Monday, July 31, 2017

I'll Push You - a book review

I love reading true adventure stories so when I was given an opportunity to review the book, I'll Push You by Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck, I couldn't wait to start reading. The story begins with Justin explaining his health issues that began not long after a motor vehicle accident he suffered in 1991. He began to notice weakness in his foot and leg. After many visits to doctors and several incorrect diagnoses, he finally receives the information he's needed. He is diagnosed with Multifocal Acquired Motor Axonopathy, also called by the acronym "MAMA." This disease is similar to ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a muscle wasting disease that renders its victims physically debilitated.

After Justin receives his diagnosis, he contacts his long time friend, Patrick Gray. Patrick and Justin have known each other since birth and have remained good friends throughout the years. Justin shares a dream with Patrick and asks for his help. Justin longs to travel the Camino De Santiago, a network of routes across Spain and Europe which all lead to Santiago de Compostela, in the northwest of Spain. Justin wants to accomplish this goal as a way to prove to himself that he can overcome his physical limitations. Patrick finally agrees to accompany Justin and tells him "I'll push you." As Patrick makes that commitment, he has no idea what lies ahead.

Justin and Patrick begin planning their trip and realize they face insurmountable odds. They have no equipment, no finances, and neither of them know how to take a wheelchair over rugged terrain. They begin to pray and God answers in ways they could never fathom. A local company agrees to purchase the specialized wheelchair Justin needs, friends and strangers donate money to buy the equipment, and God sends a team to help document the journey.

As Justin and Patrick begin their journey they begin to see that God wants them to learn more about themselves and about Him along the way. Traveling over rocky paths, through dense mud and other obstacles, Justin and Patrick forge a deeper friendship with each other and a deeper faith in God. Patrick thought he was going on this journey to help his friend reach a lifelong goal but he never expected to receive the spiritual insight God allowed him to experience.

This book touched my heart in so many ways. In 1991, I was involved in a motor vehicle accident which left me in a wheelchair for a year and a half. As I was praying for the crushed bones in my leg to heal, I had to learn how to maneuver day to day life without use of my legs. I could personally relate to Justin as I read the physical challenges he faced. It was at that time in my life, God used my trial to draw me closer to Him so I wasn't surprised when Justin shared incidents in his own life where God had done the same thing. In reading about Justin and Patrick's devotion to one another, I was reminded of a several verses in the Bible, "A friend loveth at all times," and "Greater love hath no man than he who lays down his life for his friends." Those verses speak to the type friendship Justin and Patrick shared, a very rare and valuable one.

I think you'll enjoy this book and I highly recommend it. It's easy to read and well written. The first hand accounts given by Justin and Patrick help the reader grasp the differences in their personalities and discover more about their faith.

I'd like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not encouraged to give a positive review.

If you'd like to purchase the book on Amazon, click here.

If you'd like to purchase the book on Christianbook.com, click here.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

At the Heart of the White Rose - A Book Review

At the Heart of the White Rose is a compilation of letters and diary entries shared between a brother and sister during the infamous reign of Adolf Hitler. Hans and Sophie Scholl, born in Germany, are young people on a mission. Together, they participate in a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany called the White Rose. This group is compiled of students and a led by a professor at the University of Munich. The book, edited by Inge Jens, shares their remarkable story.

As I began reading the book, I became intrigued. I've always enjoyed learning about historical events especially those that pertained to the Holocaust and the time of Hitler's regime. As Hans and Sophie's perspectives are shared, I was able to look inside their lives and understand what it must have been like to experience the things they did at that time.

I enjoyed getting to know Hans through his deep and very personal writings. It was evident he was a seeker of truth and longed to understand the great mysteries of life. Although he was a college student, he was also drafted into military service. As he began his medical career, his letters and journal entries reveal his deep desire to help others, his love for his country, and his hatred of what the Nazis are doing in his world.

Sophie is a teenage dreamer. Seeing the world through her eyes was vastly different from her brother's viewpoint. She seems to be caught up in the reality of the here and now instead of focusing on the future. Her letters and journal entries revolve around friends and events typical of most teenagers.

The book includes, among the letters and journal entries, historical news and events. It was helpful to have this information either before or after an entry to help put the writing in perspective. I found this information interesting and informative.

Readers will enjoy this book because Hans and Sophie are today's vain and flighty youth. These are two very intelligent people with hearts set on helping thwart the enemy.  Through their efforts, they manage to form a vital resistance movement among their peers. Although they were both martyred for their efforts, they impacted many lives and will be remembered for their stand against horrendous evil.

Thank you to Plough Publishing for giving me the opportunity to review this book. It was a pleasure to read and I give it my personal recommendation.

If you'd like to purchase the book, please click here.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray (a book review)

Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray is one of the most profound little books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. In this revised and updated copy, Aneko press presents a must have for every library.

Andrew Murray is a well-known evangelist and author. His books have impacted lives for generations. His book is filled with profound truths for every believer. The title of the book is also the key point in how Christians are to live in subjection to Christ. Murray tells us that in order for us to receive all God has for us, we must completely surrender ourselves to Him. As we surrender, God will work out our surrender in our lives. We must yield every part of our being to the Lordship of Christ. God accomplishes our surrender for us by the power of His Holy Spirit which indwells believers. After our complete surrender is established by the power of God, He accepts our surrender, develops it, and maintains it.

The author compares our complete surrender to a passage in the Holy Bible found in John 15:5, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you shall bear much fruit, for without Me, you can do nothing.” The job of the vine is to provide sustenance to the branch. The branch's job is to abide in the vine, relying on it for everything it needs. So, too, is the life of the believer. As we learn to live in total dependence on Christ, He works in and through us according to His good will and pleasure.

Absolute Surrender contains step by step instructions on how a believer can learn to surrender completely to Jesus Christ. Andrew Murray says, “The condition of God’s blessing is absolute surrender of all into His hands.” He also says, “God does not ask you to give the perfect surrender in your strength, or by the power of your will; God is willing to work it in you.” To receive God’s very best blessings, doesn’t total surrender seem a small price to pay?

I hope you’ll take the time to purchase and read this powerful book. It will have a great impact on your life, I promise. It certainly did on mine.

Thank you, Aneko Press, for giving me the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book. I am pleased to give it a 5 star rating! I was not encouraged to give a positive review but it is my pleasure to do so.

To purchase your copy of Absolute Surrender, click here

You may also be interested in reading the free Ebook. If so, click here