Saturday, February 25, 2017

Book Review: "Cherish"

The title of this book says it well: Cherish: The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage. In fact, as author Gary Thomas presents it, cherish could be the one word that changes everything in most of our meaningful relationships. We get to practice and perfect with our spouses, but many of the concepts in this book can be applied to other people we love, too.

Cherish is the sequel, of sorts, to Sacred Marriage. In that book, Thomas explored learning to truly love your spouse. This book, of course, explores cherish. As Thomas explains it, “To truly cherish something is to go out of our way to show it off, protect it, and honor it. We want others to see and recognize and affirm the value that we see . . . when we cherish a person, we will put time, thought, and effort into honoring, showcasing, and protecting them . . . Learning to truly cherish each other turns marriage from an obligation into delight. It lifts marriage above a commitment to a precious priority.” The chapters of this book tell couples how.

I highly recommend this book to all married couples, then to anyone who wants to learn better how to cherish people as Jesus does. Zondervan sent me a complimentary copy, so I could share this opinion with you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Review: "Your Magnificent Chooser"

I love the concept John Ortberg presents in his new children’s book, Your Magnificent Chooser. It’s an introduction to free will for children. They have the ability to make choices and must make many every day. As they grow they must learn what they can and cannot choose and how to respond when they face choices they don’t like. They get to choose their attitude. They can choose to let God direct their choices.

The illustrations in this book (by Robert Dunn) are whimsical and sweet. I love the soft colors and fuzzy texture. The matching expressions on the children’s and choosers' faces are great.

I was a little bit disappointed in the text, though. The rhyme patterns were inconsistent and, therefore, challenging to read aloud. The words don't just roll off the reader's tongue.

Also some of the choices Ortberg presented at the beginning of the book were ones that young children don’t yet get to make – whether or not to take a bath or go to bed. He does move from those choices into choosing to have a right attitude when told to do something one doesn't want to do or choosing to get along when friends’ choices conflict. I just fear that these great concepts as presented may be beyond a young child’s understanding.

That said, the book can serve as an introduction, a tool for parents to use as they talk with their children further about choices they can and can’t make. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Kids, so I could share my thoughts about it with you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Book Review: "The Newcomer"

Suzanne Woods Fisher's The Newcomer is the second book in her Amish Beginnings series. I love the setting of these novels: pre-Revolutionary War America, Penn's Woods. The first book brought the little community across the ocean from Germany. This book finds them attempting to settle their new land. To do so, however, they must overcome unexpected obstacles, endure life-threatening trials, and learn to get along with new neighbors, all without compromising their faith.

At times, the book made me anxious. Some of the problems these characters faced seemed hopeless! But there were moments of fun as well. I enjoyed Fisher's portrayal of Benjamin Franklin and his wife; she chose a great role for him to play in her book. I also enjoyed learning how the Amish ended up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and about other faith groups attempting to settle in America, too.

If you enjoy Amish or historical fiction with a hint of romance thrown in, I recommend this book to you. Revell sent me a complimentary copy, so I could share my thoughts with you.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Book Review: "Maybe It's You"

Maybe It's You by Candace Calvert is her third Crisis Team book set in California. The first two were set in Sacramento and San Diego, respectively. This one takes readers to Los Angeles. The city may be different, but the main character will be familiar to readers of the first two books. This is Sloane Ferrell's story. Readers knew her as the grumpy and difficult Sloane Wilder, but now she's changed her name and her ways. She's desperately trying to start fresh, to live a quiet life helping those who come for treatment in the hospital's ER.

When she rescues a troubled teenager and refuses to accept recognition for her heroism, she gains the attention that she does not want though. Reporters take notice, and so do people from her past.

Micah Prescott notices, too. His job is to boost the hospital's image. His passion is to be there to assist in traumatic situations as a volunteer crisis responder. Both roles put him in Sloane's path.

Whether or not, you've read the first two books of the series, you can enjoy this one. I recommend all of Calvert's books which highlight different major cities while giving readers a glimpse into crisis response and emergency medicine. Tyndale House Publishers sent me a copy of Maybe It's You, so I could post these thoughts.