Love Without Limits {book review}

LovewithoutLimitsHope.

That’s what came to my mind as I read the book Love Without Limits by Nick Vujicic; hope for the future, hope for dreams come true, hope for true love.

International evangelist and motivational speaker Nick Vujicic along with his wife Kanae have penned an amazing story of true love at it’s best. Despite many obstacles and a somewhat confusing start to their relationship, Nick tells the story of how God brought Kanae into his life, met the deep desires of his heart and showed him what true love looks like.

Kanae, Nick’s wife, also weaves in her upbringing and story to give readers the full span of how amazing God is and His hand on their coming together. Nick and Kanae cover so many topics in this book, from trusting God, to courtship, to proposals, to abstinence, marriage, parenthood and more, that I can’t even begin scratch the tip of the iceberg in this review. It’s a story brimming full of love and wonder that you can’t help but feel the hope within yourself rising to the surface!

If you’re single, I highly recommend this book. It reaffirms not only God’s love for us, but how deeply intimate He is a part of every single aspect of our lives, including our love life. Are you still waiting for that special someone to come along? Don’t give up hope! As Nick rightly says early on in the book,

“You are worthy of love because you are the creation of a loving Father.”

I give Love Without Limits five out of five stars for sure. Anyone looking for a good, biblically solid, wise and honest read should pick up a copy today. Love truly does have no limits!!

Rhythms of Grace by Kerri Weems {book review}

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“Life is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. These well-known words of wisdom remind us to pace ourselves in the journey of life so we reach the finish line with no regrets. Pacing yourself is not as easy as it sounds. Life tends to take on a pace of its own which when left unchecked, will drive us toward burnout and fatigue. We can easily become driven by care, worry, and ambition rather than led by the Holy Spirit. We may tend to think of burnout as a modern problem, but we can see that people in Jesus’ day felt their own kind of spiritual and emotional fatigue. Why else would Jesus have said these comforting words?”

Rhythms of Grace, by author Kerri Weems, was a breath of fresh air. I ordered this book after feeling pulled in many different directions at many different times during the day, and sometimes multiple times in a week! What began to me feeling only like a busy few weeks soon turned into a feeling of ongoing fatigue and confusion! Of course, living in our current culture which tends to thrive on appointments, non-stop emails, carpool lanes, fast food restaurants and endless amounts of activity, it’s all too easy to get sucked into this whirlpool! But really, does God want us to live this way?

No. Not the way we’ve been doing it in the 21st century. Therefore I jumped at the opportunity to read this book. Turns out I’m not the only one who felt this way either. Kerri Weems has a plethora of sound biblical wisdom that can help anyone with multiple things to do in a week get back into a rhythm that works for them; a rhythm with rest.

Weems does a fabulous job of weaving together simple, practical advice, encouragement and biblical teachings to help us get back to pace that leads to wholeness, or what the Bible refers to as “shalom.” Weems does not deny that we are busy people living in a busy world, but she does offer ways that will help the reader to get back to a place where we can take time for ourselves to not only re energize for the things that need to be done, but to relax in the presence of our Savior.

I give Rhythms of Grace 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to anyone who is feeling the strain of constant activity and the need for a more steady, constant rhythm to help bring us back to the peace and wholeness of shalom.

This book helped me to refocus and realize the need for a steady rhythm throughout the week. I’m grateful to Weems for her advice and for helping me to get back into a rhythm that works best.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from BookLookBloggers.com in exchange for an honest review. This however has not affected my opinions in the review in any way, shape or form

How To Pick Up A Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness by Todd and Erin Stevens book review

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“The starting and ending points for all outreach have to be love. The most effective way to reach people for Jesus is through servant evangelism—showing God’s love in practical ways. This type of outreach is what Jesus modeled, is culturally relevant, and values people. The goal should be to invite people to take the next step from where they are.”

Ok, to be honest I initially hesitated to “pick up” this book due to it’s somewhat racy title; however eventually it was the title of this book that eventually drew me to read it, and I’m glad that I did.

How To Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness by Todd and Erin Stevens is all about servant evangelism. Pastor Todd Stevens of Friendship Community Church is part of a thriving ministry in Tennessee where the people are showing the outside community what God’s love in action really looks like. Friendship Community Church has taken servant evangelism (serving people right where they are at) to a whole new level! Bringing a catered dinner to dancers at a local strip club, hosting an Easter egg hunt for disabled children in the community, paying for someone else’ lunch each day, these are among a few of the many acts of kindness scattered throughout the pages of this book.

I couldn’t help but feel the God’s heart beat in not only the words of Pastor Todd but also his actions. This is a great book to help stir up our own hearts towards acts of service and gives its readers guidance on how to begin showing God’s love in the surrounding communities.

Also many times as I was reading How to Pick Up a Stripper and Other Acts of Kindness, I had some “a-ha!” moments where things just sort of made sense. The way Jesus did ministry, things Paul wrote in his epistles, and a handy guide from Pastor Todd on understanding where people may be at in their own journey with the Lord, all made for an enlightening and pleasant read.

All in all I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to anyone looking for ways to make an impact on their community through acts of kindness and showing God’s heart to the world!

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free from BookLookBloggers.com in exchange for an honest review. This however has not affected my opinions in the review in any way, shape or form

A Wilderness Decade: What is My Calling?

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photo credit: dlemieux via photopin cc

Young adulthood is not easy. The 20’s are somewhat of a tumultuous, transitional and tiring decade for many. I used to joke with a friend of mine that the 20’s was like the wilderness. At the time she and I were trying to start up a Bible study in the gospel of Mark and were reading the first chapter together.

Jesus was called into the wilderness before His ministry began for a time of preparation and testing. My friend aptly applied this to the decade of  the 20’s. “It’s a decade in the wilderness!” she laughed. I couldn’t have agreed more. Although I only hoped that I would do much better than the Israelites did when they traveled through the wilderness towards the Promised Land.

Now at 26 years old, I will say that the 20’s has been full of twists, turns, frustration and questions. Although I cannot deny that this has been a decade of tremendous growth as well and of course lots and lots of unexpected blessings.

Recently I read a book called “Here I am: Now What on Earth Should I be Doing?”by Quentin Schultze. It’s chalk full of wisdom, guidance and godly advice. You see growing up I always knew what I wanted to do. I had a goal in mind and set out to accomplish it. Yet only four years into that goal did I realize it was not what I had wanted or felt called to do.

What happens when your life takes a turn and the goal you thought you had wanted after college ends up being something you decide not to do; something God may not actually want you do after all?

It’s been challenging to say the least. Figuring out my calling has been one of the hardest things for me thus far. But what if my idea of a “calling” has actually been wrong? What if my purpose in life isn’t actually just a job? Schultze tackles these issues in his book. Below are some awesome nuggets of gold I got while reading the book.

“There is no single calling, one-track plan, or changeless career for our lives. Even Abraham’s trip to Moriah was just one episode in a life of uncanny ups and downs as well as surprising twists and turns. Abraham was not merely called to a job, profession, or occupation. Abraham was called to obedience, to worship, God in every part of his life, from hospitality to marriage to sacrificing his son.”

“We are called to follow Jesus Christ. This is our overarching vocation. But we are also called to follow Jesus into many different ‘stations,’ serving perhaps as parents, workers, church members, civic leaders, neighbors and far more. God wants us to follow him faithfully into every area of our lives, thereby becoming living sacrifices who care responsibly for God’s world.”

“Wholehearted work, for instance, requires loving God and others, not just earning a wage or salary. The language of the heart does not mean that we all should seek nonprofit service jobs, such as teaching, ministry and counseling. A plumber, bus driver. housekeeper, physical therapist, drummer, and retail clerk can love wholeheartedly too.”

“Martin Luther King Jr. told the story of a wise preacher who delivered the graduation speech at a college. After his address, the preacher conversed with a brilliant graduate named Robert.

‘What are your plans for the future, Robert?’

‘I plan to go immediately to law school.’

‘What then Robert?’

‘Well… I plan to get married and start a family.’

‘What then, Robert?’

‘I must frankly say that I plan to make lots of money from my law practice, and thereby I hope to retire rather early and spend   a great deal of time traveling to various parts of the world.’

‘What then, Robert?’

‘Well… these are most of my plans.’

“Finally, the preacher replied, ‘Young man, your plans are far too small. They extend only seventy-five or a hundred years at the most. You must make plans big enough to include God and large enough to include eternity.”

After reading this book I realized that I’d gotten it all wrong. My calling had been in front of me the entire time. There are many stations we are called to in life that can include an endless amount of things. Right now it’s my job to follow God during these transitional years, include Him in my goals and submit my plans to Him daily.

I jokingly call the 20’s a wilderness decade, but often times the wilderness journey is one of great growth, provision and sanctification. I encourage anyone, of any age to check out the book “Here I am,” but I especially recommend it to young adults still trying to navigate the wilderness of your 20’s. There’s plenty of biblical truth and godly advice found within the pages. Be sure to grab a copy, you won’t be disappointed!