Category Archives: book review

Book Review: Miracle on Voodoo Mountain by Megan Boudreaux

Miracle on Voodoo Mt

Miracle on Voodoo Mountain: A Young Woman’s Remarkable Story of Pushing Back the Darkness for the Children of Haiti by Megan Boudreaux was an incredible book!

This is the true story of Megan, how at the age of 24, kept having a recurring dream, finally realizing it was God calling her to Haiti, and going all in on faith alone. She quit her job and flew to Haiti, not knowing anyone there nor exactly what God had in mind for her to accomplish there.

Wow, what unfolded was completely and utterly awesome! God’s hand went before Megan and with Megan, literally moving mountains and unfolding a beautiful, amazing plan that could only be our great God. Megan’s faith to be willing to be used by God is astonishing and shows us how God moves and uses miracles still today.

At every turn, there is suspense, wonder, tears, praise, holy anger, and motherly joy. My emotions ran a gamut through this book and my faith was undergirded reading what God has done.

I didn’t know much about the Haitian culture before reading this book, but through Megan’s story I learned so much. She conveyed things about the social system, adoption and corrupt orphanages, their lack of education, findings of restavek’s (child slaves), and the scary voodoo religions that I never knew. She brought awareness deep into my heart of compassion.

As a married mom of three young kids, I can’t do anything radical like Megan did. But I can pray and that is powerful. I follow her ministry, Respire Haiti, and have specific ways to pray. I would love to be able to meet Megan and visit the schools and hospital that comprise Respire Haiti one day. To scoop up some of those braided hair, wide-eyed Haitian kids and show them God’s love would be unbelievable.

However, it also reminds me that likely there are others living in our own neighborhoods where we need to exemplify God’s love just as much. I am so glad I read this book for so many reasons and I highly recommend it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

What Would Jesus Post? by Brian D. Wassom :: A Review

 

 

 

WWJPbook

This is a short but thought-provoking book that outlines seven principles Christians should follow in social media. It contains eye-opening statistics and ways the average person, as well as big companies, use social media. The author concedes that the market was lacking resources to point Jesus-followers in the way social media should be used, as defined through a godly lens.

A spin-off of the popular What Would Jesus Do? question, Brian Wassom decided to ask “What Would Jesus Post?” Although our use of computers and social media is light years removed from when Jesus was on earth, Brian does a great job using Biblical wisdom to guide us as to how we should utilize social media. Brian gives a set of guidelines that might be similar to what Jesus would have used if social media had been around when He was on earth.

What Would Jesus Post? caused me to really stop and think. Being a blogger, I write in an online world and I use several social media platforms to connect with people. I’m on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and one from way back called ShoutLife. Each outlet has it’s own feel and purpose and is used in different ways.

Have you ever stopped to think about why you’re on social media? Is there a real concrete purpose? Or is it just because everyone else is? When you are on your social media profiles, do you post random thoughts, something funny, or pictures of your kids? Those things are fine – I do those things, too. But have you ever considered purposefully using those platforms in ways that Jesus might?

I won’t go over all of the seven principles now, but something to think about is not only conducting our off-line lives by the Great Commandment, but also using it in our online interactions. The Great Commandment is in Matthew 22:37-39, “And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.”

Love God and love others. Social media allows us to be connected to more people than ever before. We can influence people’s lives and decisions more than ever before. It has potential to give us power. The thing is we need to use our powers for good.

Would our friends know from our posts that we are Jesus-followers? (Understandably, we don’t need to constantly quote Scripture or start debates to let our Light shine through. But is there enough “evidence” that we are different and believe different than the world does?)

Are your interactions with other people online filled with love? Are you kind and understanding?

We are in the world, but we’re not to be of the world. It’s okay to be on social media like the rest of the world. But we don’t need to use it like the rest of the world. Brian ends the book saying that although technology may change, “God’s desire for how we should live our lives does not change. …let’s be discerning of the effect it [social media] has on us and on others, and be intentional in using it to live like Jesus told us to.”

This book was really insightful and impactful to me. I enjoyed taking a different and intentional look at the way I should be using social media. It has made me stop and think before posting things. And it’s given me new ideas on ways to be intentionally connecting and interacting with people online. I’m going to be writing a series of posts over the next few weeks, taking a closer look at some ideas from the book and ones it’s given me. I hope you’ll join me!


(Note for those subscribed to the blog via email: I’ve changed the frequency with which you’ll receive posts. It’s set for twice a week delivery, no matter how many posts I put up. I’m considering even just once a week. It’s set for part of the most current post to be on top and the next five most recent posts listed below that – click the titles to read the ones you want to read. I don’t want to litter up your inbox.)

{Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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.”}

Ephesians Chapters 1 & 2

Lean On Me by Anne Marie Miller :: A Review

LeanOnMeBook{Disclaimer: This is a review of Lean on Me, by Anne Marie Miller. I received this book for free to read and review as part of the BookLook blogger program. All opinions are mine. This post also contains affiliate links.}

I chose this book to read and review because of it’s subtitle: “Finding Intentional, Vulnerable, and Consistent Community.”

God has placed a desire within us to connect with others in relationship. Many of my “friendships” are more surfacy-type acquaintances. However, I love getting to really know people; to hear their stories; to listen to their opinions; to build bonds of trust and camaraderie.

Friends and confidants are very important when a big life event happens. The relationships we can count on to stand strong in the storms and stand the test of time are of utmost importance.

This book chronicles Anne Marie Miller’s journey from her marriage falling apart, going through divorce, and a time of healing afterward. Though I have not been through divorce, I have had miscarriages and other devastating circumstances that leave a person’s heart numb and wounded. Each of us can relate in some way.

Anne Marie had a wise friend who advised her to intentionally ask people to create a “team” or community around her as she moved through the stages of grief. Even if at times she didn’t feel like it, she needed the support of consistent community that she could be vulnerable in, yet be safe and given room for grace.

This book takes a look at four categories of relationships:

  1. Not vulnerable and not committed
  2. Vulnerable and not committed
  3. Committed and not vulnerable
  4. Committed and vulnerable

Lean On Me explores questions such as, “What makes someone a friend? How vulnerable should we be with our small groups? The mom we meet in the line to pick up the kids at school? On our blogs? What do our interactions with others demonstrate?”

Anne Marie asks, “I think that everyone feels the need to belong. Do you? Are you caught fighting the contradiction of needing others, being needed, and wanting to be on your own? Does fear keep you from reaching out to others? Do you want to know how to strengthen the community where you live and love?”

These questions strike at my heart and resound deep. Questions about adult friendships, vulnerability and wanting to belong, yet being fiercely independent are things I have wrestled with, muddying up the waters of relationships. I wish there were clear-cut answers.

This book at least addresses these issues and takes a gut-honest approach at showing how a community can come together in a time of tragedy to pour out love on someone. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 ESV.

Anne Marie wraps up the book’s premise neatly in this quote:

“…we’re not called to be perfect or to have perfect relationships. We’re urged to seek the kingdom and live holy lives fully dependent on God and in relationship with others. It is first in this dependence on God, and then in our interdependence with other believers as the Spirit unites us, where we can experience a truly joyful and abundant community here on earth as it is in heaven.”

The book provided thought-provoking questions about relationships; a vulnerable story of needing community after a tragedy; and a model of intentionality that leads to friendships. There is a study guide in the back that can be used for small group discussions or to think/journal on your own. It’s a very insightful and valuable book, reflecting some of our deepest needs.

Ephesians Chapters 1 & 2