Sunday, June 17, 2012

‘Treasures of Healthy Living: A Journey Unveiling God’s Plan for Ultimate Health and Relationships’ by Annette Reeder and Dr. Richard Couey – Book Review

Buzz this

One of the priorities of my husband, Fred, and I, as the years add up, is to maintain good health. We know that staying close to what the Lord has in mind is best. The latest book on my reading book is perfect for that – ‘Treasures of Healthy Living: A Journey Unveiling God’s Plan for Ultimate Health andRelationships’  by Annette Reeder and Dr. Richard Couey focus on many vital areas.

Here is the synopsis of this book

Did you know you can find the answers to many health problems in the pages of Scripture? Think of God’s Word as a treasure map that leads straight to the healthy life you’ve always dreamed of. It reveals how you can move from a sickly, lackluster life to one that is full of energy and hope. This practical Bible study will reveal the truth about the foods you eat and provide simple tools to begin improving your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. You won’t believe how much your life can change when you grab hold of the treasures God has provided for you.
In this Bible study, you will:
·         Discover the basics of nutrition to build a firm foundation for your health
·         Obtain the tools you need to evaluate and improve your health
·         Examine the harmful effects of altered food and household products
·         Find healthy alternatives to unwholesome foods
·         Learn how diet, exercise, and your spiritual health go hand-in-hand
·         Lay the groundwork for a lifetime of positive health

Here are the biographies of the authors:

Annette Reeder will lead you on this journey to biblical health – a journey she knows all too well, as her own family once traveled this same path to discover God’s treasures. Annette is a biblical nutrition consultant and the founder of Designed Healthy Living, a consulting program that teaches individuals how to follow a biblical nutrition plan. Her degree in Nutrition from Huntington College and diploma in biblical studies from Liberty University gives her a combined insight and expertise into how to use the gift of food and health from God's perspective to lead others to recognize this treasure in their eating and lifestyle. She is a living, happy and healthy example of the victory possible as her family has overcome problems such as cancer, heart disease, cholesterol, obesity, and much more.

Dr. Richard “Dick” Couey is Professor Emeritus of Health Sciences at Baylor University.  Dr. Couey has spent nearly fifty years studying the physiology of the cell. He has especially studied how nutrition, exercise, and stress affect the cell’s biochemistry and physiology. Dr. Couey’s students praise how he can make the complexities of the cell seem understandable.

Here is an overview of this valuable study, featuring both authors:

Treasures Of Healthy Living Bible Study Promo from Sowing Seed Designs, LLC on Vimeo.

This book is a 12 week study, with the following topics:

·         Week 1:   Treasure of Health
·         Week 2:   Beverages
·         Week 3:   Grains
·         Week 4:   Vegetables and Fruits
·         Week 5:   Herbs, Spices, Oil, and Vinegar
·         Week 6:   Protein and Meat
·         Week 7:   Fasting and Self-Discipline
·         Week 8:   Sweets
·         Week 9:   Environment and Toxins
·         Week 10: Stress and Forgiveness
·         Week 11: Exercise
·         Week 12: The Fullness of Christ and Health

Here are some of my important ‘take-aways’ from this awesome book:

·         Today, scientific research is providing evidence for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea. For example, Purdue University researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells. There is also research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improves the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol. (p. 59)

·         One of the fun discoveries I have discovered in this hunt was the meaning of the word cruciferous. Cruciferous refers to plants that have flowers with four petals that botanical historians describe as resembling the crucifix or cross; thus, they are called cruciferous. Many authors and health books refer to them as the “Magnificent Twelve” because of their ability to dramatically reduce and prevent disease. Only our God could design foods like that and then place a reminder on the plant that the ultimate healing was given to us on the cross!
The following are the Magnificent Twelve Cruciferous Vegetables:
Broccoli             Kale                      Rutabaga     Brussels Sprouts
Kohlrabi            Turnip                   Cabbage       Mustard Greens
Cauliflower        Radishes                Watercress   Horseradish  
(p. 95)

·         Salt has healing properties. It kills most germs on contact. It burns when it hits a raw spot, but is very effective in cleansing a wound so it can heal. “Don’t rub salt in my wounds” is a statement often heard when a person is hurt from good advice. We bring healing to those around us with words of comfort and encouragement. (p. 129)

·         Stretching is essential for maintaining flexibility, reducing muscle soreness, and preventing injury. Take at least ten minutes each day to stretch out all of your main muscle groups; this will help keep you relaxed and limber. Stretching in the morning will help keep you ready for the day. (p. 278)

This book offers a great overview of how to gain and maintain health of mind, body, and spirit – all three are very important! I think this would be a terrific study for ladies looking for a book for the summer season. In fact, I may talk my friend Natalie into studying it with me! I will definitely refer back to this helpful resource time and time again.

This book was published by Pleasant Word, and provided by Glass Road Public Relations for review purposes.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

‘A Place to Belong’ by Circle of Friends – CD Review

Buzz this

I am normally not one to listen to music when I am driving (I am more of a Talk Radio person). However, I do get in a mood to groove – and to praise the Lord! So I was excited about the opportunity to review the ‘A Place to Belong’ CD by Circle of Friends.

Here is the press release pertaining to this CD and its companion book, ‘A Place to Belong:Out of Our Comfort Zone and Into God's Adventure’ by Lisa Troyer.

Every woman needs acceptance, love and a place to belong. That’s the underlying theme of the new music CD, A Place to Belong (Lifeway Worship) from singer/songwriter Lisa Troyer, president of Circle of Friends Ministries. Refreshingly authentic and dynamic, the companion worship CD to Troyer’s recently released book, A Place to Belong: Out of Our Comfort Zone and into God’s Adventure (Barbour Publishing), tenderly draws women into a place of true freedom and belonging in the very heart of God.

In her book,Troyer shares her own journey to acceptance as well as the story of a group of dynamic “women helping women” who call themselves the Circle of Friends. Troyer encourages readers to form their own circle of friends, a safe place of truth and love where women can develop lasting relationships and discover together the purposes of God for their lives.
Obviously noticeable in both the book and CD is Troyer’s passion to lead others into the bottomless love of God. This fierce desire compelled her to plunge deeply into the heart of the issues all women face, but most keep to themselves. With tendencies toward depression, anxiety attacks and an eating disorder, Troyer knows firsthand the bondage of secrecy and shame. “Living with a secret,” Troyer admits, “doesn’t make it go away. It doesn’t change your heart. As well hidden as your secret is, that is how deeply lonely you will be. I’ve been there. I know it’s true.”

The newly released companion CD reinforces her book’s admonition that there is complete freedom and acceptance to be found in the Father. “This CD was birthed out of the knowledge that music is so often used by God to solidify a written and/or spoken message,” says Troyer. “Dawn Yoder and I have been blessed by the friendship and songwriting partnership God’s given us, and songs like ‘Let Us Bow Down,’ ‘Lifting My Praise Up’ and ‘I Found Grace’ (Circle of Friends theme song) are reflective of how, by finding a place to belong, we are inspired to share encouragement, while keeping our focusing on worshipping in ‘Spirit and in truth.’”

A Place to Belong has the potential of changing the way women think about themselves, about others and about doing God’s work in this world. In both her book and worship CD, Troyer challenges women to connect to one another, comfort each other and affirm each other in using the gifts God has given them. Ultimately, A Place to Belong offers a healing dose of real hope that life can be rich, life can have purpose and no woman need ever be alone.

Here is Lisa Troyer performing one of the songs on the CD, ‘Your Love Endures:’

This song is indicative of the other 7 tracks on this CD in terms of tempo and style. This song was written by Susan Ashton, John Hartley, and Gary Sadler. I have been an admirer of Ms. Ashton since her debut release, ‘Wakened by the Wind,’ in 1991.

I enjoyed this CD. I can get a little riled up when I’m driving (….), so I will definitely keep it in my vehicle to help me focus on the Lord, not my fellow crazy drivers! Each song is soothing and ‘mellow’ and perfect to listen to at home or on the road.   

This CD was released by LifeWay Worship and provided for review purposes by the B&B Media Group.

Monday, June 11, 2012

‘Son of the Underground: The Story of Isaac Liu, Son of Brother Yun, The Heavenly Man’ by Isaac Liu with Albrecht Kaul

Buzz this

In September, 2008, my husband, Fred, and I had the great opportunity to meet and hear Brother Yun, the Chinese Christian evangelist, speak at a church in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When I learned about the blog tour for his son, Isaac Liu’s, book, ‘Son of the Underground: The Story of Isaac Liu, Son of Brother Yun, TheHeavenly Man,’ I knew I wanted to jump on that train!

Here is the synopsis of this interesting book:

His father was an enemy of the state. His mother was told to have an abortion. His teachers mocked him. He first met his father when he was four years old. He and his family lived for years on the run.
Yet Isaac Liu, son of Brother Yun, survived to develop his own faith and character, and today is serving the Lord from his home in Germany. This is his story.

Isaac is currently a pastor in Germany

Here is Isaac, talking about his greatest influence (translated from German):

Pastor Isaac started out his book by talking about the miracle of his survival from his difficult birth:

The fact that I survived those first weeks without an incubator and with no medical assistance was another miracle from God. I am said to have been tiny, wrinkled and pale. Yet, when I see myself in the mirror now – and when I think about how girls look at me – I have to admit that God actually made me quite good-looking! (p. 10)

And with a fine sense of humor, as well!

I love his description of his grandmother:

Even some of the Christians made fun of my grandmother, calling her “the lady with the horny knees”.  Prayer was her great passion. She didn’t know what a mathematical equation was, but when it came to prayer she would impress this equation on me time and time again: “Much prayer, much power – little prayer, little power. Prayer equals power.” (pp. 22-23)

I LOVE that equation!

Isaac shared his observation that demons and evil spirits are real; he saw examples in person. His grandma Nai Nai battled one, and won!:

Finally, my grandmother asked again whether the evil spirit would now like to come out of the man. At this the man let out such a terrible cry that we all shrank back in fear, and then he fell to the ground as if dead.
Nai Nai went up to him, shook him gently and asked whether he would accept he would accept Jesus into his life. He was free now and would need a new master, or the demons would come back.
The man wept and could only stammer that he would gladly have Jesus in his life. He didn’t want to be tormented by such a dreadful spirit ever again.
My grandmother spoke a long prayer of deliverance over him, and he repeated every word haltingly, but clearly deeply moved. Now the whole gathering praised Jesus and his power, and at last the visitors made their way home, visibly shaken.
I have known ever since then that demons are real, but I have also experienced the greater and stronger power of Jesus. (p. 52)

WOW – powerful story!

And I love his interpretation of the plus sign in math (they call it maths in Europe!):

Because my head was full of maths, it struck me for the first time that the cross is the great plus symbol. Jesus is the plus symbol for my life, for our country, for the whole world. That was more important than maths. My heart grew a little lighter at this. The next day I would have to redo the work, and I intended to plead with the great plus symbol to let me pass the exam this time. (p. 77)

The book also details the journey of Isaac, his mother, and his sister, out of China and into Thailand, and finally to Germany. Miracle after miracle; the Lord was with them every step of the way!

It was really wonderful to see the legacy of Brother Yun as exhibited in his son! It was also interesting to see the same story from both points of view! Here is a photo of my husband, Fred, Brother Yun, and me (not my most flattering photo, alas!) at the book signing in 2008.

This book was published by Kregel and Monarch Books and provided by them for review purposes.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Winner of 'Continuer in Christ ' is......

Buzz this

We have a winner of the lovely Lona Bailey's 'Continuer on Christ: Being Stubbornly Faithful to the Call.' That blessed reader is.....

Gloria McKellar

Congratulations, Gloria! I will be emailing you shortly!

Special thanks to Lona for providing the review and giveaway copies! I highly encourage you to read this wonderful book by this lovely lady! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

‘Hiking Through: One Man’s Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail’ by Paul Stutzman – Book Review

Buzz this

An activity that my husband, Fred, and I love is to hike. We’ve had the opportunity to hike short stretches of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine (I’ve also done a few stints with my friend, Kim). One of our goals is to do a thru-hike, hiking the length of the Trail in its entirety at one time. When I learned about the blog tour for ‘Hiking Through: One Man’s Journey to Peace andFreedom on the Appalachian Trail’ by Paul Stutzman, I knew I wanted to join in!

Here is the synopsis of this book:

A life-changing journey begins with a single step. After Paul Stutzman lost his wife to breast cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart – the call to a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. With a mixture of dread and determination, Paul left his job, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the Appalachian Trail. What he learned during the next four and a half months changed his life – and can change yours as well.
In Hiking Through, you’ll join Paul on his remarkable 2,176-mile trip through fourteen states in search of peace and a renewed sense of purpose. Along the way, you’ll meet fascinating an funny people, experience “trail magic,” and discover that every choice we make on the path has consequences for the journey. More than that, you’ll come away with a new understanding of God’s grace and guidance – even in the smallest things.

Here is the biography of the author:

Paul Stutzman is a restaurant-manager-turned-captivating-storyteller who left his career after his wife’s death from breast cancer. His passion and mission is to share what he learned on his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. When he is not hiking or biking cross-country, he makes his home in Ohio.

Here is Paul being interviewed about his book:

In his book, Paul describes a thru-hike this way:

Every year, several thousand believers answer the call to make a pilgrimage from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to another mountaintop 2,176 miles away. Of these thousands, only several hundred are chosen to finish.
Chosen? Yes. If you are one of those solitary Appalachian Trail thru-hikers and you somehow survive three hundred daunting mountains, precarious river crossings, difficult rock climbs, discouraging illness and loneliness, and punishing weather, and you stand at last at the summit of mighty Mt. Katahdin, then you will indeed know what it is to be one of those chosen few.
You are then forever part of the brotherhood and sisterhood of the AT. Whether you are God-fearing, agnostic, or atheist, you are irrevocably changed. Some of the changed are better equipped to deal with society; some never find a place to fit. Only your trail brothers and sisters will understand the transformation within you. As much as you want friends and family to know how and why you have changed so dramatically, you cannot describe where your wilderness journey has taken you. (pp. 33-34)

I loved the sections of the book where Paul is hiking through areas where I have been before; one of them was Roan Mountain, in Tennessee (where Fred and I had our honeymoon in 2005):

…Roan Mountain rises over 6,000 feet, and we had heard much about the difficulty of summiting this mountain.
Roan Mountain exceeded its reputation. Two peaks of the mountain rise to th west, and three grassy balds stretch over seven miles on the east. Carvers Gap sits between these two parts of the mountain.
We climbed for several “endless hours,” as I later wrote in my journal. This was a climb, not just a casual uphill walk. I struggled over rocks, grabbing tree roots on the steep trail to pull myself upward, my lungs protesting and aching for a rest. I talked to my body, trying to push it upward. Okay, leg, step onto that mass of root. Now, other leg, get yourself up over that rock. C’mon, body, get up there with the feet. The climb was harder than anything I’d ever imagined in my daydreams of the AT. And the thirty-five pounds on my back seemed to have doubled its weight, conspiring with the mountain to keep me from making the summit. (p. 118)

Sounds familiar, aside from the 35 pound backpack (not necessary for a day hike)!

Paul shared some valuable advice in his book, sharing a conversation he had with his wife, Mary:

Forgiveness and love; words that can soothe and heal a troubled soul. You, my reader, might also have some powerful words that need to be spoken. Don’t put it off; you may have less time than you realize. Take it from someone with experience; words do have meaning. (p. 130)

I love how he allowed the Lord to change him through this experience:

On the trail, I was shedding not only the stresses of my business life, but also all the distractions that had kept me from truly seeing myself, others, and this hike we call Life. I was learning to see what I saw. God had said He would meet me on the trail. Experiences and people that in my everyday world would have passed unnoticed now carried messages I was able to hear. I finally had time to listen and learn. (p. 168)

One other section of the book covered an area that was familiar to me. When my friend, Kim, and I, vacationed on Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, we stayed at the Bears Den Hostel, in Bluemont, Virginia; so did Paul:

The Bears Den Hostel was one of the most comfortable and elegant on my entire hike. The building is a Tudor-style stone mansion, built in 1933 by local stonemasons, and formerly the home of a Washington, DC, doctor and his opera singer wife. Now the mansion-turned-hostel offers accommodations for twenty-six wayfarers. I left reluctantly in the morning. (p. 183)

I was inspired by how he closed out his book:

You see, there truly are two pathways in this life. One is the path to destruction and everlasting death. The other is the path that leads to eternal life with God in a place called heaven. These paths run somewhat parallel to each other in our earthly life; however, there is the problem of crossing from one path to the other. Don’t look back. You cannot change what is behind you. To change your path and change your life, you’ll need a bridge. You’re at that bridge now. The cross of Jesus can take you from the path of death to the path of life. The cross, that great symbol of Christianity, beckons you to give up whatever is keeping you on the wrong path. Cross the bridge, and find a peace you’ve never imagined and a journey with God that is indescribable.
Nailed to a cross, Jesus paid a great price for your life. Choose wisely, my friend. You can mock that cross if you wish, or you can say, God, forgive me. Words do have meaning. (p. 330)

I really was inspired by this book! I love the fact that Paul started life in the Amish tradition, and then switched to the Mennonite faith; I’ve always been fascinated with both. I intend to keep this book as reference for the time (hopefully within the next few years) when Fred and I prepare for our thru-hike. I thank Paul for being obedient to the Lord’s lead in his life to allow him to complete this amazing task – and to share this amazing book with the rest of us! I appreciate all of the research he put into the preparation for his hike; we will, in the future, be following in his footsteps to see a lot of the highlights he shared in this wonderful book!

Available May 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This book was provided by Revell for review purposes.

Clicky Web Analytics