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Showing posts from May, 2011

Book Review: Heaven Is For Real

I read Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent on the airplane on my way to Arizona in March. I was skeptical about this boy who visited heaven and came back so I was not sure what to think about the book. Several people I knew had read the book so I decided to read it. I ended up enjoying the book and felt the story was believable.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I read this book aloud to my 9 year old son. What surprised me was that my son was also skeptical after I read to him the back cover at the beginning and he said that that young boy must surely be lying, he couldn't remember all those things.  . .but by the end of the book my son was also convinced that Colton was indeed telling the truth. He also seemed to have  more confidence in the power of prayer than he had had before.

Book Review: In The Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham with Dean Merrill

In The Presence of My Enemies gripped my interest for 2 days. I received it in the mail and I became engrossed in the story until I was done--over 300 pages later. Gracia and Martin Burnham's story of being kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group with ties to Osama Bin Laden, offers hope to anyone in difficult circumstances. I appreciated Gracia's honesty as she shared her tale of their year in captivity. Gracia shared part of her story at the Hope Ministries Tea that I attended in Des Moines Iowa on May 7. She was such an inspiring speaker, that I knew I had to read her whole book. Through this book, she shared how she learned to share God's love--even with her enemies and even in the most challenging of circumstances. Gracia and her husband Martin were missionaries in the Philippines when they were kidnapped and held for ransom monies along with other hostages. They held on through a year of captivity as they faced exhaustion, near starvation, and many other chall…

Book Review--To Fly Again by Gracia Burnham

This book has been out for quite awhile. . .and I should have read the first book first, In The Presence of My Enemies. However, after hearing Gracia Burnham speak at a luncheon a week ago, I simply had to read the book. Her story touched me. I didn't remember that she had been kidnapped and I didn't know her name but many other will. Gracia and Martin Burnham were kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippine jungle and held hostage for a year. At the end of the year, Gracia was free with a gun shot wound to her leg and Martin had been shot and killed. Gracia's first book tells the story of their year in captivity in detail.

In this second book, she shares the lessons she learned as a result of her experience. Each chapter offers a glimpse into various lessons, Gracia learned along the way--such as Anger doesn't help, the power of a gentle word and God's best is yet to come. All of the lessons she shared offered a glimpse of something I could apply to my o…

Book Review: A Praying Life by Paul Miller

My pastor led a group of believers in A Praying Life class using this book that I was involved in for 6 weeks. It was a great 6 weeks of really learning to pray all over again. For 6 weeks I committed to praying for 15 minutes a day, keeping a prayer journal, attending one weekly meeting and praying with the same set of gals each week. I knew I needed that accountability to REALLY keep up with the praying when I started the class. At first 15 minutes felt like a really long time. I set a timer to start with but by the end of the class I was praying much longer even though it didn't feel like very long.

The book grabbed me from the beginning and I read through it quickly. In fact, I didn't want to stop reading once I started. I was fascinated with Paul Miller's discussion of prayer. It helped me to let my hair down so to speak and to relax with prayer. I could sit and "talk" to God like a little child talks. I felt free-er to talk but at the same time I learned a …