Wednesday, January 28, 2015


If we were made for relationship with God, why do we often feel lost and distant from Him?

The life of Christian faith is and always has been a beautifully awkward reality. Following Jesus is done—can only be done—in the messiness of this world into which we were all born. Yet many Christians expect the walk of faith to be easier, neater, and relatively devoid of hassles.

So perhaps it’s time for a frank conversation about the true nature of Christian faith. Maybe there are many desperately in need of a clear dialogue about how—despite living in a turbulent, chaotic world—our greatest joy is found in our pursuit of God.

In The Grand Paradox, Ken Wytsma seeks to help readers understand that although God can be mysterious, He is in no way absent.

God’s ways are contradictory and counter to the way the world tells us to pursue happiness.
Doubt is okay, it will accompany in the life of faith.
What looks like struggle can actually be the most important and meaningful season of our lives.
This book is an exploration of the art of living by faith. It is a book for all those wrestling with the paradoxes that confront those who seek to walk with Christ. It’s an honest look at how faith works, here and now, in our culture, our time—and how to put down real roots and flourish in the midst of our messy lives.

Meet the Author:

Ken Wytsma is a thought leader and sought after speaker on faith and culture who has taught at church, universities, and conferences around the world.

A gifted communicator, Ken is known for his transparent and easy style, passion for wrestling with tough questions, and ability to help others understand their world and faith in new and relevant ways.

Ken is the lead pastor of Antioch in Bend, Oregon and the president of Kilns College where he teaches courses on philosophy and justice. Ken is also the founder of The Justice Conference–an annual international gathering that introduces men and women to a wide range of organizations and conversations related to biblical justice and the call to give our lives away.

Ken lives in Bend, Oregon with his wife, Tamara, and their four daughters.

- See more at:

Let's Connect: My Blog | Twitter | Join me on Facebook impacting a generation for justice: The Justice Conference

My thoughts...

We've all doubted God and felt condemned for it, aren't we supposed to live by faith without doubting? The author has given the reader new ways of thinking about scripture that releases from condemnation, encourages faith, and increases our desire to serve God. Being a Christian doesn't mean life is all fluff, we have issues like everyone else. We have questions where the answers can leave one feeling unsatisfied and even disappointed with the local church. This book challenges us to see things a bit differently, I found it to be refreshing and reassuring.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


My giveaway is a surprise... you could win 1, 2, or 3 books. They may be mysteries, romance, suspense, etc. Each participating blog has their own entry rules and geographic limits, so be sure to read the rules for each one. This giveaway is open internationally.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015


In 1984, this groundbreaking book presented a chilling profile of the criminal mind that shattered long-held myths about the sources of and cures for crime. Now, with the benefit of twenty years' worth of additional knowledge and insight, Stanton Samenow offers a completely updated edition of his classic work, including fresh perceptions into crimes in the spotlight today, from stalking and domestic violence to white-collar crime and political terrorism.

Dr. Samenow's three decades of working with criminals have reaffirmed his argument that factors such as poverty, divorce, and media violence do not cause criminality. Rather, as Samenow documents here, all criminals share a particular mind-set--often evident in childhood--that is disturbingly different from that of a responsible citizen.

While new types of crime have grown more prevalent, or at least more visible to the public eye--from spousal abuse to school shootings--little has changed in terms of our approach to dealing with crime. Rehabilitation programs based on the assumption that society is more to blame for crime than the criminal, an assumption for which a causal link has yet to be established, have proved to be grossly inadequate. Crime continues to invade every aspect of our lives, criminal court dockets and prisons are oppressively overcrowded and expensive, and recidivism rates continue to escalate.

To embark on a truly corrective program, we must begin with the clear understanding that the criminal chooses crime; he chooses to reject society long before society rejects him. The criminal values people only to the extent that he can use them for his own self-serving ends; he does not justify his actions to himself. Only by "habilitating" the criminal, so that he sees himself realistically and develops responsible patterns of thought, can we change his behavior.

It is vital that we know who the criminal is and how and why he acts differently from responsible citizens. From that understanding can come reasonable, compassionate, and effective solutions.

My thoughts...

Somewhat disappointing... I found the book to be simple, it just doesn't dig deep enough into the criminal mind that lets me know why people commit these horrific offenses. There isn't enough research to back up what the author says. There are examples of crimes and interviews with the perps but I'm not sure they understand the why of their actions.

Overall, the book is interesting... I just wish it went deeper.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Sadie McRae grew up in the Hollywood Hills, the only daughter of two rock ‘n’ roll legends. When a violent assault on her life ends in a torrid scandal, fifteen-year-old Sadie escapes to the quiet forests of Lake Tahoe.

Unable to resist the music in her blood, she returns to Los Angeles years later and sings under an alias. When her secret is unintentionally exposed by an old friend, journalist-turned-paparazzi Brody Odell, he’ll do anything to make it up to her, including uncovering the truth about the attack from eleven years earlier.

Stardom beckons and the chance at love is within her grasp, but the horrors of her past threaten to tear everything apart. As Sadie fights for the life she deserves, a dangerous stalker begins his game, determined to bring it all to an end.

My thoughts...

This is the first book by Katie that I've read and must say I enjoyed it very much. I liked how the relationship between characters was so realistic and fun. The characters are interesting, you can't help but like them. Toss in romantic drama, a mother that's so annoying, a murder mystery, and you have the perfect novel. Feel the characters emotions, especially the fear. Well written.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, January 5, 2015


Ann C. Sullivan has challenged and encouraged thousands of women as an international speaker. In her first book, Permission to Doubt, she offers a candid look at when her faith and reason collided. Through a thirteen-year struggle with an undiagnosed panic disorder, Ann learned several valuable lessons: Never shy away from the big questions. Always follow the evidence to its logical conclusion. And genuine truth doesn’t buckle under the bright lights of interrogation.

Ann uses these lessons to help readers recognize doubt and also shares unique step-by-step solutions in which faith can be reinforced in the midst of our struggle. Using personal examples and an intensely practical approach, Permission to Doubt informs, challenges, and encourages those who’d like to take their faith a little deeper. It’s an honest look at what faith is—where it comes from, how it’s threatened, and how it can be strengthened.

My thoughts...

We've been taught doubt is a sin but it's something every one of us experience. Sullivan gives an honest account of her struggles with doubt. Refreshing and insightful, very well written, with answers to some of the tough questions we have. Lots of scriptural references.

One thing the author tells us is that doubt is an opportunity for God to show Himself strong in our lives and increase our faith...yes! Again, it's a very insightful book that I do recommend to anyone struggling with doubt.

I received a copy of this book free from Kregel inexchange for an honest review.