Sunday, March 20, 2011

Book Review: Thank You, God, for Mommy

Thank you, God, for Mommy is written by Amy Parker and published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. This adorable board book has a lovely text talking about all the reasons that a child loves mommy. The text is rhythmic and reads smoothly and easily. The illustrations, drawn by Frank Endersby, are just as pleasant as the text and tell an even deeper story than the words itself. A mommy panda and a baby panda are illustrated throughout the book demonstrating the deep love between a mother and child. They are very well done and for the adult who will be reading the book ten thousand times, they will see new things each time the book is read. The illustrations are just that good. They are almost a story within a story.

I give this book 5-stars. It is a great book for children from birth to 4-years. The text is short enough even for the shortest attention span. The illustrations are interesting enough to keep in the older readers interested.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Book Review: God’s Promises Devotional Journal

Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, this book is a lovely hardback book with lovely raised letters and a leaf design on the cover. The overall look is very impressive.

On the inside are short, less than a half page and some are less than a quarter page, devotions written by some well-known theologians and some not-so-well-known writers. The writers are both male and female so the book will appeal to both male and female readers.

Below each day’s devotion is a question related to the devotion and a lined section for writing your thoughts. The questions and the devotions they are related to are very thought provoking.

The idea of a devotional and a journal all in one book is a great idea. It is a great way to keep your thoughts a faith in check. The devotionals aren’t so long that you take up all your time reading them and trying to decipher them. Instead, they are short, concise, and easy to digest. They are relate-able, making the task of applying the devotional to your own life easy.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to journal. I also think it would be great for a college student or a new Christian. The dual devotional and journaling will help both individuals to check their lives and make sure they are following Christ on a daily basis.

I give this book 4-stars and not 5-stars, only because I would like to have seen each devotion build on the previous one. The devotions are very stand-alone which is not a good thing since they are dated and you want to keep your reader/journaler focused on the task at hand.

Book Review: The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

The Principle of the Path is a unique self-help book. While one would expect the usual self-help list of ways to get your life on track and as the subtitle says “to get from where you are to where you want to be.” It isn’t. There are no steps and no real process. Instead, Stanley lays out a Biblical principle to help any person regardless of whether their life in on track or not to determine if they are on the right path.

The principle is simple.... “Attention determines direction. Direction determines destination.” Stanley uses lots of scripture to show how God illustrates this principle throughout the Bible.

After reading this book, I can see this principle throughout my own life and the lives of others. Stanley compares the Principle of the Path to the Principle of the Harvest as well as scientific principles that we all know to be true. He argues that whether we agree with the principle or not it rules our life, wherever we focus our attention that will determine our direction and thus the destination. He uses a lot of illustrations about driving which make a lot of sense but also make it difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t read the entire two or three page story.

Stanley uses lots of personal stories to illustrate his point. At times the stories seem to have very little to do with his point and one has to wade through a page or two before seeing the point of the story. His stories can also be a bit wordy.

While the points and philosophy of the book make lots of sense, it takes Stanly two chapters to get to the actual principle of the path. One has to be willing to hang in there before actually learning anything. I would prefer that he get to the point and explain the principle up front in the first chapter then launch into why we need to heed the principle.

I give this book 4-stars for the principle and the use of scripture, but I give it 3-stars for writing and staying on task. Reading this book is like listening to a genius with ADD. He has brilliant points but it is hard to follow the seemingly random chain of thoughts.