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Showing posts from September, 2017

The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide

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While I'm not a pastor or director of children's ministries, I do work in the children's ministries of my church. I've been serving in the infant nursery as well as the preschool Sunday School classes for nearly 13 years. Our church does have policies and procedures in place to help prevent abuse, but I'm always interested in continuing my education in these areas in order to best serve the infants and children in our church. The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide for Churches and Ministries by Basyle Tchividjian (one of Billy Graham's grandsons, former child-abuse prosecutor, and teacher of "Child Abuse and the Law" and several other courses at Liberty University School of Law) and Shira M. Berkovits (founder and CEO of Sacred Spaces, psychologist, and attorney).The book description says:

"Churches have always sought to be a safe haven for children and families, but many today are dealing with the tragic reality of child sexual abuse.
This handboo…

Every Piece of Me

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Jerusha Clark's new book, Every Piece of Me: Shattering Toxic Beliefs and Discovering the Real You focuses on the seven "I Am" statements that Jesus made which are recorded in the Bible. The book description says:

"Throughout Scripture, God reveals himself as the great I Am. He does not define himself with reference to any thing, person, or trait. He is, and that is enough. Women find themselves in a far different situation. When we introduce ourselves, we typically describe ourselves in terms of our relationships (the wife, mother, daughter, sister, or friend of someone else) or in terms of our accomplishments (our title, position, education, or accolades). When our identity is wrapped up in these external things, we inevitably (and exhaustingly!) strive to prove ourselves worthy of love, attention, or affirmation.

God never meant for us to focus on whether we are "enough," whether we measure up. He made us--every piece of us--to be just as he is.

Jerus…

The God Guarantee

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I was initially interested in reading The God Guarantee: Finding Freedom from the Fear of Not Having Enough by Jack Alexander because our family is currently going through an extremely tough season of financial trouble and hardships. I thought this book might be a good read for me right now to calm my financial anxieties and fears. The back cover says:

""Not enough" is the theme of our day. Fear, scarcity, and inequality dominate the media cycle and are constant companions in our culture. While 74 percent of Americans believe in God, we can feel our world changing in ways that simply seem out of control. We want to cling to a sovereign and loving God who tells us repeatedly in Scripture to "fear not," yet it is estimated that nearly 90 percent of his followers have a scarcity mentality rooted in fear.

Five times in Scripture, Jesus showed us a pattern to deal with fear and how to access his abundant provision, both spiritually and practically. In The God Guar…

Hope For The Prodigal

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Hope For The Prodigal: Bringing the Lost, Wandering, and Rebellious Home by Jim and Bill Putman is such a unique book in that Bill has been a prodigal and been the father to prodigals, and so has Jim. They know both sides of the coin and are able to offer such a fresh, unique, and interesting perspective of the parable of the prodigal son. The back cover says:

"Our God specializes in lost souls

The statistics are sobering: between 80 and 90 percent of kids who have grown up in the church are leaving the church after age eighteen. Children slipping away into a culture that tells them the Bible isn't true, sin is no big deal, God isn't real, or there are many ways to get into heaven.

With wisdom that comes from personal experience, Jim Putman and his father, Bill Putman, offer brokenhearted parents and loved ones hope for their prodigals. A prodigal in his younger days, Jim has also found himself in the role of the prodigal's father when his own son rejected the faith…

Chasing Secrets

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Chasing Secrets is the fourth book in Lynette Eason's unique Elite Guardians series (the first three being Always Watching, Without Warning, and Moving Target). This series follows women who work as bodyguards for the Elite Guardians. This is quite an unusual plot device for a Christian series, and these books are rather unique (in a good way!). The book description says:

"Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her--and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories--and the depths …

God's Crime Scene For Kids

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I love J. Warner Wallace's books, and I'm thrilled he's taken his homicide detective skills to Christianity and apologetics. As a Dateline fan, I already "knew" him from the show, and thought it was super cool he also happens to be a Christian. In God's Crime Scene For Kids, he follows on the heels Cold-Case Christianity For Kids and teaches kids how to read the "clues" God has left in the universe to defend and explain God's existence.

"In this companion to Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother’s attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective’s Academy. Along the way, they develop the skills needed to investigate the mystery and the evidence of God’s existence. The cadets learn logical-thinking skills as they examine the contents of a mysterious box and the vast universe.

In God’s Crime Scene for Kids, real-life detective J. Warner Wa…

The Way Of Hope

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Whether we (as a church collective) like it or not, the issue of sexual orientation and gender is the issue of the day. More and more people are "coming out", and Christians need to have the right response. The right response must balance the truth of God's Word with the love of Christ, and this can be a very difficult balance to strike. I was super intrigued to read The Way of Hope: A Fresh Perspective on Sexual Identity, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Church by Melissa Fisher, because she is a woman who used to be in a same-sex marriage and now is a Christian, on staff of a church, and identifies as straight. The back cover says:

""Am I welcome here?"

It's the most challenging question churches face today. With a history of condemning people for their sexual temptations, desires, or orientations, many churches and Christians in an attempt to right that wrong have simply adopted the world's more indulgent view.

What if the church could show up in a d…

Real Love In An Angry World

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Real Love In An Angry World: How To Stick To Your Convictions Without Alienating People by Rick Bezet interested me because we often hear these days about how Christians are hateful, discriminatory, deplorable, you fill in the blank. I was interested to hear what Bezet has to say about how we can stick to our beliefs without seeming to the outside world to be mean, angry, or hateful. The book description says:

"The world doesn't dislike Christians because we are godly, honest, and stand for justice. It dislikes us because we can be downright mean! Somewhere in our engagement of culture we have drifted to one of two extremes--compromising on truth or condemning all those who disagree. But Jesus, despite enemies on all sides, somehow managed to speak the truth in love--and calls us to do the same.

Whichever ditch you tend to fall into, Rick Bezet wants to help. In Real Love in an Angry World, he calls on believers not to abandon the truth just because they don't want to hu…

Fearless Parenting

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The cover and description of Fearless Parenting George Barna and Jimmy Myers really grabbed me from the get-go. I have a teenage son, a preteen daughter, and an elementary age daughter and son. I often fear many things about the culture, environment, and what they are exposed to every day. Fearless Parenting seemed like the perfect resource for me. The book description says:

"Conscientious parents who long to bring their children up as good Christians and good citizens face an uphill battle. In a culture of rampant narcissism and moral anarchy, righteous living isn't easy and it isn't popular. But positive cultural transformation happens quietly, one life at a time, and that is good news for parents.

In this hopeful book, world-renowned researcher George Barna and nationally respected counselor Jimmy Myers offer parents a plan of action to raise healthy, godly children in a morally bankrupt culture. If the parents of this generation want to see their children grow up wit…

The Perfect You

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The Perfect You: A Blueprint for Identity by Dr. Caroline Leaf is an extremely unique book. It promises to help you unlock the unique design God has given you and help you to live up to your full potential. The book description says:

"There are a lot of personality and intelligence tests out there designed to label you and put you in a particular box. But Dr. Caroline Leaf says there's much more to you than a personality profile can capture. In fact, you cannot be categorized!

In this fascinating book, she takes readers through seven steps to rediscover and unlock their unique design--the brilliantly original way each person thinks, feels, relates, and makes choices--freeing them from comparison, envy, and jealousy, which destroy brain tissue. Readers learn to be aware of what's going on in their own minds and bodies, to lean in to their own experience rather than trying to forcefully change it, and to redefine what success means to them. Released from the suffocating bo…

Secrets

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Secrets: A True Story of Addiction, Infidelity, and Second Chances by Jonathan Daugherty covers topics that are uncomfortable, but needful for Christians to learn about and discuss. Many Christian men (and women!) struggle with issues such as pornography or addiction, but often don't seek help due to embarrassment or fear. The book description says:

"Everyone has a secret or two areas of their life they would rather not share with the general public. But Jonathan Daugherty had a life-altering, relationship-ending secret that he wanted to keep hidden at all costs. And it did cost him. His secret snatched away contentment, peace, and the possibility of being known and loved for who he really is. That s what any addiction can do but in particular a sex addiction. When his wife finally realized who Jonathan really was and what he was really doing, their marriage seemed to be over. Jonathan shares honestly and courageously his story of pornography addiction to it and how he lost …

Grounded Hearts

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Grounded Hearts is a historical romance fiction. I was initially attracted to it because the cover was beautiful and the premise seemed sweet and interesting - it's set in World War II Ireland, which really intrigued me. The book description says:

"In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husban…