Category Archives: Literature/Books

Empty Promises by Pete Wilson: A Review

Pete Wilson, pastor of Crosspoint in Nashville, TN, released his second book this week. Empty Promises tackles the uncomfortable issue of idols. Idols that hold only empty promises instead of satisfying the longing we all have. The spiritual longing we fill with other things, but that can only be satisfied in Christ.

Wilson walks through many aspects of our lives that can become idols. Beauty obessesion, approval addiction, money and many other traps that take our focus off of Christ and even other aspects that seem to be good.

Walking the reader through many of the idols we create in our lives Pete Wilson also shares questions we can ask ourselves that give insight into what things may be taking our worship away from God.

The chapter on approval addiction echoes much of what I have learned over the past few years in my own life as I have learned to find my worth in the one who created me instead of trying to meet the expectations of those around me.

While Empty Promises shows us that idols will never breathe life into us it also reminds us that God put these longings in our heart to lead us to him.  Wilson also leaves the reader with ways we can overcome the idol or idols we have allowed to creep into our lives.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jesus, My Father, the CIA & Me by Ian Cron: a Review

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I was hesitant to read Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: a Memoir of Sorts by Ian Morgan. Not because I didn’t think it would be worth it. I knew it would be after seeing reviews, but I have read so many memoirs recently that I wondered if I should try a different genre.

I am glad I did. It is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

In his “memoir….of sorts”, as he calls it Cron chronicles his experience as the child of an alcoholic father who went from working for the CIA to dragging his family into poverty in Connecticut. He shows us a childhood never feeling the love and approval of his father and being disappointed time after time. He talks of his experiences as a child and sensing God in his early years in the Catholic church only to turn away as a teen when it seemed as if God was no longer there. Turning to alcohol in his teens he doesn’t gloss over his own struggle with the addiction.

Yet his story never comes across as angry or bitter. While his sadness shows in his writing his words are ringed with grace. Not only is his prose beautiful, but his story compels us to give grace to our own childhoods.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Please Stop Laughing at Me by Jodee Blanco

Pleasestoplaughing.cover Before beginning Please Stop Laughing at Me by Jodee Blanco I knew it would not be an easy read.

Blanco’s incredible memoir of her childhood and teenage years as a victim of bullying recounts how it felt to be the outcast as well as the physical and emotional effects she experienced.

While I experienced minor verbal bullying in school Blanco’s tales of the brutality her peers subjected her to was shocking. Never feeling like she fit even as a child at ten years old. A heart for children with special needs, she was ridiculed for befriending them. Throughout the years Blanco tried to fit in by hiding her true personality, but the bullying would only ease for brief times.

Not only is Please Stop Laughing at Me a memoir of one girl’s life it also brings light to how even the most well meaning adults can be misguided with how they try and help victims of bullying. Blanco is also very honest about the feelings of anger and depression that surfaced as a result of the incessant taunting and pain she endured.

If you have children or work with children in any way I recommend Please Stop Laughing at Me. No child should endure the horrors Blanco experienced as a child and teen.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

We Be Big by Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey

_140_245_Book.358.cover Living in central Alabama you have to be a hermit to not know who Rick and Bubba are. I was in college at Jacksonville State University, Rick and Bubba’s alma mater, when the Rick and Bubba show began in Gadsden, Alabama just a half hour drive from JSU. I can remember mornings driving to class listening to the duo. Almost everyone loved the Rick and Bubba Show. They were funny. And real.

We Be Big: The Mostly True Story of How Two Kids from Calhoun County, Alabama became Rick and Bubba chronicles their childhood years as well as their rise to one of the most popular morning shows in the southeast.

As they share in We Be Big it took a few years before they realized how God was directing their steps and that of the show. They each share memories from childhood and when they realized how well they played off each other in a Spanish class at JSU as well as much more.

I enjoyed this easy read about two legends from my home county. Definitely worth reading.

They say the show is about everything. Everything that happens in their lives is fair game, but they also are unafraid to share their faith and the difficult experiences in life.

In We Be Big they give the credit to God, as they do each day on their show, and their faith for bringing them the success they have.

A copy of this book was provided for this review by the publisher.

Reflections of a Prodigal by Scott Garrison

Reflections of a prodigal “How can we come into that Presence and not be changed?”

These words from the introduction to Reflections of a Prodigal: 40 Days of Renewal by Scott Garrison strike me. I guess because while my own faith journey is very different from his own I’ve said the same in recent months.

Scott is a friend of mine from college. One of those friends that is a part of your life for a season and then life happens, things change and you lose touch. Until Facebook.

After college I only heard about Scott once through the network of southern baptist churches. Other than that I knew nothing of what was going on in his life. Once we reconnected on Facebook, I began reading Scott’s essays he posted. They were thought provoking and written from a heart seeking God.

Reflections of a Prodigal is a collections of these essays. Written during Scott’s own journey back to God as a prodigal. An Alabama native and son of a pastor and foreign missionaries, Scott walked away from the church.  But God didn’t give up on him. Scott shares his thoughts on many aspects of his faith journey. The essays are short and easy to read making them perfect for devotions.

I’m giving away a copy of Reflections of a Prodigal this week. To be entered leave a comment on this post. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Giveaway will remain open until Wednesday, March 2, 2011.

I received no compensation or merchandise for this giveaway.