From the moment I heard what this book was about, I was intrigued. Loving the LGBT community has been both a serious struggle and topic of significant controversy among Christians for decades. This struggle has been one that I have personally wrestled with every time I’ve heard of a friend or a family member that has chosen to identify with that lifestyle. So when I heard there was a book written by an Ozark Christian College graduate that has gay parents and found a way to love them without compromising conviction, I knew it was a book I wanted to read. But it took recently learning about another close friend making that lifestyle choice for me to determine that this was a book that I needed to buy. When I did finally read it, I was not disappointed. This pastor has a heart for this difficult-to-reach community that is rare, because he was raised in that community. I now have a perspective to help me still uphold the truth of God’s word, but to also love these people as never before, thanks to this book. This is now my first recommendation on the topic of homosexuality for Christians, hands down. ~ Bethel
Giving grace is really hard. We have all received it, but Christians struggle to give to those that need it the most. This seems to be especially true when it comes to a Christian’s response to the LGBT community. When it comes to responding to this people group, they often choose to push on the truth in a condescending way, or they choose to order too much grace, to the point that they ignore what God has to say on the subject. Neither one on its own fully pleases God, but we struggle to find a way to find a balance between grace and truth. Especially they put the label of “hater” on us just as quickly as some will put the label of “sinner” on them. In the end, we are left unsure of how to even begin to approach the subject in a Christ-honoring way. It makes us ask the question: Is there a way to love those in LGBT community in a Christ-honoring way? Can we love them without compromising our convictions?
In Caleb Kaltenbach’s book, Messy Grace, he shares his personal journey of having two gay parents, finding his way to the Lord as a teenager, and eventually learning how to love those in the LGBT community without compromising his conviction about homosexuality. You follow Caleb as he describes how he was partly raised by his mom and her partner, and how he even participated in gay pride parades. He was taught that Christian hate gay people. When he was teenager, he started going to church, and he eventually became a Christian and was baptized. His parents were less than supportive, even his dad who was still in the closet at the time. He eventually went to Christian college (my alma mater, Ozark Christian College) and became a pastor, and has learned about how to minister to the LGBT community. He walks us through what it means for us as Christians to live in the tension between grace and truth, demonstrating that it is possible as he displays in his own personal journey. He shares what this can look like in the context of a church, and helps us to see that in order to love as Jesus loved those who struggle, we have to be willing to get a little messy. You will be inspired and challenged by Caleb’s testimony and biblically grounded insight, if you choose to take these truths to heart. This is a book that every Christian about 13 or older needs to read, especially if you have loved one that identifies as LGBT. This book is available pretty everywhere Christian books are sold, so get your copy today!
When Heather Hart (an acquaintance from a book launch team) approached me about reviewing a book she co-authored, I was excited. Although it took much longer than it should have to finally read it (like 9 months after I first received it! Opps!), I was grateful that I finally did. This book is powerful, relevant, and necessary in our culture today. Shelley worked hard to make her original edition of the book more relevant by bringing Heather on as a co-author, and I think it really paid off. As an adult, I find that I need to be reminded of my worth in God’s eyes, especially in the middle of a world that gives so many unfulfilling methods to find our value. Not only do I think that this book is great for teen girls (the primary target audience), but as a youth leader, I think this book is a fantastic resource for anyone working with teen girls, because it covers so many relevant topics. I also found that like Shelley and Heather, I too have a heart to proclaim similar truths about finding confidence in Christ to women that need to hear it, especially teen girls. This is definitely a resource I will use in the future. Thank you Heather for reaching out to me to review this book. I was greatly blessed by it. I know that any other woman or teen girl that reads it will be too ~ Bethel
Every girl wants to be beautiful. We all want so desperately to be thought of as attractive, especially by guys our age. But unfortunately, in the process of trying to achieve that beauty, we often turn to the wrong sources to find and keep our beauty. Everyday makeup, inappropriate clothes, overdone hairdos, relationships (good or bad) with guys, and the list could go on. In addition to that, as we seek affirmation, we also struggle with what the world tells us about how to live our lives and where we can find our happiness and contentment. They all look appealing, especially since everyone else is doing them, but none of them really work. All of this makes it hard to live life as a young woman in our culture today while keeping our self-assurance and our self-esteem intact. It makes us ask the questions: How can I find assurance in our world today? Am I really beautiful, or is there another way to measure my value and worth?
In their book, Mirror Mirror…Am I Beautiful (2nd Edition), authors Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart answer the questions of where women (especially teen girls) should find our value as well where to find assurance in our culture today. They take the opportunity to address many relevant issues that are so prevalent in our culture, and they share ways that we can understand them from a biblical perspective and demonstrate how we can use our responses to honor the Lord in the process. What makes this book so relevant is the number of topics it covers. This isn’t your typical Christian book on beauty and self-esteem; it’s really a guide book to help you find your confidence in Christ and to live your life in such a way that expresses that confidence. And this confidence in Christ will be what will make you beauty, not anything you can do to yourself or for yourself. All of this is communicated in easy to understand language and relevant examples from the lives of the authors and from other girls and women just like you. There are even discussion questions for each chapter in the back of the book that can be used for a Bible study. Whether you struggle with not having enough confidence in Christ, if you find you have too much confidence in the world’s ways, or if you find you’re somewhere in between, this book is for you. I would recommend to any teen girl around 15 or older, or anyone that works with teen girls, like parents, youth sponsors, or teachers.
This book, as well as a leader’s guide for the Bible study, are available on Amazon (both paperback and Kindle) as well on the book’s website: www.FindYourTrueBeauty.com. Get your copy today! (Remember to look for the 2nd Edition from 2016. The 1st Edition was released in 2008 by just Shelley Hitz)
I have been looking forward to the release of this book ever since I first heard that one of my favorite YouTubers was planning on writing a book with his wife. Since I was on the launch team for Jeff’s last book, It’s Not What You Think and I met Jeff on that book tour, I knew it was a book I didn’t want to miss. And sure enough, I was right. It’s a book with the facts that everyone should know about love and marriage, regardless of your relationship status. It’s a book that came at a time when I needed a refresher about God’s incredible design and intention behind marriage and relationships in general. But this is also a book that brings my journey as a blogger and a book reviewer full circle. I When I reviewed It’s Not What You Think, it was my only my second book review. But since then, thanks to a lot of positive feedback from several people (including Jeff himself!), I have found a passion for reviewing books, mostly books on Christian living. This review is my 19th book review in almost 4 years, which is insane. My desire to do more with book reviews started with It’s Not What You Think. It’s been incredible to see where God has taken a simple interest of wanting to be involved in book launches and has turned it into a way to serve and minster to others online. In light of all this, it’s my pleasure to give this book my highest recommendation to anyone, single, dating, or married, over the age of 16. If you want to know more about it, just ask ~ Bethel
Love is hard. It takes effort, intentionality, self-denial, humility, vulnerability, and many other things that our culture has convinced us is unnecessary or makes us weak. So instead, we revert to the culture’s distorted views of sex and romance, and we unknowingly buy into the lie that we will find lasting love and fulfillment using their methods. They also imply that you will never find fulfillment unless you have your “happily ever after.” However, there is even more unhappiness, un-fulfillment, divorce, and brokenness in relationships and marriages than ever before. And this brokenness is creeping into the hearts and minds of men and women who have never even been in a relationship. All because we have given into the lie that we will never be happy without it. It makes us as the question: Is it possible to find a love that lasts in our world today?
In the latest book by YouTuber and author Jefferson Bethke and his wife Alyssa, Love that Love offers hope that we can find a love that lasts in our world today by sharing their own personal romantic journeys. As they take turns authoring chapters titled after popular songs, they share the highs and lows that led them to each other and that inevitably led them to marriage and a family. As you join them on this incredible journey, they help us see the problems with our culture’s broken and distorted view of love and helps us replace it with one that is full of life, hope, and endurance. They cover so much in the pages of this book, from recognizing unhealthy relationships and bad self-esteem, to seasons of singleness, to healing from breakups, to the beauty of sex in the covenant of marriage. Although this young couple has only been married for 5 years, they speak with a wisdom beyond their years and their experience, as they reflect much of the counsel and wisdom bestowed upon them by those who are older and wiser than them. What results in a radically transforming view of love and romance that could change our culture, if we choose to embrace it. This is exactly the book my generation needs, regardless of their relationship status. As a single woman who has never been in a relationship, I found this book to be powerful, useful, and exactly the insight I need to give me a necessary foundation to build by sexual theology. This book, as well as workbooks and a video curriculum, are available today! Get your copy now!
A Sweet Bogo Deal!
Thanks to an extremely generous publisher, I, as a member of the book launch team for Love that Lasts, am offering you a sweet deal: Buy one, get one FREE, with NO LIMITS! Here’s how it works:
1) Buy the book from anywhere (Amazon, B&N, CBD, etc). I personally recommend you look into ordering from the link below for Christian Book Distrubutors*:
Love That Lasts: How We Discovered God's Better Way for Love, Dating, Marriage, and Sex
2) Either screenshot or take picture of the receipt.
3) Go to jeffandalyssa.com/freebook and fill out the form, using the promo code “Bgrove”
4) You’re all set! You will receive the first copy as soon as it ships from your distributor. The second one will come from the publisher around the end of October.
You will probably only pay about $5 per copy of the book (not including shipping costs on the first one. The second will ship free). Since there is no limit, you will get a free copy for every copy you purchase! This deal only lasts until October 17, so don’t miss out! Get your copies today! (And make sure to let me know how many of you take up this awesome deal!)
* DISCLAIMER: The link listed above is an affiliate link, which means that if you make a purchase using this link, I’ll receive a small commission. This will help support my blog, my YouTube channel, and will help me produce more content like this in the future. Thank you for the support!
This book is a powerful sequel to her first book. I was more than sure it would be from the first time I heard that Katie was releasing a second book. It’s both a continuation of her life story as well as her honest reflections, her heart's "psalms", of everything that has led her to this point. This book has blessed by life in more ways than one. I have had the pleasure of serving on this book’s launch team, which has always made the message of a book more personal. But this time, it was a message that came at a time I needed to hear it. I too have been going through some difficult times of my own. But Katie’s book has reminded me that even when things don’t go as planned, even when we have to die to ourselves in regards to our future, God has the ability to make beauty out of the ashes of our broken dreams. I am so grateful that Katie has chosen to pour her heart out once again so that this truth can shine through. If you loved Kisses from Katie, this is definitely a book you need to read ~ Bethel
Hope is sometimes hard to find. Life throws many obstacles at us, in different shapes and sizes. Death, sickness, divorce, betrayal, and the list could on. They all threaten to steal our hope, if we let them. But avoiding them is nearly impossible. Brokenness is not just in our lives, but it's always all around us. We see it in our family, our friends, our neighbors, and even in the lives of strangers. We become so easily discouraged and defeated by our own brokenness and the brokenness of those around us, we don’t know how to put ourselves, or those we love, back together. It makes us ask the questions: where can I find hope when everything seem to say there is none? Can I really take the chance?
In the newest book by the New York Times bestselling author, Daring to Hope takes us through a portion of Katie Majors’ personal journey to illustrate that daring to hope is worth the risk. After starting a nonprofit ministry in Uganda, beginning to adopt 14 Ugandan girls without a home, and deciding to permanently reside in Uganda, Katie went through some difficult trials. Starting when one of her daughters was claimed by her biological mother, Katie found herself in many situations for ministry that where physically and emotionally exhausting. Despite having 13 daughters, she continually opened up her home and her guest house to those that needed extra attention and care that the local hospital could not provide. Katie sometimes had 8 or more house guests, most of them with medical needs, on top of caring for her girls. Some of these people, despite the love and care Katie worked so hard to provide, did not get well, leaving Katie crying out to God for hope and peace. But through it all, Katie learned that even when we go through the dry and weary land, God can use it for His glory, making beauty out of the ashes of our brokenness. After several years of helping many out of her own home, God surprised her with unexpected gifts to prove His faithfulness, and creating a beautiful mosaic for His glory. To find out how, you will need to read it for yourself!
Katie’s honesty and vulnerability are evident on every page of this book. Her ability to go above and beyond in service and in love is inspiring. And her hunger for the Lord, especially during her seasons of trial, is unforgettable. All of it points back to a God that is with us in our mess, giving us a reason to hope. If you have read Kisses from Katie or are going through a difficult season of your life, this is a book you need to read. Get your copy today! See the link below!
Jessica Rey first came to my attention when Ted-Talk style video titled “The Evolution of the Swimsuit” went viral back in 2014. In this video, she talked about the progression of women’s swimwear, the scientific research that explains the consequences wearing bikinis has on men’s minds, and how we came regain a sense of modesty in today’s culture. I was so compelled with she said, I shared with the girls of my Bible study a few months later. In this video, she mentioned that she was writing a book called “Decent Exposure” about the topic of modesty, and I knew that it was a book I definitely wanted to read. Although it took me a while to finally get a copy, I was so excited when I finally did. This book was written to be a guide for young women about how to be modest and feminine yet still fashionable in a culture that is sending too many wrong messages. Although the book is a little more expensive, it is totally worth checking out if you want to honor God with your fashion and femininity ~ Bethel
We live in a world that tries to define a woman’s femininity by how confident she is in her sexuality. But the problem is that the standard of what defines that confidence continues to change. The amount of clothes that is considered socially acceptable continues to decrease. Women exposing their chests, backsides, and mid-drifts is normal, and in the process, the quality of the men that are attracted to these women also decreases. Yet at the same time, our world continues to convince us that we must be equal to men in order to have our proper value in society. What results is that many of the women in our culture have become hard-hearted and in reality are no less confident than when they started. It makes us ask the question: is there a way to be decently exposed in today’s culture?
In their first book, Decent Exposure, Jessica Rey and Leah Darrow walk you through what it means to be decently exposed in a culture where standards on decency are out the door. These ladies walk you through the lies of our culture, including how they want you to be dissatisfied with your appearance and how we aren’t truly equal to men in everything except our value. They discuss the consequences of following the world’s standards of decency, including its impact on the guys around you and your romantic life. And finally, they give you practical standards on how to determine the decency of the clothes you wear, as well as practical tips for fixing issues if your clothing doesn’t measure up. They make sure that you understand that you can dress modestly and fashionably at the same time, even if the world tries to tell you otherwise. This is all done in the content of a book with beautiful and colorful pages that will engage and challenge every women that takes this message to heart. This book speaks to the heart of what young women of this generation need to hear about modesty, but does it in a way that is inviting and appealing.
I would highly recommend this book to any young women 15 or older, and well as any older women that want to find ways to communicate the truth about modesty to the younger generation. This book is primarily available on the book’s website or on Jessica Rey’s website (which is best deal), but you can also find it for resale on Amazon. Make sure to get your copy today!
Welcome to My Blog!
Hello, my friend! My name is Bethel. On this blog, I review books, movies, and Broadway musicals from a Christian perspective. I will also share my insights, perspective, relevant stories from my own life, and advice about how to live our life in light of eternity, and how to fulfill the two greatest commandments - love God and love people. I hope some of you will join me in learning what it means to seize eternity. Thank you for checking things out!
"Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last." - C.T. Studd
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