The Shack by William Paul Young

The ShackThe Shack by William Paul Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I avoided reading this book as I do all books I’ve never heard of until they’re made into movies, but a friend lent me a copy and I couldn’t avoid it any longer. Long story short, this book is deep.

It goes into a deep discussion about how the world and God works through humans. It takes on serious subjects such as independence, freedom, fate, judgment, love, and relationships. I’m not going to lie, I’m in the process of rereading this book again because I know I missed some things because this book goes into such deep discussion.

It’s presented as a true life story, I’m not entirely sure I believe that but given I’ve read the books by Crystal McVea I can’t entirely rule it out either. I’ve not had the opportunity to watch the movie, but now I kind of want to, just to see how it turns out.

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Candle Burning Magic by Anna Riva

Candle Burning MagicCandle Burning Magic by Anna Riva

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is quite a lot of information packed into this 100 page book. I love that, however, I do wish that the author took a more secular take on it rather that put a Christian take on the entire thing, but I digress as that didn’t really impact the information provided.

Anna Riva covers everything from the physical appearance of the candle and what it means, to dressing it with oils, using incense, intentions, inscriptions, symbols (seals/sigils), the Hand of Glory, how long to burn the candle, when to burn the candle, and even ceromancy.

I took notes. I had to, there was so much information covered here and I wanted to be able to build on this basic foundation that Anna Riva provided. If you are at all interested in candle burning magick, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this book. It’s perfect for beginners or people wanting to get back into it.

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Chasing Heaven by Crystal McVea

Chasing Heaven: What Dying Taught Me About LivingChasing Heaven: What Dying Taught Me About Living by Crystal McVea

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Again, I’m not much of a Christian, but I found this book to be a good motivator.

So after Crystal McVea died, how did her life change? Well, she found herself Chasing Heaven here on Earth. She basically goes on to explain how she is bringing God’s love to those who it seems He’s forgotten: the homeless, and women in the adult entertainment industry. She tells how her children have been affected, for the better, and how her new beliefs have rubbed off on them.

She writes to tell us how her love of God has brought her to help other’s find His love and bring joy to other’s lives. How she’s reached out to others.

Crystal references her first book heavily, but she starts by giving us the TL:DR version.

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Waking Up in Heaven by Crystal McVea

Waking Up in Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life AgainWaking Up in Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again by Crystal McVea

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of my co-workers loaned me this book, and it was a fairly easy read, and shorter than what I’m used to reading. But it’s also a non-fiction, Christian book, something I’m not used to reading either. Still, I must admit that I found myself tearing up as I reached the end of the book.

Crystal McVea lead a very hard and difficult life, she was abused, had an abortion, and had poor taste in men until she met her husband. I would not say that she wasn’t Christian, because she still yelled at God for what was happening to her and God was answering her prayers. To me she comes off a bit selfish in her beginning relationship with God. Then she died for nine minutes, and her life completely changed. She became a better person, a better Christian, and spread the word of God.

Those nudges she talks about? We all have them, random thoughts that pop into our heads for no reason. Most of them are just crazy nonsense we ignore, like the one that tells us to open a car door while traveling 80 mph down the highway. But what if some of them are a message from above? This isn’t a new concept, in Wicca it’s known as a Godphone, a direct connection to a deity, if you know how to answer it.

The last part of the book, the part where I teared up, was when Crystal starts sharing her story with church groups. The women she connected with, and finally understood that they weren’t alone in what happened to them, and could start the healing process because of it, that’s what made me cry. Not her experience, the knowledge that others weren’t alone, that they weren’t broken, that I think is the main message. No one is alone, no one is so broken that they can’t be loved.

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Gods Power for Fathers by Anonymous

Gods Power for FathersGods Power for Fathers by Anonymous
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

As previously stated I’m not a very religious person. I don’t generally read books from the Christian genre, but this one came my way and I’m generally up for anything and keep an open mind.

It’s a selection of quotations from the bible set to the tune of: God Gives You Strength When-, God’s Power is With You When-, and so on and so forth. It was rather interesting to see which passages the author picked out to go with these statements, and he must’ve had a hard time finding passages because there are quite a few repeats, even within the same section.

I liked it for the reason it gave me a better view of how people see and use the bible on a daily basis, since it is something I’ve never worked with. But it was also repetitive and not something that’s meant for an entertaining read.

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Time with God for Mothers by Jack Countryman

Time with God for MothersTime with God for Mothers by Jack Countryman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a little book filled with inspirational bible verses plus a little interpretation as to how the verse applies to every day life.

Maybe it was because I was born Christian and grew up in a household that wasn’t particularly religious that I can see how each bible verse can have many different interpretations. I do like that the author here took the interpretation in a very positive manner, even though quite a few of the verses and interpretations were very, traditional and old-fashioned. Which may appeal to some, but not for me.

I was bored reading this. I read it to kill time mostly, but I was not entertained by it, and I don’t feel like I’ve learned anything new about the bible as I am familiar with quite a bit of it.

Obviously if a person is more religious than I am they could get quite a bit more out of this than I did.

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Alaskan Midnight: Four Romances Quilted from the Pieces of Broken Lives by Joyce Livingston

Alaskan Midnight: Four Romances Quilted from the Pieces of Broken LivesAlaskan Midnight: Four Romances Quilted from the Pieces of Broken Lives by Joyce Livingston

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had never heard of Joyce Livingston before I picked up this book. In fact before I picked up this book I had never read a Christian Romance. This made for a completely new experience for me.

First of all, I need to delve into a little personal religion. I am not religious. With that in mind, it might be an idea to take this review with a grain of salt, and please understand that this is my opinion on this book. I will endeavor, as always, to be objective.

Alaskan Midnight is a compilation of four short stories involving four main couples (thought the first story actually follows two couples). All of the characters know each other and become friends by the end of the novel. The romance plot lines are all very, well normal romance plot lines, easy to follow, easy to see where the author is going with it, but still enjoyable.

I couldn’t relate to many of the women in these stories. Victoria was way too overprotective, Glorianna was a bit oversensitive for me, Tina came off as just plain stupid (though I sort of understand why, it still annoyed me). And Jackie…well I guess you could call her the one I understood the most, but I still don’t see why she couldn’t just tell him “Screw you!” and forget him when he did that to her (but hey, we had our happy ending).

The Christian element in this book is that every single one of the characters either comes back to God, finds God, or is already saved by Him. The author writes the act of coming to God as a big factor in whether or not the romantic relationships will work out. Which if you’re a Christian is a very nice touch in this book, however if you’re not Christian, then you’ll probably just think “ok, its probably good that both these people have the same level of religion/have the same religion” and leave it at that.

I must admit this book was a bit of a genre-shock for me, having never read a religious romance. I’m still not entirely sure what I think of this genre and I don’t want to judge the genre on just one book. Though I’m not likely to read this book again, I am interested enough to read more Christian Romance books.

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