Last month I finished half a dozen wonderful books: Hands Free Life plus five others. Read on for my thoughts on all six of my July reads.
Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
My ten boys took turns reading Sign of the Beaver aloud to the family last month.
It’s easy to understand why Sign of the Beaver is a Newbery Honor book.
The story follows a thirteen-year-old boy struggles as he learns to survive on his own in the wilderness of eighteenth-century Maine.
The tale of his adventures was right up my sons’ ally, and they would read multiple chapters in one sitting. Both love the idea of being left alone in the woods and having to fin for themselves.
Big Beliefs by David Helm
Big Beliefs contains 99 short readings that tackle 33 core Christian beliefs. The theological concepts covered follow the same order as the Westminster Confession of Faith (Scripture, God, Sin, Salvation, etc), a copy of which is included in the appendix.
Each day’s reading begins with a short Bible passage. This is followed by a brief explanation using simple, easy-to-understand examples. Each reading ends with a couple of questions to promote further discussion.
Most of the entries are less than a full page long. The author’s goal in creating Big Beliefs was to provide a resource for families that is entirely doable. And he definitely succeeded at that goal.
Outdated by Jonathan Pokluda
First, it’s retro-looking cover caught my eye. I try not to judge a book by its cover, but I have been known to purchase a few based solely on the way they look.
Second (and more important), I noticed that two of my grown daughters were reading Outdated and wanted to be able to discuss it with them intelligently. I like its message: That dating should be undertaken with marriage in mind.
Don’t look at it as merely a fun way to pass time. View it instead as an opportunity to get better acquainted and evaluate whether the person you are dating is one you would want to marry. If not, stop dating that one and look for someone more suitable.
The author holds a high (biblical) view of sex, as well, and extols the blessings and benefits of rightly rejecting the hook-up culture and saving sex to be enjoyed exclusively within the context of marriage. Good advice for my girls and for other readers, too.
Unbreakable by Andrew Wilson
The slim volume is a quick and easy read. It’s conversational in tone, but remarkably solid in content.
Subtitled What the Son of God Said About the Word of God, the book not only examines what Jesus had to say about the Scriptures, but also how He treated them.
As the author explains, “Ultimately… our trust in the Bible stems from our trust in Jesus Christ…” As Christians, we should be keen to believe what the Bible says — because, as this book demonstrates, that’s exactly what Christ did Himself!
Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford
Rachel Macy Stafford’s Hands Free Life serves as a beautiful and balancing reminder not to let our endless to-do lists eat up so much time that we have none left to invest in relationships. We must change our focus, Stafford insists, to what matters most.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Hands Free Life. But for a book dedicated to that lofty goal, the author includes precious little that would point readers to Jesus (the relationship that truly matters most and upon which all other relationships should be founded). But maybe that is expecting too much.
Maybe getting mamas to set down their phones and enjoy some genuine connection with their children is enough of an undertaking for this light and easy read. It’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Dark Agenda by David Horowitz
And, judging by all the statistics, court decisions, published quotes, and anecdotal evidence the author cites, it’s a war that’s been raging for decades.
Tucker Carlson calls Dark Agenda “disturbing but vital.”
Gary Bauer advises, “If you want to understand the political crisis our country is facing, read this book.”
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