Monday, December 29, 2014

Top Five Posts of 2014 from Refresh My Soul


I did not have a strong writing year this year on my personal blog. I did more book reviews than posts. I am not sure why this is except for the busyness of life. I have been contributing articles consistently around the web so it keeps the discipline of writing at work. This year I have contributed to various places including, Comfort in the Midst of Chaos, The End in Mind, The Gospel Coalition, and Life Letter Cafe. Check them all out. I love what all of these ministries do and how they point others to Christ.

The top Five most viewed posts from Refresh My Soul this year are as follows:

1-Disney channel post
I was very passionate about what I saw Disney sneak in a popular show this year. I guess my passion in writing brings in more views or perhaps it was because this was about Disney.
2-So what is wrong with 50 shades of grey anyway?
Again, another passionate post and it is about popular culture. I guess again, that brings in views on a blog.
3-Invisible Illness at Church
I am actually happy this one made the top viewed list, education is key. For my fellow invisible illness friends, this is dedicated to you.
4-Tragedy of being unequally yoked
This was just simply our story and God's grace toward us.
5-On Losing those things dear
Another passionate post about losing my dearest friend. And I can say on this day, I really am okay. God is good.

Top Two honorable mentions:

In Bible Times There was No Processed Food but People Still Got Sick
This post really got me thinking about sickness. Today people think they have all the answers to stop sickness. We crave a fountain of youth while our bodies decay but the truth is Jesus is going to restore all things one day, sin has caused all of this decay and there is no cure but Him. Come Lord Jesus.
The Perfect Facebook Life
This post was just a plea for people to stop being fake.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Top Five Books Read of 2014


Of course I love books so naturally I will leave you with a list of my top five this year. It was very hard to only pick five books but so not to overwhelm you I will leave you with that (including a few honorable mentions). Feel free to ask me at anytime about other books I love and I will gladly share more with you.

A Loving Life by Paul Miller, This book will wreck your life in a good way. By far this is a MUST read, you will be better off for it. I even listened to the audio later this year and it still struck a cord in me that all Christians need to let sink in. Such a good book! Read it. Do. It will be worth it.

When Helping Hurts-This book is also a must read for Christians. It helps clarify and explain what the Bible says about helping those in poverty and hard situations. It helps you examine your thoughts and guides you biblically as how to really help those who are hurting by not hurting them in the process.

God's Great Plan - This is the BEST gospel-centered and gospel picture written for children I have ever read in such an easy format. I LOVE this book and the clarity it brings for children to best understand the big picture of the gospel story overall. The pictures are also wonderfully done. It is a great book I think should be in anyone's collection.

Look and Live - This book was the most worshipful book I have read and it spurned my heart on to worship. Each page dripped God's goodness. Matt Papa is a gifted writer in communicating God's glory for the reader to easily digest and stop and just worship page by page. A GREAT read and a book I will read again to help me remember the goodness of the gospel and God's glory. Get this!

Spiritual Warfare -  This is a great gospel centered view on Spiritual Warfare. I do believe this topic is to often neglected. This title is a good read and another I believe every Christian should have on their book shelf. Not only was it an easy enough read but it is such an important topic for we are in a war that we often forget. This book will help you pray better and have a greater understanding of God as a whole.

Now these are also really good books that I loved and deserve honorable mentions.

United: Captured by God's Vision for Diversity by -Trillia Newbell, great gospel-centered book on unity. I really loved this and it is an easy read.

Treasuring Christ When your hands are full by Gloria Furman, great book on motherhood and it will greatly encourage you in the gospel as you parent.

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin, Great book on beholding the beauty of Christ through the Word. I do believe it is a must read for every woman believer.

Risky Gospel by Own Strachan, Filled with gospel goodness and challenge.

The Giver Series by Lois Lowry (Not Christian books but the best fiction I have read this year.)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours


It has been a whirlwind of a year!!! We pray your Christmas is filled with His great blessings!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Book Review: A Complete Handbook of Literary Forms in the Bible by Ryken


This book was great and I highly recommend it for any Christian who desires to grow in their study of the Bible. I personally was amazed at how many types of literary forms there are in general but even more so about how many are actually included in the Bible.

This book fueled my love and passion for God's word even more. The reason for this is that I find it completely amazing that as God used different men through different time periods to write His word as they were lead by the Spirit, He used different literary styles and forms. The Bible is the most interesting work of literature anyone can read and this book helps the reader realize that.

God is the master story teller so it would make perfect sense that the Bible would include all different kinds of literary styles. All art and good story comes from the master Creator Himself, there is nothing new under the sun.

If you are a lover of God's word, or a teacher of God's word get this book. It will help you interpret it more accurately and will aid in your joy in reading it for the beautiful work that it is. This is a great book to keep on your shelf for reference over and over again.

I got a copy of this book free of charge from Crossway for the purpose of an honest review.

You can get a copy of this book from Amazon here.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Book Review: Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most by Becker


This book was an easy read that I think mothers will enjoy. It is just stories about the author and her family, how she learns lessons from everyday life while raising her children. Ordinary life can pack great lessons if we are looking and are trained to recognize them. I loved the author's ability to see the mundane in her life and get glimpses of God-vision through them.

The author is a mother of three children, one that has down-syndrome. I enjoyed reading her perspective from the view point of raising a child with special needs for it encouraged me on my journey with my child with our own special needs.

The author is greatly relatable and this book flowed well for reading. I was able to go through this book with a group of other moms who have children with special needs. It was a blessing to me and to them. If you just need a read that will point your thoughts back to God on your mom journey, a book that will breathe encouragement in your soul while you have a moment to read it, then this book is for you.

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for an honest review.

You can get a copy of this book from Amazon here.

Book Review: Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? by Yancey


This book was an eye opening book that made me think a lot about evangelism. It is thought provoking and aids the reader in seeing all sides of human beings in their thinking about religion. I live in the Bible belt of America so I don't get to see or experience what the rest of the world looks like culturally and I don't know what the rest of the world thinks about evangelicals but this book helped burst that bubble of being in Christian country.

The world does have a certain resistance against Christianity and I have always wondered why. This book explores much of that by taking a close look at history, science, culture, and the arts. It was a really good read. This book packs tons of information so it would be wise for the reader to slowly take in and process it for awhile. I think a prayerful reading would be helpful to aid the Christian in knowing how they could better reach the surrounding culture.

I am thankful for this author because his work is in depth and needed information for any Christian who is trying to reach out to the surrounding world around them.

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

You can get a copy of this book from Amazon here.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book Review: Look and Live by Matt Papa


This book was in my top five favorite books read this year. It is a book that will redirect your eyes toward the worshiping glance of the Savior. All Christians need this because we forget the good news of the gospel all the time. For every moment of our lives we need to remember to breathe in His truth. This book is in its entirely is a reminder of this. It is a book that I will keep in my collection and read again because we need constant reminders.

The author does not only help us see the need for glory focus in the everyday mundane but he also includes an incredible chapter on the need for seeing God's glory through suffering. He is gospel centered in His teaching all throughout with a great perspective of an artist.

I don't even know what else to say except that this book is a must read. It is life changing and I do believe all Christians new or old should read it. It will grow you closer to Christ.

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.

You can get a copy of this book from here.
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