Ann Spangler writes some of the most interesting narratives of people of the Bible . In her Book Less Than Perfect Ann shows how God takes those who are “less than perfect” and uses them and their stories for His Glory. It s a truth that our churches and our world so desperately need to hear and embrace today. The people of the Bible were not perfect, they are sinful humans like you and I and we all need to realize that no matter how messy our stories are God is completely capable of taking this messes and transforming them into pictures of his grace and his mercy!
This isn’t the normal devotional either . So many times devotionals take creative license and go too far but this devotional is different.. Ann finds the fine balance of creative license and truth. Each chapter (or days depending on how you choose to use the devotional,) is broken into three sections:
The Account- This is what actually happened in Scripture. And yes she takes creative license to fill the gaps.
The times- This section is unique because it is basically the historical background and explains why certain things for The Account Section has significance.It is so important to understand these details and it helps us to understand why the account is important to our lives.
The Takeaway- YIKES. sometimes the questions in devotionals are lacking in substance. In this devotional however you will quickly find yourself digging deep as you interact with the account from scripture.
I really enjoyed the book. When I first got the book I thumbed through the pages and I got giddy because the chapters were “short” HA Just because a chapter is short does not necessarily mean it’s an easy read or fast read! I found that scattered through the chapters were these bullets/ sidebar pieces. Now these were horrid for me to read! So I asked a friend to give her thoughts on it. She said it was way difficult for her to read as well. So I found that if I took a picture with my phone and made it bigger I could read it BUT THAT TAKES A LONG TIME!
That is the only real downfall I found with the book. I enjoyed it thoroughly! I have not finished all the questions either mainly because they are SOOOOO in depth and took a fair amount of pondering! BUT I really enjoy that about devotionals I want to dig deep and grow closer to Go!
I give this book four out of five Starts
Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for my free copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All of my options given in the book are mine. I am in no way compensated fora positive review!
Stress and Peace by Stanley Johnson is is a book based on how to deal with everyday stress and how to take those stresses and to achieve peace through them. The first three chapters of the book Mr. Johnson takes the time in each of those three chapters to:
to define the purpose of Life
However this is a Christian book and Mr. Johnson quotes Hindu and Buddhist and Sikh writings along with Muslim and Jewish texts and a few other non-Christian writings. This is a problem because the Bible ris very clear about mixing faiths. If this is a Christian book it should be focused on what Bible says about stress and peace
The remaining of the chapters (and there’s a lot of them but they are relatively short) is based on life trials and the stresses that come into our lives along with the general parts of life as we grow and mature, Such as:
and various different areas of life
In all of these he talks about the Bible and he talks about an ideal. However we don’t live a life of ideals but that is what Mr. Johnson is communicating in his book. In this book the ongoing feeling is that this is a perfect world so you’re going to have stress. Stress isn’t in a perfect world but if you handle the way in which he tells you to your not going to have any stress. You could do all that he says, to make the stress easier or eliminate stress and still have some catastrophe that will create huge amounts of stress.
So then what do we do with this book? My review of this book is that I first of all didn’t Agree with the first three chapters. I think that if it’s a Christian book then those other religions have no part or weight in writing a Christ centered Bible based book. It’s like writinga Diet and exercise manual while citing a Paula Den CookBook for healthy eating ideas. It doesn’t affect me because I don’t read those books I don’t partake in those religions…they just plain and simple don’t apply to me and that’s fine. As I read the rest of the chapters I just quickly discovered that his ideas are good the principles are biblical. The things that he said are good but when you do the things that it says and things don’t turn out the way they “should” then what do we do when it doesn’t ?Mr. Johnson just doesn’t deal with that so I think that my review based on the first three chapters being 90% irrelevant to my walk as a follower of Jesus and the fact that his book talks about an ideal, I’m going to give it a two out of five stars and I can’t recommend this book only because I really didn’t Agree with it.
(WRITERS NOTE: I am NOT saying that the Bible is an ideal, the Bible never returns void and is good for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. What i am saying is that the author does not provide adequate help for those who might follow his advice and things still don’t work the way they “should”)
I want to take this moment to think BookLook Bloggers for letting me review this book for free and without expectation of a positive review
Rest Assured is a book all about weary souls finding rest….it’s a plan. A recovery plan. Th problem with a plan is it isn’t a one size fits all. Plans generally give that idea. The principle Mrs. Courtney shares are really great and you can apply most of them to any circumstance. There are many biblical principles that She brings to the forefront. One of my favorite chapters from the entire book is Chapter 2 called “The Exhausting Pursuit of Happiness”. It’s powerfully written and convicting. It applies to everyone. The book is laid out in two section…..The Intervention and the Recovery.
There are 8 chapters consisting of great biblical insights that challenge our harried ways of life.. In each chapter you will find the chapter content filled by a “Rest Stop”..(study questions) and then “The One Week Dare” (Practical application). There are also two bonuses in the book, a Thirty Day Restoration Guide and 100 Ways to Give it A Rest!.
I really appreciated Mrs. Courtneys’s writing, it was very convicting and eye opening. The study questions didn’t sugar coat anything and dove deep beneath the surface. One thing I think most study books lack is a practical approach of how to apply the principles to our everyday lives and don’t have us (the reader) practice its principles. That’s completely different with this book.. The One Week Dare gives you a chance to practice what you’ve learned and each chapter builds on the preceding chapter. So obviously I really like the book, however there is one flaw, and it is not just with her book, it is the flaw with many books talking about rest…..that flaw is dealing with people in full time ministry jobs. Where you are constantly pouring into other people, where you can’t turn down the middle of the night emergencies that don’t happen once every couple of months but the squally happen in large clusters. This is not the authors fault, but finding recast in those times is very difficult.
Finally one of the coolest parts of this book is the 100 Ways to Give It a Rest. Because if you are in dire need of rest NOW you can flip to the back of the book and choose a few res filled actions…for right now in this moment of weariness.
THANK YOU BOOK LOOK BLOGGERS for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes!!! (And not expecting a positive review in return)