Miracles From Heaven by Christy Wilson Beam

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

In a remarkable true story of faith and blessings, a mother tells of her sickly young daughter, how she survived a dangerous accident, her visit to Heaven and the inexplicable disappearance of the symptoms of her chronic disease.

Annabel Beam spent most of her childhood in and out of hospitals with a rare and incurable digestive disorder that prevented her from ever living a normal, healthy life. One sunny day when she was able to go outside and play with her sisters, she fell three stories headfirst inside an old, hollowed-out tree, a fall that may well have caused death or paralysis. Implausibly, she survived without a scratch. While unconscious inside the tree, with rescue workers struggling to get to her, she visited heaven. After being released from the hospital, she defied science and was inexplicably cured of her chronic ailment.

MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN will change how we look at the world around us and reinforce our belief in God and the afterlife.

My Review: 

I’ve always heard it said that authors/writers find that their personal stories, or fictional stories based on their personal lives, are the ones that are remembered most. Miracles From Heaven is exactly that and leads you into the personal lives of the Beam family as they endure this emotional roller coaster with their daughter Annabel.

As I read Annabel’s story, my heart just broke. Christy, Annabel’s mom/the author, opens the book in a beautiful way and as you progress through their story with her, you understand the power of God’s healing in way that is not often told. Christy is a master of suspense as she hops around the scenes, keeping the book firmly in your hands, and slowly and carefully painting the picture for her readers.

I do have to warn the reader that some of the scenes seemed to blend together a little too well and I did find myself re-reading quite a few scenes just to figure out what was going on.

On a side note, this book is a movie now, and it is so good (starring Jennifer Garner)! If you’ve read the book, or plan to read it, definitely plan on watching the movie too because they did a great job with it!

I highly recommend anyone who read/watched Heaven is For Real, to pick up Miracles From Heaven. This is definitely a book for you! I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

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Tattered and Mended by Cynthia Ruchti

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis: 

 

For years, society and especially the church required that we hide our brokenness and pretend that all was well, even when it was terribly broken. Now, people have become comfortable with our tattered edges, our character weaknesses, our “old, familiar sins,” and forgotten that God doesn’t intend to leave us in a state of disrepair. God calls us to something other than the wild pendulum swing from hiding our scars to flaunting them.

Rather than resigning ourselves to desperately clinging to shreds of recovery, or discarding the broken, threadbare, scarred relationships, we can engage in the process of healing through Christ. Jesus reclaims what we fear was damaged beyond repair. His soul-mend leaves hope where the wound once was. And, as we engage in the process of healing, we grow in appreciation of how God tends and transforms our wounds.

 

My Review:

Tattered and Mended is a beautiful devotional that I really enjoyed reading. It’s one of those books that has one liners that you want to quote all of the time and underline as you read (maybe even write on sticky notes and stick ’em all over your house!).

Cynthia has a beautiful writing style that is easy to engage with and understand, with creative illustrations and powerful messages. I love her “Calls to action” at the end of the book as they challenge you to live out everything you learned in easy, doable actions.

Though I, personally, did not have a specific heart-wrenching dilemma in mind while reading through this, there were still plenty of things that I was able to get from this book that could be both used now, and in preparing for future situations (because they will come). So I strongly encourage you, especially if you are trying to overcome a wound, to pick up this book as I am sure it will be incredibly beneficial to you.

So I rate Tattered and Mended, 5 out of 5 stars and I will probably be looking into this author’s books for Bible studies in the future.

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Choose; Fulfill Your Created Purpose by David Brannock

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

Synopsis:

God created you for a purpose. Will you choose to fulfill it? High school graduates face a sea of possibilities. Will you pursue a college degree, military service, or job search? As you launch the next step of your journey, saying yes to one option means saying no to other good opportunities. Who is the real you? What do you want? Career and relationship choices are important, but what you decide about Jesus is the most important choice you will ever make. In Choose, author David E. Brannock offers the advice and wisdom he wishes he’d had on campus 200 miles from home. His experiences, supported by Scripture, serve as a lighthouse. May this book steer you away from the rocks he hit and illuminate the course God intends for you.

Review:

Lighthearted and insightful on guiding you as you transition from high-school to college, is Choose, a book written for graduates by an author who wishes that he would’ve had this book during his transition.

It’s a short book but it somehow covers everything  you may have questions about, from how to handle relationships and friendships, to troublesome roommates, to choosing your career, to even maintaining self-esteem in a world that seems to only want to tear you down. It also has some wonderful one-liners that you might scribble down on your mirror!

The author has a sense of humor but is also very real and vulnerable to his audience, making it that much easier to engage with. Plus, he’s not long-winded nor does he repeat his advice constantly as so many other nonfiction writers do.

So, I can honestly give Choose; Fulfill Your Created Purpose 5 out of 5 stars and do recommend it for graduates, especially those of you who aren’t overly fond of reading but still looking for some helpful advice.

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Pursue Magazine; BECOME by Tessa Emily Hall and Others

About this Issue:

Are you ready to embrace your uniqueness, discover who you are in Christ, and BECOME?

In this first issue of PURSUE Magazine, our team of writers have come together to inspire teens to become all they were created to be in Christ. Through our conversational articles written for the busy teen-on-the-go, you will be equipped to…

• Understand God’s calling on your life
• Tap into the gifts and talents you have been given
• View yourself as a child of God, destined for a purpose

and more!

Features include: Quiz Yourself (a quiz that will help you learn how to make the most of your personality), Filling Your Creative Tank (a tip that will add color to your daily Bible studies), From His Perspective (young guys share the esteemed qualities they look for in a girl), as well as an interview with fashion model and blogger, Tara Michelle Brose.

PURSUE is an e-magazine that encourages and inspires girls to make the most of their youth. Check out our weekly blog posts at http://www.PursueMagazine.net.

Review:

Magazines that have real, inspirational, and meaningful messages are incredibly hard to find in today’s culture. Most magazines, especially for women and teens, are focused on how to make themselves accepted in society by changing themselves, but Pursue Magazine, intended for teen girls and young women, focuses on embracing who you are, and who God created you to be.

In this first issue, called BECOME, the columnists and guest writers pour their hearts out to encourage and inspire girls to become the special person that they already are, meaning to find their identity in Christ and to pursue their passions.

Some articles are incredibly vulnerable from the author, some are light-hearted and entertaining, and some are interactive for the reader. The pictures are matched up well with the articles and are very official looking; the design is creative, neat and easy to read from, and the passion that the staff has for the magazine sets it apart from others. It’s not overwhelmed with advertisements, though there are some books displayed on the sides.

Overall, I am very pleased to have come across a Christian girl’s magazine and encourage girls between ages 14 to upper 20s (as there are college related articles) to check out the magazine for yourselves, I’m sure that you’ll be able to get something out of it!

Disclaimer– I am a contributor to the magazine as a monthly columnist, however my participation in the publication does not change my opinion of the magazine, as I would still promote it should my article be taken out.

To learn more about the magazine and read the online blog, please visit PursueMagazine.net . Also, below is a link to purchase the digital issue for $1.99 from Amazon.

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Tumult & Tears by Vivian Newman

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

During the First World War and its immediate aftermath, hundreds of women wrote thousands of poems on multiple themes and for many different purposes. Women s poetry was published, sold (sometimes to raise funds for charities as diverse as Beef Tea for Troops or The Blue Cross Fund for Warhorses ), read, preserved, awarded prizes and often critically acclaimed. Tumult and Tears will demonstrate how women s war poetry, like that of their male counterparts, was largely based upon their day-to-day lives and contemporary beliefs. Poems are placed within their wartime context. From war worker to parent; from serving daughter to grieving mother, sweetheart, wife; from writing whilst within earshot of the guns, whilst making the munitions of war, or whilst sitting in relative safety at home, these predominantly amateur, middle-class poets explore, with a few tantalising gaps, nearly every aspect of women s wartime lives, from their newly public often uniformed roles to their sexuality.

Review:

Poetry was the language of the people (men, women, and children) during the wars, helping them express their sadness, joy, concerns, confusion, and so much more in ways that are so openly honest. Tumult & Tears is a book that focuses singly on the women who wrote poetry during World War One, breaking down and explaining the desire, meaning, and emotion each poet may have had when writing.

The layout of the book is very organized and flows wonderfully in and out of each transition to the next section. The descriptions of the poems are brief and to the point, but also informative and enjoyable to read.

The way the poetry is listed (and written by the poets) is engaging and will bring a whole new view of the war to the reader, because, personally, I think poetry is more raw and heartfelt than a story. If you are a fan of poetry, especially older poetry, then you may very well need Tumult & Tears because some of the poems stick out with intensity and I was a bit sad when the book ended.

I give Tumult & Tears:  An Anthology of Women’s First World War Poetry by Vivien Newman 5 out of 5 stars and will look forward to reading more books from this author.

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