Book Review | Let the Journey Begin by Max Lucado

let the journey begin

Max Lucado never ceases to amaze me with his godly wisdom, easy transition from story to life lesson, and word pictures.  This book, especially written for graduates who are facing the next big step of their lives, is timeless.  With added pages, Max provides wise words and tender knowledge from his previously published books that have transcended decades.  And the new format (this book was previously published around the time I graduated from high school myself), gives a fresh look to the truths that withstand time.  Anyone seeking life lessons from the Bible in an easy to understand way, will appreciate this book.

I recommend this book to anyone who has a family member who is graduating, without regard for age.  And graduates aren’t the only recipients to grasp amazing content.  If you know of someone who is seeking the Lord, Max writes so simply that it’s hard to miss the grace on each page.  My copy has dogeared pages, highlighted sections and notes in the margins. And if you’ve personally never read a book by this famous pastor from Texas, this is a great way to get your feet wet.  You won’t stop here!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers (http://booklookbloggers.com) book review bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html): “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review | The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny and Jerry Jenkins

I recently finished reading my first ever sports book!  Though I tend to read novels, thrillers and Christian help books, I wanted to challenge myself to read something outside of my normal scope, and I was pleasantly surprised at this easy read.

The Matheny Manifesto was the name of a letter that Mike Matheny wrote to parents of a group of Little Leaguers that he was coaching in 2008.  He read it out loud to them during a meeting, and though it was met with resistance at first, it proved to be beneficial for all of the children, parents and himself.  It became a code for life that he lived by.

This book is peppered with eight keys to success: leadership, confidence, teamwork, faith, class, character, toughness and humility.  Mike uses stories of baseball greats that he has encountered, or admired over the years and built a framework for life from their examples.  He brought their ideas and lessons learned to each baseball practice and helped to build stronger players as a result.  His own career is also highlighted in the book, along with some mishaps  and disagreements, but both are necessary to show how he dealt with these instances.

 I highly recommend this book to anyone who is seeking how to help raise children in our time, since the truths of this book are still applicable to today.  These truths don’t just apply to baseball.  The mindset learned by these characteristics affect our life choices, how we interact with those in authority and how we perceive disaster.  Mike points to his Christianity in times of trials, and that is always the best direction to go.  If you love baseball, you’re in for an extra treat, as you journey with Mike.  And remember, “Nothing worth doing right is easy.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher’s Blogging for Books book review bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html): “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review | Worry Less so you can Live More by Jane Rubietta

Worry Less so you can Live More cover

This title just leapt out at me!  When scrolling through the list of books to choose for my next review, I thought, “I’ll read this and pass it on to my friends: Worrier A, Panic Attack Freak B, and Hypochondriac C”.   And before you judge me, I don’t normally categorize my dear friends as such.  It’s just so easy to point fingers at the people in our lives who could learn (insert goal of book fix here), isn’t it?  And yet, not so surprisingly, as I began to read, I realized that I could use some focus as well.  Imagine that!

Author Jane Rubietta wrote a book that not only gives practical advice on how to worry less, but she also takes instances from her own life, which gives us readers relatability and points us in the ONLY direction that can take away our worry.  It was so refreshing to see a woman whose life is immersed in women’s ministry share her fears and worries amidst conferences and personal interactions.  Gone was the facade that doing the Lord’s work eliminates stress and worry.  Jane made it clear that it is very much a part of her life, and that she has a few ways to deal with anxiety.

Jane shares about the need to empathize with others, and how isolation takes away from our ability to heal and cope with some of life’s struggles.  Now, to give away all of the details of her solutions would take away the reason to pick this book up for yourself, so I will not divulge any further.  But I will share that the Lord indeed plays a huge part in recovery, and that reminding ourselves that it is okay to play, to have imagination, to go back to a time in our lives when time didn’t exist and childlike nature was acceptable…those moments can definitely relax and refresh you.  So often, I was transported to Jane’s visual destinations by her ornate descriptions.  I felt like I was in a field with wildflowers all around, and seeing lightning bugs at nighttime.  I genuinely saw her desire to go to (and her desire to take us to) the places where we were allowed to give ourselves permission to just be still.  As adults, we don’t do that.  And we certainly need to.

Her book is a fast read, with wonderful questions.  She also includes Votums and a Benedictus for the end of each chapter.  My recommendation: Grab a cup of hot, fresh coffee, a warm blanket, and curl up in your favorite reading spot with your Bible, and begin this journey with Jane.  You won’t be disappointed.  And you’ll also feel as if you’ve made a new friend, one who “gets” you and will continue to pray for you. 🙂

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Bethany House.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html): “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”