Book Review | No More Perfect Marriages by Mark and Jill Savage

no more perfect marriages

Wanting a perfect marriage is typical of newlyweds and romantic hopefuls.  And for a while after the wedding bells are rung, things seem to be just that.  But then dust settles and life takes over, and the real “US”es start to show.  Could it mean that a perfect marriage is unattainable?

Instead of answering that question, I think the question should be, “Are we focusing on what marriage is really supposed to be?” Because the truth is that, if we are, we will realize the truth of what Mark and Jill have written about in their new book, “No More Perfect Marriages”- there is no perfect marriage.  They give very real and candid examples from their own lives and long-standing marriage, which I found to be incredibly admirable, and they discuss many changes that many of our marriages may face.

Understanding that each marriage is unique (remember two of us are becoming one), we have to also understand that both people are bringing their pasts, experiences, understandings, expectations, and realities to the center.  And trying to blend those things doesn’t always work out without understanding, grace and forgiveness at the ready.  So needless to say, we need help for our marriages, picture-perfect or not.

One section of the book that I loved was right in the beginning.  They addressed the masks that we wear.  In any marriage, it’s easy to resort to old habits or hide when we don’t get our way, but the problem lies in what those actions do to our spouses.  We need to be realistic and admit when we let selfishness creep in where God wants us to put the other first.  It’s hard, but can be done with Christ’s help.  And Mark and Jill show us how.

I also love how they laid out some God-tools- relevant for all of us, and practical items that we need on a daily basis to consistently put our spouses first, and recognize how our behavior affects each other.  This book has some additional links for support, a link to Jill’s page ( and many fun, practical ideas for how to get over trying to pretend our marriages are perfect.  You’ll love their honesty, raw emotional stories and uplifting outcomes.

This book is (dare I say, PERFECT) for marriages of any length of time, those who are thriving and those who are struggling.  There is help, and these two, along with Gary Chapman are some great Christian resources!

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I received this book, free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.  I am very thankful to Moody Publishers for giving me this advanced reader copy, and providing me an opportunity to post about it with all of you.  Pick up your copy today!

Book Review | Death on Hold: A Prisoner’s Desperate Prayer and the Unlikely Family Who Became God’s Answer by Burton Folsom Jr and Anita Folsom

death on hold
Death on Hold was the first book I’d ever read that was based on the life of an inmate.  Very intense at times, somber and sad at others, but told from the perspective of the one who lived the moments.  It’s an amazing story of growth, love, forgiveness and God’s redemption.

Mitch Rutledge made some bad choices after his mother passed and his dad abandoned him and his siblings.  He took to the streets and followed the path of drugs, alcohol and gangs.  Finding his “family” in the gang worked for a length of time, but eventually landed him in trouble.  He made a decision to take a life, and as a result, was found out by the law, and prosecuted.

Mitch’s story is told primarily by Mitch, however he begins to develop relationships with some families outside of prison; people who want to show him hope, the Gospel and love.  These families that wrote to him shared their perspectives through this book as well.  It’s beautiful to see their hearts and viewpoints during court sessions, meeting Mitch in the “yard” and during their prayers as he had to wait to see if he could get off of death row.

To Mitch, a young man who couldn’t read or write, it took a while to find out what the letter writers were saying, but he began to study English and believe that he had value.  Fellow inmates would read him the letters of those who wanted to teach him about Jesus, and as a result, he learned to read and write, and took what he was learning from his friends and the Bible to heart.  He ended up becoming repentant, and became a person known in prison for staying neutral and defusing tough situations.

Read this book to learn the story of a man who is rehabilitated, learn about Jesus in a new way, and/or see the work of the Lord behind bars.  No one is out of His reach!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review | Forgiving our Fathers and Mothers by Leslie Leyland Fields and Dr. Jill Hubbard

Book cover

As a woman who is new to women’s ministry and just recently began teaching a class on the biblical view of forgiveness using Dr. David Stoop’s book, “Forgiving the Unforgivable”, it made perfect sense to review a book on this topic as well to incorporate into my lesson plans.  The payoff was more than I realized initially.  The more I read, the more I realized that not only did I need to share this material, but I needed to pray about applying it in my own life.

The book is written by two women, Leslie Fields, a wife and mother of six who struggled with her relationship with her biological father, and Dr. Jill Hubbard, who is a clinical psychologist and co-host of the New Life Live radio program.  Leslie shares bold testimony of her encounters and forgiveness stages with her father.  As if reading her deeply wounded personal account isn’t enough evidence of the need to forgive, she shares snippets of other peoples’ family issues and how they were or were not resolved.  Getting a glimpse into how other people view wounds and what they do with them, is proof of a universal need to give grace and forgiveness, which can be achieved humanly, however is not complete without Jesus.  Dr. Hubbard’s additional insights lead you into ten questions at the end of each chapter, to deepen your understanding of what the chapter material was and Scripture readings for application.

As I read and processed the questions, stories, testimonies, and outcomes, I realized this book should be in the pew rack along with our hymnals.  Though Scripture talks about forgiveness, and our churches address this area, many of us do not apply the mandate to our parents.  Leslie realizes this and explains in chapter eight that “…forgiveness requires remembrance.  We cannot confess and name what was done without memory.  Neither can we extinguish what happened in the past by simply pretending or denying it away.” (page 162).  The need to face the past, our perception of it, and grieve the memory is essential.

The biblical mandate from Jesus is that forgiveness is immediate.  We are not giving permission to hurt, but releasing the offender “from our hook and placing them on God’s hook.”  God will work out the details.  The justice for our injustice is His to claim.  I’ve learned over time that the step of obedience in this area, leads to peace from Jesus that calms the soul beyond comprehension.  Leslie and Jill confirm this truth, and invite you to read their stories.

Are you ready to take the next step in seeing the grace of God work in your life?  Pick up a copy of this book, grab a highlighter and your Bible and spend some time alone with God.  Your time will be greatly rewarded and you will not be disappointed.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers ( 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 ( “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”