Friends, Partners & Lovers ~ A Book Review

I don’t read too many books on marriage.  I find that many give the same tidbits of advice and wisdom that is more for newlyweds or marriages that are still in the early stages, even if the wedding was several years before.  The couple just hasn’t been able to ‘move on’ to the ‘good stuff’.  When I consider reading a book on marriage, I want it to be at a level that will challenge me in my marriage.  A marriage book for the seasoned couple.  Those are difficult to find.

The biggest cause of divorce is apathy – or basically just giving up on the marriage. Kevin Thompson gives practical advice and insight on how to make your marriage work in his book Friends, Partners & Lovers.

When I read the title of this book, I decided to give it a shot.  Friends, Partners & Lovers by Kevin A. Thompson has been a pleasant surprise.  Kevin offers practical pieces of wisdom for marriages in any stage.  In fact, it is suitable for even those who aren’t married yet.  I intend to give this book to my daughter to read when I am finished with it.  She might be only 16, but she intends to be married one day.  Why not start things off with a very healthy view on God’s purpose for marriage?

I was given a copy of the book by Nuts About Books in exchange for a review on my blog.

Do I Really Have a Soul Mate?

I’ve never really liked the thought of a ‘soul mate’ and Kevin sheds light on this false idea early on in his book.  When I read where this idea of soul mate came from in his short history lesson, I immediately knew why it never sat right with me.  The false notion of a soul mate stems from Greek mythology!  I never knew that!  Therefore, it can’t possibly be true.

I really appreciated this one point that he made about soul mates.  If it were true, then a single person could never have a life that is complete.  What a sad, sad thought.  We’d forever be looking for another human being to ‘complete us’ instead of looking to our Creator.  

I am sure we all have single friends.  How would they feel if they thought that their life was ‘second-class’ and that we married folk pity them because they’ve never found their ‘other half’.  

With Jesus, “our lives are meaningful and complete.”

This quote from Kevin’s book might help to put things into perspective:

“The great challenge of relationships is not to find the one person created specifically for you.  It is to pick someone and work at the relationship to such an extent that eventually you feel as though there could never be anyone else for you.”

What About Love?

Within the first year of my marriage, my husband said the worst words to me.  “I love you, but I’m not in love with you anymore“.  

He’ll be the first to tell you that those are probably the dumbest words he’s ever said.  

So, when I got to the part of Kevin’s book where he started talking about couples who just don’t love each other anymore, the idea resonated with me.  He made it very clear that falling out of love wasn’t the problem.  We all have the choice of whom we love.  Did you get that?  We choose who we will love.  The problem is not about love, but about being apathetic in the marriage.  

When we grow apathetic in our marriages, we open the door for trouble.  A lot of trouble.

“Apathy will slowly erode a marriage, but intention will cause it to continually grow.”

Being 3 People At Once

Kevin states that a person must be three people in order for a marriage to be healthy.  I really appreciated his thoughts on these ‘3 people’.  Especially since I always thought I was the only one to think that one of these elements was important.

  1. Friend – deep friendship.  I really thought I was the only one who believed this was important!  Marcus is my best friend.  He is always the first I turn to, other than the Lord when I am sad, hurt, or excited.  
  2. Partner – marriage is a business partnership.  What an interesting way to think about marriage!  But it is true.  This is where conversations about money and big decisions to make comes in.
  3. Lover – possibly my favourite;)  However, it is equal to the other 2 elements in importance.

Suffering

Lastly, I want to mention the big question Kevin says should be asked before making that covenant with someone.  A question I had never even thought of asking, but it is a very good question.  

“Can I suffer with this person?”

Sure, we have ‘in sickness and in health’ in our wedding vows.  But do we really mean those words?  Are you truly prepared to serve this person when life falls apart?  Will this person stick by my side through everything?  Will this person help me carry the burdens of life?  Or will they bail on me when I need them the most?  We might not be able to answer these questions with 100% confidence, but trust is the key here.  Can you trust this person?  If you aren’t able to answer that question confidently, then maybe this isn’t the right person.

Final Thoughts

This really is a great book on marriage.  It was challenging enough for me to get something out of and it is suitable for newlyweds as well.  I would even suggest that older teens and young single adults read this book as they wait for the right one to come along.   

Get your copy of Friends, Partners & Lovers from Amazon:

I have a couple of simple resources available to help you in your marriage.  They are also shown in the photo below;)


The biggest cause of divorce is apathy – or basically just giving up on the marriage. Kevin Thompson gives practical advice and insight on how to make your marriage work in his book Friends, Partners & Lovers.

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Doing Busy Better ~ A Book Review

By the end of the last school year, I felt depleted and exhausted.  The guilt of not spending enough quality time with my family settled deep in my heart.  I felt overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities that were placed on my shoulders – both responsibilities that were mine, and the responsibilities that belonged to others.  My faulty characteristic of being over-responsible was kicking in again.  And it took more time and energy than I had left.

Are you stuck in busy overload?  Feeling guilty for not checking off everything on your 'to-do' list?  Longing for true rest?  Doing Busy Better is a book that will help you find healthy balance along with other Biblical and refreshing truths.

We are all busy, there’s no doubt about it.  We think we get almost through our ‘to-do’ list only to add more things onto it.  As I scrolled through the handful of new books that were available to me to review, this one title caught my eye…and my heart.  Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God’s Gifts of Work and Rest.  It is written by Glynnis Whitwer, and author I hadn’t heard of before…but I knew the large ministry she worked with – Proverbs 31 Ministries!  So, I ordered it.  And it was good.  So good.  For my heart. Read More

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Invitation ~ A Book Review

Two of my all-time favorite novels are “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness” by Frank Peretti.  I’ve read them both a few times and I recently started reading the first book to my kids.  So, when I saw that Frank is a co-author of “Invitation”, I was eager to read it.  I was given a copy of the book by Nuts About Books in exchange for a review on my blog.  

A review of the book Invitation by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela, Hunt, and Alton Gansky.

A Brief Summary

“Invitation” is the first novel in a series called “Harbingers” and it is written by 4 popular Christian authors, Bill Meyers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky.  The books ties together suspense and the supernatural, bringing in the darkness of the occult.

Each author writes from the perspective of one of the four main characters, each of who possess a special ‘gift’.  For example, Tank, a football player has the ability to heal.  And Brenda, a tattoo artist, sees images of the future and she creates tattoos out of these ‘visions’.  

The Challenge

I really wanted to enjoy the book.  I really did.  But I didn’t find that it pulled me in like the other Frank Peretti novels I’ve read.  Perhaps that is an unfair expectation, I don’t know.

I believe the biggest reason it was difficult for me to enjoy the novel is that it was challenging for me to follow the story when the point of view changed.  I would start to get to know a character, Brenda the tattoo artist in the first section, for example.  And then part way through, the point of view would change to a different character, the professor, and I’d feel lost.  It was too much of a change too quickly.  

Having the four different perspectives in a novel series sounds like an intriguing idea, brilliant, even.  But perhaps it would have been an easier transition between them if the characters had already known each other from the beginning.  

What I Liked

I did like the fact that the characters were all quite different and that they were brought together for good.  It shows that God can use anyone to do His work, whether they realize they are doing His work or not.  

I also really liked how the characters were brought together unexpectedly.  For example, after their initial meeting, they went their own way for a while, trying to forget the crazy events that had transpired.  Then they saw each other on the same flight to the same destination.  This wasn’t a coincidence, although they tried to explain it away with that excuse.   

Tank, the young football player, was the only character who had any idea about God – he would talk about God and pray to Him, although he did not have a strong faith.  This shows that we only need the faith the size of a mustard seed in order for God to move in our lives.

The book is intriguing and the idea to have four different authors writing the series is something that would draw a reader to choose this book, I know it drew me – along with the fact that Frank Peretti was one of those authors.

My Recommendation

I recommend this book to readers who are interested in the supernatural with a Christian worldview.  I think for me, I will get the second book in the series to give it a fair chance.  Besides, my curiosity is piqued – what will happen next?  How will these 4 unlikely characters work together to come to a solution?  Will they come to faith in Jesus Christ through their ‘adventures’?

You can pick up a copy of “Invitation” at Amazon.

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Steven Curtis Chapman, A Coloring Book, and Aliens. Say What?!

Steven Curtis Chapman, A Coloring Book, and Aliens.  Say What?! That’s a strange title, isn’t it?  What do these things have in common?  Well…I was given the opportunity to review three books: Steven Curtis Chapman’s biography Between Heaven and the Real World: My Story, Words of Grace coloring book and devotional by Jacqui Grace & Dee Arrand and Thomas Locke’s novel, Recruits.  Nuts About Books gave me these books in exchange for a review.  I was not compensated in any way except for receiving a copy of each book.  However, I did purchase an extra copy of the coloring book devotional to give away to a reader.  See the bottom of this post for details.

A book review of Steven Curtis Chapman's biography, Between Heaven and the Real World, Jacqui Grace's coloring book devotional, Words of Grace and Thomas Locke's novel, Recruits. Steven Curtis Chapman, A Coloring Book, and Aliens. Say What?!

Between Heaven and the Real World: Steven Curtis Chapman’s Biography

I remember working in my kitchen when I heard the horrible news of Steven’s daughter, Maria, eight years ago.  I had the satellite radio playing while I worked and the DJ shared the devastating news of this little girl’s death.  And I wept for Steven’s family.  And I prayed for them in the following days.

So, when I had the opportunity to read his story, I knew I just had to.  I love stories of redemption and restoration.  In a world that swirls with brokenness and pain, we desperately need these stories of hope and life.  

And Steven’s story did not disappoint.  He did not hide the pain and suffering his family went through with the loss of their sweet daughter.  He did not shy away from the challenges they faced in the aftermath.  But he did give God all the glory for the hope they have held fast to since that painful day.  How they surrounded their one son with so much love – love that surely brought healing to his heart.  How they held on to each other.  And how friends surrounded them with care and love.  And most of all, how they continually cried out to God to help them survive such a tragedy.  

You can get your copy of Steven’s book from his website or from Amazon. ca in Canada or Amazon.com in the USA.

 

 

Words Of Grace

Adult coloring books are all the rage these days, aren’t they?  I enjoy some Bible journaling and scripture coloring pages during my ‘down time’.  Those don’t happen often, but when they do, I find that this sort of activity helps me to relax and rest in the Lord.

Jacqui Grace’s devotional and coloring book is a great resource for any Christian is looking for a coloring book to supplement their Bible study time.  I liked how the devotional was relevant and the coloring pages were Christ-centered.   

This little book is also just the right size for popping into my handbag.  I can then bring it out while waiting at the doctor’s office for my appointment.   

I would love to offer this book to a reader.  Please see below for details!

Order from Amazon.ca in Canada or Amazon.com in the USA.

Recruits

I thought my son, who is 13, would enjoy Thomas Locke’s book, so I requested a copy of it for him to read.  And, as moms usually are, I was right in my thought;)  My son started reading it and he could not put it down!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him read a novel so quicky!  While it might not be overtly “Christian’ (you know, sometimes we need to do some digging to ‘see’ God), it is a good read, unlike a lot of trash that is out there these days.  Here is my son’s review of the book.

The book Recruits by Thomas Locke was a great book that I didn’t get bored of, which I normally do.  This fantasy book has tons of action and some romance as well. I liked it because I’m fond of action and fantasy. I recommend this novel to young adults who like The Maze Runner, and The Hunger Games.

Purchase from Amazon.ca in Canada (Kindle) or Amazon.com in the USA.

 

 

Giveaway Time!

Enter below to have a chance to win a copy of Jacqui Grace’s coloring book devotional AND a copy of my devotional, Hold Fast: A 30-Day Devotional.  These are hard copies that will be mailed to you.  Contest ends May 1, 2017.

A book review of Steven Curtis Chapman's biography, Between Heaven and the Real World, Jacqui Grace's coloring book devotional, Words of Grace and Thomas Locke's novel, Recruits. Steven Curtis Chapman, A Coloring Book, and Aliens. Say What?!

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4 Glorious Truths About Trusting God

How are you with trusting God?  Is that a struggle for you?  Or do you trust without a second thought?  Maybe you are struggling with trust and you keep hearing the cliché “Just trust God” and you have no idea how to do that.  What does it look like to start trusting God?  Sometimes (many times for me), we just need it laid out for us.  Today, I am sharing 4 Glorious Truths About Trusting God.  I pray that these 4 practical tips will get you started on understanding what it means to trust God.    

"Just trust Him" you are told. But you are unsure of how to do that. How can you trust Him? How do you know that you are trusting Him? These questions can cause much anxiety if we don't know the truth about His word. Tips and ideas to help Christian living.

1. Trust and Trials

trust and trials, trust GodTrust is proven through trials.  When you know God has brought you through the impossible, or the darkest places one could possibly be in, you just begin to trust.  As more and more trials come our way, we grow to trust Him even deeper.  We see His hand throughout our circumstances.  We see how He rescues us time and again…and that He LOVES to rescue us!  He delights in saving us.  

He has proven Himself faithful in the past and He will continue to prove Himself.  That’s just His character.  As we see Him demonstrating His faithfulness, it gets easier to trust Him.  Watch for these moments…sometimes they are easy to miss. Read More

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Book Review: Not By Sight by Kate Breslin

I have the honour of reviewing Kate Breslin’s novel, Not By Sight.  It has been a very long time since I have read a novel and I usually stick with authors such as Karen Kingsbury. Lorraine Snelling and Dee Henderson.  I’m not one to waste my time on silly stories.  So if I am going to read a fiction piece, it better be good.

Book Review

And Kate Breslin did not disappoint. 

I was intrigued right from the beginning with the main character, Grace Mabry, a Godly young woman who is a fighter for what she believes in.  She certainly is not a demure lady!  I loved her character.  She was not afraid of hard work and she spoke her mind. 

Not By SightI loved how the story was written in the time period of World War 1.  I enjoy history, so a historical fiction novel is a perfect fit for me.  I also appreciated that Grace was from an aristocratic family, I have always been fascinated with how wealthy British families operate.

The story itself was very well written.  I am a very visual person and when I read stories, it becomes a movie in my imagination.  Kate made this very easy for me to do with how she described settings, characters, events, etc.

The blossoming love story weaved throughout was heart warming.  It demonstrated that true love knows no bounds.  True love does not discriminate.  True love bears all things. 

I am so glad that I chose this book to read and review.  It was a great addition to a relaxing summer. 

If you are looking for a good novel to read, then you may want to consider Not By Sight by Kate Breslin.  It was an honour to read her work.  It is available through Amazon (just click the affiliate link in the right hand column to go directly to the book).

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