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Thursday, March 16, 2017

60 days of Happiness review

Book Description:
When it comes to happiness, most of us have the same questions. Why can’t I be consistently happy? Is it wrong to be happy when there’s so much pain and suffering in the world? And perhaps the biggest one: How can I be happier? Some Christians make an artificial contrast between joy and happiness, while others claim God wants us to be holy, but not happy. In fact, he wants us to be both, and the two go hand in hand!

In 60 Days of Happiness, noted theologian and New York Times bestselling author Randy Alcorn shares sixty timeless devotions demonstrating that God not only wants us to be happy in him and enjoy his gifts, he commands and empowers us to do so.

My Review:

Ok, so I struggle with this one.  I come from a long line of women that battle depression so consistent happiness seems like an oxymoron to me.  Therefore, when the opportunity arose for me to review this book for Tyndale House Publishers I thought, "Why not?"

The book is broken into 60 daily devotionals. Each begins with a Bible verse and a quote from people such as Anselm, James Houston, A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon and Isaac Watts.  Each day has a specific topic, such as, "Can happiness be consistent and enduring," "how does seeing God accurately promote lasting happiness," and "what role do our attitudes play in our happiness".  And each day ends with a prayer. 

While you will get the typical Christian responses in some of the readings, ("God wants us to seek real happiness in Him.....""Only (Jesus) could have granted them...the deep and lasting happiness they sought") Alcorn urges us to move beyond the surface answers.  He even addresses it on Day 9 when he discusses many that sought surface happiness and yet failed to find true, enduring happiness.

All in all I would say that this is a good, daily refresher that happiness is found only in God.  When we focus on that we find that everything else may give fleeting happiness, but we won't lose our joy when the world falls apart if we rest in God's love. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart description:

Let His Truth Find a Home in Your Heart
Here are the words of hope you’re looking for when your faith needs a boost or a friend needs encouragement. Chosen by more than a thousand women as their favorite verses in the Bible, each one is worth learning, worth sharing, worth remembering,

You’ll find verses you already know and love: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Others may be less familiar but are no less powerful: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25). All of them capture the truth of God’s goodness, mercy, and love for His own.

Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs invites you to experience—
* a deeper, richer understanding of thirty-one treasured verses.
* a fresh look at how these timeless truths can impact your life.
* a new passion for memorizing Scripture, verse by verse.
* thirty-one creative ways to keep them in your heart forever.

With a study guide included, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart is a daily devotional and a small-group Bible study, wrapped in a lovely gift book overflowing with joy!

My Review:

 I admit I am a Liz Curtis Higgs fan.  She hooked me with Bad Girls of the Bible, then More Bad Girls of the Bible.  So of course I agreed to review 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart.  And I wasn't disappointed!

Higgs chose 31 different verses (that's 1 a day for a month if you chose to use this as a devotional) to delve into and share with us in this book.  It is more than just "here is the verse and this is why it is important".  Rather it is more along the lines of a word study in which we examine the verse word by word, phrase by phrase and look for the meaning, the purpose behind it. 

I love that she uses many different translations when breaking things down, as it helps to clarify the meaning.  and I love that she even stops to look at the smallest details.  (Really!  She even includes the word "is" in part of the breakdown!  As in, "why is the word 'is' important here?".)  I also enjoyed the tips for study that she includes with each verse to help you really settle the verse in your heart. 

This is a great gift for someone just starting to memorize or study His word.  But it is also a nice refresher for those of us that have been in the word for a while. 

As an added bonus, Higgs has shared gorgeous images for each verse on her Pinterest board here for those of us that like to see them around the house.