Married And Still Loving It

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Chapman, Gary. Myra, Harold. Married And Still Loving It: The Joys and Challenges of the Second Half. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers. 2016.

SUMMARY:
Could the second half of marriage be the beautiful season of marriage? New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman, and co-author and CEO of Christianity Today International, Myra Harold, explore the thought. Delving into different aspects of marriage-children, finances, retirement, grief, activities-from the perspective of the later years of life, Married And Still Loving It peers at the changes experienced over many years of marriage. Full of personal stories, advice, discoveries, encouragement and faith, and connected with interviews from long-married, well-known couples, the second half of marriage may just be the most beautiful season of all…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
What a wonderful book to share with parents, grandparents, Life Groups, church ministries and your own spouse. Organized into a flowing style in a reader friendly manner, I both flipped through it reading snippets then read the entire book from cover to cover. With side notes, interesting interviews and lots of revelations, I learned a few things, confirmed some items, and enjoyed my time reading. Definitely a book I will refer to in the future, and recommend to others, there are nuggets for all ages and stages. The beautiful season of marriage is truly real.

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Married And Still Loving It from Moody Publishers for my honest review*

Cherish

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Thomas, Gary. Cherish: The One Word That Changes Everything For Your Marriage. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2017.

cherish

SUMMARY:
More than love, “cherish” includes respect, gratitude, honor and adoration. When cherish is combined with love in a marriage, it has the power to change everything within that relationship. In his new book, Cherish, author Gary Thomas explores and shares the positive effect cherishing another person can have. With a faith-based backdrop, the word cherish is applied to many aspects within a marriage, abundantly coupled with personal stories, relevant analogies, beautiful words, ideas and actions, as well as lots of compassion and encouragement.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Reading through the book Cherish, I found it to be a very smooth, interesting read but also one I was constantly shaking my head in agreement with. Trying to read only a few chapters at time so I had time to digest the material; unfortunately, it did not work that way as I was consistently starting the next chapter, pausing only to share (and have my husband read) snippets of each section. Definitely a book for any stage of marriage, it would be perfect for a counseling session, pre-marriage workshop, a marriage ministry or even a sermon topic. I am convinced…to cherish is priceless!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Cherish from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Unstuffed

Soukup, Ruth. Unstuffed: Uncluttering Your Home, Mind & Soul. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2016.

*unstuffed

SUMMARY:
With tons of items cluttering homes, minds, souls and in turn, whole lives, now seems like a good time to unstuff. Sometimes an overwhelmingly personal, emotional and physical action, often it may more simply left undone. Through encouragement, knowledge, compassion and direction, New York Times bestselling author, Ruth Soukup, helps make such a daunting task much easier. Starting with a vision and working towards uncluttering space, relationships, schedules and minds, Unstuffed provides an organized manner in which to be successful.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
In a subject that can be hard for many people, this author makes uncluttering understandable and achievable. Written in such a way that it almost seems enjoyable (okay…bearable), it is a well organized book with good ideas, explained results, relatable situations and positive advice. Approaching the cluttered style from a whole perspective, rather than just a materialistic approach, not only makes more sense but also serves several purposes at once. I truly appreciate the candid advice given in a doable, compassionate, upbeat, successful way. My home, mind and soul, thank-you!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Unstuffed from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

I Wish He Had Come With Instructions

Bechtle, Mike. I Wish He Had Come With Instructions: The Woman’s Guide to a Man’s Brain. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

iwishhehadcomewithinstructions

SUMMARY:
Through explanation, compassion, thoughtfulness and lots of humor, author and event speaker Mike Bechtle, tries to explain the uniqueness of a man’s brain in terms a woman can understand. While exploring the role of the male brain in relationships, I Wish He Had Come With Instructions gently guides towards an understanding of the male communication process, including actions, listening (or lack of it), feelings, conflict, missions, and silence. With witty examples, personal stories, straight-forward explanations and tons of encouragement, this author’s book is sure to answer some very evasive questions for women…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Is it truly even possible to understand how men think? However, it must be easier than even trying to understand women!  Loving his last book, You Can’t Text a Tough Conversation, I knew I had to read this one and once again, found myself nodding in agreement quite often. Obviously wired very differently from women, author Mike Bechtle not only examines the differences but celebrates the uniqueness between the brains of men and women. I enjoyed the humor throughout along with the serious undertones supporting the necessity of strong communication. Perfect for relationships of all levels and stages, it would be great for a sermon topic, Bible study, marriage encounter or pre-marriage counseling. I will definitely continue to search for his newest books as well as reference this one as needed. Adorable cover and title, too!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of I Wish He Had Come With Instructions from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

The Power of Together

Putman, Jim. The Power of Together: Discover the Christian Life You’ve Been Missing. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. 2016.

thepoweroftogether

SUMMARY:
Having been made by God to partake in relationships with others as well as to be a part of a community, senior pastor and author Jim Putman strives to show the importance of being deeply and meaningfully connected to other Christians and Jesus. Through Biblical scripture, personal stories, strategic teachings and strong encouragement, The Power of Together demonstrates the necessity of Christian bonds.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though often difficult and sometimes resulting in avoidance, relationships within a Christian community are important. Providing a helping hand, offering encouragement and caring, growing in Jesus, and attaining spiritual maturity are only a few of the opportunities resulting from taking the chance, time and effort to cultivate relationships. Perfect as a Bible study, a sermon series or personal devotion time, The Power of Together is not only absorbing and engaging, but definitely fuel for thought and action. I especially thought the cover of the book was ideal to the message found within.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Power of Together from Baker Books for my honest review*

For the Love

Hatmaker, Jen. For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. Nashville, TN: Nelson Books. 2015.

SUMMARY:
fortheloveBlogger, HGTV star and author, Jen Hatmaker is also a Pastor’s wife and mother of five children. Realizing that everyone needs grace, starting with self and working outwards, she realistically extends that branch through humor, stories, a bit of subtle faith and then more humor. Through laughter, honesty, directness and the busyness of life, For the Love reminds of the necessity of grace and love in relationships…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having seen Jen Hatmaker’s new book in stores, online and websites, I was intrigued and knew I wanted to read it. Not being familiar with her before reading her book though, I was unsure what I would find. I have to admit, it was full of wit and banter that had me nodding my head in agreement (fashion farces, turning forty, kids) yet under the lightheartedness, there was a message of extending compassion, kindness and love to those who may need it most. An easy, fast read which leaves thoughts floating around, I may just have to check out the HGTV episodes of her house restoration next.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of For the Love from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Everyday Grace

Thompson, Jessica. Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With The Love Of Jesus. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2015.

SUMMARY:
everydaygraceFocusing on what has been done for us already (sins forgiven), author Jessica Thompson offers thoughts, understanding and grace for our relationships. Not a relationship expert, she merely hopes to shed some light on the human problem of relationship difficulties. Being brutally honest about her own relationships, along with personal stories, scriptures and Bible references, Jessica extends that olive branch of peace and grace to others in her life, and shares the same with her readers.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As the author acknowledges at the beginning of her book, there are many, many books written on relationships. Not claiming to be a relationship expert but perhaps more interested on working on her own relationships (which in turn may pay forward), I think this could be a book which might cause some to pause and consider. Though not having a huge impact on me personally, it may just hit-home with someone else. Written in an easy-to-read style, I thought perhaps personal reflection questions or discussion starters would have made this book more relate-able as it might be good for a women’s Bible study or ministry.

RATING:
3.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Everyday Grace from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

7 Simple Skills For Every Woman

Farrel, Pam. 7 Simple Skills For Every Woman: Success In Keeping Everything Together. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2015.

SUMMARY:
7skillsDifficulty in keeping it all on track? What woman doesn’t have trouble with all the tasks they juggle in life while keeping everyone sane (except maybe themselves)! In her newest book, Pam Farrel helps to simplify things, make sense of the chaos, and ease the stress, all while keeping a strong focus on faith and God. Written from a candid perspective, 7 Simple Skills For Every Woman strikes right at the heart-of-the-matter through personal reflection, scripture and an easy style…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Obviously the author has been there to struggle with the same issues of many women. Almost a life-coach approach, I found myself nodding my head in agreement several times. With chapters on decisiveness, reliability, wisdom and relationships, Pam Farrel shares just what is needed to make life a bit easier, stay more organized, keep motivated and become energized.  Definitely a book I will return to for reminders, share with friends and family and recommend to others.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of 7 Skills For Every Woman from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*