Review of Do Hard Things

From Josh: Today’s guest book review is written by N. A. Winter. Mrs. Winter blogs at Better Things Ahead. She blogs daily, encouraging Christians to keep striving to be more like Christ and encouraging them to focus on the better things ahead. She can also be found on Twitter.

She is reviewing Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris.

Do Hard Things
Title: Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations
Authors: Alex and Brett Harris
Publisher: Multnomah Books (2008)

In Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, twin brothers Alex
and Brett Harris challenge their peers to join them in their “rebelution.” This rebellion
against mediocrity (or worse) is intended to revolutionize how young people conduct
their lives, exceeding their – and others – expectations. Originally started as a website
that encouraged like-minded teens to join them in battling against the low standards
set by culture, this book carries the message to an even larger audience and invites
other to join in the same counter-cultural pursuit of rising above and beyond what is
considered “acceptable” teenage behavior.
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Review of I Once Was Lost by Everts and Schaupp

From Josh: Today’s book review is from a guest writer, Joe Simpson. Joe is a personal friend. He and I have known each other since high school, although we now live in different cities. Joe now works as an IT Project Manager in the Dallas area.

He is reviewing I Once Was Lost by Don Everts and Doug Schaupp.

I Once Was LostTitle: I Once Was Lost
Author: Don Everts and Doug Schaupp
Publisher: IVP Books (2008)
Joe’s Rating: 5/5

This is a book for anyone who wants to be more effective at helping others find what Christian’s call the “bread of life”. That is to say, helping others discover who the man/God called the Christ was and what impact He has on life today. It calls the process “mysterious” and “organic” and repeatedly admits that it is not something we can control or predict. However, it cites the story about the seeds in Mark 4 as a demonstration that even organic events such as plant growth still go through specific phases. This book is about recognizing and acting on those phases.
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Review of Real Marriage

From Josh: Today’s book review is from a guest writer, Emilia Schobeiri. Emilia blogs at Emilia Jane Photography. I first got to know Emilia through one of my good friends, and I’ve come to know her better since the two of them were recently married. Emilia is extraordinarily gifted, and she was the fabulous photographer for our wedding. You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter.

She is reviewing Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll.

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Real Marriage

Real MarriageTitle: Real Marriage
Authors: Mark and Grace Driscoll
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (2012)
Emilia’s Rating: 5/5

This book is not for the shy. But neither is marriage. God created marriage to sanctify us and bring us closer to him. That process isn’t easy and frankly it can be really overwhelming in every sense.

Mark and Grace Driscoll do a seamless job of sharing their personal experiences and struggles honestly alongside scripture. This book challenged me and it will challenge both you and your spouse individually and corporately. It helped me put words to some things I didn’t know how to say on my own. I am so grateful that it opens with the importance of real friendship as a foundation for successful marriage. However simple this is, it is just as easy to overlook. I can not begin to explain how much I underlined as I read. Real friendship is the “best protection against feeling adversarial towards each other.” The importance of fighting as friends and not as foes. Do not forget to enjoy shared activities (wives!) and learn to have deeper and more intimate conversations (husbands!). There are not enough reminders in the world for this.
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Ink Slinger’s Review of Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl

From Josh: Today’s book review is from a guest writer, Corey P, aka the Ink Slinger. Ink is a young aspiring writer, and a lover of books, movies, music, Science Fiction, Reformed theology, logic, history, guns, and the great outdoors. And Italian food.

His blog, the Ink Slinger, is one of the few where I read every post; I highly recommend it. You can also find Ink on Twitter.

He is reviewing Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl by N. D. Wilson. (Keep reading to the bottom, where you can enter to win a free copy.)

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Notes from the Tilt-A-WhirlI’m going to start my review with a simple injunction: read this book. Comprende? Good. Let’s move on.

I first become aware of Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl a couple years ago, but I never gave it more than a passing glance. In hindsight, I must say that’s really too bad – this is a book I wish I had read much sooner than I did.

Wilson’s premise is that the world – this moist, round, inhabited, spinning ball, filled with flamingos (real and artificial), snowflakes, and human beings – is a work of art crafted by the ultimate Artist. He’s the Someone behind it all, for “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. Through Him all things were made…”
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Kim Shay’s Review of Friends and Lovers

From Josh: Kim blogs at The Upward Call. Her bio includes 25 years of marriage, 22 years as a stay at home mother, a love for writing, and the privilege of teaching the Bible to other women. Kim has a beautiful writing style, and her posts are a great encouragement. Kim can also be found on Twitter.

She is reviewing Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage by Joel Beeke. (Keep reading to the bottom, where you can enter to win a free copy.)

Title: Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage
Author: Joel Beeke
Publisher: Cruciform Press (2012)

Joel Beeke’s book Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage, is only 96 pages long, but it is 96 pages with a great deal of encouragement and instruction. The size of the volume should not dissuade anyone from reading. There is a lot packed into 96 pages.

As the subtitle suggests, Beeke discusses two vital aspects of marriage: friendship and physical intimacy, an intimacy which flows from the friendship built between husband and wife. Beeke points out that in a society where people look at love as something we fall into and out of with ease, the principle of cultivating friendship with our spouse is overlooked. It is this friendship which provides the basis for meaningful physical intimacy with our spouse.
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Kimm Crandall’s Review of Three Free Sins

From Josh: Today’s book review is from a guest writer, Kimm Crandall. Kimm blogs at Christ in the Chaos, and her desire is to bring the much needed gospel to other women who are searching for Christ in the chaos of life. You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter.

She is reviewing Three Free Sins by Steve Brown. (Keep reading to the bottom, where you can be the lucky winner of a free copy. Congratulations to Marcy, winner of this week’s book giveaway.)

Review of Three Free Sins by Steve BrownTitle: Three Free Sins
Author: Steve Brown
Publisher: Howard Books (2012)
Kimm’s Rating: 4.5/5

The first time I heard Steve Brown on the radio I made my husband turn it off. You see, my law bound heart was afraid of freedom. I was afraid that teachings such as Steve’s would cause my husband to jump off the deep end and, I don’t know, smoke a pipe or something. Funny thing is that I kept trying to listen and kept turning it off. Over time I made it through the whole talk and was immensely grateful for the message of grace that was starting to penetrate my heart.
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Guest Writers

I am now finishing up my last semester of school, and finals begin Monday. That means my schedule will be quite full for a few weeks. Thankfully, several kind souls have offered their time to serve as guest writers in the upcoming weeks. Each has offered to review a book they’ve enjoyed recently. I look forward to learning about several great books I haven’t read.

In addition, I’ll be hosting a giveaway for each book they review, so check back in every Thursday for your chance to win! (If you haven’t already entered this week’s book giveaway, you’re missing out.)
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