that we are just as unfulfilled and confused as we were before. This is all accomplished by the work of father of lies, who will do anything to keep you from learning and embracing the truth. It learns these girls in bondage to fear, anger, and loneliness. It makes us ask the question: how can we discover the truths that will set young women free?
In the book Lies Young Women Believe, Nancy Wolgemuth and Dannah Gresh walk through the lies that hold teen girls and young adult women in bondage, but then reveals the powerful truths that will set them free. These women walk through the nature of lies and the source of the lies: Satan, the deceiver. Then they walk through 25 different lies that they observed young women struggle to believe. Lies about everything from God and faith, to relationships, to our usage of media. They share stories of real young women and even share stories from their own lives to illustrate how these lies hold many young women captive. They speak to girls with the honest voice of loving conviction they need to hear in order to stand against the lies they’ve believe. But beyond identifying and addressing the lies, Nancy and Dannah also offer hope by sharing the truth that will set them free and giving practical ways for you to abolish the lies and embrace the truth in their own lives. The updated edition of this book brought many of the examples and illustrations up to date, which includes some new perspective from Nancy since she was married after the original release of the book. This book has power, a power to transform the next generation of young women into incredible tools that can be used for His kingdom. I give this book my highest recommendation to any teen girl about 13 or older. I also highly recommend this resource to any youth leader or youth pastor that works with teen girls. Get your copy today!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review
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.
This is an awesome book. From the time I heard they this book was happening, I was so excited. When it came out during my last semester of college, I finish it in only a few weeks’ time, even on top of all the reading I had to do for class! I was already a big fan of Jeff from his YouTube channel, but seeing Jeff’s heart and life story written out in this way was a confirmation of why I enjoyed his work so much. This book is still in my opinion of the best books written from a millennial viewpoint of the subject of Christianity. Jeff’s desire to help his audience find a more intimate relationship is undeniable and that desire guides his audience to a good place when they are finished. Especially after I helped launched two of his other books (It’s Not What You Think and Love that Lasts), I definitely recommend this book ~ Bethel
Religion has been around for a long time, but most of us don’t really understand all that it implies in our world today. Although the essence of religion was created by God, what it has become is a far cry from the vibrant relationship He wants us to find in His Son. Through human misunderstanding, practicing religion has become distorted into a list of rules that are impossible for us to keep in our imperfection. There have been many consequences to this distortion, including many falling into either theological arrogance (assuming they can earn merit with God through rule-keeping) or making the choice to give up on religion (because the standards are impossible to achieve). These two extremes create tension, and everyone in between feels like they are caught in the middle of the hypocrisy or ignorance of those involved in the argument. It makes us ask the question: Is there something better than the rule-keeping of religion?
In his first book, Jesus > Religion, Jefferson Bethke helps us understand that there is a big different between the rule-keeping of religion and the freedom in obedience we should have in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. After his spoken word on the same subject when viral (Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus), Jeff decided he wanted to write a book to further explain his position. The result is a book that takes much of what we thought we knew about Christianity and turns it on its head. He breaks down many of the issues that subscribing to a religion brings and points to the greater ways that Jesus taught throughout His ministry. When we are able to truly learn that we have receive grace as soon as we accept it, it will allow to live a more abundant life that is not bogged down by rule-keeping. However, we do also learn that grace doesn’t absolve us from sin, but instead allows us to have hope that we can remain anchored in Christ, even if we mess up, as long as we have an attitude of repentance. These truths and much more are told within the framework of the spoken word that inspired the book as well as personal stories from his own life that make his points relevant. Although this was Jeff’s first book, published when he was only twenty-three, this book has a wisdom beyond his years. His theology is strong, but his writing is understandable to everyone and relevant to all of us. I honestly think that every Christian needs to read this book. Get your copy today!
I love this book. I first heard about it when I was in college, taking my Apologetics Readings Course. As I was going through the lists of books about defending the Christian faith, this book stood out above the rest. Since it was on the lists of optional readings, I ordered it right away! I enjoyed this book’s insight about understanding the messages within movies and how important it is to understand the messages they are trying to communicate. This book was by far my favorite book I read that semester and in some ways has become one of the motivations I have had in writing reviews on this blog. The content on this book is just as relevant now as it was when it was published. Any Christian 15 or older would benefit greatly for reading this book ~ Bethel
We love movies. But more than that, we loved to be entertained. We are quick to watch the newest movie at anyone recommendation. When movies satisfy us, we watch them again and again. When we dislike movies, especially ones based off of known books or stories, we are quick to verbalize disappointment. But either way, we often just watch the movies to be entertainment, not to get something out of it intellectually or spiritually. We often let our guard down for the sake of being entertained. As a result, the messages that are being communicated through the film are not being filtered or being contrasted against personal beliefs. We often don’t have the tools needed to discern the messages communicated in our favorite movies. It leaves us to ask the question: how can we discern what moviemakers are communicating in films today?
In the book Hollywood Worldviews, former screenplay writer Brian Godawa tells us how to discern the messages being communicated in the movies we watch and not just being pacified by them. Godawa uses his writing experience to explain the structure of storytelling in films, which is essential for quality and significant in understanding the messages with films. We walk through the reality of worldviews that are communicated in every film we watch, whether we realize it or not. Godawa explains two of the most prevalent views present in films produced by Hollywood, existentialism and postmodernism. He also presents the reality that Hollywood’s portrayals of spirituality, faith, and even angels and demons, are tainted, often with the intention of making Christians look foolish and intellectually inferior as a result of blind faith. But even in the middle of all the conflicts in worldviews portrayed in films, he concludes that even though Hollywood is seemingly opposed to us, there is still a way to watch movies with integrity in our faith, finding a way to be in the world but not of it. This is all explained in a friendly writing style with examples for several films to illustrate his point. This is a great book and can be a fantastic resource, especially if you work with teens or are the parents of teens. I highly recommend this book to anyone! Get a copy today!
[Note: I did not realize until after I completed this review that the edition of this book I own is actually out of date. The first edition is dated 2002. The second edition, which has an eye on the cover, is dated 2011. This version of the book has more updated film and media example than the edition I read and reviewed. If you plan to purchase this book, make sure it’s the more recent edition]
When I first read the description of this book, I was drawn to it. It seemed like a book worth checking out, so that’s what I did. It was a book that took much longer than I expected to complete, but I was so grateful when I did. I enjoy the perspective of both Chris and Megan as their poured their hearts out onto the pages of this book. I completely relate to a desire to want to help women see their beautiful, their value, and their potential in Jesus, not in the answers our culture tries to provide. Although a few of their theological points were a little off and their some of the point of view shifts were a little confusing, I enjoyed the book and got a lot out of it. I also really enjoyed the chapter written by their husbands at the end of the book. If you have struggled with making peace with your reflection, this is a book I would recommend ~ Bethel
“Beautiful” is a word that is overused and even misused in our culture today. Women in our world are constantly bombarded by messages that distort their understanding of beauty and self-worth. It makes many of them desperate reach for idealistic goals that no one can achieve and may even cause self-harm in the process of getting there. This often results in an obsession over our reflection or a hatred of our reflection. Either way, so many of us don’t know how we will ever see ourselves as beautiful. It makes us ask the question: Can I really make peace with my reflection?
In the book Beauty Begins, Chris Shook and her daughter Megan Shook Alpha help their readers make peace with their reflection by finding the places where beauty does begin. This mother and daughter team walk through the lies that our culture sends that distort our perception of beauty. They help us identify our struggles in this area of self-worth, demonstrating that the scars from this area of brokenness can heal into something more beautiful. Finally, they encourage their readers to rebel against the mold that our culture tries to put them in. We are reminded that when we focus on our internal beauty through our thoughts, attitudes, and actions, that will be what will make us the most beautiful and will leave a legacy that honors the Lord. All of this is done in the context of Scriptures and stories from the lives of both Chris and Megan that make the truths they present stand out. When you come to the end, you are given hope that beauty can be found outside of our culture’s cookie-cutter mold, a beauty that will last into eternity.
This book is honest and relatable in so many ways. This mother-daughter are a great pair for this project and you will hopefully be inspired to find true beauty, if you take the time to read. I would recommend this for girls about 15 and older. Get your copy today!
*I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange in this review
Male-Friendly Rating. This book is a great option for fathers and husbands trying to understand issues related to beauty in our culture, especially since there is an addendum written by the authors’ husbands, Kerry Shook and Jordan Alpha, as a challenge to men. Even if their just read that portion, it could be of great value to them
Personal Rating. I had two critiques of the books. First, there were moments while I was reading that I struggled to identity the narrator’s voice between the two authors. Second, there were a few comments made throughout the book that I disagree with from a theological point of view. Aside from those small issues, this is a great book that I would recommend.
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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