A Fifty-Year Silence by Miranda Mouillot {A Review}

What would cause two Jews who lived through World War 2 France to stop speaking to one another? What would make one of them move halfway around the world?

Armand and Anna did just that. They were married in July of 1944, had a daughter and son, and for some reason stopped speaking to one another.  Armand stayed in Switzerland while Anna immigrated to the United States.

Their granddaughter, Miranda, grew up with this a few irrational fears that only made sense once she had grown and spent time learning about her grandparent’s lives.

Their story is compiled in Miranda Mouillot’s new book, A Fifty-Year Silence. Miranda is a masterful storyteller and this book is a delight. At times, the book elicited giggles, other times tears.

I’m not going to give any spoilers as this is a book I think you should read. You really should read it if the World War 2 era fascinates you at all or if you’re a history lover. This book is about two people, desperately in love yet having lived through atrocities I can’t begin to imagine, are thrust apart. It is only with some distance can Miranda see that her grandparent’s didn’t hate each other, they weren’t indifferent to each other, they loved each other. But what they have lived through changed them, as it changes all of us. Misunderstandings abounded. Feelings were buried deep, hurts allowed to fester, the Nuremberg Trials, fears within and without.

This book is about humans and our will to survive…or sourrwive as Anna would say. It’s about love and loss and a rundown old house in the South of France. It is a must read over and over and over. It’s about dreaming of a better, different ending.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and Blogging For Books for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Enough Already by Barbara L. Roose {A Review}

As women, we all struggle with our own ugly battle with beauty. We look in the mirror and see flaw after flaw after flaw after flaw after flaw ad infinitum. Books have been written telling women how to view themselves, how to be beautiful, what beauty is, and what beauty isn’t. We are bombarded by it at every turn, every glance on the shelves at the store checkout lane shows us more and more what beauty is. And we feel measureless to keep up or measure up. 

Until now. Barbara L. Roose has written what in my opinion is the best book on beauty available. She writes with grace, kindness, and understanding.  She points us toward Jesus in every chapter, not because our external appearance doesn’t matter at all. But because we are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. Every cell, every pore, every inch of our being was designed by Him.

My favorite chapter in the book is on the topic of God’s Paint Palette. She talks about how to end the racial segregation, and racism we all face and experience. This was the best thing I have read dealing with this issue.

This book is a must read for every female.

I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Think, Act, Be Like Jesus by Randy Frazee {A Review}.

Do you struggle to know how to be like Jesus? Do you wonder if you’re living for Him? Do you have questions about beliefs of the Christian faith?  Do you long to be more like Jesus, but feel powerless to become like Him?

If the answer to any of those is yes, then you need to read Randy Frazee’s book, Think, Act, Be Like Jesus. This is a companion book to his book, Believe.

Think, Act Be Like Jesus is a perfect blending of challenging, encouraging, and smacks on the forehead. I’ve learned new things, thought new thoughts, but I also have had my eyes opened to things I knew, but wasn’t doing.  I’ve said “duh” more than a few times, and even more often while reading I found myself saying, “huh. I never thought of that before. But it’s truth!”

The Bible teaches us that we are all called to be, to live like Jesus.  This is for our own growth, and the growth of His church, and the edification of believers so we can reach a hurting world for Him and His glory. To this end, each believer must ask themselves three questions,

  • What do I believe,
  • What should I do? and
  • Who/what am I becoming?

This book can help us answer those questions. Divided into three main sections, Belief, Practice and Virtue. It addresses 10 core beliefs of the believer. Beliefs that are foundational to new life in Christ. Next it addresses 10 core Practices that should characterize the believer, and finally 10 core Virtues that show the world the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Randy Frazee is the senior minister at Oak HIlls Church in San Antonio, Texas. Oak HIlls is one of the largest churches in America, where Randy teaches and leads inpartnership with pastor and author, Max Lucado. A leader and innovator in spiritual formation and biblical community. Randy is the architect of The Story church engagement campaign. He is the author of The Heart of the Story, The connecting Church 2.0, and The Christian Life Profile Assessment Workbook. He also coauthored Real Simplicity with his wife, Rozanne.

(I received a free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers for the purpose of reviews. All opinions are my own.)

“The Talk” by Jonathan McKee {A review}

thetalkHave you had REAL conversations with your child about sex? Notice, the word conversations is plural, have you had multiple conversations with your child(ren) about sex? Do they know you’re a safe person for them to come to with their questions? Do you know how to answer their questions?

Have you had “the talk” with your child(ren), wiped your palms together and declared, “Whew! I’m so glad that’s done!”? Or maybe you’re waiting until your child is older, desiring to hang on to their innocence a little longer.

Guess what? The world isn’t waiting. No, the world is shoving it down their little throats almost from the hospital nursery. Everywhere, every day they are bombarded with images, phrases, words, conversations that are about sex. The television shows they watch, the music they listen to, the kids in the halls at school, the magazine covers at the checkout lane at Target and the grocery store all shout SEX to our child.

What are we doing to provide the truth? Are we openly discussing sex with them?

Jonathan McKee, author of More than Just The Talk, gives you the tools to have those conversations. Jonathan has spent twenty years in youth  ministry and is an expert on youth culture.

In More Than Just The Talk, my eyes were opened. I knew some of what goes on, but not all, and not near enough. I’ve been open with my girls about dressing modestly. Since they were young I’ve pointed out pretty dresses, dresses that were pretty but not modest. We’ve openly talked about the importance of being modest. We’ve set rules for the media devices they have.

But we could always do more.

If you’re like we are,  seeing the need but not feeling equipped to meet the need, or knowing how to even bring it up, please, buy this book, read it and start having those conversations.

Yes, I said conversations. Not lectures. Dialogue with your child. Ask them what they think. Share your thoughts. Show them why you think/believe/behave that way. Set an example for them.

I enjoyed reading this book. The advice is practical, timely and helpful. It is full of personal stories and topics that encompass the gamut of questions our children will (or could) have. The one part of the book I did not like was the 20 page chapter on Your Daughter compared to the 10 page chapter on Your Son. I believe we should be just a diligent in talking to our sons and giving them tools to deal with this aspect of their life as we are our girls.  Yes, girls need to know how men think, however guys need to know how to deal with the females who choose to dress and/or act immodestly.

Jonathan McKee is an expert on youth culture and the author of more than a dozen books, including Sex Matters, Get Your Teenager Talking and The Guy’s Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in your Pocket. He has twenty years of youth-ministry experience and speaks to parent and leaders worldwide. He also writes about parenting and youth culture while providing free resources at TheSourch4Parents.com. Jonathan, his wife, Lori, and their three kids live in Norther California

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

The Paleo Chef by Pete Evans {A Review}

paleochefWithin the past few years I’ve started eating better. Within the past few months I’ve started eating cleaner and a little more Paleo. I’ve discovered a love for veggies, a better outlook on life, more joy, more energy.

I’ve had to, of course, change the way I cook. I’ve begun to devour Paleo cookbooks (pun intended). The latest one is The Paleo Chef by Pete Evans.

Pete Evans has 25 years of experience as a professional chef.  He has a desire to share his culinary passions with the world.  He’s an avid student of diet and nutrition, to that end he dived deep into the world of Paleo. He researched it extensively, lived the Paleo lifestyle and we get to reap the benefits of his study and tests.

He has written a cookbook, The Paleo Chef, that tells of his research, and gives us 10 things he things we ought to know. Things like:

  • The cave is optional
  • What to eat and drink.
  • What not to eat and drink

The recipes look amazing. The full color pictures make you want to take a bite out of the book. I haven’t been able to yet try and of the recipes, but you can be assured they will find their way to my menu and my dinner table.

Do you like Jerk Chicken? He has a paleo recipe for you. What about Aioli? The recipe is in there.

I’m making myself very hungry flipping through this book. That is a good thing! If you’re one of those who follow a Paleo diet, or are thinking about it, get this book. Read and make some of the recipes, your tastebuds and family will thank you for it.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.