Friday, May 25, 2018

Book Review: I Can't Believe You Just Said That!: Biblical Wisdom for Taming Your Child's Tongue by Ginger Hubbard

Often what kids say is considered cute and entertaining. Some magazines have small sections dedicated to the innocent utterances of kids that can be very embarrassing some parents.
This book is intended to teach parents how to approach their kids and tame their tongue.
I am actually surprised by this book. While I agree with disciplining a child when it has a tantrum or tells lies, an innocent saying that may be embarrassing is part of growing up.
This author ties everything back to the Bible and not only sees these situations as a means to teach children what is right, but also bring Jesus into the conversation by calling this the ultimate parental goal.

I usually agree that as a Christian you want to embody Christian principles as part of your daily routine and needless to say, some of this will come out as you parent. But I do not consider my parenting style a failure if my child decides to embrace another religion or no religion at all.
This book seems to set out to be holier than the Bible and I quite frankly find that attitude to be very un-Christian. Jesus did not force everyone to follow his example, he desired it - yes. But to call parenting's ultimate goal to make every child a strong Christian believer is to me equating parenting with missionary work and that to me is not true. I want my children to grow up to be good citizens first. If they choose to embrace the Christian faith, I am happy. But this is not the only and ultimate measure of parenting skills. Do people of Hindu belief fail at parenting? I am not even sure how this book fits in with the idea of ecumene because this author seems to suggest that children must be reared in their parent's view of the Bible, when Christianity itself has many diverse ideas and believes.

Sadly this book is therefore a huge miss and a wasted opportunity to use parenting skills to teach children to be good citizens first and Christians second. I do not recommend this book since it is more in line with missionary principles than parenting goals.

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Disclaimer: I received a free book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Review: Honeysuckle Dreams (A Blue Ridge Romance) by Denise Hunter

While branded as a contemporary Christian novel, this book does appeal to people of all faith. It is very safe to read for people of ages regarding the language used and the topics covered.

The story describes the romance between single-dad Brady Collins and loner Hope Daniels. Brady must fight for custody of his nine-month old sun Sam against the wealthy grandparents. No matter what obstacles he faces, Brady is determined to fight for Sam and have Sam live with him as his son.
Hope on the hand has pretty much been on her own for most of her life. Determine to make a career in media, Hope thinks she had finally reached her goal and landed her dream job. But being a good friend with Brady, she had agreed to a pretend relationship and go through the motions of planning their wedding since Brady learned that getting married would give him better chances gaining custody of Sam. If news of this deal between Hope and Brady comes out, Hope may not get her dream job for a while and Brady will certainly not get custody of Sam. So the two weave their way through this mess and while the ending is not that surprising, the novel is nicely written and an entertaining read.

What fascinated me was that at the onset, Brady and Hope had very unusual characteristics for their respective gender. Hope being a loner is very different from how women are shown in most books and Brady as the dedicated father who is willing to risk everything for his son is also a somewhat unusual male character. How the two come close and handle the obstacles is definitely worth reading. And again, this book can also be enjoyed by people of a variety of faiths, which in my book is always a plus.
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Book Review: Becoming the Talbot Sisters: A Novel of Two Sisters and the Courage that Unites Them

Two sisters having drifted apart over decades come together when a close relative dies and now try to restore their sisterly bond. This turns out to be more difficult than anticipated, but what well intentions cannot achieve on their own, the two sisters achieve when facing danger on a trek through Europe.
This book is describing in realistic terms that forming a family, even if you are siblings, is not easy after life has thrown you in different directions and other than parents there is not really much you have in common anymore. In the end the sisters are able to form a close bond yet again, but it is outside forces that bring about this change, not the sisters on their own, despite their best intentions. That blood is thicker than water is proven to be true, if only when danger threatens the sisters. So once again, when we fear for our existence, we learn that we can rely on family and be it as unromantic as it appears, the overall stark realism of the book makes it such as worthwhile read.
The author is not glorifying the travels of these sisters across Europe, no romantic voyage of discovery and certainly no big revelations occur to realize that sisters form a bond. What the author shows is that family is work and we have to strive to form and maintain that bond that makes us a family, even if at times it is not easy and certainly not something joyous. But in the end, having family is in itself a reward that should be cherished and nurtured.
Using two sisters living on different continents (US and Europe) as an example, throw in a business that needs to be saved and a baby that is thankfully born and you have a story that is riveting, realistic and rewarding. The background of the author as an aid worker comes into play and she touches on important subjects such as cross-border trafficking of women, while also showing that women are capable of doing big things if pressed and given an opportunity.
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.