Tag - review

Book Review: Wonder
Book Review: Fervent
Nice vs. Good
Podcast Review: Ask Pastor John
Podcast Review: Raising them in His Image

Book Review: Wonder

Today’s book review is a departure from the norm for me. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I semi-regularly post reviews on Bible studies and other books related to spiritual development. But today, I’m writing about Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

This review isn’t intended to be an in-depth look at the literary features that Palacio uses. But rather, a reminder to parents to know what your children are reading and have open conversations about it. Because, to me, there was one terrifying lesson that I came away with after reading Wonder.

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Book Review: Fervent

My first introduction to Priscilla Shirer was her Bible study on Jonah (Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted). I loved it! I was an almost-college-graduate who joined this study with the married women in our church. Each week we gathered together to watch Priscilla’s teaching videos and discuss our homework.

Since then, I have followed Priscilla Shirer on social media but haven’t had the opportunity to participate in another study. So I was absolutely thrilled when I came across her book Fervent.

I eagerly began to read. The book was incredibly timely because my prayer life had been gradually fading and her entire emphasis was prayer. Then, it felt too timely. So I quit.

I walked away from the book. Every chapter was more convicting than the last and I just couldn’t deal.

I moved onto a long string of just-for-fun books. The stress level of adding a foster child to our house caused me to withdraw from my spiritual growth books. I’ve always favored literature and fiction, but I had been carefully selecting at least one spiritual book to read every month or two.

It was time to finish what I had started and put Priscilla’s fervent prayer life into practice. So early August, I picked it up again. And it was every bit as challenging, convicting, and encouraging as it had been the first time.

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Nice vs. Good


I had the house to myself for a night last month and I was super excited about two things – getting to eat my bow tie noodles with alfredo sauce (Kevin prefers red sauce) and watching Into the Woods (this is about as close to a “chick flick” as I like to get).

I hunkered on the couch with my bowl of noodles and pressed play, quite honestly, not knowing what to expect. I had read the play in high school, remembered liking it enough to keep my copy on my bookshelf, but couldn’t remember the plot or the themes.

This is not a movie review, but I will say this much, the first 30 minutes in particular are movie-musical magic. The lyrics were beautifully executed and edited to fit film.

There were oh so many themes I could blog about today, but I’ll stick with just two quotes from the movie that make similar points.

The first: Little Red Riding Hood is skipping along the path through the woods, all the time singing about how her mother told her to stay on the path and not to stray. But then she encounters the wolf (played by Johnny Depp). The wolf shows her an entire world of wonders, including berries, that exist if she strays from the path. He is ever so kind and convinces her to wander. Later, as Red reflects on her decisions, she describes the wolf by saying, “Nice isn’t the same as good.”

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Podcast Review: Ask Pastor John


My college pastor introduced me to the works of John Piper with the book Don’t Waste Your Life. Years later, as Kevin and I began our premarriage counseling, that same pastor asked us to read This Momentary Marriage by Pastor John Piper. His writings have influenced the way I view the Bible and our Heavenly Father.

So when I saw that Desiring God had created a podcast called Ask Pastor John, I subscribed. And the setup matched exactly what I expected – people across the county, from all ages and walks of life, wrote to Pastor John to ask earnest and often difficult questions regarding faith and their walk with God.

Here are just a few of the questions that Pastor John has answered in the past month:

  • How do I honor God in chronic pain?
  • Do pets go to heaven?
  • Is permanent birth control a sin?
  • Does God want me to be happy or holy?

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Podcast Review: Raising them in His Image


Do you listen to podcasts? If you are not familiar with the term “podcast,” they can be defined as a digital recording of a a radio show, or similar audio medium, that you can download or stream with a device that connects to the internet.

For those of you with iPhones, all you have to do is click the podcast button on your screen and you have instant access to millions of hours of free content.

This month, I am recommending the following podcast for you from the Gospel Coalition, dated December 15, 2014. It is titled, “Raise Them in His Image, Not Yours.”

I’m going to go ahead and give you a summary of this podcast because it had a tremendous wealth of wisdom packed into about 7  minutes.

If focuses on this question:

What is the most paradigm shifting moment you have had as a mom? Here are the three responses recorded.

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