Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Necessity of an Enemy

"The Necessity of an Enemy" by Ron Carpenter Jr. is a book devoted to discussing why we, as Christians, are tempted, attacked, and used by the enemy. In this book, Carpenter discusses how these enemies and obstacles can be used to fulfill our own calling and purpose for God. Carpenter makes the point that we need to understand why an enemy is necessary so that we can also recognize those situations and prepare ourselves to take on our enemy. 

The chapters are relatively short, so this could be a daily read in place of a devotional. It discusses such topics as weakness, the battle within, your potential, intimacy, and the weapons in our own arsenal. Carpenter uses a lot of Biblical reference in conjunction with personal stories to illustrate each chapter. He also includes on thought or principle in bold print that sums up the chapter and helps you to remember the basic points long after you have read them. 

What I enjoyed most about this book was that it was an honest book about something that many of us struggle with - why we are tempted, weak, attacked, etc. I think that this book offers up a lot of insight on how we can prepare ourselves, and protect our spirit from the enemy. I think it also shows us how God can use us in the midst of an unbearable situation for His purpose. 

I would highly recommend this book to anyone - it is a book that can easily fit into any busy schedule, and can offer up so much wonderful insight for our daily lives. I loved it! 

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from Water Brook Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. 

All-Pro Dad

"All-Pro Dad" by Mark Merrill is the perfect book for dads. This book has 8 chapters, each one based on a different fundamental concept of being a man and a father. Each chapter title is written in the form of a question, and includes concepts such as: What Should I Model to My Children? How Can I Better Love My Family? What's My Purpose? 

"All-Pro Dad" is full of insightful wisdoms for men - turning the societal ideal of manhood on its ear. Mark Merrill uses a compilation of stories, insights, and observations in building the groundwork for being a successful father to your children. Each chapter has a short series of steps that help illustrate the values and how to implement them into a daily life. Also, each chapter ends with a "Huddle Up and Ask Your Child" section, that encourages you to find out how your children see you through a series of questions. This also allows you to interact with your children and understand their perceptions. 

This book would be a wonderful tool for any father - and would make an awesome Father's Day gift! I think that there is so much great wisdom and insight in these 200 pages - it is almost certain that it will really make you see fatherhood in a completely different light. I would give this book a 5/5, without a doubt. Wonderfully written, concise, and so insightful. Perfect!

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Snuggles' Japanese Alps Adventures

"Snuggles' Japanese Alps Adventures" by Tim Ostermeyer is a children's book about an adorable little Japanese snow monkey named Snuggles. The book uses amazing pictures the chronicle the life of Snuggles, from a newborn through his family's journey to the hot springs for his first winter. 

What I liked about this book is that the photos were absolutely stunning. The crisp, vivid photographs of Snuggles and his family are captivating, and draw a child into the story. The storyline of this book is also fun for children, following Snuggles as he and his family travel up mountains and through the river to reach the hot springs. Ostermeyer frequently pairs relative bible verses with the action in the story to reinforce Biblical wisdoms in a fun way. 

What I didn't like so much about this book was that some parts were slightly complicated for a young child. Toward the end of the book Snuggles asks his mom is man came from monkeys, and the brief discussion of the various evolution theories and their flawed arguments are much more complicated than a young child can understand and process easily.  

I also liked that this book briefly discussed the PITCH method of praying, but I do wish that there had been a little more explanation of it for younger children, as well. An explanation of each part of the PITCH method, with more details, would have been great, so that young children can really grasp the concept. 

Overall I would give this book a 3.5 / 5; The photography and story of the Japanese snow monkeys is great, but when it changes gears to more complicated issues, they could have been broken down further to be more age appropriate.

FTC DISCLOSURES: I received this book for free from BookCrash.com in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.