Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot by Mo Isom

Sex. In a world overwhelmingly obsessed with it, why is the church so silent about it? While our secular culture twists, perverts, cheapens, and idolizes sex, there are gaping holes in the church’s guidance of young people. The result is generations of sexually illiterate people drowning in the repercussions of overwhelming sin struggles.

Enough is enough, says Mo Isom. With raw vulnerability and a bold spirit, she shares her own sexual testimony, opening up the conversation about misguided rule-following, virginity, temptation, porn, promiscuity, false sex-pectations, sex in marriage, and more and calling readers back to God’s original design for sex–a way to worship and glorify him. This book is for the young person tangled up in an addiction to pornography, for the girlfriend feeling pressured to go further, for the “good girl” who followed the rules and saved herself for marriage and then was confused and disappointed, for the married couple who use sex as a bargaining tool, for every person who casually watches sex play out in TV and movies and wonders why they’re dissatisfied with the real thing, and for every confused or hurting person in-between.

Sex was God’s idea. It’s time we invited him back into the bedroom. – from author’s website


I wasn’t a big fan of this book. I found that it didn’t have much practical advice in it and none of the good points she did make were different from what I’ve heard before or they didn’t stick out enough for me to remember them. I also didn’t like how she would mention a part of her own story but then said to read her other book if I wanted more. At certain points it felt like she was simply advertising her other book. Her personal stories also tended to be very vague which I understand partly why she did it but it made it harder to relate to her story or figure out how exactly it fit into the point she was trying to make.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

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Eyes to See by Compassion Canada

How might our vision change if God gave us His eyes to see the world around us? From Genesis to Revelation, God reveals His compassion for those facing spiritual, physical and emotional poverty, and speaks clearly about identifying and working against injustice. Woven throughout those same pages of the Bible, He reveals His eternal perspective and hope-filled plan to redeem and restore our world. With opened eyes, we are able to play a role in that story of redemption! “Eyes to See” is a 30-day (4 pages per day) perspective-shaping journey for individuals and small groups. Through these pages, we will explore the spiritual roots of poverty, as well as discover its many varied faces. We will take a closer look at our relationships with God, with others, with ourselves and with the world to gain a renewed understanding of how poverty affects us all. Finally, as we see how God is restoring all of us in every aspect of our lives, we will discover that our needs and the needs of our neighbours around the world aren’t so different after all. As we see ourselves and others in light of God’s great unfolding story, we will discover the role God wants us to play in reflecting His love to a world in need. Colour interior pages and photos. Find the free films and 6-week small group study guide at www.eyestosee.cafrom Amazon.ca

I didn’t get the most out of this book as I could have or wished to. I kept forgetting to read it daily so it might have been better if I had read it as part of a group study. That being said, there were short chapters (only a couple of pages) that were thought-provoking and gave a more comprehensive approach to poverty. It also didn’t focus specifically on poverty in third-world countries or only on poverty in North America. It included both and gave a more in-depth view of poverty than simply a lack of money. I liked that at the end of each chapter, there were thought-provoking questions related to the chapter and an action plan related to what was mentioned. Sometimes it was simply the act of noticing those less fortunate around you. This book is not simply something someone reads and forgets about. For it to be the most beneficial to a person, they need to interact with the material.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Compassion Canada and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

Reunion by Bruxy Cavey

Is it possible that over the centuries the church has altered the message of Christ? Has modern Christianity wrapped itself so tightly in a fragmented, inactive version of the gospel that the life-changing message of God has been smothered? Pastor Bruxy Cavey thinks the answer is yes. He speaks to a new generation interested in Jesus but embarrassed by Christians in his latest book, (re)union: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners (coming May 2017).

“The message of Jesus changed the world . . . until the world changed the message,” says Cavey. “But I’m happy to say that there is a growing movement of truth-seekers and Jesus-lovers who are calling for a return to the first and foundational good news message of Jesus. This book is inspired by them, and it is an invitation to join their ranks.”

In (re)union, Cavey explains why Christians shouldn’t follow the Bible—but why they will want to read it to learn how to follow Jesus. He encourages readers to discover their true citizenship in the Jesus nation, where they might be ready to die for a cause but never willing to kill for one. – from author’s website


I loved this book. Cavey explained what the Bible and real Christianity is all about in a way that makes sense and yet challenged what I believed. At times he said things that shocked me like how as Christians, we don’t need to follow the ten commandments anymore, but as I continued reading and how he brought it all back to Jesus, it made sense. He addresses some concerns he knows people will have with what he says and explains why he believes the way he does. I may need to read this book a few times for everything to sink in fully, but it is not theological in the sense that many apologists and theologians make it out to be. It is written for the ordinary person and you don’t need a degree in theology to understand it. I recommend this book to anyone, as Cavey says, is a seeker, a saint, or a sinner.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Menno Media and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

Words of Grace: A Coloring Devotional Book by Jacqui Grace & Dee Arrand

Be Amazed by God’s Grace!

Bring new joy to your time in God’s Word by incorporating beauty and creativity. As a gentle tonic for the busyness and worries of your life, this travel-sized coloring book devotional will help you focus your attention and calm your hurried soul.

Each page spread includes Scripture, devotional thoughts, and images to color that are all designed to reconnect you with the God who knows your every need. Grab your colored pencils, crayons, or markers and set yourself free to create. But most importantly: relax, have fun, and be blessed by God’s grace. – from publisher’s website


<div align="justify"This is the first adult coloring book I've done and I enjoyed it for the most part. It is meant to be used as a devotional and I found it an interesting idea to include group questions to be able to do it like a Bible study. I enjoyed coloring the pictures, although they sometimes seemed too detailed to color. What I mean by that is that there were birds with hearts on them or some sections were so small that it was hard to stay within the lines except when the pencil crayon was freshly sharpened. So if you don't want to take the time and effort that it takes to color something really detailed, this probably wouldn't be the best book for you, but it does offer some excellent thoughts and some excellent pictures.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Hello, My Name Is: Discover Your True Identity by Matthew West

The world goes out of its way to make you believe you are not good enough. Maybe you aren’t sure you like where you’ve been, or who you’ve become. Maybe someone has made you believe a lie about who you are by speaking damaging words to you. The discovery of our true identities does not begin by looking within ourselves, but by looking to the One who made us. It is time to tear off the false name tags that cover up your true identity. Understanding who you are begins with knowing Whose you are so you can embrace your destiny as a child of the one true King. – from book’s website

I love Matthew West’s songs and think he is an excellent songwriter so I was excited to read this book. I enjoyed his stories as they gave an insight into his life and what inspires his songwriting. They were really thought out about how he incorporated them into each point he wanted to bring across. He uses stories from his life, the lives of people he’s met, and from people who have written to him. I enjoyed the writing style as well. I found it to be a conversational style and wasn’t too theological nor too flowery. It had serious moments, as well as lighter moments.

Fear Fighting by Kelly Balarie

We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits

Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.
– from Amazon’s website


I personally didn’t really like this book. I didn’t like the writing style and don’t remember much of what was said. I found the writing style to be more of an abstract thing which I didn’t like. I also didn’t do the group study questions but when I looked at them afterward, they probably would have been a good idea to go through even though I read the book by myself. They would have been more helpful than just reading the chapters and I probably would have remembered more of what I read.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Alive in the Spirit by A.W. Tozer

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Is the Holy Spirit Active in Your Life?

Many people look to extraordinary experiences as evidence of the Holy Spirit. But what happens when the experience ends? How can we be filled with the Spirit every day in the ordinary things we do?

In never-before-published material taken from A.W. Tozer’s sermons, Alive in the Spirit answers these questions and, in a balanced perspective, explores what the Spirit’s involvement in your life should look like.

Many talk about being filled with the Holy Spirit, but few accept God’s conditions. Tozer lays down these requirements in his trademark bold and wise way. Though every Christian has the Spirit, not every Christian is filled with the Spirit. Knowing the difference will change your life.
– from publisher’s website


This book was a little different than I was expecting. I found that it was more a call to be alive in the Holy Spirit than a practical guide to reach it. In the later chapters, it gave a few practical steps, but it was more a call to revival instead. It was more philosophical but was fairly simple to understand. Some of my favorite quotes from the book were:

“We will never get anywhere unless the Holy Spirit has the authority to convict us so that He might bring us into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and a steady walk with Him” (p. 84-85).

“I have endeavored to point out that there are certain gifts and talents, but there are some that come like fruit, and the tree does not cultivate the fruit; the farmer does” (p.140).

“Some people have not wept an honest tear for anybody in distress, but they will weep while there is somebody sitting at a desk somewhere in the studio making believe they are in trouble” (p.171-172).

I really enjoyed the book because it made me think about how I live and what I think about the Holy Spirit. It was thought-provoking and challenging.

Wild and Free by Jess Connolly & Haley Morgan

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For all the fullness of God available to His daughters, we often feel limited by two defining insecurities: I am too much, and I am not enough.

Co-authors and best friends Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan have felt the same, until one essential question turned the tables on it all: If God is wild and free and he created women, what does this mean for us today?

Wild and Free is an anthem and an invitation in equal parts to find freedom from the cultural captivity that holds us back, and freedom to step into the wild and holy call of God in our lives. With fresh biblical insight tracing all the way back to Eve and a treasury of practical application, the authors reveal how women today can walk in the true liberty we already have in Jesus. – from LifeWay


Wild and Free gave two different perspectives on what it meant to live wild and free with Christ as a woman. I liked how the authors had different personalities and temperaments to include both the “strong woman” and “meek woman”. We both need to live wild and free and the authors captured what it means from both sides. I also liked that they included a response at the end of the chapter from the other on how that chapter also applied to them. The book also gave a different perspective than what culture often makes me think of what wild and free living is like.

Angels by Jack Graham

Angels

The Truth About Angels

Myths about angels are everywhere. Do we become angels when we die? Are angels always hovering nearby, on guard to protect us from danger? Can we talk to them? Many of our ideas about angels come from the media, which is more interested in ratings and ticket sales than truth. It’s important for Christians to understand what angels really are.

Pastor Jack Graham walks you through Scripture, revealing the truth about angels and what they offer us: encouragement, counsel, confirmation of God’s will, strength, protection, wisdom, companionship, and more. Focusing on practical application, Dr. Graham separates fact from fiction and demonstrates that the main role of angels isn’t to draw attention to themselves, but to point us toward Christ. – from publisher’s website


Angels by Jack Graham is an excellent book for people who want to get a biblical view of angels. I could tell that Graham did his research on biblical accounts of angels. I liked how he applied it to our lives and how we relate to God. He didn’t just take angels out of the context of a relationship with God. I also liked how he included day to day examples of how knowing different things about angels would and should affect our lives.