Sunday, May 23, 2010

Anatomy of the Soul ~ by Curt Thompson, M.D.

The brain, or mind, is wonderfully complex, mysterious and amazing. And despite what science has attempted to prove throughout the (recent) ages, neurology and spirituality are connected. Dr. Thompson does a great job of communicating the complexities of this subject in a way that is not difficult for the average person to understand.

We all have pasts, and those pasts have helped to shape our present time. Many times in a negative way and we don’t even realize it. By rewiring our brains, we can become happier, have more peace and experience more freedom. It can radically change our lives and our relationships. Dr. Thompson uses Scripture and science to show how it works together. He helps us to realize how much God loves us, and how to become more like the person He created us to be. With this book it is easy to see how truly fearfully and wonderfully made we are.

This wonderful book is a great tool to have and to use. Dr. Thompson includes examples and exercises to be used to help us to apply the material to our own lives. I liked it very much.

This book was provided to me for review by Tyndale House Publishers.


Anatomy of the Soul

Curt Thompson, M.D.

Do you want to improve your relationships and experience lasting personal change? Join Curt Thompson, M.D., on an amazing journey to discover the surprising pathways for transformation hidden inside your own mind. Integrating new findings in neuroscience and attachment with Christian spirituality, Dr. Thompson reveals how it is possible to rewire your mind, altering your brain patterns and literally making you more like the person God intended you to be. Explaining discoveries about the brain in layman’s terms, he shows how you can be mentally transformed through spiritual practices, interaction with Scripture, and connections with other people. He also provides practical exercises to help you experience healing in areas where you’ve been struggling. Insightful and challenging, Anatomy of the Soul illustrates how learning about one of God’s most miraculous creations—your brain—can enrich your life, your relationships, and your impact on the world around you.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bringing Up Girls ~ by Dr. James Dobson

It is a scary time to be bringing up a child. Nonetheless, we are doing it. So I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to read and review Bringing Up Girls by Dr. James Dobson. In his long awaited and highly anticipated follow-up to Bringing Up Boys, Dr. Dobson tackles the issues that are plaguing girls today. He discusses the importance of safe, healthy and nurturing familial relationships (with an emphasis on mothers and fathers in different ways) and the ways we can help our daughters to grow up well in this oftentimes difficult and dangerous world.

Girls today are dealing with drugs, alcohol, bullying (emotional, physical and cyber), immodest and immoral behavior, clothing and expectations, and for the most part, an over-sexed and largely morally bankrupt society. By default, many of their hero’s are celebrities who at best are out of touch with reality and at worst are immoral, shallow and typically “bad girls” who appear to be hell-bent on their own destruction. Adolescence (and even pre-pubescence) for many girls is a cesspool of pain and trauma. In their pain they drink and do drugs, have eating disorders and are involved in cutting or other self-mutilation tactics. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Dr. Dobson shines light on the issues and offers sound advice. He reassures the reader that we as parents are not without control. We have more power than we may realize and our children love and listen to us. He offers statistics and cites other great sources to back up his claims. In addition to his own book, he offers parents many other resources to refer to – some that are his, some that are not. His words are real, sometimes somber and other times humorous.

If you have a daughter, this book will speak to your heart and offer you wisdom and encouragement – especially when it comes to dealing with emotions and hormones! It will help you to navigate the murky waters of feminine maturation. If you don’t have daughters, but know someone who does, this would be a great gift that may be appreciated more than you could even know.

This book was provided to me for review by Tyndale House Publishers.


Bringing Up Girls

By Dr. James Dobson

Bringing Up Boys by parenting expert and best-selling author Dr. James Dobson was, and continues to be, a runaway hit, selling more than 2 million copies to date. Now, Dr. Dobson presents his highly anticipated companion book: Bringing Up Girls. Based on extensive research, and handled with Dr. Dobson’s trademark down-to-earth approach, Bringing Up Girls will equip parents like you to face the challenges of raising your daughters to become healthy, happy, and successful women who overcome challenges specific to girls and women today and who ultimately excel in life.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Heart Mender ~ Andy Andrews

A true story told as fiction equals FANTASTIC! What a wonderful (and enlightening) story this is! The Heart Mender is the latest book by celebrated author Andy Andrews. He admits in the Author’s Note, that this story, for the most part, is true. And he admits that it is both his favorite of the books he has written, and that it is his greatest disappointment. It was previously released as Island of Saints and for some reason was not well received at all. This time is far different.

It is a provocative and engaging story, with tragedy and triumph, hate and love, anger and forgiveness, despair and hope, as well as drama and peace colliding in the way that only real life can. It is also informative: I had no idea that during WWII, German U-boats patrolled the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico, sinking supply ships and disrupting commerce and the supply chain for Allied troops (I suspect many people don’t know this as it’s not widely reported or taught about). It is a story about the power of love and forgiveness between God and people, and people and people, and how that power can overcome the worst of situations. Great book, great story, great job, Andy!

This book was provided to me for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.


The Heart Mender

By Andy Andrews

A unique blend of historical fact and engaging fiction showing the power of forgiveness.

While digging up a withering wax myrtle tree beside his waterfront home on the Gulf coast, author Andy Andrews unearths a rusted metal container filled with Nazi artifacts and begins an intriguing investigation that unlocks an unspoken past that took place in his backyard . . . literally.

In 1942, as the country gears up for a full-scale commitment to WWII, German subs are dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico to sink U.S. vessels carrying goods and fuel. While taking a late-night walk, Helen Mason-widowed by war-discovers the near-lifeless body of a German sailor. Enraged at the site of Josef Landermann's uniform, Helen is prepared to leave him to die when an unusual phrase, faintly uttered, changes her mind.

Set in a period simmering with anger and suspicion The Heart Mender offers the very real chronicle of a small town preparing itself for the worst the world has to offer. As cargo from torpedoed ships begins to wash up on the beach, Josef and Helen must reconcile their pasts to create a future.

Blending his unique style of historical accuracy with unparalleled storytelling, New York Times best-selling author Andy Andrews offers a tale of war, faith, and forgiveness illuminating the one principle that frees the human spirit.

Previously released as Island of Saints. Now includes a Reader's Guide and a Where are They Now? section.

Does God Exist? Kit ~ by Focus on the Family

Recently I had the opportunity to review the DVD Does God Exist? Kit: Building the Scientific Case, produced by Focus on the Family, and featuring Dr. Stephen Meyer. I’m so glad that I did! There are two DVD’s with ten 30-minute lessons (plus a bonus extra: The Toughest Test in College), along with a 64-page color booklet with discussion questions. Topics discussed are: Faith and Reason, The Big Bang theory, DNA, Intelligent Design, The Return of the God Hypothesis, and The Moral Necessity of Theism.

For decades now, our society has been embracing intellectualism and the climate is growing increasingly hostile to faith. This series is geared toward young people, to help answer questions (that we all have) and then be able to defend their faith. It is perfect for those who are college-bound, but it is also perfect for those who don’t go to college. It can be taught in a home-school environment, in youth groups or small groups, or even simply as family viewing and learning together. It is not a finished set. There are two additional kits planned for the future. It is a wonderful resource to have and to use.

This kit was provided to me for review by Tyndale House Publishers.


Does God Exist? Kit: Building the Scientific Case

Focus on the Family

Del Tackett and Stephen Meyer

In this first DVD set of the TrueU series, Dr. Stephen Meyer plays a “philosophical survival game,” pitting four worldviews against one another in the quest to decide which one gives the best answers. Dr. Meyer examines the evidence and provides the tools needed for students to defend their faith and make it their own. This is the perfect resource for students preparing to enter college and a culture that may be hostile to their faith. Additional discussion guides can be purchased separately, either in singles (978-1-58997-115-8) or in a 10-pack (978-1-58997-116-5).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Bride Collector ~ by Ted Dekker

Gripping, intense, suspenseful, thrilling, fast-paced and page-turning, describes the latest book by the always amazing Ted Dekker! The Bride Collector takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride that leaves them nearly breathless. From the very beginning it is difficult to put down. It takes us to a depth of darkness that most of us, if we’re lucky, will never know. It speaks to the reality of the horrors of abuse and trauma and how deeply and permanently they can twist the mind. But in true Dekker fashion, we’re shown that there can be freedom and healing. In this life, there is a power struggle between good and evil, between light and darkness, but we have the blessed hope that in the end, Good and Light will win. The Bride Collector further solidifies Dekker as a master of suspense. Great read!

This book was provided to me for review by Center Street Publishers.


The Bride Collector

By Ted Dekker

FBI Special agent Brad Raines is facing his toughest case yet. A Denver serial killer has killed four beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene, and he's picking up his pace. Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help from a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill individuals whose are extraordinarily gifted.

It's there that he meets Paradise, a young woman who witnessed her father murder her family and barely escaped his hand. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Paradise may also have an extrasensory gift: the ability to experience the final moments of a person's life when she touches the dead body.

In a desperate attempt to find the killer, Raines enlists Paradise's help. In an effort to win her trust, he befriends this strange young woman and begins to see in her qualities that most 'sane people' sorely lack. Gradually, he starts to question whether sanity resides outside the hospital walls...or inside.

As the Bride Collector picks up the pace-and volume-of his gruesome crucifixions, the case becomes even more personal to Raines when his friend and colleague, a beautiful young forensic psychologist, becomes the Bride Collector's next target.

The FBI believes that the killer plans to murder seven women. Can Paradise help before it's too late?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Not a Sparrow Falls ~ by Linda Nichols

I loved this story! Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols is both a heartwarming and a heart-rending tale. It speaks of loss, love, pain, despair, hope, redemption, new beginnings and happiness. It paints a lovely picture of how darkness is pushed back when Light is welcomed in. It clearly shows how powerful love is, how desperately we all need it, and how much fuller our lives are if we give and receive it. The characters face struggles that are real, relevant and not uncommon to many of us, problems in the world, in the church and in our families. We also see that the secrets we hold can destroy us, but the truth, no matter how difficult or painful it is, can truly set us free. It’s a wonderful book and I highly recommend it!

This book was provided to me for review by Bethany House Publishers.


Not a Sparrow Falls

By Linda Nichols

In this powerful story of redemption and love, a prodigal young woman from the hills of Virginia flees the men who have lured her away from a godly upbringing into a life of desperation. Taking on a new identity, Mary Bridget Washburn escapes to the bustling city of Alexandria. There her path crosses that of Alasdair MacPherson, a widowed pastor with three young children and daunting problems of his own. Mary Bridget longs to bring happiness to the deeply troubled family, but she seems an unlikely candidate to help. Has she fallen too far from grace to be able to pass it on? A heart-tugging tale about the extraordinary struggles that turn ordinary people into heroes.