Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Tag: book review

The Heart That Heals

The Heart that Heals by Patsy Burnette is a Bible study guide written out of Patsy’s pain and heartache over losing her teenage sister Ginger. It is a very gentle, non-threatening study that can be used as a journal (as I did) and is split into three parts, looking at emotions, burdens, and growing in Christ. Each chapter opens with a beautifully hand-drawn design with a Bible verse for the reader to colour in.

As soon as I heard of The Heart that Heals being launched, I was desperate to read and use it. It is written by a woman who knows how it feels to be broken and wonder if anything will ever be ‘okay’ again. This book is a good, safe read for anyone who is broken and raw. Patsy’s style is very gentle. She knows about broken souls.

I think it is a book where the reader will get as much or as little out of it depending on his or herself. Each chapter closes with three questions aimed at helping the reader think through what he or she has just read and note down any changes they will make as a result.

At times, I found the book bordering on being a little shallow – as if truths were being skimmed over. I felt there were places where the book could easily have gone deeper. It also sometimes felt slightly repetitive.

But, I also found it thought-provoking and urging me into action. After completing the study on the importance of bearing one another’s burdens, I sent a thank you card to a faithful friend who prays for me every day.

The book reminded me of who God is, what His character is like, and what He thinks of me. I needed that. It helped me get back into the Bible again, and that can only be a good thing!

Here is a quote from The Heart that Heals that blessed me.

Sometimes we think that turning to God and relying on His mercy, grace and comfort will make our brokenness disappear.
No, not necessarily. Relief from our brokenness may not always be the best thing for us.
Relief is not always in His plan, but peace is.

I was privileged to be chosen to be part of Patsy’s online launch team and to have received Kindle and printed copies of the book to provide an unbiased review. I have given it 4* on Amazon.

90 Days in John 14-17, Romans, James

I’m excited about this devotional book by Tim Keller and Sam Allberry.

Each short chapter gives the Bible text for the day followed by a few helpful notes. The notes are split up by sub headings, as well as questions which aid the reader to think about the passage and how it applies to your life. At the end of the chapter is a small paragraph with suggestions of how to pray in to what you have just read.

The page layout (it’s on my Kindle) is easy on the eye with lots of white space and clear headings and short paragraphs. It is appealing and draws you in, making you want to read it.

This is precisely the kind of devotional I like to start my day with. I don’t have to work at trying to wake up reading lots of dense text, and at the end of a chapter wonder what I’ve just read because I haven’t taken any of it in. With a book like 90 Days In, I can begin reading and find that my brain and heart are engaging with the subject matter almost at once.

I love Tim Keller’s books. His love and passion for God shine brightly through each page, and he brings fascinating insights from the original Hebrew and Greek.

I’ve read only one other book by Sam Allberry but found him to be a very readable writer with a deep love for God. He comes across as compassionate and sensitive with a wholesome love for the truth.

I’m looking forward to reading and savouring 90 Days In, using it as my morning devotional. I have given it **** on Amazon and am grateful to Cross Focused Reviews for providing me with a free copy to review.

 

 

A Bird, A Girl, and A Rescue

This book has so much that would appeal to eight to twelve year old readers. Set in the fictional African country of Rwendigo, the main character is young Kiisa who is off to boarding school for the first time. Her father leaves her with a special gift which becomes more important to Kiisa as the story goes on. Her growing relationship and dependence on her father’s gift is akin to knowing God and growing in faith.

This book is a mix of African legend with Christian undertones and modern-day guerrilla warfare. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. Yet even though touching on serious issues, the book remains light, focusing on friendship, loyalty, courage and standing up to bullies. Kiisa loves playing football and makes a great goalie.

Young readers will enjoy the fun and adventure aspects of the story. Older readers – and adults – will hopefully gain a little insight into the tension of living in a politically-corrupt area with the ever-present danger of guerrilla warfare.

I enjoyed reading A Bird, A Girl and A Rescue by J A Myhre. I have given it **** on Amazon and am grateful to Cross Focused Reviews for providing me with a free copy to review.

 

 

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