Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SAINT PATRICK by Jonathan Rogers (Christian Encounters Series)


THE SUMMARY: This brief biography tells the story of Saint Patrick, the Irish Paul. Born into a family of privilege, Patrick is kidnapped as a teenager and taken to Ireland. After six years as a slave, Patrick escapes and returns to his family in Britain. Yet before he can return to his former life, the Lord comes to him in a vision and tells him to bring the good news to his former captors. Thus is the story of the first Christian missionary to take the gospel beyond the Roman Empire to barbarians at the ends of the earth.

THE MESSAGE: Many lessons can be drawn from the life of Saint Patrick. Yet the one that comes through clearest is Patrick's unwavering faith that through all of his misfortunes and struggles, the Lord's loving hand is behind every circumstance. Just like Paul brought the gospel to the Gentiles, Patrick brought the gospel to a country that did not know God's love and grace.

THE PRESENTATION: As author Jonathan Rogers stated, all that can reliably be known about Saint Patrick is gathered from two documents that he wrote, which totals less than 20 pages. However, there are many legends that surround his life. Jonathan Rogers explores Patrick's writings and his legends and weaves them into an understanding of the life and times of 400 AD. Together, this biography paints a realistic portriat of Saint Patrick.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I knew very little about Saint Patrick before I read this brief biography. Now I've come to respect and appreciate the life of a humble man who lived out his faith with courage and brought the gospel to Ireland.

THE RECOMMENDATION: 4 out of 5

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

REDEFINING BEAUTIFUL by Jenna Lucado

THE SUMMARY: In a culture that defines beauty as only skin deep, Jenna Lucado challenges preteen and teen girls to define beauty in a new light--what God sees when He sees you. She encourages girls to embrace their unique traits and learn to wear eight life accessories: security, identity, value, love, self-control, peace, joy, and contentment.

THE MESSAGE: Jenna digs deep into her top eight life accessories and shows why girls should desire God's view of beauty. She encourages girls to trust that no matter what, they have a God who loves them; to know who they are and whose they are; to know they are treasured; to know God's love for them so they can love others; to make good decisions; to believe God is in control; to know the source of all joy; and to find contentment in who God made them to be.

THE PRESENTATION: The book is designed to be introspective and reactive. Jenna leaves room in the book to write thoughts and answer questions. She offers physical beauty tips--everything from using sunscreen to creating healthy bedtime routines. Her dad, well-known author Max Lucado, also offers his two cents occassionally, providing a fatherly perspective.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Having daughters, I appreciated Jenna's frankness and realness. I desire my girls to grow in true beauty, and this book offers a solid foundation on that journey.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free Thomas Nelson publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."