Sunday, August 31, 2014

Overwhelmed by Perry Noble (Review)








  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414368860
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414368863


Stressed out? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Good news—you’re not alone!

No one ever said life was going to be easy. Between financial struggles, marital issues, health scares, and the regular, run-of-the-mill problems of everyday life, it’s easy to feel weighed down and trapped by your circumstances. In times like these, it’s tempting to just throw in the towel and quit. Well, don’t do it!

Perry Noble has stood at the edge of the abyss himself, and in Overwhelmed, he shares the keys to unlocking the chains of anxiety and despair once and for all. Building on the premise that when we shift our focus from our circumstances to Christ, everything changes, Perry walks readers through a life-altering plan for overcoming stress, worry, depression, and anxiety so we can be free to enjoy the abundant, joy-filled lives we were created for.

God knows we’re frustrated. He knows we’re tired. He knows we’re struggling. But He also knows how things are going to turn out. He is greater than anything you are going through . . . so don’t give up on God. After all, He’s never given up on you.

 My Review:

This was a quick easy to read book. The author has a good conversational writing style. I was not as happy with all of the content. I thought this book was going to be more of how to deal with stress and being overwhelmed. Instead the book focused more on depression which I know goes hand in hand with the other two. In the book about a fourth of the way through the author divides the book up into sections on reminders, sin struggles, and trust struggles. He shares his personal experience on dealing with severe depression issues. The book does not address the fact he takes medicine for it. It is not a spiritual problem but a chemical imbalance. I am not sure this would be the best book to give to someone battling these issues.








Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church and the author of Unleash!: Breaking Free from Normalcy. While his primary responsibilities are being a servant to Jesus Christ, a husband to Lucretia, and a father to Charisse, Perry is also passionate about seeing people meet Jesus, leading his church staff, and pouring into other church leaders on a local and global level. You can find him online at www.perrynoble.com.

Raw Faith by Kasey Van Norman (Review)








  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (March 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414364784
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414364780



As a respected Bible teacher, Kasey Van Norman had dedicated her life to sharing God’s Word and encouraging women to trust in God during times of crisis. Then, just as her ministry was poised to explode, Kasey was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer that shattered her spirit and rocked her faith to its core. Sick, frightened, and in pain, Kasey suddenly found herself facing the greatest challenge of her life—believing her own message.

In Raw Faith, Kasey chronicles her courageous battle with cancer, taking readers on a candid and poignant journey of faith and discovery, from the depths of despair through triumphant victory.

Drawing on a variety of Bible stories and characters, Kasey discovers and distills the singular truth that has existed since time began: while change and uncertainty are inevitable, God is always unchanging, and He is always faithful—even when our circumstances might tempt us to think otherwise.


 My Review:

This book was supposed to be a memoir about her struggle with cancer. It ended up being more of a bible study. Addressed are what she calls the toxic ds; depression, denial, and discouragement. She explains that the awful nausea she had from chemotherapy had nothing on these. She references a lot of bible stories and verses. Overall the book was okay.






Kasey makes her home on a US mission field. Along with husband Justin and their two children, Kasey works and lives each day on the largest working rescue ranch in the United States. As a child rescue agent for Still Creek Ranch in Bryan, TX, Kasey helps rescue minors from abuse, neglect, and human trafficking.

Kasey is a licensed professional counselor with earned degrees in psychology, public speaking, counseling, and biblical studies. Kasey founded KVM (Kasey Van Norman Ministries) in 2010.


If I Had Lunch With C. S. Lewis by Alister McGrath (Review)





  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (March 21, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414383789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414383781



What if you could ask C. S. Lewis his thoughts on some of the most difficult questions of life? If you could, the result would be Dr. Alister McGrath’s provocative and perceptive book, If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis. Best-selling author, prominent academic, and sought-after speaker, Dr. McGrath sees C. S. Lewis as the perfect conversation companion for the persistent meaning-of-life questions everyone asks.

What makes Lewis a good dialogue partner is that his mind traveled through a wide and varied terrain: from atheism of his early life to his conversion later in life; from his rational skepticism to his appreciation of value of human desires and imagination; from his role as a Christian apologist during World War II to his growth as a celebrated author of classic children’s literature. The questions Lewis pondered persist today: Does life have meaning? Does God exist? Can reason and imagination be reconciled? Why does God allow suffering?

Let McGrath be your insightful guide to an intriguing conversation with Lewis about the ultimate questions.

 My Review:

This book was hard to read and did not keep my attention. It was not what I expected. There was no dialogue between C. S. Lewis and the author. The whole lunch thing was mentioned at the very beginning and end of each chapter. It was if we were at lunch with C. S. Lewis and asked him this question, this is what he might say. It felt tedious reading it and I barely made it through the whole book. The questions addressed subjects like death, the meaning of life, friendship, faith, learning, and suffering. It also explored some of the Chronicles of Narnia series and what certain things meant in them. I think I would rather read C. S. Lewis's actual books. I have read a few of them. I read this book because I really enjoyed the biography this author wrote last summer on C. S. Lewis. I recommend that book over this one. Also I recommend reading C. S. Lewis's books.






 Alister McGrath, one of the world’s leading Christian theologians, is Professor of Theology, Ministry, and Education at King’s College London, and head of its Center for Theology, Religion, and Culture. Before moving to King’s College, he was Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University and is currently Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester at Oxford. Author of C. S. Lewis—A Life, McGrath has a deep knowledge of Christian theology, history, and literature that allows him to interpret Lewis against a broad backdrop, presenting a fascinating portrait of the development of Lewis’s mind and his impact on Western culture.

Still Lolo by Lauren Scruggs and the Scruggs Family with Marcus Brotherton (Review)






  • Hardcover: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum; First Edition edition (November 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414376693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414376691



In December 2011, Lauren (“LoLo”) Scruggs, a 23-year-old fashion journalist, suffered a sudden injury that made headlines around the world. She had been on a short flight to look at Christmas lights and, upon exiting the small plane, was hit by the still-moving propeller blade. A frantic 911 call, several major surgeries, and thousands of prayers later: Lauren lived. But she lost her left hand and left eye. And she had to face some incredibly difficult questions: What kind of future will I have? Where is God in all this pain? Will anyone ever be able to love me now? In Still LoLo, Lauren speaks out for the first time since her accident. She and her family reveal what really happened that night, what Lauren’s life is like today, what got them through their journey toward healing, and how they conquered all odds to persevere as a family. It’s a compelling and fiercely beautiful story of faith, determination, and staying true to who you are—no matter what.

 My Review:

I did not particularly enjoy reading this book. Lauren does not come off as very likeable. She seems like a spoiled, privileged, rich girl.She did suffer a horrific accident. I am not  denying that. There is  nothing special surrounding the circumstances. Parts of it seemed overly dramatized like her father's reaction when he found out. The book stated he wailed and curled up in a fetal position several times. There was also unnecessary family drama pre incident shared. I think there are more inspiring stories out there to read.




Marcus Brotherton is a journalist and professional writer, known internationally for his collaborations with high-profile public figures, humanitarians, inspirational leaders, and military personnel.
Visit his blog at: www.marcusbrotherton.com


Echoes of an Angel by Aquanetta Gordon with Chris Macias (Review)



  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414386222
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414386225


When Ben Underwood became blind at the age of two, anyone would have thought he faced a life full of hardship and uphill challenges—a world full of things he’d never be able to see and activities he’d never be able to enjoy. But as far as his mom, Aquanetta Gordon, was concerned, nothing was impossible for Ben . . . and so he accomplished the incredible. Known as “the boy who could see with sound,” Ben mastered human echolocation—the ability to detect the size, shape and location of objects through the reflection of sound waves. By clicking his tongue and “seeing” the waves, Ben could ride his bike, shoot baskets, identify objects, and even play video games. Some called it a miracle, but to Ben and Aqua, the real miracles were the otherworldly experiences God gave Ben—physical and spiritual—that others couldn’t explain. Echoes of an Angel is the remarkable true story of how a child who seemed destined for darkness brought light to the world. It’s the story of a single mom who encouraged her son to push beyond his limits, even as her heart clenched with protective love and fear. And it’s the story of a family’s unshakable faith . . . in God and each other.

My Review:

This was the story of Ben Underwood but also his mother, Aquanetta. It was told from her perspective. It seems she was honest in admitting her mistakes including drugs and bad relationship choices. She does not regret any of her children though. Ben was her fourth child and at age two found out he had bad cancer. He ended up having both of his eye balls removed. Aquanetta refused to hinder him by babying him. He developed a remarkable skill called echolocation. This allowed him to do most of the things seeing boys could do. He still had obstacles to overcome which he did with an excellent attitude. Unfortunately his cancer came back when he was a teen. I was so upset when I reached the ending and found out he passed away. I do not remember hearing this story in the news even though it was there. I was inspired by this story, he lived so much life in his 17 years. The only thing I was uncomfortable with was some of the spiritual aspect including him appearing to people after his death.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

In the Secret Service by Jerry Parr with Carolyn Parr (Review)






  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (September 20, 2013)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414378718


Meet Jerry Parr. In 1981, he was the agent standing next to Ronald Reagan when John Hinckley, Jr., stepped out of the crowd, intent on killing the president. In the Secret Service is an adrenaline-filled ride through the life of the agent who saved Ronald Reagan’s life. Jerry spent much of his life as a silent eyewitness to history, with a gun at his fingertips. What motivates a man who is ready at a moment’s notice to step into the path of a bullet? In In the Secret Service, you’ll also follow Jerry’s inner journey. That journey led him from the halls of the powerful to the streets of the poor in Washington, D.C., to the mountain passes of war-torn El Salvador to help orphans.

You won’t want to miss this insider’s perspective on the Secret Service and a look into the heart of a man who was—and is—ready to sacrifice himself for another. At times heart-pounding, at times heartrending, this richly textured memoir of a Secret Service Agent will first move you to the edge of your seat, then to the depths of your soul.

 My Review:

This was an interesting look at the life of a Secret Service Agent, Jerry Parr. He is the one credited with saving the life of President Ronald Regan. That incident is not the main focus of the book though. The book details his life and career. This was a behind the scenes look at being secret service agent. I had no idea how much time they have to spend away from their families. Mr. Parr shares funny stories and sad ones. The end of the book ended abruptly after telling what he started doing after he got out of the secret service. Other than that I enjoyed reading the book.




 Jerry and Carolyn Parr have built their life together on faith, family, and service. Jerry served as a special agent in the United States Secret Service for twenty-three years. Carolyn worked for the Justice Department and later as a federal tax judge. Both Jerry and Carolyn are ordained ministers. They have three daughters and four brilliant and beautiful granddaughters.

The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow with Cindy Coloma (Review)



  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414391900
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414391908

An unforgettable true story that will touch your heart and make you believe in love’s enduring legacy, and in the power of prayer.

In 1928, 16-year-old Minka was on a picnic in the woods when she was assaulted and raped. And suddenly this innocent farm girl—who still thought the stork brought babies—was pregnant. The baby was secretly born, named Betty Jane, and given up for adoption. For decades, Minka wrote letters trying to get news of her daughter; she kept loving and praying for her, even though she never dared believe they would meet again. Until nearly eighty years later, when Minka whispered her secret, impossible prayer for the first time: Lord, I’d like to see Betty Jane before I die. I promise I won’t bother her or interrupt her life. I just want to lay eyes on her. Unbeknownst to Minka, that very same day, a judge was releasing the sealed adoption records to her 77-year-old daughter. And soon, Minka’s phone would ring. Written by Cathy LaGrow (Minka’s granddaughter), The Waiting brings three generations of this most unusual family together over the course of a century to tell a story of faith that triumphs, forgiveness that sets us free, and love that never forgets.


My Review:

This was a non fiction book that read like a fiction book. My attention was captured in the beginning and I could not wait to find out what happened. I felt so bad for Minka when she was raped at the picnic at the age of sixteen. Then she gave her baby up for adoption so it would have a better life. But she never gave up on her, writing letters to the adoption place for decades. The book also details each of their lives throughout the years. Minka gets married and has other children. Her baby girl grows up, gets married, and has children. The end of the book was amazing. The two separate lives come together. Minka was in her 90s and said a prayer asking to see her Betty Jane before she dies. One of Betty Jane's family members wanted to find her birth mother for her. Betty Jane always knew she was adopted but did not hold it against Minka. So in her 70s she meets her birth mother who is in her 90s. I felt like crying several times reading this book. The writing was good and the story touching. Highly Recommended.