The Prodigal // book review

The Prodigal is the story of a mega church preacher who was at the top of his craft and the peak of his career. And he makes one mistake that changes everything for him. While the one mistake seems devastating to him, it turns out to be the one thing he needs to find true faith and reconnect with God and his family.

I really appreciated the point of view shared in this book. It was honestly refreshing to hear a down and out story from the point of view of a mega church preacher. The story overall was pretty interesting and I am intrigued now to read Ragamuffin Gospel, based on the message of the Prodigal.

I would definitely recommend giving it a read.

 

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Book Review: Bread and Wine + We’re featured!

This week, I was featured over at Ren’s Family Blog! Thanks so much for featuring my post about 5 Books You Should Read Immediately!

In honor of being featured, I decided it was about time to put up my review of one of those books that you should be reading immediately. And of course, that book is Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. If you have been talking to me at all in the past few weeks, you have heard about this book.

A book review of Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist written by Krista Cannon on chrisandkrista.org

 Image provided by shaunaniequist.com

Bread and Wine is “a love letter to life around the table.” It is Shauna’s memoir of how her love for food is something that has throughout her life brought people together, helped her family to develop precious friendships and taught them how to serve the people they love. Its broken up in to short stories that are memories of how food and gathering around the table has truly affected her life. And as a bonus every story comes with a fantastic recipe like this Blueberry Crisp:

Blueberry Crisp from Shauna Niequist's new book Bread and Wine in a book review written by Krista Cannon on chrisandkrista.org

In the beginning of Bread and Wine, Shauna writes about a common conversation between musicians who sit around discussing songs they love wishing they were their own. I couldn’t help but think that’s exactly how I feel about Bread and Wine. This book is the book that I wish I had written and it is one I will be reading over and over again. Shauna’s writing is beautiful, emotional and captivates you from page one like a conversation with a good friend over coffee. Although the book is filled with real life stories about her struggles and problems, its also filled with romantic stories of deep friendships, cooking clubs, and of course, the ultimate message, of coming together around the table.

The title Bread and Wine comes from the most important table gathering, which is when we gather around the communion table and take the bread and wine in remembrance of Christ. This is an importance message throughout the book reminding us not only of our weakness as humans and need for food, as we need Christ, but also the opposite. We, as humans, cannot only live on food but we thrive on the Word of God, our relationship with Him and our relationship with others. And that is ultimately what gathering around the table is about.  So, now pick up your copy of Bread and Wine and follow Shauna’s advice:

This is what I want you to do: I want you to tell someone you love them, and dinner’s at six. I want you to throw open your front door and welcome the people you love into the inevitable mess with hugs and laughter.

Gather the people you love around your table and feed them with love and honesty and creativity, because there will be a day when it all falls apart.

These are things I can’t change. Not one of them. Can’t fix, can’t heal, can’t put the broken pieces back together. But what I can do is offer myself, wholehearted and present, to walk with the people I love through the fear and the mess. That’s all any of us can do. That’s what we’re here for.

 

Who are you going to invite to gather around your table?

 

You may find us linking up this post at one of these great blogs!

5 Books to Read Immediately


My grandfather often says to me, “Stop whatever you are doing and read this book right now.” I love discussing books with him and taking his advice on the next good read. He always has great insight and good suggestions. So, here is my list of suggestions of 5 books that you stop whatever you are doing and read right away!

1. Ordering Your Private World by Gordon Macdonald

If you read this book first, then you will have more time to read all the other books. Macdonald gives us not only a call to discipline, but practical ways to   implement that discipline. By becoming a disciplined person and caring for our inner world, we are better able to handle the stresses and unexpected problems of the outer world. This practical plan will not only inspire you, but also hold you accountable to be the kind of Christ follower that no longer makes excuses. By the way, he says that reading for life is a requirement and should be scheduled into your daily routine!

2. Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist

After I am finished reading this book, then I will give a complete review on it on the blog. But I don’t need to be finished to know that this book is worth every single page. Shauna creates what she calls a food memoir. Every story centers around food or being around the table and through these stories she discovers life, love, and faith and then she gives you a recipe to go with it! Every recipe is delicious and every story of full of emotional enlightenment!

3. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

I buy this book any chance I get and immediately give it away. I could read this book over and over, but I do like to give other books a chance every now and then. It is the beautiful story of our redemption and God’s love for us told in the form of historical fiction and the voice of a woman. My heart healed while reading this book.

 

4. Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan

I always tell anyone asking that they shouldn’t read this book unless they want to be challenged. I suppose I could say that about all of Chan’s books. He isn’t afraid to speak the truth and does it in a way that makes you want to get up and start living the way Christ intended. But, he also doesn’t shy away from holding us accountable, particularly in the chapter about lukewarm Christians. After you read this book, you won’t want to settle for lukewarm anymore.

5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

If you don’t read this book right this second, it will be okay. But this is absolutely one of my favorite books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It is written in the form of letters and tells the story of an author looking for her next book. She receives a letter from the small island of Guernsey and unexpectedly learns about a people and a history that was seemingly before hidden. Its beautiful and romantic, but the real beauty of this story is that it was the author’s dream in life to publish a book. Unfortunately, she passed away before this book was completed. So, her daughter finished writing it for her and completed her dream!

What’s your list of books that we should read right away!?

 

 

This post may be linked with some of these great blogs!

Right Where I Belong by Krista McGee, Book Review

Right Where I Belong is the newest teen novel by Krista McGee. I have to admit that I choose to read this book because of the name of the author! Clearly, God was using that to His advantage, because it turned out to be just the book I needed right now.

Right Where I Belong is inspired by the story of Ruth in the Bible. Fifteen year old Spanish born Natalia follows her recently divorced stepmother, Maureen to America after her father breaks Maureen’s heart. Maureen is the one who introduced Natalia to God and Natalia feels an allegiance to her and at the same time is disgusted by her father’s actions. Her adventure in America allows her to find new Christian friends, grow in her faith and God’s call for her life.

Throughout reading this book, I kept thinking- this is a very sweet book. Its the kind of book that you want to read while sitting on the beach or in the park on a warm spring day. Its a feel good book- the Lifetime movie of books.

I really connected with Right Where I Belong at this point in my life. As a Christian, it reminded me of many of God’s important promises that He gives us in the Bible. Such as, a promise for a hope and a future and the promise to give us good gifts. It was really interesting to watch Natalia navigate her newfound Christianity and learn what it means to pray for God’s will in her life.

I also really enjoyed Natalia learning to live in a new culture. As you can imagine from our experiences in Germany, I could really relate to her adventures. If you are looking for a feel good, easy read that also offers a great dose of encouragement, I would definitely recommend Right Where I Belong by Krista McGee.

 

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Note: I’m required by the new FTC guidelines to tell you that this post includes Amazon Affiliate links.

Book Review: An Amish Kitchen

by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, and Kelly Long

An Amish Kitchen is a collection of three stories of an Amish community. Each story tells of a different Amish woman in the community and much of the action centers around her work in the kitchen or the house. Admittedly, one of the best parts is the Amish recipe book at the end that includes all recipes made throughout the book.

I chose this book in a hope to learn a little bit more about Amish culture, since honestly I didn’t know much about it before. After reading the book, I researched a little more about Amish literature and then understood that it is actually written with an Amish audience in mind not a general Christian audience. Although, it is also popular among Christian audiences. However, I think my opinion of the book would have been altered had I had that information up front. I was honestly quite disappointed with an Amish Kitchen. It was a very easy ready but stories were slow and had abrupt endings. One of the devices of the book was to use German words such as “Danki” and “gut”. I found that quite distracting, because it was used in some instances and wasn’t used in others for the same word. It was also italicized throughout the book and distracted from the flow. Overall, I wasn’t very happy with the book, I didn’t learn much about Amish culture, and I likely wouldn’t read Amish literature again.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Voices of the Faithful

A while ago I was introduced to a great website called Booksneeze. This is my first book Review submitted to them. Hopefully, the first of many. I think this was a perfect first choice for us! Enjoy!

Voices of the Faithful by Beth Moore

This book is the result of Beth Moore’s goal of collaborating inspiring stories from Christians around the world who are on the mission field. Set up as a daily devotional, this book is 365 stories that move you to take action in missions, whether its through prayer, local missions, or reaching out to a missionary. It shows how God is truly working throughout the world and using Christians from all walks of life as his tools to reach those who need Him most.

As a missionary, I particularly loved this book. I picked it up before we left and have reflected on it in comparison with things that we have seen on the field. As life away from the familiar can sometimes get discouraging, it is always a great reminder that we are part of something bigger than just ourselves. That is what Beth Moore has achieved with this book. Through collecting these stories, she has helped us to see the bigger picture and reminded us that even one life touched really does make a difference.

You can get your copy of Voices of the Faithful here.