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Book Review: 1000 Days–The Ministry of Christ by Jonathan Falwell

Posted by Julie on October 24, 2012 in About Me, Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Don’t forget to submit your thankful post for use here in November. More details here.

It’s been awhile since I’ve contribute as a BookSneeze blogger. Wait no more because today I review Jonathan Fallwell’s 1000 Days: The Ministry of Christ.

I think all of us could be guilty of giving the headlines and not the details when it comes to describing Christ and His three years of Earthly ministry. When I read my Bible, I realize I gloss over the details because I’m sure I know it already.

1000 Days is perfect for the believer to take their time and remember why you decided to follow Christ in the first place. The chapters go through Christ’s words and actions beyond the headline. His ministry and Falwell’s writing inspire. It’s a needed refresher for everyone who calls Christ their Savior.

For those who seek to know more about Christ or want to understand the difference between relationship and religion, 1000 Days is an excellent book to form an opinion. Falwell speaks in layman terms everyone can understand without overwhelming.

If you’re looking for a read on Jesus that challenges you as a believer to a new place in your relationship, this book probably isn’t it, I don’t think it was designed to be a deep, transforming work for someone who already has a relationship with Christ. For that, I recommend Bob Sorge or Beth Moore.

But this book was a great reminder to me that Jesus is worth reading and talking about, more than the sound bite I’m guilty of presenting.

Book Description

An opportunity to meet Jesus Christ like never before.

Have you ever thought that when Jesus Christ came to earth more than two thousand years ago, he could have simply given us salvation—period!—and never done another single thing? Jesus Christ could have chosen to be born of a virgin, live for 33 years in relative obscurity, die on the cross, be buried, and rise from the dead three days later, and still give us the opportunity for salvation without doing any of the things we read about in the gospels.

Yet there was more.

For three years—roughly 1,000 days—Jesus served in public ministry while on earth. He didn’t need to do this ministry, yet he did anyway, and that’s the key for us. This intentionality implies that there is a lot of information in Scripture that we need to grapple with. We need to understand what Jesus said and did during his 1,000-day public ministry, so we can apply his teachings to our lives today.

What makes these 1000 days of Christ so vitally important?

Jesus’ public ministry was to help us understand what true love is all about—both for God and for other people. When we love God and others first, the rest of life falls into place: our possessions, our ambitions, our hopes and our dreams. Jesus modeled everything he taught, and his invitation is to make his mission our mission too.

Purchase 1000 Days here.

I received 1000 Days from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.


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Book Review: Dena Higley’s Momaholic

Posted by Julie on July 11, 2012 in Book Review, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

When I think of the term helicopter parent, a contemporary image that comes to mind is the commercial with the mom who is at her child’s side for everything. She blocks shots for him in gym class. She’s on the two seater bike with him trying to ward off competition. She’s answering questions for him at class.

I thought my latest BookSneeze read, Dena Higley’s Momaholic: Confessions of a Helicopter Parent would be like that commercial. I thought she’d share fun snippets of her life, along with anecdotes from other moms, and then suggestions/testimonies on how to break free.

That didn’t happen.

Instead, Higley shares her family’s recent journey where she, a former head writer for Days of Our Lives, ends up in the ER after an alcohol overdose to numb the pain of learning she was about to become a grandmother because her single, college age daughter announced the pregnancy. Her story is interesting and the conflict is so intense I could feel my own stomach tightening. After all, Higley admits she insisted on a fancy wedding for their daughter they couldn’t truly afford, and this was against her husband’s wishes.

Honestly, by the end of the book, my stomach didn’t let up, because to me, the conflict isn’t over even though the book is. She puts at the end a nice quiz to help the reader see if they are a helicopter parent, but I didn’t sense that was the issue in this particular family. I felt this was more about control and appearances, and not so much about helicopter parenting. I gathered more worry about her work and the stresses there than the ins and outs of her kids beyond the daughter’s pregnancy.

To me this is a memoir or a look behind the scenes of a real life soap opera from someone who worked in the business. But a Momaholic, a helicopter parent? I didn’t see it.

Every mom has felt the need to be perfect.

Momaholic is one woman’s private, dramatic, and often comical invitation to peek inside a time in her life where everything fell apart and she had to take an honest look at what she was doing right and what she’d been doing terribly wrong. With this simple discovery, her whacky family’s season of becoming unraveled found a new glue (other than her blood, sweat and tears) that would re-bond her family and unite them in a deeper and more functional way than ever before.

The real life characters:

* A MOM who is literally the head writer of a network soap opera… at work and at home * A HUSBAND who expects perfection from his kids and his wife, but who has the wisdom to know he’s being unrealistic and yet, can’t help but scratch his head in frustration as his family’s troubles seem to spiral out of his control * An autistic SON * A popular DAUGHTER who is suddenly pregnant * An ADOPTED DAUGHTER pulled from the jungles of Vietnam with no leg below the right knee and fingers fused together * An ADOPTED SON from Ethiopia, rescued from the streets at the age of 9. 

This is a story showing the speed with which a “normal” family can fall apart. No one dies. No one gets kidnapped. They just have to deal with each of their own issues….and then one unwanted and unplanned pregnancy. This was a church-going family whose kids were taught abstinence until marriage. With the family running around as the tornado sirens roared warnings to take cover, mother, Miss Drama,becomes the biggest mess of all and ends up finding a whole new freedom for her soul.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

To purchase, click here.


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Book Review: Sheila Walsh’s God Loves Broken People (And Those Who Pretend They’re Not)

Posted by Julie on March 20, 2012 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, surrender, Writing |

I’m a fan of Sheila Walsh—I could listen to her Scottish accent all day, in fact, I wish Twitter had a voice preview so every once in awhile I could hear her precious tweets. She has a beautiful voice, a wonderful testimony, and what I appreciate most of all is that she is transparent.

She looks like her life is perfect, but she’s the first to write it isn’t. Those who best remember her as co-host of the 700 Club had no idea her struggles, and in her latest book, God Loves Broken People (And Those Who Pretend They’re Not,) once she sought help for her issues, few in her circle wanted anything to do with her.

God Loves Broken People is an encouragement to readers and loved ones going through any kind of brokenness. Sheila shares Biblical stories like Moses. She explores the men taking their friend to Jesus in Mark 2.

There are testimonies from families who grew stronger through their tough times. The McRae family and their daughter’s malignant brain tumor. Mother Theresa and how after her death, her writings revealed her own doubts. Some stories were familiar to me, and some were not.

She takes Scripture and breaks it down. My favorite passage to glean was from John Piper, with his tips on “Prayerfully Ransacking the Bible.” I loved the visual of going after God’s Word as a treasure and to go for it. Genesis 3. Proverbs. Psalms.

If you know someone going through a hard time, this book will be a healing balm for them. Yet, if this is not your first Sheila Walsh adult non fiction read, some of this might read familiar and for me, with a feeling that although we’re close to complete revelation, it’s not quite there. I don’t know how to explain it, but I felt like there needed to be more, that she was holding back. Perhaps its experience—that there is another book for her to write down the road—and in the interim, more brokenness for all of us.

If that’s the case, her book is a good go-to as we question, grieve, seek, knock, and hopefully grow stronger in the Lord.

To purchase Sheila Walsh’s God Loves Broken People (And Those Who Pretend They’re Not): click here.

I received this book as a BookSneeze blogger participant in exchange for an honest review.

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BookSneeze Book Review: The Love & Respect Experience—A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love

Posted by Julie on December 7, 2011 in About Me, Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I love a good marriage book. A few years ago Dr. Emerson Eggerichs wrote Love and Respect, a book I definitely enjoyed for his keen insights on the simple fact too many marriages weren’t understanding—women need love and men need respect. It’s more than that, and it was good, but I felt bad because The Love Languages remained such a blockbuster, that even after a few years that book overshadowed other good marriage books that came after the fact. Phew, that was a run-on sentence!

Anyway, Thomas Nelson Publishers released a devotional based on Love and Respect called The Love and Respect Experience. What caught my eye was the sub-title: “A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love.” That’s quite a statement. My husband admitted after frustrating devotional experiences that they were hard for him to stick to. He’s tired after a long day. He has a commute and would rather have audio resources. I’m a reader, he isn’t to the extent I am. So, I was curious. Could this book be one to pass the devotional test for both of us?

Honestly, as I blog this, I can’t say. He’s on a full schedule with work and ministry and isn’t free until his Christmas vacation. But he saw the book and said that he wants to do it. That’s something, because I’ve showed other books where I didn’t get a reaction at all, or an “I don’t think so.” So, this is good.

Dr. Eggerichs created a devotional that is quick to read and hits the main highlight of his Love and Respect principles. It’s practical, simple, and most of all, Biblical. What is especially nice is the font is big and easy to read. The readings are not lengthy and it reaches all aspects of marriage and makes conversations easier to start.

What I feel is a drawback is the cost. My edition, provided by Thomas Nelson, has a leather front cover and sells for $22.99. In this economy, I think that’s a bit steep. I’m not about pretty covers. I’m about saving marriages and if it had to come in a no-frills paperback, I’d want it.

So this Christmas season, why not think about a newlywed couple, a worn-out mom and dad in need of a marital charge, or a couple that you think might be needing help and get them this book. Maybe you do it as a secret elf, leaving the book on the doorstep and not reveal who you are. Whatever means you get this book and give it, the couples reading will be blessed.


A Devotional Unlike Any Other!

Through his international bestseller, Love & Respect, Emerson Eggerichs has transformed marriages around the world with his biblically based approach to understanding the love that she most desires and the respect that he desperately needs. Now, in this long-awaited new release, Emerson has created an experience for couples that is effective, flexible and life-changing.

To build this couples devotional, Eggerichs has taken the top concerns that surfaced in a survey of thousands of couples and has developed 52 devotionals around the three cycles that are at the heart of Love and Respect:

The Crazy Cycle

The Rewarded Cycle

The Energizing Cycle

Some may ask, “Why 52 devotionals and not 365, like other couples’ books I have seen?” The author’s research shows that married couples don’t want to deal with that much material, that often. Therefore, the specific devotionals, which can be done weekly or at any chosen pace, are specifically guided to what couples say they most need. And this is a husband-friendly devotional, written and designed in such a way that the husband can feel comfortable in the entire process.

With this wealth of new material, The Love & Respect Experience will be indispensable to anyone wishing to better their marital relationship.

Purchase The Love and Respect Experience here.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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Booksneeze Book Review: Eileen Button’s The Waiting Place

Posted by Julie on June 17, 2011 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

I love surprises, don’t you?

Thomas Nelson Publishers gave me a surprise when they shipped Eileen Button’s The Waiting Place: Learning to Appreciate Life’s Little Delays through the Booksneeze Blogging Program.

Eileen Button writes a variety of essays about different places in her life where she had to wait. I thought they would be nice lessons that I could walk away feeling encouraged by or tuck her words away for a time I’m in the predicament. I got so much more than that from The Waiting Place.




I found much of The Waiting Place was a mirror of much of my life.  I was very familiar with some of the areas Eileen lived in Upstate NY. I nodded my head relating to her remembering loving family members who spent their life preparing to die. Although I’m not a pastor’s wife I have a husband that for a season served in leadership in ministry. Although there was support there were also the comments and commentaries that left me shaking my head and becoming bitter. I’ve sobbed over my own burn out and watching it happen to one I love. I’ve had severe health issues with children. Personal goals that I was certain were a green light in God’s eyes only to come to a red light where I’m still waiting.

This was a book that made me nod my head. I reflected. I bit my lip. I cringed. Waiting is hard. Eileen’s stories are examples of a human, not a superhero. She loves the Lord and wants to serve Him well.  Yet her sharing is authentic. I was very moved by each example she shared.


Thomas Nelson Book Description

A collection of essays describing the beauty and humor that can be found in what often feels like a most useless state—The Waiting Place.

We all spend precious time just waiting. We wait in traffic, grocery store lines, and carpool circles. We wait to grow up, for true love, and for our children to be born. We even wait to die. But amazing things can happen if we open our eyes in The Waiting Place and peer into its dusty corners. Sometimes relationships are built, faith is discovered, dreams are (slowly) realized, and our hearts are expanded.

With humor and heart-breaking candor, Eileen Button breathes life into stagnant and, at times, difficult spaces. Throughout this collection of essays she contends that The Waiting Place can be a most miraculous place—a place where beauty can be experienced, the sacred can be realized, and God can be found working in the midst of it all.

Includes stories on waiting for:

the day to end* a place called home *the fish to bite* a baby’s healing* church to be over* a husband’s return* children to grow* a mother’s acceptance* a loved one to die*

As Eileen says, “To wait is human. To find life in The Waiting Place, divine.”

To purchase The Waiting Place by Eileen Button, click here.

I received The Waiting Place from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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Booksneeze Book Review: Max Lucado’s Max on Life

Max on Life Book Description

We have questions. Child-like inquiries. And deep, heavy ones.

In more than twenty-five years of writing and ministry, Max Lucado has been the receiving line for thousands of such questions. The questions come in letters, e-mails, even on Dunkin Donuts napkins. In Max on Life he offers thoughtful answers to more than 150 of the most pressing questions on topics ranging from hope to hurt, from home to the hereafter.

Max writes about the role of prayer, the purpose of pain, and the reason for our ultimate hope. He responds to the day-to-day questions—parenting quandaries, financial challenges, difficult relationships—as well as to the profound: Is God really listening?

A special addendum includes Max’s advice on writing and publishing.

Including topical and scriptural indexes and filled with classic Lucado encouragement and insight, Max on Life will quickly become a favorite resource for pastors and ministry leaders as well as new and mature believers.

Max on Life is Pure Max Lucado reading enjoyment.

If you’ve read any of Max’s previous books over the last 25 years, this review is a no brainer. I read that his products have sold over 100 million. Read that again. He’s far from a one hit wonder and it’s no surprise why his books endured over the years. Max on Life is a must have because it involves Max at what he does best and it involves you, so to speak.

Max on Life takes questions Max received over the years from readers and church families and he answers them in the point you to the Cross and show you the Bible in a sweet, refreshing way as only Max can.

Topics include:

Hope: God, Grace and “Why am I Here?”

Hurt: Conflicts, Calamities and “Why me?”

Help: Prayer, Scripture and “Why church?”

Him/Her: S*x, romance, and “Any chance of a second chance?”

Home: Diapers, disagreements, and “Any hope for prodigals?”

Have’s/Have Nots: Work, money and “Where’s the Lifeline?”

Hereafter: Cemetaries,  heaven, hell and “Who Goes Where?”

Max also includes an Addendum from questions he’s received over the years regarding writing and publishing.

I enjoyed this book, how could I not? There are 171 questions addressing everything you can think of. Max’s answers are just as you would expect: Biblical, grace-full, and wise.

Treat yourself and treat others with Max on Life. You’ll be glad you did.

This book was provided to me through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze program in exchange for an honest review.

To purchase Max on Life, click here.

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