Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Book of Life Recovery

The Book of Life Recovery
Stephen Arterburn
David Stoop
Tyndale Publishing
Christian Life/ Personal Growth
Publication date: 9/2012

Whether you yourself are going through recovery or you know someone who is this book is a must read. Arterburn and Stoop have done an excellent job of breaking down the 12 steps to recovery into small manageable bites.

The twelve steps clearly identify a high power. The authors of The Book of Life Recovery take those twelve steps and that higher power and bring a Christian perspective to the road to recovery. Gripping personal stories run throughout the entire book. Stories of people reaching the bottom and deciding to make a change; the stories are both sobering and encouraging.

Each chapter highlights one of the twelve steps.  Stories introduce the chapter and then a particular insight to each step is offered. Four Bible studies end each chapter. Each of the Bible studies is designed to take the reader deeper into the step to recovery from the Christian perspective. Psalms, Abraham, and Jesus all give insight and hope for the recovering reader.

I found this book to be extremely helpful and insightful. I myself do not struggle with an addiction but I have close friends who do. Beyond that I am a pastor and counselor. This book will definitely sit on my shelf and will be a go to book as I work with people. Clearly laid out and very easy to read this is a resource worth having. 

Thanks to Tyndale Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this title in exchange for my honest review. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Gifted

The Gifted
Ann Gabhart
Historical Romance
Available July 2012

Jessamine Brady has been in the Shaker Village for half her young life, but in spite of how she loves her sisters there, she struggles to conform to the strict rules. Instead she entertains dreams of the world outside. When Tristan Cooper seems to step out of those dreams to entice her into the forbidden realm beyond the Shaker Village, her life turns upside down.

Will Jessamine be able to survive the storms of the world? Or will she retreat back to the peace of Harmony Hill?

Ann Gabhart is an author I always enjoy reading. She has a way of making history and different cultures come alive. I always find her Shaker books particularly intriguing. I was excited to dive into The Gifted.  Jessamime as a character has quite a lot of depth and as a reader I felt her very real struggle. Tristan lacks depth at the beginning but gains it as the story moves along.

For some reason this book wasn't a favorite of mine. There was a lot of Shaker theology in the book and it ended up making me a little uncomfortable. Hearing so much about "Mother Ann" seemed to take away from the story. I am definitely walking away with a much better understanding of the Shaker faith, I'm just not sure that's what I was looking for.

Either way Gabhart is an excellent story teller who will grip you right away. Her characters are real and well developed and the underlying story of Jesus throughout is always beautiful. The way the characters long for something more is so true of how God is always gently wooing his children.

I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest and real review.
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