Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book Review: Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic

Guest Review
By Sarah Yarger
"Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life" (WaterBrook Press, 2012) by Nick Vujicic is an inspirational read that is both memoir and self help book. 

Born without arms or legs, Nick reflects on his own life lessons to encourage readers to embrace challenges faced in life and to view them as opportunities rather than limits. While Nick repeatedly references his faith in Christ as a backbone for his outlook on life, his advice references not only the Bible (note: no actual verse references used) but many other well known secular figures as well. 

The book is very conversational, and at times it feels like Nick is actually sitting next to you. I was surprised by his ability to find humor in his circumstances, and to use it as an effective teaching tool. I laughed out loud as he explained the value in learning that is OK to ask for help while detailing a series of unfortunate (but hilarious) events that occurred while relying on a caretaker during a speaking tour in Transylvania. 

Life lessons are carefully interwoven with these humorous, and at times, brutally honest anecdotes. Nick details his own struggle with self acceptance, including a suicide attempt as a teenager. What's truly dynamic about this book is that while its purpose is to encourage and uplift, Nick doesn't shy away about touching on the pain and anguish he's endured. He's real about his emotions and experiences in a universally relatable way, making his message of hope to rise beyond one's circumstances much more powerful because it is being told by someone who has done it.

Other books from the author (also published by WaterBrook Press) are:
  • Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action (2012)
  • Limitless: Devotions for a Ridiculously Good Life (2013)
  • Your Life Without Limits: Living Above Your Circumstances (2011)
Visit the author's page at http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/. Purchase the book here: http://www.christianbook.com/.

Sarah Yarger lives in Washington, DC and is active in The District church. 

A free copy of the book was provided by the publisher.

Book Review: The Bible Savvy Series by James L. Nicodem

The Bible Savvy Series:
Epic -- The Storyline of the Bible
Foundation -- The Reliability of the Bible
Content -- How to Understand the Bible
Walk -- How to Apply the Bible

By Lauren Yarger
This set of four, small books (Moody Publishers, 2013) packs a big punch for those who want to understand the bible a little better. The bible is one of the most influential books, but many people haven't read it in its entirety, or feel intimidated while reading it. This four-volume set is a guided tour.

The easy-to-read text in each book (about 130+ pages in an approximate 5 x 7 x 1.5 package) is broken by subheadings and pull-out quotes. They are a handy reference for anyone exploring the claims of the bible, wanting a better understanding of it or for small group leaders. Each chapter offers a study guide at the end.

Epic -- The Storyline of the Bible focuses on redemption.
Foundation -- The Reliability of the Bible explores doctrine
Content -- How to Understand the Bible fits the pieces together by looking at various settings
Walk -- How to Apply the Bible offers practical application

Most appealing is that each little book isn't overwhelming. They don't intimidate with volumes of heady information that only biblical scholars have time to sift through. The compact (and in my case paperback) booklets seem an easy read over a cup of tea or during a couple of daily quiet times. The information contained, however, is pretty meaty. This isn't the USA Today version of the bible, but a detailed breakdown and road map. It's also written in a style that is appropriate for either beginner or experienced bible study leader.

http://www.biblesavvy.com/bible-savvy-set/

A free copy of these books was provided by the publisher at my request. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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