Monday, April 22, 2013

Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist

I am convinced I could be related to Amanda Jenkins, the author of Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist. Her writing style made her easy to relate to and I share some of her struggles with perfectionism. I laughed a lot throughout the book, thinking to myself, that is so me!

My favorite chapter was called "Diet Coke". While I am addicted to regular Coke, I understood her dependency on Diet Coke to get through the day. "I think He's convicting me to stop using [Diet Coke] wrongly. And by that I mean drinking in excess or as a coping mechanism or as my source of peace.... I'm pretty sure that's how I sometimes use it -- as my own little escape or twist on comfort food" (136-137).

Her stories were interesting and made me want to hang out with her and her friends. She pulled all the chapters together with Bible verses that fit the theme of each chapter. They tied it together well.

If you're wondering if this book is for you, consider her Q & A question number two:

Q: In your book, you talk about your addiction to perfection. What were the signs that this was an issue for you?
A: Little things. For a long time, I didn’t let my husband see me without makeup. I got really upset/frazzled when people dropped by unexpectedly. I got easily embarrassed when I messed up, and I wouldn’t admit to struggling. And I thought I had life pretty together—that I actually didn’t struggle/mess up/sin as much as other people did.

Still not sure you want to read it?
You can read Chapter One here. You can also read the entire Author Q & A here.

In exchange for this review, Tyndale Publishing gave me the book for free.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Story

The church I work at is finishing up this book. Every ministry was going through it on age-appropriate levels. Our middle school students read the adult book (not much difference between adult and teen books).

I enjoyed reading this because it was done in a way that made sense while not being overwhelmed with reading THE ENTIRE BIBLE. It is 470 pages and sometimes paraphrases what happens (when they summarize, it is done in italics which is convenient).

It can be a quick, easy read, but our church went through it one chapter/week. There are maps and timelines which help frame what is being talked about in each chapter.

Overall it is a book of Good News. I am glad I went through it, but I am also glad to be done and start studying smaller parts of the Bible again.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Hobbit

I have read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien twice in the past few months.

I wanted to read it before seeing part one of the trilogy. I remember wanting to read it while I was in high school or something, but it was too visual for me (ok, I HAVE an imagination, but I just wanted to SEE all of the dwarves in their cloaks)...

I have been doing a Facebook conversation about The Hobbit with my former professor. I took his C.S. Lewis class in college and loved it. He put it out on Facebook that he was going to be doing an online book group about Tolkien's LOTR series. I have never read the LOTR trilogy (or The Hobbit before December), so I am still trying to figure out what all the names are -- what are buildings and what are people. Not only are there names, but several people have nicknames...

I am reading it via book on my kindle + cds from the library. I know that my kindle can read it to me, but it's monotone and I much prefer a British man reading me the story!

The Hobbit is a brilliant piece of literature.

As always with favorite characters, one of mine died in the end... so sad.

But I don't want to ruin it for those of you who have not had the adventure of reading through it!

Go get it NOW!

Get Lost

Warning: this book is deceiving. While you may think this is another book about finding true love (as in a boyfriend finally), think again. This is about getting lost in God... reconnecting and rediscovering His love for you.

I really enjoyed this book personally. I got it because I thought it would help me in girls' ministry, but it was so helpful in getting me back on track with my devotions. It was convicting and exactly what I needed.

For example, she lists several excuses we could use to not spend time with God. "I am a reluctant lover when... [I] fill my schedule with so much service for my God that I never have time to be still and with my God" (70).

Gresh breaks it up into a ten day challenge to connect with God. You can use each chapter as a day or if you are doing a group study, you have the choice to make it ten weeks.

In this book there is space in case you want to journal about what she is writing about in the chapter. There are also group conversation questions and a leader's guide for a book study in case you are interested in going that route. I did not use either, but for those of you who would like to know, those are available for you.

I reviewed this book for Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers Blogging for Books. I received this book for free in exchange for a review of the book.