Archives For Book Reviews

“My toddler is getting a sibling! Now how do I prepare her for it?” Storytelling, I’d learned from the brilliant book The Whole-Brain Child, was a fantastic way to engage then 21-month-old Allie, so I turned to my favourite resource – our local library.

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I was very excited to receive my copy of “God In My Everything” because the author, Ken Shigematsu, is my mentor and I respect him greatly. This is my review of his book.
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Meetings can be oh-so-very boring. I have sat through my fair share of dull, uninspired, and ineffective meetings at work and church. And I have often wondered (while sitting through such meetings) why so many people go through the motions when it seems like a royal waste of time.

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Olive’s rating: 5 stars out of 5

I absolutely loved this book. Parker Palmer did an excellent job of painting a picture of what safe communities of people look like and how they help individuals toward living an undivided life of integrity.
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Olive’s rating:  4 stars out of 5

I was skeptical about this book when I first picked it up because I’d thought Miller’s previous work had been a little fluffy. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. In my humble opinion, I think this book is more mature than his other work – but with the same laugh-out-loud humour that is so enjoyable to read. This book looks at what makes up a good story and asks us whether our lives are reading as good stories.
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Recently I read Blake Mycoskie’s book, “Start Something that Matters”. Blake is the founder and “Chief Shoe Giver” of TOMS. It outlines the inspiring story of TOMS, a social enterprise that has given over 1 million new pairs of shoes to children in need.
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THE TESTIMONY OF LEAVES

olive chan —  October 5, 2006

THE TESTIMONY OF LEAVES
An Exerpt on God’s Faithfulness from “The Holy Wild” by Mark Buchannan

A leaf. Behold a single leaf. So fragile, it tears like paper, crushes in your hand to a moist stain, sharply fragrant. Dry, it burns swift and crackling as newsprint, pungent as gunpowder. Yet a leaf may withstand hurricanes, stubbornly clinging to its limb.

Hold it open in your palm. It is perfect as a newborn’s smile. Pinch its stem between thumb and forefinger and hold it to the light. Eden bleeds through. Its veins are like bone work in silhouette. This single leaf, joined to the tree, drinks poison from the air, drinks it serenely as Socrates downing his cup of hemlock, and refuses to return in kind, instead spilling out life-giving oxygen. This leaf tilts to catch the sun, its warmnth and radiance, to distill the heat and light down to the shadows, down to the roots, back up to limbs. To shade the earth. To feed you and me.

A leaf. God makes these season after season, one after the other, billions upon bilions, from the Garden to the New Jerusalem, most for no eye but His own. He does it faithfully, or else I would not live to tell about it, or you to hear.

Perhaps of all my many sins against heaven, this ranks with the worst: Until this moment, I have never thanked God for a single leaf.

I read this a while back but seeing the flaming reds and brilliant hues of orange and yellow around here, I can’t help but marvel at the miracle of a single leaf – and the mystery of the big-ness of God.

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
~Habbakuk 2:14~

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THE COTTAGE

olive chan —  August 31, 2006

THE COTTAGE

i’ve discovered that i’m a very angry person. surprised? yeah, so am i.

i finished reading Delighting God by Victoria Brooks last night. in it, she tells the story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan during the initial stages of their relationship. knowing that Helen’s well-meaning parents would interfere with her teaching, Anne Sullivan takes Helen to a cottage for two weeks, during which she patiently and strong mindedly re-trains young Helen. after these two weeks, Helen has learned how to be a civilized member of society. however, her teacher wanted more from her. Anne Sullivan wanted nothing less than Helen Keller’s freedom. the cottage experience was just the beginning.

the author goes on to say that similarly, in our lives, God takes us to the Cottage so that He can take our bad habits away from us and make us into acceptable Kingdom subjects. and likewise, His aim is not merely for our civilization. God wants our freedom.

honestly speaking, i think i’m in the Cottage right now. i can’t understand why God has to make me face so many things, why He has to challenge me so much. why He can’t just leave me alone to rest! i’m thrashing about, throwing tantrums everywhere and as much as i want to run away, everywhere i turn, He’s there. my perspective of Him at the moment is that He is a demanding teacher, stripping me of everything i’ve grown accustomed to. oh, i know He loves me and that’s why He does this. but my finite mind just seems a little too small (or perhaps i’m too immature) to grasp His GOODNESS in all this. or maybe His goodness is being clouded over by my discomfort.

i switched over from soft contact lenses to hard ones yesterday. it sucks. i was amply warned beforehand that my eyes would itch, that it would be uncomfortable and that i’d want to give up. it still sucks. and it’s hard to be patient when i can’t see properly and all i’m waiting for is for my body to get used to it. i’m so completely helpless. i can’t change a thing. i guess that’s what this boils down to: i feel trapped.

so here i am stuck in the Cottage. full of anger. and desperately, desperately needing God.

Jesus loves me, this I know
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me,
the Bible tells me so.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
~Hebrews 11:1~

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, We will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, We only recommend products or services We use personally and believe will add value to our readers.

MORE ON ADAM AND EVE

olive chan —  August 30, 2006

MORE ON ADAM AND EVE

so recently i finished reading Donald Miller’s “Searching for God Knows What” (which i found to be a refreshing look at the meaning and relevance of the gospel story and highly recommend it to anyone). in it, he writes an account of his imagined story of the time between Adam’s creation and Eve’s creation. he reasons that it probably took Adam a hundred (lonely) years of naming animals before God put him to sleep and made Eve. so Adam waited a very long time before Eve showed up.

reading on in Genesis, the same pattern is found. Isaac waits for Rebekah. Jacob waits for Rachel. the list goes on.

so ever since the very beginning, men have waited for women.

just an observation. :)

But the fruit of the Spirit is… patience…
~Galatians 5:22~

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, We will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, We only recommend products or services We use personally and believe will add value to our readers.

THIS FIGHT

olive chan —  February 17, 2004

THIS FIGHT

last night, i finished reading Safely Homeby Randy Alcorn. i can honestly say that i have never been impacted by one novel as much as i’ve been by this one. it totally opened my eyes to the persecuted church around the world and it challenged me to think about what i really value and what i’m living for. it also gave me a glimpse of how wonderful heaven will be. it is seriously such a good book i want to make everyone i know read it! ;)

anyway, i’ll post more later but i’ll leave you with this poem for now.

“Prayer penetrates the hearts we cannot open,
Shields those we cannot guard,
Teaches where we cannot speak,
And comforts where our hearts have no power to soothe.”

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
~Ephesians 6:18~

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, We will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, We only recommend products or services We use personally and believe will add value to our readers.