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Book Review: Included in Christ by Heather Holleman

Posted by Julie on July 21, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

A new kind of Bible study…

After the success of her first two booksHeather Holleman received many requests to write a Bible study. And as a college English instructor, she wanted to make sure it really taught and didn’t simply inform. So she surveyed several women about what their dream study would look like, then got to work.

The result is Included with Christ, a narrative-driven study where you can bring your life before Scripture in the context of community. Together women will discern their personal shadow narratives—ways they are living outside of their identity in Christ—and then rewrite those narratives according to biblical truth.

This in-depth, 8-week study in Ephesians will equip women with six “signature stories” of God’s work in their lives—helping them combat exclusion, loneliness, weakness, decay, emptiness, and silence.

Designed to facilitate honest sharing and help you internalize biblical truth, Included in Christ will provide community and connectedness as well as spiritual nourishment. It will also guide you in how to share your story and the hope of Christ with someone who doesn’t yet know Him.

Included in Christ by Heather Holleman

Heather Holleman is a new author to me, and I didn’t know she wrote books before being asked to create a Bible study. Included in Christ is an 8 week Bible study that explores the truths from Ephesians without being overwhelming. It is written as if the author were sitting down with us. She includes her own story that makes her very relatable. Yet, Scripture is explained and explored as she takes us through Ephesians. Ephesians isn’t new to me, yet Heather pointed out things I never thought about or saw the way she explained. I truly have learned a lot, and for review purposes, I am not all the way done, but I wanted to be timely in getting this out. I am really impressed in what I’ve read so far.

The topic is one all women can relate to. We all want to belong and be included. There are lies we have believed, and this study takes those lies and exposes them, giving us the truth in Scripture that has been there for us all along.

I highly recommend this study to any woman who struggles to belong, no matter what their level with the Bible is. It’s a down-to-Earth study that includes places to journal thoughts and answer questions.

Honestly, it’s everything I’m looking for in a Bible study. I really think you will learn and be inspired just as I am.

I received INCLUDED IN CHRIST from the publisher for review purposes, and all thoughts expressed here are my own.

Purchase Included in Christ HERE

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Book Review: Why the Universe Bothers to Exist by David V. McCorkle

Posted by Julie on July 20, 2017 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

A Striking Breakthrough in the Origins Controversy! Steinhardt and Turok’s proposed ekpyrotic universe model fits the Genesis account! The implications are profound. The book Why the Universe Bothers to Exist: Theistic Determinism, Evidences and Implications by David V. McCorkle, PhD. is based upon this observation. It explains the likely location and physics of heaven. It proposes that we have heavenly avatars (biblical spirit bodies) close by, but through a fourth spatial dimension. Baby Brady with simulated spirit body. This book proposes answers to many other questions that theists have pondered. What happened to the Garden of Eden? Might it still exist? If so, where? How could information of our personal identity be preserved after our physical death? Why will “redeemed” humans need to be resurrected if they are already in heaven? Why will a new heaven eventually be needed? Numerous other concepts are also dealt with, such as the following. In consideration of Heisenberg uncertainty, what maintains order in the universe? Do natural laws determine outcomes, or does the consistency of outcomes determine the laws? What factor determines the decoherence outcome of probability waves so that consistent, orderly eigenstates result? Cannot this factor be recognized as God thereby actualizing his intentions: theistic determinism? Natural law is thus the outcome of God “holding all things together” (Col. 1:17). It is then natural for God to work through natural process. In this perspective, how is it that new species of organisms originate? Can the process be observed? And what of Adam and Eve as the first sentient humans? In addition to the significance of a message from ancient Babylon, and an account of how what is termed “socionics” relates to the “tragedy of the commons” principle, a near miraculous adventure in Idaho’s Lemi Mountains near Sacajawea’s birthplace is described and credited to divine providence. All of this and more thought-provoking issues are presented in this book with the intent of resolving the origins controversy, but also of planting ideas for further consideration in biblical context. David V. McCorkle Publisher’s website: http://sbpra.com/DavidVMcCorkle

This extremely well-written, deeply researched book asks some great questions about God, the Bible, and questions about the world that the Bible covers. I confess the author is so well-versed in his writing that as a non-academic, I struggled with some of the material presented. That’s on me, because the author covers the questions, the evidence, theories, and implications in detail. It’s obvious he spent a lot of time creating this book and cares deeply about the topics.

Here is what you’ll see in the chapters:

  • Why Read This Book?
  • Has God Left His “Footprint”?
  • Is Sentience Transcendent? Is God Truly Infinite?
  • Biblical Allegory in Physical Science
  • The First Chapter of Genesis and the Ekpyrotic Model Biblical Allegory in Biological Science Context
  • The Biblical Chronological Modification Model Compared to the Instantaneously Complete Model of Creation
  • Scientific Evidence Supporting the Chronological Modification Creation
  • Model Niche Distinctions of the Machaon Swallowtails of the Pacific Northwest A Context for Homo Speciation
  • Speciation and Niche Distinction in Homo Sapiens
  • “Socionics” and the Tragedy of the Commons Principle
  • Social Symbiosis or “Sociobiotics”
  •  “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done on Earth as It Is in Heaven”
  • Heaven: Evidences and Implications

The sub-title to me was most revealing: Theistic Determinism, Evidences and Implications—A Worldview Proposal. The research presented was worldview, and religion of course was part of that research. Yet, with the questions asked, I believe faith is needed beyond a religion to answer such important questions. A personal relationship with God, the Creator.

If you are an academic sort that loves science, research, and exploring religion, this is a great book to discover. If you are seeking answers on a personal level, this is a great read, but I suggest you complement it with a chapter a day for a month from the Bible’s Book of John. If you want to know more about heaven on a personal level, I also suggest complementing this book with Randy Alcorn’s Heaven.

To Purchase Why the Universe Bothers to Exist, click here.

I was given a copy of the book by the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own and are of my own free will.

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BOOK REVIEW: Driver Confessional by David L. Winters

Posted by Julie on May 23, 2017 in Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Driver Confessional

Antonio, a law student and part-time  ride-share driver, cruises the streets of Washington, D.C. for his next fare. His gentle manner and Italian good looks lead many to confess more than they intended. On a particularly dark night, a mysterious woman bares her soul and throws Antonio into a world of secrets. With his police officer brother and close circle of friends, he must solve a murder and thwart international terrorists before its too late.

 

I love a creative premise. With Uber and Lyft as a major form of transportation in metropolitan areas, I wondered how long it would be before they would take place in fiction. DRIVER CONFESSIONAL uses the ride-share premise and wields a journey through DC that includes mystery, murder, and international intrigue. Antonio is a law student and driver who isn’t looking for trouble when he picks up his fares, but he finds it.

I loved the premise of this book and I wanted to love it. I had trouble getting into the book, and I believe more editing might have been helpful. The idea is there, but the follow-through just wasn’t there for me.

PURCHASE DRIVER CONFESSIONAL HERE.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Good Book by Deron Spoo

Posted by Julie on May 19, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

The Good Book by Deron Spoo

The Good Book offers a user-friendly guide to the Bible’s biggest ideas. A chapter from the Bible accompanies each chapter of the book, which helps readers understand the context and content of the Scripture passages in a way that can open the whole Bible.
 
Designed as a forty-day journey through forty key chapters of the Bible, The Good Book will appeal to those who already love and read the Bible regularly as well as to those who are just beginning their Christian journey.
 
The Good Book:

  • is a great evangelism tool for explaining the major themes of Scripture to those who want to know more about God, Jesus, and the core beliefs of Christianity;
  • gives new believers an overview of the Bible and lays a framework to help them understand Scripture passages;
  • helps longtime Christians rediscover the basic themes of Scripture and experience these truths in a new way; and
  • encourages Scriptural literacy as it pushes readers to read both one chapter of the book and one chapter of the Bible each day for forty days.
The Good Book is great for individuals, and it can also be used by small groups in an eight-week church-wide program or a forty-week journey that focuses on one Bible chapter each week. The Good Book will help people understand and live by the transformative truths of the Bible.
THE GOOD BOOK by Deron Spoo is a 40 day journey that can help you know the Bible if it is new for you, or, learn deeper truths and grow closer to God. There is a Bible story followed by contemporary explanations and examples that help understand the Bible better. I loved this book. I thought going in it might be geared more for someone who is new to the Bible and that I might “know” everything. I loved the way the author gave further commentary and information, especially the history and personal examples.
There were things that enhanced each story without taking away the holiness of the Bible or its truths. One example that I still remember weeks after finishing is about integrity. The story was about the Statue of Liberty. Although I knew it was made in France and shipped over, I never thought about when it was assembled, planes weren’t around. When they were, pilots noted when they flew over the Statue that the top of the statue was just as ornate as any other part that was visible to people from the beginning. What an example of integrity. That really stood out to me.
That’s just one tidbit filled in a book that isn’t just a good book, it’s a great one. Check it out today!
I received THE GOOD BOOK from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts expressed are my own.

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Book Review: Love Letters from God by Glenys Nellist

Posted by Julie on May 13, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

In this heart-warming picture book designed for girls, author Glenys Nellist tells the inspiring stories of incredible women in the Bible. With beautiful illustrations by Rachel Clowes and sweet lift-the-flap envelopes, each story delivers a special message for children to open as they read their own personal love letters from God. Full of warmth and love, this picture book will fill girls’ hearts with the wonder of the Lord. The stories of Eve, Miriam, Esther, Mary, and many more will delight children and remind them of the bond they can share with God, just like the women of the Bible.

This is a colorful book for girls ages 4-8 that features Bible stories that will help them learn about the Bible, important women who are part of “His-Story,” and draw closer to God. The stories are more for the elementary age, but it makes for a good nighttime routine where a parent could read to the girl.

The illustrations are colorful and feminine, very attractive for a little girl. What sets  the book apart is each story has an envelope flap that the girl can open. It is a letter that can be addressed to the reader, and it is an encouragement from God. Just reading it for myself was a special experience. I could see where a little girl would see her name (if you filled it in ahead of time) and be excited to see what God has to say to her.

I think this is a great book for any girl’s library. If they are the younger side, they will appreciate being read to and looking at the pictures. For the older girls, the stories they can read themselves and the letters from God make this is a book they won’t forget.

I definitely recommend LOVE LETTERS FROM GOD.

Purchase HERE

I received this book from the publisher and the review is my own honest opinion.

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Book Review: Brave is the new Beautiful by Lee Wolfe Blum

Posted by Julie on May 5, 2017 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Brave is the New Beautiful by Lee Wolfe Blum

In a culture that bombards women with “thinspiration” messages and pressure to “do it all” while wearing the mask of perfection, women are left feeling alone and overwhelmed. How can they stop comparing themselves to others? How can they live out who they really are?

Lee Wolfe Blum offers stories from everyday women who have answered these questions with their lives—and found true beauty in the process. In Brave Is the New Beautiful, Blum weaves reflections from her own journey with inspirational stories from everyday women who chose to take off their masks and live authentically. Through call-to-action questions and ideas, she encourages readers to be brave enough to be who they really are and the beloved that God knows they are.

There’s nothing that inspires me more than reading other people’s stories. I love when there are anecdotes and testimonies full of encouragement that leave me with an attitude that I can do this. BRAVE IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL is a wonderful encouragement because it offers hope among the pages.

The author shares different stories about overcoming, and they inspire. They are transparent, but not depressing. Each story is just right in length, yet you get the details needed.

Lee Wolfe Blum is a new-to-me author, but now she’s on my radar. I look forward to more, and I definitely recommend this book.

To purchase BRAVE IS THE NEW BEAUTIFUL, click HERE.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts are my own.



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