Year of the Bookwormz: 2011

52 weeks. 2 friends. 1 challenge.

Book C: Fabookulous December 19, 2011

The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel

Book description:

‘The more I looked, the more I found Christian Atheists everywhere.’ Former Christian Atheist Craig Groeschel knows his subject all too well. After over a decade of successful ministry, he had to make a painful self admission: although he believed in God, he was leading his church like God didn’t exist. To Christians and non-Christians alike, to the churched and the unchurched, the journey leading up to Groeschel’s admission and the journey that follows—from his family and his upbringing to the lackluster and even diametrically opposed expressions of faith he encountered—will look and sound like the story of their own lives. Now the founding and senior pastor of the multicampus, pace-setting LiveChurch.tv, Groeschel personal journey toward a more authentic God-honoring life is more relevant than ever. Christians and Christian Atheists everywhere will be nodding their heads as they are challenged to take their own honest moment and ask the question: am I putting my whole faith in God but still living as if everything was up to me?
 
A phenomenal read–I agree with a quote on the cover–this book is a classic in the making! The Christian Atheist will challenge you to wake up and LIVE like you actually believe in God. Some of the chapter highlights include “Believing in God but Still Worrying All the Time”, “Believing in God but You Can’t Get Over Your Past”, “Believing God but Seeking Happiness at Any Cost”, etc…Stop going to church for the formality of it and explore a rich relationship with God! We allow ourselves to grow so numb and so used to “our way” that we never REALLY change our lives. Live every part of your life as a follower of Christ, Sunday-Saturday. This book will wake you up, challenge you with some (hard) truths (at times). For me personally, this one just earned a spot on my top 5 list of all time! (And considering I read 52 books in 2010, that’s an exclusive list to be on….just sayin) 😉

 
5/5 stars
Fabookulous
Advertisements
 

Book P: Fabookulous May 15, 2011

The Power of a Whisper
(Hearing God. Having the Guts to Respond.)
by Bill Hybels

Book description:

The greatest buzz of the Christ-following life comes from hearing directly from God–sensing his guidance to lean into some situations and steer clear of others, to speak a word one moment and fall silent the next, to adopt bold new practices and ditch the self-destructive habits that only do us harm. By his own declaration, if Bill Hybels could wave a wand over the entire world, he would wish for each person alive today to have this type of personal, meaningful and frequent encounter with the living God. “God’s wish is to speak into the situations faced by every individual, every family, every church, every school, every business, every government, every media outlet, every organization and every organism imaginable,” he says, “and to train their steps according to his good and perfect will.”

If you crave full-throttle faith, the kind of divinely directed life that God alone can provide, then this book is for you. God still speaks relevant words to his followers, and most likely a grand adventure with your name on it is on your heavenly Father’s lips. Tune your ear toward heaven, and he will direct your steps, accompany your path and celebrate your faithfulness one day.

I picked this book up because the title resonated with me during this season of my life. I felt God whispering to me in a particular way and thought this book would help define that for me. It wasn’t what I expected.


Reminiscent of the God Winks by SQuire Rushnell books (yes, the Q is supposed to be capitalized), The Power of a Whisper shares numerous stories and examples of how God “steered” someone in the right direction. To more effectively and accurately know if you are hearing from God, Hybels gives 5 “tests” to line your whisper up with. And the more in tune you are with the Bible, the more familiar you will be with hearing God’s voice when he speaks to you. The idea of a Godwink is that there are no such things as coincidence– rather opportunities God uses to assure you that you are on the right path. When things seem to line up just right, or a series of events works out just as they should or were meant to be, God is winking at you to encourage you on the path you are on. Hybels is basically making the same point, calling them whispers. Whispers of love, direction, and guidance, if you will.

Though it wasn’t what I expected, it is still a good book that offers guidance and tools for those seeking them. Hybels uses very descriptive language and after a while it sort of seemed like filler to me. (Just this reader’s opinion) In my own life, whispers from God have come up in more way than one lately and after reading this book I’ve found the real-life experiences are richer than any guide can show you. Just open your ears and listen.

3.5/5 stars

Fabookulous

 

Book #31: Fabookulous September 9, 2010

Really Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs

Book description:
“If you’ve already read
Bad Girls of the Bible, welcome back. If this is our first chance to sit across the page from one another, welcome home. Trust me, it’s a safe place to be- a place of grace, not judgment. A place where God is in charge and we’re not. (Whew!)

“You’ll meet eight women here whose names you may not recognize, but whose sordid stories felt uncomfortably familiar to this Former Bad Girl. Athaliah’s ruthless climb up the corporate ladder cut close to the bone. Ditto for the tawdry tale of David and Bathsheba- my, didn’t her Good Girl status go down the drain in a hurry? Ah, but it didn’t stay there. That’s the good news, sisters. Really good, in fact.

“Whether they were Bad and Proud of It, Bad for a Good Reason, Bad but Not Condemned, or found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time under a Bad Moon Rising, the lives of these Really Bad Girls of the Bible all demonstrate one thing: God’s sovereignty. Honey, we’re talking ‘Thy will be done.’ Period. The unstoppable power of God to press forth with his mighty plan for mankind, not working around our sinful choices but through them. Imagine that.

“Although we’re all less than perfect, the girls and I are more than ready when you are!”

~Liz Curtis Higgs

The sequel to Bad Girls of the Bible, Really Bad Girls of the Bible, delves even deeper into the lives of less than perfect women of the Bible and lessons we can learn from them. I found this one to be more interesting in the sense that the women found in this edition are lesser known. Though Bathsheba and Tamar are more familiar stories, it was nice to study other women with small roles (the medium at Endor, Athaliah, Jael, Herodias, and the Bleeding Woman and the Adulteress.)

After reading the accounts of these women, the reader will (and should) walk away with a deeper sense of God’s grace! In our human nature we compare sins and weigh which seem better or worse. In fact it is all equal. Which is even more shocking to see that a woman who bled for 12 years (though not actually BAD but seen that way by her society as such), a woman who requested the head of John the Baptist as reward per her mothers’ suggestion (Herodias), a woman who committed adultery with the king while her husband was fighting in the war (Bathsheba), a woman caught in adultery and brought before the massive crowds and shamed publicly, a woman who tricked her father-in-law into sleeping with her so she would conceive (Tamar), a woman who ordered the murder of her family members in her shameful, power seeking attempts (Athaliah), and a woman who committed murder in her tent (Jael) are all on the same playing field. Not one is worse than the other. The point of these women’s mistakes is not to be like or unlike them, rather to see how powerful God is and how willing He is to use us all for His greater good, rather than our own. I liked this sequel better than the first one and I feel Liz Curtis Higgs’ observations and insights were more profound and thought-provoking this time around.

Higgs is not shy about her own past mistakes and sins and it’s surprising to read a Christian themed book in which the author is so candid about her own regrets. I appreciate the honesty and feel that makes the author more relatable and allows the reader to open up more. Nobody is perfect (and we should never think otherwise) but it’s unusual to not feel preached to with Christian themed books. That’s probably the beauty of studying Bad Girls rather than Good Girls. We all know what we SHOULD do and SHOULDN’T do. But do we know we are still of value and use to God even after we’ve messed up, whether it be intentionally or not?

This series has been eye opening and intriguing. It’s no surprise to me that I’m going to read Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible next. If you’re looking for a humbling, encouraging, and insightful book (or series of books), I recommend the Bad Girls of the Bible series to you! Higgs will not disappoint you!

5/5 stars

Happy Reading,
Fabookulous

 

Book #10: Fabookulous March 28, 2010

So Long, Insecurity (You’ve Been a Bad Friend to us) by Beth Moore

A letter from Beth:

Dear Friend,

We’re insecure. You and me and every woman. Lately I’ve been realizing more and more that chronic insecurity is a cultural epidemic, but almost no one is talking about it. And it ticks me off.

We’re insecure about everything from our looks to our worth as women, from our relationships to our futures, and everything else in between. You name it, and we’re probably insecure about it.

Let’s be honest here. Insecurity makes us miserable. It cripples us. It makes fools of us. It makes us feel worthless. Insecurity has been a bad friend to us. The bottom line is that it’s self-sabotage.

Girlfriend, listen to me. Our insecurities are lying to us. It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to say, “So long!” to insecurity. How? First we have to understand it, and the good news is that insecurity is understandable. The even better news is that insecurity is curable.

It’s time we girls help each other out so we can be the best wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends that we can possibly be. Let’s have a chat, you and me, through these pages. I’d be honored if you’d join me on my quest for real, lasting, soul-deep security.

Beth

Once again, one of my favorite bible teachers will blow you away! I took my sweet time with this book to absorb the material. Beth Moore will make you laugh at embarrassing examples of an insecure woman as well as offer you tips on how to fight it when you feel yourself starting to show fears.

Security/insecurity can be such a taboo topic. Insecurity can become so intertwined with who you are, you may not even realize it. Magazines, television shows, the Hollywood glitz…they all make us feel inadequate and believe in something as status-quo that is, in fact, the farthest thing from it. I made the decision several months ago not to renew my People magazine subscription when it’s up in June, as a personal decision to not feed these images to myself anymore.

That’s not to say insecurity stems only from the desire to impress strangers by what we look like, what clothes we wear, what car we drive. Are we even insecure about reading a book on insecurity?? No, no…insecurity goes far beyond the outward and the material. What about you? What makes you insecure? What struggles do you hide behind? Your career? Your house? Your marriage? Your relationships? If we’re absolutely honest with ourselves, we are sure to find insecurities that we hold onto and take measures to protect and keep hidden.

Why do we do that? We might not even realize we’re putting these burdens on ourselves that are not only unnecessary, they are curable! Why do we choose to live life with fears and feelings of inadequacies? We can be secure in the women we are knowing God created us to have strength and dignity. This is the message Beth walks us through and guides us with throughout this book.

I do, however, believe there is a difference in being a secure woman in God, confident in who He created us to be and who we are in Him, and an arrogant woman who gives credit to herself rather than God for her achievements and who she is. I think it’s important to give glory to God always and not ourselves and that’s where the line is drawn. Without God, we are nothing.

I recommend this book for everyone because whether you discuss it with others or not, we all have insecurities. But don’t limit yourself to a life where you feel you don’t thrive…pray about them, work through them, and get rid of them once and for all! You are beautiful, inside and out, and you don’t need society or others to tell you that. Let your Creator tell you. After all, it is Him who designed you.

5/5 stars!
Happy Reading,

Fabookulous