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Non Fiction Books of Note

Non Fiction Book Reviews

The Farmer's Daughter

A Farmer's Daughter
Recipes from a Mennonite Kitchen
By Dawn Stoltzfus

Dawn Stoltzfus, drawing on her upbringing, has written a tastefully delicious cookbook.  As the daughter of a Mennonite farmer/pastor Dawn grew-up with fresh, wholesome food and she shares her wealth of knowledge in A Farmer's Daughter.

A Farmer's Daughter offers a well-rounded assortment of recipes, so there is sure to be something to please everyone.  The cookbook is broken down into nine sections: 1) Appetizers, Dips, and Beverages; 2) Breakfast and Breads; 3) Spring Salads and Dressings; 4) Summer Sandwiches and Winter Soups; 5) Garden Fresh Veggies, Comfort Food, and Sides; 6) Main Entrees; 7) Desserts; 8) Cookies, Cakes, and Bars; 9) Simple Do-It-Yourself Recipes.

Throughout there are little tidbits such as how to present your food, make a party out of the preparation, or even added a special touch to make the recipe your own.  There are a few short remembrances of how a recipe can into being or why it was and is a family favorite.

The recipes that I have tried have been easy and straightforward   I love the Herb Focaccia Bread, but the recipe that I am sharing in this review is found on page 53 the French Puff Cinnamon Muffins.  Dawn's description is as follows "These melt in your mouth.  They're like donuts - without being fried.  And so simple to make! Yeah!"  

Indeed these bite size muffins are easy to make, and when I offered them to my family the first comment made was "This are kind of like donuts.  What are they?"  So my taste-testers agreed that the donut  description was accurate.

Now on to the most important part the recipe.
Ingredients are as follows:
Muffin batter
1/2 cup white or raw sugar
1/4 cup salted butter, softened
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup flour

Cinnamon mixture
1/4 cup salted butter
1/2 cup white or raw sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375*F.  Grease 24 mini muffin cups.  Mix sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Stir in milk, and then mix in baking powder and flour until combined. Do not overmix.  Fill prepared mini muffin cups about half full and bake until lightly golden, 15-20 minutes.

While muffins are baking, prepare the cinnamon mixture by melting butter.  In a separate bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon.  When muffins are done, let cool slightly and remove from their cups, then dip each muffin completely in melted butter and roll in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Yields 18-20 mini muffins.
Serve warm!

* When I used this recipe I actually made 24 mini muffins, rather than the 18-20.

In the Simple Do-it-yourself Recipes there are recipes to create your own mixes for pancakes, vanilla pudding, taco seasoning, Christmas potpourri, and laundry soap.  This is an interesting, tasty, and enjoyable book.  Perfect for anyone looking for simple yet delicious recipes.

I was provided a copy of The Farmer's Daughter by the publisher for the purpose of this review and all opinions expressed are my own.  

Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The Gospel of  YES

The Gospel of Yes: We Have Missed the Most Important Thing About God. Finding It Changes Everything

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Gospel of YES

By Mike Glenn

God wants us to experience joy in our life, but many Christians feel that to be in God's will we must be miserable. But God wants us to use the gifts He has given us and to enjoy them in the work He has given us to do. When we try to be want we were not created to be we not only make ourselves miserable we make those around us miserable as well.

Serving God and others in the way we were created brings natural joy to both our outer demeanor and to our soul. Following God is not following a list of do not do's, this limits us so that we become angry and bitter. Rather we are to follow the path Jesus first walked, we are not to pound people into submission but rather win people over with good. We must immerse ourselves in the Word and experience the depth of Jesus' teachings.

When we truly know know Christ we will have integrity of character; our yes will always be yes and our no will always be no. No matter how circumstances change we will live in the same manner because we are grounded in Christ.

Today far too many Christians cannot say what they are for but they can list in detail what they oppose. But when we look at Paul he did not do this. He brought a message of hope, he did not stand on a corner waging war against the world of his day. Knowing Christ was all that mattered everything else was disposable, we should share the Good News in a like manner.

When we focus our vision on Christ our life is grounded and He is a positive driving force in our life. When Christ is the yes of our life we will not get trapped by the options life throws in our path. We must know what we are for. We must make a commitment, we can't chose the middle ground in case something better may come along.

We must live our day-to-day moments as a an act of worship before God. Through our relationship with God, we reclaim a portion of the universe that has been lost to sin. Everything we do should be as if we were doing it unto Jesus.

When God created the world He gave one no to His creation. But when limits are placed on us we assume that God is trying to keep us from having fun. But the rules (or Commandments) that God gave us are gifts of grace and mercy. Jesus gave us two rules for living to love God and to love our neighbor, if we keep these two rules we can easily keep every other rule given to us by God. By focusing on these two positives we do not focus on the negatives – the I can't do this of sin. If we focus on what we cannot do we will fail and we will sin.

But we must remember Jesus came in love to this sinful world. He came not to condemn but to save because He loved us. Creation is the outpouring of God's love and joy and He wants us to experience this same love and joy. The Bible is the story of God's yes, His love and His joy. By saying yes to the pain and suffering of the cross Jesus gave us the opportunity to save yes to His salvation, to accept His gift of redemption.

We need to realize that no one can meet our needs, only Christ can do this. We just have to say yes to His yes. God's final yes will be when He remakes and restores His creation.

Will you say Yes today? God is waiting for your answer.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. 

Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul


The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul

By Jennie Allen

Often our familiarity with the concept of God keeps us from the reality of God and Jesus. We bring them out for special occasions, like a holiday decoration that has become a tradition over the years. But how do we make God and Jesus a real and tangible part of our being and our life?

In Anything Jennie Allen takes us on a journey, a journey of turning over our lives to God. Until we give Him our anything we are incomplete. We will continue to live our lives trying to earn God's grace through works and outward shows, but grace cannot be earned. Jesus gave His anything to pay for my sin because He loved me. But to know God is a risk because He will reveal our true selves to us. God will sweep away all the pretense in our lives until realize we need Him.

Many obstacles keep us from a true relationship with God. We like, Adam and Eve, hide our nakedness behind leaves – leaves of religion, morality, and good works but God sees through our leaves and sees to our very soul. We are ashamed of our sin, but He already knows our faults and has already forgiven us.

We all desire approval, but instead of seeking after God's approval we turn to the world and make approval king of our lives to the exclusion of using our God-given gifts. We must let go of normal and embrace God and extraordinary that He is waiting to give us.

We must give Him everything and anything. Anything we hold back from God becomes an idol in our life. But when we trust God with everything He provides a stability that we cannot find in the things of this world. Following God is not a guarantee of an easy life, nor was it an easy life for the first disciples.

When we truly offer anything to God we are awakened to just how temporary this life and world are. We must let go and turn over control to God. We must to quit pretending our lives are perfect and worshiping this lie that we tell ourselves. When we surrender to God we are not consigning the rest of our life to bondage rather we are freeing ourselves to be who God created us to be.

Giving our anything to God sometimes keeps us right where we were before we placed our lives on the altar. When we've handed our life over we are more fulfilled in our lives and we are able to fulfill a need that was before us all along.

In giving His everything Jesus poured out His life to restore us, so how can we then refuse Him anything? We must be like Jesus. He loved me and He gave up for me. I, in turn, must give up for

Him. He will never leave me alone in my doubts and fears, I need only call out to Him and turn them over to Him. The difficulties of my life are an opportunity for me to grow and to rely on God.

Are you willing to give God anything or will you settle for the world? The choice is yours, are you willing to take the leap? Anything will help you take an honest look at your life. Is God king or have you allowed someone or something else to sit upon His throne? Anything will open the eyes of any reader and is perfect for either a personal or group study environment.

I received a copy of this title for my honest review. 

While America Sleeps

While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 EraWhile America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era by Russ Feingold
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While America Sleeps:
A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era
By Russ Feingold

While America Sleeps is an insightful look from former US Senator Russ Feingold in how America contributed to the its own fall. By assuming an attitude of disinterest in the world outside our own we convinced the rest of the world that we don't care about their plight or day–to–day struggles unless there is something in it for us.

America ignored the warning signs, thinking the mere greatness of name would keep us safe. But we were rudely awaken on September 11, 2001 when we were attacked on our own soil not with conventional weapons, but with airplanes.

But in the ''war on terror'' that followed we lost our focus. Instead of focusing on Al Qaeda we determined that we needed a target with boundaries, we needed to focus our attention on a country we could see rather than faceless terrorists that could be hidden throughout the world's vast population.

While the majority of the country had to return to its normal day–to–day life, Washington was scared. And any threat whether or not it was credible added to the anxiety. 9/11 gave certain government agencies the excuse needed to end or curtail basic freedoms Americans expected. Privacy was one victim of 9/11. Under the Patriot Act the government claimed the right to Library records, records of phone and internet usage, and the right to search and seizure without notice.

9/11 also provided the government with a reason to torture post 9/11 detainees, while they downplayed the inhuman cruelty of a practice that did not lead to the capture of Osama bin Laden.

Playing on fear these government agencies grabbed power that was not theirs and refuse to let it go. But many Americans are unaware of what they have lost in the decade following 9/11. Civil liberties and Constitutional rights have been undermined in the name of the war on terror.

To truly fight terrorists and Al Qaeda we must focus on the needs of the outside world. We must care about the needs of Asia, Africa, Central and South America. We should be reaching out to the people of these countries. What happens in one is not isolated to only that country. Terrorists have no boarders, they go where they can do the most to promote their cause.

Americans cannot assume that everyone knows English. We must make an effort to learn the languages of others, to understand their culture. Americans suffer from the notion that they have a ''divine role'' and that they are ''the ideal experiment in government and nation building'' a notion held since its founding. America has an arrogance about her place in the world, but do nothing to help others. We must reach out and attempt to bridge the gap that divides us from the rest of the world.

As the years have past since 9/11 America has turned its focus inward. The wake–up call of that September morning in 2001 has faded. America is returning to its sleeping state of oblivion. Unless we make a change in how we conduct our day–to–day living, our education system, our government, and our media coverage – we will forever remain vulnerable to terror and we will have no one to blame but ourselves. We received our wake–up call but did we heed it? Just as ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it neither can we claim ignorance of the world as an excuse for ignoring ir.

While America Sleeps is an intriguing look at Washington and how it is run. The power wielded by a few is the greatest danger to fixing what is broken. But the greatest power lies not in who is elected, but in those who are behind the scenes, those who have financial power.

While America Sleeps is not light reading. It is thoughtfully and provokingly written is such a manner so as to awaken the reader to the dangers that are both within and without. America must remember this warning from Proverbs 18:12 Before his downfall, a man's heart is proud.

This title was provided as a Digital ARC loan for the purpose of this review.

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God's Story, Your Story

God's Story, Your Story: When His Becomes Yours (Story, The)God's Story, Your Story: When His Becomes Yours by Max Lucado
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


When His Becomes Yours

By Max Lucado

When I open my heart to God He will rewrite the story of my life. Everyone wants to know where they came from and that is why God gave us His story – the Bible. The key message to the entire Bible is found in John 3:16 – God loved and He gave to the world, He loved and gave to us, His Son so that we could experience Him. He gave us a way out the sinful life if we choose to make His story ours.

Jesus was born into our everyday world so that we would be able to relate to Him. The Bible is His story but Satan wants to keep us from reading it. The devil is a divider and he divided humanity from God with the temptation in Eden. But God in His love planned a way to bridge this divide – His Son Jesus Christ.

When we face times of trial and testing by Satan we are being strengthened and purified for our life with God. Satan attacks our weaknesses so we must take them before God for strengthening. He has given us His Word – the Bible to strengthen and protect us in our battle against Satan.

Everyone longs for home, but our home is not earthly it is heavenly and our life is our journey home to our Father. But often times we try to change the route that God has given us to get there. We sin and try to make up for it by creating a ''work system''. The cross and forgiveness are the way, but instead we take the detour of work over God and His story of redemption. Jesus took our sins on Himself so we have no need to look for detours of works, we just need to believe and accept what God has given us – redemption, forgiveness, and His righteousness.

What the world views as our final chapter ndash; death is but the introduction to our life when we've made God's story our story! Jesus' victory over death is our victory and our path to everlasting life.

When we believe God shares His power with us, but there are times when we don't draw on His Spirit. When we are drawing on His Spirit we are filled with the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. We must wait for the Spirit's leading when we go blindly on our own way we run into blocked paths and closed doors. God is telling us, ''No!'' and when He says no it is for our good protecting us from something we can't see or so that we may do something greater.

Through every difficulty or challenge we face God is working it to our betterment. We must remember that when we reach our home – Heaven sin will be no more, pain and sickness will be a forgotten memory as we are made new!

Book includes a discussion guide which will help the reader to delve deeper into the topic discussed in God's Story Your Story.

Advanced Reader Copy provided in Digital Format by the publisher for reviewing purposes.

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The Lucado Inspirational Reader

THE LUCADO INSPIRATIONAL READER: Hope and Encouragement for Your Everyday LifeTHE LUCADO INSPIRATIONAL READER: Hope and Encouragement for Your Everyday Life by Max Lucado
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By Max Lucado

The Lucado Inspirational Reader a compilation from 25 previous works by Max Lucado. Broken down into 27 different topics this reader can be read as a whole as a devotional or it can be read as an as you need it book.

The topics are geared for the believer to help him or her in their daily walk with their Savior and to bring a deeper understanding. The covered topics include:
THE BIBLE which explains that there was a reason behind God giving us His Word. He speaks to us, gives us laws to protect us and provides the weapons we need to battle Satan.
CREATION explains that when we see the beauty of the world around us are seeing God's love because when He created He engaged His heart and soul.
FAMILY tells us that our family is a loan to us from God of His priceless work of art. Your spouse is God's masterpiece. But we must remember that our family is not only earthly, but Heavenly.
FORGIVENESS is kindness received and mercy given, and as long as we have a spirit of hate we are imprisoned but forgiveness sets us free!
GOD'S LOVE God loves even though He already knows the sins we are going to commit. His love is not dependant on us and it will never end!
MIRACLES are around us every day in the natural beauty of the world.
PRAYER the power in our prayers is in the hearer not in the speaker because prayer is an awareness of God, a calling home.
SECOND CHANCES what you did can't be undone but our Heavenly Father loves in spite of our failures and His perfect grace forgets what He has forgiven!

This a lovely devotional book that should be in every household and church library. It is both comforting and confronting perfect for the believer who wants to grow in their walk with their Savior!

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

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Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian

Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the ChristianBloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian by John Piper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BLOODLINES:Race, Cross, and the Christian

By John Piper

Physical differences should not divide the Church. Just as God judges the people of the world with equity so should the Church. All are deserving of God's gift of salvation! Jesus' ministry was not ethnocentric, He came for the New Israel whose people are not determined by an ethnic tag but by their link and belief in Jesus.

As today's world becomes more urban, ethnic diversity is increasing and the need for ethnic and racial harmony is a necessity. The growth of today's Church is in the Global South while its presence in Europe is diminishing.

Since the 1950's mainstream America has seen a rapid decline in morals across the racial divide at the same time God is disappearing for the American life. But there can be no racial blame cast because it is sin and everyone has committed sin and blame has never saved a single soul! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer to the moral quagmire we find ourselves willingly being sucked into.

The Gospel is not political; it supports no political agenda. It does support God and the salvation that is offered to all people through Jesus' death on the cross. The Gospel can break the binds of pride that separate the harmony that God intended for all of humanity.

True Christianity does not persecute or advance by the sword, but by love, prayer and thoughtful persuasion. Without the Gospel and the hope for a life after this individuals pursue their own good over that of the whole of humanity. For our good we must forgive instead of blame and we must love instead of hate. We were all, (man and woman) of every ethnic group, made in the image of God to deny this is sin! And all of humanity must realize we are all dying of the same disease and that disease is sin. There is but one cure the blood of Christ which was shed upon the cross and it is freely given to anyone that accepts it!

Racism will come to an end when according to Colossians 3:11 ''Christ is all, and in all,'' because when you turn to Christ and He comes into you it will be evidenced by your treatment of others of a different race. A true believer who has Christ as the central focus of their life is unable to shun, disparage, or hate another because they are different. We must become dead to everything except Christ so that we can show the love of Christ to everyone without exception! This is not a new problem even Peter behaved differently towards the Gentile believers when Jewish believers were present. Showing partiality towards a certain type of person is sin and it reveals the evil lurking within our hearts.

Diversity in the fellowship of believers shows the power of Christ. From one man came all peoples. God is not against interracial marriage as is evidenced by his judgement upon Arron and Miriam questioning of Moses' fitness in leading when he had a wife that was a Cushite.

The greatest problem in America is Chronological Snobbery when we judge other generations sins while glossing over our own as not that bad. Sin is sin in the sight of God and the only way to break free is to turn to Christ and to look to Him as our example!

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Stuck: A DVD Based Study

Stuck DVD-Based StudyStuck DVD-Based Study by Jennie Allen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A DVD-Based Study
By Jennie Allen

Stuck is how this study describes areas of our lives that keep us from God. The leadership kit includes: a DVD, broken into 10 or fewer minutes per session; a Leader's Guide, Leadership preparation, tips, and cautions with session format options and goals for each week; Conversation Starter Cards, reflective questions and a key verse for each session; and a Study Workbook, weekly study with verses and projects to gain an understanding of the topic being discussed.

We are all stuck in some area of our lives. We must admit no one is as perfect as they seem, and when confronted with these imperfections we either try to rebel or to hide it. Admitting our sin and humbling ourselves is the first step towards freeing ourselves to what God can give us and wants to give us. God in His grace gave us His Word so that we can free ourselves.

We must be broken in spirit so that we can be freed from what is holding us back and be made whole in God. If life were as it ought to be no one would have any rights except the right of death and hell. We must let go of our anger so that we can bridge the divide that we have erected between ourselves and God. We need to remember that Jesus gave up His rights to save us, so how can we do less? A spirit of humility allows us to let go of our self proclaimed rights and the discontent that is making us soul–sick. To free ourselves of the sin of jealousy and comparison we must rejoice in what God has given others and adopt an attitude of service.

When we become trapped in our fears and worries we find no joy in what God has given us, we must give up these idols that we have created and trust God. When we turn to God He will keep us from being overwhelmed by life because we are listening to His voice instead of our own or the world's. When we place our hopes and expectations in Him we will never be sad for long for He has given us what we need. But until we die to our wants we will remain stuck.

We must turn our wants over to God so that we can desire what He has for us. When God becomes central to our lives we become unstuck and can grow in Him.

This is a truly exceptional study and is perfect for a group of any size, though it is geared for a group setting of 8. All the components work to together for a life–changing experience if we come to it with an open ready to be changed and released from the quagmire of life.

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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 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Enemies of the Heart

Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from Emotions That ControlEnemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from Emotions That Control by Andy Stanley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Breaking Free From the Four Emotions That Control You
By Andy Stanley

''Life can be hard on the heart. The world is full of outside influences that have the power to disrupt the power of the heart.'' But over time we desensitize our hearts and throw our hearts out of their natural sync. Most people do not pay attention to the condition of their heart, but rather their behavior. ''Treating the symptoms masks the real culprit'' and ''delays treatment of the problem.'' The longer we ignore our ''spiritual heart disease'' the greater the risk that it will destroy us.

Andy Stanley will help us discover our problem areas so we can treat the root cause of our disease. Exceptions to our behavior are reflections of what is actually in our heart. ''What's in your heart comes out at home, where you've turned off the 'safety' and let down your defenses. That's when the heart exposes itself in the most negative ways to the people you love the most.''

Everyone is like a ''volcano waiting to erupt.'' But what can we do to prevent this hurtful volatility of the heart? Everything we experience goes through our heart, but the bad things tend to get trapped and eventually erupt. But because we have to build up we don't know where this behavior comes from. Often our earliest heart damage occurs during childhood, and because no one was around to help us release our hurt right away, we begin erecting walls to prevent future hurts. But when we hold onto our wounds we continually re–injure ourselves and damage our close relationships with others. Because we don't want others to know enough about us to wound us, we tend to keep everyone at a distance on the other side of our protective wall. Some people are so wounded that they have lost their faith in God, but if they can ''address their heart issues'' many times they rediscover their faith.

''There are four enemies of the heart that can't be measured in a doctor's office.'' These enemies are susceptible to truth. What are these enemies you wonder, ''they are: Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy'' and every wound ''can be traced back to one of these four.''

''Guilt is the result of having done something we perceive as wrong.'' This wrong can be viewed as theft and therefore a debt we owe to the wronged party so ''we feel obligated to pay something.'' But our attempts to pay off our debt incurs more debt and further damages those around us. When we owe someone a debt we tend to avoid them in an attempt to lessen our guilt while we slip further into debt.

''Guilt says, 'I owe you.' Anger, on the other hand, says, 'You owe me'.'' Anger is the end product of not getting what we want and what we feel we deserve. Anger people are hurting people who feel something has been stolen from them and they want to make someone, anyone pay. Therefore anger people are ''equal opportunity avengers'' and if you get close to them 'you're going to get dumped on.' When we justify our anger with a hurt that we suffered years ago we are giving control of our life to the one who hurt us.

''The third enemy greed says 'I owe me'.'' Greedy people hide their disease from themselves by describing themselves as savers or planners. They are not happy when they have to part with money and always want more. Greed is an equal opportunity disease that afflicts rich and poor alike. Greed requires a person to gather possessions to make themselves feel secure, but that feeling of security never comes.

''Jealousy says, 'God owes me'.'' We seen an inequity between our life and someone else's – an inequity that God could have fixed. God could have made us better. But we never realize our jealousy is against God, we think it is against the person who has what we don't have. We revel in others loses. Jealousy shows the condition of the heart more readily than the other three because we can't excuse or justify jealousy. Jealousy keeps us from obeying Christ's command to ''love one another.'' ''Envy can wreak irreparable damage upon any relationship or organization.''

Changing the condition of our heart is not as simple as saying ''Change my heart, oh God.'' In most cases it requires effort on our part that often brings pain and discomfort. We need to form new habits so we can break the old diseased habits. But we don't want to work for our cure we want to happen overnight, sparing us any discomfort.

To free ourselves from the power of guilt we must confess the dark secrets in our hearts. This is the first step to recovery and restoration. Our confession is not to be a private one to God, but rather a confession to the person you have wronged. By swallowing our pride we loosen guilt's hold on our heart. As long as our guilt is hidden we feel free to be a repeat offender, but public confession breaks this cycle. Confession may also free the wronged person from the anger they are suffering from.

The most dangerous enemy of the heart is anger, and its cure is forgiveness. 'We are commanded to 'get rid of' anger. But how do we do this? We need to stop being the victim and ''extend kindness and compassion to those who have wronged us,'' and we must forgive them ''just as in Christ God forgave us.'' When we ''refuse to forgive is to chose to self–destruct.'' Forgiveness is what frees me from the prison my anger has constructed for me. We are to forgive because God forgave us. Before we can forgive we must first identify who our anger is directed at and then determine what was taken from us and what we feel we are owed. We can then go before God and cancel the debt and if the memory resurfaced remind yourself the debt has been canceled..

When we confront greed we are confronting our ''fear that God can't or won't take care of us'' So greedy people determine that they are the only one capable of taking care of themselves. In the eyes of a greedy person stuff equals time, the more you acquire the longer you'll have to enjoy it. But to store up here leaves you nothing for the life yet to come. To break greed's hold we must ask why God has given us so much and we must share what He has given us. We must give so that our way of living is impacted and must give cheerfully. We own nothing, but we are managers of God's property.

Jealousy becomes resentment so when we tackle jealousy we must confront our resentment as well. We must realize that jealousy is a result of not getting what we want. We must take this dissatisfaction to God, if we are unable to tell God that He owes us we are on the road to recovery. To destroy jealousy's hold we need to celebrate in the success of other and be happy for them. Make this a habit until it becomes part of who you are.

We need to realize that all conflicts are caused by someone not getting what they want. If you do get what you want you will not be satisfied and you will want it again. We must stop playing the blame game and accept the responsibility of our actions. We need to take our requests to God, if it is for our good He will give it to us if our motive is pure.

''Like father, like son isn't just a cliche; our kids share our propensities towards anger, guilt, greed and jealousy. We have the capacity to pass along spiritual corruption. So we need to tackle these issues head-on in our lives'' These conditions shape our homes and our children's hearts. The ''home environments mirror the hearts of those who head the home.'' Children learn from example, words mean nothing if the actions do not follow. We must guard our hearts and watch what goes into them. When we allow one of these enemies to fester we give Satan a way into our heart. This opening weakens us to the temptation of sin – especially sexual sins because our emotions are thrown off balance. A healthy heart helps us fight temptation and allows us ''to love as God intends us to love. Anger greed, guilt, and jealousy are the antithesis of love.'' First Corinthians 13: 4 – 7 should guide our lives because it shows love as God intended it.

Includes Discussion Questions to reflect and discuss

Broken into 6 weeks for Group study, but the weeks are by topic rather than by chapter.

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Be the Change

Be the Change, Revised and Expanded Edition: Your Guide to Freeing Slaves and Changing the WorldBe the Change, Revised and Expanded Edition: Your Guide to Freeing Slaves and Changing the World by Zach Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Revised and Expanded Edition

By Zack Hunter

As you contemplate your coming teen years what do you imagine it being like? Proms. Cramming for exams. More homework. School committees. Hanging out and having FUN with your friends.

For Zack Hunter, his teen years have been very different. Zach is committed to abolishing modern day slavery. Think slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation - well you thought wrong! Slavery is a growing problem and it can be found world wide.

Join Zach as he takes you on a journey - a journey through time with the people who had a passion to be the change in their world. As you read Be The Change you will have time for reflective thought at the end of each chapter. By the end of Be the Change you better understand yourself and your passion!

Be The Change would be an excellent choice for a teen book group or a youth group who want a book with a deeper meaning. Written in a style that will appeal to teens!

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Desiring God

Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian HedonistDesiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mediations of a Christian Hedonist
By John Piper

The purpose of life is to glorify God by enjoying Him. We are to approach Him with the wonder of a child and take pleasure in Him. It is human nature to seek happiness and pleasure and this in turn leads to true praise and worship. True worship of God is spontaneous and from the heart not just the mouth.

God delights in the fellowship of the Trinity and His delight flows down to those who thirst after Him. He delights in His creation and shows His love by giving Himself to us; we must do likewise and give ourselves to Him. We should desire to share this gift of fellowship with others; it should be a joy not a duty or an obligation that we feel is forced upon us. True joy comes from bringing joy to others (a spouse, parent, friends, or co-workers) which is accomplished by sharing the gift of salvation.

Willful sinning is an act of contempt against God, a sign of disrespect. Many people today believe in Jesus just as they believe in Buddha or Santa Claus, but they don't KNOW Jesus and they don't delight in Him.

The ultimate goal of the Christian is to pursue the joy of God in everything we do!

This book is perfect for individual study or for a group setting. There is a Study Guide in the back, as well as; a Scripture index, a Person index and a Subject index and a Resource Guide.

This is a book that is very thought provoking and helpful for a deeper personal examination of one's own personal life.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know

Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should KnowLife-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know by Erwin W. Lutzer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By Erwin and Rebecca Lutzer

Storing God's Word within ourselves is a necessity for a life of Christian Maturity. It is His Word that sustains us during times of need, helps us to stay strong and withstand temptation. Unfortunately Scripture has become a lost art in today's world of instant everything. Why take time to learn a Bible verse when you can pull it up on a mobile device in an instant?

Join Erwin and Rebecca Lutzer as they take you on a journey through the Bible - a journey that could change your life!

The first part of this book is devoted to Bible verses everyone should know. They are broken down into chapter topics with one to three reference verses to a specific topic - such as anxiety, fear of God, Jesus, and temptation. Then these verses are explained in terms that relate to our lives and the world around us. Through-out the text are other verses that support the topic being discussed. At the end of each chapter are reflective questions to help understand and think about the meaning of these verses.

The second part has additional Bible verses to memorize for the topics that were mentioned in part one. The Bible verse is cited with the Scripture passage following.

With almost 40 topic and their corresponding supporting verses the reader is provided with a good foundation for Bible Verse Knowledge!

This book would be perfect for a home Bible study, a teen study group, a Sunday School aid, or a Church Book Group.

Digital Advanced Reader Copy provided by the publisher - Harvest House.

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The Grace of God

 The Grace of GodThe Grace of God by Andy Stanley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By Andy Stanley

Grace is something we all strive for but none us ever deserves it and we are reluctant to share it with others. But what is grace, specifically God's Grace?

Andy Stanley takes us on a journey through the Bible and time to show us that every act of God is part of His plan for Grace. His entire act of Creation was a gift of Grace. We did not have to have a separation between day and night or land and sea. God could have stopped with Adam but in His grace he did not leave Adam without a human relationship.

In His plan for redemption He did not pick the most righteous individuals to fill Jesus' family tree. He picked those who were fallen and sinful. He chose the Judahs and the Rahabs for Jesus' lineage. God brought to light what most people would try to hide. In His grace He came to the sinful and the undeserving because if we deserve grace it is not grace.

The Grace of God makes one realize how many times during a day one can extend God's grace to others. We should strive to be like the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son, we should openly rejoice when someone comes seeking a relationship with our Heavenly Father. We should not be like Jonah, doing everything we can to keep from sharing God's grace. God is merciful and He will accept anyone at anytime if they hold out their hand to Him and His gift of grace.

We must always remember Grace is God's gift to us, we can never earn it and He offers it freely to all.

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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 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”