Friday, November 29, 2013

Counseling: How to Counsel Biblically

Title: Counseling: How to Counsel Biblically
Author: John MacArthur
Labels: Church and Ministry | Pastoral Helps | Pastoral Care & Counseling
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: August 23, 2005
Recommended To: Counseling Students, Church Leaders
Contains: N/A

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Solid theological foundations of biblical counseling are clearly presented in contrast to humanistic and secular theories of psychological counseling. A practical, proactive, and relevant book for students, church leaders, and lay people. This collection of writers represents some of America's leading biblical teachers and counselors.

Other contributors include: Ken L. Sarles, David Powlison, Douglas Bookman, David B. Maddox, Robert Smith, William W. Goode, and Dennis M. Swanson.
This was a book I had to read for a counseling class I took at the beginning of the semester. Now, I'm going to lay this right out from the beginning--I don't agree with everything that MacArthur teaches, nor all his views. My professor made a point of saying that she didn't agree with everything either; however, she said that she thought it was probably the best single book that covers everything on the subject.

On her second statement, I would agree. I think that if you're looking for one book to give you a general knowledge base on the topic, this is a good book to pick up. It covers most of the bases, and explains things thoroughly, I thought. If you're looking for a book to get you started with Biblical Counseling, or just something to understand the subject better, this is a good place to start.

I bought this book, and therefore was not required nor asked to write a review, nor a positive one at that. I was not compensated for this review.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas in Apple Ridge

Title: Christmas in Apple Ridge
Author: Cindy Woodsmall
Labels: Fiction | Contemporary
Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
Recommended To: Women, YA, Adult
Contains: Clean romance.

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository | Kindle
Blurb From Goodreads: Experience the holidays with the Plain folk of Apple Ridge, Pennsylvania, in these touching novellas centered around love, romance, heartache, and restoration from best-selling author Cindy Woodsmall.
Since this is a three-in-one, I'm going to briefly review each novella individually.

The Sound of Sleigh Bells: I thought this novella was really good. It was an interesting read, and I loved that it had a secrecy strand running through it. The secret that Beth carried throughout the better part of the book added depth and built up the story well. It ended up not being quite as dramatic as I had expected--however I over exaggerate things in my head--but I thought it was a real life issue that can be relatable to the guilt felt by many people today. I loved Jonah to death. He was such a cool character with an awesome background. My favorite part was probably that they wrote letters to each other, which I love the idea of!

The Christmas Singing: This was probably the most unique Amish story I've read, hands down. Mattie is a professional cake decorator, who was once in love with Gideon before he brutally dumped her with the misleading belief that he was having an affair. As it turns out, the real story behind his reasons were heartbreaking and made the story so much more deep and real. Loved it!

The Dawn of Christmas: First off, I just need to say that I absolutely love the name Levi. Definitely one of my favorite guy names. Anyway, I thought this novella was very interesting and had a lot of unexpected twists and turns to it. It starts off with Levi getting hurt, and Sadie saving his life by coincidentally finding him. Both characters have scars from the past and an intriguing fear of commitment, that I think most people can identify with on some level. I thought this was really great and well worth the read.

Overall I thought these three novellas were fantastic, and definitely got me in the Christmas mood! Highly recommended! I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.