Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Book Review: Total Family Makeover by Melissa Spoelstra

About the book:

Total Family Makeover: 8 Practical Steps to Making Disciples at Home (Abingdon, September 2016)
Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won't depart from it. ---Proverbs 22:6

God calls us as parents to be key disciple-makers in our children's lives, but if we're honest, some days it's a battle just to get them dressed and ready for school on time. How can you mold their hearts when sometimes you can't even find their shoes?

In Total Family Makeover, author Melissa Spoelstra gives parents a way---a sort of spiritual track to run on---when it comes to building family discipleship. She focuses on eight key habits of growth:

-Spending Time in Prayer
-Reading God's Word
-Growing Through a Mentoring Relationship
-Finding Community in the Church
-Serving Others
-Taking Time to Rest
-Giving Back to God
-Sharing Your Faith
Disciples are made, not born. Whether your children are babes in arms or teenagers getting ready to leave the nest, making disciples at home starts with you! Give your family a makeover with this practical approach to helping your children learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

My Thoughts:  I thought this book was absolutely fantastic!  Chock full of practical ideas, but with the wise advice to pick a few ideas that are feasible for your family instead of trying to do them all, this book had the perfect balance between theory and practical application.

She devotes an entire chapter to each key habit of growth; first describing how Jesus modeled each attribute and how, as parents, we can too; and then describing how to train your children in these attributes, giving practical application ideas for each one. I loved it!

Not only did it give me ideas on how to teach my children, it also gave me ideas on how to improve in these areas myself!

I enjoyed all the chapters, but one chapter I enjoyed more than I would have originally thought was the one about finding community in church.  Some of her key points in this chapter....
Jesus calls us to a life of sacrifice, not convenience.
Jesus forgave others even in the face of betrayal and heartache within his faith community.  (umm, Judas?!)
Jesus calls us to function within the body for the benefit of others.
She really got down to our motives for attending church and the attitude we have when considering where to go to church, or whether to leave a church. Very insightful chapter!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with a complimentary review copy.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Book Review: The 10 Myths of Teen Dating by Daniel and Jacquelyn Anderson

About the Book: The 10 Myths of Teen Dating: Truths Your Daughter Needs to Know to Date Smart, Avoid Disaster, and Protect Her Future (David C Cook, September 2016)

There's no greater moment of panic in a parent's life than when their daughter begins to date.

Due to their lack of knowledge about the world their teens face coupled with the scant dating information they received as teens, many parents feel ill-equipped to guide their daughters through the minefield that is teen dating.

And by the same token, teenage girls crave information about dating and relationships. And left to their own devices, many will develop their own assumptions about dating by talking to their friends or watching the latest TV shows and movies. But that will only lead them down a path toward heartbreak.

So how do you engage your daughter in discussions about dating, relationships, and her future happiness? Expert educator Daniel Anderson and his twenty something daughter, Jacquelyn, help you navigate the biggest dating myths, including: the myth that a boyfriend will make your daughter happy, that she should trust her feelings, or that sex will enhance her relationship. Combining the latest scientific research with poignant personal stories, as well as proven truths and practical application, The 10 Myths of Teen Dating will equip you to teach your daughter how to date smart for today . . . and tomorrow.

My Thoughts:  I appreciated the real, commonsense, practical tips laid out by Daniel, based on solid principles of parenting through the dating years.  I thought the extra insights provided by his daughter were also helpful and provided a teenage perspective to each of the topics.

Though the Andersons didn't say anything that particularly surprised me, it was helpful to have it all written out and explained in such a practical way. The dating myths are definitely accurate and many girls fall for them.  I think this book may be required reading for our girls to go through together with me!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with a complimentary review copy.


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