7 Reasons Why You Should Be Reading Books

Click on the pic below to check out my top 7 reasons to read books :)7-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Be-Reading-Books-1024x1024

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what are you waiting for? | book review

So I’m going through the list of reviews I have waiting for me to write and I realized I had one more in the little series I was doing on books about singleness and purity a few months ago! Here we go with another fantastic read by Dannah Gresh!!

whatareyouwaitingforWhat Are You Waiting For? The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex by Dannah Gresh

Rating: 4.0 – 40

In my review of And the Bride Wore White I mentioned that it is geared more for the high school aged girl.  Well, What Are You Waiting For? is where it picks up for the ladies in the college years and beyond.  Once again, Gresh, with her honesty and openness, superbly addresses sex and what the big deal is about waiting for it.

Sex is a sensitive, intimate topic but, nevertheless, needs to be discussed.  Gresh doesn’t mince words – she’s straightforward and to the point about the struggles, challenges and addictions that so many in the church find themselves grappling with.  Intimacy is more than physical – it’s emotional and spiritual and God designed it to be an incredibly awesome experience. Unfortunately, the world has made a mess of this amazing gift and has left us confused, deluded and frustrated.  What does the Bible have to say about all this?  Gresh tackles all the tough questions, addressing them biblically and, in many cases, with scientific research to back it up.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re a single gal with questions about what the big deal is and want to know that one thing no one has ever told you about sex, read this book!!!  I guarantee you won’t regret it!

Happy reading, y’all!

Elyssa

twentysomething | book review

Hello, hello!!

I hope everyone has had a beautiful, adventure-filled summer!  My summer has been a whirlwind to say the least, leaving me with absolutely no time to read or blog!  But as summer winds down and a new season settles in, I enter a new life season of my own filled with many changes and life questions… But none of that right now, I’ve got a book to share!

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Twentysomething: Surviving and Thriving in the Real World by Margaret Feinberg

Rating: 3.0 – 4.0

I started reading this book back in the spring and only now just finished it this morning.  I wish I had finished it awhile ago, I could have used some of the counsel and encouragement this summer!

Like any season in life, the characteristics of being a twentysomething will differ from person to person.  For some of us it means the hustle and bustle of a brand new career, for some of us it means seemingly endless job hunts and wondering if, perhaps, you’ve started down the wrong path, and for the rest of us it means minimum wage grunt work until you get your big break.  No matter what twentysomething looks like on the outside, we’re all trying to figure it out – who am I, what do I want to do, how do I get there, and who do I want to do it with?  And further more, where is God in all of this?  What does He want me to do with my life? Feinberg offers great wisdom and encouragement on how to make the most of this great life season. Everything from making and keeping friendships to handling stress, facing hard times, taking risks, setting priorities and learning from mistakes, she addresses some of the questions you may have asked yourself and maybe some you didn’t think to consider.

I gave it a 3 star rating because sometimes you have to take what you read with a grain of salt.  I didn’t agree with all she said but it was worth the read and I’m glad I have a copy on my shelf.  It’ll be good to refer back to it in the future or lend to someone else.

If you are a twentysomething like I am, I recommend this one.  It’s a light, encouraging, read that could jumpstart all sorts of thoughts and considerations.  It definitely has for me!!

Happy reading, y’all!

the pilgrim’s progress | book review

I have a list of 13 books I’ve read over the past several months and failed to review and I’m chipping away one at a time.  The first title I need to get done is definitely The Pilgrim’s Progress.  

You may know that I hosted a read-along (my very first!) for this book this past summer. Well, I did a final check-in post but never got around to typing up my thoughts on the entire book!!  So here goes!

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The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Rating: 3.5 – 4.0

My thoughts:

First, it must be said that this book is not to be rushed through by any means.  If you’ve read it or attempted to read it, you know what I’m talking about!  This book is rich with imagery and meaning and depth.  It’s not just a classic, it is a religious book, period.  The spiritual themes cannot be ignored and a reader with a working knowledge of the Bible will understand the language and commentary.  It definitely deserves a re-read, only, next time, nice and slow!  My copy was great because it had notes, and Bible references in the margins which helped a lot!!  If you’re thinking of getting a hard copy, I highly recommend the Barnes & Noble version like the one pictured here.

There’s something special about reading something written by someone who believes in what they’re writing about.  Bunyan wrote this book from prison where he was incarcerated for preaching the Gospel.  It doesn’t get any more intense than that!

I’m not going to go through details of the book, I already did some of that in my check-ins:

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Final Check In

What I will say about the book is that as difficult as it was at times, it’s a beautiful read.  I think every Christian should read it at least once.  It makes you think and evaluate you’re own walk.  I’m very glad I included it on my TBR list this year and tackled it this summer!

This is also a good time to note that my dear friend, Jobe, from Jobe Reads, won the giveaway and I will be sending her a hard copy of  The Pilgrim’s Progress for her personal library!!

I’d love to here your thoughts about the book!  Did you participate in the summer read-along?  Have you read it in years past?  Or maybe it’s on you list and you haven’t gotten to it yet.  Leave a comment below!!

Happy reading, y’all!

when God writes your life story | book review

223366When God Writes Your Life Story by Eric & Leslie Ludy

Ratings: 4.0 – 4.0

My Thoughts:

Oh my goodness I looooooooooooooved this book!  I mean, I’ve loved every book I’ve read by the Ludy’s but this was absolutely FABULOUS!!  And in the light of starting my new job and facing my last year of undergrad study, it was perfect timing.

Just as they always do, Eric and Leslie encourage counter-cultural, God glorifying, holiness-pursuing Christianity that defies all things ordinary and mediocre – and I love that!!  In this book they talk about Christians in the past who gave up all for Christ and in return, Jesus scripted extraordinarily adventurous lives for them.  While this often meant suffering and trials and struggles, it also meant peace and assurance that God’s hand was working in their lives and that their ministry was impacting others for the kingdom of heaven.

This is the stuff of Christianity.  And we so easily forget that it can be that way in our lives as well.  The adventure, the miracles, and the victories aren’t to be left in the past but continued into the present because God doesn’t change, the world’s need for Him hasn’t changed, and His commission for His followers has not changed.  God’s dreams for us are big and wonderful and, a lot of times, seemingly impractical or impossible. He calls us to live passionate, sold-out, abundant lives for His glory and for the benefit of those around us no matter the cost.

So what happened to our little-kid passion for achieving the impossible? When did we stop shooting for impossible goals and start aiming for realistic targets instead? As little kids, we dream of a bigger-than-life existence. But eventually we grow up. We lose our “oomph” to keep aiming high. We settle for everyday mediocrity. We stop trying to be heroic and finally accept being average.

As we grow up, the worlds tells us that aiming our lives at the impossible only leads to disappointment. Somewhere along the way, we are persuaded to loosen our grip on our dreams and pitch our tents in the land where everyday humans dwell.

If you’re feeling like your Christian walk is missing something, READ THIS BOOK!!

If you’re feeling comfortable in your Christian walk, READ THIS BOOK!!

If you profess to be a Christian at all, READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!

It was amazing and awesome and inspirational and honest and real and deep and I loved it so much!

Happy reading, y’all :)

lies women believe | book review

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Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Rating: 4.0 – 4.0

My Thoughts:

I love this book!  I borrowed it from the library and read it and now I want to get a copy for my own personal library.  I was amused by the negative reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.  So many women found DeMoss too legalistic or conservative or uptight and unreasonable.  It’s true her position on many things is counter-cultural and even counter-Christian cultural but I believe her positions are biblical and, therefore, wise.

I didn’t really learn anything new but rather had some things confirmed or backed up.  I appreciate her honesty and warmth and assurance that God is in control and that He is deeply interested in the things that are important to women – our emotions, our struggles, our personalities, and our passions.  He created us with specific desires and gifts and dreams and has specific roles and responsibilities for us to carry out.  And we live in a world that is telling us different.  We live in a culture that totally disagrees and sells us a pack of lies about us, about God, and about His plan for our lives.  This is what DeMoss addresses in her book and I think she did it beautifully.

I totally recommend it and I encourage you to approach it with an open mind and prayerful heart and then share it with your girlfriends!

Happy reading, y’all :)

the power of a praying woman//book review

The Power Of A Praying Woman - Omartian, StormieYou know that feeling you get when you finish a book and know that it belongs in your library for keeps?  Stormie Omartian’s Power of a Praying Woman was one of those books for me.  I didn’t want to return it to the library when it was due!!

Growing up in a great Christian home, I learned to pray and talk to God at an early age.  However, so often I’ve taken prayer and the potential power it can have in my life for granted.  God is so wonderful and powerful and He longs to move and work in our lives if only we’d ask.  Omartian addresses topics like forgiveness, obedience, worship, purpose and relationships, so many of the aspects of life that, as a woman, I count important but often forget to seriously and sincerely pray about.  While I keep a journal where I write out my thoughts and musings to the Lord, I didn’t realize how superficial my prayer life really is.  I was reminded that, like with any relationship, communication is key to healthy development.  So just like I can spend hours on end talking with my best friend, I should take time to communicate with my Heavenly Father, to seek after His heart and get to know Him better and better.  He’s always there to listen, to counsel, to console, to celebrate with, to solve problems, to give, to bless, to forgive.  All we have to do is sit at His feet and talk to Him!  *happy sigh*

“We will never be happy until we make God the source of our fulfillment and the answer to our longings. He is the only one who should have power over our souls.”

This definitely deserves a reread!  It’s on my list of books to buy and add to my shelf.  Deep and encouraging, it’s a great stepping stone to cultivating a beautiful prayer life!  I highly recommend it!!!

don’t waste your life book review//nerdy non-fiction 2013

“Desire that your life count for something great! Long for your life to have eternal significance. Want this! Don’t coast through life without a passion.”

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I’ve added this title to my list of books to buy.  I got a free copy of the audiobook from Christian Audio and decided to listen to it for the 2013 Audio Challenge.  I’m so glad I did.  However, I’m finding that it’s a bit more challenging to review an audiobook than to review a hard copy.  Here are a few of my thoughts on this great read!

SPOILER ALERT: This post does contain spoilers!! You have been warned ;).

In Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper, also the author of Desiring God, challenges readers not to live a life of selfish gratification.  He proposes that a life not wasted is a life fully devoted to the cause of Christ.  I believe that 100%.

“My joy grows with every soul that seeks the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Remember, you have one life. That’s all. You were made for God. Don’t waste it.”

It’s so easy as Christians to feel discouraged and downtrodden or worse yet, complacent and comfortable with the mediocre.  Neither of those conditions are what God intends for our lives.  He’d rather us live passionately and boldly and completely sold out to Him, making Him front and center of everything we say and do.  Piper pleads with his readers to take God and our lives seriously and not waste it on that which doesn’t last.

“But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.”

“God created me—and you—to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion—namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life.”

This is why I need a hard copy of this book, so many great life quotes!!  Here are a couple more:

“You don’t have to know a lot of things for your life to make a lasting difference in the world. But you do have to know the few great things that matter, perhaps just one, and then be willing to live for them and die for them. The people that make a durable difference in the world are not the people who have mastered many things, but who have been mastered by one great thing.”

“Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us—a crucified God—must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.”

This book deserves a re-read.  I’m so glad I finally got to listen to it!  Life is a precious, precious thing and we owe it to our Creator and Lord of the Universe to live it in such a way that brings continual glory and honor to His name!

Y’all have a blessed day :).