Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Review: Praying with Eyes Wide Open: A Life-Changing Way to Talk with God by Sherry Harney



Review: Praying with Eyes Wide Open: A Life-Changing Way to Talk with God
Sherry Harney
2017
Baker Books

 
Praying with eyes wide open?  For some, I guess, that idea borders on scandalous.  But fear not, this book has lots more than that in it.  It might have been the day I read the first few chapters of this book, but they just did not speak to me.  Nothing.  I was ready to put it down.  But, instead I picked it up again.  

Cover ArtSections 2, 3, and 4 of this book sang to me like the first section didn’t.  I am glad now that I came back to it.  So, what’s the deal with the first few chapters?  I suspect since I have read so many books on prayer, that it was too familiar.  Or maybe it was the weather or something.  The rest touched on several areas from a fresh perspective and I found that very helpful, a joy to read.  Uncle Seamus skipping by the lake which she borrowed from Brennan Manning filled my imagination.  Her son offering a lady his ice cream dessert in a restaurant made me grin.  Her prayer guide on page 164 will become a fixture on my frig after I make about 5000 copies.  Ok, maybe a few less than that, but such a simple idea works.  

So, after a rough start I can say I am glad I finished this book.  What makes this book different than many I have read is the tone and the helpful ideas she provides at the end of each chapter.  I may even give that first section another chance.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: The IBS Elimination Diet and Cookbook: The Proven Low-FODMAP Plan for Eating Well and Feeling Great by Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD



Review: The IBS Elimination Diet and Cookbook: The Proven Low-FODMAP Plan for Eating Well and Feeling Great
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD
Harmony Books
2017

Eating well and feeling great captured my attention in this rather formidable title.  Both of those outcomes are high on my agenda.  IBS or Irritable bowel syndrome isn’t something that I find folks discussing openly in group settings, but if it afflicts you or someone you know this is a book to have.  Don’t let that big title put you off.  Catsos’ plan may be able to help.  

Product DetailsThat said, this will require some serious reading and planning to implement.  IBS is uncomfortable, inconvenient, embarrassing, and bunch of other descriptions of that ilk.  To have a means to leave that life and rejoin the “normals” might be worth it.   This book explains the current thinking on the causes of IBS, its symptoms, and how to plan and implement a diet that can ease the distress of this syndrome.  Some of it seems to fly in the face of current wisdom related to bowel health.  The author realizes that and explains why that is the case.  

The happy part of all this study is that it isn’t really all that bad once you begin to grasp that FODMAP acronym.   Don’t let it scare you off.  It’s just a way of classifying certain carbs that have been found to trigger symptoms.  That’s a bit more manageable for me.  Carbs I get, although I wasn’t aware of how varied they are.  Then after becoming familiar with the lists she provides to identify some of the culprits or combination of culprits, you can start your own project of discovering what works best for you.  Work your meals around that information and soon you’ll be eating well and feeling great.    

Yes, there are some recipes and substitution lists to get you headed in the proper direction.  Soups, veggies, main courses, desserts.  Finally, there’s bibliography and reading list if you want more or want to investigate her sources. 

When you’ve had enough of IBS this might be a great place to start to reclaim your life.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review: The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together by Jared Wilson



Review: The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together
Jared Wilson
Baker Books
2017

Cover ArtI had to read this one just because of the audacity of its title.  A disciple that couldn’t get their act together?  The other disciple type books I’d picked up didn’t put it quite that way at all.  In fact, I really can’t remember this addressed directly.  Wilson pretty much filled that empty space in my reading with this book.  

This is not a discipleship book in the usual sense of the word.  In fact, he says, “The essential message of Christianity isn’t ‘do’ but ‘done’.  The gospel is news, not instruction, and it announces to us not ‘get to work’ but ‘it is finished.’”.  (67)   He arrived at that conclusion after a time of beholding, i.e. looking intensely, really seeing, Jesus Christ, not just taking a quick look on the way to supporting a point.  Now he’s ready to talk about the road forward.  He in no way advocates sitting under a tree staring off into the distance as discipleship, nor does he support the do it yourself approach.  

I liked his forthright comments about the discipleship trail he had been taught and tried to follow earlier in his life. And does he ever go take on all the self-help books available that have a Christian veneer.  So, is this just a rant?  Not in my opinion.  Does he offer any help for those of us who can’t get it together and are near forgetting the whole idea?  Yes, he does.

Above all this book encourages and who doesn’t need that?  That’s why I liked it and would recommend it to you if you meet the title qualifications.  No silver bullet or however many steps to success, but this book does help.  

I received this book from the publisher in return for a review.