Black Cat · books · Christian · Friday · Uncategorized

Friday, hope for survivors…

Black Cat Book Review

50 Days of Hope by Lynn Eib

Lynn Eib is not only an author, she is a wife and mother,  patient advocate in an oncology office,  the facilitator of a Cancer Prayer Support Group she started in 1991, and a cancer survivor.  In this small book she offers emotional and spiritual support, encouragement, and hope to newly diagnosed cancer patients and the family and friends who care for them.

As cancer and its treatments often cause physical bodies to become weakened it can also weaken the spirit.  Supplements may be needed to supply nourishment for the body and inspiring words from people who have “been there done that” can shore up sagging spirits. 

The daily readings are short, often humorous, offering God’s encouragement through inspiring stories of real people living with cancer.  Eib shares stories of her own journey with cancer and the journeys of other cancer survivors; a cancer survivor is anyone with cancer, from day of diagnosis and for the rest of his/her life.  Each day there is a story of a survivor,  their family or friends, most days a scripture, and always a prayer.

At the back of the book there is a section with scripture references about things like fear, worry, peace.  It is not an exhaustive reference but it is encouraging and helpful in finding  comfort.

Though this is written specifically for cancer survivors and those who love them it could certainly be helpful to someone facing a difficult diagnosis of any kind.  The book is small and has an attractive green leather-like cover and is comfortable in the hand.  The only down-side is the print is small and the ink green.  It was not difficult for me to read but might be for someone with any vision impairment.

50 Days Of Hope would be a thoughtful gift not only for cancer survivors but for anyone with a serious or chronic health challenge.

 This book was sent to me by Tyndale House Publishers at no charge in exchange for this review.

Black Cat · books · Christian · Saturday · Uncategorized

Saturday, necessary enemies…

A Black Cat Book Review

The Necessity of an Enemy by Ron Carpenter Jr.

Ron Carpenter Jr. is senior pastor of Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, South Carolina.  He and his wife, Hope, founded the church in 1991.  Today the church has over 16,000 members and 150 community outreach programs.  Their ministry includes television and web programs and more than 1,500 affiliated churches worldwide.  He is a successful man who learned that enemies are necessary because we have our part and purpose in God’s plan.  God uses enemies to strengthen us, test us, build our vision, and to help us become who He has purposed us to be.

There are seven parts to the book that Carpenter wrote after his own difficult time battling the enemies the Enemy put in his path.

Parts one, two, and three tell us why the enemy is necessary, who is really in control, and that being a target in the enemy’s sights is a blessing.

“Every conflict, if embraced properly, will reveal itself to you as a necessary step toward purpose and destiny.”

Parts four, five, and six tell us where enemies enter our lives, what weapons are used by the enemy, and there is always an enemy on the prowl.

“An enemy is someone who increases, strengthens, encourages, or enables an area of weakness in you that God wants to remove from your life.”

In part seven there are lessons on how to fight.

“…engage the enemy, not based on what you are seeing in your circumstances, but based on the promises–the truth–of what you are hearing in the word of God.”

“To defeat an enemy you must hear what God says and act accordingly.”

In conclusion, part eight tells us about the next thing…the spoils of victory.  Victory in a battle does not mean there will not be other battles.  The spoils of victory are to be acknowledged and enjoyed but our guard and focus must remain and we must be alert.

“The Enemy is there, trying to ensure that your potential never manifests itself.  However, the fact that he is present means there’s something about your future he fears.”

Carpenter writes of the enemy that came into his life and set him spinning.  His experience and what it cost him, taught him, and how it gave him a clearer vision of who he is and his part in God’s plan led to the writing of this book.  What he writes is challenging and he sometimes is brash and can sound arrogant.  But he encourages the reader to face the Enemy and do battle in spite of weaknesses knowing it is all part of God’s plan and purpose for us all.

“How bitter the battle, but how sweet the victory!”

I received this book from WaterBrook Press at no cost to me in exchange for this review.

Black Cat · non-fiction · Tuesday · Uncategorized

Tuesday, I is for introvert…

A Black Cat Book Review

Quiet by Susan Cain

In western culture the extrovert is the person most often celebrated, promoted, sought after, and highly regarded as powerful. The introvert is often over-looked, left behind, ignored, and thought of as weak.The extrovert get things rolling, people moving, and the party going. We know who the extrovert is and what they have to offer because they are the ones talking, often loudly, the center of attention. The introvert is usually on the side-lines, quiet, often alone, and unnoticed.

Because the extroverts are getting the attention and leading the way we think most people are extroverts. But, in fact, almost half of the population are introverts; they are largely passed by because they prefer the shadows to the spotlight.

What makes a person an extrovert or an introvert? Why are our ideas and thoughts about extroverts and introverts so unbalanced? Why is the sensitive quiet one seen as someone “less” than the outgoing life of the party? How can we nurture and encourage children–and adults–who are introverts?

These are some of the questions Cain addresses in Quiet. Her writing style is not purely academic and not difficult for the average person to read. She has done extensive research and study of this subject. She interviewed extroverts and introverts and experts in psychology and neuroscience who study them. Cain gives advise about school choices, careers, relationships, leadership roles and styles and  reasons to sometimes “pretend to be an extrovert”.

Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, is presented clearly and well thought out. It gives reason to celebrate, promote, seek out, and highly regard the power of the introvert. Reading Quiet may change how you think or feel about those who are introverts. And for anyone, like me, who is an introvert it may help you understand who you are and why; and where you fit in.

If you are an introvert, have an introverted child, or are an extrovert who loves an introvert reading this book will be helpful and give you insight and understanding.

This book was sent to me, without charge, by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review.