Book Reviews

Becoming a Welcoming Church
by Thom S. Rainer

If your church is looking to evaluate guest experience, I can’t recommend this book enough.
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How’s Your Soul?
by Judah Smith

Do you ever feel like you are just surviving, struggling to live one day at a time? I know I often do. Judah Smith writes that survival is not enough. Frustration, restlessness, and boredom do not have to be the soundtrack of our lives.
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Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely
by Lysa Terkeurst
(Review by Tabitha Hall)

We have all been rejected at some point in our life. Rejection hurts and can cause thoughts to grow that are not true. Not only did I learn how to deal with past rejection and how to stop rejection pain from taking root. But I also learned that by extending the same love God gives to me, to others, I can help stop the cycle of rejection.
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The Aetherlight Bible NLT
by Tyndale

The Aetherlight Bible is tool, a companion piece meant to help players navigate through the fog. Presented in the New Living Translation, this Bible is easy to read for both children and adults. Built with the desire to connect players of The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance with Biblical truth…
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NIrV Mincrafters Bible
by Zondervan

The NIrV Minecrafters Bible is a Biblical recipe mixing faith and fandom. This Bible features a solid hardcover to hold up against any Creeper or Zombie attack. The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) makes for an easy read.
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My Name is MahtobMy Name is Mahtob
by Mahtob Mahmoody
(Review by Tabitha Hall)

My Name is Mahtob is written from the perspective of the daughter from the book and motion picture, Not Without My Daughter; Mahtob Mahmoody. She shares her memories of how her mother and her escaped Iran and made it back to the United States. Only to live the rest of their lives in fear that her father would come and take Mahtob back to Iran.
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Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible for Kids
by Zondervan

I enjoyed the overall focus and theme of Big Dreams, Big Prayers Bible for Kids. The hardbound cover provides durability; the size makes it easy for kids to hold. The print is clean and simple to read. Color choice is mature yet eye-catching.
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42faiththroughfandom42: Discovering Faith Through Fandom
by Eric Anderson and Nathan Marchand

42: Discovering Faith Through Fandom bridges the gap between pop culture and the Bible. When successful, soaring to personal heights that speak to the soul. On off days, testing the cultural and spiritual bonds woven together to the point of collapse.
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_240_360_Book.1491.coverScary Close – Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy
by Donald Miller

I first discovered Donald Miller in college. I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t sure about my Christian faith anymore. There was a disconnect between the Christians I read about in the Bible and the Christians I met everyday. Tired of the hypocrisy, I found honesty in Miller’s Blue Like Jazz. Someone was finally writing from a perspective that felt authentic. God used Miller’s words to remind me of the freedom we have in Christ; He used Donald Miller to bring me back to Him.
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by Craig Gross

The first time I heard the word accountability was shortly after high school. A good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to be accountability partners with him. This meant that we would talk about the deeper things that boil beneath the surface; things that most hold tightly to themselves. I am not sure if I was scared or what, but I quickly declined his invitation. I did not want anyone getting closer. I was an island.
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FightFight: Winning the Battles That Matter Most
by Craig Groeshcel

As king of the flannelgraph boards, the Biblical/historical figure of Sampson is one that many a young boy wishes to be. Set apart by God from birth, Sampson is the original superhero. Fight, by pastor Craig Groeschel, examines the life of Sampson in parallel to the modern Christian male. Both have been created by God in His image; both are prone to utter and complete failure. Groeschel goes out of his way to point out that Sampson’s failures, like ours, are never due to one time events. Like the falling blocks in a game of Tetris, our decisions stack up and can eventually lead us down a road to ruin. However, like Sampson, we are never beyond God’s redemptive power.
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The Fulton IncidentThe Fulton Incident
by Jordan Ekeroth

Jordan Ekeroth’s debut novel, “The Fulton Incident”, opens with a man who is barely getting by. Drowning in business and student loan debts, Josh Fulton, Ekeroth’s protagonist, is living out the new American dream.
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_140_245_Book.697.coverNeighbors and Wise Men – Sacred Encounters in a Portland Pub and Other Unexpected Places
by Tony Kriz

The core thought found throughout Tony Kritz’s Neighbors and Wise Men is that God often uses people of other faiths, cultures, and locations to speak to us; That God can use an old Albanian Muslim woman or even patrons of a pub to help heal and restore the soul. Tony constantly contrasts the church teachings he grew up with (sinners were only to be evangelized not socialized with) versus the truths God revealed to him.
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